The Tension of Rationality: Roberto Schwarz, Two Girls and Other Essays. Ed. Francis Mulhern, trans. John Gledson. London; New York: Verso, 2013. [Review article]

2017-05-22T09:54:46Z (GMT) by Conall Cash
A commonplace assumption about the introduction of ―theory into literary studies—both amongst its proponents and its detractors—holds that it has led critics to do away with the notion of the author as an individual, creative genius. Theory refuses to believe in an author possessed of a spontaneous, irreducible talent that enables him or her to stand outside their history, their culture, and their limitations as a private individual, expressing absolute truths. Fundamental to the decentring of the author from such a position of mastery are the originators of those discourses most foundational for the development of literary theory broadly understood—Marx and Freud— with their respective arguments that ―it is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness, and that ―the ego is not master in its own house, but must content itself with scanty information of what is going on unconsciously in its mind.