The Subject of Semiotics

The Subject of Semiotics

The Subject of Semiotics

The Subject of Semiotics

Excerpt

The book that follows is intended as a methodological guide to a group of semiotic writings frequently taught in advanced undergraduate courses in North America and Britain, writings that are for the most part available in English. It should therefore be viewed as a supplementary and explanatory text rather than as one that precedes the reading of any primary semiotic materials.

The Subject of Semiotics differs from other synthetic books on post-structuralism in three important ways. First, it maintains the centrality of psychoanalysis to semiotics; it proposes, that is, that the human subject is to a large degree the subject of semiotics. The chapters of this book approach the connection between psychoanalysis and semiotics in a variety of ways, but each argues that signification occurs only through discourse, that discourse requires a subject, and that the subject itself is an effect of discourse. The final three chapters also situate signification, discourse, and subjectivity within the larger symbolic order that determines their relation to each other.

Second, The Subject of Semiotics assumes the connections between literary and cinematic texts and theory to be at all points reciprocal, and it attempts consistently to pose one in relation to the other. Thus theoretical discussions merge into literary and cinematic explorations, and analyses of specific novels, poems, and films return us to broader speculative paths.

The third respect in which The Subject of Semiotics must be . . .

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