Analysis of literature and culture abounds in modern scholarship, customarily written in the familiar language of literary theory. Though the terminology today seems (more or less) straightforward, this was not always the case. The propositions for a new and active understanding of “text,” put forward in the 1960s by theorists like Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida, profoundly influenced contemporary critical thought and were unnerving to many.
This book examines how a divergent school of literary and cultural studies created French Theory, appropriated its ideas about text and texuality and altered the landscape of debate in mainstream academic discourse. The author traces the standardization of a once “rebellious” poststructuralism and presents contemporary critical thinking that questions the assumptions of “Theory.”