The primary task of literary theory, Jonathan Culler asserts in the new edition of his classic in this field, is not to illuminate individual literary works but to explain the system of literary signification--the rules and conventions that determine a reader's understanding of a text and that make literary communication possible. In this wide-ranging book, he investigates the possibilities of a semiotics of literature. A new preface places The Pursuit of Signs in the context of major developments in the study of literature since publication of the original Cornell edition in 1981.
About the Author
Jonathan Culler is Class of 1916 Professor of English at Cornell University. He is the author of many books, including On Deconstruction: Theory and Criticism after Structuralism, also from Cornell.