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Encyclopedia > Literary theory

Literary theory is the theory (or the philosophy) of the interpretation of literature and literary criticism. Its history begins with classical Greek poetics and rhetoric and includes, since the 18th century, aesthetics and hermeneutics. In the 20th century, "theory" has become an umbrella term for a variety of scholarly approaches to reading texts, most of which are informed by various strands of Continental philosophy. (In certain casual academic discussions in the Anglophone world, the terms "literary theory" and "Continental philosophy" are mistakenly used interchangeably, though there are clear distinctions between the two, since one is philosophy and the other concerns literature or an attempt to apply philosophy, Continental or otherwise, to literature). The word theory has a number of distinct meanings in different fields of knowledge, depending on their methodologies and the context of discussion. ... Socrates (central bare-chested figure) about to drink hemlock as mandated by the court. ... Old book bindings at the Merton College library. ... Literary criticism is the study, discussion, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. ... Aristotles Poetics aims to give an account of poetry. ... Rhetoric (from Greek , rhêtôr, orator, teacher) is the art or technique of persuasion, usually through the use of language. ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... The Parthenons facade showing an interpretation of golden rectangles in its proportions. ... Hermeneutics may be described as the development and study of theories of the interpretation and understanding of texts. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... Continental philosophy is a term used in philosophy to designate one of two major traditions of modern Western philosophy. ...

Contents

Literary theory and literature

One of the fundamental questions of literary theory is "What is literature?", though many contemporary theorists and literary scholars believe either that the term "literature" is undefinable or that it can potentially refer to any use of language. Specific theories are distinguished not only by their methods and conclusions, but even by how they define a "text." For some scholars of literature, "texts" means "books belonging to the Western literary canon". But the principles and methods of literary theory have been applied to non-fiction, popular fiction, film, historical documents, law, advertising, etc., in the related field of cultural studies. In fact, some scholars within cultural studies treat cultural events like fashion, football riots, etc. as "texts" to be interpreted. Taken broadly, then, literary theory can be thought of as the general theory of interpretation. Old book bindings at the Merton College library. ... The term text has multiple meanings depending on the context of its use: In language, text is a broad term for something that contains words to express something. ... The Western canon is a canon of books and art (and specifically one with very loose boundaries) that has allegedly been highly influential in shaping Western culture. ... Genre fiction is a term for writings by multiple authors that are very similar in theme and style, especially where these similarities are deliberately pursued by the authors. ... Film is a term that encompasses motion pictures as individual projects, as well as the field in general. ... Cultural studies combines sociology, social theory, literary theory, media theory, film/video studies, cultural anthropology and art history/criticism to study cultural phenomena in industrial societies. ...


Since theorists of literature often draw on a very heterogeneous tradition of Continental philosophy and the philosophy of language, any classification of their approaches is only an approximation. There are many "schools" or types of literary theory, which take different approaches to understanding texts. Most theorists, even among those listed below, combine methods from more than one of these approaches (for instance, the deconstructive approach of Paul de Man drew on a long tradition of close reading pioneered by the New Critics, and de Man was trained in the European hermeneutic tradition). Continental philosophy is a term used in philosophy to designate one of two major traditions of modern Western philosophy. ... Philosophy of language is the branch of philosophy that studies language. ... In contemporary philosophy and social sciences, the term deconstruction denotes a process by which the texts and languages of (particularly) Western philosophy appear to shift and complicate in meaning when read in light of the assumptions they suggest about and absences they reveal within themselves. ... Paul de Man (December 6, 1919 – December 21, 1983) was a Belgian-born deconstructionist literary critic and theorist. ... In literary criticism, close reading describes the careful, sustained interpretation of a brief passage of text. ... New Criticism was the dominant trend in English and American literary criticism of the early twentieth century, from the 1920s to the early 1960s. ... Hermeneutics (Hermeneutic means interpretive), is a branch of philosophy concerned with human understanding and the interpretation of texts. ...


Broad schools of theory that have historically been important include the New Criticism, formalism, Russian formalism, and structuralism, post-structuralism, Marxism, feminism and French feminism, new historicism, deconstruction, reader-response criticism, and psychoanalytic criticism or psychocriticism. New Criticism was the dominant trend in English and American literary criticism of the early twentieth century, from the 1920s to the early 1960s. ... Formalism is literary critcism. ... // Introduction The distinctive feature of Russian Formalism is the emphasis on the functional role of literary devices and the original conception of the evolution of literary history. ... Structuralism is best known as a theory in the humanities. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... Marxism refers to the philosophy and social theory based on Karl Marxs work on one hand, and to the political practice based on Marxist theory on the other hand (namely, parts of the First International during Marxs time, communist parties and later states). ... Feminism is a collection of social theories, political movements and moral philosophies, largely motivated or concerned with the liberation of women. ... French feminism (which is a phrase mostly used in English-speaking countries) refers to the work of a group of feminists in France from the 1970s to the early 1990s. ... New Historicism is an approach to literary criticism and literary theory based on the premise that a literary work should be considered a product of the time, place and circumstances of its composition rather than as an isolated creation of genius. ... In contemporary philosophy and social sciences, the term deconstruction denotes a process by which the texts and languages of (particularly) Western philosophy appear to shift and complicate in meaning when read in light of the assumptions they suggest about and absences they reveal within themselves. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Psychoanalysis is a family of psychological theories and methods based on the pioneering work of Sigmund Freud. ...


History

The practice of literary theory became a profession in the 20th century, but it has historical roots that run as far back as ancient Greece (Aristotle's Poetics is an often cited early example) and ancient Rome (Longinus' On the Sublime and Horace's Ars Poetica), and the aesthetic theories of philosophers from ancient philosophy through the 18th and 19th centuries are important influences on current literary study. The theory and criticism of literature are, of course, also closely tied to the history of literature. Aristotle (Greek: AristotélÄ“s) (384 BC – March 7, 322 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. ... Aristotles Poetics aims to give an account of poetry. ... Longinus (Λογγινος) is a conventional name applied to a Greek teacher of rhetoric or a literary critic who may have lived in the first or third century CE. Longinus is known only for his treatise On the Sublime (Περι υψους), a work which focuses on the effect of good writing (Russell xlii). ... Horace, as imagined by Anton von Werner Quintus Horatius Flaccus, (December 8, 65 BC - November 27, 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus. ... Ars Poetica is the name of at least three pieces of literature. ... Aesthetics (or esthetics) (from the Greek word αισθητική) is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty. ... A philosopher is a person who thinks deeply regarding people, society, the world, and/or the universe. ... This page lists some links to ancient philosophy, although for Western thinkers prior to Socrates, see Pre-Socratic philosophy. ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... Literary criticism is the study, discussion, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. ... A stone tablet containing part of the Epic of Gilgamesh The history of literature is the historical development of writings in prose or poetry which attempt to provide entertainment, enlightenment, or instruction to the reader/hearer/observer, as well as the development of the literary techniques used in the communication...


The modern sense of "literary theory," however, dates only to approximately the 1950s, when the structuralist linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure began strongly to influence English language literary criticism. The New Critics and various European-influenced formalists (particularly the Russian Formalists) had described some of their more abstract efforts as "theoretical" as well. But it was not until the broad impact of structuralism began to be felt in the English-speaking academic world that "literary theory" was thought of as a unified domain. The 1950s was the decade spanning from the 1st of January, 1950 to the 31st December, 1959. ... Structuralism is an approach that grew to become one of the most widely used methods of analyzing language, culture, philosophy of mathematics, and society in the second half of the 20th century. ... Saussure Ferdinand de Saussure (pronounced ) (November 26, 1857 – February 22, 1913) was a Geneva-born Swiss linguist whose ideas laid the foundation for many of the significant developments in linguistics in the 20th century. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... New Criticism was the dominant trend in English and American literary criticism of the early twentieth century, from the 1920s to the early 1960s. ... The term formalist can have many applications: The Chambers 1994 edition Dictionary indicates a pejorative quality, a person having an exaggerated regard to rules or established usages. In the philosophy of mathematics a formalist is a person who belongs to the school of formalism, a certain mathematical-philosophical doctrine which... Russian Formalism refers to a number of highly influential Russian and Soviet scholars (Viktor Shklovsky, Yuri Tynianov, Boris Eichenbaum, Roman Jakobson, Grigory Vinokur) who revolutionised literary criticism between 1914 and the 1930s by establishing the specificity and autonomy of poetic language and literature. ...


In the academic world of the United Kingdom and the United States, literary theory was at its most popular from the late 1960s (when its influence was beginning to spread outward from elite universities like Johns Hopkins and Yale) through the 1980s (by which time it was taught nearly everywhere in some form). During this span of time, literary theory was perceived as academically cutting-edge research, and most university literature departments sought to teach and study theory and incorporate it into their curricula. Because of its meteoric rise in popularity and the difficult language of its key texts, theory was also often criticized as faddish or trendy obscurantism (and many academic satire novels of the period, such as those by David Lodge, feature theory prominently). Some scholars, both theoretical and anti-theoretical, refer to the 1970s and 1980s debates on the academic merits of theory as "the theory wars." The 1960s decade refers to the years from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 1969, inclusive. ... The Johns Hopkins University, founded in 1876, is a private institution of higher learning located in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. ... Yale redirects here. ... The 1980s refers to the years of 1980 to 1989. ... David Lodge (born January 28, 1935 at London, England) is a British author. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... The 1980s refers to the years of 1980 to 1989. ...


By the early 1990s, the popularity of "theory" as a subject of interest by itself was declining slightly (along with job openings for pure "theorists") even as the texts of literary theory were incorporated into the study of almost all literature. As of 2004, the controversy over the use of theory in literary studies has all but died out, and discussions on the topic within literary and cultural studies tend now to be considerably milder and less acrimonious. Some scholars draw heavily on theory in their work, while others only mention it in passing or not at all; but it is an acknowledged, important part of the study of literature. Germans dancing on the Berlin Wall in late 1989, the symbol of the cold war divide falls down as the world unites in the 1990s. ... 2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Differences among schools

The intellectual traditions and priorities of the various kinds of literary theory are often radically different. Some differ so strongly that even finding a set of common terms upon which to compare them is not a trivial effort.


For instance, the work of the New Critics often contained an implicit moral dimension, and sometimes even a religious one: a New Critic might read a poem by T.S. Eliot or Gerard Manley Hopkins for its degree of honesty in expressing the torment and contradiction of a serious search for belief in the modern world. Meanwhile a Marxist critic might find such judgments merely ideological rather than critical; the Marxist would say that the New Critical reading did not keep enough critical distance from the poem's religious stance to be able to understand it. Or a post-structuralist critic might simply avoid the issue by understanding the religious meaning of a poem as an allegory of meaning, treating the poem's references to "God" by discussing their referential nature rather than what they refer to. New Criticism was the dominant trend in English and American literary criticism of the early twentieth century, from the 1920s to the early 1960s. ... Thomas Stearns Eliot (September 26, 1888 - January 4, 1965), was a major Modernist Anglo-American poet, dramatist, and literary critic. ... Gerard Manley Hopkins (July 28, 1844 - June 8, 1889) was a British Victorian poet and Jesuit priest. ... Marxism is the political practice and social theory based on the works of Karl Marx, a 19th century philosopher, economist, journalist, and revolutionary, along with Friedrich Engels. ... Post-structuralism is a body of work that followed in the wake of structuralism, and sought to understand the Western world as a network of structures, as in structuralism, but in which such structures are ordered primarily by local, shifting differences (as in deconstruction) rather than grand binary oppositions and...


Such a disagreement cannot be easily resolved, because it is inherent in the radically different terms and goals (that is, the theories) of the critics. Their theories of reading derive from vastly different intellectual traditions: the New Critic bases his work on an East-Coast American scholarly and religious tradition, while the Marxist derives her thought from a body of critical social and economic thought, and the post-structuralist's work emerges from twentieth-century Continental philosophy of language. To expect such different approaches to have much in common would be naïve; so calling them all "theories of literature" without acknowledging their heterogeneity is itself a reduction of their differences.


In the late 1950s, Canadian literary critic Northrop Frye attempted to establish an approach for reconciling historical criticism and New Criticism while addressing concerns of early reader-response and numerous psychological and social approaches. His approach, laid out in his Anatomy of Criticism, was explicitly structuralist, relying on the assumption of an intertextual "order of words" and universality of certain structural types. His approach held sway in English literature programs for several decades but lost favor during the ascendence of post-structuralism. Herman Northrop Frye, CC, MA, D.Litt. ... Northrop Fryes Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays (Princeton University Press, 1957) attempts to formulate an overall view of the scope, theory, principles, and techniques of literary criticism derived exclusively from literature. ...


For some theories of literature (especially certain kinds of formalism), the distinction between 'literary' and other sorts of texts is of paramount importance. Other schools (particularly post-structuralism in its various forms: new historicism, deconstruction, some strains of Marxism and feminism) have sought to break down distinctions between the two and have applied the tools of textual interpretation to a wide range of 'texts', including film, non-fiction, historical writing, and even cultural events.


Another crucial distinction among the various theories of literary interpretation is intentionality, the amount of weight given to the author's own opinions about and intentions for a work. For most pre-20th century approaches, the author's intentions are a guiding factor and an important determiner of the 'correct' interpretation of texts. The New Criticism was the first school to disavow the role of the author in interpreting texts, preferring to focus on "the text itself" in a close reading. In fact, as much contention as there is between formalism and later schools, they share the tenet that the author's interpretation of a work is no more inherently meaningful than any other. In literary criticism, close reading describes the careful, sustained interpretation of a brief passage of text. ...


Schools of literary theory

Listed below are some of the most commonly identified schools of literary theory, along with their major authors. (In many of these cases, such as those of the historian and philosopher Michel Foucault and the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, these authors were not literary critics and did not primarily write about literature; but, since their work has been broadly influential in literary theory, they are nonetheless listed here.) Michel Foucault (IPA pronunciation: ; English-speakers pronunciation varies) (October 15, 1926 – June 25, 1984) was a French philosopher. ... Claude Lévi-Strauss Claude Lévi-Strauss (IPA pronunciation ); born November 28, 1908) is a Jewish-French anthropologist who developed structuralism as a method of understanding human society and culture. ...

Pragmatism, as a school of philosophy, is a collection of many different ways of thinking. ... Harold Bloom, Literary Critic Dr. Harold Bloom (born July 11, 1930) is an American professor and prominent literary and cultural critic. ... Stanley Fish (born 1938) is a prominent American literary theorist and legal scholar. ... Richard McKay Rorty (born October 4, 1931 in New York City) is an American philosopher. ... Cultural studies combines sociology, social theory, literary theory, media theory, film/video studies, cultural anthropology and art history/criticism to study cultural phenomena in industrial societies. ... Paul Gilroy (born 16th February 1956) is a Professor at the London School of Economics. ... Comparative literature, colloquially abbreviated comp. ... Darwinian literary studies is a branch of literary criticism that studies literature in the context of evolution through natural selection, specifically gene-culture coevolution. ... In contemporary philosophy and social sciences, the term deconstruction denotes a process by which the texts and languages of (particularly) Western philosophy appear to shift and complicate in meaning when read in light of the assumptions they suggest about and absences they reveal within themselves. ... Jacques Derrida (July 15, 1930 – October 8, 2004) was an Algerian-born French philosopher, known as the founder of deconstruction. ... Paul de Man (December 6, 1919 – December 21, 1983) was a Belgian-born deconstructionist literary critic and theorist. ... J. Hillis Miller is an American deconstructive literary critic. ... Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe (born 1940) is a contemporary French philosopher, literary critic, and translator. ... Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is a deconstructive literary critic and theorist of Indian extraction. ... Avital Ronell is Professor and Chair of German and Professor of Comparative Literature, New York University, as well as a member of the faculty of the European Graduate School. ... Feminism is a collection of social theories, political movements and moral philosophies, largely motivated or concerned with the liberation of women. ... Feminist literary criticism is literary criticism informed by feminist theory, or by the politics of feminism more broadly. ... Luce Irigaray (born 1930 Belgium) is a French feminist and psychoanalytic and cultural theorist. ... Image:Cixous. ... Elaine Showalter (1941- ) is an American literary critic, feminist, and writer on cultural and social issues. ... Formalism is literary critcism. ... Hermeneutics may be described as the development and study of theories of the interpretation and understanding of texts. ... Philology is the study of ancient texts and languages. ... Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (November 21, 1768 - February 12, 1834) was a theologian and philosopher. ... Wilhelm Dilthey (November 19, 1833–October 1, 1911) was a German historian, psychologist, sociologist, student of Hermeneutics, the study of interpretations and meanings, and a philosopher. ... Hans-Georg Gadamer Hans-Georg Gadamer (February 11, 1900 – March 13, 2002) was a German philosopher best known for his 1960 magnum opus, Truth and Method (Wahrheit und Methode). ... Erich Auerbach (November 9, 1892 in Berlin - October 13, 1957 in Wallingford, Connecticut) was a German-Jewish philologist and comparative scholar and critic of literature. ... Marxism refers to the philosophy and social theory based on Karl Marxs work on one hand, and to the political practice based on Marxist theory on the other hand (namely, parts of the First International during Marxs time, communist parties and later states). ... Marxist literary criticism is a loose term describing literary criticism informed by the philosophy or the politics of Marxism. ... Georg Lukács (April 13, 1885 – June 4, 1971) was a Hungarian Marxist philosopher and literary critic in the tradition of Western Marxism. ... Valentin Voloshinov Valentin Nikolaevich Voloshinov (Russian: ) (1895–June 13, 1936) was a Soviet/Russian linguist, whose work has been influential in the field of literary theory and Marxist theory of ideology. ... Raymond Williams (31 August 1921 - 26 January 1988) was a highly influential Welsh academic, novelist and critic. ... Terry Eagleton (born in Salford, England, on February 22, 1943) is a British literary critic and philosopher. ... Fredric Jameson (b. ... Max Horkheimer (front left), Theodor Adorno (front right), and Jürgen Habermas in the background, right, in 1965 at Heidelberg. ... Walter Benjamin (July 15, 1892 – September 27, 1940) was a German Marxist literary critic, essayist, translator, and philosopher. ... New Criticism was the dominant trend in English and American literary criticism of the early twentieth century, from the 1920s to the early 1960s. ... William Kurtz Wimsatt, Jr. ... Frank Raymond Leavis (1895-1978) was an influential British literary critic of the early-to-mid-twentieth century. ... John Crowe Ransom (April 30, 1888, Pulaski, Tennessee- July 3, 1974, Gambier, Ohio) was an American poet, essayist, social and political theorist, man of letters, and academic. ... Cleanth Brooks (October 16, 1906 - 1994) was an influential American literary critic and professor. ... Robert Penn Warren Robert Penn Warren (April 24, 1905 – September 15, 1989) was an American poet, novelist, and literary critic, and was one of the founders of The New Criticism. ... New Historicism is an approach to literary criticism and literary theory based on the premise that a literary work should be considered a product of the time, place and circumstances of its composition rather than as an isolated creation of genius. ... Stephen Jay Greenblatt (born 1943) is a noted Shakespeare scholar and a literary critic/theorist often seen as the leader of the school known as New Historicism or as Greenblatt likes to put it, cultural poetics. He believes that all works of literature are a products of their times and... Louis Adrian Montrose is an American literary theorist and academic scholar. ... Jonathan Goldberg is a literary theorist and Sir William Osler Professor of English Literature at Johns Hopkins University. ... Post-colonialism refers to the intellectual field opened up by Edward Saids book Orientalism. ... See colony and colonisation for examples of colonialism which do not refer to Western colonialism. ... Edward Wadie Said (1 November 1935, Jerusalem – 25 September 2003, New York City; Arabic: ‎) was a well-known Palestinian-American literary theorist and outspoken Palestinian activist. ... Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (born February 24, 1942) is a literary critic and theorist. ... Homi K. Bhabha (born 1949) is a postcolonial theorist, currently teaching at Harvard University, where he is the Chair of the Program in History and Literature. ... Declan Kiberd is a professor, literary theorist, author and journalist, who lives and teaches in Dublin. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... Michel Foucault (IPA pronunciation: ; English-speakers pronunciation varies) (October 15, 1926 – June 25, 1984) was a French philosopher. ... Julia Kristeva (Bulgarian: ) (born 24 June 1941) is a Bulgarian-French philosopher, psychoanalyst, feminist, and, most recently, novelist, who has lived in France since the mid-1960s. ... Roland Barthes Roland Barthes (November 12, 1915 – March 25, 1980) was a French literary critic, literary and social theorist, philosopher, and semiotician. ... Gilles Deleuze (IPA: ), (January 18, 1925 – November 4, 1995) was a French philosopher of the late 20th century. ... Pierre-Félix Guattari (1930 - 1992) was a French pioneer of institutional psychotherapy, as well as the founder of both Schizoanalysis and the science of Ecosophy. ... Maurice Blanchot (September 27, 1907-February 20, 2003) was a French philosopher, literary theorist and writer of fiction. ... Psychoanalysis is a family of psychological theories and methods based on the pioneering work of Sigmund Freud. ... Psychoanalytic literary criticism is literary criticism which, in method, concept, theory or form, is influenced by the tradition of psychoanalysis begun by Sigmund Freud. ... Sigmund Freud Sigmund Freud (May 6, 1856 – September 23, 1939; IPA pronunciation: []) was an Austrian neurologist and the co-founder of the psychoanalytic school of psychology. ... Jacques Lacan Jacques-Marie-Émile Lacan (April 13, 1901 – September 9, 1981) was a French psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, and doctor. ... Slavoj Žižek Slavoj Žižek (born March 21, 1949) is a Slovenian sociologist, philosopher, and cultural critic. ... Viktor Tausk (1879 - July 3, 1919) was a pioneer psychoanalyst and neurologist. ... This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ... Image:J Butler. ... Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (b. ... Michel Foucault (IPA pronunciation: ; English-speakers pronunciation varies) (October 15, 1926 – June 25, 1984) was a French philosopher. ... Reader Response is a primarily German and American literary theory that arose in response to the textual emphasis of New Criticism of the 1940s through 1960s in the west. ... Louise Rosenblatt was born in 1904, and died on February 8, 2005 at the age of 100. ... Wolfgang Iser (born July 22, 1926) is a German literary scholar. ... Hans-Robert Jauss (1922-1997) was a German academic, well known for his work in reception theory. ... Stuart Hall (born 1932 in Kingston, Jamaica) is a cultural theorist from the United Kingdom. ... // Introduction The distinctive feature of Russian Formalism is the emphasis on the functional role of literary devices and the original conception of the evolution of literary history. ... Viktor Borisovich Shklovsky (or Shklovskii) (January 24, 1893–December 6, 1984) was a Russian and Soviet critic, writer, and pamphleteer. ... Vladimir Yakovlevich Propp (St Petersburg, April 29, 1895 – Leningrad August 22, 1970) was a Russian structuralist scholar who analysed the basic plot components of Russian folk tales to identify their simplest irreducible narrative elements. ... Structuralism is best known as a theory in the humanities. ... Semiotics, or semiology, is the study of signs and symbols, both individually and grouped in sign systems. ... Semiotic literary criticism, also called literary semiotics, is the approach to literary criticism informed by the theory of signs or semiotics. ... Roman Osipovich Jakobson (October 11, 1896 - July 18, 1982) was a Russian thinker who became one of the most influential linguists of the 20th century by pioneering the development of structural analysis of language, poetry, and art. ... Claude Lévi-Strauss Claude Lévi-Strauss (IPA pronunciation ); born November 28, 1908) is a Jewish-French anthropologist who developed structuralism as a method of understanding human society and culture. ... Roland Barthes Roland Barthes (November 12, 1915 – March 25, 1980) was a French literary critic, literary and social theorist, philosopher, and semiotician. ... Mikhail Mikhailovich Bakhtin (Russian: Михаил Михайлович Бахти́н pronounced: ) (November 17, 1895 – March 7, 1975) was a Russian philosopher and literary scholar, who wrote influential works of literary and rhetorical theory and criticism. ... Yuri Lotman Yuri Lotman (also Juri, Jüri, Jurij) (28 February 1922 - 1993) was an important semiotician, culturologist, and philologist in Russian literature. ... Antti Amatus Aarne (1867 - 1925) was a Finnish folklorist, who developed the initial version of what became the Aarne-Thompson classification system of classifying folktales, first published in 1910. ... Morphology, broadly, is the study of form or structure. ... Portrait of Robert Graves (circa 1974) by Rab Shiell Robert von Ranke Graves (24 July 1895 – 7 December 1985) was an English scholar, poet, and novelist. ... Alamgir Hashmi (also know as Aurangzeb Alamgir Hashmi) (born November 15, 1951) is a major English poet of Pakistani origin in the latter half of the 20th century. ... John Sutherland (born 1983) is an English lecturer, emeritus professor, newspaper columnist and author. ... Herman Northrop Frye, CC, MA, D.Litt. ... Leslie Aaron Fiedler (March 8, 1917–January 29, 2003) was an American literary critic, known for his interest in mythography and his championing of genre fiction. ... Barbara Johnson (b. ...

External links

  • Kritikos: journal of postmodern cultural sound, text and image
  • Aristotle's Poetics (350 BCE)
  • Longinus' On the Sublime (1st century CE)
  • Sir Philip Sidney's Defence of Poesie (1595)
  • "A Bibliography of Literary Theory, Criticism and Philology", by José Ángel García Landa
  • The Litcrit Toolkit

References

  • Jonathan Culler. Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction. ISBN 0-19-285383-X.
  • Terry Eagleton. Literary Theory: An Introduction. ISBN 0-8166-1251-X.
  • Terry Eagleton. After Theory. ISBN 0-465-01773-8.
  • Jean-Michel Rabate. The Future of Theory. ISBN 0-631-23013-0.
  • The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism. ISBN 0-8018-4560-2.
  • Modern Criticism and Theory: A Reader. Ed. David Lodge and Nigel Wood. 2nd Ed. ISBN 0-582-31287-6

  Results from FactBites:
 
Literary theory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1709 words)
Literary theory is the theory (or the philosophy) of the interpretation of literature and literary criticism.
By the early 1990s, the popularity of "theory" as a subject of interest by itself was declining slightly (along with job openings for pure "theorists") even as the texts of literary theory were incorporated into the study of almost all literature.
As of 2004, the controversy over the use of theory in literary studies has all but died out, and discussions on the topic within literary and cultural studies tend now to be considerably milder and less acrimonious.
Literary theory - definition of Literary theory - Labor Law Talk Dictionary (1369 words)
Specific theories are distinguished not only by their methods and conclusions, but even by how they define a "text." For some scholars of literature, "texts" means "books belonging to the literary canon".
In the academic world of England and America, literary theory was at its most popular from the late 1960s (when its influence was beginning to spread outward from elite universities like Johns Hopkins and Yale) through the 1980s (by which time it was taught nearly everywhere in some form).
Since then, and as of 2004, the controversy over the use of theory in literary studies has all but died out, and discussions on the topic within literary and cultural studies tend now to be considerably milder and less acrimonious.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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