Literary historian to speak for Writing Program

Literary historian Harold Love, the visiting Fannie Hurst Professor of Creative Literature in the Department of English in Arts & Sciences, will speak on “Print and Voice” Sept. 23 as part of the Writing Program Reading Series.

The talk is free and open to the public and will take place at 8 p.m. in Hurst Lounge, Duncker Hall, Room 201.

Love, a prominent critic of early modern literature, is the author of numerous scholarly works, including most recently English Clandestine Satire 1660-1702 (2004), as well as Attributing Authorship: An Introduction (2002); The Works of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester (1999); The Culture and Commerce of Texts: Scribal Publication in Seventeenth-Century England (1997); and The Golden Age of Australian Opera: W.S. Lyster and His Companies 1861-80 (1981).

“Harold Love is simply one of the most gifted literary historians writing today,” said Joseph Loewenstein, Ph.D., professor of English. “He has every skill one would seek in a scholar-critic of early modern literature — a startlingly wide breadth of interests, an unusual depth of information immediately at his fingertips, theoretical acuity, extraordinary literary sensitivity.

“Above all, he has a huge talent for discovering interesting, widely implicative problems and what seems to be a passionate diligence about follow-through, accumulating all the information necessary to make a big, juicy, coherent and reliable response to the problems he discovers.

“Rochester and his ‘canon,’ scribal culture in the (imperfectly designated) age of print, the literary smear — knowing how worthy and capacious these are as topics was the first achievement, and plenty of critics would make a name for themselves just by getting our attention to these as topics,” Loewenstein continued.

“But to invent these topics and then to probe them with accuracy and wit and responsibility to the historical record and to the imaginative weight of that record, that’s really the work of genius.”

Born in Brisbane, Australia, Love is professor emeritus in the Department of English at Monash University’s School of Literary, Visual and Performance Studies.

A book-signing and reception will follow; copies of Love’s books will be available for purchase.

For more information, call 935-7130.