Abstract

Allegory in its basic form posits a dynamic relationship between explicit and implicit elements. If allegory is a negotiation between an explicit text and an implicit text with the locus of meaning generated in the relation between the two (or a relationship that has been reclaimed as culturally and politically determined in the work of Benjamin, Jameson, and de Man), then a post-Christian allegoresis negotiates between the explicit text and the void left by the “disappeared text,” a text negated by endless internal negotiations. This article will not claim that Mark Twain composed The Mysterious Stranger as an allegory; rather, it will determine an allegoresis model acknowledging an inherent destabilization of the text. While this negotiation is necessary because text veils what it cannot state directly, a postmodern allegoresis suggests that the implicit text of The Mysterious Stranger has become inexpressible not because the themes are necessarily unspeakable but have become meaningless.

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