Le site des ressources Socius propose une réédition en ligne de l'introduction de Signs Taken For Wonders: On the Sociology of Literary Forms (1983) de Franco Moretti, intitulée "The Soul and the Harpy. Reflections on the Aims and Methods of Literary Historiography".
Franco Moretti y met au point une méthode d'analyse, point de rencontre du formalisme, de l'histoire littéraire et de la sociologie de la littérature, qui fera de lui l'un des penseurs les plus influents dans les études littéraires contemporaines.
Première publication dans Signs Taken For Wonders : On the Sociology of Literary Forms, trad. David Forgacs, New York, Verso, 1983, pp. 1-41.
Forme is power.
Introductions always get written last, perhaps years after some of the work they are supposed to ‘introduce’. Rereading one’s own work, one immediately notices mistakes and gaps, the ideas that seem so obvious now but which then – God knows why – seemed impossible to grasp. One would like to discard everything and start afresh – or at least look forward, not back, and pursue what has not yet been done, without worrying about making presentable what has long since been left behind.
In short, immediately one starts writing an introduction, one wants to write the exact opposite of an introduction. I have tried to resist this impulse, then to subdue it, then to disguise it. But I might as well admit to feeling that this introduction has rather run away from me. I do not even know whether it is a good idea to read it before the other essays. Not that it has nothing to do with them: on the contrary it tackles precisely those theoretical problems that continually recur in the book. But there are two differences of some substance in the way it deals with them. […]
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