The Outside of the Text: On the Limits of Apolitical Reading
- Číslo 34 
PublisherUniverzita Karlova, Filozofická fakulta
SourceSlovo a smysl, 2020, 2, 97-104
poststructuralism, postmodernism, deconstruction, the Real, structural psychoanalysis, political commitment, postcolonialism, imperialism
This article presents an argument against attempts to exclude the political perspective from the reading and reception of literature. Departing from the failed afrmation of radical autonomy of the Symbolic undertaken by poststructuralist philosophy (mainly Jean Baudrillard and Jacques Derrida) it argues for inclusion of the Real in the process of reading since it is always operational in the process of writing. Without going back to the metaphysics of presence, it puts forward an understanding of the Real that departs from the concept of disclosure (ἀλήθεια), but aims at a more negative and dialectical understanding of the Real as the force that disrupts and invades discourse in unwanted yet unavoidable ways. Edward Said’s reading of literary classics, which traces the link between culture and imperialism, is provided as an example of such a political reading of literature.