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Chiasmi International

Volume 16, 2014

Between Yesterday and Tomorrow

Claudio Rozzoni
Pages 325-334

Chi scrive? Chi legge? Il chiasma fra autore e lettore a partire dalle Recherches sur L’usage littéraire du langage

The recent publication of Recherches sur l’usage littéraire du langage, the preparatory notes for Merleau-Ponty’s “Monday course” at the Collège de France in 1953, provides further evidence of the turning points of the French philosopher’s reflections during this period. This course, on the style of expression in the work of Stendhal and Valery, is interesting in that it truly reveals to us a unique perspective on the questions that, on the one hand, are related to research made during the previous period at the Sorbonne; and that, on the other hand, find a new echo, a new development in the course on “The Philosophy of Proust” given by Merleau-Ponty in the following year, also at the Collège of France. The problem of the intersubjectivity of the work of art in particular finds a crucial complement in this course. Starting from the work on literary language, this offers a path toward thinking the chiasm between author and reader in an unprecedented way that avoids falling back into the fruitless opposition between two poles: one represented by a purely subjective point of view, with its solipsistic excesses, and one that tries to take into account the communication between two subjects, author and reader in this case, by thinking them as an “already given” unity before the gesture of writing and the experience of reading.

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