Pierre Macherey and the Case of Literary Production, ed. Warren Montag and Audrey Wasser – Northwestern University Press, 2022

Pierre Macherey and the Case of Literary Production, ed. Warren Montag and Audrey Wasser – Northwestern University Press, 2022

Contributions by Pierre Macherey, Nathan Brown, David Marriott, Nick Nesbitt, Ellen Rooney and Joseph Serrano

This collection revisits A Theory of Literary Production (1966) to show how Pierre Macherey’s remarkable—and still provocative—early work can contribute to contemporary discussions about the act of reading and the politics of formal analysis. Across a series of historically and philosophically contextualized readings, the volume’s contributors interrogate Macherey’s work on a range of pressing issues, including the development of a theory of reading and criticism, the relationship between the spoken and the unspoken, the labor of poetic determination and of literature’s resistance to ideological context, the literary relevance of a Spinozist materialism, the process of racial subjectification and the ontology of Blackness, and a theorization of the textual surface. Pierre Macherey and the Case of Literary Production also includes three new texts by Macherey, presented here in English for the first time: his postface to the revised French edition of A Theory of Literary Production; “Reading Althusser,” in which Macherey analyzes the concept of symptomatic reading; and a comprehensive interview in which Macherey reflects on the historical conditions of his early work, on the long arc of his career at the intersection of philosophy and literature, and on the ongoing importance of Louis Althusser’s thought.

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