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Hot property : the stakes and claims of literary originality

Author: Françoise Meltzer
Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1994.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
But is it original? The question, on which so much of writing stakes its claim to greatness, may be more interesting than the answer. In this provocative book, Francoise Meltzer takes a subtle and incisive look at the anxiety of origins at the heart of the literary enterprise. Using four case studies, Meltzer reveals the shaky status of originality as a founding principle of the critical establishment.
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Françoise Meltzer
ISBN: 0226519759 9780226519753 0226519767 9780226519760
OCLC Number: 28800377
Description: xi, 171 pages ; 23 cm
Contents: 1. Freud and Descartes: Dreaming On --
2. Paul Celan and the Death of the Book --
3. Disappropriating Colette --
4. Walter Benjamin and the Right to Acedia.
Responsibility: Françoise Meltzer.
More information:

Abstract:

This text examines the anxiety of origins about the literary enterprise. Using case studies, Meltzer reveals the tenuous status of originality as a basic principle of the critical establishment. She  Read more...

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   schema:description "Three dreams were the starting point for Descartes's famous methode. In the short shrift given to these nightly visions by the author of The Interpretation of Dreams, Meltzer sees a symptom of Freud's overwhelming anxiety about originality and authorship, an obsession that mirrors Descartes's own fear of plagiarism. Turning next to the Holocaust poet Paul Celan, who was actually accused of plagiarism by another poet's widow, Meltzer takes us through the minority discourse on the European Jew - in which "the Jew" is seen as having no homeland except for the text - to show us why such an accusation was so devastating for Celan. The question of originality becomes even trickier in the case of Colette, whose early books were published under her husband Willy's name. Scrutinizing Willy's elaborate promotion of himself as a serious writer, unlike his "lazy" wife, Meltzer questions our investment in the working notion of a writer, and in the way that notion is gendered."@en ;
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   schema:description "Finally she considers the case of Walter Benjamin, whose early interpreters, especially Hannah Arendt and Theodor Adorno, challenged his seriousness and originality by alluding to his supposed 'feminine' qualities of vagabondage and sloth. In each of these cases, Meltzer shows how a threat to a writer's status as creator betrays the larger fraud of the originality myth itself."@en ;
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