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Kattullus (2)

It skips around, but don't expect Žižek any time soon

In Theory is a column in Ceasefire Magazine that introduces and reflects on major figures in cultural/political/literary theory (Agamben 1 2; Althusser 1 2; Amin 1 2; Appadurai 1; Aristotle 1 2; Badiou 1 2; Bakhtin 1 2; Bakunin 1 2 3; Barthes 1 2 3 4 5 6; Baudrillard 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14; Benjamin 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8; Deleuze 1; and Marcuse 1) in addition to discussing general topics such as anarchism, asymmetrical war, autonomism, commodity fetishism, global cities, local knowledge, peacekeeping, and precarity.
posted by Monsieur Caution on May 27, 2014 - 12 comments

"Stories about charming scoundrels have a built-in appeal"

[Paul] De Man may have been a scoundrel who found a career teaching a certain method of reading, but that method of reading does not turn people into scoundrels. Probably ninety-nine per cent of the people who studied with de Man wouldn’t run a red light—forget about altering a transcript or voluntarily collaborating with Nazis. If there is an ethical takeaway from what de Man taught, it would be self-doubt.
In The New Yorker Louis Menand attempts to find common ground between Paul De Man's methods of literary criticism and his sordid life in a long review of Evelyn Barish's The Double Life of Paul de Man. The biography has been criticized by Peter Brooks, De Man's former student, and was reviewed unfavorably by Susan Rubin Suleiman in The New York Times.
posted by Kattullus on Mar 18, 2014 - 21 comments

Just in time for Lazarus Long's birthday

People tend to divide noted libertarian Robert A. Heinlein's career into three different eras, with the "juveniles," the "slick" science fiction stories, and the bigger, more opinionated novels, but over in Locus Magazine, Gary Westfahl has a theory that's sure to be controversial: Heinlein's career actually divides into a slew of serious novels, followed by a swerve into satire. {Via I09} [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Nov 26, 2012 - 96 comments

‘Où est le sang de Roland Barthes?’

But like many an inarticulate young lover, I thought for a time that seduction was a matter of giving the right book to the right woman. In my case it was Barthes’s A Lover’s Discourse: a meditation on Goethe’s Sorrows of Young Werther that catalogues the melancholic lover’s prized ‘image repertoire’ – the scene of waiting, the feeling of being dissolved in the presence of the loved being, the attraction of suicide – and thinly veils the author’s own life as a middle-aged gay man in Paris in the 1970s. This gift was always a prelude to disaster.
RB and Me: An Education is an essay by Brian G. Dillon about his relationship with the books of French philosopher Roland Barthes. It's also a lovely autobiography of an awkward boy finding his place in life. Dillon's website collects his essays, and is trove of interesting insight. Besides writing essays and fiction, Dillon is also the UK editor of Cabinet Magazine, and you can read a fair number of his articles online, including ones on Beau Brummel and the cravat, hypochondria and hydrotherapy.
posted by Kattullus on Dec 1, 2011 - 4 comments

Distant Reading, or, the "Science" of Literature

On not reading books. Franco Moretti, author of the controversial Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for a Literary History, proposes that literary study needs to abandon "close reading" for "distant reading": "understanding literature not by studying particular texts, but by aggregating and analyzing massive amounts of data." He is co-founder of the Stanford Literary Lab, where he and like-minded colleagues have published studies on programming computers to use statistical analysis to identify a novel's genre(PDF) and analyzing plots as networks(PDF). Similar projects are on the way.
posted by Saxon Kane on Jun 26, 2011 - 53 comments

Degree Zero

For Roland Barthes, the Death of the Author came on March 23, 1980, in the form of a car speeding down the Rue des Écoles (perhaps that car has become, like wrestling or detergent, another myth); though the Author is gone, his works--texts--remain; they are about history, about fashion, about love, about chopsticks, but fundamentally, they are about signs--as Barthes, once interviewed, said, "Each of us speaks but a single sentence, which only death can bring to a close"--rapidly approaching the end of his sentence, Barthes thought about living together, but the period would be found on his tombstone: écrivain. [more inside]
posted by nasreddin on Aug 27, 2007 - 19 comments

On popular music.

"The theories and opinions of the German philosopher Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno (1903-1969) on popular music and the culture industry are still highly influential in the domain of media studies. His thoughts about these subjects were very critical, pessimistic even. Adorno analysed the workings of the culture industry in terms of 'standardization' and used the concept of 'pseudo-individualization' to describe its effects on the listeners.
posted by j-urb on May 30, 2006 - 14 comments

Graphs Maps Trees

Graphs, Maps, Trees. The Valve is hosting a literary event for professor Franco Moretti's new book, Graphs, Maps, Trees. Moretti aims to reinvigorate literary studies by constructing abstract models based upon quantitative history, geography, and evolutionary theory. PDFs of the original articles: Graphs, Maps, Trees. A review at n+1 is here.
posted by painquale on Jan 13, 2006 - 10 comments

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