William Empson: Prophet Against Sacrifice provides the most coherent account of Empson's diverse career to date. While exploring the richness of Empson's comic genius, Paul H. Fry serves to discredit the appropriation of his name in recent polemic by the conflicting parties of deconstruction and politicized cultural criticism. He argues that Empson is a larger, more important figure than the orthodox in either camp can acknowledge, deserving to be considered alongside such versatile critics as Walter Benjamin, Kenneth Burke and Roland Barthes.

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