Subject Matters

Subject Matters : Subject and Self in French Literature from Descartes to the present

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What can we currently make of 'the subject'? Under the sway of structuralism and poststructuralism, critical thinking took a distinctly negative turn, effectively disqualifying any form of subjectivity as a reference point in discussions of textual or literary meaning. Since the mid-1970s, however, throughout the human sciences, human agency has been restored as both a methodological principle and an ethical value: a phenomenon broadly designated as 'the return of the subject'. Yet the returning subject bears the traces of its problematization...
The present collection of essays explores the ways in which the subject now 'matters', both in principle and in the variety of critical approaches in authorizes. Essays, which are both literary and theoretical in character, cover authors, texts and issues in French literature from Descartes to the present. A wide range of types of writing is examined, from established forms such as the novel to relatively marginal and generically unsystematized discursive practices such as automatic writing and the 'recit de reve'.
Though it shuns 'closure' in a matter which remains ultimately elusive, this book offers some account of the types of answer which remain open and of those we have learned to leave behind.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 243 pages
  • 150 x 220mm | 445g
  • Editions Rodopi B.V.
  • Leiden, Netherlands
  • English
  • 9042006307
  • 9789042006300

Table of contents

Johnnie GRATTON: Introduction: The Return of the Subject. C.E.J. CALDICOTT: Disguises of the Narrating Voice in Discours de la Methode. Michael O'DEA: Rousseau's Confessions: Modes of Engagement with the Other. Carole DORNIER: Writing the Inner Citadel: The Therapeutics of the Soul in Rousseau's Reveries d'un promeneur solitaire. Gabrielle CHAMARAT: Identity and Identification in the Preface to Nerval's Les Filles du feu. Ian HIGGINS: Who am I Dying? Adrien Bertrand's L'Appel du sol. Myriam BOUCHARENC: Plural Authorship in Automatic Writing. Joseph LONG: A Company of Shades: Subject and Authorship in Samuel Beckett's Prose. David GASCOIGNE: Dreaming the Self, Writing the Dream: The Subject in the Dream-Narratives of Georges Perec. Anne CHEVALIER: The Book and the Tree: Writing the Self in Marguerite Duras's La Pluie d'ete. Lorna MILNE: From Creolite to Diversalite: The Postcolonial Subject in Patrick Chamoiseau's Texaco. Stephen SCHWARTZ: The Exceptional Subject of Michel Foucault. Paul GIFFORD: The Resonance of Ricoeur: Soi-meme comme un autre. Paul GIFFORD: Conclusion: Subject and Self. Bibliography. Index.
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