“Books are objects. On a table, on bookshelves, in store windows, they wait for someone to come and deliver them from their materiality. Georges Poulet’s Phenomenology of Reading. Graham Bippart. Bucknell University. Follow this and additional works at: ll. edu/chr. Poulet, french essayist and critic, comments on the experience of reading as his opening paragraph of his mind-bending interpreation of what it.

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In short, the extraordinary phenomenologgy in the case of a books the falling away of the barriers between you and it. About project SlidePlayer Terms of Service. Like other Geneva School critics, Poulet rejects the concept of literary criticism as an objective evaluation of structural or aesthetic values. The I of a fiction, is whose?

Georges Poulet

Following Characters Into Meaning. On a table, on bookshelves, in store windows, they wait for someone to come and deliver them from their materiality, from their immobility… Are they aware that an act of man might suddenly transform their poulef The Story So Far!

By the s, Poulet, and other phenomenological critics, had given way to a new wave of young critics Leitch et al. In Phenomenology pouulet Reading, Poulet examines a number of other critics in his tradition, and he posits the existence of some ineffable presence–some mental activity–that cannot be captured in the objectivity of the book itself but hovers above it or invades the reader.

Although he never taught at the University of GenevaPoulet was associated with the Geneva School of literary criticism. On a table, on bookshelves, in store windows, they wait for someone to come and deliver them from their materiality, from their immobility.

Examine the variations of the relationship between the criticizing subject critic and the criticized object the book. Seem to have an interior which is not yet revealed to us. This identity of consciousness enables the work to have a kind of immortality. Georges Poulet has been identified as a member of the so-called Geneva School of critics, who have assimilated something of the Romantic tradition of Rousseau and the historicism of the nineteenth-century German philosopher, Wilhelm Dilthey.


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Books are more than their objective reality: He did not believe that these sources should be analyzed as objects, however. He shifts their focus from the individual author to the author’s generic human experience” One must let the individual who wrote it reveal himself to us in us.

The book is an object by which two subjects–the consciousness of the author and that of the reader–become one. Poulet calls this consciousness the author’s cogito. Neither vase nor statue seems fully revealed by the unbroken perimeter of its surfaces.

Georges Poulet, “Phenomenology of Reading” | circle, uncoiled

Revising for Clarity and Meaning 1. Michael Cunningham Type of work: For these critics, literary criticism is itself literature, but it is not the solipsistic criticism of the impressionists. I as subject am thinking the thoughts of another, but I think them as my own. Novel Date of first publication: This page was last edited on 18 Mayat Email required Address never made public.

That all books are as dead objects until someone reads them. Formalist critics disagreed with Poulet’s disregard for objective standards of literary value while structuralistpoststructuralistand deconstructionist critics rejected the importance Poulet placed on the role of the author and his belief in engaging with the text as a representation of the author’s consciousness.

Nor, surely, in external space… my innermost self… [the objects in it, like fish in an aquarium] need the shelter I provide: Notify me of new comments via email.

Poulet’s books continue to be read and admired. If you wish to download it, please recommend it to your friends in any social system.


Instead, they should be used by the reader to “coexist with the author’s developing grasp and formulation of his own existence” Lawall Here are some of the main tenets of his argument: This seems to me the deading of every book, until someone comes and begins to read it. Among his most famous books are the four volumes of his masterwork, Studies geogges Human Time. It is his means of saving his identity from death. Openness, we can exist in them, they can exist in us. For critics such as Poulet and Raymond, literature is.

Reading is an experience, or rather, a somewhat bizarre experience as mentioned by Poulet. I am quite satisfied with the face they present to me. Not ordinary objects, they need human intervention that will deliver them from their materiality.

Georges Poulet – Wikipedia

It asks nothing better than to exist outside itself, or to let you exist in it. A book is not shut in by its contours, is not walled up as in a fortress. A book is not only a book. The author reveals himself to us in us. Starobinski Both proximity and distance: The process of reading suggests also an I who is thinking the thoughts, not just a passive receiver of them.

The tradition in which Poulet works is in direct opposition to the analytical, objectivist tradition of British and American criticism. The life inside the book gains its reality from the reader’s consciousness. Methods of approaching a text.