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Stephen Best

Reading and Intellectual History

The following is a guest post by William Fine. One of the things we can do with written texts is read them, but how, and to what end?  For some, “close reading” of historical texts is virtually a defining feature of intellectual history.  Does this mean getting at what the text “says,” or reading between the lines for what it doesn’t or is unable to say, or wouldn’t if it could —  a “surface”  or a “symptomatic reading?”  I had seen reference to the latter in connection with Althusser and Jameson, but wasn’t aware of a sort of movement to Read more