Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Plates

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pp. ix-x

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Preface

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pp. xi-xvi

It is a commonplace of structuralist and poststructuralist criticism that the subject is socially constructed, a product of language and discourse rather than an essential psychological-spiritual center that uses language for its own transcendental purposes. Emil Benveniste writes, "It is in and through language that man constitutes himself as a subject, because language alone establishes the concept of 'ego' in reality, in its reality which...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xvii-xviii

I would like to thank the University of South Florida for a Research and Creative Scholarship Award (Summer 1993) and a one-semester sabbatical (Fall 1993), during which I wrote most of the first draft of this book. Two sections have appeared previously, in slightly different form. Part of Chapter 1 appeared as "The Tie That Binds:...

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1. The Subject's Eye

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pp. 1-34

It is a painting of a couple exchanging vows in a nuptial chamber. Light streams in through a window on the left, and the space of the picture opens back three-dimensionally, though it is a slightly odd space, in a way that is hard at first to define. Just as odd are the figures themselves, which seem to be represented realistically, and yet are stiff and mannequin-like, not quite human somehow. The room is presented with...

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2. The Subject of Discourse

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pp. 35-66

In Heart of Darkness (1902) Kurtz is close to being Marlow's mirror image. Not quite, perhaps, since Marlow maintains his connection with his fellow men—white, European, and male—while Kurtz's single-minded commitment to the goals of European colonialism causes him to adopt extreme and "unsound" methods that result in his break with the society he so effectively serves. Marlow's journey up the Congo River is an attempt...

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3. The Moving Subject

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pp. 67-97

The protagonist of Richard Rush's film, The Stunt Man (1980), like the Reader of Calvino's If on a winter's night a traveler, finds himself enmeshed in a confusing labyrinth of reality and representation. Devices such as ambiguous perspectives, contradictory points of view, and the confusion of reality and illusion are used to provoke epistemological questioning and a problematizing of the self. The main action of the film is instigated...

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4. Hyperrealities and Hypertexts

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pp. 98-140

Fredric Jameson, in Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, discusses the organization of various contemporary art forms—painting, photography, architecture, film, video, and literature—as formal analogies of postmodern hyperspace, a disjointed and incoherent space in which the individual becomes disoriented and loses his or her sense of clear physical placement in a whole that is comprehensible. Jameson discusses,...

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Epilogue: After the Subject

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pp. 141-152

But, as the title of a recent collection of essays devoted to the problem asks, "Who comes after the subject?"1 The subject cannot be easily dispensed with, as David Carroll has pointed out, and dispensing with it entirely may not be such a desirable thing. Strictly speaking, of course, no one is "dispensing with" the subject, but rather deconstructing and reconstructing our understanding of what it is, revising the way we view...

Notes

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pp. 153-160

References

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pp. 161-166

Index

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pp. 167-169