Written by influential scholar-critic and award-winning Daniel R. Schwarz, In Defense of Reading: Teaching Literature in the Twenty-First Century is a passionate and joyful defense of the pleasures of reading. This stimulating book provides valuable insights for teachers and students on why we read and how we read when we embark on "the odyssey of reading."* Provides valuable insights into why and how we read* Addresses issues and problems in the contemporary university and offers insights into the future* Explores the life of the mind, the rewards and joys of committed teaching, and the relationship between teaching and scholarship in the contemporary university* Draws on the author's forty years of teaching experience* Following his long term commitment to close reading and historicism, Schwarz shows how the best literary criticism must both respect text and context* Contains insightful and important readings of a broad range of texts, including those by Joyce, Woolf, Conrad, Forster, Gordimer, and Spiegelman's Maus
Daniel R. Schwarz is Frederic J. Whiton Professor of English and Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow at Cornell University, where he has taught since 1968. He is the recipient of Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences Russell Award for Distinguished Teaching. Schwarz has published numerous books, including Reading the Modern British and Irish Novel 1890-1934 (2004), Broadway Boogie Woogie: Damon Runyan and the Making of New York City Culture (2003), Rereading Conrad (2001), Imagining the Holocaust (1999), Reconfiguring Modernism: Explorations in the Relationship Between Modern Art and Modern Literature (1997), and Reading Joyce's Ulysses (1987; new ed. 2004).
Preface. Acknowledgments. 1. The Odyssean Reader or the Odyssey of Reading: "Of Ourselves and of Our Origins". 2. How We Learn and What We Learn from Literary Texts. 3. Towards a Community of Inquiry: Is There a Teacher in the Class?. 4. Eating Kosher Ivy: Jews as Literary Intellectuals. 5. Professing Literature in the Twenty-First-Century University. 6. Reconfiguring the Profession: The (Uncertain) Path to a Professorship. Conclusion: The Future of Literary Studies. Selective Bibliography. Index