this topic, see my The Academic Postmodern and the Rule of Literature:
A Report on Half Knowledge (Chicago and London: University of Chicago
See, for instance, Thomas James Wise's forgeries of nineteenth-century
editions as reported in Richard D. Altick, The Scholar Adventurers
(New York and London: The Free Press and Collier-Macmillan, 1966) 37-64.
I have explored this syndrome in Subject to History: Ideology, Class,
Gender, ed. David Simpson (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press,
1991) 1-33, 163-90.
See Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of the Leisure Class (New York
and London: Macmillan, 1899) 363-400.
See Hans Robert Jauss, Toward an Aesthetic of Reception, trans.
Timothy Bahti (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1982), 3.
I have written at length on the anecdote in The Academic Postmodern,
See Stephen Greenblatt, Shakespearean Negotiations: The Circulation
of Social Energy in Renaissance England (Berkeley and Los Angeles:
University of California Press, 1988). Greenblatt's chapter "Invisible
Bullets" (21-65) is well known as a tour de force of new historical
criticism. It moves deftly between the texts of high and low cultures
and between different genres as it comments on the plays of Shakespeare;
and it implies (without developing) a relation between its historical
material and the critics's present in its thesis about the contained or
licensed subversiveness of colonialist ideology (35, 37, etc.) which,
whether or not it describes the sixteenth and seventeenth century, certainly
rings true as a perspective on the condition of the late-twentieth-century
literature professor in America. This conjunction cannot be pushed to
the point of theorization without, of course, destroying the elegance
of the essay and the credibility of its history; but neither can it be
ignored by a critic sensitive to the preoccupations of presentist consciousness.
So it is registered as a persisting hint, and small chink in the facsimile
This is the argument of Jeffrey C. Alexander, "Modern, Anti, Post, and
Neo," in New Left Review, 210 (1995), 63-101.
Romantic Circles - Home / Praxis Series / Romanticism and Contemporary Culture / David Simpson, "Is Literary History the History of Everything? The Case for 'Antiquarian' History" / Notes