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2007 Herbstsemester: Reading Theory - Reading with Theory

Reading Theory - Reading with Theory

Lecture Herbstsemester 2007 Thursday 14.00 – 15.45

"A short circuit occurs when there is a faulty connection in the network – faulty, of course, from the standpoint of the network's smooth functioning. Is not the shock of short-circuiting, therefore, one of the best metaphors for a critical reading? Is not one of the most effective critical procedures to cross wires that do not usually touch? What such a reading achieves, is the inherent decentering of the interpreted text, which brings to light its 'unthought', its disavowed presuppositions and consequences." Slavoj Zizek


Sept. 20     Introduction – film screening Stranger than Fiction (1st part)

Sept. 27     Stranger than Fiction (2nd part)


Oct. 04     Tzvetan Todorov. The Poetics of Prose

Oct. 11     Roland Barthes. "Introduction to the Structural Analysis of Narratives," "Textual Analysis: Poe's Valdemar" and "Death of the Author"

Oct. 18     Umberto Eco. Six Walks in the Fictional Woods

Nietzsche's Legacy/Deconstruction

Oct 25     Michel Foucault. "What is an Author?", "The Thought of the Outside", "Different Spaces/Of Other Spaces", "Nietzsche,Genealogy, History"

Nov. 01     Jacques Derrida. Of Grammatology and Rogues

Nov. 08     Shoshana Felman. "Turning the Screw of Interpretation"


Nov. 15     Jacques Lacan's Return to Freud. The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis

Nov. 22     Fredric Jameson. The Political Unconscious

Nov. 29     Slavoj Zizek. Looking Awry. An Introduction to Jacques Lacan through Popular Culture

Dec. 06     Mladen Dolar. A Voice and Nothing More, "Beyond Interpellation"

Philosophy and Literature

Dec. 13.     Stanley Cavell. "Othello and the Stake of the Other"

Dec. 20     Stanley Cavell. "The Importance of Importance: Philadelphia Story"

Books you may want to consult; reading them in their entirety is not a requirement:

Roland Barthes. A Barthes Reader. Ed. Susan Sontag. Hill and Wang 1982.
---. Image – Music – Text. Hill and Wang 1978.

Andrew Bennet and Nicholas Royle. Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory. Pearson and Longman 1995.

Stanley Cavell. Disowning Knowledge in Six Plays of Shakespeare. Cambridge University Press 1987.
-- Pursuits of Happiness. Harvard University Press. 1981

Jacques Derrida. Of Grammatology. Johns Hopkins University Press 1974.
---. Rogues. Two Essays on Reason. Stanford UP 2004.

Mladen Dolar. A Voice and Nothing More. MIT Press 2006
---. "Beyond Interpellation." Qui Parle 6.2. 1993.
---. "'I Shall Be With You On Your Wedding Night': Lacan and the Uncanny." October 58, Fall 1991.

Umberto Eco. Six Walks in the Fictional Woods. Harvard University Press 1994.

Shoshana Felman. Literature and Psychoanalysis. The Question of Reading: Otherwise. Johns Hopkins University Press 1977.

Michel Foucault. Essential Works. Aesthetics. Penguin 2000.
---. The History of Sexuality. An Introduction, Vol.1. Vintage 1990.

Sigmund Freud. "Triebe und Triebschicksale," "Psychologie des Unbewussten", "Das Unheimliche" und Das Unbehagen in der Kultur. In: Gesammelte Werke in 18 Bänden, Fischer 1999.

Fredric Jameson. The Political Unconscious. Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act. Methuen 1981.

Jacques Lacan. The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis. Norton 1973.

Martin McQuillan. The Narrative Reader. Routledge 2000.

Friedrich Nietzsche. Zur Genealogie der Moral. Kröner 1991.

Slomith Rimmon-Kenan. "The Paradoxical Status of Repetion." Poetics Today 1.4, 1980.

Tzvetan Todorov. The Poetics of Prose. Cornell University Press 1977.

Slavoj Zizek. Looking Awry. An Introduction to Jacques Lacan through Popular Culture. MIT Press 1991.

The following films will keep returning in the course of the lecture:

George Cukor's Philadelphia Story (1940)
David Lynch's Twin Peaks. The Series (1990-91)
Marc Forster's Stranger than Fiction (2006)
David Fincher's Zodiac (2007)