Starting from a comprehensive examination of current post-structuralist and socio-semiotic theories of narrative, this book formulates an interactive model of literary interpretation and pedagogy emphasizing process, critical self-awareness and strategies of re-reading/re-writing. A literary pedagogy premised on the concept of "rewriting", the author argues, will enable readers to experience the process of narrative and critical construction creatively. The earlier chapters explore the implications of recent theories (reader-oriented, deconstructive, feminist and socio-semiotic) that bank on an interactive, recreative paradigm of criticism. The latter part of the book argues the advantages of a literary pedagogy that encourages critical reformulation and a focus on the reader's own articulatory strategies, thereby bridging critical theory and practice, production and reception of texts.
This theoretical and methodological argument is organized around a cluster of post-structuralist readings of Henry James and two experimental seminars that have all foregrounded, though from different angles, the essential affinity between James' narrative and critical practice, and a literary pedagogy emphasizing re-writing (refiguration).