By Nina Levine, David Lee Miller
Harry Berger, Jr., has lengthy been one among our such a lot respected and revered literary and cultural critics. because the overdue nineties, a movement of exceptional and cutting edge courses have proven how very wide his pursuits are, relocating from Shakespeare to baroque portray, to Plato, to theories of early culture.In this quantity a distinct staff of students gathers to rejoice the paintings of Harry Berger, Jr. To celebrate,in Berger's phrases, is to go to anything both in nice numbers in any other case frequently-to leave and are available again, leave and are available again, depart and are available again. Celebrating is what you do the second one or 3rd time round, yet no longer the 1st. To have a good time is to revisit. To revisit is to revise. get together is the eureka of revision.Not basically former scholars yet distinct colleagues and students come jointly in those pages to find Berger's eurekas-to revisit the rigor and originality of his feedback, and sometimes to revise its conclusions, throughout the enjoyment of strenuous engagement. Nineteen essays on Berger's Shakespeare, his Spenser, his Plato, and his Rembrandt, on his theories of interpretation and cultural switch and at the ethos of his severe and pedagogical kinds, open new methods to the fabulous ongoing physique of labor authored via Berger. An creation by means of the editors and an afterword by means of Berger himself position this competition of interpretation within the context of Berger's highbrow improvement and the reception of his paintings from the mid-twentieth century into the 1st decade of the twenty-first.
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Additional info for A Touch More Rare: Harry Berger, Jr., and the Arts of Interpretation
23 24 Harry Berger and Self-Hatred It is a skepticism that will not let go of the heroes of a play or a romance, that will not let the description of a character—especially a self-description—rest on the pedestal of some ﬁxed picture of virtue or nobility. He offers a cost accounting, a genealogical analysis, of readings that narrow the scope of human understanding, their way of feeding self-interest or self-love, and thus limit the powers of surprise. Berger’s work involves a concerted and rigorous laying bare of the self and its subterfuges, its myriad disguises, theatricalizations, displacements, duplicities, captivities, and abjections, its impositions on itself and others, its ways of justifying itself to itself and others.
Wofford 39 condition, which, for Berger, is of and in language as in time. So Berger must remain the immature critic and does so resiliently and resistantly in essays where he lets neither the New Critics escape with their condescension nor their critics escape with their own complicity unacknowledged. Berger’s critical method—the interpretive shuttle—gives the critic and reader a moment of recognition as complex as that in drama, in which discovering our own complicity in the processes by which the work has achieved a kind of closure is as important as the closure itself.
20 It is something at once proper and alien to us. The version of a self that interests Berger is one strong enough to survive its own loss, disillusionment, segmentation, ambiguation, contradiction— the costs of its own ‘‘self-representation,’’ which for Berger are inevitably ironic. This is a self able to brave its own embeddedness in time, matter, and the body, distrustful its own doubts as well as those of others. Taking stock of such a situation is the ‘‘secret discipline’’ that drives this critic’s acts of reading.
A Touch More Rare: Harry Berger, Jr., and the Arts of Interpretation by Nina Levine, David Lee Miller