Wayne C(layson) Booth Philip Stevick - Essay

Philip Stevick

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Everything is to be said for working patiently through the stages of one's subject, especially when one's subject has been as shabbily done as Wayne Booth's. What, after all, exists explicitly and directly on the subject of irony, a subject so dominant in the critical writing on modern literature that, as Booth points out [in A Rhetoric of Irony], vast numbers of articles, dissertations, and books in the last thirty years have had "irony" in their titles?… Compare the critical work that surrounds any of the better known modernists and the volume of critical writing on irony seems, indeed is, pathetically thin, reason for Booth to throw up his hands, begin at the beginning, and work his way through his subject...

(The entire section is 1082 words.)