Introduction: Criticism in Crisis

  • Gary Day
Part of the Insights book series (ISI)


As Chris Baldick has pointed out, criticism has always been in a state of crisis.1 The present one centres on the problem of legitimation and, closely related to it, the question of criticism’s proper object of study: literature — itself a highly contentious and unstable term — or society, an equally suspect word.


Public Sphere Critical Theory Literary Criticism Literary Theory Social Mission 
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  1. 1.
    C. Baldick, The Social Mission of English Criticism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987) p. 1.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    See T. Eagleton, The Function of Criticism from ‘The Spectator’ to Post-Structuralism (London: Verso, 1984), esp. pp. 9–27.Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    Norris’s argument is developed at length in C. Norris, Spinoza and the Origins of Modern Critical Theory (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1991).Google Scholar

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© Editorial Board, Lumière (Co-operative) Press Ltd 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary Day

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