James Wood: What’s on the line When We Write Literary Criticism?

James Wood: What’s on the line When We Write Literary Criticism?

On Deconstructing Texts and Our Knowledge Of Literature

I became taught just how to read novels and poems by a poststructuralist that is brilliant called Stephen Heath. We have a graphic within my head of Dr. Heath holding a sheet of paper—the hallowed “text”—very close to their eyes, the real proximity somehow the symbolic embodiment of their examining avidity, while he tossed away their favorite concern of a paragraph or stanza: “what’s at stake in this passage? ” He suggested one thing more specific, professionalized and narrow compared to colloquial use would generally imply. He designed something such as: what’s the problem of meaning in this passage? What exactly is at risk in keeping the look of coherent meaning, in this performance we call literary works? Exactly How is meaning wobbling, threatening to collapse into its repressions? Dr. Heath ended up being appraising literary works as Freud could have examined one of is own clients, where “What is at stake for your needs in being here? ” would not mean “What has reached stake for you personally in attempting to get healthy or delighted? ” but almost the opposing: “What has reached stake for you personally in preserving your chronic unhappiness? ” The enquiry is dubious, though not always aggressive.

That way of reading could be called de broadly constructive.

Quite simply, deconstruction profits from the presumption that literary texts, like individuals, have actually an unconscious that frequently betrays them: they do say a very important factor but suggest yet another thing. Continue reading “James Wood: What’s on the line When We Write Literary Criticism?”