December 16, 2005
The Fragmentation of Literary Theory
It has held sway in the humanities for nearly four decades, surviving even the great culture wars. But it is being used in surprising ways.
Either literary theory is dead, or it's invincible. It all depends on who's talking. When Jacques Derrida died last year, The New York Times declared the end of the era of "big ideas." In April 2003, the Times had run an article about a University of Chicago symposium on the state of theory headlined "The Latest Theory Is Theory Doesn't Matter."