Resistible Norton

by Carol Iannone

James Seaton exposes the pretensions of the huge, new, bloated Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism in the Weekly Standard. Studiously avoiding the substantial challenges to “Theory” in literature that have emerged in recent years, this ovepriced tome continues to promote resistance, subversion, and transgression in place of real literary values, as if these still represented some sort of brave intellectual venture. Rather, what the book inadvertently reveals is how much has gone wrong in English and humanities departments today.