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”a text… that shares my wonder”: A Survey of Three Contemporary Examples of Creative Criticism


  • Sara Dahlberg

Summary, in English

In the last few decades, dissatisfaction with the prevailing critical paradigm ¬– what Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick as early as 1997 dubbed “paranoid” or “suspicious” reading – has grown significantly. This thesis is a survey of three recent works, The Albertine Workout (2014), Unfinished Business: Notes of A Chronic Re-Reader (2020), and A Ghost in the Throat (2020), that emerge from this discontent. Part of a critical category, to borrow Stephen Benson’s and Clare Connor’s term, called “Creative Criticism”, and partly beholden to the radical roots of feminist literary criticism, these three texts exemplify a turn to affect. Hybrid texts, these works play with genre and voice to reimagine, revitalise, and even liberate literary criticism from the disinterested mood that dictates much of contemporary critical rhetoric. At a time when the function and purpose of literary criticism is yet again being questioned, these texts ask not “What about Power?” but, rather, “What about Love?”.


  • Master's Programme: Literature - Culture - Media

Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Master's degree (one year)


  • Languages and Literatures


  • Literary criticism
  • Creative Criticism
  • Affect
  • Rita Felski
  • Anne Carson
  • Doireann Ní Ghríofa
  • Vivian Gornick
  • The hermeneutics of suspicion
  • Paranoid Reading
  • Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick


  • Birgitta Berglund (FD)