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Synthesis 1 (Fall 2008)

Editor's Note

In an era commonly described as signifying an end to history, ideology, politics, and theory, Synthesis brings together scholars who attempt to destabilize points of accumulated knowledge, closure, resolution, and legitimate meaning within the fields of literature, culture, and politics. This special issue problematizes the notion of reading only to underline the imperative to continue reading in the twenty-first century. Texts cannot be read without mediation. Though the forms of mediation vary and are contested by different critics, all claim that the objective of reading is not to discover what a text means but what it is made to mean. Such a practice refuses to identify received readings with the text's single and final meaning and, instead, mobilizes texts in different contexts, from different perspectives, and in different institutions. Actually such a reading practice becomes the presupposition for the text's survival in its never-ending interpretative history. Which literary or cultural construction of the real will prevail in a specific conjuncture and whether it will naturalize, historicize, or deconstruct interested representations of the real is a political issue. Accordingly the politics of rereading necessitate a rereading of politics. If the understanding of the political is historically variable, then each era has to build its own storehouse of readings, canonical and oppositional, in order to intervene in theoretical and cultural controversies and participate in debates on a global scale. It is by these readings that the theoretical and political impetus of the era will ultimately be judged.

Maro Germanou


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