The aim of this blog is to serve as a meeting point to those who study or have studied English philology and, more broadly, to all those who love literature and language.

20 Sep 2010

FRANK KERMODE DIED LAST AUGUST



Acclaimed British literary critic Sir Frank Kermode, the author of Shakespeare’s Language, died last august at the age of 90 in Cambridge.
Prominent in literary criticism since the 1950s, Kermode held "virtually every endowed chair worth having in the British Isles", according to his former colleague John Sutherland, from King Edward VII professor of English literature at Cambridge to Lord Northcliffe professor of modern English literature at University College London and professor of poetry at Harvard, along with honorary doctorates from universities around the world. He was knighted in 1991.
A renowned Shakespearean, publishing Shakespeare's Language in 2001, Kermode's books range from works on Spenser and Donne and the memoir Not Entitled to last year's Concerning EM Forster.
Another two of his books that will be probably well remembered are The Sense of An Ending, his collection of lectures on the relationship of fiction to concepts of apocalyptic chaos and crisis, first published in 1967, and Romantic Image, a study of the Romantic movement up until WB Yeats.
The range of Kermode's gaze is shown by his book Pleasing Myself, which pulls together his literary journalism, reviewing everything from Seamus Heaney's new translation of Beowulf to Philip Roth's "splendidly wicked" Sabbath's Theater.
He fundamentally changed the study of English literature in the 1960s by introducing French theory by post-structuralists such as Roland Barthes and Michel Foucault, and post-Freudians such as Jacques Lacan, into what Sutherland described as "the torpid bloodstream of British academic discourse".

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