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Jerome McGann Reading

Jerome McGann reads from Are the Humanities Inconsequent? Interpreting Marx's Riddle of the Dog. McGann subjects current literary studies to a patacritical investigation. The investigation centers in the interpretation of a riddle of Marx, Groucho that is: "Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read." Working by indirection and from multiple points of view, McGann argues that aesthetics is always a science of exceptions, and that any given critical practice is also always an exception from itself.

Jerome McGann is the author of The Textual Condition, Romantic Ideology, The Beauty of Inflections, Radiant Textuality, Swinburne: An Experiment in Critism, Black Riders: The Visible Language of Modernism, and The Point Is to Change It. He teaches at the University of Virginia, where he is the John Stewart Bryan University Professor.


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Conversations and readings with poets and artists, produced in cooperation with PennSound and hosted by Charles Bernstein, the American poet, theorist, editor, and literary scholar. Bernstein was born in New York City in 1950. He is a foundational member and leading practitioner of Language poetry. Bernstein was educated at the Bronx High School of Science and at Harvard University, where he studied philosophy with Stanley Cavell and wrote his final thesis on Gertrude Stein and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

In the mid-1970s Bernstein became active in the experimental poetry scenes in New York and San Francisco, not only as a poet, but also as an editor, publisher, and theorist. With visual artist and wife Susan Bee, Bernstein published several now well-known poets whose work is associated with Language writing.