Cover: Marxism and Literary History, from Harvard University PressCover: Marxism and Literary History in E-DITION

Marxism and Literary History

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John Frow’s book is a novel contribution to Marxist literary theory, proposing a reconciliation of formalism and historicism in order to establish the basis for a new literary history. Through a critique of his forerunners in Marxist theory (the historicist Marxism of Lukács, the work of Macherey, Eagleton, and Jameson), Frow seeks to define the strengths and the limitations of this tradition and then to extend its possibilities in a radical reworking of the concept of discourse. He develops the notion of literature as a historically specific system within a network of discourses.

Frow goes on to elaborate a number of central theoretical categories and to explore the historical dimension of those categories. Drawing in particular on Russian Formalism, he develops a theory of the dynamics of literary change and of the historical pressures that shape the literary system. He tests and extends his categories through readings of texts by Petronius, Hölderlin, DeLillo, Dickens, Frank Hardy, and others. The final chapter, a reading of Derrida and Foucault, poses the question of the possibility of setting limits to reading and the power of limits to determine literary history.

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Jacket: Atomic Doctors: Conscience and Complicity at the Dawn of the Nuclear Age, by James L. Nolan, Jr., from Harvard University Press

Remembering Hiroshima

On this day 75 years ago, the United States dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. James L. Nolan Jr.’s grandfather was a doctor who participated in the Manhattan Project, and he writes about him in Atomic Doctors: Conscience and Complicity at the Dawn of the Nuclear Age, an unflinching examination of the moral and professional dilemmas faced by physicians who took part in the project. Below, please find the introduction to Nolan’s book. On the morning of June 17, 1945, Captain James F. Nolan, MD, boarded a plane