Readings: Acts of Close Reading in Literary Theory

Through a series of short essays, Readings traces the consideration given to the act of close reading in literary criticism and theory over the last thirty years. Focusing on short passages from a number of critical works, including those by Barthes, Cixous, de Man, Derrida, Foucault, Kristeva, Lacan and J. Hillis Miller amongst others, the essays enact close readings of the trope of reading - its movements and performances in each of the passages in question - so as to offer a more detailed comprehension of the nature of reading, and the ways in which critical thinking has transformed our understanding of what it means to read. Readings addresses in a lively and engaging manner the varying rhythms and articulations made possible through the careful tracing of the process of critical reading which literary theory has made available.