Cover: Persons and Things in PAPERBACK

Persons and Things

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$28.50 • £22.95 • €25.50

ISBN 9780674046283

Publication Date: 03/31/2010


272 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


A most readable and interesting book filled with insightful comments on everything from Toys R Us to lyric poetry… The book has rich interpretations of the usual suspects (Derrida, Foucault, Paul de Man, Nietzsche, Baudelaire), rich and comprehensive notes, and a useful index.—Bob Lane, Metapsychology

Barbara Johnson’s well-earned reputation is for being a rare theorist who knows how to write. In Persons and Things she juggles like a pro as she throws Ovid, catches Keats; throws Marianne Moore, catches Francis Ponge; throws Kant, catches Winnicott—so as to illuminate the relationship that humans have to things. This book is itself a thing of beauty to read.—Juliana Spahr, author of This Connection of Everyone with Lungs: Poems

Persons and Things secures Barbara Johnson’s place as the most important literary critic of our day. This exhilaratingly intelligent book is an American grammatology of pop culture, advertisements, and political rhetoric. Johnson provides lucid, even thrilling insights into the rhetorical framing of living subjects, legal persons, non-persons and things. Filled with the phantasmagoria of talking tombstones, babbling Barbies, puppets, pets, and golden calves, Persons and Things is a trove of cracklingly decoded insight. Never has text spoken so eloquently.—Patricia Williams, author of Alchemy of Race and Rights and The Rooster’s Egg

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