• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Reading Literature Today is a path-breaking intervention in current debates on reading and literature. This is a book of criticism that attempts to rescue literature from both the materialism of the market and the convoluted dryness of academia.

The two complementary essaysone on literature and the other on readingfocus largely on texts in English and French, but also refer to other literatures. The authors propose a way of reading literature that not only synthesizes some earlier tendencies and puts them in context, but also propounds a revolutionary understanding of the nature of literature and reading.

The writers taken up for discussion include William Shakespeare, Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling, Marcel Proust, Charles Baudelaire, Franz Kafka, William Burroughs, Dylan Thomas, Attia Hosain, Albert Wendt, Zadie Smith, Philip Hensher, Mohsin ...

Last Words
Last words

Pour que tout soit consommé, pour que je me sente moins seul, il me reste à souhaiter qu'il y ait beaucoup de spectateurs le jour de mon exécution et qu'ils m'accueillent avec des cris de haine.

‘For the final consummation and for me to feel less lonely, my last wish was that there should be a crowd of spectators as my execution and that they should greet me with cries of hatred’. (Camus, 2000: 117).

Like Meursault, fiction does not give in and it only takes on its true nature when it is rebelling. Also, like Meursault, it needs to be condemned and rejected to be, finally free. And I, the Reader, am both Meursault and the crowd rejecting him.

Like Meursault, fiction is ontologically ...

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