lundi 5 juillet 2010

Dominick LaCapra, HISTORY, POLITICS AND THE NOVEL, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 1987

A recurrent question nonetheless guides my approach to interpretation: how does a text relate in symptomatic, critical, and possibly transformative ways to its pertinent contexts of writing and reading? My answers to this question are perforce limited and make no pretense to being exhaustive. But my contention is that particularly significant texts, such as "classic" novels, are not only worked over symptomatically by common contextual forces (such as ideologies) but also rework and at least partially work through those forces in critical and at times potentially transformative fashion. Indeed, the novel may be especially engaging in both being worked over by and critically working through problems in a gripping and forceful way. But the novel tends to be transformative - at least with reference to social and political contexts - in general, suggestive, and long-term respects. And it may have transformative effects more through its style or mode of narration than in the concrete image or representation of any desirable alternative society or polity.
(p. 4)

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