The New York Times is reporting that eminent literary critic and theorist Wayne C. Booth has died (free registration required). He was 84.
Booth was raised Mormon and served a mission, but he struggled with his faith and later grounded himself in secular humanism, basing his worldview on skepticism, rhetoric and ethics. However, he continued to engage with Mormonism, writing on Mormon literature and criticism and regularly participating in Mormon cultural fora. His work influenced faithful Mormon critics, including Richard Cracroft and Eugene England.
At the time of his death Booth was George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of English of the University of Chicago. His most famous works include The Rhetoric of Fiction and The Rhetoric of Irony. I highly recommend both. He is also the author of The Company We Keep: An Ethics of Fiction.