Friday, August 20, 2010

Frank Kermode, Literary Critic, Dies at 90 - Obituary (Obit) - NYTimes.com


Frank Kermode, who rose from humble origins to become one of England’s most respected and influential critics, died Tuesday at his home in Cambridge, England. He was 90.

His death was announced by The London Review of Books, which he helped create and to which he frequently contributed.

Frank Kermode, Literary Critic, Dies at 90 - Obituary (Obit) - NYTimes.com

1 comment:

ML Raina said...

The present generation of literature scholars,drunk as they are on the shoddy wine of Theory,would hardly know that it was Kermode who introduced French Theory into English critical thinking.But unlike them,he did not muddle his judgment and soon saw theory's dark underside("The Uses of Error").That he insisted on pleasure as the ultimate marker of a text's success (see his discussion with Hartmann) goes on to show that Kermode stayed within traditional limits of literary argument.As his last Clark lectures on E.M Forster demonstrate,he found in the english novelist elements of traditional British Realism as well as intimations of the modernist experimentation(see his appreciation of Proust).

Such level-headedness,combined with an extensive knowledge of literary and theological texts(bible especially),gave to his criticism a unique edge.It is time we remind our pastische-hunters,ideology-seekers and sundry other purveyors of critical kitsch that a lasting contribution to literary interpretation needs knowledge and capacity to chance ones arm.