Deconstruction, radical secrecy, and the secret agent

Alexander Segal

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Abstract

The article relates Derrida's work on literature and secrecy to Conrad's thematization of secrecy in The Secret Agent. It argues that there is striking proximity ' Derrida and Conrad both evoke what might be called a secret without secret, a secret beyond the secret which displaces the secret with content ' and an equally striking divergence: Conrad does not, at least in this text, share Derrida's passion for the secret without secret. To this extent, Conrad, the article argues, is not among the writers whom Barthes describes as having attempted to loosen 'the sway of the Author.'
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-208
Number of pages20
JournalMFS - Modern Fiction Studies
Volume54
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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