The question of intention is central to the study of literature. How far can an author's intentions determine the meanings of his/her text? What do we mean by 'intention' in a literary context? What force does the reader s intention have in the construction of textual meaning? To what extent can a text itself be said to be intentional ? The aim of this book is to provide an in-depth analysis and critique of this concept of intention, its uses within the realms of literary theory, aesthetics, philosophy of language, phenomenology and deconstruction, and its potential for redefinition. Mitchell sets out to re-think intention and interrogate the possibilities of an intentionalism more suited to a formalist or textualist critical methodology. She moves from an assessment of the pitfalls of a traditional authorial intentionalism, towards the formulation of an intentionality of form , where intention is seen as a formal attribute of the text itself
Kaye Mitchell is Lecturer in Contemporary Literature in the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester, UK. She is the author of A. L Kennedy (Palgrave 2007).
Acknowledgements; Preface: Intentions; Introduction: Beginnings: The Birth of a Fallacy; 1. 'The Soul of Speech': E.D.Hirsch & the Ethics of Authorial Intentionalism; 2. Intention, Illocution, Mimesis; 3. Reader's Intention: Intentionality & Concretisation; 4. Intention After the Subject; Conclusion: The Ethics & Pragmatics of Intentionality; Bibliography; Index.