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Ré-inventer le réel

Thomas Dutoit
Trevor Harris

The (Suspended) Drama of Disunion in Les mots et les choses

Cornelius Crowley

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Extrait du texte

Definitions of the real say a lot about the discursive formation1 within which they have been articulated. Of what else might they speak? To what else might they bear witness? The real is discovered and recovered, it is invented, it has shape given to it, according to the terms constitutive of the innumerable acts of discourse. But may we add the specification: according to the terms constitutive of the discourse which it (the real) authorizes? In analysing the protocol of realism, Roland Barthes spoke of the effet de réel2 as an effect governed by a set of codes and procedures, to be analysed as such. Meanwhile we persist in our aspiration to something else, probing the slightest shadow or blur within discourse as a possible trace of a heterogenous, non-discursive source, as if the real were the designation of whatever is in excess of a discursive formation, of what is not to be numbered among its effects. In which case the conclusion to any critical inquiry — that all this is mere...


Université de Paris X-Nanterre

© Presses universitaires François-Rabelais, 1999

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