Geoffrey H. Hartman Jonathan Culler - Essay

Jonathan Culler

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Geoffrey Hartman] repeatedly proves himself a subtle analyst of genres, though he usually prefers to invent or discover his own. Several essays in The Fate of Reading illustrate the kind of criticism he now does best: the grouping together, as a subgenre, of a series of thematically linked poems which, when arranged in this way, come to manifest different degrees of consciousness and self-consciousness (consciousness of the group in which they find themselves) and thus tell a tale of the adventures of Poesy or of the trials of the Poetical Character. The best of these, "Evening Star and Evening Land," invokes poems addressed to the evening star and explores the way in which the investigation of poetic...

(The entire section is 414 words.)