Self-Consuming Artifacts

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Self-Consuming Artifacts: The Experience of Seventeenth-Century Literature (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972, ISBN 978-0520027640) is book of literary criticism by American literary critic Stanley Fish. In it, Fish examines various English writers from the seventeenth century, including Sir Francis Bacon,[1] George Herbert,[2] John Bunyan,[3] and John Milton. Since it explores the reader’s experience of reading the text, it can be considered an example of reader-response[4] criticism.

The book has been described variously as "influential",[2][5] "a classic of scholarship".[6] and as one of the author's "two revolutionary books"[7]


  1. ^ Dzelzainis, Martin (2010). Michael Hattaway, ed. A New Companion to English Renaissance Literature and Culture. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 329–330. ISBN 1444319027. 
  2. ^ a b Mintz, Susannah (January 1998). "Unstrung Conversations: Herbert's Negotiations with God". Philological Quarterly  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 
  3. ^ Johnson, Galen (22 June 2002). "The Key in the Window: Marginal Notes in Bunyan's Narratives". Christianity and Literature  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 
  4. ^ "Fish, Stanley". Encyclopaedia Judaica  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 2007. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  5. ^ Epstein, William (1991). Contesting the Subject: Essays in the Postmodern Theory and Practice of Biography and Biographical Criticism. Purdue University Press. p. ix. ISBN 1557530181. 
  6. ^ Robert C. Evans, ed. (2009). The Seventeenth-Century Literature Handbook. Continuum. p. 115. ISBN 0826498507. 
  7. ^ Winchell, Mark (1996). Cleanth Brooks and the Rise of Modern Criticism. University of Virginia Press. p. 355. ISBN 081391647X.