Acts of Reading
Title first published in 2003. 'Weber is probably the only person in his generation who is equally at home in and directly informed about contemporary literary theory and its antecedents in Germany, France, and the US. His theoretical interest in psychoanalysis serves as a viewpoint from which a powerful combination of philosophical, linguistic, and political concerns are brought together in an uncommonly productive dialectical interplay' Paul de Man This book presents the first introductory text examining the work of the contemporary thinker, Samuel Weber. Accessible, compelling and challenging, Weber's writing offers a rewarding investigation into the connections between literary and cultural studies, media and technology, and philosophy and aesthetics, in the context of significant intellectual debates and developments linking Europe and North America. The critical practice of Weber's various texts is explored in detail, along with his studies in philosophy, aesthetics, deconstruction, media, technology, psychoanalysis and theatre.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; Introduction: Samuel Weber: acts of reading; Debts: to and of psychoanalysis (among others); Reinterpreting the institution; The place of technics; Theatricality; Conclusion: taking leave; Interview: responding: a discussion with Samuel Weber; Bibliography; Index.
'For several decades, Samuel Weber has meticulously reconfigured such diverse fields as psychoanalysis, the nature of institutions, the literary, aesthetics, the political and, above all perhaps, the notion of the "field" itself. The breadth of his work has had the ironic effect of rendering it less visible than it might be, something Simon Morgan Wortham's study now rectifies. This book makes a significant addition to the continuing reaffirmation of deconstruction.' Timothy Clark, University of Durham 'Samuel Weber's large body of work has long deserved serious, sustained commentary. Simon Morgan Wortham's remarkable study sets a benchmark that will not soon be overtaken by future responses to this challenging thinker. With great skill, it brings out the connections among Weber's principal concerns - institution, theatricality, reading, technics, jokes - while giving generous play throughout to Weber's far-reaching analysis of interpretive performance. It is fitting and fortunate that the work of one of the most important contemporary practitioners of psychoanalytic and deconstructive interpretation should itself have found such an able, alert, and witty interpreter.' Peggy Kamuf, University of Southern California 'Close, rigorous and wide-ranging - an excellent exploration of the "dislocating movements" of Weber's work; like Weber himself, Simon Morgan Wortham pushes conventional scholarly writing to that point at which it is more nearly a kind of dream-thinking.' John Schad, University of Loughborough