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Book Cover
E-book
Author Olson, Gary A., 1954-

Title Stanley Fish, America's enfant terrible : the authorized biography / Gary A. Olson
Published Carbondale : Southern Illinois University Press, 2016
Online access available from:
ProQuest Ebook Central    View Resource Record  

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Description 1 online resource
Contents Beginnings: The Fish Family and Friends -- Escape from Providence: The College Years -- West of Everything: The Berkeley Years -- Academic Utopia: The Hopkins Years -- The Department That Soared, and Then Plummeted -- Top of the World: The Windy City Years and Beyond 000 -- Stan the Man: Terrible, or Not Terrible
Summary "A chronological narrative of the life and an intellectual chronicle and explication of the major works of legal scholar, literary critic, and public intellectual Stanley Fish, who is considered one of the century's most original and influential literary theorists"-- Provided by publisher
"One of the twentieth century's most original and influential literary theorists, Stanley Fish is also known as a fascinatingly atypical, polarizing public intellectual; a loud, cigar-smoking contrarian; and a lightning rod for both the political right and left. The truth and the limitations of this reputation are explored in Stanley Fish, America's Enfant Terrible by Gary A. Olson. At once a literary biography and a traditional life story, this engrossing volume details Fish's vibrant personal life and his remarkably versatile career. Born into a tumultuous family, Fish survived life with an emotionally absent father and a headstrong mother through street sports and troublemaking as much as through his success at a rigorous prep school. As Olson shows, Fish's escape from the working-class neighborhoods of 1940s and 1950s Providence, Rhode Island came with his departure for the university life. His meteoric rise through the academic ranks at a troubled Viet Nam-era UC-Berkeley was complemented by a 1966 romp through Europe that included drag racing through the streets of Seville in his Alfa Romeo. He went on to become an internationally prominent scholar at Johns Hopkins before moving to Duke, where he built a star-studded academic department that became a key site in the culture and theory wars of the 1980s and 1990s. Olson discusses Fish's tenure as a highly visible dean at the University of Illinois-Chicago who clashed publicly with the state legislature. He also discusses Fish's most remarkable and controversial books, including Fish's masterpiece, Surprised by Sin: The Reader in Paradise Lost, which was a critical sensation and forever changed the craft of literary criticism, as well as Professional Correctness and Save the World on Your Own Time, two books that alienated Fish from most liberal-minded professors in English studies. Olson concludes his biography of Fish with an in-depth analysis of the contradictions between Fish's public persona and private personality, examining how impulses and events from Fish's childhood shaped his lifelong practices and personality traits. Also included are a chronology of the major events of Fish's life and never-before-published photos. Based on hundreds of hours of recorded interviews with friends, enemies, colleagues, former students, family members, and Fish himself, along with material from the Stanley Fish archive, Stanley Fish, America's Enfant Terrible is a clearly written narrative of the life of an important and controversial scholar."-- Provided by publisher
Notes Print version record
Subject Fish, Stanley Eugene.
Critics -- United States -- Biography.
Educators -- United States -- Biography.
Intellectuals -- United States -- Biography.
Lawyers -- United States -- Biography.
Scholars -- United States -- Biography.
United States -- Intellectual life -- 20th century.
United States -- Intellectual life -- 21st century.
Genre/Form Biography.
Biographies.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0809334763
0809334771 (electronic bk)
9780809334766
9780809334773 (electronic bk)