Tag Archives: Literary Criticism

Think of Writing Essays as Method Acting

To teach writing about literature, think of your students as method actors.

Posted in Bronte (Charlotte) | Also tagged , , , | 4 Comments

The Reader’s Role in Literature

Reader Response Theory focuses on the reader’s involvement in literature, opening up avenues untouched by formalist criticism.

Posted in Uncategorized | Also tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

The Arc of the History Bends towards Kafka

Literature provides a special way of knowing, a way different than, say, philosophy. But it’s hard to prove this because we need to use the language of rational philosophy to make literature’s case. Once we have done so, philosophy can seem more effective than literature. After all, it tells us things straight up, without resorting […]

Posted in Kundera (Milan) | Also tagged , , , | Comments closed

No PhD Needed to Understand Lit

In today’s post I direct your attention to an article in yesterday’s New York Times entitled “In Defense of Naïve Reading.” It affirms the kind of literary interpretation this website specializes in. Author Robert Pippin, a professor of philosophy at the University of Chicago, is concerned that, because university literature departments have tried to emulate […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Also tagged , | Comments closed


  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

    Please feel free to e-mail me [rrbates (at) smcm (dot) edu]. I would be honored to hear your thoughts and questions about literature.

  • Sign up for weekly newsletter

    Your email will not be shared or sold.
    * = required field

    powered by MailChimp!
  • Twitter Authentication data is incomplete