A Touch More Rare: Harry Berger, Jr., and the Arts of by Nina Levine, David Lee Miller

By Nina Levine, David Lee Miller

Harry Berger, Jr., has lengthy been one among our so much respected and revered literary and cultural critics. because the past due nineties, a movement of exceptional and leading edge guides have proven how very large his pursuits are, relocating from Shakespeare to baroque portray, to Plato, to theories of early culture.In this quantity a distinctive staff of students gathers to have a good time the paintings of Harry Berger, Jr. To celebrate,in Berger's phrases, is to go to anything both in nice numbers in any other case frequently-to depart and are available again, leave and are available again, leave and are available again. Celebrating is what you do the second one or 3rd time round, yet now not the 1st. To have fun is to revisit. To revisit is to revise. get together is the eureka of revision.Not purely former scholars yet exclusive colleagues and students come jointly in those pages to find Berger's eurekas-to revisit the rigor and originality of his feedback, and infrequently to revise its conclusions, throughout the enjoyment of strenuous engagement. Nineteen essays on Berger's Shakespeare, his Spenser, his Plato, and his Rembrandt, on his theories of interpretation and cultural swap and at the ethos of his serious and pedagogical types, open new ways to the superb ongoing physique of labor authored via Berger. An creation by way of the editors and an afterword via Berger himself position this competition of interpretation within the context of Berger's highbrow improvement and the reception of his paintings from the mid-twentieth century into the 1st decade of the twenty-first.

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Extra resources for A Touch More Rare: Harry Berger, Jr., and the Arts of Interpretation

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First of all, artistic production itself turns out to be enabled by this expanding of voices and auditors, representers and viewers. ’’ In effect, when Actaeon, Althusser, and the Duke of Aumerle—just to choose from the A’s—cohabit, it means that imaginary beings are elevated in status by the same critical mind that questions the autonomy of material persons. Or, on the level of text rather than index, we might consider two of his most powerful formulations in other work. The ‘‘second world’’ problematizes the substantial and material existence, the normativity, of the first world and of worlds in general.

And from that glorious fact I take welcome permission to contract my own focus to one strand of this production, rather scandalously personal. One of my favorite books, which is also one of the strangest books ever written, is Nicholson Baker’s U and I, in which he spends nearly two hundred pages detailing his lifelong obsession with John Updike. In this verbal act of stalking, Baker goes through every possible form of imitatio (ranging from sentence structure to psoriasis) that has bound him to his idol as both a person and a writer.

The notion that you are rich and I am poor, and that together we make up a complex oxymoron that a ‘‘mature’’ thinker will see as an apparently unalterable synthesis of opposites, an essential or inevitable aspect of life, leaves no room for a narrative that will break the oxymoron and lead from poverty to riches. Indeed, we see here the difference between the focus in New Susanne L. Wofford 35 Criticism on lyric paradox itself and Berger’s focus, even early on, on unpacking the narrative economies created by paradox.

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