Performative Criticism

Performative Criticism : Experiments in Reader Response

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In these inventive and genre-bending critical essays, Gerry Brenner provides fresh interpretations of classic literary works by empowering significant characters to represent themselves as legitimate readers with strong responses. Through imaginary interviews, letters, "dialogues of the dead," a revised ending, and a training report, he gives voice to characters from the biblical Book of Ruth, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, Huckleberry Finn, The Great Gatsby, The Maltese Falcon, and others. Instead of asking readers to read his interpretation of a text (i.e., a critic's interpretation from the outside), Brenner asks them to read a character's or historical or imagined person's interpretation (a reader-response interpretation from the inside). Challenging the long-dominant depersonalization of literary criticism, Brenner enlivens the effect, value, and significance of scholarly and critical writing.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 244 pages
  • 151.9 x 234.2 x 19.6mm | 453.6g
  • Albany, NY, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • Total Illustrations: 0
  • 0791459438
  • 9780791459430

Review quote

"The book's fascinating recreation and reinterpretation of canonical literary characters is a linguistic tour de force. It's bound to raise new clues bounds about and therefore new interpretations of some of the most compelling stories in world literature."
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About Gerry Brenner

Gerry Brenner is Professor Emeritus of English at The University of Montana. His most recent book is A Comprehensive Companion to Hemingway's A Moveable Feast: Annotation to Interpretation.
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