Winter 1986 • Vol. VIII No. 1 NonfictionJanuary 1, 1986 |

Adam Naming the Animals: Language, Contexts, and Meaning

For some time now I have felt a curious discomfort in reading fashionable contemporary criticism, especially the deconstructionist variety in its uneasy alliances with Marxist, Neo-Freudian, Feminist, and Bloomian approaches, but only recently have I recognized the true source of that discomfort: acute claustrophobia. For all the talk of interminable deferment, open texts, and infinite decentering, most "revisionist" criticism seems too barricaded behind a specialized argot, too dependent on the axioms of particular philosophies, ideologies, or faiths, too circumscribed in method, too reductive in result, and too bound to the present decade. We require a larger, broader perspective to see what the stakes are, what larger patterns there may be, and what alternatives may be available. Fortunately, if one steps back far enough to see how language is now understood in a variety of disciplines related to literary criticism, an alternative does in fact emerge, one that validates the possi

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.

Read More

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.