In Taking Sides: Jacques Rancière and Agonistic Literature (link via wood s lot; thankfully now available to me because of the wonder of Page2RSS) author Hector Kollias discusses:

... Jacques Rancière's theory of literature as centred on an agonistic concept of literature, where literature is seen as a ‘positive contradiction’. This positive contradiction arises from what Rancière sees as literature's origins in the ‘errant letter’, which is conceived as an intrinsically democratic principle that, for Rancière, also results in the tendency of literature to incarnate the word and to propose an extra-textual truth which would signal the end of literature as democratic errancy. Asking whether it is possible to identify Rancière as ‘taking sides’ in what he sets up as a struggle, the article analyses three examples of Rancière's engagement with literary texts (Balzac, Mallarmé, and Proust) in which he demonstrates the necessity for literature to maintain its constitutive contradiction, resulting in a conception of literature as an agonistic field and as a self-critical mode of writing.

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