On Being a Pacifist Critic
A Newhouse at Home Presentation by Professor Larry Rosenwald
We have no account of pacifist criticism. On Being a Pacifist Critic will provide one. It understands pacifism as both a radical idea and a tenable one, and explores how that idea shapes the literary and cultural criticism of those committed to it. As such it is necessarily personal and partial, shaped and limited by my perspectives and reading. (It is, for example, centered in the literary and pacifist traditions of Europe and the United States.) It is divided into five sections. The first three are conceptually simple: a prologue setting our my pacifist and critical perspectives, an account of antiwar literature, an account of pacifist writers. The last two are more complicated. The fourth discusses manifestations in literary texts of what the Quaker diarist John Woolman called "the seeds of war," e.g., military metaphors; the fifth discusses manifestations of what Denise Levertov called "peace" an energy field more intense than war," e.g., scenes of durable, vibrant harmony.
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Lauren Cote at email@example.com