Booth, Wayne C. 1921–2005
Booth, Wayne C. 1921–2005
(Wayne Clayson Booth)
OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born February 22, 1921, in American Fork, UT; died of complications from dementia, October 10, 2005, in Chicago, IL. Critic, educator, and author. A University of Chicago English professor, Booth was best known as a literary critic who often wrote on the interaction between author and reader. Raised in a Mormon family, Booth's first aspiration was to be a missionary in Chicago. However, he began to grow critical of religious teachings and turned instead to literature. He earned a B.A. at Brigham Young University in 1944, then served in the U.S. Army as an infantry clerk in Paris during the final two years of World War II. He returned home in 1946 to attend the University of Chicago, where he completed his M.A. in 1947 and his Ph.D. in 1950. His first job as a teacher was at Haverford College, where he was an assistant professor for three years. He then joined the Earlham College faculty as an English professor and department chair. In 1962, Booth returned to Chicago, where he embarked on a long career that would last until his 1992 retirement as George M. Pullman Professor of English emeritus; even then, he continued to teach courses as late as the summer of 2005. Booth's publishing career began auspiciously with the classic The Rhetoric of Fiction (1961). He would write many more books on literary criticism, including Critical Understanding: The Powers and Limits of Pluralism (1979), The Company We Keep: An Ethics of Fiction (1988), and The Rhetoric of Rhetoric: The Quest for Effective Communication (2004). As a critic, Booth believed that it was possible to have more than one valid interpretation of a work of fiction—this became known as critical pluralism—and he also became known for coining such phrases as "the unreliable narrator" and "the implied author." He was ultimately a significant contributor to the art of literary criticism for asserting that criticism and fiction are purely subjective arts and cannot be honed down into pure objective terms. This was directly in contrast to the then-dominant school known as New Criticism. In addition, Booth contributed to his discipline significantly as the founder of the important journal Critical Inquiry. At the time of his death, he had just completed the memoir My Many Selves: The Quest for a Plausible Harmony (2006).
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Booth, Wayne C., For the Love of It: Amateuring and Its Rivals, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1999.
Booth, Wayne C., My Many Selves: The Quest for a Plausible Harmony, Utah State University (Logan, UT), 2006.
Chicago Tribune, October 13, 2005, section 1, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times, October 14, 2005, p. B8.
New York Times, October 11, 2005, p. A25.
Times (London, England), October 14, 2005, p. 80.
"Booth, Wayne C. 1921–2005." Contemporary Authors. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 25, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/booth-wayne-c-1921-2005
"Booth, Wayne C. 1921–2005." Contemporary Authors. . Retrieved April 25, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/booth-wayne-c-1921-2005
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.