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Edition #72: Jean-Michel Rabate

Literary theorist and critic Jean-Michel Rabaté explains what literary theory is, how he came to teach it and how he thinks of it as a kind of conceptual or performance art. Rabaté has written about Samuel Beckett, Thomas Bernhard, Ezra Pound, James Joyce and Jacques Lacan, among others. His recent books include The Ethics of the Lie (Other Press), 1913: The Cradle of Modernism (Wiley-Blackwell), The Future of Theory (Wiley-Blackwell) and The Cambridge Companion to Jacques Lacan (Cambridge University Press); he has also co-edited William Anastasi’s Pataphysical Society (Slought Books) and Hélène Cixous' Ex-Cities (Slought Books). He is a professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania (27 minutes).


Close Listening


Conversations and readings with poets and artists, produced in cooperation with PennSound and hosted by Charles Bernstein, the American poet, theorist, editor, and literary scholar. Bernstein was born in New York City in 1950. He is a foundational member and leading practitioner of Language poetry. Bernstein was educated at the Bronx High School of Science and at Harvard University, where he studied philosophy with Stanley Cavell and wrote his final thesis on Gertrude Stein and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

In the mid-1970s Bernstein became active in the experimental poetry scenes in New York and San Francisco, not only as a poet, but also as an editor, publisher, and theorist. With visual artist and wife Susan Bee, Bernstein published several now well-known poets whose work is associated with Language writing.