Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 12 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

“Postcritical reading” slices across the dichotomy of sceptical detachment versus naïve absorption. Rather than interrogating what a text represents or fails to represent, it invites other questions: what does a text do? what does it set in motion? what ties a text to its readers? Such questions can do justice to the work of literature—the work that literature does, in the classroom and the world—while also leaving room for contingency and surprise. And here the language of attachment offers an alternative to the usual accounts (whether aesthetic or sociological) of why literature matters. Attachment, it should be emphasized, is not just a matter of feeling; it is also normative, involving questions of ethics or politics. In this sense, it allows us to look more closely at the similarities between academic criticism and lay reading, yet without denying their differences.

Keywords: attachment, reading, Latour, love, postcritical, hermeneutics, identification

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.