Subjects without Selves
Transitional Texts in Modern Fiction
By (author) Gabriele Schwab
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Subjects without Selves by Gabriele Schwab
Book DescriptionGabriele Schwab responds to the question of how aesthetic forms contribute to different kinds of cultural knowledge with an analysis of the nature of subjectivity in modernist fiction. Drawing on French and Anglo-American psychoanalysis as well as reader response theory, she explores the relationship between language and subjectivity and in so doing illuminates the cultural politics and psychological functions implicit in the aesthetic practices and literary forms of modernism and postmodernism. The result of this exploration is a new understanding of the function of literature as a form of cultural knowledge. Schwab demonstrates how literature creates a transitional space where the boundaries of language and subjectivity are continually shaped and reshaped on both an individual and a cultural level. Modern and postmodern experimental texts, in particular, fulfill this function through the multifarious exploration of the boundaries of poetic language and their opening to the unconscious. Undertaking what she terms a literary ethnography of the decentred subject, Schwab examines five novels: Herman Melville's "Moby-Dick", Virginia Woolf's "The Waves", James Joyce's "Finnegans Wake", Samuel Beckett's "The Unnamable" and Thomas Pynchon's "Gravity's Rainbow". Schwab demonstrates how the aesthetic figurations of unconscious experience in these texts generate new forms of literary language and an aesthetic reception that is directly relevant to an increasingly global and hybridized culture. In her concluding chapter, which introduces the notion of "textual ecologies", Schwab analyzes the literary subjectivity of "transitional texts" in light of such contemporary theories as systems theory, cybernetics, and the new physics. From this perspective, such texts not only reflect cultural practices but take part in shaping their change and innovation.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674853812
(235mm x 155mm x 24mm)
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 1-Mar-1994
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Gabriele Schwab
Derrida, Deleuze, Psychoanalysis, Paperback (October 2007)
Explores the critical relationship between psychoanalysis and the work of Derrida and Deleuze. This book illuminates the relevance of psychoanalysis to critical interrogations of culture and politics.
Accelerating Possession, Hardback (March 2006)» View all books by Gabriele Schwab
Written by prominent scholars, this title explores the relationship between property and personhood. It considers a range of topics, including: the establishment of the rule of property in US-occupied Iraq; the work of John Locke; and reflections on property and personhood in the art of Jenny Holzer and the novels of Stanislaw Lem.
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