Symposium: The Literary and Its Outsides

Denotatively, Technically, Literally
The Literary and Its Outsides
Tuesday, April 1, 5–7:00 pm
Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall
Townsend Center for the Humanities
UC Berkeley

Presenters:

Margaret Cohen (Stanford University)
Ian Duncan (UC Berkeley)
Elaine Freedgood (New York University)
Cannon Schmitt (University of Toronto)

Discussants:

Stephen Best (UC Berkeley)
Kent Puckett (UC Berkeley)
Four contributors to the current special issue of Representations (No. 125, Winter 2014), co-edited by Elaine Freedgood and Cannon Schmitt, will offer reflections on language–denotative, technical, literal–conventionally excluded from critical reading and, thus, from “literature.” Discussants include Stephen Best (editorial board, Representations, co-editor of the special issue “Surface Reading,” No. 108, 2009) and Kent Puckett (co-chair, editorial board, Representations).

Co-sponsored by:

Representations
The Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities, UCB
The Nineteenth Century and Beyond Working Group, UCB
The Florence Green Bixby Chair in English, UCB

Denotatively, Technically, Literally

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For literary readers, the categories of the denotative, literal, and technical do not, cannot, or should not exist. No language can be denotative or literal for us, since language, above all literary language, never means what it says, pace recent attempts to declare otherwise. A purely technical language would be the opposite of the language of the literary text: operational in precisely the way the literary text is not. We do not use Heart of Darkness as a sailing manual or a handbook for the extraction of natural resources from colonized places, and we have no doubt that those who treat Thomas Hardy’s novels as travel guides to southwestern England are missing the point (although a large tourist industry does thus operationalize them, and quite successfully)….

–Elaine Freedgood and Cannon Schmitt

Continue reading this introduction to Representations 125, the special issue Denotatively, Technically, Literally, here.

New Issue, Representations 125

SPECIAL ISSUE: Denotatively, Technically, Literally
Edited by Elaine Freedgood and Cannon Schmitt

ELAINE FREEDGOOD AND CANNON SCHMITT
Denotatively, Technically, Literally

IAN DUNCAN
George Eliot’s Science Fiction

ELAINE FREEDGOOD
Ghostly Reference

CANNON SCHMITT
Technical Maturity in
Robert Louis Stevenson

RACHEL SAGNER BUURMA AND LAURA HEFFERNAN
Notation After the ‘‘Reality Effect’’:
Remaking Reference with
Roland Barthes and Sheila Heti

MARGARET COHEN
Denotation in Alien Environments:
The Underwater Je Ne Sais Quoi

 

New Issue, 124 (Fall 2013)

REP124_Cover.indd

INGE HINTERWALDNER
Parallel Lines as Tools for Making Turbulence Visible

DAVID BATES
Cartesian Robotics

HALL BJØRNSTAD
Twice Written, Never Read: Pascal’s Mémorial Between Superstition and Superbia

PAULA VARSANO
Disappearing Objects/Elusive Subjects: Writing Mirrors in Early and Medieval China

FIELD NOTES
CAROL GLUCK, Infinite Mischief? History and Literature Once Again

IN MEMORIAM PAUL ALPERS
· IN MEMORIAM PAUL ALPERS
by Catherine Gallagher, Stephen Greenblatt, Thomas Laqueur, and Randolph Starn
· VIRGIL’S ECLOGUE V
translated by Paul Alpers

 

Upcoming in Representations #123:

Jan von Brevern on resemblance in photography, Anders Engberg-Pedersen on military metaphor in Tristam Shandy, Laura Tunbridge on British reception of German-language song between the wars, Maia McAleavey on the plot of bigamous return in nineteenth-century fiction, and Eitan Bar-Yosef on Zionism and blackface.

Coming in August 2013.

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