Publication details [#6865]

Budick, Emily Miller. 1996. The Holocaust and the construction of modern American literary criticism: the case of Lionel Trilling. In Budick, Sanford and Wolfgang Iser, eds. The translatability of cultures: figurations of the space between. Stanford: Stanford University Press. pp. 127–146.


In this essay, the author wants to record a particular moment in one unfolding of the multicultural idea, and the author wants to trace in that moment the acts of exclusion (rather than inclusion) by which multiculturalism gains its objectives. The moment occurs in an argument between two prominent Americanist critics, one of an older, the other of a newer generation: Frederick Crews and Donald Pease; and it centers around a third, almost legendary, literary critic who represents an even earlier generation: Lionel Trilling. At issue in this intersection of literary critical voices, each with its own agenda, is the place of politics within literature and literary criticism; how and why and to what consequence the politics of a literary or critical text function, not simply within the world of writing and discourse but within the sociopolitical world itself.
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