Resistant Structures: Particularity, Radicalism, and Renaissance Texts

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University of California Press, 1995 - Literary Collections - 239 pages
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Taking Wittgenstein's "Don't think, but look" as his motto, Richard Strier argues against the application of a priori schemes to Renaissance (and all) texts. He argues for the possibility and desirability of rigorously attentive but "pre-theoretical" reading. His approach privileges particularity and attempts to respect the "resistant structures" of texts. He opposes theories, critical and historical, that dictate in advance what texts must - or cannot - say or do.
The first part of the book, "Against Schemes," demonstrates, in discussions of Rosemond Tuve, Stephen Greenblatt, and Stanley Fish, among others, how both historicist and purely theoretical approaches can equally produce distortion of particulars. The second part, "Against Received Ideas," shows how a variety of texts (by Shakespeare, Donne, Herbert, and others) have been seen through the lenses of fixed, mainly conservative ideas in ways that have obscured their actual, surprising, and sometimes surprisingly radical content.
  

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Contents

Tradition
13
SelfConsumption
27
Theory
42
New Historicism
67
Impossible Transcendence
109
Impossible Radicalism
165
Impossible Radicalism and Impossible
203
index
233
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

Richard Strier is Professor of English at the University of Chicago.

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