Christine Brooke-Rose's Thru is a strikingly provocative postmodernist text. Instead of examining how Thru deconstructs fiction through the literary and linguistic theory that it includes, this essay looks at how theory—specifically Roman Jakobson's diagram of communication—is altered within the context of fiction. The analysis considers the mechanisms through which criticism differentiates itself from reading and how Thru manages to expose such distinctions. I foreground the text's disrupted graphic surface in order to suggest that this may be the basis for the pragmatic reader to gain the advantage over the critic in achieving a productive view of this complex text.

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