James Wood: What’s on the line When We Write Literary Criticism?

On Deconstructing Texts and Our Comprehension Of Literature

I became taught how exactly to read novels and poems with a brilliant poststructuralist critic called Stephen Heath. I’ve a picture within my brain of Dr. Heath keeping a sheet of paper—the hallowed “text”—very close to his eyes, the real proximity somehow the symbolic embodiment of his examining avidity, as he tossed out their favorite concern of a paragraph or stanza: “what’s at stake in this passage? ” He intended one thing more specific, professionalized and slim as compared to colloquial usage would generally indicate. He designed something such as: what’s the issue of meaning in this passage? What exactly is at risk in keeping the look of coherent meaning, in this performance we call literary works? Just How is meaning wobbling, threatening to collapse into its repressions? Dr. Heath had been literature that is appraising Freud may have examined one of his true clients, where “What are at stake for your needs in being right right here? ” would not mean “What has reached stake in keeping your chronic unhappiness? For you personally in planning to improve your health or pleased? ” but almost the opposing: “What are at stake for you” The enquiry is dubious, though certainly not aggressive.

In this way of reading could broadly be called de constructive.

To put it differently, deconstruction proceeds regarding the presumption that literary texts, like individuals, have actually an unconscious that frequently betrays them: they say a very important factor but suggest one more thing. Continue reading