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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Ultimately, the closest The Illiberal Imagination comes to staking out a fully-fledged defense of this position is in its Conclusion, where Shapiro aligns his work with the "post-critical" turn in American literary studies and its rejection of "symptomatic reading" (192).
Jaffe demonstrates this through her discussion of Sharon Marcus and Stephen Best's 2009 essay, "Surface Reading: An Introduction," which criticizes the dominance in literary criticism of what Paul Ricouer calls the "hermeneutics of suspicion" and Frederic Jameson calls "symptomatic reading." 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).
For instance, Althusser explicitly states that a "symptomatic reading" of Marx aims to investigate the epistemological relation between the formation of concepts, questions, and the object of Marx's knowledge (Althusser and Balibar 2009).
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.
DeWitt takes her cue from Sharon Marcus and Stephen Best who call for scholars to dispense with the "symptomatic reading" that characterizes many Foucauldian studies of Victorian literature: analyses that read literature within larger social discourses and that seek to uncover the hidden "symptoms" of its ideological investments.
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.
Her strategy is "symptomatic reading": a form of reading that combines the "old new criticism" with deconstruction and psychoanalytic interpretation.
It would thus appear that to get at the truth of this identity, one needs to undertake a "symptomatic reading," or to find the missing child under the pile of clothes.
The Invisible Man is subjected to a translation into the language of a Lacanian hermeneutics but not to true symptomatic reading. A chapter is devoted to proving that Flannery O'Connor was a sexually repressed Catholic.
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.