Critical Encounters: Reference and Responsibility in Deconstructive Writing

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9780813520865: Critical Encounters: Reference and Responsibility in Deconstructive Writing
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Critical Encounters addresses a central and long-standing concern in literary criticism and theory: What is the relation between literature and reality, or language and experience? The questions raised by poststructuralist criticism, and particularly deconstruction, concerning the establishment of reference, appear to many readers to involve a dangerous denial of any link between texts and reality: the possibility that reference is indirect seems to mean that we have no reliable access to experience or to history and, therefore, no basis for political action or ethical decision. Drawing on contemporary theories of literature, history, and feminism, the essays in this volume interrogate the assumptions underlying this critique of deconstruction by asking what it would mean to conceive of an experience that is constituted by the very way it escapes or resists comprehension. Taking as their starting point the attempt to rethink fundamental questions of reality and reference, the contributors ultimately ask how we might learn to recognize and to respond to the realities of a history, a politics, and an ethics not based on straightforward understanding.

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About the Author:

Cathy Caruth is an associate professor of English at Yale University. She is author of Empirical Truths and Critical Fictions: Locke, Wordsworth, Kant, Freud, and editor of Trauma, Experience and Memory, and has just completed a book entitled Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative, and History. Deborah Esch is an associate professor of English at the University of Toronto. She is author of The Senses of the Past (forthcoming) and coeditor of Jacques Derrida's Negotiations and Institutions of Philosophy (also forthcoming).

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9780813520858: Critical Encounters: Reference and Responsibility in Deconstructive Writing

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ISBN 10:  0813520851 ISBN 13:  9780813520858
Publisher: Rutgers University Press, 1995
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