Literature Against Criticism: University English and Contemporary Fiction in Conflict

Literature Against Criticism: University English and Contemporary Fiction in Conflict Martin Paul Eve
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Martin Paul Eve is one of the most brilliant scholars of his generation. His ground-breaking Literature Against Criticism combines new and insightful readings of contemporary novelists (from Jennifer Egan to Tom McCarthy and from Sarah Waters to Percival Everett) who are in animated competition with university English. There are very few authors who can combine ethical, political and aesthetic readings of the contemporary novel with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the modern university. This is the first of a new kind of criticism that lets imaginative literature, rather than the academic scholar, have the last word.
—Bryan Cheyette, Chair in Modern Literature, University of Reading




Martin Eve’s impassioned, timely and polemical book, at the intersection of criticism, theory, contemporary literature and critical university studies, explores the anxieties in the reading and criticism of important and interesting recent fiction. Its striking and original argumentthat fiction and academic discourse are, in fact, in conflict over issues of discipline, critique and legitimation—should be read by those who read, study—and write—contemporary fiction.
— Robert Eaglestone, Professor of Contemporary Literature and Thought,
Royal Holloway, University of London



Read Martin Eve's introduction to Literature Against Criticism on our

This is a book about the power game currently being played out between two symbiotic cultural institutions: the university and the novel. As the number of hyper-knowledgeable literary fans grows, students and researchers in English departments waver between dismissing and harnessing voices outside the academy. Meanwhile, the role that the university plays in contemporary literary fiction is becoming increasingly complex and metafictional, moving far beyond the ‘campus novel’ of the mid-twentieth century.
Martin Paul Eve’s engaging and far-reaching study explores the novel's contribution to the ongoing displacement of cultural authority away from university English. Spanning the works of Jennifer Egan, Ishmael Reed, Tom McCarthy, Sarah Waters, Percival Everett, Roberto Bolaño and many others, Literature Against Criticism forces us to re-think our previous notions about the relationship between those who write literary fiction and those who critique it.

Birkbeck, University of London, has generously contributed towards the publication of this volume.


Literature Against Criticism: University English and Contemporary Fiction in Conflict
Martin Paul Eve | October 2016
248 | 1 b&w illustration | 6.14" x 9.21" (234 x 156 mm)
ISBN Paperback: 9781783742738
ISBN Hardback: 9781783742745
ISBN Digital (PDF): 9781783742752
ISBN Digital ebook (epub): 9781783742769
ISBN Digital ebook (mobi): 9781783742776
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0102
BIC subject codes: DS (Literature: history and criticism), DSK (Literary studies: fiction, novelists and prose writers), FA (Modern and contemporary fiction)



About the Author
Style
Acknowledgements

Part I: Introduction
1. Authors, Institutions, and Markets
2. What, Where?

Part II: Critique
3. Aesthetic Critique
4. Political Critique

Part III: Legitimation
5. Sincerity and Truth
6. Labour and Theory

Part IV: Discipline
7. Genre and Class
8. Discipline and Publish

Part V: The End

9. Conclusion

Bibliography
Index


Professor Martin Paul Eve is Chair of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London. He is also the author of Pynchon and Philosophy (2014), Open Access and the Humanities (2014), and Password (2016).