The ontological turn: Philosophical sources of american literary theory

Inquiry 45 (1):3 – 33 (2002)
Abstract
The most important sources of contemporary American literary theory are neither the linguistics-based movement of French structuralism, as the term 'poststructuralism' implies, nor a 'modernity' that has been superseded, as the term 'postmodernism' implies, but rather a modernist tradition of aesthetics shaped by eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century German romanticism and idealism, movements that culminated in the work of Heidegger during the Weimar period between the World Wars and afterward, exercising an increasingly dominant influence on French theorists after World War II, from Sartre through Derrida, and subsequently on the development of poststructuralism and postmodernism during the 1970s and 1980s in the United States. This essay strives to put well-accepted facts and issues within what Wittgenstein called a 'perspicuous' perspective. Although it is common to observe that deconstruction shares with Romanticism certain very general features, the same judgment is not often applied to deconstruction's semiotic account of language as a system of arbitrary signs without positive values. The essay's claim, by contrast, is that romanticist, especially German influences, operating in complementary relation with influences from the English and French Enlightenments, provided the cultural and conceptual milieu in which literary theory's distinctively modern, characteristically ontological, and anti-metaphysical view of language developed.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 12,084
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

9 ( #165,606 of 1,101,878 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

8 ( #34,086 of 1,101,878 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.