Anti-Mimesis from Plato to Hitchcock
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Anti-Mimesis from Plato to Hitchcock

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Description

The material elements of writing have long been undervalued, and have been dismissed by recent historicising trends of criticism; but analysis of these elements - sound, signature, letters - can transform our understanding of literary texts. In this 1994 book Tom Cohen shows how, in an era of representational criticism and cultural studies, the role of close reading has been overlooked. Arguing that much recent criticism has been caught in potentially regressive models of representation, Professor Cohen undertakes to counter this by rethinking the 'materiality' of the text itself. Through a series of revealing new readings of the work of writers including Plato, Bakhtin, Poe, Whitman and Conrad, Professor Cohen exposes the limitations of new historicism and neo-pragmatism, and demonstrates how 'the materiality of language' operates to undo the representational models of meaning imposed by the literary canon.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 284 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 16mm | 360g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Worked examples or Exercises
  • 0521465842
  • 9780521465847
  • 2,012,099

Back cover copy

Tom Cohen shows how, in an era of representational criticism and cultural studies, the role of close reading has been overlooked.
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Table of contents

Introduction: the legs of sense; Part I. Dialogue and Inscription: 1. Othello, Bakhtin and the death(s) of dialogue; 2. P.s.: Plato's scene of reading in the Protagoras; Part II. Parables of Exteriority - Materality in 'Classic' American Texts: 3. Too legit to quit: the dubious genealogies of pragmatism; 4. Poe's Foot d'Or: ruinous rhyme and Nietzschean recurrence (sound); 5. Only the dead know Brooklyn ferry (voice); 6. The letters of the law: 'Bartleby' as hypogrammatic romance (letters); Part III. Pre-Posterous Modernisms: 7. Conrad's fault (signature); 8. Miss Emily, c'est moi: the defacement of modernism in Faulkner (inscription and social form); 9. Hitchcock and the death of (Mr.) Memory (technology of the visible); Coda: post-humanist reading.
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Review quote

"...the quixotic and often breathtaking combination of erudition and creativity that characterized de Man's work appears throughout Anti-Mimesis, lending Cohen's work a kind of paradigmatic authority." MLN "...an excellent book, well worth reading and rereading--in posthumanist or other ways." Cesare Casarino, American Literature
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