Indiscernible Counterparts

The Invention of the Text in French Classical Drama

By Christopher Braider

Indiscernible Counterparts

387 pp., 6 x 9

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-9279-4
    Published: February 2003

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Distributed for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Romance Studies

While the plays of classical France achieve an unprecedented scenic perfection, what ultimately distinguishes classical drama is its unique awareness of its literary properties: the canny excavation of its resources as the site, instrument, and product of a concerted act of writing. But this self-conscious literariness also bears witness to the era's corollary awareness of the predicament in which even great art works stand as the occasion and counterpart of a critical, often ironic act of reading. In "inventing," that is, creating and discovering, the text as a vehicle of self-determining authorship, the "grands classiques" simultaneously invent the key critical insights shaping the methods we ourselves bring to bear on the poetic monuments they have left us. The literary monument thereby becomes its own "indiscernible counterpart," deliberately engaging what, in theory, ought to escape it--the deconstructive "other" only another contrives to see.

About the Author

Christopher Braider is associate professor in the Department of French and Italian at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
For more information about Christopher Braider, visit the Author Page.