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Shape of the Signifier : 1967 to the End of History

Shape of the Signifier : 1967 to the End of History - 06 edition

ISBN13: 978-0691126180

Cover of Shape of the Signifier : 1967 to the End of History 06 (ISBN 978-0691126180)
ISBN13: 978-0691126180
ISBN10: 0691126186
Cover type:
Edition/Copyright: 06
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Published: 2006
International: No

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Shape of the Signifier : 1967 to the End of History - 06 edition

ISBN13: 978-0691126180

Walter Benn Michaels

ISBN13: 978-0691126180
ISBN10: 0691126186
Cover type:
Edition/Copyright: 06
Publisher: Princeton University Press

Published: 2006
International: No
Summary

''The Shape of the Signifier'' is a critique of recent theory--primarily literary but also cultural and political. Bringing together previously unconnected strands of Michaels's thought--from ''Against Theory'' to ''Our America''--it anatomizes what's fundamentally at stake when we think of literature in terms of the experience of the reader rather than the intention of the author and when we substitute the question of who people are for the question of what they believe. With signature virtuosity Michaels shows how the replacement of ideological difference (we believe different things) with identitarian difference (we speak different languages we have different bodies and different histories) organizes the thinking of writers from Richard Rorty to Octavia Butler to Samuel Huntington to Kathy Acker. He then examines how this shift produces the narrative logic of texts ranging from Toni Morrison's ''Beloved'' to Michael Hardt and Toni Negri's ''Empire'' As with everything Michaels writes ''The Shape of the Signifier'' is sure to leave controversy and debate in its wake.

Author Bio

Walter Benn Michaels is Professor of English at the University of Illinois Chicago

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction: The Blank Page 1

One: Posthistoricism 19 The End of History 19 Political Science Fictions 26 Partez au vert/Go on the green 41 The Shape of the Signifier 51 The End of Theory 66

Two: Prehistoricism 82 rocks 82 and stones 105 and trees 118 Three: Historicism 129 Remembering 129 Reliving 140 Dismembering 149 Forgetting 158 Coda: Empires of the Senseless 169 Notes 183 Index 213

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