Cover

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Frontmatter

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CONTENTS

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

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pp. ix-x

I should like to thank the numerous friends, colleagues, and students who, often without realising, have contributed to this book in many different ways. I am particularly indebted to Kevin Hart for his encouragement and generosity, to Andrew Benjamin for his unfailing support, to Christophe Bident for his friendship, to Barbara Hanrahan for her...

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PREFACE

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pp. xi-xiv

For literary critics these are the very best of times—and the worst of times. The reach of criticism knows few bounds, and there is little that resists its ever greater expansion. What was once a narrow canon of consecrated works has become a whole Babelian library, a vast audio ...

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1. INSTANTIATIONS

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pp. 1-70

Fine art [Die sch

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2. ROLAND BARTHES: From Ideology to Event

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pp. 71-144

Few critics displayed with the economy or intensity of Roland Barthes the contradictions and impasses, revisions and hesitations, shifts and detours that mark the history of literary theory and criticism during the second half of the twentieth century. From the early 1950s till his ...

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3. MAURICE BLANCHOT: The Demand of the Unreadable

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pp. 169-232

Blanchot’s diagnosis of the challenges facing literary criticism in the late 1950s, as described in his response to the journal Arguments, was no isolated or idiosyncratic gesture. As the work of Barthes in subsequent ...

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4. JACQUES DERRIDA: Addressing the Future

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pp. 233-332

On 2 February 1947, some eight months after his release from the asylum in Rodez, the last in a series of mental institutions where he had been held since October 1937, Antonin Artaud, now living in a nursing home in Ivry, was prompted to visit an exhibition of paintings by van ...

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5. RADICAL INDECISION

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pp. 333-336

Many pages ago, this book sought to identify the challenges facing literary criticism today by asking to what extent it is incumbent on criticism, confronted with the corrosive scepticism or antagonism of much modern and not so modern literature, to defend literary value and the...

NOTES

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pp. 337-431

INDEX

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pp. 432-438