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"This book creatively addresses the impasse in the state of literary studies in our current moment 'after theory' and it provides elegant close readings of a number of important contemporary English-language novelists (Susan Daitch, David Markson, Richard Powers, David Foster Wallace, and Irvine Welsh). As a contribution to the theory of reading, Karnicky's study starts by looking at the accomplishments and shortcomings of the most influential schools of thought of the last thirty years or so: the reader-response theories of Stanley Fish and others, the deconstruction of Paul DeMan and his colleagues and followers, and the current vogue in English and Literature departments for cultural studies rather than studies that remain focused on the literary at all. All three of these approaches have generated interesting bodies of criticism; but all three have ended up arguing themselves into dead ends from which there is no apparent exit. Karnicky proposes to break out of this impasse by returning to the urgent question of reading, but doing this in a new way. Karnicky argues for the act of reading as a mode of transformation, through the ways that an urgent and ethically committed reading engages the (extra-literary) world."--Steven Shaviro, DeRoy Professor of English, Wayne State University
About the Author
Jeffrey Karnicky is a visiting Assistant Professor of English at Drake University. He has published articles on Don DeLillo, Irvine Welsh, and on the interactions between humans and birds.