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Beyond DeconstructionThe Uses and Abuses of Literary Theory$
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Howard Felperin

Print publication date: 1986

Print ISBN-13: 9780198128960

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198128960.001.0001

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Toward A Poststructuralist Practice: A Reading of Shakespeare's Sonnets

Toward A Poststructuralist Practice: A Reading of Shakespeare's Sonnets

(p.147) 5 Toward A Poststructuralist Practice: A Reading of Shakespeare's Sonnets
Beyond Deconstruction

Howard Felperin

Oxford University Press

Having argued that the institution of literary criticism should stop trying to do what it cannot do, that is, seek out some monist or foundationalist rationale for its existence and activity — and continue to do what it can do, that is, read and re-read an ever negotiable canon of texts with all the resourcefulness available to it — this chapter sets an example by putting that argument into practice. It focuses on a classic text: William Shakespeare's Sonnets. After all, if it has become a new institutional convention to theorize practice, the least that can be done by those who contest the pure good of theory form within is to put to the test whatever value it holds for practice. This chapter discusses intertextuality of reading, poststructuralism, poetic authority, ‘speaking picture’ as a metaphor, the problem of writerly representation, pun, and the metaphor of the dark lady in the Sonnets.

Keywords:   William Shakespeare, literary criticism, Sonnets, intertextuality, poststructuralism, poetic authority, metaphor, writerly representation, pun, dark lady

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