Elegy for Literature

Elegy for Literature

By Jeffrey T. Nealon

Anthem Impact Anthem symploke Studies in Theory

Elegy for Literature is an overview of the current crisis within the academic study of literature. It suggests a way forward for rethinking the work that literary studies can do – less as a set of literary objects, and more as a way of life.

PDF, 68 Pages


March 2022

£0.00, $0.00

EPUB, 68 Pages


March 2022

£0.00, $0.00

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
  • Links
  • Podcasts

About This Book

With the seemingly unshakeable ground of literature having suffered a number of near-fatal hemorrhages due to the changing mediascape and the temblors of 2008 and 2020, the author suggests for the future of literary studies: Not Theory of Literature, but Literature as Theory. Not literary studies as putting on offer familiarity with a series of privileged literary texts and their prized cultural “meaning,” nor transmuting theory into one of those canonical texts, but literary studies as a kind of theoretical orientation, a series of modes of response or ways of doing things.

The external threats for literary study today are easy enough to recognize – the pressure from above exerted by downsizing administrators and neoliberal apologists who see literary study as frivolous at best, dangerous to the university’s new vocational mission at worst. The academic study of literature requires an elegy primarily because its object doesn’t unproblematically exist anymore: which is to say, we have to come to terms with the fact that there is not (and never has been) a way to locate what literature is, or what it can do, without the preexisting condition of a theoretical orientation. Literature as an autonomous object of inquiry is dead. Long live theory.


No reviews for this title.

Author Information

Jeffrey T. Nealon is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English and Philosophy at Penn State University. He is author of numerous books in literary and social theory.


Anthem Impact

Anthem symploke Studies in Theory

Table of Contents

1 Endgames; 2 The Novel and New Materialism; or, Learning from Lukács; Epilogue: Where I Predictably Assert That the Kind of Thing I Do Is the Key; Notes; Index of Names.


No Podcasts for this title.

Latest Tweets

  • RT @DrToddLandman: New book with @AnthemPress coming this July! Six years of podcasts crafted into a book: https://t.co/WB8ShDg3Hz #humanri…

    - 06:45:30 on 01/04/2022
  • 'In Defense of Reason After Hegel' by Richard Dien Winfield is finally here! It undermines the assault on truth per… https://t.co/ae2w59DCDR

    - 06:45:30 on 01/04/2022
  • Out now: 'Gender, Sexuality and Feminism in Pakistani Urdu Writing' by Amina Yaqin. This book sets out an unconvent… https://t.co/Mt59YdJfbG

    - 06:45:30 on 31/03/2022
  • Tune-in to a discussion with Markos Kounalakis on his latest book, 'Freedom Isn't Free' moderated by Bill Whalen.… https://t.co/IxQg3aSR3E

    - 06:45:30 on 31/03/2022
  • Out now! 'Sounding Prose' by Natascha Veldhorst. This book is about the presence of music in novels. More specifica… https://t.co/qYdKWGTaIb

    - 06:45:30 on 30/03/2022
  • 'Logos and Life' by Roger Teichmann is finally here! The essays cover topics in philosophy of mind, philosophy of… https://t.co/0Rl1Rgdgp4

    - 06:45:30 on 30/03/2022
  • 'The Whole Durn Human Comedy' by Joseph McBride is finally here! This is a groundbreaking, incisive critical study… https://t.co/gy4cLTpRaG

    - 06:45:30 on 23/03/2022
  • Out now! 'Emerging Thoughts in Disability and Humanness' by Elizabeth DePoy & Stephen French Gilson. Find out more… https://t.co/sYvBWYTLlU

    - 06:45:30 on 23/03/2022
  • 'Truth and Storytelling' by Emily Edwards is finally here! The book offers a guide for #writers to better understan… https://t.co/QuQpCOLW9n

    - 06:45:30 on 22/03/2022
  • 'The Dancing Body in Renaissance Choreography' by Mark Franko is finally here! This is a study of the theory of… https://t.co/CogkoBFCdp

    - 06:45:30 on 18/03/2022

Comodo SSL