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Signature Pieces

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Signature Pieces

On the Institution of Authorship

Peggy Kamuf

252 Pages
Paperback
ISBN: 9781501726361
Cornell University Press

Some contemporary approaches to literature still accept the separation of historical, biographical, external concerns from formal, internal ones. On the borderline that lends this division between inside and outside its apparent coherence is signature. In Peggy Kamuf’s view, studying signature will help us to rediscover some of the stakes of literary writing beyond the historicist/formalist opposition. Drawing on Derrida’s extensive work on signatures and proper names, Kamuf investigates authorial signature in key writers from Rousseau to Woolf, as well as the implications of signature for the institutions of authorship and criticism.

Reviews

"The strange embrace of dominance and opposition, of denial and return is what we witness in contemporary criticism; but Kamuf’s demanding and rewarding book teaches that that ‘scene’ is part of what has been a longer playing drama."

- Ross Chambers, French Forum

"The strength of Signature Pieces does not lie in its illumination of any particular corpus of texts, historical period, author, or genre, but in its rigorous use of deconstructive logic to walk the tightrope between the opposed reductions of historicism and formalism."

- William Ray, Comparative Literature

About the Author

Peggy Kamuf is Marion Frances Chevalier Professor of French and Professor of French and Italian and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. She is the author of The Division of Literature, or the University in Deconstruction and To Follow: The Wake of Jacques Derrida.

This work can be downloaded for non-commercial purposes:

Creative Commons License
Signature Pieces is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.