Style In Theory: Between Literature And Philosophy by Ivan Callus and James Corby

57568810d7c28cb.jpg Author Ivan Callus and James Corby
Isbn 9781441122186
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Year 2012
Pages 288
Language English
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Category philosophy


ty e in Th ory Between Literature and Philosophy /:,~\ Edited by Ivan Callus James Corby Gloria Lauri-Lucente BLOOMSBURY LONDON' NEW DELHI' NEW YORK' SYDNEY : Bloomsbury Academic An imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Pic 175 Fifth Avenue New York NY 10010 USA 50 Bedford Square London WC1B 3DP UK First published 2013 © Ivan Callus, James Corby, Gloria Lauri-Lucente, and contributors, 2013 Ali rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electranic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without prior permission in writing fram the publishers. No responsibility for loss caused to any individual or organization acting on or refraining from action as a result of the material in this publication can be accepted by Bloomsbury Academic or the author. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A catalog record for this book is available at the Library of Congress. ISBN: HB: 978-1-4411-2218-6 PB: 978-1-4411-2893-5 Typeset by Newgen Imaging Systems Pvt Ltd, Chennai, India Printed and bound in the United States of America CONTENTS Acknowledgments VIl Introduction: Style in theory: Between literature and philosophy 1 Ivan Callus, James Corby, and Gloria Lauri-Lucente 1 Style as polemics 19 Giuseppe Mazzotta 2 Petrarch and the birth of style in the Collatio laureationis and the Familiares 31 Gloria Lauri-Lucente 3 Style, rhetoric, and identity in Shakespearean soliloquy 49 Stuart Sillars 4 Style and history in Diderot and Winckelmann 71 Saul Anton 5 Nietzsche, style, body Douglas Burnham 6 Crimes against fecundity: Style and crime, from Joyce to Poe and back 111 Jean-Michel Rabaté 91 CONTENTS vi 7 Style and arrogance: The ethics of Heidegger's st Yle 141 Chris Mû Uer 8 Style is the man: Meillassoux, Heidegger, and finitude 163 James Corby 9 Style in communication: The hip swing of Hélio Oiticica's Parangolés 187 Fiona Hughes 10 St!le-in-deconstruction Laurent Milesi 11 "This song to come, this reader to become": The style of paradoxical anachrony in Blanchot's "René Char" 249 Mario Aquilina 12 V for style: Gilles Deleuze on a mobile cusp 269 Marie- Dominique Garnier 13 Styling theory à la mode cixousienne Janice Sant 14 Theory ... for life Stefan Herbrechter 15 Learning to style finally: Lateness in the ory Ivan CaUus Notes on contributors Index 353 348 217 287 303 323 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The list is one of the most styleless forms around-readers of Umberto Eco's The Infinity al Lists might, conceivably, disagreebut we are content to resort to it here in acknowledging the invaluable help of those who in one way or another hav~ contributed to the various events and discussions that have driven our work on the place of style in theory for the la st three years: Catherine Belsey, Arthur Bradley, Stella Borg-Barthet, Saviour Catania, Simon Critchley, Tony Fisher, Maria Frendo, Arleen Ionescu, Josef Lauri, Francesco Marroni, Joseph Muscat, Peter Vassallo. In Bloomsbury, Haaris Naqvi has been unfailingly available and helpful. We have benefitted hugely from his advice and expertise in every stage of the collection's preparation, as we have also from that of Srikanth Srinivasan, James Tupper, and Ally Jane Grossan, whom we thank for their patience and care during the work on the proofs and on the rest of the production process. We have had long and rich exchanges with all the contributors in this volume on style, theory, literature, philosophy, and the spaces in between. Their commitment to the project has been unstinting, and we are grateful for their enthusiasm, support, and patience, not to mention their style in practice. Special thanks go to Mario Aquilina and Janice Sant, for the graciousness and care lavished in their additional help with the editing, and for their amazing good humor. Thanks, too, to Vanessa Psaila, for her help with various aspects of the manuscript. Lucienne Bugeja, Liz Groves, and Maria Muscat helped with various practicalities in our meetings on style in theory over the last three years. To Anne-Marie, Antoinette, Benjamin, Helena, Joe-thanks for putting up with it. -Ivan Callus, James Corby, and Gloria Lauri-Lucente Introduction Style in theory: Between literature and philosophy How should an Introduction to a volume on "style in theory" be framed? Inevitably, its frame, its framing, cannot serve containment. The essays it prefaces will neither capture style, which is famously indefinable and elusive, nor settle the ory into any comfort zone, whether between literature and philosophy or elsewhere. The matter is not helped by theory being a discourse and a discipline about which the jury is out, busy debating whether the ory is-some would say "was" -a distinct discourse or discipline in the first place. It is uncertain whether the credibility lies with those bystanders testifying that the ory is de ad or, instead, with those witnesses affirming that it is still very much alive, though perhaps leading a different existence. Not, then, an auspicious start. Let us make it worse, by contending that literary theory has never tended to bother much with style anyway. It is possible to twist and turn, and to nuance and disclaimwhich would itself be very much in the style of theory, this tactic being one of the mannerisms, or stylized gestures, of theory that we recognize and which are, manifestly, already taking over this Introduction-but it looks like the contention can stand. Style, as the very aspect of expression which theory might be presumed to be weIl primed to investigate-especially since one cannot expect other disciplines to do that work-is that which the ory has not, in fact, really investigated. Uninterested, broadly speaking, in any props provided by the protocols of stylistics or the algorithms of stylometers, theory ranks style lower in its priorities than aesthetics, politics, or ethics (to mention vaster concerns), or issues like 2 STYLE IN THEORY those raised by "code," the "matheme," "the question of the animal," or, simply, "life," to mention more specifie topoi that have recently attracted significant attention (see, for instance, Hayles 2006; Badiou 2007,1 Derrida 2008, Thacker 2010). Any doubts that theory is incurious when it cornes to "the question of style" (Nancy 2008, 18) are dispelled when one seeks to recall a major work on style written by the figures routinely referenced in commentaries on theory: Saussure, Propp, Bakhtin, Benjamin, Jakobson, Barthes, Althusser, Gadamer, Bataille, Foucault, Adorno, Lacan, Genette, de Man, Blanchot, Deleuze, Guattari, Lyotard, Derrida, Said, Kristeva, Jameson, Eagleton, lrigaray, Spivak, Baudrillard, Agamben, Bhabha, Cixous, Butler, Greenblatt, Zizek, Stiegler, Nancy, Badiou, and any other who might be added to this list (off catalogues like those provided, for instance, by Leitch et al., 2010). The effort of memory may be significant, but we think we are right in anticipating that the results of the recall will not be insuppressible. lndeed, the impression arises that it is not entirely certain that a concern with the elements of writing does not sit incongruously with some of those named. To be sure, there is the occasional study that counters that impression. Foucault's Death and the Labyrinth: The Work of Raymond Roussel (1987), or Derrida's Spurs: Nietzsche's Styles (1979) come to mind. Both go beyond the kind of closely analytical commentary that leaves "the question of style" largely incidental (arguably, this occurs even in texts like Deleuze's Proust and Signs [1973] or Barthes's S/Z [1975]). Ir is, of course, easy to protest that many of the figures in that li st have, ironically, produced individual texts or discrete bodies of work that bear analysis precisely on the basis of the distinctiveness or singularities of the style(s) that emerge(s) there. Ir can also be countered, as is seen below, that the ory is as much about styles of thought as about styles of expression. But we think that our contention is viable. For though the counterresponses anticipated here may motivate the slightly more thoughtful but still defiant first sentence of our second paragraph, it remains hard not to conclude that style is what is ex-centric in theory. IInterestingly, however, Badiou has characterized his affiliation to mathematics in terms of style, favoring the "grand style," as opposed ta the "little style" (2004). INTRODUCTION 3 Is that terrible? WeIl, yes, up to a point. If literary theorists are not to talk about style, then who is? After aIl, it is quite odd for a discourse to downplay one of its natural objects of study. Indeed, an assumption that drives this book is that the differences that exist between literary criticism and literary theoryand, intuitively, there are quite a few, though we do not have the space here to explore either the contention or those differencesdo not include an inattention to rhetoricity. For it is easy to prove, of course, that the ory is compeIled by rhetoric. An attention to rhetoric, however-whether theory turns to it generally (Derrida 1982) or extendedly yet specifically, through considering or itself deploying devices like paragram (Kristeva 1969), allegory (de Man 1982), the punceptual (Ulmer 1988), and the diverse examples that Genette studies in relation to the "mimological" (1995) or, broadly, "figures" (see Genette 1966, 1969, 1972), aIl of which are open to becoming conceptualized and conceptualizing-is surely not quite the same as an attention to style. 50 does that attention arise more insistently in literary criticism-for instance in what Leo Spitzer, as a pioneer in stylistics, exemplified, if we can even agree that he is more a critic than a theorist-to confirm that style is indeed ex-centric in theory? To put it hyperbolically: is theory definable by its relative indifference to style? It would be ironie, of course, if that were so, as there is much within theory that speaks insistently on the importance of attention to "the remainder," or reste, which is "not amenable to reason or any form of calculation" (Miller 2009, 78). Hence, if style, in its own candidacy for consideration as a remainder, is ex-centric to theory, what emerges there is the intractability of the relation between theory and style and how vexatious style is to theory. Theory could on this account be presumed to garner interest in style in the wake of aIl the auditing of aIl the rhetorical resourcefulness of a text. Once stylistics is done, one could say, then theory might stir itself toward style. And yet we might possibly need to say "yes": theory is definable by its indifference to style, at least if the subtext of the title of Jonathan Culler's important collection of essays, The Literary in Theory (2007), is anything to go by. For the charge that theory is not even very interested in literature, let alone style, is of course an idea that has long had currency (see, for instance, Steiner 1989), though CuIler confirms that "[t]he eclipse of literature in theory is a very recent phenomenon" (Culler 2007, 4 STYLE IN THEORY 5; emphasis added). Our own subtitle to this collection of essays, Bet-ween Literature and Philosophy, further suggests that theory's conflicted nature over its disciplinary (dis)affiliations must find itself reflected in where it stands on style, both in terms of its own shaping and in view of its ambivalence over its readiest gravitations. Style might bear an established relation to the literary-there is a "but" developing in this paragraph, to be marked below-and the genealogies of that relation are, indeed, traced in various essays in this book, even as they acknowledge that Barthes's Writing Degree Zero (1984) was striking in its time precisely because it overturned assumptions on the necessity of that relation and suggested that the literary can also be styleless. Indeed: the literary, clearly, is not reducible to style, which is itself irreducible, for style is a remainder which eludes critical protocols, while being necessarily constitutive of other discourses too. Culler's judicious observations are more vital still. "What we call theory for short," he says, "is manifestly not theory of literature, despite the fact that theory has served as the nickname for 'literary and cultural theory'" (Culler 2007, 4). If that is so-and here is the "but" emerging irrepressibly--then the question of literary style, and possibly even style tout court, cannot be expected to be prominent in theory. If we are to speak of style in theory, therefore, it seems that literature cannot be expected to be central to that debate. Style has already slipped beyond literature's framing to lie between it and something else. Yet it is interesting to observe, as that is absorbed, that it otherwise seems inescapable that criticism must continue to privilege literary style, this being enduringly presumed to be the instantiation of style that will most completely exercise analysis, at least where writing is concerned. Whereupon it is intriguing that if "the resistance to theory" is/ was relatable to "the resistance to the use of language about language" and to "the univers a 1theory of the impossibility of theory" (de Man 1986, 19-20)-so that the resistance to theory is also a resistance to the attention to style-then the language (or style) in question is again not cast, there, as inevitably literature's. AlI the rest, then, is not literature-or not about literary style, at any rate, even or especially in theory's attention to what remains when aIl else has been accounted for. As texts like Allegories of Reading, Blindness and Insight, or Aesthetic ldeology show, de Man tended to read philosophy when he was not reading literature (Pascal, Hegel, Kant, Rousseau, Schiller, INTRODUCTION 5 Nietzsche, Heidegger). That can be said of many included in the long list of theorists above, a good number of whom are in fact more classifiable as philosophers than anything else. It is one of the reasons, in fact, why philosophy is accorded such a prominent role in the essays in this volume. But just to make things more uncertain and our subtitle potentially dissatisfying, theOl'y finds itself situated between and across various discourses, not just literature and philosophy. Linguistics, theology, psychoanalysis, cultural studies-to mention a few-could aIl figure there. In an earlier book, Culler had made that point. "Writings from outside the field of literary studies," he wrote, "have been taken up by people in literary studies because their analyses of language, or mind, or history, or culture, offer new and persuasive accounts of textual and cultural matters . . . . The genre of 'theory' includes works of anthropology, art history, film studies, gender studies, linguistics, philosophy, political theory, psychoanalysis, science studies, social and intellectual history, and sociology" (1997, 3--4). In that respect, the apparent downplaying in our subtitle of linguistics and popular culture when considering the question of style in theory seems particularly poorly judged. Culler himself has always been at pains to show the importance of both. Structuralist Poetics (1975) put in the foreground the importance of linguistics to the rise of (structuralist) theory. The natural progression, it could be presumed, is to go with cognitive stylistics or with cultural studies, about which more below. Significantly, The Literary in Theory has an important essay on "Doing Cultural Studies" (240-53). Why, then, have we converged on literature and philosophy in considering style in theOl-Y, when theory is "an unbounded group of writings about everything under the sun" (Culler 1997, 3)? Might it have been better to approach "style in theory" in terms of what style cou Id hypothetically and more diversely be? And where, to draw a further obvious objection, is politics in aIl this? What are the politics of theory's style(s)? More fundamentally still, has the ory thought about its own style(s)? Has it been autotelic, self-referential, metatheoretical in that respect--or has it disregarded its own challenge to itself, the challenge of its own style(s)? Let us proceed carefully, on the basis of five broad points that in our view need to be addressed in reaction to those questions. (1) Style in Theory and Literary Studies. We shall keep to literature and literary studies for just a while longer in the first of our 6 STYLE IN THEORY five points. Style's relative neglect in literary theory, we might want to say, is both understandable and regrettable. It is understandable because critique, we notice, has always edged away from narrowing foci on the signature rhetoric and writing of the author, text, or corpus that is inferred thereby. A life in letters has rarely been enough-even to a reclus ive scholar like Petrarch who, like Cicero and Quintilian before him, extended his gaze to law, government, politics, diplomacy, religion and much else besides. It can hardly be surprising that critique itself strays beyond close scrutiny of the textures of expression and of the fabrics of reception and appreciation they weave to work also (rather than instead) with broader clotho A De re publica is always li able to emerge from the same pen that produced a De oratore. Scholars of writing have, indeed, always worked to retain affiliation to the traditions of criticism while shaping them away from any presumption that style, tone, or rhetoric ought to be naturally privileged. Style, then, was never quite an overriding concern in literary criticism. Theory is not flouting any trends there. If, however, this is regrettable, it is to the extent that inattention to style may have grown disproportionate. A strong expression of that suspicion can be found in the work of the late Frank Kermode, who se work has the rare ability to resonate powerfully with literary critics of different persuasions. Kermode, it is weIl to recaIl, was not averse to the ways of theory. As Michael Payne noted in an interview with him, Kermode had "cautious investments in literary theory," and "his book Shakespeare's Language . .. suggests that theory and poetry have more in common than we often admit" (Kermode 2003,53 and 55). As it happens, however, Shakespeare's Language reacts to a situation where "Every other aspect of Shakespeare is studied almost to death, but the fact that he was a poet has somehow dropped out of consideration" (2000, vii). Kermode writes to counter "modern critics, who on the whole seem to have little time for [Shakespeare's] language; they tend to talk past it in technicalities or down to it in arcanely expressed platitudes" (vii). The scarcely veiled target is theory and its habituaI modes and stylesof thought, as much as of expression. Kermode's fear is that "in the end you can't get rid of Shakespeare without abolishing the very notion of literature" (viii). Self-evidently wishing to safeguard both, he runs very closely together concerns with-and loyalties to-Ianguage, Shakespeare, and the value of literary culture, and INTRODUCTION 7 regrets that "Shakespeare's words" are "only rarely invoked" in contemporary critical approaches (viii). He does so in a bookShakespeare's Language-which, he tells Payne, was "an attempt at writing for both academics and the general reader" (2003, 61): an endeavor one would not think to impute to theory. Kermode demonstrates evident wistfulness over "the aesthetic [being] out of fashion" (2003, 57). Value, then, and "the concept of organic unit y" remain a concern to Kermode, who reiterates that "we've suffered a bit from the condemnation of the aesthetic as an ideology" (52), a point renewed by Catherine Belsey recently when she expresses the regret, this time of someone more avowedly "theoretical," that pleasure in literary criticism is not accorded greater space (2011, passim). The effects of that on the attitude to style in theory are discernible in the not insignificant fact that the terms stylish, stylishness, or stylishly occur very rarely in these pages. Clearly, it was not enough that as editors we consider them to be terms of approbation and that we are partial to what they designate. The theoretical unconscious, evidently, is a powerful thing, and in more than one sense its operations makes it difficult to have the measure of style, in theory or elsewhere. At stake is an issue that Kermode cannily flags up without specifying style in theory directly. It concerns a certain kind of deadening stylization in theory, which then makes it timely to conduct an "autopsy" of literary criticism: There's a nice little book, by a man called Mark Bauerlein, in which he gives a list of certain expressions which recur in modern theoretical discussion; he simply asks what they mean, and wh ether the people who are using them have any idea what they me an, or whether there isn't a kind of bandwagon of jargon terms which people help themselves to (apologies for the mixed metaphor) and coast along simply by using this language. (66-7; see Bauerlein 1997) This reflects the perception that "style in them"y" is an almost oxymoronic phrase. It is one thing to speak about the "construction"a word, incidentally, that Kermode (2003, 67) mentions as one of the "expressions" queried by Bauerlein-of style in theory, and quite another to look for style and stylishness in theory. That is particularly so if theory cornes across, instead, as a discourse that 8 STYLE IN THEORY exemplifies a line in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Theory, sorne would aver, is "tied down to a language which makes up in obscurity what it lacks in style" (Stoppard 1967, 77). Style, however, is present in aIl manner of ways in the ory and in literary studies, as the essays in this volume attest. In any case, it is hardly consistent to bemoan the perceived diminution of value in literary studies, and then not move to acknowledge what there is of value in theory when it cornes to considering style. These essays, this framing introduction will assert, do that. And they do so in a manner that pays attention to theory being "between literature and philosophy," in ways considered below. (2) Style in Theory and Philosophy. Can the ory be stylish, or at least style-aware, is what we are asking, and what might there be of value in that? And how can the ory afford style at aIl, when it is so invested in philosophy? The difficulty is the perceived incompatibility in the style of thought of the two discourses. Again, let us proceed slowly. In an almost too well-known response to a question of Derek Attridge, Derrida once said that "[s]till now, and more desperately than ever, 1 dream of a writing that would be neither philosophy nor literature, nor even contaminated by one or the other, while still keeping-I have no desire to abandon this-the memory of literature and philosophy" (1992, 73). This "dream" is a particularly influential poststructuralist attribute within theory, it must be said. Its effects are not necessarily discoverable in the other constituencies of theOl'y, like (to give another list) formalist approaches, structuralism, New Historicism, feminism, queer theory, Marxism and post-Marxism, ecocriticism, reception-oriented approaches, postcolonialism, or posthumanism. But since it is poststructuralism that bears arguably the close st affiliation to philosophy, it is there that we might need to trace the issues that arise concerning the ory when it finds itself between literature and philosophy. The between suggested in Derrida's dream weighs heavily on the ory and on this volume's project as weIl, and not only because of our subtitle. The thrust toward liminality, hybridity, inbetweenness, and their valorization is among the readiest-one might say "stylized" -reflexes of theory. It complements performative and quasi- or crypto-literary writing in sorne of the texts of theory, which sorne will find inventive and others, admittedly, tiresome. In that sense, "style in theOl'y," yes-or literary style, in the ory. INTRODUCTION 9 The difficulty, however, is that given current vicissitudes in the academy, theory is "out of style" and perhaps, too, out of that style more particularly. "High theory," for which one might read this version of poststructuralism and its "dense mixing of styles" (Kamuf 1985, 11), is certainly precarious. That, too, is something the bystanders say. But in a more fundamental manner-one less subject to changing fashions-style will always have been out of style. Style, in this sense, marks a faultline in the history of Western thought and culture that can be traced back to Plato and beyond. That faultline-and it is precisely one of style-is, putatively, between philosophy and poetry, or literature. On one side is philosophy's relative disregard for style in its overriding pursuit of truth, and on the other is poetry's--literature's-all-consuming interest in style, even-perhaps especially-at the expense of truth. This is, of course, too conveniently styled a story to rise above the level of caricature. But over the years, and as a result of what theory inclines to-in its dreams-that story has been sufficiently pervasive and compelling to give shape to "theory" as the discourse that emerged out of the faultline of style, between literature and philosophy. According to that account, theory is a miscegenated, polymorphous discourse that actively resists the aporias of style, refusing to recognize the traditional division of intellectuai labor of philosophy and literature. Style would therefore be nothing less than the exorbitant atopos or non-lieu of theory. Theory, then, has always been simultaneously in and out of style, and, like style-this, at least is the story it has most commonly told itself-.ït exists in sharpest relief as the between of literature and philosophy. But what of style-in theory-today? And what of theory-out of style-today? If the preceding account of the ory and style as the interstices of philosophy and literature is at best a thumbnail sketch, how much more suspiciously should it be considered in the context of the humanities' supposedly posttheoretical present? These issues are responded to below. Before we go there, however, let us note that in an essay that takes, as its tide, "AU the Rest is Literature," Jean-Luc Nancy comments that "[t]he misfortune of a dreadful style in writing has befallen more than one philosopher-perhaps aIl of them" (Nancy 2008, 17). Philosophy is the discourse without style, as "the philosopher writes badly, and sometimes he or she does nothing but scribble," in a different reflex that is "not an accident, but rather an infirmity 10 STYLE IN THEORY that is cosubstantial with and congenital to the exercise of philosophy" (17). Philosophy, indeed, is convinced that "truth demands a laborious science without style" (Nancy 2008, 61; emphasis in original): what in an essay called "Philosophical Style" (1997), Nancy refers to as "the ideal of an absence of style ... an infinitely sober prose that ultimately effaces itself in presentation" (1997, 20). Yet this is itself a stylistic judgment and it is precisely what leads to an inbetweenness between philosophy and literature, to an oscillation between the two discourses. The dynamic is inescapable: [O]ne must already possess in advance the aesthetic and literary categories that enable one to assess a style, or a lack or absence of it. In other words, one has to be in possession of literature. Literature can, in effect, either weIl subordinate philosophy to itself as a genre and bring to bear on it the only kind of judgment that does not arise from philosophical decision, or it can altogether exclu de philosophy from its domain, from style. But in order to make use of this notion of literature, and in order to delineate either of these partitions [partages], one needs philosophy. (Nancy 2008, 17-18, emphasis in original) Theory is the discourse with the most developed attention to these oscillations, and in this sense "theory" names the response to the "need" felt at-and as-"the end of philosophy" for "another style" (1997, 19). Perhaps it is only in theory's attentiveness to the radicality of that demand-which in effect (though in more than mere effects) and precisely out of (and as) fidelity to "the question of style" (19) calls for an absolute indifference to any "ideal or model of 'style'" (21)-that the between of literature and philosophy can, in "renewed tension ... turning style against style" (21), resist the temptations of complacency. And this is why any review of style in the ory must be as much about philosophy as about literature, as the essays in this volume collectively are, for the y understand that the question of style is as philosophical as it is literary. But that does, rather, raise the question of what stylistics, then, must do. (3) Style in Theory and Stylistics. Qu'est-ce que le style?, a collection of essays positioned in the French tradition of stylistique, includes the suggestion by Robert Martin that style has a "statut INTRODUCTION II préthéorique" (Martin 1994, 13). Style, whether approached in its larger meaning or in the narrower sense of literary style, corresponds to a pretheoretical "intuition" (13) that escapes the moment one attempts to contain it. This is a simple enough point, but it rings true and it is important. It is not encountered as pregnantly in the critical, philosophical, or theoretical writings on style as one might think. Even in Martin, it is something of a stray remark. More crucially here, it is an admission from within stylistics that style will forever remain irreducible to its protocols: elusive and indefinable, as was acknowledged at the start of this Introduction. Its consequence, Martin argues, is that the passage from the pretheoretical to the theoretical can only proceed as a function of established conceptions in language and in the fundamentals of aesthetics (13). It is the equivalent, within stylistics, of the idea expressed by Nancy that one "has to be in possession of literature" to attend to style, the question of which will always have been posed within philosophy-this putatively styleless discourse-already. Style, therefore, is pretheoretical, but it perhaps can only be noticed as such in post-theory. Style, we condude, is between and after the non-moment and the moment of theory: always there, before theory; never quite there, never quite in theory, for it is always beyond it. This, however, is not the style of stylistics. Style has different disciplinary identities, different linguistic identities, even different national identities. It is always in passage, in movement, in translation. In this volume we have tried to be diligent in marking those trajectories and cross-identities, and in translating religiously wherever needed but keeping the original visible. One identity we have not rendered, however, is the style of cognitive stylistics, which, we think, has drifted past Martin's "intuition" even while it proposes "the notion that meaning is embodied, and that mind and body are continuous; the notion that categorisation is a feature of prototype effects, so that categories are provisional, situationally dependent and socio-culturally grounded in embodiment too; and the notion that language and its manifestations in reading and interpretation is a natural, evolved and univers al trait in humans, continuous with other perceptual and tactile experience of the environment" (Stockwell 2007). This is not quite the style in theory, or the style of theory-and yet, why should it be? Cognitive stylistics brings the idea of "mind style" (see Fowler 1977) to intersections with the (pre-)(con)textual in interesting enough ways, especially in the 12 STYLE IN THEORY midst of "the cognitive turn" (Toolan and Weber, 2005). If theory is such a miscellany, as Culler said, can it not also embrace this, especially since the emphasis on context there brings style back to the political? Definitely-but, in this book, we have kept to one style of approach, in expectation of synthesizing work in other contexts. (4) Style in Theory and Polities. On that question of style and the political, or the polemical, we shall not say much, confident that the first essay in this collection has sorne rather compelling things to say about it and that a number of the essays here are aware that "style maps a will onto a world" (see van Eck, McAllister and van de Vall 1995, 19). The study of style may, admittedly, be overwritten by a political unconscious (see Jameson 2002). It would be quite a witless response to style, however, to think that a preoccupation with it is, tendentially, apolitical, when so much about style is about suasion, about the shaping of expression that, whether deliberately or otherwise, is canny about ethos, pathos, logos, and the beguilements that lie between rhetoric and effect. And, furthermore, it would be to ignore Rancière's Schillerian suggestion that it is precisely style's elusiveness, its self-sufficient "unavailability" (2009, 34) or "indifference" (e.g. 2009, 28-40; 2011, 138), that announces the "radical separation of the sensorium of art" (2009,40) and preserves a considerable metapolitical potency. Style, then, in theory and beyond, is political. And, to that extent, an attention to style in theory must be timely. It responds to the times. (5) Style in The01'y and Contemporary Culture. We have seen above how style in theory may need to wonder whether theory is out of style. What is certain is that the style in theory as this might be "constructed" in deconstructive hegemonies has been complemented (rather than supplemented) by positions that superadd themselves to theory's constituencies. In the process, they move the debate on, but it is doubtful if they quite change style in theory. Rancière's Mute Speech, for instance, retains the "alembicated style" of theory (Rockhill 2011, 25), and it is not only because of that that it is recognizable as a theoretieal performance, for it positions itself, once more, "between literature and philosophy." At the same time, it is evidently perturbed, though it would perhaps be good for it to be more so. "The age of literature," Rancière writes, "is not only the age of war between forms of writing" (114); quite in the style of theory, however, he remains in writing,

Author Ivan Callus and James Corby Isbn 9781441122186 File size 19 MB Year 2012 Pages 288 Language English File format PDF Category Philosophy Book Description: FacebookTwitterGoogle+TumblrDiggMySpaceShare ‘What, in theory, is style? How has style been rethought in literary theory?’ Drawing together leading academics working within and across the disciplines of English, philosophy, literary theory, and comparative literature, Style in Theory: Between Philosophy and Literature sets out to rethink the important but all-too-often-overlooked issue of style, exploring in particular how the theoretical humanities open conceptual spaces that afford and encourage reflection on the nature of style, the ways in which style is experienced and how style allows disciplinary boundaries to be both drawn and transgressed. Offering incisive reflections on style from a diverse and contemporary range of theoretical and methodological perspectives, the essays contained in this volume critically revisit and challenge accepted accounts of style, and provide fresh and compelling readings of the relevance in any rethinking of style of specific works by the likes of Shakespeare, Petrarch, Kant, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Deleuze, Blanchot, Derrida, Nancy, Cixous and Meillassoux.     Download (19 MB) The Discourse of the Syncope: Logodaedalus Kant’s Inferentialism: The Case Against Hume The Highest Good in Kants Philosophy In a Materialist Way: Selected Essays Deleuze and Philosophy: The Difference Engineer Load more posts

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