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Marginalia: notes toward a science of the literary text Verdicchio, Massimo 1975

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MARGINALIA: Notes Toward a Science of the Literary Text by MASSIMO VERDICCHIO B.A., University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1969 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i i n the Program of Comparative Literature We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August, 1973 In presenting t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference and study. I f u r t h e r agree that permission f o r extensive copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my w r i t t e n permission. Department of C o u*. f» O ^ A & I A / C ^T^XCU^X. The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date Avuj^T 2-4 > i ABSTRACT The need for a science of the l i t e r a r y text i s created when a s t a r t l i n g number of c r i t i c a l theories succeed i n mystifying rather than i n c l a r i f y i n g the work of l i t e r a t u r e . The l i t e r a r y text disappears and i t i s replaced by one of i t s possible interpretations: certain aspects of the text are selected to serve as explanation for the whole,. Even i n more current c r i t i c a l trends the tendency i s to subordinate the l i t e r a r y text to the methodology and to view i t as one form of ex-pression i n an all-embracing typology of texts. In a l l of these cases the applied methodological canons are a l l foreign to the l i t e r a r y work i n that they were elaborated to explain objects other than l i t e r a t u r e . When these canons are u t i l i z e d to explain l i t e r a t u r e they are bound to give us only a p a r t i a l and unsatisfactory rendering of i t s r e a l complexity. To found a science of the l i t e r a r y text and to depart from the t r a d i t i o n a l c r i t i c a l approaches i t i s necessary f i r s t of a l l to define what i s a l i t e r a r y text and what i s t h i s l i t e r a r i n e s s which distinguishes i t from other texts. On these bases a methodology i s elaborated which i s proper only to the l i t e r a r y text and to no other object. The manner i n which we have attempted to approach the problem can be generally divided into two stages: deconstruction and reconstruction. The f i r s t stage indicates a process of demystification of the l i t e r a r y text byNmeans of a c r i t i q u e of the basic methodological assumptions of the more dominant and current c r i t i c a l trends. As a r e s u l t , the second i i stage points to the attempt to determine the laws which govern the production of the l i t e r a r y work: l i t e r a r y laws which underlie any l i t e r a r y work, an understanding of which i s necessary to the explication of l i t e r a t u r e . This double t h e o r e t i c a l undertaking can be more s p e c i f i c a l l y sub-divided into four parts: l ) Marginalia: a general c r i t i c a l account of the basic c r i t i c a l f a l l a c i e s of modern l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m ; 2) Theory: a d e f i n i t i o n of the l i t e r a r y text and of the laws which condition l i t e r a r y production; 3) Theoretical Practice: the elaboration of a c r i t i c a l methodology developed i n terms of l i t e r a r y laws; h) C r i t i c a l Practice: the p r a c t i c a l application of t h i s method to a contemporary novel. In consideration of the complexity and d i f f i c u l t y of the task we are aware of the l i m i t a t i o n s and of the inadequacies of our own t h e o r e t i c a l e f f o r t , and we cannot but present our findings as suggestions towards a future and more rigorous s c i e n t i f i c elaboration. The paper i t s e l f indicates where the major obstacles are to be found and what are the major f a l l a c i e s to be avoided. The main purpose of t h i s t h e s i s , for w r i t e r and reader a l i k e , i s then to contribute to a greater degree of c r i t i c a l s e l f - c l a r i f i c a -t i o n . i i i CONTENTS P a - g e Pre-Text I : An Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 I. Marginalia: The Uses and Abuses of C r i t i c a l L i t e r a r y Discourse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 I I . Theory: Toward a Science of the L i t e r a r y Text . . . . . ^1 I I I . Theoretical Practice: The Problems of a S c i e n t i f i c Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . 72 IV. C r i t i c a l Practice: An Example of the Application of the S c i e n t i f i c Method . . . . . . . . . . 89 Pre-Text I I : A Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I l l We abandoned the manuscript to the gnawing c r i t i c i s m of the mice a l l the more w i l l i n g l y as we had achieved our main purpose:- s e l f - c l a r i f i c a t i o n . Marx 1 The systematic development of tru t h i n s c i e n t i f i c form can alone he the true shape i n which tr u t h e x i s t s . Hegel, The Phenomenology of Mind PRE-TEXT I: AN INTRODUCTION This paper purports to examine major c r i t i c a l trends with the aim of establishing a science of the l i t e r a r y text. I t i s a r t i c u l a t e d i n terms of a d i a l e c t i c between the l i t e r a r y text and the cr i t i q u e s which have so f a r commented upon i t to exhibit the rel a t i o n s h i p between them and the text. The dialogue between the text and the c r i t i c becomes the organizing s t r u c t u r a l p r i n c i p l e of t h i s paper rather than a subdivision which paces the sequence of c r i t i c a l c r i t e r i a to be analysed. This dialogue i s ancient and the forms i t has taken have varied as much as the schools of thought that have succeeded each other to t h i s day. To enumerate and assess the contribution of each would be the task of a h i s t o r y of l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m which t h i s essay obviously cannot and does not want to be. We s h a l l t r y instead to approach the question from the point of view of the r e l a t i o n between the c r i t i c a l act and the l i t e r a r y text attempting to evaluate the former i n terms of the demands i t makes on the l i t e r a r y work and i n terms of i t s hermeneutical capacity to explain and evaluate the work i t s e l f . The reference to other c r i t i c a l texts w i l l be marginal 2 and always subordinated to the task of establishing a science of the l i t e r a r y text. The space where t h i s task and the conditions of i t s necessity are to be elaborated constitutes the text of t h i s paper which we refer to as Marginalia. This investigation i s of necessity at i t s early pre-textual stages of development and can only enumerate a series of c r i t i c a l positions to be adopted. I t s aim i s not only to determine the conditions of the pro-duction of the l i t e r a r y text but a l s o , and p r i m a r i l y , to overcome the obstacles created by previous types of analysis which have mystified not only the nature of the text but have blurred the r e l a t i o n between l i t e r a -ture and c r i t i c i s m . The elaboration of a theory cannot but be concurrent with a c r i t i q u e of the i d e a l i s t i c determinants of current l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m . The two are not separate moments of the exposition but c l e a r l y one and the same: deconstruction and construction. Idealism i n l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m p r i v i l e g e s one or more aspect of the t e x t , r a i s i n g i t to transcendental status, or conversely i t finds the text lacking i n essential structures and imports them from outside. In either case the text i s a mediating object for a p a r t i c u l a r c r i t i q u e , i n s u f f i c i e n t or excessive, as the case may be, saying too much or too l i t t l e , but never enough not to require interpretation. Interpretation, a t r u l y i m p e r i a l i s t i c enterprise of the " c r i t i c a l temper", i s the act of covering these lacunas with a language which i s the text's own (metalanguage) i n order to restore i t s harmony. The language of c r i t i c i s m supposedly reinstates the text to 'the status of 3 l i t e r a t u r e by determining, where there i s only incompleteness and apparent disorder, the impact of i t s latent s i g n i f i c a t i o n . The concept of p r i v i l e g e , as applied to the l i t e r a r y t e x t , indicates c l e a r l y the private law q u a l i t y of these c r i t i q u e s : a condition either necessitated by a determinate epistemology or by sporadic onto-theological discourse. A d e f i n i t i o n of l i t e r a r y text generated on these assumptions becomes evidence f o r i t s re c e p t i v i t y . To these private laws one cannot confer the status of theory, l e t alone of theory of l i t e r a t u r e . The theory of an object explains the laws which govern i t and d i f f e r e n t i a t e i t from others. I t e n t a i l s a d e f i n i t i o n of the scope and l i m i t s of the in q u i r y , the explication of the object of the investigation and of the r e l a t i o n between the two. To constitute the l i t e r a r y text as the object of a science, i t i s necessary to determine i t s s p e c i f i c i t y J i n what does i t d i f f e r from other t e x t s , i . e . i t s l i t e r a r i n e s s , and what conditions of production di s t i n g u i s h i t from other types of d i s -course such as the s c i e n t i f i c and the philosophical. These d i s t i n c t i o n s need to be made. I t i s not s u f f i c i e n t to approach the l i t e r a r y text as just any t e x t , depriving i t thus of i t s status of f i c t i o n which i s es s e n t i a l t o i t s e x p l i c a t i o n , and understanding i t just as an i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y . Reducing the text to anonymity i s another way of p r i v i l e g i n g a methodology or a private law. 1 The objective of a c r i t i c a l commentary i s not the re w r i t i n g , the rearranging and the r e h a b i l i t a t i o n of the s i g n i f i e d s i n a metalanguage which mimics i t s t e x t ; rather i t has the function, through the explication of the necessary conditions of i t s production, to explain what the text does not say and cannot say but which determines what i s being said. This absence of s i g n i f i c a t i o n i n the text i s not, however, a de-fi c i e n c y or something implied which the c r i t i c has then to interpret and bring to l i g h t . I t i s not the r e s u l t of an estrangement, whereby the narrative proceeds by implication of the meaning i t wants to express. For such a procedure i s a narrative technique, the writer's conscious e f f o r t at a r t i f i c e which marks the traces of his s t y l e . Critiques which p r i v i l e g e t h i s "absence" cover i t s silences by restating the language of the text claiming as meaning what the w r i t e r chose not to say. The absence of which we spoke above i s not the hideout of meaning but the zone of a displacement of meaning which conditions the appearance of the written word: i t i s that which gives meaning to meaning. I t i s not i n i t s e l f a s i g n i f i e r but i t does condition the p o s s i b i l i t y of the interplay of signifieds.2 Between the word and i t s latent meaning, between the i m p l i c i t and the e x p l i c i t , the i n - v i s i b l e and the v i s i b l e , along the axis of t h i s r e l a t i o n i s elaborated the production of the word and the meaning of the text. This absence i s the space of a difference, the product of the i n t e r -play between what the wr i t e r wants to say and what he actually does say: i t i s the region of a d i s p a r i t y . The "what i s not said" retains no meaning to be extrapolated: i t i s the product of a difference produced i n silence. This region of non-signification i s what determines the meaning of the l i t e r a r y word and i t i s the necessary precondition for 5 the l i t e r a r y text. Without i t there would be no l i t e r a t u r e . The appearance of a word always presupposes i t s absence: what i s said always l e t s understand that which i s not said. Yet f o r a c r i t i q u e i t i s not a matter of choosing between one or the other, or to discard the e x p l i c i t f o r the hidden meaning. The nature of the l i t e r a r y text implies both presences: the presence of the word and the presence of i t s absence. A l i t e r a r y text w i l l be defined by the d i f f e r e n t i a l r e -l a t i o n between these two terms and c r i t i c i s m consequentially w i l l have to understand and explicate the play of these differences: the pro-duction of meaning. A c r i t i q u e s h a l l have to consider the two levels of s i g n i f i c a t i o n of the text: what the writer wanted to say and what he actually did say. The meaning produced out of the i n t e r a c t i o n between these two l e v e l s of s i g n i f i c a t i o n constitutes the t r a c e 3 of the text which marks the locus of t h i s difference. The aim of a science, the theory, i s to enable us to recognize the presence and the elaboration of t h i s trace; the aim of c r i t i c i s m , t h e o r e t i c a l practice,* 4 i s to explain and describe t h i s pro-cedure as i t i s a r t i c u l a t e d s p e c i f i c a l l y and d i s t i n c t i v e l y i n every l i t e r a r y t e x t . A c r i t i c a l analysis w i l l have to take i n t o consideration these two levels of s i g n i f i c a t i o n but not as i f they were moments of a c r i t i q u e , d i s t i n c t and separate, synthesis of two types of analyses enclosed i n one c r i t i c a l discourse. As determinants of the complex s i g n i f i c a t i o n of the text they are bound together i n a r e l a t i o n of mutual and complex 6 d e t e r m i n a t i o n . An a n a l y s i s , t h e n , even t h o u g h d e a l i n g s e p a r a t e l y w i t h t h e s e two a s p e c t s , c a n n o t b u t i n t h e p r o c e s s o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g one a s p e c t s u b t e n d i t s c o r r e l a t e . These two l e v e l s o f s i g n i f i c a t i o n c an b e f o r m u l a t e d i n t h e f o r m o f two q u e s t i o n s w h i c h t h e c r i t i c po se s t o t h e t e x t i n h i s i n q u i r y : 1. What i s t h e w r i t e r a t t e m p t i n g t o do? A n d , 2. What ha s he a c t u a l l y s a i d ? An an swer t o t h e f i r s t q u e s t i o n r e q u i r e s an e x p l i c a t i o n o f t h e s t r u c t u r a l o r g a n i z a t i o n o f t h e t e x t w h i c h u n d e r l i e s t h e i n t e n t i o n s o f t h e w r i t e r . The s e c o n d a n s w e r , w h i c h h a s t o a c c o u n t f o r t h e s h i f t t h a t ha s t a k e n p l a c e i n l e v e l s o f s i g n i f i c a t i o n , r e q u i r e s an e x p l a n a t i o n o f a more " h i s t o r i c a l " n a t u r e . What we a r e p r o p o s i n g h e r e , h o w e v e r , i s n o t a r e f l e c t i o n t h e o r y n o r a v a r i a t i o n o f i t . The t e x t does n o t " r e f l e c t " an i d e o l o g y p r o p e r , j u s t as i t does n o t p o r t r a y " r e a l i t y " o r e ven a " s l i c e " o f i t . The se e l emen t s -a r e n e v e r f o u n d i n t h e t e x t e x c e p t as l i t e r a r y e q u i v a l e n t s : t h a t i s t o s a y t h a t t h e y h a v e unde r gone a t r a n s f o r m a t i o n w i t h i n t h e p r o c e s s o f p r o -d u c t i o n o f t h e t e x t . What i s i m p o r t a n t t o d e t e r m i n e i s t h e n a t u r e o f t h e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n w h i c h t h e y u n d e r g o and w h i c h d e t e r m i n e s t h e s e c o n d l e v e l o f s i g n i f i c a t i o n . By h i s t o r y o r h i s t o r i c a l e x p l a n a t i o n i s n o t m e a n t , t h e n , t h e a p p l i c a t i o n t o t h e t e x t o f h i s t o r i c a l o r s o c i o l o g i c a l d a t a . The h i s t o r i c a l e l e m e n t does n o t c o n d i t i o n t h e t e x t f r o m t h e o u t s i d e b u t i t i s p r e s e n t i n t h e c o n d i t i o n i n g and f o r m a t i o n o f i t s v e r y l a n g u a g e . I t i s t h e n e c e s s a r y , and i n e v i t a b l e , c o n d i t i o n i n g o f a dominant i d e o l o g y t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e s h a p i n g i n f l u e n c e o f o t h e r l i t e r a r y 7 texts which constitutes the h i s t o r i c a l determinants of the text. I t i s by conducting an analysis which w i l l account for these com-p l e x i t i e s that we can hope to explain the significance of the tex t . A text never wants to say what i t actually says and i t s meaning i s never what i s obvious and e a s i l y readable. This meaning which emerges out of the complex in t e r a c t i o n between the a r t i s t ' s intention and the f i n i s h e d product i s not what one could otherwise define as the structure of the text. I t i s more properly a displacement, a s h i f t i n s i g n i f i c a t i o n , which informs the production of meaning throughout the text and marks the space of a difference. These are some of the notions which w i l l be further developed i n an attempt to establish the bases f o r a l i t e r a r y science. So f a r we have intended to provide the reader only with a sense of d i r e c t i o n , a conceptual premise around which to organize our task: a kind of preface. However, to want to r e s t r i c t t h i s intention within the framework of a "preface" would be misleading. For our aim i s t o announce not only the preliminaries of a t h e o r e t i c a l discourse, but also t o i n i t i a t e a work of deconstruction on which t h i s discourse has to be formulated. To c a l l i t a preface would be paradoxical f o r i t would indicate then that our investigation marked the beginning of a new type of discourse and the end of another. In t h i s sense the preface, as i t i s often used, i s the o r i g i n of a desire, the i l l u s i o n of renewal. 8 The prolegomena to a t h e o r e t i c a l investigation does not comprise a set of t h e o r e t i c a l notions, a form of commencement ex n i h i l o pro-gressing forward to i t s re s t i n g place of newly-found evidence. I t i s rather the doubling on i t s e l f of previous forms of w r i t i n g , of which i t i s the rupture as w e l l as the continuation. Viewed i n these terms there cannot be a preface, for the intentions expounded above claim above a l l the need, i f not the p o s s i b i l i t y , f o r a s h i f t within c r i t i c a l d i s -course. They neither constitute the text nor the theory they anticipate: they are part of the pre-text. In the s p i r i t of the Hegel of the epigraph, f o r there to be a "systematic development" of a science of the text i t i s necessary to sketch f i r s t , even i f "briefly, the p o t e n t i a l , and the l i m i t s of t h i s p o t e n t i a l , of the l i t e r a r y discourse to locate the conditions f o r t h i s epistemological break and the t h e o r e t i c a l implications of t h i s s h i f t : an elaboration which, beginning anywhere, can trace the movement of a c r i t i c a l discourse and discover within i t the contradictions and the possible beginnings of a theory. This i s the aim of the section which follows. 9 PRE-TEXT: NOTES 1 The notion of i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y i s proposed "by Kristeva i n many of her wri t i n g s ; see especially Le Texte du Roman, (Mouton: 1 9 7 0 ) . The methodology p r i v i l e g e d i n t h i s case i s that of transformational grammar which i s , however, nonetheless useful as a means towards an increasingly greater understanding of the l i t e r a r y text. Cf. also Chapter II for a more detailed analysis of Kristeva's methodology. 2 This concept of absence, on which we w i l l expand l a t e r (cf. Chapter II) i s t h e o r e t i c a l l y analogous to Derrida's concept of differan.ce, (cf. "La Differance", Marges, ed. de Minuit: 1 9 7 2 ) . 3 Here we are e x p l i c i t l y r e f e r r i n g to Derrida's concept of trace as presence of s i g n i f i c a t i o n , c f . De La Grammatologie, ed. de Minuit: 1 9 7 0 . ^ The terms as w e l l as the concepts implied thereby of "theory" and " t h e o r e t i c a l practice" are Althusser's, c f . Pour Marx, L i r e Le  Capit a l , S e u i l : 1 9 7 0 * See also Chapter III. 10 Nous insisterons sur ce f a i t qu'on ne peut se prevaloir d'un espr i t s c i e n t i f i q u e tant qu'on n'est pas assure, a tous les moments de l a v i e pensive, de reconstruire tout son savoir. En revenant sur un passe d'erreurs, on trouve l a v e r i t e en un v e r i t a b l e repentir i n t e l l e c t u e l . En f a i t , on connait contre une connaissance an-te r i e u r e , en detruisant des connais-sances mal f a i t e s , en surmontant ce qui, dans l ' e s p r i t meme, f a i t obstacle a l a s p i r i t u a l i s a t i o n . Bachelard, La Formation de 1'Esprit  S c i e n t i f i q u e . CHAPTER I MARGINALIA: THE USES AND ABUSES OF CRITICAL LITERARY DISCOURSE The subject of t h i s investigation i s l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m , i t s object i s the l i t e r a r y t e x t . C r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse i s the language which speaks of t h i s r e l a t i o n and covers the space between these two p o l a r i t i e s : the inquiry and the object. I t i s a dynamic process i n the sense that the discourse i s a r t i c u l a t e d i n terms of a constant and continuous pro-cess of investigation to overcome the obstacles of i t s problematic. I t s aim i s to explicate the text rather than render i t explainable. When the l a t t e r i s the case, the process becomes s t a t i c . The r e l a t i o n between the text and the c r i t i q u e i s oversimplified and reduced to a l e v e l of common denomination with that of a l i b e r a t i n g methodology. The 11 difference between explaining an object and rendering i t explainable i s qu a l i t a t i v e . In the l a t t e r instance the process of understanding implies a reduction and the replacement of the object by a conceptual form more or less compatible with i t . This t r a n s f e r t i s what we c a l l a private law, a concept which w i l l be further elaborated l a t e r , whereby a methodology arrives at a d e f i n i t i o n of the text by p r i v i l e g i n g only certain of i t s aspects, A private law can be a method, otherwise commonly known as an approach; an aesthetic: the p r i v i l e g i n g of certain empirical canons; or a poetic which makes no the o r e t i c a l claim except that of being a p a r t i a l and p a r t i c u l a r kind of cr i t i q u e . The aim of a private law i s to make the text readable. I t i s a process of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , psychoanalytically defined, which gives the text a status, a place and a function. I t reorganizes the text i n order . to render i t receptive to i t s own p a r t i c u l a r type of c r i t i q u e . In private law c r i t i q u e s there i s almost no d i s t i n c t i o n made between theory and practice. The two are usually one and the same. And vice versa, when there exists a marked difference between the two, the p r a c t i c a l c r i t i c i s m almost always contradicts the theory i n i t s application. The t e x t , on the contrary, i s readable. I t needs no i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , no complex hermeneutic investigation and no elaborate methodological apparatus: i t needs only to be explicated. A c r i t i q u e which establishes a s c i e n t i f i c r e l a t i o n with i t s object, the t e x t , opposes to the concept of private law that of t h e o r e t i c a l law: the law of the production of the 12 l i t e r a r y text. The concept of t h e o r e t i c a l law, and then of theory i n general, indicates the presence of a d i f f e r e n t type of relationship between the c r i t i q u e and the object: the presence of a s c i e n t i f i c mode of investigation. What we are suggesting cannot be taken as another type of private law: the application of s c i e n t i f i c categories to the l i t e r a r y t e x t , i . e . the natural sciences. On the contrary, i t i s a type of analysis which i s developed on the basis of a constant question-ing of the nature of the object under investigation. Theory i s the record of the answers provided by the object. The event of theory i n the c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse does not represent a rupture with previous tendencies nor the "beginning of a new type of discourse. This event does not admit either to a type of conceptual control of i t s discourse by that of another, nor the merging of two different types of discourse. The event of theory i s the r e s u l t of the necessary conditions of existence of the discourse i t s e l f . Pre-pared i n advance by i t , i t i s the i n e v i t a b l e outcome of the contradictions and problematics which the discourse has gradually accumulated. The "break" within the discourse marked by the event of a theory i s none other than the attempt to renew the discourse i t s e l f . The event of a " r a d i c a l break" i s i m p l i c i t within the nature i t s e l f of the discourse. Within the framework of the c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse theory represents the t r a n s i t i o n between private law and t h e o r e t i c a l ( s c i e n t i f i c ) law, between c r i t i c i s m as art and c r i t i c i s m as science, between the 13 l i t e r a r y text as subject and the l i t e r a r y text as object. I t i s a qual i t a t i v e d i r e c t i o n a l change: the c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse as-serting i t s e l f as discourse. A s c i e n t i f i c elaboration cannot therefore ignore what has pre-ceded i t , or better, what has helped to shape i t , i t being only the expression of the conditions generated from them. A discourse which has s c i e n t i f i c pretensions w i l l have to speak f i r s t of a l l of i t s o r i g i n s , of the relations i t has entertained with i t s objects, of the obstacles i t has encountered, and of the contradictions which need to be resolved and which have made a theory necessary. I t seems, however, that a s c i e n t i f i c elaboration of the l i t e r a r y c r i t i c a l discourse i s undermined from the s t a r t . In fact t h i s i s not the f i r s t time that such a proposal has been made. Attempts to make of c r i t i c i s m a science, however s c i e n t i f i c were the results and the i n t e n -tions have always been c r i t i c i z e d and dismissed. Science has always been thought of as a n t i t h e t i c a l to Art and always an intruder i n a r t i s t i c concerns. Art has grown to be synonymous with u n s c i e n t i f i c , and i t s development has always been seen i n terms of i t s d i f f e r e n t i a l q u a l i t y from science. The s o c i a l control exerted on the c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y d i s -course has made of science a taboo which i s passed over i n sile n c e . 2 As i t has been pointed out, a type of discourse i s never free of so c i a l prejudices but can always be considered on one l e v e l as the h i s t o r y of those prejudices. C r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse i s no exception. I t s development could be traced i n terms of the "schools" of thought which Ik have controlled i t s "word" from A r i s t o t l e onward. A type of discourse characterized not only by the new word which i t proposed but by the exclusions and suppressions that such a process entailed. The consequences of the imperialism of the c r i t i c a l word are not l i m i t e d to i t s own discourse. I t exerts control over the discourse of the a r t i s t and determines the success or the f a i l u r e of h i s a r t i s t i c product. 3 Today the control over the l i t e r a r y product has somewhat lessened. The days of "colonialism" have given way to those of "coopera-t i o n " and disinterested "aid". . Not only i s the c r i t i c a w r i t e r , but the writer i s a c r i t i c and often a l i t e r a r y work i s the product of the cooperation of the two.** The control exerted on the c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse proper has always been j u s t i f i e d i n terms of a desire f o r p u r i t y of discourse. Dis-course i s not exempt from morality. As a s o c i a l expression i t i s the ex-pression of a s o c i a l morality. This i s not due merely to a formalist tendency i n c r i t i c a l discourse, but mainly to a theological one. Where the w r i t e r i s the prophet the c r i t i c i s the high p r i e s t and the object i s sacralized. Yet p u r i t y demands not only d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n from what i s impure and thus canonization, but i t also necessitates a doctrine of the impure. I t i s i n these terms that a l i b e r a l i z a t i o n of the discourse was made possible. What was discarded i n silence or tabooed was gradually tolerated. This was the case with science, with Marxism and with psycho-analysis. I t i s a l i b e r a l tendency however to re j o i c e at such additions 1 5 and at such tolerance. I f the c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse has i n fact become more ecumenical, i t has become also more contradictory and more repressive. The s o c i a l control has i n fact doubled. What has "been c a l l e d a science or s c i e n t i f i c i s nothing more than a pseudo-theoretical attempt at a certain degree of rigour i n c r i t i c a l analysis or at best they are applications of other s c i e n t i f i c methodo-logies badly transfigured and s i m p l i f i e d i n the process.5 Emasculation i s also the fate of the other two d i s c i p l i n e s mentioned above: Marxism and psychoanalysis. Of the two the former has enjoyed much less good • fortune. The fortune of marxist c r i t i c i s m i n the c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y d i s -course might prove to be an i n t e r e s t i n g study. Academics have always resisted i t and serious scholars have dismissed i t after f i r s t having taken i t into consideration and found i t wanting. To t h i s day Marxism has found few adherents because i t s word has always been silenced, i t s l i t e r a r y theories always c a r e f u l l y put aside 9 i t s name put under taboo.^ Of note, and i n passing, i s the case of Lukacs^, whose achievements i n aesthetics and p r a c t i c a l c r i t i c i s m have been overshadowed mainly by a b r i e f and often-quoted essay, "Kafka or Thomas Mann?", and by his studies on modernism. Lukacs' l i t e r a r y pronouncements were biased, however, not from a marxist standpoint, rather from a poetic which needed reworking and elaboration i f i t had at a l l to be applied to modernist writings. Marxism also found a voice i n c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse within the application of a s o c i o l o g i c a l approach to l i t e r a t u r e , although i n a 16 very d i l u t e d and transformed manner." Putting aside the relevance of these studies and the contributions they have made towards an under-standing of certain l i t e r a r y problems, these texts are characterized by an emasculation of the marxist assumptions, Lukacs', from which they are derived. The subject-object relationship i s viewed i n terms of an i s o -morphic correspondence, also c a l l e d homologie, of structures: the l i t e r a r y and the s o c i a l , the l a t t e r being the determining factor i n terms of which the t e x t , the modern novel, i s organized. However, even the impact of a s o c i o l o g i c a l c r i t i q u e i s l i m i t e d not only geographically hut also i n terms of a dominant voice which has had no relevant and adequate development.^ In terms of c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse, the very same fate was shared, u n t i l recently, by psychoanalysis. The text v i s a vi s these cri t i q u e s has always functioned as the Book which required the appropriate exegetical interpretation: an abuse r e s u l t i n g i n a misunderstanding of both the text and the approach employed. At the most s u p e r f i c i a l l e v e l i t takes the form of a t r a n s l a t i o n program on a one-to-one term r e l a t i o n -ship. The subject-object relationship i s direct and the meaning i s attributed according to the one selected by the symbology p r i v i l e g e d . 1 1 The combinatory relations between subject and object within the c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse are as many and as varied as the epistemologies and epistemes, i n Foucault's sense, that have succeeded each other. The c r i t i c a l discourse i s constituted by these attempts at perceiving the 17 l i t e r a r y text. A histor y of c r i t i c i s m and a h i s t o r y of the l i t e r a r y text i s based on t h i s d i a l e c t i c between the c r i t i c a l perception and the work of l i t e r a t u r e . With the addition of one more mode of perception to the c r i t i c a l discourse the basic r e l a t i o n between subject and object i s not neces-s a r i l y redefined or understood better. A new mode i n fact e n t a i l s a p r i n c i p l e of double exclusion: l ) exclusion of other modes of per-ception; 2 ) exclusion of i t s e l f as t o o l to understand " t o t a l l y " the l i t e r a r y text. I t i s merely one among many: acceptance implies a know-ledge of i t s l i m i t a t i o n s as a necessary l i m i t a t i o n . This i s true regardless of the claim which i s usually made: the capacity to cover c r i t i c a l l y the object of perception - a science of l i t e r a t u r e . Within the types of private law cr i t i q u e s i t i s possible to distinguish two general trends: the deductive and the inductive ones. Both exert or have exerted equal control both over the c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse and the l i t e r a r y text. The former, the deductive private law, i s constituted by a set of c r i t i c a l canons derived through means of an analysis of existent types of l i t e r a r y text. The r e s u l t i n g typology of forms with i t s established rules of l i t e r a r y production according to the desired ends makesup the body of laws for writers and c r i t i c s a l i k e . A paradigm case i s A r i s t o t l e ' s Poetics, whether the se t t i n g down of pr e s c r i p t i v e rules was in t e n t i o n a l or so rendered by his interpreters and followers. 18 These rules deduced from examples of c l a s s i c a l Greek l i t e r a t u r e , the r e s u l t of an in t e r p r e t a t i v e methodology i t s e l f borrowed from other domains, Logic and Physics, i s what we also know by the name of Theory of Genres. As anything el s e , i t i s a system of recognition and of evaluation f o r the c r i t i c : i t helps him to i d e n t i f y the te x t , to c l a s s i f y i t through comparison and f i n a l l y to judge i t . Other attempts at theorizing the subject-object r e l a t i o n have either dismissed i t altogether or have reinterpreted i t to s u i t more contemporary forms of w r i t i n g which could not be accounted f o r completely i n any one category. However, i n the l a t t e r case there i s a marked th e o r e t i c a l s h i f t : rules become categories and the aristotelean system i s inverted into a platonic v i s i o n of i d e a l Forms, The l i t e r a r y object i s sacralized and takes i t s place within a formalized hierarchy of archetypal forms. By inductive private law on the other hand i s understood the transfertof canons from one d i s c i p l i n e to the study of l i t e r a t u r e . In modern and contemporary c r i t i c a l discourse i t has predominated over the deductive one. Claims f o r a science of l i t e r a t u r e are often made on these assumptions: the text i s r e f a m i l i a r i z e d i n terms of s c i e n t i f i c categories which reorganize the production of i t s meaning i n rendering i t available f o r c r i t i c a l consumption. In these instances what i s r e a l l y being attempted i s an in t e r p r e t a -t i o n of the r e l a t i o n which then serves to define both the subject and the object. The u t i l i z a t i o n of l i n g u i s t i c s and derived forms of analysis 19 provides an obvious example. The p r i n c i p l e of s c i e n t i f i c i t y becomes part of the c r i t i c a l discourse thanks to imported forms of s c i e n t i f i c methodology. These types of private law c r i t i q u e s , as the terminology implies, have two common underlying factors: l ) a concern with c r i t i c i s m qua c r i t i c i s m rather than the t e x t , hence the p o s i t i v i s t concern to want to systematize and regulate the l i t e r a r y t e x t ; 2) the other and equally important factor i s the mode of c r i t i c a l perception which 3 even though varied, i s b a s i c a l l y the same: the text i s an object to be interpreted, i . e . translated, into something other than i t s e l f . The text i s an object to be replaced and c r i t i c i s m i s the agent of that replacement. C r i t i c a l perception amounts then to a sp e c i a l way of apprehending the object, a spec i a l way of looking at i t . I t consists i n p r i v i l e g i n g parts and aspects of the l i t e r a r y object as locus of s i g n i f i c a t i o n to which a l l other aspects are subsumed. Hence t h e i r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c as private c r i t i q u e s . This mode of perception i s h i e r a r c h i c a l and c l a s s i -f i c a t o r y . I t distinguishes i n order to evaluate and not to appreciate. In some cases the two are taken to be synonymous. P a r a l l e l to t h i s tendency i s the trend which p r i v i l e g e s only and just the te x t , i n i t s e l f and for i t s e l f . I t seemingly opposes the methodology of a private law by denying the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of s i g n i f i c a t i o n outside the range of the l i t e r a r i n e s s of the text. I t delimits and de termines t h i s range by elaborating new empirical canons and a new kind of typology. I t i s developed i n terms of exclusion of purely e x t r i n s i c 20 shaping factors on the l i t e r a r y text and i n opposition to the assumption that the text i s only a p a r t i a l r e a l i t y , only p a r t i a l l y s i g n i f y i n g and therefore only part of a r e a l i t y which, i f i t i s to be interpreted, needs also to account for that r e a l i t y . In c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse a formalism of the text j u s t i f i a b l y arises i n opposition to extreme e x t r i n s i c tendencies. The text i s t h i s time sacralized as a closed t o t a l i t y rather than just as a text with emphasis placed on the process, the techniques, of s i g n i f i c a t i o n . " * ^ I t i s inevitable then that l i t e r a r y h i s t o r y becomes the hi s t o r y of texts and l i t e r a r y discourse the conditioning of various subforms of l i t e r a t u r e which shape i n d i r e c t l y the process of w r i t i n g . This, however, would only be a kind of history. I f a h i s t o r y of the c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse were to be written -t h i s i s not one - i t would have to take into consideration the d i a l e c t i c subject-object which underlies a l l c r i t i c a l apperception: the conscious and/or unconscious posture of c r i t i c a l perception of i t s object. The questions that the c r i t i c a l s p i r i t asks already contain within them-selves t h e i r own answer, always being formulated i n terms of a certain conception one has about the work. The h i s t o r y of the c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse i s a h i s t o r y of those questions and of the l i m i t a t i o n s of t h e i r formulations. The formulation of one question does not, however, eliminate the preceding one which i t supposes, contains and from which i t i s derived. Only i n appearance i s the insurgence of a new poetics the denial of another; often i t i s the awareness of a l i m i t a t i o n and the s e t t i n g of another. Viewed i n these terms, there cannot be a new method, nor a 21 new private law, that i s to say that there cannot be a true way of understanding the text or that there i s no new r e a l i t y to discover. What i s possible, however, i s to attempt, through a re-examination of existing trends, a reformulation of the question p o t e n t i a l l y more pre-cise and more rigorous. However we must distinguish. What we just said would he contra-dictory i f we did not. A reformulation of the question does not mean3 as we have stated before, the re-elaboration of another poetics, of another private law; i t i s rather the elaboration of a t h e o r e t i c a l law: a theory of the l i t e r a r y t e x t . This i s the condition for a l l s c i e n t i f i c knowledge: Pour un esp r i t s c i e n t i f i q u e , toute connaissance est une reponse a une question. S ' i l n'y a pas eu de question, i l ne peut y avoir connaissance s c i e n t i f i q u e . Rien ne va de s o i . Rien n'est donne. Tout est c o n s t r u i t . 1 ^ The q u a l i t a t i v e difference which needs to be made between these two types of questioning i s that the f i r s t presupposes a p r i v i l e g e d perspective i n terms of which the question i s then formulated. The questioning of t h e o r e t i c a l law, on the other hand, does not imply a privileged point of view but rather a set of t h e o r e t i c a l notions about the work of l i t e r a t u r e which direct only the elaboration of the c r i t i c a l practice. The questioning i s made on those bases, but the answers are provided by the text and not by the theory. Further implied within t h i s concept of questioning of the text i s the idea of a dynamic relationship established between the subject 22 and the object. That i s to say that the questioning i s not fi x e d on certain empirical canons but on aspects of the production of the l i t e r a r y text i t s e l f . The question then i s no longer a model, a p r i n c i p l e d i n -t u i t i o n which i s then applied to a l i t e r a r y t e x t , but i t i s a question which i s formulated i n terms of a theory of the text: the production of i t s l i t e r a r i n e s s . Before we go further into an elaboration of t h i s question and of the theory i n general, i t i s necessary to c l a r i f y our notion of science and s c i e n t i f i c elaboration and the place i t occupies i n c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse. This notion does not imply i n the f i r s t place a d e f i n i t i o n of the l i t e r a r y text as an organism, a l i v e "because meaningful, which the c r i t i c has to dissect to determine the relations of parts of the system: a new "anatomy" of c r i t i c i s m . By science we mean a certain type of perception: a c r i t i c a l , objective and dynamic one. We imply that between the object of perception and the act of perception exists a d i a l e c t i c a l r e l ationship with the task of providing us with an understanding of that object. Science presupposes a new form of knowledge and has as i t s prerequisite the foundations of a theory of that object. A s c i e n t i f i c elaboration i s , then, that mode of perceiving an object which gives us knowledge of that object. A theory i s not founded on empirical canons "but on categories established i n terms of the essential nature of the l i t e r a r y t e x t , what we s h a l l l i m i t to c a l l i n g for the moment i t s l i t e r a r i n e s s : i t s e s s e n t i a l f i c t i v e nature. Theoretical law i s then understood as comprising the set 23 of principles which determine the mode of production of the text: the  production, and not the process, of f i c t i o n a l i z a t i o n . We s h a l l return to these aspects l a t e r on but now i t i s necessary to enlarge upon the wider implication of a science of the l i t e r a r y t e x t , the place i t occupies within the wider framework of the c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse, and the r e l a t i o n of previous methodologies v i s a v i s a theo-r e t i c a l practice. To want to establish a science of the text i s not to found a new dogma or a system of control of the l i t e r a r y production, or a set of rules for the writer. The r e l a t i o n between the s c i e n t i f i c perception and the text i s d i a l e c t i c a l i n that the t h e o r e t i c a l assumptions help to formulate the c r i t i c a l question which the inquiry asks the text. The theory does not dictate how to read a l i t e r a r y text but i t helps to understand only what the text i s and what i t i s not. The theory clears  the conceptual ground for the explication of the t e x t ; i t has the purpose  of demystifying the reading of the text from f a m i l i a r , accultured forms  of c r i t i c a l perception. A theory, as we stated, i s the culmination of a certain stage i n c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse. I t i s the outcome of previous c r i t i c a l statements which i t corrects without at the same time rendering them i n v a l i d . For i m p l i c i t i n the elaboration of a form of knowledge i s the overcoming of previous diagnoses and c r i t i c a l errors rather than engaging i n polemics against them. S c i e n t i f i c knowledge i s , i n t h i s sense, the product of previous errors i n an e f f o r t to overcome them. Knowledge, or 2k s c i e n t i f i c t r u t h , i n the words of Bachelard, i s achieved through "un ver i t a b l e repentir i n t e l l e c t u e l " : En f a i t on connait contre une connaissance anterieure, en detruisant des connaissances mal f a i t e s , en surmontant ce qui, dans 1'esprit meme, f a i t obstacle a l a sp i r i t u a l i s a t i o n . - 1 - " A theory i s developed i n terms of both a deconstruction of previous c r i t i c a l assumptions and i n terms of a construction of the knowledge acquired. Otherwise the r e s u l t i s a r e l a t i v i s m and pluralism of the c r i t i c a l perception and subjectivism and competent speculation i n p r a c t i c a l 17 c r i t i c i s m . One cannot agree e n t i r e l y with Croce's maxim that c r i t i c i s m i s good when i t i s good, whatever i t may be, and that, moreover, when l ft c r i t i c i s m i s good i t i s the c r i t i q u e of the whole text. Even though one can agree perhaps i n p r i n c i p l e with the f i r s t h a l f of t h i s statement i t s t i l l does not follow for us that the end j u s t i f i e s the means especially when the concept of "good" i s based on mistaken assumptions. For, as we have stated, one of the cha r a c t e r i s t i c s of a private law i s the great d i s -crepancy which exists between the method and i t s application. The theory i n such cases i s a deterrent for the c r i t i c for usually the sharpness of his c r i t i c a l insights i s blunted by a desire to j u s t i f y i t i n terms of his a e s t h e t i c s . ^ Science, however, does not mean r i g i d i f i c a t i o n , rather i t i s syn-onymous with knowledge and understanding. C r i t i c i s m as the science of the l i t e r a r y text implies a c r i t i c a l questioning of the nature of the 25 l i t e r a r y text to understand i t as the locus of s i g n i f i c a t i o n , that i s to say the production of a r t i s t i c s i g n i f i c a t i o n : the Theory. I t i s also a c r i t i c a l questioning of the i n d i v i d u a l l i t e r a r y text i n order to explicate the necessary conditions of i t s mode of production: Theoretical Practice. The advent, however, of a Theory and of a Theoretical Practice within the c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse i s neither the culmination of a desire nor the low ebb of a recurrent pattern which has reached i t s synaptic stage. Even i f the l a t t e r were the case, t h i s obsession of the c r i t i c a l mind to rai s e the l e v e l of i t s perception to s c i e n t i f i c status should be, i f anything, praised. But the subject i n t h i s case has next to no importance, he merely figures as an agent and as a r i s k for the degree of error he contributes. The advent of a Science of the l i t e r a r y text i s i t s e l f conditioned by the d i a l e c t i c a l motion of the discourse i t s e l f . I t i s the culmination of the questioning of the c r i t i c a l mind spread out i n diverse directions seeking c l a r i f i c a t i o n and knowledge. The c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse i s t h i s constant overcoming of errors as w e l l as the fa b r i c a t i o n of new ones. Yet to date i t i s a move-ment which has gained i t s momentum from the r a d i c a l reaction of one cri t i q u e from another, from the juxtaposition of one c r i t i c a l assumption with another. This antithesis of c r i t i c a l judgement i s also one other source of error, the assumption being the reverse of Croce's maxim quoted e a r l i e r : that i s , that c r i t i c i s m i s bad when i t i s bad, whatever i t may be, and that moreover when c r i t i c i s m i s bad i t i s not a c r i t i q u e of the 26 text at a l l . I f a c r i t i q u e i s deemed i n s u f f i c i e n t i t s assumptions are questioned not, however, to redress the error but to dismiss i t altogether, The type of knowledge which derives from t h i s type of c r i t i c a l e f f o r t i s not a better understanding of the text but just one more point of view. A s c i e n t i f i c elaboration however does not develop out of certain con-ceptualized canons i t then t r i e s to apply, I t i s not a point, of .view, I t attempts to understand the object of investigation for what i t is,, making use of what has already been said and aware of the f a l l a c i e s i t . -needs to overcome. . For these reasons not only i s i t necessary to speak of -abuses'- .-but also of "uses" i n c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse. So far we have t r i e d to provide a f a i r l y general notion of the mistaken assumptions? i o f _ e a r l i e r forms of c r i t i c a l perception. These w i l l be made more s p e c i f i c in:-pur elaboration of a Theory just as i t s "uses" w i l l be evident _^ The word "uses", however, requires explanation and d e f i n i t i o n s . On a t h e o r e t i c a l l e v e l i t indicates that continuity 3 not genetic .-'but d i a l e c t i c , which exists between previous forms of c r i t i c a l i n t e l l e c t i o n -and a s c i e n t i f i c theory. I t emphasizes the constant and continuous process of understanding which i s v i t a l to any discourse, I t also implies, far from a pluralism of approaches, that a theory of the l i t e r a r y text emerges out of the corrected perception of previous assumptions: out of the s i g n i f i c a t i v e commentary undaunted by i t s t h e o r e t i c a l presuppositions, 27 Uses i s neither i n d i c a t i v e of a synthesis of various, a r b i t r a r i l y selected, approaches, but rather a q u a l i t a t i v e term denoting the e x p e r i e n t i a l and conceptual impact that these c r i t i q u e s bring to bear upon an understanding of the l i t e r a r y t ext. This i s the mode i n which contemporary c r i t i c a l trends are elaborating t h e i r t h e o r e t i c a l t o o l s . I t i s seemingly a salutary move away from the f a l l a c y of private laws, and of the omniscient point of view. The d i a c r i t i c a l mark i n t h i s instance i s what i s commonly called "structuralism". However, t h i s methodology as i t i s sometimes applied to l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m and the l i t e r a r y text functions as a private law. The model and/or the structure "become the empirical ca.nons of t h i s type of c r i t i c i s m . With other poetics, i t shares the cha r a c t e r i s t i c s of constructing meaning and the p r i v i l e g i n g of a space of s i g n i f i c a t i o n to be interpreted: the f a l l a c y of "-isms". This trend of " s t r u c t u r a l " methodology has given r i s e to a series of c r i t i c a l e f f o r t s which aim to r e f a m i l i a r i z e the reader with the l i t e r a r y text: a trend which claims as forerunners the Opojaz and Moscow c r i t i c s and the saussurian orientation i n l i n g u i s t i c s . On these bases attempts have been made to elaborate a science of the text to account for the pro-duction of a r t i s t i c language i n a given text. The claim to a science of the l i t e r a r y text i s made i n terms of 20 certain l i n g u i s t i c categories which are applied to the l i t e r a r y t e x t . The methodology i s s c i e n t i f i c because i t belongs b a s i c a l l y to a science: l i n g u i s t i c s . An understanding of how language works becomes the model for how poetic language works, for how i t i s a r t i c u l a t e d , and for how i t i s 28 transmitted. The text i n t h i s case i s a closed l i n g u i s t i c system, p l u r i - r e f e r e n t i a l i f i t refers to codes outside i t s l i n g u i s t i c system, or mono-referential i f i t points to an inner deconstructed s t r u c t u r a l 4- • 21 organization. Poetic language i s understood as a mode of w r i t i n g which manipulates language by organizing i t . The task of the c r i t i c becomes that of i n t e r -preting, on the bases of his l i n g u i s t i c s knowledge, the displacement under-gone by language i n the process of w r i t i n g . An awareness i n certain c r i t i c s of a referent which goes beyond the t e x t , the content of the work for instance, i s accounted for i n terms of the plurivalency of these s i g n i f i e d 22 and of the codes i t c a l l s into question. An attempt to u t i l i z e these same l i n g u i s t i c constructs t h i s time however toward an elaboration of a marxist aesthetics against the dominant c r i t i c a l canons of both " c l a s s i c a l " marxist and formalist theories, i s found i n the works of Galvano Delia Volpe. This i s a c r i t i c a l p o s i t i o n , which within the framework of c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse represents almost the breaking point between private law and t h e o r e t i c a l law. The transformation from ordinary to poetic language, which charac- . ter i z e s a mode of w r i t i n g and which i s the basic assumption of s t r u c t u r a l i s t l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m , i s understood by Delia Volpe as an id e o l o g i c a l and sociological transformation. That i s to say that ordinary language which underlies the poetic language i s not naive, exempt of c u l t u r a l conditioning, but already s o c i o l o g i c a l l y , or h i s t o r i c a l l y , determined. Poetic language 2 9 i s an enrichment, i n terms of semantic valency, of the ordinary language, and aims at the expression of a meaning, an idea, a concept. Art i s idea and the expression of that idea. To discover the idea i s to locate the 2 ^ s o c i o l o g i c a l meaning of Art. However, every c r i t i q u e claims knowledge and every c r i t i c a l elabora-t i o n constructs meaning. Whether t h e o r e t i c a l assumptions are provided or are just i m p l i c i t , whether the notion of text i s given or not the c r i t i c a l , s p i r i t always j u s t i f i e s i t s task i n terms of a search for meaning. Certain c r i t i c a l tendencies attempt to systematize t h e i r findings into a coherent whole; others, through a contempt for t h e o r e t i c a l speculation or just out of a b e l i e f of- the i m p o s s i b i l i t y for such a task, operate on the basis of t h e i r own insights and common sense.^ A theory does not purport to reconcile these two trends. There i s more to t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n than a matter of c r i t i c a l i n t erpretation but these reasons do not concern us here. The d i s t i n c t i o n however which needs to "be made between these trends i s that the l a t t e r can be described as a r t i s t i c c r i t i c i s m - interpretative c r i t i c i s m - and the former, i n opposi-t i o n , as s c i e n t i f i c c r i t i c i s m . For s c i e n t i f i c c r i t i c i s m presupposes a set of p r i n c i p l e s which are those which necessarily condition the production of the l i t e r a r y text. The elaboration of s c i e n t i f i c c r i t i c i s m w i l l be the argument of the next section where we w i l l t r y to put forward a set of t h e o r e t i c a l positions about the l i t e r a r y text. We s h a l l also make e x p l i c i t some of 30 the "uses" which other c r i t i c a l tendencies have for a science of the l i t e r a r y text. Yet given the nature of our task we cannot give more than an approximate analysis of these c r i t i q u e s . In the course of the elaboration of our th e o r e t i c a l p o s i t i o n , these c r i t i q u e s , when not di r e c t l y referred t o , are presupposed. These cr i t i q u e s have been given a pos i t i o n of margin for i t s "uses" are marginal just as our own attempt, within the c r i t i c a l l i t e r -ary discourse, i s marginal. The notion of use, i n the sense of knowledge, i s an occurrence which i s produced at the margins of the c r i t i c a l per-ception which t r i e s to capture i t i n i t s entirety: "Ce n'est pas en pl e i n lumiere, c'est au bord de 1'ombre que l e rayon, en se d i f f r a c t a n t , nous confie ses secrets. This conception i s the motive behind our c a l l i n g t h i s essay Marginalia. For our task does not seek meaning, or even new meaningi i t only attempts to tap the text for understanding. I t i s a question one formulates i n order to l i s t e n to the answer: t h i s i s the process of knowledge. I t i s also f o r t h i s reason that we at t r i b u t e importance to what we have a r b i t r a r i l y placed i n the footnotes. Writing does not recognize hierarchies of meaning and what i s footnoted i s not because of that less meaningful, or devoid of importance. The footnote i s a formality which assumes that meaning i s centered within the text proper. The footnote then has the function of containing that meaning within t h e o r e t i c a l 31 l i m i t s and v a l i d a t i n g i t against reproach and interference, Neither w r i t i n g nor meaning acknowledge such an a r b i t r a r y separating l i n e . Meaning, i f there i s meaning, i s not centered but displaced. Language cannot be organized into meaning; i t i s s i g n i f i c a t i v e but i t s s i g n i f i c a t i o n i s the product of a difference the poles of which cannot be those of text and footnote. 32 CHAPTER I: NOTES 1 Claims for c r i t i c i s m as a science of l i t e r a t u r e have been made ever since A r i s t o t l e whose Poetics i s one such attempt to categorize diverse l i t e r a r y expressions. Croce thought of his aesthetics as the "science of the expression" (scienza dell'espressione). Various trends i n c r i t i c i s m l i k e the formalists and the American New C r i t i c s follow t h i s t r a d i t i o n even though no spec i a l claim i s ever made. In France, i n the early s i x t i e s , with the advent of structuralism and the importance given to l i n g u i s t i c s as a necessary t o o l for understanding the l i t e r a r y t e x t , there has been a great increase i n attempts to elaborate a science of l i t e r a t u r e : i . e . semeiotics. 2 In Foucault, L'Ordre du discours, Gallimard: 19711 the entire range of Foucault's w r i t i n g s , especially h i s H i s t o i r e de l a F o l i e , can be understood as a hi s t o r y of prejudices. In the t i t l e mentioned here the focus i s on the discourse of the deraison: the absence of the word of the f o o l . 3 As just one instance one could mention the impact of the "three u n i t i e s " on l i t e r a r y production ever since A r i s t o t l e ' s Poetics were d i s -covered i n 15^8. The example of Tasso could be a case i n point, ^ Cooperation between the wr i t e r and the c r i t i c is. most evident among the writers of " l e nouveau roman" and of " l e nouveau-nouveau roman" -Ricardou's collaboration with Robbe-Grillet, Butor, and O i l i e r among many. Ricardou i s himself a w r i t e r , while novelists l i k e Robbe-Grillet, Butor, 33 Sarraute and Simon are also c r i t i c s , especially of t h e i r own w r i t i n g s . In the s p e c i f i c case of Sollers the question needs to be put i n t o t a l l y different terms. For Sollers the terms w r i t e r and c r i t i c have been re-defined. The " d i v i s i o n of labour" has, so to speak, been overcome i n that the problem i s posed i n terms of w r i t i n g (ecriture) and the process of writing considered as a revolutionary act: an act of transformation. Cf. Tel Quel, No. 3k, Summer 1968, "La grande methode"; cf.. also the Bibliography at the end of t h i s paper. . 5 We have already enlarged on t h i s point. This i s more apparent, however, i n modern c r i t i c a l tendencies. A claim for a science of the l i t e r a r y text i s based not i n terms of a r a d i c a l s h i f t i n understanding the r e l a t i o n between c r i t i c i s m and i t s object, but on the use which these critiques make of categories imported from other sciences", i . e . l i n g u i s t i c s . ^ This i s the general trend, at l e a s t i n North America.' Only recently has there been a comprehensive discussion of marxist contributions to l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m with the hook by Fredric Jameson, Marxism and Form, Princeton, 1972. In England, with the exception of Caudwell, K e t t l e and Raymond Williams, there has been l i t t l e i n t e r e s t shown. -Lichteim's essays on Lukacs for the Fontana Masters Series evidently shows the prejudice and the unwillingness to understand of English C r i t i c i s m . In France, however, f i r s t with the work of Goldmann and l a t e r with Sartre, Marxism has been the object of some consideration. The Tel Quel group, especially the work of Jean-Joseph Goux, i s to date the only serious group which i s attempting 3h to bring an understanding of Marxism -within the confines of the c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse. T The problem i s mainly one of t r a n s l a t i o n , yet there i s no t r a n s l a -t i o n i f there i s no demand. The works of Lukacs are very l i t t l e known. His aesthetics have not found an English t r a n s l a t o r yet. The same i s true of Delia Volpe, an I t a l i a n marxist c r i t i c , of whom nothing i s available i n English except a few a r t i c l e s . Some of the most important essays of Walter Benjamin have been translated i n Illuminations with an excellent introduction "by Hanna Arendt, yet most of his work i s untranslated. The same i s true of Theodore Adorno of whom to date only a few essays collected i n Prism have appeared. " 8 When Lukacs i s discussed his work i s usually dismissed i n terms-^ of his pronouncements on the modernist wr i t e r s . The essay we quoted" i s " - - 3 " -part of his Studies i n Contemporary Realism which however cannot be taken as proof of the shortcomings of a c r i t i c a l method but rather as the "" ' evidence of a t h e o r e t i c a l model whose assumptions, derived on the basis" of the nineteenth-century r e a l i s t i c novel, the bourgeois novel, do not -encompass, but l i m i t , the scope of l a t e r developments i n the novels In"-'"7 terms of the empirical canons established by such a t h e o r e t i c a l model the question "Kafka or Thomas Mann?" i s e a s i l y answerable. Further, the question and the proposed confrontation i s only r h e t o r i c a l i f one under-stands i t i n terms of two modes of w r i t i n g set against the frame of reference: the epic of socialism ( s o c i a l i s t realism) to reharmonize a fractured r e a l i t y . 35 " We are r e f e r r i n g here to the work of Goldmann and p a r t i c u l a r l y to h is Four une sociologie du roman. Here the t h e o r e t i c a l components are not only the early Lukacs of Theory of the Novel, hut also the Girard of Mensonge romantique et v e r i t e romanesque. Here, Lukacs , just l i k e Girard, appears only as the accredited i n s p i r a t i o n , the rest i s a l l Goldmann's elaboration and transformation. 10 The s o c i o l o g i c a l trend does not end with Goldmann. Robert Escarpit's work and that of his colleagues have made important contributions, especially as regards the sociology of the book and the problem of reader-ship. Cf. Bibliography. We should note also the work of Jacques Leenhardt, Lecture- P o l i t i q u e du roman, Minuit: 1973. His analysis of Robbe-Grillet's La Jalousie i s an elaboration of the s o c i o l o g i c a l practice of Goldmann. 11 Freud and Jung share the same fate. The r e l a t i o n between the c r i t i c and the text i s based on the model established between the psycho-analyst and the patient. As i n a l l c r i t i q u e s of t h i s type the text i s replaced by what the c r i t i q u e assumes i t stands fo r . The text i s seen therefore as a dream, as a language unit loaded with second, unconscious meaning which has to be deciphered. The c r i t i q u e , at i t s most s u p e r f i c i a l , i s an exegesis where either Freud or Jung provide the symbology. Exception must be made, however, for more recent trends, which, following the Lacanean interpretation of Freud, understand psychoanalysis not as know-ledge but as method: as "operatrice des echanges". Cf. "La strategie du 36 langage" by Catherine Backes-Clement, L i t t e r a t u r e , No. 3, October 1971. 12 We could mention, as examples of these two tendencies, Croce and Frye. The former regards the d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n o f _ l i t e r a t u r e as a "superstition" which "survives to contaminate modern l i t e r a r y h i s t o r y " , Aesthetic, p. hk9l and the l a t t e r on the contrary finds i t "an un-developed subject i n c r i t i c i s m " and proceeds to elaborate a comprehensive enough theory to describe even a "middle-size poem" (-"Theory of Genres", The Anatomy of C r i t i c i s m , p. 2U6). In Frye, i t should be stated, the reevaluation of l i t e r a r y genres i s platonic rather than aristotelean. 13 The formalist tendency i n i t i a t e d by the Opojaz c i r c l e and l a t e r by the Moscow c i r c l e , cf. V i c t o r E r l i c h , Russian Formalism: History and  Theory, and Todorov, Theorie de l a Literature. For. an account of the r e l a t i o n between Formalism and Structuralism see Fredric Jameson, The  Prison-House of Language, Princeton: 1972. -1^ Gianfranco Contini has expressed a s i m i l a r view as regards the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of developing new c r i t i c a l methods: "Un a l t r o metodo non serve a f f a t t o a raddrizzare g l i e r r o r i compiuti con un metodo precedente; come neanche, d i r e i , a fo r n i r e l a prova del nove: serve a r i t r o v a r e a l t r e cose, a l t r a r e a l t a , a l t r a v e r i t a " i n conversation with Renzo F e d e r i c i , " I F e r r i Vecchi e Q u e l l i Nuovi", L'Analisi L e t t e r a r i a i n I t a l i a , by D'Arco S i l v i o Avalle, R i c c i a r d i : 1970. 15 Gaston Bachelard, La Formation de 1'Esprit S c i e n t i f i q u e , p. lU. 16 Bachelard, op. c i t . A seemingly opposite concept i s that of Contini, quoted above, where the error i s to be found not i n the c r i t i c a l 37 tools but i n those who have employed them: "Se e r r o r i sono s t a t i com-messi i n passato, l a colpa owiamente non e degli operatori". However, i t seems that for Contini the error i s ultimately to be traced i n the manner i n which these tools are used: ". . . anzi un errore tanto meglio s i r a w i s a quanto p i u s i r i s a l e i l corso dell'operazione 3 e s i tocca con mano come impropriamente quel certo strumento c r i t i c o s i a stato adoperato (op. c i t . , p. 221). This i s to say that even for Contini the c r i t i c a l error can be overcome and redressed by questioning the t h e o r e t i c a l as-sumptions of the c r i t i c : the empirical canons which determine the function of the c r i t i c a l t o o l s . 17 As we have stated (see footnote 3), one such example i s the theory of genres: a t o o l of recognition, of evaluation and of control of the l i t e r a r y text. A d i v i s i o n into genres does not indicate the existence of a law or of a s c i e n t i f i c methodology. They are rather empirical canons which provide the c r i t i c with a descriptive and evalua-t i v e function. To c r i t i c i z e i n terms of genres i s to cover the language of the text i n a language not i t s own: i t i s int e r p r e t i n g rather than understanding i t . 18 "La c r i t i c a e t u t t a buona quando e buona, qualunque essa s i a . Per d i p i u , quando essa e buona, essa e l a c r i t i c a i n t e r a . " This i s a statement by Croce paraphrased by Contini, see above, p. 221. 19 This i s p a r t i c u l a r l y true of a c r i t i c l i k e Croce who i s at h i s best when he has forgotten many of his t h e o r e t i c a l assumptions: see for instance any of the essays i n Poesia e Non Poesia. 38 ^ u For an example of various application and variations on the l i n g u i s t i c model see "L 1analyse du r e c i t " , Communications, No. lU, especially Barthes' introduction. This t h e o r e t i c a l text i s also a good example of the j o i n t e f f o r t s and collaboration amongst c r i t i c s which t y p i f i e s the " s t r u c t u r a l i s t approach" i n l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m . 21 An example of an analysis which accounts for the plurivalency of the a r t i s t i c sign i s Barthes' S/Z, where the t e x t , Balzac's Sarrasine, i s explained i n terms of the r e f e r e n t i a l codes the text u t i l i z e s . The l i m i t a t i o n s of such a method, i n terms of c r i t i c a l p r a c t i c e , are more than evident i n Barthes' book. The analysis ends where i t ought to begin: the text i s exposed i n the ambiguity and plurivalency of i t s meaning and presented to the reader as a huzzing beehive of p o s s i b i l i t i e s which render the text of Balzac receptive to a number of approaches. This p a r t i c u l a r method betrays a greater preoccupation with the c r i t i c a l p o s i -t i o n than with the t e x t , which i t e a s i l y loses sight of. With t h i s analysis Barthes has also t r i e d to define the l i m i t a t i o n s of the c r i t i c a l perception and the i m p o s s i b i l i t y r e a l l y to interpret a text: to p r i v i l e g e one meaning. However, the c r i t i c i s s t i l l there, aware of h i s impotence but s t i l l indulging i n the few dreams s t i l l possible to him. Yet the major point here i s that i t i s not s u f f i c i e n t , as Barthes himself proves to us, just to face the c r i t i c with his l i m i t a t i o n s as an i n t e r p r e t e r ; one ought to eliminate the interpreter with his w i l d imaginings altogether. An example of mono-referential c r i t i c i s m i s found i n the work of Todorov 39 vhere the texts are analysed i n terms of narrative patterns and of the generating pri n c i p l e s of the l i t e r a r y production. Todorov's i s an elaboration of the t h e o r e t i c a l findings of Vladimir Propp i n Morphology  of the Folk-Tale; see f o r instance Grammaire du Decameron and La Poetique  de l a Prose. 22 An extreme case i s Barthes' S/Z for which see previous footnote. In his Sade, Fourier, Loyola where the focus i s on the i d i o s y n c r a t i c aspect of each author, his p a r t i c u l a r type of e c r i t u r e , the e x t r i n s i c elements of the work are subordinated andintegrated with the formal aspects of the text: " i l ne s'agit pas de transporter dans notre i n -f e r i o r i t y des contenus, des convictions, une f o i , une Cause, n i meme des images; i l s'agit de recevoir du texte, une sorte d'ordre fantasmatique" (p. 13). This i s a f a r cry from S/Z but the difference i s only q u a l i t a t i v e , Barthes adventure i n c r i t i c i s m i s a search a f t e r " l e bonheur de l ' e c r i t u r e " , a c r i t i c a l reading which regards e x t r i n s i c and biographical elements, biographemes, as conditions of the trace of the ecriture which alone i s considered and must be described. 23 See especially La c r i t i c a del Gusto, F e l t r i n e l l i : 1971» This type of marxist analysis which attempts to combine semantics and Marxism i s elaborated i n polemics with the b a s i c a l l y i d e a l i s t i c aesthetics of Croce and the aesthetic writings of Lukacs. 2^ This i s the case of American c r i t i c s who i n reaction to dominant academic l i t e r a r y judgement avoid t h e o r e t i c a l elaborations and l i m i t t h e i r 1*0 c r i t i c a l analyses to a number of texts which for them are the expression of a certain l i t e r a r y orientation: c f . Tony Tanner, The City of Words. The desire to categorize even the uncategorizable gives these c r i t i c s the name post-modernists, i n which we should also include one other important c r i t i c , Ihab Hassan (The Dismemberment of Orpheus). There i s one other dominant, i f not fashionable, trend, that of the s o c i a l c r i t i c s whose interests i n l i t e r a t u r e are those of a h i s t o r i a n of ideas attempting to a r t i c u l a t e l i t e r a t u r e , within the whole assembly-line of the production of the c u l t u r a l Geist. The most important figure i s George Steiner of whom see Bluebeard's Castle and The Language of Silence. ^5 Bachelard, Formation, p. 2hl. hi A l a place du mythe ideologique d'un philosophie de l ' o r i g i n e et de ses concepts organiques, l e marxisme e t a b l i t en principe l a reconnaissance du donne de l a structure complexe de tout "objet" concret, structure qui commande et l e developpement de l ' o b j e t , et l e developpement de l a pratique theorique qui produit sa connaissance. Nous n'avons plus d'essence o r i g i n a i r e , mais un toujours-deja-donne, aussi l o i n que l a connaissance remonte dans son passe. Nous n'avons plus d'unite simple mais une unite complexe structuree. Nous n'avons done plus, (sous quelque forme que ce s o i t ) d'unite simple o r i g i n a i r e , mais l e toujours-deja-donne d'une unite complexe structuree. Althusser, Pour Marx CHAPTER I I THEORY: TOWARD A SCIENCE OF THE LITERARY TEXT The elaboration of a Theory i s not only j u s t i f i e d i n terms of a "break" within the l i t e r a r y c r i t i c a l discourse, but als o , and p r i m a r i l y , i n terms of the object of which i t wants to understand the laws. The postulation, i n f a c t , of a "break"! can be evidenced when, and only when, a theory of the l i t e r a r y text i s elaborated by r a d i c a l l y breaking away from previous pseudo-scientific and id e o l o g i c a l formulations. We have t r i e d to anticipate t h i s notion i n the previous chapter to make clear the character of our intentions i n the course of t h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n , and to emphasize the consequences that t h i s t h e o r e t i c a l s h i f t has within the h2 c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse. One of the consequences of t h i s "break" i s the foundation of a science established "en l a detachant de I'ideologie de son passe, et en revelant ce passe comme ideologique". Hence the double significance of our project, of which we wrote i n the "pre-text", whereby a theory of the l i t e r a r y text could not be divorced from an analysis of the i d e a l i s t i c assumptions of previous and current l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m . We have t r i e d to expound on t h i s aspect, perhaps a l l too b r i e f l y , i n the preceding chapter by outlining the assumptions, and the l i m i t a t i o n s of these assumptions, of certain c r i t i q u e s , or better, of a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c mode of c r i t i c i s m . We cal l e d t h i s i d e o l o g i c a l tendency a private law to stress also the a r b i t r a r y and u n s c i e n t i f i c procedure by which means the l i t e r a r y text was understood, 3 Another consequence of t h i s "break" i s the development of a new pattern of thought which, following Althusser, we c a l l e d the problematic: " l a presupposition organique de ses concepts fondamentaux".^ This term refers not only to the new t h e o r e t i c a l elaboration, which i s the ease here, but i t can be used also i n reference to previous c r i t i c a l systems, methods, and " s c i e n t i f i c " attempts to analyse the l i t e r a r y text: the  ideological problematic. Again very s k e t c h i l y , we have provided i n the previous chapter examples of the basic assumptions of a large part of these c r i t i q u e s , without however specifying for each p a r t i c u l a r case the contradictions and l i m i t a t i o n s of i t s related concepts. We have on the contrary pre-ferred to remain on a l e v e l of generality by s e t t i n g the problem i n terms 1+3 of discourse, the c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse, and "by i d e n t i f y i n g as the problematic of t h i s discourse the subject-object r e l a t i o n : the c r i t i c a l s p i r i t and his object of knowledge, the l i t e r a r y t e x t . By discourse we also mean the problematic of the i d e o l o g i c a l pro-blematics, what Althusser would c a l l the Theory of t h e o r e t i c a l practices.' However, because the r e l a t i o n between the two concepts was not i n i t i a l l y -i n t e n t i o n a l , but only coincidental and f a r less rigorous than the concept meant "by Althusser, we s h a l l r e t a i n t h i s term for the purposes of our analysis. By discourse, then, we indicated "the dialogue", i n a meta-phorical sense, established by c r i t i c a l systems and methodologies to understand the work of l i t e r a t u r e . We understood t h i s "dialogue" as mainly an i n t e r p r e t i v e one based on differences i n understanding the subject-object r e l a t i o n . This i s to say that the d i a l e c t i c of l i t e r a r y h i s t o r y was under-stood i n terms of "the negation of a negation" whereby each succeeding system arose i n defiance of the preceding schemes, i . e . i n opposition to them. For our immediate purposes t h i s tendency i s i n d i c a t i v e of two major characteristics of these c r i t i c a l i d e o l o g i c a l formations: l ) the subject-object r e l a t i o n which, however, at a closer analysis, not rigorously established i n the previous section, reveals a dominant pre-occupation with the subject, whereby ultimately there i s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n "between the subject and the object, and a displacement of the l a t t e r by the former: the private law; and consequentially that 2) i t reveals the i d e o l o g i c a l , and thus n o n - s c i e n t i f i c , character of t h i s problematic which i s unable to resolve the contradictions which i t produces. We also used the term discourse, i n a general sense, to indicate the r e l a t i o n which underlies these i d e o l o g i c a l problematics and the theoretical problematic of which we want to construct here at least the basic positions. Even though, as we s h a l l see, t h i s r e l a t i o n i s one of transformation or r a d i c a l modification, i t seems important to want to establish the t h e o r e t i c a l basis of t h i s Theory which does not arise just "out of the blue". And further, because the elaboration of a s c i e n t i f i c problematic, a Theory, also represents on a t h e o r e t i c a l l e v e l the over-coming of previous i d e o l o g i c a l problematics, i . e . a knowledge of the object i n question, the p r a c t i c a l application of the Theory, Theoretical Practice, w i l l allow us vto analyse, and to understand, the s p e c i f i c problematic of s p e c i f i c c r i t i c a l systems. Again t h i s i s the sense of Althusser's Theory of t h e o r e t i c a l practices referred to ahove, The c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse points to the "continent" of L i t e r a t u r e , to use a t e l l i n g Althusserean image,^ but i t s discovery can only be the res u l t of a s c i e n t i f i c methodology. I t i s however when referred to t h i s s c i e n t i f i c problematic that we see the necessity to adopt a new terminology to describe adequately the t h e o r e t i c a l s h i f t . In the previous section we also attempted to determine approximately the location of the "break" between an i d e o l o g i c a l and a s c i e n t i f i c pro-blematic. We stated that the t h e o r e t i c a l innovations introduced by Delia Volpe as to the s o c i o l o g i c a l character of poetic language marked a decisive turning point within the c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse. Even though *5 t h i s assertion s t i l l holds true where indeed i t does represent an im-provement on previous systems of understanding the object which i t r a d i c a l l y r e j e c t s , i t would be misleading to a t t r i b u t e to i t the q u a l i t a t i v e "leap" from a p r e - s c i e n t i f i c to a s c i e n t i f i c problematic. I t would be ignoring those other c r i t i c a l currents l i k e s t r u c t u r a l -ism and semiotics which have made si m i l a r claims to a science of the l i t e r a r y text. These trends, of which the c r i t i c i s m of Delia Volpe i s a s o c i o l o g i c a l l y determined variant, are developed on the basis of a science of the sign as developed by Saussurean l i n g u i s t i c s : semiology. These studies, which are s t i l l i n a phase of research, are however suspect as to the s c i e n t i f i c legitimacy of t h e i r claims. As pointed out by Derrida,^ the concepts of sign, communication, and structure on which rests the semiological method, are equivocal i n that they partake ultimately of a logocentric and metaphysical t r a d i t i o n which they set out i n i t i a l l y to invalidate. The notions of i d e n t i t y and presence are not e n t i r e l y l e f t behind but simply t a c i t l y i n f e r r e d i n the concepts of communication and of structure which admit, or imply, the presence of a subject: Pesant sur l e modele du signe, cette equivoque marque done l e projet "semiologique" lui-meme, avec l a t o t a l i t e organique de tous ses concepts, en p a r t i c u l i e r c e l u i de communication, qui, en e f f e t , implique l a transmission  chargee de f a i r e passer, d'un sujet a l'autre, l ' i d e n t i t e d'un objet s i g n i f i e , d'un sens ou d'un concept en d r o i t separables du processus de passage et de 1'operation s i g n i f i a n t e . . . . Le cas du concept de structure, . . . est certainement plus ambigu. Tout depend du t r a v a i l qu'on l u i f a i t f a i r e . Comme l e concept de signe - et done de semiologie - i l peut a l a f o i s confirmer et ebranler les assurances logocentriques et ethnocentriques. 1*6 These notions, at least for Derrida, need continuous reworking within the framework of semiology, and semiotics, i f not altogether a trans-formation i n "nouvelles configurations". For Derrida, and at least for as far as these concepts are concerned, there cannot he a decisive break, une coupure epistemologique, but only the p o s s i b i l i t y of "modifier peu a peu l e t e r r a i n de t r a v a i l " . ^ These pronouncements made i n a conversation with J u l i a Kristeva c l a r i f y many of the problems which a semiological analysis has to deal with as i s the case i n Kristeva's Le Texte du Roman published four years e a r l i e r . However, the methodological problems which we referred to above seem for Kristeva to be resolved by the nature of the poetic language of the novel. After Jakobson, Kristeva distinguishes between ordinary and poetic language where i n the l a t t e r there i s no confusion between the "sign" and the "concept", and there i s no reduction of the s i g n i f i e r to a mere second place to the s i g n i f i e d (as i n ordinary communication), In poetic language rather the reverse i s true: the poetic message r e l i e s mainly on the a c t i v i t y of the s i g n i f i e r and the sign i s not e n t i r e l y con-ceptual: I I s'agit i c i du DESEQUILIBRE de l a r e l a t i o n s i g -n i f i a n t / s i g n i f i e : les s i g n i f i e s restant identiques (le concept demeurant l e meme), les s i g n i f i a n t s se transforment, se generent et forment l a s p e c i f i c i t e du message romanesque. Autrement d i t , l e signe  romanesque s i g n i f i e par ces transformations au  niveau s i g n i f i a n t sur un fond de constat au niveau  s i g n i f i e . i Q ( m y emphasis) For Kristeva t h i s "desequilibre" necessary to the novel to express a meaning, un sens, upsets the notion of sign postulated by Saussure which 1*7 i s rather more applicable to a symbolic form: " r e l a t i o n univoque et r e s t r i c t i v e des universaux symbolises avec l'embleme symbolisant". The dichotomy of s i g n i f i e r and s i g n i f i e d i s s t i l l maintained but the r e l a t i o n i s no longer stable. Stated i n d i f f e r e n t terms, Barthes' 11 to be sure, the novel can be characterized as metonymic discourse i n -dependently of the conceptual l e v e l which remains unchanged. Kristeva also draws the hjelmslevean d i s t i n c t i o n between Forme de 1'expression and Forme du contenu to assert the autonomy of the chain of s i g n i f i c a t i o n of the s i g n i f i e r even though i t depends on "quoique controlees par", the l e v e l of the s i g n i f i e d . This c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the function of the sign i n the "trans-formational" structure of the novel allows not only the application of a transformational method to the l i t e r a r y t e x t , but i t also allows the elaboration of semiology as "science des MODELES ( s i g n i f i a n t s ) applicables a. des s i g n i f i e s " . - ^ The transformational method consists i n reading a text "comme l e t r a j e t d'une serie d'operations transformationnelles"-^ which implies a reading beyond the immediate and v i s i b l e written word ( l a forme achevee) to the generative l e v e l where the text i s discovered as "une INFINITE de p o s s i b i l i t e s structurales"."'"'4' Even though t h i s methodology i s applicable to "toute sorte de texte" t h i s i s more so the case with a novel whose structure i t s e l f i s transformational: Autrement d i t , l e roman represente (met en scene, raconte), dans sa structure meme, les p a r t i c u l a r i t e s 1*8 d'une transformation: (a) l a presence de l a fonction du tout dans les p a r t i e s ; (b) 1 ' i n f i n i t e discontinue de l a structure.-'-'' (my emphasis) The important words here are: "les p a r t i c u l a r i t e s d'une transformation", important because not only do they single out the novel from other texts as being transformationally receptive, but also because they indicate a certain mode of transformation. Kristeva explains i t i n terms of a r e l a t i o n between the structure of the novel and the "ideologeme" of the sign. What i s an "ideologeme"? In the section 0.1.1.2. "La notion de texte comme ideologeme" (p. 12) Kristeva explains that i t i s the distinguishing t r a i t of a text which allows' the elaboration of a typology of t e x t s , i . e . necessary to situate a p a r t i c u l a r text within the framework of a General Text: l a culture; L'ideologeme est cette fonction i n t e r t e x t u e l l e que l'on peut l i r e 'materialised' aux differents niveaux de l a structure de chaque texte, et qui s'etend tout au long de son t r a j e t en l u i dormant ses coordonnees historiques et sociales. . . . L'acceptation d'un texte comme un ideologeme determin- l a demarche meme d'une semiologie qui, en etudiant l e texte comme une i n t e r t e x t u a l i t e , l e pense a i n s i dans (les textes de) l a societe et 1'histoire.1° The ideologeme stands for the inherent and inevitable " i d e o l o g i c a l " quantum of any discourse be i t l i t e r a r y or otherwise. In Kristeva's analysis, however, i t does not have any methodological importance ex-cept i n the recognition of i t s presence as the underlying s o c i a l and h i s t o r i c a l coordinate present i n language: 1'ideologeme du signe. As a distinguishing mark of the novel, Kristeva c l a r i f i e s the import of the term " i d e o l o g i c a l " . I t does not necessarily imply, when referred to the tex t , an id e o l o g i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , "une demarche e x p l i c a t i v e - i n t e r -pretative" of a l i n g u i s t i c occurrence, rather i t implies on the part of 1*9 the analyst the awareness of a s o c i o - h i s t o r i c a l dimension, Kristeva c a l l s i t " l e foyer", within which the transformation from enonce to t o t a l i t y i s understood as taking place, and at the same time the awareness of the s o c i a l space that t h i s text occupies within a typology of texts. This conception, i n a s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t version from that i n -tended by Medvedev, i s the only concession that f i r s t a formalist and then a semiological methodology are w i l l i n g to make for a s c i e n t i f i c approach to the l i t e r a r y t e x t . This long, but s t i l l inadequate, rendering of Kristeva's methodo-l o g i c a l p o s i t i o n , and of semiology i n general, was necessary i n view of the t h e o r e t i c a l positions on which we would l i k e to expand. I t i s from t h i s conception of the l i t e r a r y t e x t , which to us seems inadequate be-cause i t i s s t i l l entrapped within the confines of a private law: i . e . a formalism i n spite of the recognized DESEQUILIBRE of the sign, and of the importance attributed to the s i g n i f i e r i n poetic discourse, that we would l i k e to make our point of departure. Again as an added note, we would l i k e to stress the s i m i l a r methodological p o s i t i o n of De l i a Volpe whose semantic-sociological elaboration of the poetic discourse i s , i n a dif f e r e n t key, a reworking of the t h e o r e t i c a l assumptions developed by Kristeva, and i n certain ways, as we w i l l explain l a t e r , also an overcoming. I f we can speak of "coupure epistemologique" at a l l , i n our case, i t w i l l be to describe the q u a l i t a t i v e 50 "leap" which i t i s necessary to make from the t h e o r e t i c a l positions just described to a s c i e n t i f i c theory, a "leap" which indicates not only a corrective on those positions but a r a d i c a l change i n structure and problematic. I I I n'y a dans l e mouvement des corps qui 'tombent' aucune vocation a supporter l a l o i de cette chute, et encore moins a l u i obeir ( l a nature n'est pas un royaume avec un r o i qui l a soumette a ses l o i s ) ; les corps tomberent longtemps et tombent toujours sans enoncer l a l o i . Mais i l e t a i t de l a vocation du savoir de produire cette l o i : c'est dire que l a l o i n'est pas dans les corps qui tombent, mais a i l l e u r s , a cote d'eux, apparue sur un tout autre t e r r a i n qui est c e l u i du savoir s c i e n t i f i q u e , . , A? The founding of a s c i e n t i f i c theory requires necessarily an object and a method. In t r a d i t i o n a l c r i t i c i s m , and here we must include also structuralism and semianalysis, no d i s t i n c t i o n i s made between the object and the method. In fact i n the case of certain s t r u c t u r a l i s t c r i t i c s , Barthes f o r instance, the method i s one and the same with i t s object: the c r i t i c a l reading i s a rew r i t i n g of the text. In the case of semianalysis, the object i s completely displaced by the method and i t becomes just one among many l i n g u i s t i c practices: Pour l a semiotique, l a l i t t e r a t u r e n'existe pas. E l l e n'existe pas. E l l e n'existe pas en tant qu'une parole comme les autres et encore moins comme 51 objet esthetique. E l l e est une pratique  semiotique p a r t i c u l i e r e qui a 1'avantage de rendre plus saisissable que d'autres cette problematique de l a production de sense qu'une semiotique nouvelle se pose, et par consequent n'a d'interet que dans l a mesure ou e l l e ( l a " l i t t e r a t u r e " ) est envisagee dans son i r r e d u c t i -b i l i t e a. l'objet de l a l i n g u i s t i q u e normative (de l a parole codifiee et denotative).-^ A d i s t i n c t i o n between object and method, between the l i t e r a r y text and the c r i t i c a l practice i s therefore necessary to make the t r a n s i t i o n between private law and t h e o r e t i c a l law. To establish l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m as the science of Literature i n order f o r the science to produce know-ledge of i t s object, i t i s also necessary to establish what t h i s know-ledge consists of, i . e . what kind of knowledge we are a f t e r . The knowledge which a science produces, as we are reminded by the quotation at the beginning of t h i s section, i s a knowledge of the laws of the object which are not part of that object, but which necessarily determine i t . These laws, e x i s t i n g "a cote d'eux", science constructs. There i s no p o s s i b i l i t y of doublage between the s c i e n t i f i c method and the l i t e r a r y text for the r e l a t i o n between the two i s neither one of deduction nor of extraction, i . e . as i n the theological and the empirical method respectively. The r e l a t i o n i s no longer one between subject and object, as we have t r i e d to characterize the r e l a t i o n entertained by previous c r i t i q u e s . This r e l a t i o n i s overcome i n a s c i e n t i f i c method whereby the subject, i f i t i s to be c a l l e d as such, i s one wit h i n the object. But subject i s not any longer a useful and proper terminology, 52 for i t indicates an id e o l o g i c a l position a n t i t h e t i c a l to science and which science sets out to eradicate. As a r e s u l t a s c i e n t i f i c methodology does not set out to interpret i t s object, nor to discover i t s meaning, latent or v i s i b l e , i m p l i c i t or e x p l i c i t . There i s i n fact no such hidden meaning to be extracted, nor un sens of the text to be described. There i s no special message that a l i t e r a r y text i s t r y i n g to communicate which needs the complicity of c r i t i c i s m , or of the c r i t i c , to be enunciated. As a matter of fact not only i s there no such meaning but the l i t e r a r y text i s defined by the absence of such meaning. As Macherey has pointed out, t h i s absence of meaning i s not formed v o l u n t a r i l y by the text but i s , rather, the r e s u l t of the text's very i n a b i l i t y to mean: "on d i r a qu'une parole devient oeuvre a p a r t i r du moment ou e l l e suscite une t e l l e absence".^ A s c i e n t i f i c methodology which sets out to construct the laws of the l i t e r a r y text also sets out to explicate the reasons f o r t h i s i n - a b i l i t y which i s at the same time one of the necessary conditions for the appearance, for the "production" we should say, of the work of l i t e r a t u r e : . . . ce qui est important, c'est ce qu'elle ne peut pas d i r e , parce que l a se joue 1'elaboration d'une parole, dans une sorte de marche au silence.21 What the text cannot say i s one of the f i r s t laws of i t s production which c r i t i c i s m needs to explicate to produce knowledge of that object. 53 We have used the term explicate rather than explain and i n opposi-t i o n to interpret for good methodological reasons. To establish a science of an object i n opposition to previous i d e o l o g i c a l c r i t i q u e s , i t i s necessary to avoid f a l l i n g into c r i t i c a l p i t f a l l s which could lead a possible s c i e n t i f i c method into another i d e o l o g i c a l interpretation. The term explicate i s f i r s t of a l l chosen to distinguish a c r i t i c a l practice set to understand the laws which determine the production of a l i t e r a r y work. I t i s again not the case of making something obscure i n -t e l l i g i b l e , i . e . to explain, nor the case of understanding the text as a t o t a l i t y and reading i t c r i t i c a l l y for what i s i s - again, to explain; rather i t i s to detect i n the text the i n a b i l i t y to formulate a meaning which, as we s a i d , i s not an i n a b i l i t y i n the sense of a f a u l t , but an i n a b i l i t y which gives the text i t s necessity, without which i t would not be a l i t e r a r y work: Expliquer, ce sera justement, rejetant l a mythologie de l a comprehension, reconnaitre en l'oeuvre l e type de necessite qui l a determine, et qui ne se ramene certainement pas a un sens.22 To explicate means to understand the l i t e r a r y text for what makes i t i i i a l i t e r a r y t e x t , what gives i t t h i s i n a b i l i t y to s i g n i f y and what con-s t i t u t e s i t as a l i t e r a r y work which gives i t "meaning", To understand t h i s "what", one needs to pose the question of how to define the l i t e r a r y work by t r y i n g to avoid the p i t f a l l s of empirical and normative c r i t i c i s m . The d e f i n i t i o n of the l i t e r a r y work as a t o t a l i t y , s u f f i c i e n t unto i t s e l f and able to reproduce an image of t h i s t o t a l i t y , i s to be avoided. 5k For such a conception, the i n t r i n s i c approach, conceives of the work i n a vacuum and f i x e s i t within the l i m i t s of a r e a l i t y to he interpreted. Such an approach understands the text as an autonomous e n t i t y , a closed  t e x t w h o s e v e r i f i c a t i o n and t r u t h i s not dependent on elements outside i t s structure, but received from i t s inner organicity. An opposed c r i t i c a l tendency which p r i v i l e g e s e x t r i n s i c factors such c l a r i f i c a t i o n and v e r i f i c a t i o n of the l i t e r a r y meaning bases i t s assump-tions on a d e f i n i t i o n of the text as an open text dependent on s i g n i f i c a n t structures other than i t s own. This i s not only the case for a socio-l o g i c a l or a psychological c r i t i q u e , but also the case for a semiotic and semianalyst c r i t i q u e whereby the open structure of the text i s the index of a pluri-valency or s i g n i f i c a t i o n at the l e v e l of the s i g n i f i e d and s i g n i f i e r respectively detectable through a set of codes, Barthes', or through the transformational method, Kristeva's. In these l a s t two paragraphs there are many concepts at stake which need to be reviewed and dealt with. The elaboration of a s c i e n t i f i c method can only be constituted at f i r s t through a deconstruction of various assumptions about the l i t e r a r y text i n order to free i t as an object from the mystifications of i d e o l o g i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Consequently i t would be misleading to a f f i r m the autonomy and the dependency of the l i t e r a r y work as an either/or proposition. The l i t e r a r y text i s both autonomous and dependent. I t i s autonomous, and therefore a closed e n t i t y i n i t s e l f , because as an object i t has a truth of i t s own, 55 even i f i t i s a t r u t h which reveals the incoherency and the arbi t r a r i n e s s of i t s system. Yet t h i s t r u t h i s not v e r i f i a b l e i n terms of canons of s c i e n t i f i c t r u t h which pre-exist the work. We refer here to De l i a Volpe's c l a s s i c a l example of the description of the fog i n Dickens which cannot be subjected to s c i e n t i f i c v e r i f i c a t i o n : i t i s and i t i s not the same phe-nomenon. To subject the work to norms not i t s own i s to deny i t s a r t i s t i c necessity as a work of f i c t i o n and to replace i t with a function which i s not his to f u l f i l l . I f the work were not autonomous i t would be im-possible to conceive of a science of the l i t e r a r y t e x t , I f i t did not have laws of i t s own which determined i t as a s p e c i f i c product with s p e c i f i c necessities a l l of i t s own, which we w i l l c l a r i f y more extensively l a t e r , we could not consider i t as an object of s c i e n t i f i c knowledge but we would have to revert to the theories of the semioticians who regard the l i t e r a r y work as any tex t : a p a r t i c u l a r semiotic practice among many, To say, however, that the l i t e r a r y work i s autonomous i s not to say that i t i s independent. To say that the work suf f i c e s unto i t s e l f i s not to mean that t h i s t o t a l i t y produces i t s e l f ex novo. While, on the one hand, the heteronomy of the l i t e r a r y work cannot be interpreted according to canons i t appears to allude to ( i . e . psychological, s o c i o l o g i c a l , philosophical, l i n g u i s t i c , and so on), i t does indicate the work's dependency on them. Yet i t would be i l l u s o r y and misleading to want to discern i n t h i s r e l a t i o n one or more of these aspects as the dominant or central preoccupation 56 of the work. The work, which i s not produced i n a vacuum, depends on a l l of these elements for i t s l i t e r a r y production, but these aspects, or these tendencies, are not re f l e c t e d i n the work and are not present as they might be i n a different context, again, as i n the case of a philosophical, s o c i o l o g i c a l work, and so on. Dependency i s one of the s p e c i f i c n e c e s s i t i e s , together with autonomy, of the l i t e r a r y work. Neither can be emphasised at the ex-pense of the other and neither can constitute alone the basic p r i n c i p l e of a l i t e r a r y science. In i t s autonomy the work constructs i t s own l i m i t s ; i n i t s dependency the work produces those l i m i t s by transforming those elements, i . e . language, ideology, h i s t o r y , into a l i t e r a r y pro- duct. The term transformation has no a f f i n i t i e s with the same term used by Kristeva which expresses multiple p o s s i b i l i t i e s of s t r u c t u r a l v a r i a -t i o n at the l e v e l . o f the s i g n i f i e r . I t i s i n d i c a t i v e rather of the necessary condition of the work which i s the re s u l t of a production where those elements are the "raw materials". Yet i n no sense i s t h i s r e l a t i o n of production to be understood as a transformation of the chain of s i g n i f i e r s into s i g n i f i e d s . The elements which condition the work are not present i n i t even i f they are not absent either. They are transformed i n the work i n that they r e s u l t from the c o n f l i c t between the means of a r t i s t i c production and the e x i s t i n g r e l a t i o n s . This r e l a t i o n of opposition which conditions the work i s the process of pro-duction of a difference. 57 This difference as a r e l a t i o n of opposites informs the text throughout "by giving i t i t s heteronomy, and i t s complexity, i t s i n -completeness and at the same time i t s i n f i n i t u d e . The object of a cr i t i q u e w i l l "be to account for t h i s r e l a t i o n of opposites and to explicate the space created by t h i s difference, the absence which t h i s opposition creates, that which the work cannot say but which i s ex-pressed as an absence and constitutes the necessary condition for i t s existence without which absence there would be no l i t e r a r y work. This absence, as we stated, i s what gives the work i t s "meaning": the condition for i t s appearance. In other words i t i s the r e l a t i o n "between the oppositions present i n the work, t h e i r d i f f e r e n t i a l i t y : the way i n which they d i f f e r from one another. Within the framework of the science of w r i t i n g , grammatology, t h i s absence i s given a name by Derrida: l a differance: La differance, c'est l e jeu systematique des d i f -ferences, des traces de differences, de 1'espacement par lequel les elements se rapportent les uns aux autres. Cet espacement est l a production, a, l a f o i s active et passive ( l e a de l a differance indique cette indecision par rapport a l ' a c t i v i t e et a l a p a s s i v i t e , ce qui ne se l a i s s e pas encore commander et d i s t r i b u e r par cette opposition), des i n t e r v a l l e s sans lesquels les termes "pleins" ne s i g n i f i e r a i e n t pas, ne fonc-tionneraient pas.2^ La differance, as understood by Derrida, i s not a concept and therefore a hidden meaning to be interpreted, but rather a "jeu", an interplay proper to any process of s i g n i f i c a t i o n which regulates i t s movement without at the same time taking a dominant part i n i t . I t i s the process which ensures that there cannot be s i g n i f i c a t i o n without 58 d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n between two opposing elements i n the process: La differance, c'est ce qui f a i t que l e mouvement de l a s i g n i f i c a t i o n n'est possible que s i chaque element d i t "present", apparaissant sur l a scene de l a presence, se rapporte a autre chose que lui-meme.^5 This procedure discards the p r i v i l e g i n g of one or other of the elements of s i g n i f i c a t i o n , and attempts to decentralize the logocentrism of an ide o l o g i c a l and metaphysical methodology. For interpretation i t sub-s t i t u t e s the more appropriate practice of explication: e x p l i c a t i o n of the interplay of differences. In the process of the production of differences, l a differance i s the necessary condition of t h i s process i n i t s double necessity as presence and as absence. As a re s u l t the p o s s i b i l i t y of s i g n i f i c a t i o n which i t ensures i s the espacement created by the relations established by these differences. Meaning i s no longer the p r i v i l e g e of either a s i g n i f i e r or a s i g n i f i e d , of a form or of a content but i t s p o s s i b i l i t y precedes either the notion of sign or of a concept. S i g n i f i c a t i o n , as a r e s u l t , i s produced at the margins of the ecr i t u r e . This conception of s i g n i f i c a t i o n and the process of i t s production do not however constitute a structure; on the contrary l a differance i s incompatible with the s t r u c t u r a l i s t conception of structure: a w e l l regulated and systematic system: Les differences sont les effets de transformations et de ce point de vue l e theme de l a differance est incompatible avec l e motif statique, synchronique, taxinomique, anhistorique, etc., du concept de structure.2° 59 But the concept of structure i s not e n t i r e l y rejected by Derrida. Even though incompatible i n a conceptual sense he sees marked af-f i n i t i e s between the two: " l a differance, n'est pas astructurale,"27 The a f f i n i t y i s seen mainly i n terms of the p o s s i b i l i t y for l a differance of creating "une science structurale". The incompatibility however remains i n so far as the term structure i s misleading, i n that i t does not define the play of pos-s i b i l i t i e s which condition s i g n i f i c a t i o n . And i n so far as we under-stand t h i s production of differences at work i n a l i t e r a r y work as a condition for l i t e r a r y s i g n i f i c a t i o n , i t i s necessary to do away with the concept of structure. I t would be more appropriate to understand the absence i n the work, what i t cannot say, the lag between the two oppositional relations., as a deferment, a displacement, or a s h i f t i n g i n s i g n i f i c a t i o n . And i t i s t h i s s h i f t i n g which must be explicated by a s c i e n t i f i c methodology: Bien entendu les sciences positives de l a s i g n i f i c a t i o n ne peuvent decrire que 1'oeuvre et l e f a i t de l a d i f -ferance, l e s differences determinees et les presences determinees aux quelles e l l e s donnent lie u . ^ o I f we attempt to formulate the p o s s i b i l i t y for a science of the l i t e r a r y text i n these terms we understand more c l e a r l y the c r i t i c a l p i t f a l l s which need to be avoided i n order to accomplish our task. Yet the c r i t i c a l orientation provided by Derrida can only be the f i r s t step toward t h i s accomplishment. We can understand how on the basis provided by t h i s t h e o r e t i c a l schema a semeiotics can be elaborated which con-siders l i t e r a r y practice only as one of i t s many practices. I f a science 6o of the l i t e r a r y text has to be elaborated, then the l i t e r a r y text has to be the object of that science with concepts which describe the necessary conditions of the production of i t s l i t e r a r y s i g n i f i c a t i o n . What we have said so far about these concepts should have made clear that we need to abandon the conceptual language which has deter-mined so far the way a l i t e r a r y text was to be understood and interpreted. The concepts of " r e a l i t y " and of " r e f l e c t i o n " are also part of t h i s i d e o l o g i c a l vocabulary. For what was said of the autonomous dependency of the l i t e r a r y work consequentially eliminates the concept of r e a l i t y , and the p o s s i b i l i t y of realism i n l i t e r a t u r e . I t should be understood however that t h i s claim i s not the denial of the l i t e r a r y phenomenon ca l l e d "realism" which i s an e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t matter. What i s denied i s i t s u t i l i t y as a conceptual t o o l i n understanding l i t e r a t u r e , This denial does not affect those texts which have been produced under a " r e a l i s t i c " concern for t h i s narrative s t y l e , but these r e a l i s t i c elements can be considered only as parts of the means of production of the work and not as the dominant s i g n i f i c a t i o n of the text. As a canon of c r i t i c a l evaluation i t i s i l l u s o r y to speak of "realism" and of a " r e a l i t y " portrayed i n the work of l i t e r a t u r e . The term i t s e l f i s contradictory with the s p e c i f i c i t y of the work which i s to f i c t i o n a l i z e " r e a l i t y " . Whatever one wants to mean by the term " r e a l i t y " , the l a t t e r i s never found "as i t i s " i n the text but always transformed i n a way which does not bear any resemblance to i t . 61 In fact a l l acceptations of the term "realism" or " r e a l i t y " are understood as metaphors to indicate a special r e l a t i o n "between " r e a l i t y " and the work of l i t e r a t u r e : the d e f i n i t i o n of " r e a l i t y " as interpreted by the c r i t i c and the r e a l i t y of the work as interpreted by the same c r i t i c , neither of which bear any r e l a t i o n to the possible " r e a l i t y " which has r e a l l y conditioned the work. The only " r e a l i t y " at stake here and the only one common to both terms of the tran s f e r t i s the " r e a l i t y " of the c r i t i c : his subjective r e a l i t y . This type of transfert i s t r a d i t i o n a l l y c a l l e d mimetic: a dir e c t representation of r e a l i t y . Contemporary c r i t i c s more interested i n determining rules of narrative structures have adopted another Aristotelean d e f i n i t i o n of poetic i m i t a t i o n , diegesis: the i n d i r e c t imitation of r e a l i t y proper to the n a r r a t i v e . ^ However both for Genette and Lefebve the concern i s no longer with how, or how w e l l , the work imitates " r e a l i t y " but with what p a r t i c u l a r l i n g u i s t i c i mitation can one i d e n t i f y , and therefore d i s t i n g u i s h , a narrative or a discourse, i . e . Genette. In the case of Lefebve the diegetic i m i t a t i o n , understood as constituting the s i g n i f i e d , i n i t s r e l a t i o n to the narrative, the s i g n i f i e r , refers to the different possible types of diegetic images which can be had and can be categorized. Here the i n d i r e c t function of the diegesis r e a l l y means, once removed: for " r e a l i t y " he sub-s t i t u t e s l i t e r a r y r e a l i t y which taken as the "norm" allows for an elaboration of a "CODE DIEGETIQUE". 62 There i s another type of "realism" which should he mentioned b r i e f l y which adopts a s i m i l a r mimetic t r a n s f e r t : the d i a l e c t i c a l type most notably at work i n Lukacs' theory of c r i t i c a l and s o c i a l i s t realism. We have termed t h i s type of mimesis d i a l e c t i c a l because for Lukacs objective r e a l i t y i s characterized by a d i s l e c t i c of essence and phenomenon brought to consciousness by the i n t e l l e c t . I t i s t h i s d i a l e c t i c , found i n objective r e a l i t y , which the mimetic tra n s f e r t translates into aesthetic r e f l e c t i o n : Propio n el caso d e l l ' "imitazione" questo appare del t u tto o w i o , poiche imitare non puo s i g n i f i c a r e a l t r o che tradurre n e l l a propria prassi i l r i s -pecchiamento d i un fenomeno d e l l a realta.30 The r e l a t i o n between r e a l i t y and praxis however i s mimetic and not d i a l e c t i c because i t i s simply a question of a direct relationship between the two. The d i a l e c t i c s i s a basic fact of l i f e , f a t t o  elementare d e l l a v i t a , and as such i t i s inevitable that i t be r e -f l e c t e d i n a l l aspects of culture, aesthetics included: Poiche l a r e a l t a oggettiva e d i carattere d i a l e t t i c o , t utto i l comportamento pratico e i n t e l l e t t u a l e d e l l ' uomo, i l suo rispecchiamento d e l l a r e a l t a g l i s i deve adeguare.31 What determines the mimetic process f o r Lukacs, that i s the p o s s i b i l i t y of t h i s h i s t o r i c a l necessity to occur i n art as i n everyday l i f e , i s the degree of consciousness of the subject "che peraltro puo essere ampliato e approfondito solo c o l lavoro e con l a scienza, e puo diventare con-sapevole solo con l a f i l o s o f i a " . 3 ^ 63 I t i s not necessary to amplify these views further except to make two points as regards our immediate purpose: ( l ) that the much e a r l i e r c r i t i c a l writings of Lukacs on "realism" are a l l based on t h i s con-ception of r e f l e c t i o n stated t h e o r e t i c a l l y much l a t e r . Suffice i t to say that the categories of t y p i c a l i t y and t o t a l i t y and the canons of narrative and descriptive realism are the elaborations of t h i s funda-mental d i a l e c t i c between essence and phenomena which when applied to the epic, even as remotely as Theory of the Novel, are those of wesen  und leben: essence and l i f e . And f i n a l l y (2) that the element of consciousness, very debatable i n the context of marxist theory, which determines a r t i s t i c r e f l e c t i o n , i s the dominant concept which i n Lukacs' e a r l i e r c r i t i c a l writings on realism conditions his aesthetic judgement of i n d i v i d u a l authors and j u s t i f i e s the typology of realisms: c r i t i c a l , i d e a l i s t , mechanistic, bourgeois, modernist and s o c i a l i s t . To formulate a c r i t i c a l question i n terms of " r e a l i t y " and aesthetic r e f l e c t i o n i s to operate under an i d e a l i s t i c i l l u s i o n : the question i s asked i n the abstract and resolved i n the abstract and no concrete knowledge of the work or of the " r e a l i t y " which conditions i t s production i s acquired. Macherey has w e l l stated the problem and the necessity to r e -cognize i t : " I I importe done de distinguer les t r o i s formes que donnent au langage t r o i s usages d i f f e r e n t s : i l l u s i o n , f i c t i o n , theorie,"^^ What we have outlined here however i s more than just three basic language usages. 61* I t indicates the p o l i t i c a l power of language u t i l i z e d i n three different ways: to create i l l u s i o n - the power of ideology which de-centralizes by creating the i l l u s i o n of a centre, of a meaning, hut which i t s e l f occupies none; at the other end of t h i s scema, i f we can understand i t as such, there i s theory or science which i n opposition to ideology i s u t i l i z e d to demystify the i l l u s o r y constructs of ideo-l o g i c a l language through a reconstruction of basic modes of s i g n i f i c a -t i o n . This process of reconstruction i s also exemplified i n the attempt to decentralize the false centre proposed by ideology; t h i r d l y , f i c t i o n which occupies a central position closer to ideology, but not to be confused with i t , and closer to theory but also not to be confused with i t . The r e l a t i o n of f i c t i o n between the two i s , so to speak, central and important for an understanding of the work of f i c t i o n as the object of a l i t e r a r y science. An understanding of t h i s r e l a t i o n w i l l also c l a r i f y the p o l i t i c a l power attributed to the language of f i c t i o n . We have chosen to take l i t e r a l l y the positions of the forms i n the order they were presented by Macherey for they help to explain the various i n t e r r e l a t i o n s amongst the three which was also, i f I am not mistaken, the theorist's intention. The central p o s i t i o n of f i c t i o n i n the schema serves to i l l u s t r a t e , at least for our purposes, the r e l a t i o n fiction-ideology and then the r e l a t i o n fiction-theory. The f i r s t set of relations indicates, as stated previously, the c o n f l i c t between the means of a r t i s t i c production and the e x i s t i n g s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s . This c o n f l i c t i s also the r e l a t i o n of opposites which 65 determines the process of production of differences i n the t e x t , the deferment, which i s also the essence of the text. The r e l a t i o n of opposites however which produces the c o n f l i c t i s , i n terms of l i t e r a r y production, a c o n f l i c t "between ideology and the aesthetic means employed. The l a t t e r i s a general term which comprises any a r t i s t i c technique, any consciously s t y l i s t i c devices u t i l i z e d to produce a work of f i c t i o n . " E x i s t i n g s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s " i s meant as a very broad term, for the spec i f i c s depend on the actual elements present i n a given work, the necessity which motivated the w r i t e r to write i n the f i r s t place, the conscious aims he was t r y i n g to achieve, his choice, i n other words, determined by a kind of ideology committed to form, f i c t i o n . I t i s understood however that these oppositional elements are never found i n such a clear-cut form i n a l i t e r a r y text. I t remains the task of an analysis to discern the form of these two languages which are i n c o n f l i c t i n the work. But to consider t h i s r e l a t i o n i d e o logy-fiction more s p e c i f i c a l l y we have to determine the impact of t h i s r e l a t i o n on the l i t e r a r y production. We have spoken of incompleteness of the work and of i t s i n a b i l i t y , as necessary conditions for i t s existence, to create knowledge. The l i t e r a r y text i s i n fact characterized by what i t cannot say and i t i s t h i s element which determines i t as f i c t i o n and not as an i d e o l o g i c a l discourse. Here then one f i r s t d i s t i n c t i o n between i l l u s i o n (a form of ideology) and f i c t i o n . A work cannot and does not create an i l l u s i o n , be i t of r e a l i t y or of a mode of being or whatever. In i t s incompleteness 66 the work achieves a t o t a l i t y , a complete form by constructing, as we said, i t s l i m i t s . This constructing and t h i s f i n a l "completeness" i s not i n d i c a t i v e that i t has something to say, rather i t i s an a r b i t r a r y closure: i t has to end sometime, which i s on the contrary i n d i c a t i v e of i t s i n f i n i t u d e as the c o n f l i c t which conditions i t s production could go on for ever. The incompleteness of the work i s however i n d i c a t i v e also of i t s r e l a t i o n with ideology, for what i t cannot say i s conditioned by i t s ideology which i s a l s o , as an i l l u s o r y form, incomplete, so that even though, as Macherey notes, f i c t i o n i s not and does not produce knowledge, i t i s " l e substi t u t , sinon l'equivalent d'une connaissance".3^ This type of knowledge, as we could c a l l i t , produced by f i c t i o n , c l a r i f i e s the oppositional r e l a t i o n between f i c t i o n and ideology also on a t h e o r e t i c a l l e v e l . For not only do we have, between the two, a r e l a t i o n of i d e n t i t y , the incompleteness of s i g n i f i c a t i o n , but also a c o n f l i c t whereby the f i c t i o n betrays t h i s manque not only i n i t s e l f but also i n the ideology which i t helps to expose. This disclosure i s the equivalent of a knowledge which the text i t s e l f i s not able to provide. As for the second type of r e l a t i o n , f i c t i o n - t h e o r y , the r e l a t i o n i s also one of i d e n t i t y and difference. The i d e n t i t y i s the one des-cribed above as both being, to d i f f e r e n t degrees, producers of knowledge i n t h e i r capacity of unmasking the i d e o l o g i c a l forms which mystify the process of s i g n i f i c a t i o n . I t i s understood however that production and 67 demystification are moments of the same t h e o r e t i c a l practice: decon-struction and reconstruction. Here however i s the difference between these two language forms. Theory i s a s c i e n t i f i c practice which produces knowledge of the object of which i t i s the theory. F i c t i o n does not produce a_ knowledge but only knowledge of i t s e l f as lack. This i s for reasons not of i t s own however, for i t i s only through t h e o r e t i c a l practice that t h i s knowledge i s pro-duced. To sum up the argument so f a r , the complex i n t e r r e l a t i o n ideology-fiction-theory j u s t i f i e s not only the necessity for a science of l i t e r a t u r e : the necessity to disengage, t h e o r e t i c a l l y , f i c t i o n and ideology to determine the r e l a t i o n of i d e n t i t y and difference between the two, i . e . to produce knowledge of the l i t e r a r y work; but i t also indicates through an apparent a f f i n i t y between these three elements the great difference which separates them. This i s probably also the most important aspect, for the necessity to understand these three elements as conceptually d i f f e r e n t e n t i t i e s by being aware of t h e i r i d e n t i t y i s the prime condition not only for a s c i e n t i f i c theory of the l i t e r a r y t e x t , but also of THEORY i n general. As such, t h i s r e l a t i o n of i d e n t i t y and difference has to be understood not as a dual r e l a t i o n a l p o s s i b i l i t y , but as one being the pre-condition for the other: the i d e n t i t y of differences where the form of s i g n i f i c a t i o n i s the product of differences. In the next section we s h a l l t r y to elaborate further on t h i s r e l a t i o n of production of differences between ideology, f i c t i o n and 68 theory. An understanding of the norms of t h i s r e l a t i o n v i l l be i n -strumental for an elaboration of a t h e o r e t i c a l practice and i n d i c a t i v e of a method of c r i t i c a l analysis to be adopted. 6 9 CHAPTER I I : NOTES •"• The notion of epistemological break as defined by Althusser varies somewhat from Bachelard's d e f i n i t i o n . This i s the description given by Ben Brewster i n the English edi t i o n of Pour Marx: " I t describes the leap from the p r e - s c i e n t i f i c world of ideas t o the s c i e n t i f i c world; t h i s leap involves a r a d i c a l break with the whole pattern and frame of reference of the p r e s c i e n t i f i c notions, and the construction of a new pattern. Althusser applies i t to Marx's r e -jecti o n of the Hegelian and Feuerbachian ideology of his youth and the construction of the basic concepts of d i a l e c t i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l materialism i n his l a t e r works." Althusser, For Marx, Vintage Books: 1 9 6 9 , p. 2 U 9 (The Glossary). Cf. also Pour Marx, Maspero: 1 9 7 3 , p. 1 6 8 . 2 Althusser, Pour Marx, p. 1 6 8 . 3 As we stated i n the previous chapter our general treatment of these private law critiques did not constitute a c r i t i q u e . This could be the task of a philosophy of c r i t i c i s m l i k e a theory of the o r e t i c a l practices. ^ Althusser, Pour Marx, p. 1 9 6 ; c f . also the glossary i n For  Marx, pp. 2 5 3 - 2 5 ^ on the problematic. 5 Cf. "Sur l a dialectique m a t e r i a l i s t e , " Pour Marx, pp. l 6 l - 2 2 U . ^ Cf. the image of the "continent" by Althusser, "Marx's r e l a t i o n to Hegel," P o l i t i c s and History, NLB: 1 9 7 2 . 70 7 Derrida, Positions, pp. 32-35; c f . especially on the draw-hacks of the concept of "sign". 8 I b ± d - > PP- 3^-35. 9 By t h i s remark Derrida i s not t r y i n g to contest the p o s s i b i l i t y of an epistemological break; see p. 35: "cela n'efface r i e n l a necessite et l'importance r e l a t i v e de certaines coupures, de l'apparition ou de l a d e f i n i t i o n de nouvelles structures . . . " as i s the case for a marxist science of history. 1 0 Kristeva, Le Texte du Roman, Mouton: 1970, p. 192. 11 Barthes' "Introduction", L'Analyse structurale du r e c i t , also Communication, no. 8. 12 Kristeva, Le Texte du Roman, p. 192. 13 I b i d . , p. 18. I 1* Ibid. 15 I b i d . 16 I b i d . , p. 12. 17 Macherey, P i e r r e , Pour une Theorie de l a Production L i t t e r a i r e , Maspero: 1971. 1^  Kristeva, Semeiotique: Recherches pour une semanalyse, S e u i l : 1969, p. Ul. 19 By theological method we are only r e f e r r i n g to the deductive or Aristotelean method. 20 Macherey, Production, p. 105. 71 2 1 » P- 1°7-2 2 i b i d . , p. 9 6 . 23 cf. also Delia Volpe's concept of closed t e x t , cf. C r i t i c a  del Gusto, F e l t r i n e l l i : 1 9 7 1 . 2 ^ Derrida, Positions, pp. 3 8 - 3 9 • 2 5 Derrida, "La Differance," Theorie d'Ensemble, p. 5 1 . ^ D Derrida, Positions, p* 3 9 -2 7 I b i d . , p. 3 9 -28 Derrida, De l a Grammatologie, Minuit: 1 9 6 7 ° 2 9 Cf. Genette, "Les Frontieres du r e c i t , " L'Analyse structurale  du r e c i t , p. 271. 30 Lukacs, E s t e t i c a , Vol. I , p. 311; I t a l i a n e d i t i o n , Einaudi: 1970. 31 I b i d . , p. 322. 32 i b i d . , p. 321. 33 Macherey, Production, p. 8 l . 3U I b i d . , p. 80. 72 With the change of the economic foundation the entire immense super-structure i s more or less r a p i d l y transformed. In considering such transformations a d i s t i n c t i o n should always he made between the material transformation of the economic condi-tions of production, which can be determined with the precision of natural science, and the l e g a l , p o l i t i c a l , r e l i g i o u s , aesthetic or p h i l o s o p h i c — i n short, i d e o l o g i c a l forms i n which men become conscious of t h i s c o n f l i c t and f i g h t i t out, Marx, Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of P o l i t i c a l  Ec onomy CHAPTER I I I THEORETICAL PRACTICE: THE PROBLEMS OF A SCIENTIFIC METHODOLOGY The importance of the r e l a t i o n ideology-fiction-theory, as we noted i n the l a s t section, i s essential to the formulation of a theory of the l i t e r a r y text. The importance i s given to the "c e n t r a l " position which f i c t i o n occupies with r e l a t i o n to f i c t i o n and theory. We r e a l i z e the relevance of t h i s c e n t r a l i t y when we review previous marxist l i t e r a r y analyses and we f i n d that on the whole ideology and f i c t i o n are understood to be one and the same: that i s to say that f i c t i o n i s an i d e o l o g i c a l practice. From these misconceived assumptions there usually follows a frustrated l i t e r a r y practice and a variety of l i t e r a r y theories, each one echoing doubts and confusion. Leo Marx's commentary on the general 73 t h e o r e t i c a l tone of the essays, just quoted i n the footnote, i s s u f f i c i e n t c l a r i f i c a t i o n even i f i t comes from someone t o t a l l y opposed to the question at stake: Many of the essays are marked by a tone of n e u t r a l i t y , and by a search for what can only be described as a t h e o r e t i c a l equivalent of general s c i e n t i f i c laws capable of y i e l d i n g more or less objective knowledge.2 The most negative aspect of such misdirected attempts however i s the increased skepticism which they e l i c i t i n c r i t i c s l i k e Leo Marx whose comments then become pure banality: Why, for that matter, do we want a more r e l i a b l e theory, as w e l l as a better analytic method, r e l a t i n g ideology and l i t e r a t u r e ? What use would they serve? What would we do with them i f we had them?3 The t i t l e of the issue could w e l l be changed from "ideology and Literature" to " L i t e r a r y Ideology". In most cases i n these essays, for instance Jonathan C u l l e r ' s , the r e l a t i o n ideology and l i t e r a t u r e means the study of l i t e r a t u r e i n terms of a certain s o c i a l structure: i . e . a s o c i o l o g i c a l or marxist approach - a difference between the two i s not made, F i c t i o n i s understood as being above ideology r e f l e c t i n g back on i t . I t i s understandable therefore the "panic" and concern of Prof. O.K. Werckmeister i n his "Marx on Ideology and Art" who sees i n the coming of socialism, "bound to shed a l l ideology", the "end of a r t " because Marx envisaged i t "among the products of ideology": What may be headed for an end i s the abstract idea of art as a vessel of the t r u t h above ideologies, the central issue of aesthetics as Ik a philosophical d i s c i p l i n e . And with t h i s idea gone, aesthetics, Marxist or of any other kind, loses i t s purpose. The notion of the "end of a r t " backfires on the science which conceived i t : i f i t has any meaning, i t means the end of aesthetics. The whole c o l l e c t i o n of essays i s an example of the fabrications that a misunderstanding of the r e l a t i o n i d e o l o g y - f i c t i o n can give r i s e to. The central p o s i t i o n we attributed to f i c t i o n does not mean, as we explained, i t s i d e o l o g i c a l immunity but on the contrary i t s partaking of ideology within the process of l i t e r a r y production. The task of a t h e o r e t i c a l practice i s to define the r e l a t i o n between the two and to determine how t h i s r e l a t i o n i s c o n s t i t u t i v e of the process of " s i g n i f i c a t i o n " of the text. That i s what i s es s e n t i a l about t h i s r e l a t i o n , or better, what does t h i s r e l a t i o n reveal to us that w i l l enable us to elaborate a science of l i t e r a t u r e , We are aware that i f we p r i v i l e g e either one or the other of the two we are back at the s t a r t i n g point. To p r i v i l e g e only the f i c t i o n would be to subscribe to the "vessel of t r u t h above ideologies" of previous metaphysics; to p r i v i l e g e just the ideology would mean producing another i d e o l o g i c a l c r i t i q u e which would allow us to under-stand neither the ideology nor the f i c t i o n . The three elements ideology-fiction-theory must be understood f i r s t separately before attempting to understand the complex r e l a t i o n between the three. In marxi s t - l e n i n i s t theory the r e l a t i o n ideology-theory underlies the t r a n s i t i o n from purely i d e o l o g i c a l t h e o r e t i c a l practices to the founding of a science of h i s t o r y , i . e . h i s t o r i c a l 75 materialism, by means of an "epistemological break". This t r a n s i t i o n however does not mark the disappearance of ideology but i t "survives alongside science"^ as an essential element of every s o c i a l formation including a s o c i a l i s t and a communist society. Ideology i s thus defined i n the Althusserian system as: the " l i v e d " r e l a t i o n between men and t h e i r world, or a refl e c t e d form of t h i s unconscious r e l a t i o n , for instance a 'philosophy' etc. I t i s distinguished from a science not by i t s f a l s i t y , for i t can be co-herent and l o g i c a l (for instance, theology), but by the fact that the p r a t i c o - s o c i a l predominates i n i t over the t h e o r e t i c a l , over knowledge.6 The function of a science (a theory) i s also that of providing through an understanding of i t s object an analysis of the i d e o l o g i c a l elements present i n i t . A science of l i t e r a t u r e implies the same r e l a t i o n with ideology only that t h i s science i s not a science of ideology, F i c t i o n instead as the form of a certain language usage a r i s i n g out of a determinate s o c i a l formation does partake of ideology but to a degree which i s the task of a c r i t i c a l analysis to determine. In the r e l a t i o n ideology-fiction-theory the outstanding element i s production where taken i n d i v i d u a l l y neither ideology nor f i c t i o n can produce knowledge. To say that i n ideology the " p r a t i c o - s o c i a l " predominates i s to mean that the i l l u s o r y effects of ideology are constructs which do not produce a c l a r i f i c a t i o n of the p r a t i c o - s o c i a l relations but on the contrary they mystify those relations to the advantages of the dominant s o c i a l c lass. 76 F i c t i o n on the other hand does not provide t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge hut does not mystify the p r a t i c o - s o c i a l either. I f t h i s were the case art would he ideology, while on the other hand, i f art produced know-ledge i t would he a theory, hut of what?, and no longer f i c t i o n . However, as we have stated the type of "knowledge" produced by f i c t i o n i s a knowledge of the id e o l o g i c a l content which helps to shape i t . The process of s i g n i f i c a t i o n of f i c t i o n i s a process of t h i s i n a b i l i t y to produce knowledge which refers back, by exposing i t , to i t s i d e o l o g i c a l o r i g i n s : L'oeuvre n'est pas ce t i s s u d ' i l l u s i o n q u ' i l s u f f i r a i t de defaire pour en comprendre l e pouvoir. L ' i l l u s i o n mise en oeuvre n'est plus tout a f a i t i l l u s o i r e , n i simplement trompeuse, E l l e est l ' i l l u s i o n interrompue, r e a l i s e e , com-pletement transformed. 7 I t i s t h i s transformation which gives the l i t e r a r y text i t s character of f i c t i o n . I t i s t h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the work of f i c t i o n which makes i t into a complex and also an incoherent "whole": a complexity however which i s not to be interpreted and rendered i n t e l l i g i b l e , or an i n -coherency which i s to be ordered and rendered meaningful. These aspects of the text are of the essence of the work of f i c t i o n i t s e l f and to retransform them into a l i n e a r , unequivocal and r a t i o n a l whole, which i s e s s e n t i a l l y the task of c r i t i c i s m which rewrites the t e x t , i s to deny i t s existence i n the very act which assumes i t s presence. The necessary conditions which determine i t s complexity and incoherency are to be explicated, for i t i s through them that the text 77 reveals and receives i t s s p e c i f i c i t y as a l i t e r a r y text: as i l l u s i o n  interrompue. This complexity and incoherency are, moreover, to be understood not as the outcome of a certain s t y l e p e c u l i a r , i n various degrees, to dif f e r e n t w r i t e r s , or the outcome of a certain l i t e r a r y p ractice, but rather as the product of a transformation proper to any l i t e r a r y text necessarily determined as a form of language use by a given, " l e tou.jours-de.ja-donne d'une unite complexe structuree",® The recognition of t h i s given constitutes the essence of a marxist science of h i s t o r y , or of s o c i a l formations, and also the prerequisite of any science or s c i e n t i f i c practice. The s t a r t i n g point resides not i n a unity, i n an o r i g i n or i n a zero degree but i n the recognition of the s t r u c t u r a l complexity of any "concrete" object: . . . structure qui commande et l e developpement de l ' o b j e t , et l e developpement de l a pratique theorique qui produit sa connaissance.9 The elaboration of a t h e o r e t i c a l practice derives from a recognition of the s t r u c t u r a l complexities of the "object", t h e o r e t i c a l laws, developed by the theory: the science of that object. Knowledge of the "object" i s only produced through t h e o r e t i c a l practice but both t h i s practice and the theory are determined by the "object" i n question and not by i d e o l o g i c a l or metaphysical practices. The complexity of the l i t e r a r y work i s i t s e l f then the condition of the existence of the work and i s to be explicated rather than interpreted. In fact t h i s complexity i s not one synonymous with 7 8 d i f f i c u l t or i n t r i c a t e which might describe the organizational structure of a given text or the way i n which the sequences of events or imageries overlap or succeed one another, rather i t i s the given of the object which i s the necessary condition f o r the appearance of the surface complexity i n the f i r s t place. To focus only on the l a t t e r structure i s to mistake the appearance, the product, for the essence. S i m i l a r l y to focus only on the intentions that preceded the work, or the origins which gave i t b i r t h , i s to a t t r i b u t e to the work a mysticism which places i t i n a vacuum, beyond men and society. I t i s to attr i b u t e omniscience and t o t a l control to the writer and the text then becomes simply the f u l f i l l m e n t of a desire. Whereas on the contrary the text i s l i t e r a r y just because i t demonstrates that these intentions cannot he anything else but a desire, and an u n f u l f i l l e d desire at that: u n f u l f i l l e d because of the i l l u s o r y , i d e o l o g i c a l , component of the complex structure of the te x t . And yet there i s a trend i n l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m which on the basis of the " u n f u l f i l l e d - d e s i r e " c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of f i c t i o n have developed theories of f i c t i o n which assume l i t e r a t u r e as the f u l f i l l m e n t of t h i s desire: desire for o r i g i n s , for the subject, for the presence of a centre, a desire which because i t can only be f u l f i l l e d i n f i c t i o n i s betrayed as just such a desire and therefore i s manifested as an awareness of the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of i t s f u l f i l l m e n t : Le heros incarne l a 'chimere' du romancier, son desir. Mais i l l'incarne d'abord en tant que 79 v e r i t e . Dans l e chef-d'oeuvre romanesque, i l l'incarne en tant que chimere. Le passage de 1 ' i l l u s i o n r e f l e t e e a 1 ' i l l u s i o n representee exige 1 ' i d e n t i f i c a t i o n a. 1'Autre malefique, c'est-a-dire l a mort. Le romancier reussit a vivre cette mort dans l'oeuvre, par 1'inter-mediate d'un heros malade, blesse, mutile, mourant.10 For Girard, t h i s i s the case with great works of l i t e r a t u r e where the duality" S e l f and Other, Moi et 1'Autre, i s the main "genetic" p r i n c i p l e of l i t e r a r y production. In less important works, "dans l'oeuvre i n -achevee", the tension between the S e l f and the Other i s almost non-existent: "seuls l e s autres desirent".H In such cases, as i n Proust's Jean Santeuil, there i s almost t o t a l i d e n t i f i c a t i o n between the Self and the Other: that i s to say that the hero i s the Other and completely invested with the attributes of the Other: " l ' o r i g i n a l i t e dont i l c r o i t doter son heros est i l l u s o i r e . " 1 2 This i s more properly the subjective phase of l i t e r a r y creation: La perfection fade du heros revele en l u i l e "double angeiique" de l a s u b j e c t i v i t e creatrice. L'ecrivain peut egalement centrer son oeuvre sur 1'Autre. Au heros tout entier p o s i t i f se substitue alors un heros tout entier negatif, une caricature, l e double malefique. Ces deux types d'oeuvre relevent d'un meme dualisme.13 This type of n o v e l i s t i c structure r e s t i n g on such d u a l i s t i c oppositional terms i s i l l u s o r y for i t gives the work a completeness great works do not possess. This completeness for Girard i s due to the f u l f i l l m e n t of a desire: a desire expressed i n i t i a l l y either as an angelic or as a malefic double which i s not contested hut f u l f i l l e d 80 by the conclusion of the novel. In a great work of art there i s no such f u l f i l l m e n t for the i n i t i a l desire of the subjective intention i s contradicted by the resolution which does not f u l f i l l the i n i t i a l expectations. The du a l i t y between the Se l f and the Other i s destroyed and transcended at the same time: Ayant r e j o i n t ce q u ' i l c r o i t etre l e terme de ses e f f o r t s , i l se retourne enfin sur l'oeuvre q u ' i l a reve p a r f a i t e et i l en decouvre l a fa i b l e s s e . Au septieme jour de l a creation, l e Dieu de l a Genese regarde son oeuvre et i l constate qu'elle est bonne. Le romancier regarde l a sienne et i l constate qu'elle est mauvaise. I I reconnait, en somme, q u ' i l n'est pas Dieu.l^ What has happened meanwhile? There exists a process of transformation between intention and retention which has r a d i c a l l y changed the projection of a desire to a s i t u a t i o n of despair: i t i s the t r a g i c conclusion of many novels which i s e s s e n t i a l l y what constitutes the n o v e l i s t i c experience. In terms of the d u a l i t y i t i s the sudden r e -cognition of the i d e n t i t y of the two terms and the r e a l i z a t i o n that the projection on to the Other which characterizes the n o v e l i s t i c process i s none other than a projection on the Sel f : Retourner contre soi-meme l a malediction d'abord jetee sur 1'Autre, decouvrir que cet Autre malefique ne f a i t qu'un avec l e Moi, c'est decouvrir l e Meme dans ce qui passait naguere pour l a Difference absolue, c'est u n i f i e r l e r e e l . Mais c'est d'abord mourir.^5 I t i s a process of doublement of the narrative on i t s e l f which provides the great works of l i t e r a t u r e with the complexity and the incompleteness of t h e i r achieved form. The writer as the f i r s t reader 81 of his novel i s the f i r s t to acquire the "experience romanesque". Even though the implications of t h i s c r i t i q u e are i n t e r e s t i n g i n themselves for the point of view that i t takes v i s - a - v i s l i t e r a r y production, the shortcomings of t h i s method are just as e a s i l y r e -cognizable. For what r e a l l y makes i t i n t e r e s t i n g i s not so much the l i g h t i t sheds on the novel i n as much as i t points to important aspects of the l i t e r a r y work even though the methodology adopted f a l s i f i e s the conclusions. For the d u a l i t y between Self and Other and the thwarting of the i n i t i a l subjective desire by a contesting outcome not only s i m p l i f i e s the complexity of the l i t e r a r y process but also attributes to a r t i s t i c creation, and to the novel, a prime function as the vehicle of a desire: "Desirer c'est croire a, l a transcendance du monde suggere par l ' A u t r e " a n d the creation of i l l u s i o n . The terms i n which the problem i s posed, q u a l i t a t i v e l y reduce the import of that i n i t i a l desire which seen i n terms of a c o n f l i c t between Self-and-Other resolves the doubling of the S e l f i n the Other as a desire to be "a. l a mode".!^ To explain the genetic process of the narrative structures of a novel i n psychoanalytical terms means to gloss over the necessary conditions for the desire i n the f i r s t place. But that i s not a l l , for when the problematic of the novel i s placed i n these terms greatness i n l i t e r a r y achievement seems to come from the awareness of the f u t i l i t y of such a desire. Further, Girard speaks of l i t e r a r y creation and at the same time assumes as fixed the end points between which the creation takes place. 82 He writes i n terms of a conclusion contesting the beginning of a given work yet that conclusion, as he also seems to imply i n his notion of the oracle i s present and i m p l i c i t at the beginning. The conclusion of a novel i s arb i t r a r y : the author chooses when to stop otherwise he could go on forever. This same c o n f l i c t between Sel f and Other, the way Girard r e -solves i t as explanation for the minor l i t e r a r y merits of Jean Santeuil, surely does not resolve the issue nor i s i t s u f f i c i e n t to determine minor and great l i t e r a t u r e . I t seems a common sense to want to say that the early works of great writers are minor because they were subjective and p a r o d i s t i c . Surely Proust, Stendhal, Flaubert and Balzac's l a t e r more mature works are just as subjective and parodistic? What Girard l i k e s to a t t r i b u t e to an evolution i n the writer's consciousness of himself v i s - a - v i s his Other and therefore coinciding l i t e r a r y maturity with psychoanalytical cure, i s already inscribed within the language of f i c t i o n as a form of expression. In Girard's conception the defeat of the w r i t e r at his r e a l i z a t i o n that he i s not God seems on the contrary to be a v i c t o r y , for only t h i s r e a l i z a t i o n w i l l make him r e a l l y a creator, a god, even i f only with a small 'g'. The tragedy of the a r t i s t , i f we want to maintain that "tragic sense" for a l i t t l e while longer, i s the condition i t s e l f of his existence as a writer: a producer of f i c t i o n . Even Girard would agree to t h i s for the "tragic sense" which the c r i t i c finds essential to the novelist's experience derives from the l i m i t e d control which the writer has on 83 the material with which he works. The writer i s e s s e n t i a l l y a parodist. What makes him the w r i t e r of minor or great works does not r e a l l y depend on whether he has resolved the i n i t i a l c o n f l i c t between himself and his l i t e r a r y creation but on how he uses the language of f i c t i o n . To understand l i t e r a t u r e by means of a psychoanalytical i n t e r -pretation of the r e l a t i o n between the wri t e r and the creative process does not t e l l us anything about the work. For the way a wri t e r understands himself as a wri t e r has r e a l l y almost no r e l a t i o n to the work he actually writes. For t h i s reason we are always bound to speak i n terms of a tr a g i c sense because between the work that the writer intends to write and what he ac t u a l l y writes there l i e s an immense gulf. Great writers are usually always aware of t h i s fact., Proust included, but the way they understand t h i s discrepancy i s always i n very highly subjective terms. The same i s true of a c r i t i q u e which attempts to interpret t h e i r interpretation. Again a c r i t i q u e l i k e the one formulated by Girard i s one which concentrates on the effects i n order to t r y to f a m i l i a r i z e i t s e l f with the process of f i c t i o n . Yet the discrepancy which was noted between the i n i t i a l intention and the f i n a l product must be understood i n different terms. What we would l i k e to emphasize i s the process of production of the text i t s e l f , that i s to say the transformation which a certain more or less given raw material undergoes to produce a certain product. 81* So far we have t r i e d to understand the l i t e r a r y work as the "object" of a possible science t r y i n g to determine the "laws" which govern i t and attempting to l i b e r a t e i t from the i d e a l i s t i c and empiricist assumptions of previous c r i t i c a l theories. We would l i k e now very b r i e f l y to describe the t h e o r e t i c a l practice of t h i s science: i . e . how does i t work to produce knowledge of i t s object. According to the canons established by Althusser, i n following Marx, s c i e n t i f i c or t h e o r e t i c a l practice acts on the abstract generality of the object i n order to produce concrete-in-thought know-ledge of that object. For our purpose i t i s necessary to explain f i r s t what i s meant by the abstract generality of the object and then secondly what we should mean by t h e o r e t i c a l practice. I t i s to be understood that the concrete knowledge that a s c i e n t i f i c method w i l l have to produce w i l l be a knowledge of the given complex structure of s i g n i f i c a t i o n of a given text. Without going into too many t h e o r e t i c a l elaborations the ex-planation of the abstract generality of the text and the t h e o r e t i c a l practice amounts to the determining of those aspects of the l i t e r a r y text which w i l l reveal to the analysis the given, complex structure of s i g n i f i c a t i o n of the text. For t h i s i s what we meant when we stated that t h e o r e t i c a l practice abstracts from the general abstractions of the object to produce s c i e n t i f i c knowledge. By abstract generalities we understand then a l l those elements which make up a l i t e r a r y work and are considered as i t s v i s i b l e elements. 85 By v i s i b l e i t i s implied the contention that the text as such i s readable: i t needs no special interpretative tools to extract a meaning from i t . I t i s readable i n i t s complexity and i n i t s i n -coherence for t h i s i s the way i t presents i t s e l f to the reader. These are, then, the v i s i b l e elements of the text. In order to f a c i l i t a t e a workable l i t e r a r y analysis we s h a l l distinguish between those elements which are v i s i b l y part of the author's intention: his aim or intention i n w r i t i n g the work and consequentially those elements which were consciously u t i l i z e d to carry out that intention from those elements which v i s i b l y constitute the work. The word v i s i b l y might be ambiguous here. As we stated previously there exists a great discrepancy from those intentions which the wr i t e r sets to work i n the text and the product which he r e a l l y achieves, I t i s t h i s condition which r e a l l y allows us to say that the wr i t e r i s h i s f i r s t reader: he himself does not know how the novel i s going to turn out. We also stated that t h i s discrepancy was due not to the i n a b i l i t y of the wr i t e r himself hut to the s p e c i f i c i t y of the work of f i c t i o n whose process of s i g n i f i c a t i o n partakes equally of ideology. I t i s i n fact the id e o l o g i c a l component of f i c t i o n which defers the s i g -n i f i c a t i o n and creates t h i s discrepancy. In order to understand the extent of t h i s deferment a c r i t i c a l analysis w i l l have to question the text on what were i t s objectives 86 before explaining what has r e a l l y happened to them. This process of explication should reveal the locus of t h i s deferment and allow us to explicate i t s complex structure of s i g n i f i c a t i o n . The v i s i b l e aspects of the text vary obviously from text to text and i t would be misleading therefore to t r y to generalize on these elements even though to t h i s point I have provided some indications of what these elements might be. To be more e x p l i c i t , the v i s i b l e i n t e n t i o n a l elements of a text might be a thematic that was being developed, or a certain l i t e r a r y project as i n the case of Balzac's La Comedie Humaine. In the next section we have given an example of t h i s type of analysis and we refer to i t here. For our immediate purpose, we s h a l l only elaborate on those aspects of the methodology which are not r e a l l y s p e cified i n the analysis. In La Jalousie there i s a d e f i n i t e l i t e r a r y program at work. This text and the ones which precede and follow i t are part of a new l i t e r a r y practice which i n t e n t i o n a l l y wants to provide a r a d i c a l break not only with previous modes of f i c t i o n w r i t i n g , but also with pre-vious ways of reading l i t e r a t u r e . As a r e s u l t the author, Robbe-Grillet, i s also attempting to affect a kind of " p o l i t i c a l " action, to be sure not of d i r e c t l y serving a p o l i t i c a l cause, but by attempting to force the reader into questioning his ordinary way of perceiving the world, the "comment" of l i t e r a r y and ordinary perception. 87 With these i n t e n t i o n a l objectives i n perspective the analysis attempts to understand the text i n these terms, t r y i n g to discern the locus of deferment i n the text. The e x p l i c a t i o n of the text so con-ducted, i f properly conducted, should provide us with a knowledge of the text. I t should also be stated at t h i s point that an e x p l i c a t i o n of a single text i s i n i t s e l f a p a r t i a l e x p l i c a t i o n , for i t would be more relevant to take into consideration the whole of the l i t e r a r y production of Robbe-Grillet: something which obviously cannot be attempted here. Perhaps as concluding remarks to t h i s section i t would he use-f u l to keep i n mind the d i s t i n c t i o n which i s made by Marx i n the epigraph to t h i s section. The d i s t i n c t i o n between economic conditions and the aesthetic do not however invalidate the p o s s i b i l i t y for a science of the l i t e r a r y t e x t ; on the contrary, the transformations at the l e v e l of the superstructure require such a t h e o r e t i c a l method i n order to determine the nature of the transformations and the i d e o l o g i c a l forms which condition them. However, the d i s t i n c t i o n must be kept i n mind i f only to be aware of the nature of the task which must be done, and of the i d e o l o g i c a l forms which must be confronted and avoided. 8 8 CHAPTER I I I : NOTES 1 See for instance the issue of New L i t e r a r y History on "Ideology and Liter a t u r e , " Volume IV, Spring 1 9 7 3 , no. 3 , 2 I b i d . , p. 6 1 2 for "Commentary" by Leo Marx. 3 I b i d . , p. 6 1 3 . k I b i d . , p. 5 1 9 . 5 Cf. Althusser, For Marx, the glossary by Ben Brewster, the entry on ideology, p. 2 5 2 . 6 I b i d . 7 Macherey, Theorie, p. 7 8 . 8 Althusser, Pour Marx, p. 2 0 1 * . 9 I b i d . , p. 2 0 3 . 1 0 Girard, "De l'experience romanesque au mythe oedipien," C r i t i q u e , 2 1 , November 1 9 6 5 ° 1 1 I b i d . , p. 9 0 1 . 1 2 I b i d . , p. 9 0 0 . ! 3 I b i d . , p. 9 0 2 . ^ I b i d . , p. 9 0 9 . ! 5 I b i d . , p. 9 0 7 . 1 6 I b i d . , p. 8 9 9 . 1 7 I b i d . , p. 9 0 0 , "Les idees de Jean (Santeuil) sont l es idees a l a mode." 89 I f t h i s i s the case with regard to the relationship of the various art genres within the realm of art i t s e l f , i t i s already less s t r i k i n g that i t should he the case with regard to the relationship of the realm of art as a whole to the general development of society. The d i f f i c u l t y consists only i n the generalization of these contra-d i c t i o n s . As soon as they are s p e c i f i e d , they are already explained. . . . the d i f f i c u l t y i s not to understand that Greek art and epics are t i e d to certain stages i n the development of society, The d i f f i c u l t y i s that they s t i l l y i e l d a r t i s t i c pleasure to us, and i n a certain way count for a norm and for unattainable models, Marx, Critique of P o l i t i c a l Economy CHAPTER IV CRITICAL PRACTICE: AN EXAMPLE OF THE APPLICATION OF THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD Many of the l i n e s which make up the epigraph to t h i s chapter have often been quoted by marxist and non-marxist a l i k e . A h i s t o r y of marxist l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m could be developed just on the basis of these l i n e s and on the many types of interpretation which they have given r i s e to. This i s not the place to add my contribution to the subject, but I would, however, l i k e to make two b r i e f suggestions regarding two of the most relevant l i n e s i n i t : ( l ) the d i f f i c u l t y of generalization; ( 2 ) the a r t i s t i c pleasure that Greek art s t i l l 90 provides us with. The f i r s t suggestion regarding generalization i s to the effect that the special r e l a t i o n between art and society needs a much more profound study than a l o t of the c r i t i c a l theories which subscribe to t h i s t h e o r e t i c a l tendency are prepared to make. The d i f f i c u l t y of generalization also means a greater f a c i l i t y to generalize: i t i s too easy to elaborate constructs which w i l l e s t a b l i s h a s i g -n i f i c a t i v e r e l a t i o n between art and society. What Marx says about ideology perhaps should be considered more ca r e f u l l y : "As soon as they are s p e c i f i e d , they are already explained." This l i n e should perhaps serve as the norm for future speculations, for contradictions are there where ideology i s dominant and they ex i s t i n a displaced form which, to be explicated, only required a s p e c i f i c a -t i o n of t h e i r displaced condition. Interpretation should give way to s p e c i f i c a t i o n or to e x p l i c a t i o n , which i s the moment of the same analysis. The second suggestion regards the pleasure that the art of the Greeks s t i l l gives to future generations. I would hazard that perhaps the pleasure which we receive i s also the pleasure of the knowledge which they produce, that a r t i s t i c pleasure, i n other words, affords us at the same time an understanding of the s o c i a l formation whence i t was produced, a model which i s no longer ours. I t would be necessary to determine then i n what does t h i s knowledge consist and how to acquire i t . 91 What has preceded has been i n some way an answer to these problems, but probably just the beginning of an answer- For the moment, to conclude on t h i s general attempt to formulate an answer to the s p e c i f i c question of a science of the l i t e r a r y t e x t , I s h a l l propose, very b r i e f l y , one way to resolve the d i f f i c u l t y of the "generalization of these contradictions" with an analysis of Robbe-G r i l l e t 1 s La Jalousie. The Analysis: La Jalousie i s a certain type of novel: i t i s an experimental novel, "un roman de recherche". I t i s a l i t e r a r y manifesto and the t y p i c a l example of what Robbe-Grillet c a l l s Le  Nouveau Roman.^ I t wants to be taken as the l i t e r a r y practice of a new trend i n l i t e r a r y theory because within the practice of f i c t i o n w r i t i n g i t represents a q u a l i t a t i v e s h i f t i n the art of l i t e r a r y s i g n i f i c a t i o n . S i g n i f i c a t i o n however i s not any longer a given as i n previous c l a s s i c a l novels, but i t i s created by the process of w r i t i n g i t s e l f . The novel i s not attempting to communicate anything and there i s no meaning to be interpreted.3 At best there i s "un sens" that the text may have for a reader, but t h i s "sens", even though derived from a reading of the novel, i s not necessarily i n the novel. Emphasis i s shi f t e d to the "regard" and to the process of transformation undergone by the object, or by " r e a l i t y " which i s made up of objects, when perceived by human s u b j e c t i v i t y : " l e comment".** 9 2 However, t h i s i s not just the beginning of a new trend i n literary-genre. The s h i f t i s not just l i t e r a r y but also social,, i n fact i t i s because man's si t u a t i o n has changed that i t becomes impossible to write a novel a l a Balzac. "L'Homme Nouveau" requires a "Nouveau Roman". The r e l a t i o n i s also reciprocal, for the "Nouveau Roman" not only requires a new man, who "accepte de se l i b e r e r des idees f a i t e s , en l i t t e r a t u r e comme dans l a v i e " , but the new novel attempts also to create a new man: "Cthe new novel] au l i e u de les tromper lithe readers] sur une pretendue s i g n i f i c a t i o n de leur existence, les aideront a v o i r plus c l a i r . " (p. 151> i t a l i c s mine). Here we have c l a r i f i e d for us what Robbe-Grillet also means by sens: i t i s not meant only i n a l i t e r a r y sense - possibly t h i s i s not important at a l l - but i t i s meant also i n a s o c i a l sense, as an experience, d i f f e r e n t from one reader t o another, which w i l l help him to understand himself better i n r e l a t i o n to his world. This i s what Robbe-Grillet c a l l s "engagement", the only possible form of s o c i a l a c t i v i t y for a write r . The task however i s not to teach or educate the reader but to free him "des idees f a i t e s " , of his preconceptions about the world. The novel i s an experience: a way of seeing and understanding the world. No more. The t e x t , we could say, i s l i s i b i e . 5 This "esprit de recherche" contains a double admonishment: for the reader and for the c r i t i c . To the reader the advice i s not to be constrained, "obnubile", by a type of reading determined by previous, now no longer adequate, forms of l i t e r a r y 93 experience: Ce q u ' i l l u i demande . , . c'est . . . de p a r t i c i p e r a une creation, d'inventer a son tour l'oeuvre - et l e monde - et d'apprendre ainsi' a inventer sa propre vi e . (p. 169) To the c r i t i c , ^ e specially as i t concerns La Jalousie, he warns against a l l attempts at reconstructing the order of events, and at giving the novel a meaning i t has not: C e r l u i - c i n'etait pas une narration emmelee d'une anecdote simple exterieure a l u i , mais i c i encore l e deroulement meme d'une h i s t o i r e qui n'avait d'autre r e a l i t e que c e l l e du r e c i t , deroulement qui ne s'operait nulle part a i l l e u r s que dans l a tete du narrateur i n v i s i b l e , c'est-a-dire de l ' e c r i v a i n , et du lecteur. (p. 167) The demands which the writer makes upon the reader and the c r i t i c are e s s e n t i a l l y the same he makes on man i n general. This i s the r a d i c a l function of the new novelist which places his art not to serve a p o l i t i c a l cause but to render the reader more aware of the manner i n which the mind understands the world, and how the subject transforms the objects around him. Reading La Jalousie i s tantamount for the reader to undergoing a process of d e f a m i l i a r i z a t i o n whereby the net r e s u l t of the reading, l e  sens, i s an increased sharpness of perception: a form of understanding. This i s what Robbe-Grillet c a l l s his "projet obscur", or i n a d i f f e r e n t phase of l i t e r a r y production, " l e contenu douteux de son l i v r e " . For those who might think that we are not analysing the novel but merely giving an account of what the author has himself stated i n Pour un nouveau roman, l e t me restate that La Jalousie i s the l i t e r a r y 9h practice of Robbe-Grillet ?s t h e o r e t i c a l program as he states i t i n the essays quoted above. I t i s the l i t e r a r y manifesto of the nouveau roman. What we have stated of t h i s writer's es p r i t d'ecriture i s what p a r t i a l l y conditions, even i f the novel was written two years before, the production of i t s e c r i t u r e . This program i s inscribed i n the very t i t l e of the novel and describes the angle of v i s i o n of both the w r i t e r , i t s f i r s t reader, and the reader at large. The shutter, l a j a l o u s i e , narrows and l i m i t s the f i e l d of v i s i o n not only by obstructing the v i s i o n but also by allowing only a marginal and fragmentary portion of the object to be seen. The gaze of the w r i t e r , as w e l l as that of the reader, i s focused on the scene where the w r i t i n g i s taking place, gradually and p a r t i a l l y unfolding i t s object. On another l e v e l of significance t h i s perceptual l i m i t a t i o n i s that of the subject whose v i s i o n i s narrowed by the preconceptions he has about the r e a l i t y he confronts. His i s a language which scans, reviews, and records the objects of his perceptions. I t i s a language which covers the surfaces of the objects, r e a l or imaginary, and questions them for meaning: . . .c'est un homme qui v o i t , qui sent, qui imagine, un homme situe dans l'espace et l e temps, conditionne par ses passions, un homme comme vous et moi. Et l e l i v r e ne rapporte r i e n d'autre que son experience, l i m i t e e , incertaine. (p. 1^9) Here we have, then, the merging of the form with the content within the elaboration of a certain type of w r i t i n g which c a l l s attention to i t s e l f and to the l i m i t s of i t s endeavour. I t describes as i t 95 sees i t s e l f i n the act of description: i t i s a doubling of the w r i t i n g on i t s e l f , questioning and interpreting the perceptions which have conditioned i t . Creation, and interpretation of the creation, are the p o l a r i t i e s along which a discourse i s elaborated but with no purpose except the doubling and redoubling of a discourse which covers the objects looking for clues. I t i s the process and the mode of perception which i s im-portant for the author and not the objects which go to make up that r e a l i t y . For according to Robbe-Grillet we cannot speak of " r e a l i t y " , for the objects which are represented appear already transformed by the subject which has perceived them. Perception i s a l l that i s the case. The v i s u a l angle of the reader i s conditioned, then, not only by the positions of the shutters, but also by the pos i t i o n and by the retention of the perceiving subject. The problem then that we are faced with i n dealing with La  Jalousie i s the awareness of Robbe-Grillet of his l i m i t a t i o n s as a wri t e r , and of the l i m i t a t i o n s of his own w r i t i n g . We mean his under-standing that the r e l a t i o n between observer and object i s only r e l a t i v e and subjective: that i t i s mainly a matter of in t e r p r e t a t i o n , or more appropriately, a matter of point of view. The novel for instance, as roman du regard, can be considered as a typology of possible points of view which transform the objects around. We have mentioned already two of these: the shutter and the mental state 96 of a suspicious and jealous mind. To these we could add a host of others such as the memory: reconstruction of past events; the night: nocturnal c r i e s which indicate only "l'existence, l a position et les deplacements"; the thick glass of the window: the r e f r a c t i o n of the painted metal plate whose shape "peut se deplacer a volonte"; u n f a m i l i a r i t y : the singing of a native tune "aux paroles incomprehensibles, ou meme sans paroles" which makes i t d i f f i c u l t to know whether the tune i s terminated or incomplete; the standpoint of the observer: the object i s i n v i s i b l e or becomes v i s i b l e according to i t s distance from the observer; b l i n d spots: the eraser and the razor blade which remove any sign of the object, such as fragments of a l e t t e r , the centipede, or a photograph which reveals only part of a scene. Objects can be made to disappear as w e l l i f brought i n t o proximity with flaws i n a glass, as with the large o i l spot l e f t by the truck i n the yard. Or again we could mention the small package of A. . . "ab-sorb! par un defaut du verre" which disappears from sight. There are of course many more examples of such g r i l l e s which stand between the ob-server and the object, which p a r t i a l l y or completely d i s t o r t the per-ceived object and make i t impossible to determine exactly what i s being seen: " I I s e r a i t d i f f i c i l e de preciser ou, exactement, i l neglige quelque regie e s s e n t i e l l e , sur quel point p a r t i c u l i e r i l manque de di s c r e t i o n . " (p. 2 3 ) . We see here that Robbe-Grillet's projet d'ecriture, which attempts to s h i f t emphasis from the object to the perceiving subject, i s elaborated 97 i n terms of a series of these regards, presented (to the reader) i n t h e i r l i m i t e d and conditioned apprehension of the object. The novel however makes no d i s t i n c t i o n between these objects: the o i l s p i l l , the centipede, the singing of the natives, the banana trees, the alleged a f f a i r between A... and Franck and so on; they are a l l the " r e a l i t y " , or part of that r e a l i t y , which i s perceived and refracted, and they a l l exist as p o s s i b i l i t i e s of that r e a l i t y , a l l equally v a l i d . I f there i s p a r t i a l i t y i n the selection i t i s not de-termined by the p r i v i l e g i n g of a meaning and therefore of a certain sequence of events to describe i t . The only p a r t i a l i t y i s that of the perceiving subject i n the sense that i t looks for rather than looks at_ something. The presumed r e l a t i o n s h i p between Franck and A... i s not a c r i t i c a l problem, nor i s i t the centre of the novel. Robbe-Grillet emphasizes " l e comment" of the act of perception: what i s i t then? The problem, as we have pointed out, i s one of ecriture: the how of the subjective perception. What r e a l l y conditions t h i s process i s a d i a l e c t i c of construction and deconstruction of the object perceived. La Jalousie, as a roman de recherche, i s written by means of a gradual breaking down of those l i t e r a r y canons u t i l i z e d by the " c l a s s i c a l " w riters. By eliminating those canons which determine how a novel i s to he read, the reader i s ba f f l e d at a f i r s t reading of La  Jalousie. As the mode of w r i t i n g eliminates these l i t e r a r y "crutches", one may even say, of f i c t i o n - w r i t i n g and fi c t i o n - r e a d i n g , i t constructs i t s own nouveau-roman-discourse. 98 A c r i t i c a l reading of the novel i n fact brings t h i s peculiar aspect of t h i s mode of perception to the fore. The perception of an object not only begins to describe an object, that i s r e a l l y to con-struct i t , but also begins to destroy i t . This i s the case with every object i n the novel whatever means are employed - t h i s i s usually the function of the g r i l l e - to bring about the questioning of the v a l i d i t y of the perception. Again here the t i t l e i s s i g n i f i c a t i v e i n that i t undermines the v a l i d i t y of the perceiving subject, the unperceived subject of the novel,^ whose mind i s obsessed and possessed by jealousy. He i s no longer the clear-minded, omniscient narrator of Balzac's novels. One example i s the novel within the novel motif which underlies the text throughout. We are t o l d that i t i s "un r e c i t classique sur l a v i e co l o n i a l e , en Afrique, avec description de tornade, revolte indigene et h i s t o i r e s de club." Yet we are not given an exact account of what takes place i n t h i s novel with the exception of the comments of Franck and A... and of the interpretation given by the subject of t h e i r reactions. We have di f f e r e n t versions of t h i s novel and of i t s characters: Le personnage p r i n c i p a l du l i v r e est un fonctionnaire des douanes. Le personnage n'est pas un fonction-naire, mais un employe superieur d'un v i e i l l e compagnie commerciale. Les a f f a i r e s de cette compagnie sont mauvaises, e l l e s evoluent rapidement vers 1'escroquerie. Les a f f a i r e s de l a compagnie sont tres bonnes. This account of the novel, so d i s t i n c t l y and i n t e n t i o n a l l y contradictory, i s symptomatic not of a l i t e r a r y technique but of a phenomenology of reading. The motif of the novel within the novel i s not u t i l i z e d i n 99 order to establ i s h a meaningful r e l a t i o n between the novel i n process and the novel to he writ t e n , as i n Gide's Les Faux Monnayeurs, but rather to point to the rewriting which the reader himself makes when he comments on i t . The stress i s placed on the f a m i l i a r i t y which the reader of the " c l a s s i c s " seems to have with the novel and i t s characters, and the speculations which t h i s empathy gives r i s e to: Jamais i l s n'ont emis au sujet du roman l e moindre jugement de valeur, parlant au contraire des l i e u x , des evenements, des personnages, comme s ' i l se fut agi de chos.es r e e l l e s . . . . des gens q u ' i l s y auraient connus, ou dont on leur aurait raconte 1'histoire. . . . i l leur arrive souvent de r e -procher aux heros eux-memes certaines actes, ou certains t r a i t s de caractere, comme i l s l e feraient pour des amis communs. (p. 82) The motif of the reader i s there however not to indicate a possible way of reading the text hut to destroy that p a r t i c u l a r r e -l a t i o n between the novel and i t s reader. At best Franck and A... represent the desire, u n f u l f i l l e d , of the c l a s s i c a l reader v i s - a - v i s the nouveau roman. La Jalousie does not allow the same kind of f a m i l i a r i t y and empathy with the characters; on the contrary, the reader i s defamiliarized and forced to accept the apparent incoherence and ambiguity of i t s presentation. Ultimately even the novel within the novel motif i s there i n order to be erased. The apparent s i m i l a r i t y i n plot outline between the two novels i s there to indicate the breaking point between two forms of wr i t i n g : one eliminating the p o s s i b i l i t y for the existence of the other i n the same act of constructing i t s e l f . 100 S i m i l a r l y , as the new form destroyes the old i n the act of i t s elaboration, the f a m i l i a r perception of the reader gradually d i s -integrates and his act becomes participatory rather than int e r p r e t a t i v e and speculative. Again here the technique i s s i m i l a r to the other examples we noted above. The object en s i t u a t i o n , here the novel and the two readers, i s s h i f t e d to a b l i n d spot of the mirror and seen through i t s flaws. This i s the d i a l e c t i c of La Jalousie whose program de recherche i s elaborated i n terms of a form of w r i t i n g which simultaneously con-structs and deconstructs i t s own discourse on the basis of a s h i f t i n our ordinary way of perceiving r e a l i t y . "Ordinary" i s perhaps the key word here, and the clue to the problematic of La Jalousie. In the works of c l a s s i c a l authors we take for granted the d i s t i n c t i o n between ordinary perception and l i t e r a r y perception and we understand the l a t t e r as a transformation of the former. Consciously or unconsciously we know that when we deal with a novel of Balzac we are dealing with a f i c t i o n a l i z e d account of a certain " r e a l i t y " : i . e . with Balzac's l i t e r a r y perception of that r e a l i t y . Considering Robbe-Grillet's claim, as stated i n Pour un nouveau  roman, we become aware that the underlying assumption of his claim i s that i n l e roman de recherche we are not dealing any longer with a l i t e r a r y form of perception but with an ordinary one. Or perhaps the two have to be taken as one? 101 C'est Dieu seul qui peut pretendre etre o b j e c t i f . Tandis que dans nos l i v r e s , au contraire, c'est un homme qui v o i t , qui sent, qui imagine, un homme situe dans l'espace et l e temps, conditionne par ses passions, un homme comme vous et moi. Et l e l i v r e ne rapporte r i e n d'autre que son ex-perience, l i m i t e e , incertaine. C'est un homme d ' i c i , un homme de maintenant, qui est son propre narrateur, enfin. (p. 1U9) The basic assumption i s that ve are dealing no longer with "Dieu" but with the ordinary perception of an ordinary man. Should we then consider La Jalousie no longer as a novel but as a statement of a man who i s "engage . . . dans une aventure passionnelle des plus obsedantes, au point de deformer souvent sa v i s i o n , . . ."? ( i t a l i c s mine). This seems to be the answer i f we are not aware that Robbe-Grillet i n denouncing l i t e r a r y perception has accepted another kind of f i c t i o n a l i z a t i o n : that of the human mind obsessed by human passions. I t i s that passion which d i s t o r t s and transforms r e a l i t y , and the w r i t e r need not add that of the l i t e r a r y imagination. This i s the necessary condition which determines the l i t e r a r y production of La Jalousie. This condition i s however not only programmatic but also i d e o l o g i c a l . The author's p o s i t i o n , as we stated previously, i s to free the reader from his ordinary mode of conceiving r e a l i t y and to provide him with the experience of one more point of view. We quoted t h i s passage: Ce qu'l l u i demande, ce n'est plus de recevoir tout f a i t un monde acheve, p l e i n , clos sur lui-meme, 102 c'est au contraire de parteciper a une creation, d'inventer a son tour l'oeuvre - et l e monde -et d'apprendre a i n s i a inventer sa propre v i e . We see now that t h i s apparent r a d i c a l break from t r a d i t i o n i n order to mould "un homme nouveau" i s i l l u s o r y for the task does not r e a l l y affect man who does not need to be t o l d to invent his own l i f e . What the author f i n a l l y accomplishes i s forcing on the reader one more point of view, one more type of f i c t i o n which does not e n t a i l change but just time to readjust the focus to what i s e s s e n t i a l l y a technique. In La Jalousie i t i s the technique of the s h i f t i n perception: the construction and deconstruction of the object constantly reapplied on disparate objects. The new " g r i l l e " which Robbe-Grillet proposes i s new i n that i t does not p r i v i l e g e a fix e d point of view, hut rather one which i s i n a constant f l u x determined only hy the ob-session of the human mind. What the author c a l l s the new " s i t u a t i o n de l'homme" v i s - a - v i s his world one finds a r t i c u l a t e d i n the novel i n terms of a new l i t e r a r y technique. This s h i f t does not represent a r a d i c a l break but only an i d e o l o g i c a l s h i f t which does not create a new man but adds one more f i c t i o n to the dossier on l a condition humaine. 103 CHAPTER IV: NOTES 1 A l l references to La Jalousie are from the 1957 e d i t i o n de Minuit. 2 A l l references to the t h e o r e t i c a l writings of Robbe-Grillet are from Pour un nouveau roman, Gallimard: 1963. 3 Cf.: "Avant l'oeuvre, i l n'y a r i e n , pas de certitude, pas de these, pas de message. Croire que l e romancier a 'quelque chose a d i r e ' , et q u ' i l cherche ensuite comment l e d i r e , represente l e plus grave des contresens." I b i d . , p. 153. ^ Cf. : "Car c'est precisement ce comment, cette maniere de d i r e , qui constitue son projet d'ecrivain, projet obscur entre tous, et qui sera plus tard l e contenu douteux de son l i v r e . " I b i d . , p. 153-5 See for instance p. 150: "Nos l i v r e s sont e c r i t s avec les mots, les phrases de tout l e monde, de tous l e s jours. I l s ne presentent aucune d i f f i c u l t ! p a r t i c u l i e r e de lecture pour ceux qui ne cherchent pas a c o l l e r dessus une g r i l l e d'interpretation perimee, qui n'est plus bonne deja depuis pres de cinquante ans." ° We could perhaps add also the following comment of Rohbe-Grillet on the c r i t i c : "Le c r i t i q u e est done place dans cette s i t u a t i o n para-doxale: i l est oblige de juger les oeuvres contemporaines en se servant de c r i t e r e s qui, au mieux, ne les concernent pas"; and then l a t e r : "La meilleure methode possible, c'est encore d'extrapoler, et c'est justement ce que l a c r i t i q u e vivante s'efforce de f a i r e . " (p. 156). T With the exception of the reader, there i s no-one i n the novel who perceives his presence. In t h i s sense he i s also a subject and not an object. 105 Condition: N e o c r i t i c a l But Not Serious Before you l e t that patient i n , please t e l l us Doc Lacan, The l a t e s t dope from Levi-Strauss, Derrida and de Man, What symptomatic concepts may we now disseminate? What p h a l l i c simulacra may we " c l u s t e r " or suhlate? Can d i a l e c t i c referents be structured a f t e r Hegel? W i l l nominal concretions t r u l y supersede the bagel? And does the s i g n i f i e r r e a l l y mean the s i g n i f i e d ? 0 merde, Lacan, your patient just committed suicide! Vera Lee, Boston College (printed i n D i a c r i t i c s , Vol* I I I , no. 2) FRE-TEXT I I : A CONCLUSION A reaction l i k e the one expressed i n the quotation above seems j u s t i f i e d and r i g h t l y so. I t i s an i m p l i c i t c r i t i c i s m of the trend-isms, of which structuralism i s the l a t e s t event, which dominate p e r i o d i c a l l y the c u l t u r a l , and then ultimately the academic, scene. Yet every trend, at any one moment of i t s " c u l t u r a l existence" welcomes parody, i f not out r i g h t l y needing i t . The necessity for parody i s a c u l t u r a l safety valve: the necessary o b j e c t i v i t y and distancing which a society needs i n order to make sense of i t s phenomena and also i n order to appropriate them to i t s e l f . The necessity, we said, i s within the phenomenon i t s e l f : the product of a c u l t u r a l phenomenon that needs to be recognized as such i n i t s immediate impact and i n i t s temporary duration. A c u l t u r a l phenomenon such as structuralism, and i t s derivations, while being on the one hand a reaction against previous trends and a \ 106 solution to the contradictions of those problematics, i s on the other hand a refinement and an extension of those contradictions. There i s actually no r e a l solution hut only a p o s s i b i l i t y for parody. The pre-vious contradictions, i f we can use t h i s term at a l l , for we are dealing with b a s i c a l l y the same contradiction, are neutralized by d i s -placement, hut do not cease to e x i s t . Structuralism i s phenomenally the displacement of those previous contradictions r e s u l t i n g from the i d e o l o g i c a l elements of the s o c i a l formation whence they are produced. The effect of t h i s displacement i s what Althusser c a l l s a f ter Freud over-determination of the contradiction: The pattern of dominance and subordination, antagonism and non-antagonism of the contra-dictions i n the structure i n dominance at any given h i s t o r i c a l moment. More p r e c i s e l y , the overdetermination of a contradiction i s the r e f l e c t i o n i n i t of i t s conditions of existence within the complex whole, that i s , of the other contradictions i n the complex whole, i n other words i t s uneven development. x Within the framework of c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y trends structuralism represents the state of overdetermination of the contradiction which i s the necessary condition determining i t s existence as a practice w i t h i n a given s o c i a l formation and which necessarily must r e f l e c t i n i t s development those necessary conditions. Parody, and the necessity for parody, i s the element which phenomenally betrays those origins and the temporality of i t s e f f e c t s : i t announces the necessity f o r a new displacement and a new over-determination. 107 In the previous sections we have t r i e d to deal i n d i r e c t l y with t h i s question by t r y i n g to determine i n terms of c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y discourse the assumptions on which previous c r i t i c a l trends rested. As a solution we have suggested the elaboration of a s c i e n t i f i c methodology which would attempt to understand the l i t e r a r y text as a s c i e n t i f i c object deprived of the notions with which trend-ism had interpreted and re-interpreted i t . I t required f i r s t of a l l a work of deconstruction of the l i t e r a r y work and consequentially a c r i t i q u e of the main t h e o r e t i c a l c r i t i c a l assumptions which had invested the text with properties not i t s own. And then a work of reconstruction, or bet t e r , of t r ans format i on of the t e x t , as the object of i d e o l o g i c a l p r a c t i c e , to a stage where i t i s understood as the object of s c i e n t i f i c practice. A necessarily a l l too b r i e f operation which we t r i e d to t y p i f y as a t r a n s i t i o n from private law to t h e o r e t i c a l law, from a r t i s t i c c r i t i c i s m to s c i e n t i f i c c r i t i c i s m . The advent of a science does not however imply at the same time the end of previous -isms just as much as the advent of socialism or communism does not imply an end of ideology. Just as ideology i s a necessary part of any s o c i a l formation necessarily coexisting with a marxist p o l i t i c a l p r a c t i c e , so structuralism and semiology and future trends coexist with a science of l i t e r a t u r e . The event of an "epistemological break" i s thus only a t h e o r e t i c a l event which cannot eliminate the contradictions and the play of contra-dictions present i n the complex whole of the superstructure. In fact the elaboration of a s c i e n t i f i c method would not be possible and a theory 108 could not ex i s t without assuming the necessary existence of the contra-d i c t i o n and the necessary i d e o l o g i c a l conditioning of every practice. This i s the function of a t h e o r e t i c a l practice which, beginning with t h i s assumption, and being aware of t h i s conditioning, can produce knowledge of i t s object. This i s the di r e c t i o n toward which we have oriented t h i s paper; i t was an attempt to indicate the p o s s i b i l i t y of another c r i t i c a l per-ception and to lay the basis for t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y . I t was by no means meant to he exhaustive or to reach d e f i n i t i v e conclusions. Even though we believe not only i n the necessity but also i n the v a l i d i t y of t h i s d i r e c t i o n , we could not at t h i s moment but suggest i t as a theoretical, project to which one can give only the status of "Notes" and, i n a l l honesty, refer to these t h e o r e t i c a l observations by no other t i t l e than "Notes toward a science of the l i t e r a r y t e x t " , For these reasons i t follows that there cannot be a v e r i t a b l e con-clusion to these Notes. In one sense the p o s s i b i l i t y of concluding i s invalidated from the s t a r t . In another sense neither a s c i e n t i f i c theory nor i t s t h e o r e t i c a l practice can ever be f i n a l l y conclusive, Given the necessary conditions which determine them t h e i r struggle with ideology remains always an open question. In terms of such considerations, and looking back to the errors and l i m i t s of our statements, we cannot but present the whole and t h i s section, 109 as another Pre-Text i n order to stress the necessity for a more sp e c i f i c and rigorous s c i e n t i f i c elaboration, the Text, which these notes announce and whose contour they have attempted to delineate. 110 PRE-TEXT I I : NOTES ^ See glossary by Ben Brewster i n Althusser's English edi t i o n of Pour Marx. I l l BIBLIOGRAPHY A. GENERAL REFERENCE TEXTS Auzias, Jean-Marie. Clefs pour l e Structural!sme. Seghers: 1 9 7 1 . Avalle, D.S. L'Analisi L e t t e r a r i a i n I t a l i a : Formalismo  Strutturalismo, Semiologia. R i c c i a r d i : 1 9 7 0 • Ducrot, 0 . and Todorov, T. Dictionnaire encyclopedique des sciences  du langage. S e u i l : 1 9 7 2 . Eco, Umberto. La Struttura Assente. Bompiani: 1 9 6 8 . Ehrmann, Jacques. "Structuralism." Yale French Studies, 3 6 - 7 ° New Haven: 1 9 6 6 . Escarpit, Robert. 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