© 1994

Negation, Critical Theory, and Postmodern Textuality

  • Daniel Fischlin

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Introduction: Negation, Critical Theory, and Postmodern Textuality

  3. Negative Meaning, Unrecognizability, Elenctic Negation, and Apocalypse

  4. Nothing Doing and Nihilism

  5. Engendering Negation

  6. Theory, Practice, and Denegation

  7. Back Matter
    Pages 321-331

About this book


Negation, Critical Theory, and Postmodern Textuality features 14 new essays by leading specialists in critical theory, comparative literature, philosophy, and English literature. The essays, which present wide-ranging historical considerations of negation in light of recent developments in poststructuralism and postmodernism, range over many of the siginificant texts in which negation figures prominently. The book includes a wide-ranging introductory chapter that examines how attention to negation -- the inescapable nescience that is posited in any and every linguistic expression -- enhances the hermeneutic possibilities present in language. In addition, the four sections of the book bring together major critical interventions on, among others, negative meaning, unrecognizability, elenctic negation, apocalypse, nihilism, negation and gender, and denegation. All the essays involve close attention to key texts by major authors, including William Shakespeare, Henry James, Federico García Lorca, Samuel Beckett, Thomas Bernhard, Walt Whitman, E.M. Forster, Mary Shelley, Margaret Atwood, Roland Barthes, Douglas Barbour, Paul de Man, bp Nichol, Jacques Derrida, and Dogen Kigen. The volume opens up new areas in critical theory, comparative literature, and the philosophy of language, and defines a major new area of inquiry in relation to notions of postmodern textuality. Critical theorists, students of comparative literature, English literature, and the history of ideas, and those interested in the hermeneutic implications of postmodernism will find this volume of substantial interest. Its extensive bibliographical apparatus and index make the collection a valuable reference tool for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students as well as for those seeking a variety of interpretive approaches to the problem of negation in literature.


English Jacques Derrida Paul de Man language philosophy of language

Editors and affiliations

  • Daniel Fischlin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishBishop’s UniversityLennoxvilleCanada

Bibliographic information