"It is possible, perhaps, to accept that a novel may never actually recount the story it has promised to tell. But it is common to expect results of a work of criticism, or at least arguable positions and, as they say, working hypotheses. Yet when the term 'criticism' appears in the vocabulary of Western philosophy, it signifies rather inquiry at the limits of knowledge about precisely that which can be neither posed nor grasped. If criticism, insofar as it traces the limits of truth, offers a glance of 'truth's homeland' like 'an island nature has enclosed within immutable boundaries,' it must also remain open to the fascination of the 'wide and storm-tossed sea' that draws 'the sailor incessantly toward adventures he knows not how to refuse yet may never bring to an end'."

Giorgio Agamben, Stanzas: Word and Phantasm in Western Culture (p.xv)

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