Through a series of short essays, Readings traces the consideration given to the act of close reading in literary criticism and theory over the last thirty years.Focusing on short passages from a number of critical works, including those by Barthes, Cixous, de Man, Derrida, Foucault, Kristeva, Lacan and J. Hillis Miller amongst others, the essays enact close readings of the trope of reading - its movements and performances in each of the passages in question - so as to offer a more detailed comprehension of the nature of reading, and the ways in which critical thinking has transformed our understanding of what it means to read.Readings addresses in a lively and engaging manner the varying rhythms and articulations made possible through the careful tracing of the process of critical reading which literary theory has made available."
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Julian Wolfreys is Professor of Modern Literature and Culture at the Loughborough University
Julian Wolfreys writes like an accessible Derrida. His achievement in Readings is a remarkable illumination of the often impenetrable relation of reading to questions of responsibility, guilt, political choice, democracy, resistance and performativity. There are few critics who combine complexity and exposition with such ease, or who can weave such an efficient summary of contemporary debates on the ethics of reading into such asubtle performance of their own as Wolfreys.(Mark Currie, University of Westminster)
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