Literary Theory

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This Side of Philosophy

Assesses a distinct style of thinking in twentieth-century Spanish writing, one in which literature plays a central role in reaching behind philosophy to essential sources of life and meaning.

Passive Voices (On the Subject of Phenomenology and Other Figures of Speech)

Addresses the question of how language affects the subject of speech through readings of confessional, philosophical, and fictional writings.

The Story Is True, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded

By Bruce Jackson
Subjects: Literature

Delves into the meaning of stories, their tellers, and those who experience them

Between Celan and Heidegger

Probing reassessment of the relation between Celan's poetry and Heidegger's thought.

Toward an African Future—Of the Limit of World

Examines the thought of W. E. B. Du Bois, with attention to its potential for reorienting present-day critical theory and political philosophy.

Fracture Feminism

Shows how feminist writing in British Romanticism developed alternatives to linear time.

Poetics of Breathing

A comparative study of breath and breathing as a core poetic and compositional principle in modern literature.

Continental Theory Buffalo

Revisits, reassesses, and reclaims the legacy of May '68 in light of our present cultural and historical emergency.

Hu Feng

A study of Hu Feng as a literary critic and case study on how intellectual work can respond to political pressure.

The Play of Light

Juxtaposes five contemporary French poets, illuminating the philosophical elements of their work while making their sometimes difficult writing newly accessible.

The Blossom Which We Are

Charts the vicissitudes of a distinctly modern and peculiarly human vulnerability—our intimate dependence on the fragile, time-bound cultural framework that we inhabit—in the history of the realist novel.

The Space of Disappearance

Examines the evolution of disappearance as a formal narrative and epistemological phenomenon in late twentieth-century Argentine fiction.

Modernity as Exception and Miracle

Proposes "the extraordinary" as a defining characteristic of modernity.

Announcements

A study of novelty through analyses of the language of announcement in revolutionary texts.

Jouissance

A comprehensive discussion of an important but elusive Lacanian concept within the field of psychoanalysis, as well as its relevance for philosophy, literature, gender, and queer studies.

Black Cultural Mythology

Offers a new conceptual framework rooted in mythological analysis to ground the field of Africana cultural memory studies.

The Lily's Tongue

Examines four discourses by Kierkegaard, arguing that they play a critical and surprising role in his oeuvre and contribute to the philosophy of figural language.

The Movement of Showing

Explores why Derrida, Hegel, and Heidegger conceive their thought as a “movement” rather than as a presentation of results or conclusions, and of the consequences of such an indirect method for critique and responsibility.

Legacies of the Sublime

Pairs literary works with philosophical and theoretical texts to examine how the Kantian sublime influenced authors in their treatments of freedom and subjectivity through the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The Little Crystalline Seed

Shows how contemporary French philosophy adopted this literary paradigm and argues for its significance for addressing concerns in ethics, ontology, and aesthetics.

Unmaking The Making of Americans

By E. L. McCallum
Subjects: Philosophy

Develops the sustained, relational, dynamic, and reflective attention demanded by Gertrude Stein’s novel into a theory of reading and critical analysis.

The Essentialist Villain

By Mikko Tuhkanen
Subjects: Literature

The first book-length study of Bersani’s work, tracing the unfolding of his onto-ethics/aesthetics amidst numerous literary, artistic, and philosophical influences.

Phrase

The first complete English translation of Lacoue-Labarthe’s most innovative and original work, exploring the very origins of experience, language, desire, and mortality.

Witnessing beyond the Human

Provides an innovative and theoretically rigorous approach to the subject of testimony in Latin America.

Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe's Phrase

First sustained critical reading of Lacoue-Labarthe's Phrase, which provides insights into a philosophically inspired work of prose poetry.

Oscillations of Literary Theory

Revises key psychoanalytic concepts that influence interpretive practices in the humanities and formulates a new approach to reading fiction.

Romantic Mediations

Investigates the ways in which new technologies and theories of photography, phonography, moving images, and digital media engage with a diverse set of texts by British Romantic writers.

In His Voice

A creative study of Maurice Blanchot’s theory of literary voice.

Deconstruction, Its Force, Its Violence

A reappraisal of deconstruction from one of its leading commentators, focusing on the themes of force and violence.

Leo Bersani

Edited by Mikko Tuhkanen
Subjects: Literature

Examines the importance of Leo Bersani’s work for queer theory, psychoanalysis, literary criticism and theory, cultural studies, and film studies.

Kristeva's Fiction

Psychoanalytic perspectives on Kristeva's fiction.

Documents in Crisis

Examines the theory and practice of nonfiction narrative literature in twentieth-century Mexico.

Federman's Fictions

Edited by Jeffrey R. Di Leo
Introduction by Jeffrey R. Di Leo
Preface by Charles Bernstein
Afterword by Raymond Federman
Subjects: Literature

A comprehensive examination of one of the twentieth century's most innovative writers and critics.

Figures of Simplicity

A fascinating comparison of the work of Heinrich von Kleist and Herman Melville.

The Unconcept

Explores the conceptualization of the Freudian uncanny in various late-twentieth-century theoretical and critical discourses (literary studies, psychoanalysis, cultural studies, art history, trauma studies, architecture, etc.).

Ethics, Aesthetics, and the Beyond of Language

Explores why American Romantic writers and contemporary continental thinkers turn to art when writing about ethics.

The Passing of Postmodernism

Examines the increasingly prevalent assumption that postmodernism is over and that literature and film are once again engaging sincerely with issues of ethics and politics.

Africa Writes Back to Self

By Evan M. Mwangi
Subjects: Literature

Explores the metafictional strategies of contemporary African novels rather than characterizing them primarily as a response to colonialism.

Caribbean Genesis

Philosophical exploration of Jamaica Kincaid’s entire literary oeuvre.

Eros and Ethics

A comprehensive examination of Lacan’s seminar on ethics.

Forgetful Memory

Examines the role of forgetfulness in our understanding of the Holocaust.

Materializing Queer Desire

Uses iconic dandy and queer figures to explore relationships between homosexuality, modernism, and modernity.

Otherwise Occupied

Questions whether current theories and pedagogies of alterity have allowed us truly to engage the Other.

Unspeakable Secrets and the Psychoanalysis of Culture

Explores the radical political potential of close reading to make the case for a new and invigorated psychoanalytic cultural studies.

The Order of Joy

Provocative exploration of a new concept of “joy” within psychoanalytic and cultural studies.

Romantic Psychoanalysis

By Joel Faflak
Subjects: Literature

How the Romantics invented psychoanalysis in advance of Freud.

Lacan, Language, and Philosophy

Clinical and philosophical perspectives on key issues and debates in Lacanian psychoanalysis.

Signifiers and Acts

Situates Lacan’s theory of the subject within contemporary philosophical debates over freedom and agency.

Psychoanalysis and Narrative Medicine

Contributors explore the significance of literature and psychoanalysis for medical education and practice.

Republic of Readers?

By Simon Stow
Subjects: Literature

Defends political philosophy and social science against the rival claims of literature and literary criticism.

Fiction's Present

Edited by R. M. Berry & Jeffrey R. Di Leo
Subjects: Literature

Fiction writers and critics engage the aesthetic, political, philosophical, and cultural dimensions of contemporary fiction.

Beyond Lacan

Traces the development of Lacanian theory, and its possible future.

Acting Beautifully

Addresses ethical and aesthetic issues in three major works by Henry James.

Performing Marx

Draws upon Marx, Western Marxism, and poststructuralist theory to constructively engage contemporary issues.

The Contradictions of Freedom

The essential companion to Simone de Beauvoir's celebrated novel.

Revolt, Affect, Collectivity

Explores how the concept of revolution permeates and unifies Kristeva’s body of work.

African Fiction and Joseph Conrad

Interrogates the "writing back to the center" approach to intertextuality and explores alternatives to it.

Paradoxes of Postcolonial Culture

Explores postcolonial discourse from the standpoint of feminism and writers in minority languages.

Performative Criticism

By Gerry Brenner
Subjects: Literature

Genre-bending experiments that appropriate, impersonate, and speak through already-created literary characters in order to offer fresh interpretations of well-known literary works.

Edward Said at the Limits

Shows the full breadth and scope of Edward Said's work and of his role as a public intellectual.

Historicizing Theory

Edited by Peter C. Herman
Subjects: Literature

Examines deconstruction, New Historicism, postcolonialism, and other contemporary theoretical movements in their historical contexts.

Reading Seminar XX

Examines Lacan's key seminar on sexual difference, knowledge, desire, and love.

Going beyond the Pairs

By Dennis McCort
Subjects: Literature

Argues that German Romanticism, Zen Buddhism, and deconstruction, for all their cultural differences, are three expressions of a universal vision.

Posts and Pasts

Deconstructs the field of postcolonial studies.

Changing Religious Worlds

Assesses Mircea Eliade's contribution to the contemporary understanding of religion and the academic study of religion.

Derrida and the Future of Literature

Confirms the importance of literature in Derrida’s development of a postmodern ethics.

Reading Emptiness

Concludes that the closest thing in Western culture to the Middle Way of Buddhism is not any sort of theory or philosophy, but the practice of literature.

Five Lessons on the Psychoanalytic Theory of Jacques Lacan

In this first English translation of a classic text by one of the foremost commentators on Lacan's work, Nasio eloquently demonstrates the clinical and practical import of Lacan's theory, even in its most difficult or obscure moments.

Violence and Mediation in Contemporary Culture

This collection of essays addresses two major issues of contemporary culture: the problem of violence in relation to notions of "difference" and power; and the role of mediation in making possible non-conflictive play of cultural differences.

Allegories of Writing

This is a theoretical study of human metamorphosis in Western literature.

Spirits Hovering Over the Ashes

This book explores the consequences of postmodern theory and answers the question, "What did postmodern theory begin?"

Hegemony and Strategies of Transgression

This book offers a radical, "Third World" approach to current debates on canon revision, multiculturalism, Eurocentrism, and reforms in education and culture.

Thematics

This book aims at refocusing critical reflection on thematics in the arts, a topic that has been neglected recently. The volume is divided into four sections: theoretical essays, applications to literature, ...

Men Writing the Feminine

Edited by Thais E. Morgan
Subjects: Literature

What happens when a male author writes the feminine? Can a male author completely identify with a woman? Or does a male author always write through a woman's voice for purposes of his own? This fascinating ...

The Creation of Chaos

This is the first book-length study of William James' style, arguing that the manner in which James writes The Principles of Psychology and The Varieties of Religious Experience serves to construct a ...

Twentieth-Century Literary Theory

The ten topics contained in Twentieth-Century Literary Theory reflect contemporary theoretical interests and guide the reader through fundamental questions, from the formation to the uses of theory, and ...