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By Michael Vincent

The works of Jean de los angeles Fontaine have invited a unprecedented number of readings within the 3 centuries in view that their composition. via attractive chosen fables and stories with modern notions of intertextuality, reader reception conception, and grammatology, Figures of the Text increases questions about what “reading los angeles Fontaine” intended within the seventeenth century, and what it skill this present day. The learn integrates a conception of examining and a thought of textual construction by means of drawing recognition to these elements of the textual content that determine writing and interpreting, for example: scenes of studying; different modes of writing (emblems, hieroglyphics); inscriptions and epitaphs; right names; and quotation (proverbs, maxims, allusions); the relation of represented orality to textuality, of textuality to corporeality, and of textuality to the visible arts (ekphrasis); and the archaeology of textual figures, corresponding to labyrinths, textiles, and veils.

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Extra resources for Figures of the Text: Reading and writing (in) La Fontaine

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The fou and the dupe are now truly "characters" in many of the senses given this term. They are marks, inscriptions, hieroglyphics; they are immutable, eternal essences incapable of change or development. They are their names. The scene in which these "characters" appear, which the reader might take for representation of an action in the world, a sequential ordering of events in time, has been displaced by a timeless and authorless, but now finally meaningful, figure. It is noteworthy that in La Fontaine's source (Abstemius, fable 185) the fou himself immediately provides the interpretation of his behavior along with the punch and the rope (ed.

The scene in which these "characters" appear, which the reader might take for representation of an action in the world, a sequential ordering of events in time, has been displaced by a timeless and authorless, but now finally meaningful, figure. It is noteworthy that in La Fontaine's source (Abstemius, fable 185) the fou himself immediately provides the interpretation of his behavior along with the punch and the rope (ed. ). In this fable, the fou's words gloss his actions in a way that is situationally paradoxical but theoretically unproblematic.

Three verses, however, convey their lack of interest in small talk, while two merely list the subjects broached. Readers might even be taken aback by a certain disproportion between the ostensible purpose of their meeting—to determine the state of Démocrite's mind and, incidentally, to communicate a "philosophical" message—and the literary realization of this scene. The fable seems more interested in denigrating idle chatter than in reporting serious discourse. After the essentially unnaturalizable scene of reading I have just examined, the scene of dialogue, the point toward which the whole fable has been directed, is disappointing in its brevity.

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