© 1996

Literary Meaning

Reclaiming the Study of Literature


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-v
  2. Wendell V. Harris
    Pages 1-8
  3. Wendell V. Harris
    Pages 9-19
  4. Wendell V. Harris
    Pages 20-49
  5. Wendell V. Harris
    Pages 50-64
  6. Wendell V. Harris
    Pages 65-89
  7. Wendell V. Harris
    Pages 90-131
  8. Wendell V. Harris
    Pages 157-178
  9. Wendell V. Harris
    Pages 205-223
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 224-240

About this book


Today's student of literature is faced with an overwhelming variety of critical approaches. The need to evaluate their usefulness in furthering our understanding of literature is therefore a growing concern. In Literary Meaning, Wendell V. Harris explores the fallacies behind the fashionable hermeticism that insists that the meaning of a text is indeterminate and divides language from any reality beyond itself. Harris then puts forward a powerful case for the return to hermeneutics, in which an understanding of the author's intended meaning is the first step in reading, and at the same time insists upon the hollowness of the current mode of professionalism in literature departments. Set to provoke fierce debate, this controversial book will become essential reading for all those involved in literary criticism.


English literature hermeneutics history history of literature language literary criticism literature pluralism publishing rhetoric time understanding

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Pennsylvania State UniversityUSA

Bibliographic information