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Re-thinking theory : a critique of contemporary literary theory and an alternative account

Author: Richard Freadman; Seumas Miller
Publisher: Cambridge [England] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1992.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Re-thinking theory offers a bold approach to literary studies. The book itself is explicitly theoretical and yet makes a searching critique of some of the modes, concepts and movements which compromise modern literary theory. Discussing key concepts such as ideology, signification and discourse, and analysing schools including that of F.R. Leavis, Althusserian Marxism, Derridean and Foucauldian poststructuralism and
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Richard Freadman; Seumas Miller
ISBN: 0521380359 9780521380355
OCLC Number: 1039384525
Description: pages
Contents: 1. Literary theory in the eighties: Catherine Belsey's Critical Practice --
2. Two paradigms of literary theory --
3. Literary theory and the problem of ethics --
4. Althusserian Marxism: Text Production Theory --
5. Derridean poststructuralism: (post- )Saussurean linguistic constructivism --
6. Foucauldian poststructuralism: Discourse Power Theory --
7. The powers and limits of literary theory.
Responsibility: Richard Freadman, Seumas Miller.

Abstract:

Re-thinking theory offers a bold approach to literary studies. The book itself is explicitly theoretical and yet makes a searching critique of some of the modes, concepts and movements which compromise modern literary theory. Discussing key concepts such as ideology, signification and discourse, and analysing schools including that of F.R. Leavis, Althusserian Marxism, Derridean and Foucauldian poststructuralism and New Historicism, the authors argue that there are major deficiences in the conceptual foundations and the literary and political implications of contemporary literary theory.

These deficiencies are ascribed principally to three aspects of modern theoretical schools: the commitment to a non-referential view of language, the rejection of substantive accounts of the individual and a repudiation of moral and aesthetic evaluation. The 'alternative account' offered by Professors Freadman and Miller incorporates the values renounced by contemporary literary theory and places a central emphasis on ethical discourse.

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