symptomatic reading

symptomatic reading

(LITERARY AND CULTURAL THEORY) a reading of a TEXT that searches for underlying contradiction, absences, etc., which reveal ‘what a text does not say’ or cannot say.
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The reading practice I introduce in my book stretches beyond symptomatic reading through a process that mourns--that lets go of--the proliferative "meanings" that textual "symptoms" might produce.
Precisely because her poetry often seems deliberately reticent--or maybe because it aspires to reticence--it has prompted a great deal of biographical and symptomatic reading that seeks to restore the effaced contexts of her childhood displacement, her sexuality, her alcoholism, and most relevantly for this poem, the loss of her mother.
Romantic Intimacy is continually alive to these moments of signifying frustration, where a particular rhetorical or theoretical impulse founders on an inability to follow through or add up: this can feel like a new form of symptomatic reading, one that locates the stalled energies of unfulfilled sentiment, and then calls this failure indispensable.
Rather than provide us with a theoretical discussion about the construction and nature of social space, each chapter brilliantly, originally and entertainingly combines a spatial text (a field, a prison, a pub, a bog, a city or a cell) with a symptomatic reading of the forms of communication allowed, forbidden, suggested and marginalised by the history of that space.
In her discussion, Gallop explains the difference between applying symptomatic reading to culturally powerful and to culturally marginalized texts: in one case, symptomatic reading diminishes their power, in another, it could actually promote them to canon-like position.
The Invisible Man is subjected to a translation into the language of a Lacanian hermeneutics but not to true symptomatic reading.
Hatley reads local men's texts as pre-text in order to identify the framework of male pressures and anxieties about women, sex, modernity and Westernisation within which Indonesian women wrote, thereby paving the way for more symptomatic reading of their textual ambivalences, buried subtexts and strategic silences.
Ultimately, the book shames contemporary critical trends of symptomatic reading and provincialism.
She uses a symptomatic reading of discourses of cleanliness and the body to argue that they mask their monstrous doubles, the tortured bodies in Algeria.
Here the importance of symptomatic reading is especially evident: the works analogize conditions of production, the characters analogize projects of accommodation or resistance.
Jameson's brand of symptomatic reading has been particularly evocative for scholars of the realist novel because of its insistence that, because meaning is veiled by "the inert givens and materials" of the text, strong interpretations must unearth meaning through textual gaps, or symptoms (75).