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The Writer Writing

Philosophic Acts in Literature

By (author) Francis-Noel Thomas
Foreword by Wayne C. Booth
Genres: Literary theory
Format: Hardback
Language: English
Publisher: Princeton University Press, New Jersey, United States
Published: 3rd Jan 1993
Dimensions: w 162mm h 243mm d 23mm
Weight: 510g
ISBN-10: 0691069557
ISBN-13: 9780691069555
Barcode No: 9780691069555
In an age of authorless, contextless, deconstructed texts, The Writer Writing offers an inquiry into the rich and complex phenomenon of understanding the written word by reconsidering a fundamental concept about agency: writing is an action whose agent is an individual writer. On the most local level, this book offers parallel analyses of Marcel Proust and Bernard Shaw, two writers who made insistent and oddly similar claims about their texts as acts, two contemporaries whose fundamental similarities have been masked by critical technology. On the most global level, it examines the philosophic act of explanation, showing that it is both a constitutive human activity - part of everyday life - and an activity that connects texts as diverse as Saint Joan and A la recherche du temps perdu. It separates for analysis writers' philosophic acts of explanation from their rhetorical acts of persuasion and their poetic acts of representation. The Writer Writing presents a timely and systematic case for reconsidering the genuine originality of individual writers' conceptions of writing as a human activity.

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"In this deeply original book, Francis-No l Thomas engages the actions of writers writing. He has allowed the artists themselves, not a theory that supersedes them, to yield access to diverse experiences that could not have been predicted by even the shrewdest of theorists. In his hands, the `old-fashioned' notion that art works are individual projects of individual artists inviting us into diverse worlds feels refreshingly new."--adapted from the foreword "This lucid, vigorously written book is a refreshing demonstration of the sophistication of common sense. The Writer Writing makes a persuasive case for the reinstatement of the writer's intention, the living author, and the stubborn individuality of the particular literary text, at the heart of interpretation. Francis-No l Thomas is an important new voice in the rising chorus of objections to the critical orthodoxies that have dominated academic literary studies over the past quarter-century."--Robert Alter, University of California, Berkeley