Literary Criticism & Film Criticism

By Welsh, James M | Literature/Film Quarterly, July 1, 1982 | Go to article overview

Literary Criticism & Film Criticism


Welsh, James M, Literature/Film Quarterly


Literary Criticism & Film Criticism

The second edition of Elmer Borklund's Contemporary Literary Critics has just been uttered (Detroit: Gale Research, 1982; $55.00), an alphabetical listing of 115 scholars and critics from M. H. Abrams to Philip Young, whose Ernest Hemingway is judged "the definitive study of that writer," and who serves, with Professor Borklund, on the faculty of Pennsylvania State University. The format includes a biographical note for each entry, a bibliography, and an evaluation of the criticism. The book is described as a "descriptive reference guide," but to preserve the flavor of the critics treated, Borklund often quotes directly from the works discussed. The selection excludes textual scholars, literary biographers (though Richard Ellmann is included for his work on Yeats and Joyce), Continental critics (such as Erich Auerbach and Jacques Derrida), aestheticians and philosophers (Susanne Langer, e.g.) Of course, cinema critics are not included, but the book provides an impressive selective survey of many influential literary critics and is a useful starting point for those who may wish to explore the field.

Turning from this collection to Anthony Slide's three collections of Selected Film Criticism: 1896-1911, 1912-1920, 1921-1930 (Scarecrow Press, 1982), one encounters a much more liberal definition of "criticism," for the writers Slide anthologizes are not remotely in the same league with those treated by Borklund. …

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