By James L. Battersby

Paradigms Regained is James L Battersby's attempt to reclaim for literary research sure valid territories which have been needlessly deserted at the theoretical battlefield.Despite assertions on the contrary by way of poststructuralist or new historicist critics, Battersby contends, it's nonetheless attainable to speak intelligently, carefully, and usefully approximately such concerns as literary intentionality, strong references, determinate that means, and aim worth judgments of literary works.

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Consequently, alternative "isms" or approaches are discussed only broadly and in passing for purposes of contrast, distinction, or illustration (though Mikhail Bakhtin's "ideologemes" and selected aspects of New Criticism, "interpretive community-ism," deconstruction, and historicism are examined in some detail). Nevertheless, in developing the positive case I have given emphasis to those elements of pluralism that speak directly to what the theorists have, as the saying goes, put into question.

Despite their many differences, modern theorists by and large share the view that there is no mind- or discourse-independent world of things that authorizes or validates our claims and against which our assertions must be squared. And as the world (reality) goes, so goes the text as the bearer of stable, determinate meaning to which our interpretive statements must be adjusted and against which our opinions must be tested for accuracy and appropriateness. )go inside conceptual schemes, inside Page xii the language by which they are constituted what they are, then objectivity, determinate meaning, truth, justification, valid interpretation, and so on must be given up.

To those undertaking a career in literary studies (or, more properly, cultural or discourse studies) today, these beliefs and assumptions (in some combination or other and with allowance made here and there for some addition, subtraction, and substitution) are fundamental conditions of existence. They are, so to speak, the center and origin Page 11 of most inquiries and the underlying presuppositions of most essays, of those at any rate aspiring to or not wishing to incur the wrath of theory. Language, signs, discourse, and discursive formations and operations have taken center stage, leaving no roles or only bit parts for authors (as makers of artistic structures), readers (as interpreters or translators of authorially determined prior meanings), interpretation, determinate meaning, and clear, unequivocal reference.

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