Published online by Cambridge University Press: 23 October 2020
Caroline Levine's Forms has been received as a prototype and a manifesto, a sign of the new formalist times in American literary studies. In the cover endorsements for the hardbound edition, Amanda Claybaugh calls Forms a “book of a generation,” Bruce Robbins “a big, brilliant, necessary book”—large claims for a text of 150 pages. Levine's treatise promises no less than “a way to understand the relations among forms—forms aesthetic and social, spatial and temporal, ancient and modern, major and minor, like and unlike, punitive and narrative, material and metrical” (23). Levine claims to provide “a reading practice that does not fit any familiar formalism,” a practice that instead “draws from all” formalisms (21).