. The Return of the Reader: Reader Response Criticism
. Methuen (August 10, 1987), 1987. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract
An introduction to work on reader-response criticism which reflects on the spectrum of alternative projects which reader-oriented criticism generates.
Discourse in Psychoanalysis and Literature
. Routledge (30 July 1987), 1987. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The essays in this collection, first published in 1987, represent a collective attempt to listen with the third ear to the underhand ways the unspoken has of speaking, and to speak of these ways. By focusing on ‘discourse’ the volume is distinguished from traditional literature by its emphasis on rhetorical structures and textual strategies, and the investment of these structures with desire, power and other aspects of subjectivity, rather than the personality of the artist or the creative process. However, in this book the human dimension is not lost. By claiming that the structures in question are not merely linguistic, semiotic, or narratological (although they are all of these), the human dimension is returned- not ‘in the raw’, as in traditional approaches, but through the traces it leaves in the text, as activated by its reading. This book is ideal for students of literature and psychoanalytical theory.
. Allegory: The Dynamics of an Ancient and Medieval Technique
. 1987. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Allegory is both a strategy for interpreting texts and a method for composing them. This book investigates the interplay between these interpretive and compositional traditions at critical points in their development. Jon Whitman analyzes a range of works in which the allegorical impulse develops, from the Stoic moral essay and the Roman mythological epic to the Neoplatonic exegetical treatise and the Christian spiritual encyclopedia. By examining important changes in approach to the logic of a text, the design of the world, and the organization of events, Whitman shows how the interpretive and poetic strategies of allegory increasingly overlap and broaden in scope in antiquity and the early Middle Ages. He explains how this interaction acquires an intensive form in the twelfth-century Cosmographia, which explicates the story of creation by devising allegorical characters to act out the narrative. Relating this early convergence of analytic and imaginative methods to broader critical concerns, Whitman shows how allegory constantly promotes the reassessment of its own formulations, a process that stimulates the complex allegorical movement of the late Middle Ages. Jon Whitman currently teaches English literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
. Shakespeare's Other Language
. Methuen (January 1988), 1987. Print.Abstract
Ruth Nevo's book offers a reading of the last plays which invokes the findings and methods of post-psychoanalytic semiotics. Drawing on recent work in the reinterpretation of Freud by Lacan and others, she embarks on a brilliant analysis of "Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale, and "The Tempest" , which illuminates thier strange 'language'.