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By Pierre Macherey

Who is extra very important: the reader, or the author? initially released in French in 1966, Pierre Macherey’s first and most renowned paintings, A conception of Literary Production dared to problem perceived knowledge, and fast confirmed him as a pivotal determine in literary thought. The reissue of this paintings as a Routledge vintage brings a few radical principles to a brand new viewers, and argues persuasively for a unconditionally new manner of analyzing. As such, it's an important paintings for somebody attracted to the advance of literary theory.

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Example text

The work is not what it appears to be. This proposition is worth considering, even though it may have no theoretical value (because it depends on an ideological distinction between realities and appearances): all the more so because, at a different level entirely, the idea may appear in the discourse of the writer himself, within the work, and not only in the discourse of the critic. The idea may thus be detached from its ideological context, receiving a different value and meaning, though never constituting a knowledge.

To turn the page is also to climb over the wall, or to stop finally at its foot. This is why reading is an adventure in which we experience the inevitable as a surprise, and vice versa. The narrative compels, just as the protagonist is compelled by circumstances within the story. This compulsion demonstrates that the language 'spoken' by the writer is not quite the same as that which we use ordinarily, where there is no such manifest necessity (even if its laws are hardly known). It would be a mistake to say that literature is a 43 Some Elementary Concepts new language (there is, in the strict sense, only one language; it is the peculiarity of Hegelian aesthetics to reduce all forms of expression to a language).

Now, at present I am in the position of these same readers, for I hold in this hand several threads of one of the strangest cases which ever perplexed a man's brain, and yet I lack the one or two which are needful to complete my theory. , p. 440) Indeed, the text will not hesitate to produce them in order to give them to him. More examples could be produced, but they would not add anything to these texts, which are absolutely remarkable in themselves: though provided, once again, that they are not taken too seriously, and that we see the trap which they represent.

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