Literary scholarship as literary criticism

Taking Atle Kittang’s article of 1982 «On literary criticism in hard times» (Synspunkter på litteraturkritikkens trengselstider) as its point of departure, this essay discusses the question of how much progress literary studies has made since the dawn of its modern era, the 1920s. It argues that very little progress has occurred and that very little is actually needed. A basic premise of the essay is that academic literary studies are, and indeed ought to be, deeply wedded to literary criticism in a broader sense, as it is practiced in newspapers and magazines in the culture at large.

Keywords: Literary criticism, progress in literary studies, linguistic turn, modernism