Barn Burning Short Story Text

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Essential affinity between the aporetic essences of literature and the gift both identifies a literary work with and frees that work from its author.

“Suppose that X, something or someone (a trace, a work, an institution, a child), bears your name, that is to say, your title,” posits Derrida in —just as that is the definition and the very possibility of every trace, and of all names and all titles, so your narcissism is frustrated a priori by that from which it profits or hopes to profit.

(109) Breaking with the power of mastery, the inviolable secret is a form of literary gift, where gifting implies benevolence without return.

Literature is an absolutely secret donation that thanks or another form of payment cannot recognize.

testify to the related works that lie beyond its margins, Derrida approaches the textual accountability of Baudelaire’s prose poem from its title.

“The referential structure of a title,” admits Derrida, “is always very tricky” (84)—and “La fausse monnaie” is no exception.An author cannot decrypt the absolute mysteries of his texts anymore than a reader of those texts can.Hence, as Nils Clausson observes, one of the consequences of poststructuralist theories of language and textuality has been to render problematical the commonsense idea that the author’s intentions are a wholly reliable guide either to recovering the true meaning of a text, what the writer supposedly put there, or to correcting misinterpretations of a text, readings wrongly read into a text by errant or arrant readers.When all hypotheses are permitted, groundless and ad infinitum, about the meaning of a text, or the final intentions of an author, whose person is no more represented than nonrepresented by a character or by a narrator, by a poetic friend or fictional sentence, which detaches itself from its presumed source and thus remains ], when there is no longer even any sense in making decisions about some secret behind the surface of a textual manifestation (and it is this situation which I would call text or trace), when it is the call [The absolute secret, like an unbreakable code, encourages endless hypotheses of impassioned interpretation.Literary worth is the open secret of absolute secrecy allied to and against which the revealable (or conditional) secret inscribes a marked contrast.I’m always not responsible enough, and responsibility is infinite or it That is why, he maintains, “I always feel guilty” (49).The double bind of textual accountability, as pursued by Derrida in “Remarks on Deconstruction and Pragmatism” (1996), can thereby challenge the standard yet ironic concept of “politics and democracy as openness—where all are equal and where the public realm is open to all—which tends to deny, efface or prohibit the secret” (80).Unscrupulous literature, whether perfunctorily penned or knowingly produced, can spread unethical or politically fallacious messages through the accepted protocols of semiotics and the traditional meanings of (Saussurean) signs.Thus, the Derridean focus on authorial intention, as Segal insists, “no more consigns literary interpretation to unbridled subjectivism and pure arbitrariness than it severs literature from ethical or political accountability” (206 n5).A harsh image of Sarty's father is presented in the line, "he [Sarty] followed the stiff black coat, the wiry figure walking a little stiffly from where a Confederate provost's man's musket ball had taken him in the heel on a stolen horse thirty years ago" (2177).The reader is given insight into Snopes' shady past and learns he has never been a law-abiding citizen.


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