The Subject and the Text: Essays on Literary Theory and Philosophy

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The work of the German philosopher Manfred Frank has profoundly affected the direction of the contemporary debate in many areas of philosophy and literary theory. This present collection, first published in 1998, brings together some of his most important essays, on subjects as diverse as Schleiermacher's hermeneutics, the status of the literary text, and the response to the work of Derrida and Lacan. Frank shows how the discussions of subjectivity in recent literary theory fail to take account of important developments in German Idealist and Romantic philosophy. The prominence accorded language in literary theory and analytic philosophy, he claims, ignores key arguments inherited from Romantic hermeneutics, those which demonstrate that interpretation is an individual activity never finally governed by rules. Andrew Bowie's introduction situates Frank's work in the context of contemporary debates in philosophy and literary theory.