R. V. Young examines the dominant trends in literary theory of the past thirty years, chronicling their effect on the teaching of literature and the imparting of a liberal education. It seeks to transcend the politicization of literature wrought by postmodern theorists and calls for a greater recognition of the role great works of literature play in developing the intellect and imagination of students.
What They're Saying...
"Young claims that his purpose for writing the book, at which he masterfully succeeds, is to 'reassert the singular value of literary study in the enterprise of liberal education' and to 'justify literature's role in liberal education' in 'illuminating our vision of human nature and experience.'"
— Library Journal
"Young is right to claim that the New Critics are routinely misunderstood and belittled, and fascinating when he shows—with help from St. Augustine and Flannery O'Connor—where deconstructionists and Christians agree."
— Publishers' Weekly
"The service R. V. Young has done is to remind us of what literature is supposed to do."
— The Weekly Standard
"Young makes it clear that the new academic emperors have no clothes and are rapidly running out of fig leaves.... Best of all, Young demonstrates the subtlety, depth, and insight that an honest, nonideological critical reading can bring to a work.... R. V. Young's book is an excellent blow toward retaking the heights and banishing the darkness that now spreads over so much of the humanities."
— American Outlook
"Young's rallying cry is that of a careful scholar with a consistently Christian demeanor. This is a man who knows both what he is about and what is at stake in the ongoing debates of literary theory."
— Christianity & Literature
"At War With the Word is highly recommended, important reading for students of American and English literature, literary criticism, and popular culture."
— The Midwest Book Review
"[E]xcellent and informative book."
— The Pennsylvania Scholar
"This book is thoughtful…"
"Penetrating and Persuasive."
— The Book Reader