Geoffrey H. Hartman Richard Poirier - Essay

Richard Poirier

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[In "The Fate of Reading and Other Essays"], there emerges a consensus view of a possibly coherent theory of poetics. This is … validated by some extraordinarily deft analyses of Wordsworth, Keats, Collins, Valéry, Goethe and Christopher Smart, and much briefer but equally brilliant illuminations of a number of other writers….

"The Fate of Reading" is much more intensely speculative than ["Beyond Formalism"] and so much more anxious for patterns that every analysis of a writer or a work is made continuous with literary theory, every poem is shown to be an act of criticism, every act of criticism a poetic one.

Extremely difficult, extremely burdened by "anxieties" about critical...

(The entire section is 1619 words.)