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In the sixth volume of the Bucknell Lectures in Literary Theory, the Irish critic Denis Donoghue offers an eloquent and passionate defense of poetry. Donoghue opposes the politicization of literature and the unnecessary `techniques of trouble' applied in certain forms of contemporary literary theory. With reference to particular proponents of theory, Donoghue argues that we do justice to the concept of theoretical discourse only if we pursue our inquiries into the value of literature in a more experimental and hospitable manner. Literature, Donoghue insists, is not an annotation to the world but a concentration of energy turned toward a possible future, giving thought a form and declaring it possible. The aesthetic form thus constitutes what Donoghue calls a `better life' upon which the imagination embarks in its search for the omnipotence of thought. This book includes an interview with Denis Donoghue and a bibliography of his critical works.
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