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Author, Text, Reader

Class at Faculty of Arts |


Characteristics of the course:

Why study literary theory? What is it good for? When the author is dead, how come that dead people still keep writing? Is literary language any different from ordinary language? Is Derrida insane when he claims that writing was here before speaking? And who is Derrida, anyway? Do historians, unlike novel writers and poets, speak the truth? How can two readers arrive at different interpretations of the same text? And which of them is right?

The subject-matter of this course is the relationship between the author, the text and the reader. Together, we will explore different aspects of topics that haunt literary theory for decades, ruthlessly breaking and/or zealously confirming various conventions, trends and attitudes pertaining to the topics. The course is aimed at stimulating discussion, which is why additional texts have been selected so as to contradict either the opinions presented by the authors of the main essays, or the traditional interpretation of the seminal texts of literary theory. As a bonus, the students will learn to babble in lit-theory lingo, which is useful whenever one wants to impress one?s friends or humble one?s enemies.

Students of all stages of study are cordially welcome.


Regular attendance; active participation in class discussions; one short essay (1500 words); an oral presentation.

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