Complicity and Catharsis: the Immature Criticism of Harry Berger

Nina Levine and David Lee Miller

in A Touch More Rare

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780823230303
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241071 | DOI:
Complicity and Catharsis: the Immature Criticism of Harry Berger

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Literary Theory and Cultural Studies


Show Summary Details


This chapter tells of the sudden, surprising friendship that springs up instantly between these two great opposites: “How Pantagruel met Panurge, whom he loved all his life” (“lequel il aima toute sa vie”). Berger can seem to be the trickster Panurge — pan ourgos — who speaks all languages but finally cannot get Pantagruel to read the truth of the body, but it would be more accurate to say that the two of them — these two great friends — come together to form a single figure resembling that of Harry Berger. For Berger is first and foremost a humanist and a moral thinker. As Peter Erickson points out in his introduction to Making Trifles of Terrors, “Berger is resolutely — some might same relentlessly — moral in his critical pursuits,” and he is also importantly the classicist, the reader of Plato, the scholar of myth and epic.

Keywords: Harry Berger; Pantagruel; Panurge; pan ourgos; humanist; Peter Erickson; moral thinker; classicist

Chapter.  6114 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Fordham University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.