Jean-Michel Rabaté The Future of Theory

ISBN 13: 9780631230137

The Future of Theory

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9780631230137: The Future of Theory

In this controversial manifesto, Jean-Michel Rabaté addresses current anxieties about the future of literary and cultural theory and proposes that it still has a crucial role to play.

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Book Description:

Is Theory dead? In this controversial manifesto, Jean-Michel Rabate addresses current anxieties about Theory and claims that it still has a crucial role to play.

From the Back Cover:

Is Theory dead? Is it, as skeptics suggest, too distant from anything “real” to be useful, too sweeping in its referral of all texts to grand theses? Or is it a mask for fashion and self-promotion in academia? In this controversial manifesto, Jean-Michel Rabaté addresses current anxieties about Theory and claims that it still has a crucial role to play.

Acknowledging that he cannot speak about the future of Theory without taking stock of its past, Rabaté starts by sketching its genealogy, particularly its relation to Surrealism, philosophy, and the hard sciences. Against this background, he proposes that Theory, like hysteria, consistently points out the inadequacies of official, serious and “masterful” knowledge. Its role, he suggests, is to ask difficult, foundational questions, which entail revisionary readings of culture and its texts.

In this way, Rabaté claims, whether the theory of the moment is structuralism or globalization, Theory in its broader sense will always return, providing us with provocative and stimulating insights into what we do and how we read.

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