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Literature, Theory, and Common Sense
Antoine Compagnon
Translated by Carol Cosman

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INTRODUCTION: What Remains of Our Loves? 1
Theory and Common Sense 4
Theory and Practice of Literature 7
Theory, Criticism, History 9
Theory or Theories 10
Theory of Literature or Literary Theory 11
Literature Reduced to Its Elements 12
CHAPTER 1: Literature 15
The Scope of Literature 17
The Comprehension of Literature: Function 19
The Comprehension of Literature: The Form of Content 21
The Comprehension of Literature: The Form of Expression 22
Literariness or Prejudice 25
Literature Is Literature 27
CHAPTER 2: The Author 29
The Thesis of the Death of the Author 30
"Voluntas" and "Actio" 33
Allegory and Philology 36
Philology and Hermeneutics 39
Intention and Consciousness 43
The Method of Parallel Passages 45
"Straight from the Horse's Mouth "48
Intention or Coherence 51
The Two Arguments against Intention 54
The Return to Intention 58
Meaning Is Not Signification 59
Intention Is Not Premeditation 63
The Presumption of Intentionality 65
CHAPTER 3: The World 69
Against "Mimesis" 70
"Mimesis" Denaturalized 73
Realism: Reflection or Convention 76
The Referential Fallacy and Intertextuality 78
The Terms of the Dispute 82
Critique of the Anti-mimetic Thesis 83
The Arbitrariness of Language 88
"Mimesis" as Recognition 92
Fictional Worlds 97
The World of Books 100
CHAPTER 4: The Reader 102
Reading Sidelined 102
The Resistance of the Reader 105
Reception and Influence 108
The Implied Reader 108
The Open Work 113
The Horizon of (Phantom) Expectation 115
Genre as a Model of Reading 116
Freewheeling Reading 117
After the Reader 121
CHAPTER 5: Style 123
Style in All Its Conditions 124
Language, Style, Writing 129
Down with Style! 131
Norm, Deviation, Context 135
Style as Thought 138
The Return of Style 140
Style and Exemplification 142
Norm or Aggregate 144
CHAPTER 6: History 146
Literary History and History of Literature 148
Literary History and Literary Criticism 151
History of Ideas, Social History 153
Literary Evolution 156
The Horizon of Expectation 157
Philology Disguised 161
History or Literature? 164
History as Literature 167
CHAPTER 7: Value 169
Most Poems Are Bad, but They Are Poems 170
Aesthetic Illusion 173
What Is a Classic? 176
On the National Tradition in Literature 180
Saving the Classic 182
The Last Plea for Objectivism 186
Value and Posterity 188
In Favor of a Tempered Relativism 191
CONCLUSION: The Theoretical Adventure 193
Theory and Fiction 194
Theory and "Bathmology" 195
Theory and Perplexity 196

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File created: 4/21/2017

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