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This essay looks to Jonathan Culler's Theory of the Lyric for insight into debates about postcritical reading. While thus reading Culler's study against the grain, Culler's concern that certain modes of academic interpretation have become exhausted, losing sight of the literary, is one that theorists of poscritique have echoed. This essay also develops a reading of Ali Smith's 2014 How to Be Both to demonstrate the stakes of postcritical reading. Smith's novel both stages a biting rejoinder to various academic habits of interpretation and, through its own own lyrical qualities, suggests an agenda for re-grounding criticism in the sheer experience of reading.