ABOUT THIS BOOK
For Jerome McGann, the purpose of scholarship is to preserve and pass on cultural heritage, a feat accomplished through discussion among scholars and interested nonspecialists. In The Scholar’s Art, a collection of thirteen essays, McGann both addresses and exemplifies that discussion and the vocation it supports.
Of particular interest to McGann is the demise of public discourse about poetry. That poetry has become recondite is, to his mind, at once a problem for how scholars do their work and a general cultural emergency. The Scholar’s Art asks what could be gained by reimagining the way scholars have codified the literary and cultural history of the past two hundred years and goes on to provide a series of case studies that illustrate how scholarly method can help bring about such reimaginings. McGann closes with a discussion of technology’s ability to harness the reimagination of cultural memory and concludes with exemplary acts of critical reflection.
Astute observation from one of America’s most bracing and original commentators on the place of literature in twenty-first century culture, The Scholar’s Art proposes new ways—cultural, philological, and technological—to reimagine our literary past and future.