The Politics of Interpretation: Ideology, Professionalism, and the Study of Literature


This interpretive study analyzes the complex politics of literature, criticism, and professionalism. While affirming the profound importance of political analysis--from the ideological critique of literary texts to the social and economic critique of academic institutions--Hogan reassesses the poststructuralist doctrines that underlie much recent work in this area. He presents extended expositions and criticisms of the views of several influential poststructuralist writers, including Jacques Derrida and Luce Irigaray. In keeping with recent "post-poststructuralist" trends in France and elsewhere, Hogan argues for the political necessity of rational inference, and empirical enquiry, guided by ethical, and more specifically Kantian, considerations. In the process, he convincingly formulates a general theory of ideology that recognizes the crucial link between literary politics and the concrete political issues that affect the lives of real men and women in the real world of social and material life. His study concludes with an economic analysis of the institutions of literary study, outlining some anarchist implications for their restructuring.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1990


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