On the Teaching of Modern Literature

First published as “On the Modern Element in Modern Literature.” Partisan Review, January-February 1961.


And since my own interests lead me to see literary situations as cultural situations, and cultural situations as great elaborate fights about moral issues, and moral issues as having something to do with gratuitously chosen images of personal being, and images of personal being as having something to do with literary style, I felt free to begin with what for me was a first concern, the animus of the author, the objects of his will, the things he wants or wants to have happen.

Google Books - essay in The Moral Obligation to be Intelligent
Boston University - Partisan Review archive - first published version (caveat: archival error)