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Reading, writing, rebelling: Propositions for a renewed critical stance

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What is reading? What is writing? What connects the two? These questions have been the fertile ground for many literary and philosophical theories, from New Criticism to Deconstruction. This essay does not pretend answering to these two questions, but rather to question the question themselves and try to shed a different light of this essential problematic. Choosing not to consider literature as a stable concept, but rather as an ontologically impermanent one, I try to reflect upon the terms that condition our approach of works and of the creation of these works. In a large perspective, the notions of “reading” and “writing” are examined through the prism of their incarnations as “works”, and the consequences of this identity have on our critical discourse. In order to read critically, one must thus recognize this immanent instability of our notions and definitions, and begin from there instead of ending there. In other words, the instability of the reading is the only way to mirror the instability of the works, and to acknowledge their ever-changing form. Far from being innocent, critical reading therefore appears as a radical, but necessary action, a rebellion against the obvious and accepted definitions to which works are too often attached.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCaracteres
Volume6
Issue1
Pages (from-to)138-174
Number of pages37
ISSN2254-4496
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017

Bibliographical note

Escritor y académico bilingüe. Su campo principal de investigación es la
Work Reading Theory.
Es coautor, junto a Tabish Khair, de
Reading Literature Today, publicado por SAGE.
En la actualidad es profesor de literatura, historia y cultura
francesas en la Universidad de Aarhus (Dinamarca)

    Research areas

  • Criticism, reading, writing, rebellion, impermanent

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