Obscure invitations : the persistence of the author in twentieth-century American literature /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Widiss, Benjamin Leigh.
Imprint:Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 2011.
Description:1 online resource (208 pages)
Subject:American literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
Authors and readers -- History -- 20th century.
Authorship -- History -- 20th century.
Authorship in literature.
LITERARY CRITICISM -- American -- General.
American literature.
Authors and readers.
Authorship in literature.
Electronic books.
Electronic books.
Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Format: E-Resource Book
URL for this record:http://pi.lib.uchicago.edu/1001/cat/bib/11277571
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Notes:Includes bibliographical references and index.
Print version record.
Summary:Literary studies in the postwar era have consistently barred attributing specific intentions to authors based on textual evidence or ascribing textual presences to the authors themselves. Obscure Invitations argues that this taboo has blinded us to fundamental elements of twentieth-century literature. Widiss focuses on the particularly self-conscious constructions of authorship that characterize modernist and postmodernist writing, elaborating the narrative strategies they demand and the reading practices they yield. He reveals that apparent manifestations of "the death of the author" and of t.
Other form:Print version: Widiss, Benjamin Leigh. Obscure invitations. Stanford, California : Stanford University Press, [2011], ©2011 9780804773225
Review by Choice Review

In this dynamic and dense work, Widiss (Princeton) concentrates his attention on the normally disenfranchised constructions of authorship. He affirms that the death of the author and "free play" of language promote the performances of the author and cannot, in the interest of scholarly duties, be ignored. Authorship "complicate[s] received wisdom regarding the constitution of and distinction between literary movements and moments throughout the century." Widiss examines select texts by Gertrude Stein, Vladimir Nabokov, William Faulkner, and Dave Eggers, demonstrating that each acknowledges the authorial absence and thus justifies further discernment of the author; by proclaiming the absence of the author, one seeks to find the author. Authorial control is exerted on both the text and the reader. Ostensibly, this book provides a new method for analysis of modern and postmodern texts. Widiss argues the location of the author in modern America, and his/her place in the formation of the narrative. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. C. R. Bloss Auburn University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review