Eleven years ago, in Out of My System, the influential literary critic, Frederick Crews, disclosed the erosion of his Freudian sympathies. Now, in a carefully reasoned and witty new book, he reveals where that reappraisal has taken him and why he has come to regard himself as an opponent of all "self-validating" doctrines. The essays and pieces in this volume concern what Crews calls "the fear of facing the world, including its works of literature, without an intellectual narcotic ready at hand."
Having witnessed psychoanalysis from the believer's vantage point as well as the skeptic's, Crews offers a uniquely trenchant perspective on Freudian claims. He also presents a searing critique of pretension and folly in the literary academy, from deconstructive "freeplay" to post-structuralist Marxism, applying his skepticism and his cultural concerns to such diverse figures as Joseph Conrad, Henry Miller, Norman Mailer, Philip Roth, Philip Rahv, and Leslie Fiedler.show more