Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 1-4

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 5-6

With the exception of the introduction, all essays in this volume have be en translated from the German. Henry J. Sehmidt and Ronald Smith translated the three studies that first appeared in my essay eoHeetion Literaturkritik und Offentlichkeit (Munieh, R. Piper & Co. Verlag, 1 974), and are presented here...

Contents

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pp. 7-10

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Introduction

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pp. 11-43

The recognition that a literary text is embedded in a historical context that can be defined in cultural, political, and social terms has been common knowledge for some time. This insight, however, has not been fully appreciated in the examination of various forms of literary criticism-scholarly books and articles, journalistic...

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1. Literary Criticism and the Public Sphere

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pp. 44-82

As long as a cultural institution is sheltered from close public scrutiny, by and large its social foundations remain concealed. They are brought into view only when the meaning and the function of the institution are called into question. Such questioning uncovers the tacitly accepted...

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2. Art Evaluation and Reportage: The Aesthetic Theory of the Later Heine

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pp. 83-125

On June 30, 1840, Heinrieh Heine, then Paris correspondent for the Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung, wrote an extensive report on the organization of the French press. The topic was of current interest for his German readers ; they were well acquainted with the difficulties of writing and publishing political...

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3. The End of an Institution? The Debate over the Function of Literary Criticism in the 1960s

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pp. 126-158

Looking back at postwar German literature from the perspective of the 1970s, we begin to realize that the earlier years of this period have become historical. The literature of the late forties and the fifties appears to be somewhat remote, separated from us by the new tendencies of the following...

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4. The Task of Contemporary Literary Criticism

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pp. 159-180

Everything is back to normal: literature is being produced-to judge by the statistics, more abundantly than ever-and books on the market are finding reviewers. The situation is no different from ten, twenty, or fifty years ago. The predicted demise of literature and literary criticism never did...

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5. Promoters, Consumers, and Critics: On the Reception of the Best-Seller

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pp. 181-223

There was a time-some look back on it with longing, others with abhorrence-when the world of literature and literary criticism was still in good order, when literary historians and reviewers still knew (or seemed to know) exactly what they were supposed to be doing, when one could speak with a clear...

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6. Prolegomena to a History of Literary Criticism

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pp. 224-241

The title of this essay needs some explanation. It assumes that none of the existing histories of literary criticism is sufficient for our needs and that we are still developing a history of literary criticism. Such an assumption might indeed be called unfair given the accomplishments of international...

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7. Critical Theory, Public Sphere, and Culture: Jürgen Habermas and His Critics

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pp. 242-280

Liberal theory, especially after 1848, tends to separate carefully the domains of culture and politics. Its notion of the autonomy of art is particularly indispensable for countering arguments that conceive the relation between culture and politics as historically changing. One of the essential achievements...

Index

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pp. 281-287