chapter  5
MLA Response to Levin, Greene, and Bristol
ByVictoria Kahn
Pages 2

The MLA Session papers by Richard Levin, Gayle Greene, Michael D. Bristol, and respondent Victoria Kahn, and the subsequent labors of Gerald Graff, Edward Pechter, Carol Cook, and Michael Sprinker helps to clarify some of the larger issues at stake in the Levin controversy. Levin's privileging of dramatic action is either inexplicable on his own terms or it runs the risk of perpetuating a kind of extrinsic criticism which is precisely what he condemns feminist readings of Shakespeare for. Victoria Kahn insists with Bristol and Greene that with respect to any given text there will be a tie or ties between formal features and ideology. To recognize this tie is not to reduce art to politics as Levin claims. That would be to ignore aesthetic mediation and to read thematically in the way that Levin condemns.