Literary Ciceronianism and the Novel
Examines ways of critical thinking about literature. Begins with Saul Bellow’s position (1967) about academic scholars’ propensity for critical harshness produced under the skeptical influence of Marx, Freud, and Nietzsche. Seeks to revive interest in the influence of Cicero and classical thought about rhetoric, public debate, and literature on the “Republic of Letters.” Discusses For Whom the Bell Tolls as a case study, tracing Hemingway’s high school reading of Cicero to his alignment with the Spanish Republic as a writer of journalism and, ultimately, the “republican novel.” Continues with Ciceronian concerns in American literature of the 1960s, including Mary McCarthy, Norman Mailer, Bellow, and books as recent as George Saunders’s Lincoln in the Bardo (2017).
Reframing Critical, Literary, and Cultural Theories: Thought on the Edge