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Beyond Poststructuralism: The Speculations of Theory and the Experience of Reading cover
  • ISBN: 9780271014951
  • ISBN10: 0271014954

Beyond Poststructuralism: The Speculations of Theory and the Experience of Reading

by Harris, Wendell V.

  • List Price: $95.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press
  • Publish date: 01/01/2003
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The contributors to Beyond Poststructuralism critique the excesses of poststructuralist theory and suggest ways in which the study of literature can be improved. The essays in Part I seek to demonstrate fallacies of structuralist and poststructuralist thought that remain potent even though the theoretical structures that led to their enunciation have lost much of their original influence. These fallacies include the idea that one must avoid the consideration of authorial intention; that meanings are undecidable; that there is no justification for seeking unity in a text; that all hierarchies of value are reversible; that history is no more than an open contest among competing narrative constructions; and that the very nature of language makes the falsifiability of statements about human experience impossible. The essays in Part II suggest ways to bring literary study into closer relation with human experience of the world. Their authors emphasize the role of literature in providing new perspectives and broadening the range of available alternatives to what is threatening, unjust, fallacious, or absurd in social and cultural structures.
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