The Age of the Crisis of Man

The Age of the Crisis of Man

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qMark Greif's original and compelling history of the 'crisis of man' shows how important this debate was not just to American intellectual life in the middle of the twentieth century, but to the postmodernity that was to follow, and to theoretical questions that still engage us. Through a series of dazzling readings, Greif shows that literature, not theory or philosophy, provided by far the best analyses of the problem of the nature and future of 'man.' Anyone interested in theories of human rights and the posthuman, in the constant tug of war between universalism and difference, or in the relationship between literature and philosophy should read this book.q--Toril Moi, Duke University qThis book offers more than a fine history of midcentury intellectual life. A set of ideas that have long seemed deader than the paper they are printed on are given, not credence, but a thrilling sense of energy and urgency. The strength of the conceptual framework lets one see how the restless ghosts of the 'age of the crisis of man' have been keeping us company all along. Against the odds, Greif's account provides us with new tools for understanding our present, when the category of the human has never seemed a less reliable beacon to the making of a better world.q--Mark McGurl, author of qThe Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writingq qMark Greif is one of my favorite contemporary essayists, and it's a pleasure to read his analysis of a time of change so fundamental to our culture and artworks today. This is a brilliant history of midcentury American (and European) thought. His writing is witty, profound, and able to change the inner landscape of anyone who encounters it.q--Sheila Heti, author of qHow Should a Person Be?q qAn utterly surprising prehistory of our present, and one of the best imaginable roadmaps to the intellectual and literary geography of the last seventy years.q--Elaine Scarry, Harvard University qThis is a substantial, even brilliant, contribution to the literary history of midcentury America. Mark Greif is a bold, idea-intensive critic.q--David A. Hollinger, author of qAfter Cloven Tongues of Fire: Protestant Liberalism in Modern American Historyq qOne shouldn't use the word 'masterpiece' promiscuously, but this is a truly valuable excavation and explanation of a puzzling phase of twentieth-century culture that has been not only buried but largely forgotten. Mark Greif's writing is utterly straightforward, and the book is limpidly researched, smartly argued, and, in case after case, stunningly right, as it sheds new light on the crucial middle decades of the century. I was riveted from start to finish.q--Morris Dickstein, author of qDancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depressionq qThis excellent book offers an original view of midcentury U.S. intellectual and literary history, making a compelling case for a forgotten but pivotal episode: the debate about the 'crisis of man.' Mark Greif elegantly shows how this debate came to shape postwar politics and fiction. His discussions of Hemingway, Faulkner, Bellow, Ellison, O'Connor, and Pynchon are brilliantly illuminating.q--Sean McCann, Wesleyan Universityaquot;--Elaine Scarry, Harvard University aquot;This is a substantial, even brilliant, contribution to the literary history of midcentury America. Mark Greif is a bold, idea-intensive critic.

Title:The Age of the Crisis of Man
Author:Mark Greif
Publisher: - 2015-01-18


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