‘When Does This Start?’, ‘The Death of the Birth of Texts’ and ‘Introduction to an Epilogue’ are much less successful. They also represent one of the few occasions in which we find Speyer actively entering into dialogue with, or sliding in the direction of, contemporary criticism. On these grounds we can only consider them brave failures. Speyer wasn’t a game player; he was at his best when swimming neither with nor against the tide, but in a different sea entirely. The closing paragraph of ‘Introduction to an Epilogue’ is about as good as he gets when it comes to current debates.
Chapter Three begins.