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Whatever else subjects are, they are actors caught up an indefinite number of intersecting performances. This is as evident in the workings of literary texts as it is in the dramas of everyday life. Indeed, the issue of subjectivity as performance in literary texts addresses fundamental semiotic issues pertaining to how literary texts work. None are more fundamental than these three: how do we as readers no less than authors make meaning from signs, how do we relate literary texts to the various worlds in which they are—or simply might be—located, and how do our various modes of engagement with literary texts affect the ways we make meaning in what is often called the life-world? At the outset I will provide a working definition of subjectivity, a manifestly protean term, crafted specifically for the task at hand, which is to explore the relationship in literary texts between subjectivity and performativity. I will then turn to a detailed examination of the various ways in which subjectivity is actually enacted or performed in two contemporary works, Carol Shields’ The Stone Diaries and Paul Auster’s The Invention of Solitude, particularly focusing on diagrammatic figurations and dramatic positionings.
|Item Type:||Book Section, refereed, original work|
|Communities & Collections:||06 Faculty of Arts > English Department|
|DDC:||820 English & Old English literatures|
|Deposited On:||03 Nov 2009 14:18|
|Last Modified:||04 Apr 2012 12:58|
|Publisher:||Cambridge Scholars' Press|
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