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Reading Unruly : Interpretation and Its Ethical Demands / Zahi Zalloua.

By: Zalloua, Zahi Anbra, 1971- [author.].
Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooks.Symplokē studies in contemporary theory: Publisher: Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, [2014]Description: 1 online resource.Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9780803254657; 0803254652; 9781461958697; 1461958695; 1306531179; 9781306531177.Subject(s): French literature -- History and criticism -- Theory, etc | Literature and morals | Disorderly conduct in literature | Aesthetics in literature | Ethics in literatureAdditional physical formats: Print version:: Reading Unruly.DDC classification: 840.9/355 | 840.9 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook. Summary: "Drawing on literary theory and canonical French literature, Reading Unruly examines unruliness as both an aesthetic category and a mode of reading conceived as ethical response. Zahi Zalloua argues that when faced with an unruly work of art, readers confront an ethical double bind, hesitating then between the two conflicting injunctions of either thematizing (making sense) of the literary work, or attending to its aesthetic alterity or unreadability. Creatively hesitating between incommensurable demands (to interpret but not to translate back into familiar terms), ethical readers are invited to cultivate an appreciation for the unruly, to curb the desire for hermeneutic mastery without simultaneously renouncing meaning or the interpretive endeavor as such. Examining French texts from Montaigne's sixteenth-century Essays to Diderot's fictional dialogue Rameau's Nephew and Baudelaire's prose poems The Spleen of Paris, to the more recent works of Jean-Paul Sartre's Nausea, Alain Robbe-Grillet's Jealousy, and Marguerite Duras's The Ravishing of Lol Stein, Reading Unruly demonstrates that in such an approach to literature and theory, reading itself becomes a desire for more, an ethical and aesthetic desire to prolong rather than to arrest the act of interpretation."-- Provided by publisher.
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Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
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PQ142 (Browse shelf) https://ezproxy.uttyler.edu/login?url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/j.ctt1d9nm5b Available ocn874967487

Print version record.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

"Drawing on literary theory and canonical French literature, Reading Unruly examines unruliness as both an aesthetic category and a mode of reading conceived as ethical response. Zahi Zalloua argues that when faced with an unruly work of art, readers confront an ethical double bind, hesitating then between the two conflicting injunctions of either thematizing (making sense) of the literary work, or attending to its aesthetic alterity or unreadability. Creatively hesitating between incommensurable demands (to interpret but not to translate back into familiar terms), ethical readers are invited to cultivate an appreciation for the unruly, to curb the desire for hermeneutic mastery without simultaneously renouncing meaning or the interpretive endeavor as such. Examining French texts from Montaigne's sixteenth-century Essays to Diderot's fictional dialogue Rameau's Nephew and Baudelaire's prose poems The Spleen of Paris, to the more recent works of Jean-Paul Sartre's Nausea, Alain Robbe-Grillet's Jealousy, and Marguerite Duras's The Ravishing of Lol Stein, Reading Unruly demonstrates that in such an approach to literature and theory, reading itself becomes a desire for more, an ethical and aesthetic desire to prolong rather than to arrest the act of interpretation."-- Provided by publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Drawing on sustained scholarship on Barthes, Blanchot, Bourdieu, Badiou, Derrida, Levinas, and Zizek, among others, Zalloua (French, Whitman College) adopts a case-study approach to advocate an "ethics of interpretation that foregrounds fidelity to literature's unruliness," which he defines as "its resistance to hermeneutic mastery, its ungovernable character." Also author of Montaigne and the Ethics of Skepticism (2005), Zalloua succeeds in bringing unity to six unquestionably inventive French writers from various epochs whose primary distinction is an unwillingness to be corralled: Montaigne, Diderot, Baudelaire, Sartre, Robbe-Grillet, and Duras. This is clearly a title for the scholar; the critical language of Zalloua's superb close readings is by no means tailored to the novice. For example, introducing the chapter on the Essais--an original and disruptive document that inaugurates a new mode of thinking alongside a transcendental style of writing--Zalloua wields the full power of his erudition, noting that "the essay unavoidably imposes form on Montaigne's 'unruly fantasies' but a form that relentlessly refuses its own homogenization, illustrating but also performing the elusive, fluctuating, and imperfect character of the self that frustrates metaphysical permanence, ontological stability, or any sense of completion." Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. --Wade Edwards, Longwood University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

<p>Zahi Zalloua is an associate professor of French and interdisciplinary studies at Whitman College. He is the coeditor of Torture: Power, Democracy, and the Human Body and the author of Montaigne and the Ethics of Skepticism .</p>

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