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Encyclopedia > Literary criticism
Literature
Major forms

Epic · Romance · Novel
Tragedy · Comedy · Drama · Satire
This article is about (usually written) works. ... For other meanings of epic, see Epic. ... As a literary genre, romance or chivalric romance refers to a style of heroic prose and verse narrative current in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. ... For other uses, see Novel (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Tragedy (disambiguation). ... A comedy is a dramatic performance of a light and amusing character, usually with a happy conclusion to its plot. ... For other uses, see Drama (disambiguation). ... 1867 edition of Punch, a ground-breaking British magazine of popular humour, including a good deal of satire of the contemporary social and political scene. ...

Media

Performance (play) · Book Buskers perform in San Francisco A performance, in performing arts, generally comprises an event in which one group of people (the performer or performers) behave in a particular way for another group of people (the audience). ... For other uses, see Book (disambiguation). ...

Techniques

Prose · Poetry Prose is writing distinguished from poetry by its greater variety of rhythm and its closer resemblance to everyday speech. ... This article is about the art form. ...

History and lists

Basic topics · Literary terms
History · Modern history
Books · Writers
Literary awards · Poetry awards Literature is prose, written or oral, including fiction and non-fiction, drama and poetry. ... The following is a list of literary terms; that is, those words used in discussion, classification, criticism, and analysis of literature. ... 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 of these pieces. ... This article is homosexual and should be burned the second in a series of The History of Literature. ... These are lists of books: List of books by title List of books by author Lists of authors List of anonymously published works (List of Hiberno-Saxon illustrated manuscripts) List of books by genre or type List of books by award or notoriety List of best-selling books List of... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... It has been suggested that the section Literature from the article List of prizes, medals, and awards be merged into this article or section. ... This is a list of awards that are, or have been, given out to writers of poetry, either for a specific poem, collection of poems, or body of work. ...

Discussion

Criticism · Theory · Magazines Literary theory is the theory (or the philosophy) of the interpretation of literature and literary criticism. ... A literary magazine is a periodical devoted to literature in a broad sense. ...

Literary criticism is the study, discussion, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often informed by literary theory, which is the philosophical discussion of its methods and goals. Though the two activities are closely related, literary critics are not always, and have not always been, theorists. This article is about (usually written) works. ... Literary theory is the theory (or the philosophy) of the interpretation of literature and literary criticism. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Whether or not literary criticism should be considered a separate field of inquiry from literary theory, or conversely from book reviewing, is a matter of some controversy. For example, the Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism draws no distinction between literary theory and literary criticism, and almost always uses them together to describe the same concept. Some critics consider literary criticism a practical application of literary theory, as criticism always deals directly with a literary work, albeit from a theoretical point of view. Literary theory is the theory (or the philosophy) of the interpretation of literature and literary criticism. ...


Modern literary criticism is often published in essay or book form. Academic literary critics teach in literature departments and publish in academic journals, and more popular critics publish their criticism in broadly circulating periodicals such as the New York Times Book Review, the New York Review of Books, the London Review of Books, The Nation, and The New Yorker. Scientific journals are one type of academic journal An academic journal is a regularly-published, peer-reviewed publication that publishes scholarship relating to an academic discipline. ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... The New York Review of Books (or NYRB) is a biweekly magazine on literature, culture, and current affairs published in New York which takes as its point of departure that the discussion of important books is itself an indispensable literary activity. ... The London Review of Books (or LRB) is a twice-monthly British literary magazine. ... The Nation logo The Nation is a weekly left-liberal periodical devoted to politics and culture. ... For other uses, see New Yorker. ...

Contents

History of literary criticism

Classical and medieval criticism

Literary criticism has probably existed for as long as literature. Aristotle wrote the Poetics, a typology and description of literary forms with many specific criticisms of contemporary works of art, in the 4th century BC. Poetics developed for the first time the concepts of mimesis and catharsis, which are still crucial in literary study. Plato's attacks on poetry as imitative, secondary, and false were formative as well. For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... Aristotles Poetics aims to give an account of poetry. ... Mimesis (μίμησις from μιμεîσθαι) in its simplest context means imitation or representation in Greek. ... Catharsis is the Greek Katharsis word meaning purification or cleansing derived from the ancient Greek gerund καθαίρειν transliterated as kathairein to purify, purge, and adjective katharos pure or clean (ancient and modern Greek: καθαρός). // The term in drama refers to a sudden emotional breakdown or climax that constitutes overwhelming feelings of great... For other uses, see Plato (disambiguation). ... This article is about the art form. ...


Later classical and medieval criticism often focused on religious texts, and the several long religious traditions of hermeneutics and textual exegesis have had a profound influence on the study of secular texts. The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times. ... Hermeneutics may be described as the development and study of theories of the interpretation and understanding of texts. ... Exegesis (from the Greek to lead out) involves an extensive and critical interpretation of an authoritative text, especially of a holy scripture, such as of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, the Talmud, the Midrash, the Quran, etc. ...


Renaissance criticism

The literary criticism of the Renaissance developed classical ideas of unity of form and content into literary neoclassicism, proclaiming literature as central to culture, entrusting the poet and the author with preservation of a long literary tradition. The birth of Renaissance criticism was in 1498, with the recovery of classic texts, most notably, Giorgio Valla's Latin translation of Aristotle's Poetics. The work of Aristotle, especially Poetics, was the most important influence upon literary criticism until the latter eighteenth century. Lodovico Castelvetro was one of the most influential Renaissance critics who wrote commentaries on Aristotle's Poetics in 1570. This article is about the European Renaissance of the 14th-17th centuries. ... Late Baroque classicizing: G. P. Pannini assembles the canon of Roman ruins and Roman sculpture into one vast imaginary gallery (1756) Neoclassicism (sometimes rendered as Neo-Classicism or Neo-classicism) is the name given to quite distinct movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that... For other uses, see Culture (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Latins and Latin (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... Lodovico Castelvetro (c. ...


19th-century criticism

The British Romantic movement of the early nineteenth century introduced new aesthetic ideas to literary study, including the idea that the object of literature need not always be beautiful, noble, or perfect, but that literature itself could elevate a common subject to the level of the sublime. German Romanticism, which followed closely after the late development of German classicism, emphasized an aesthetic of fragmentation that can appear startlingly modern to the reader of English literature, and valued Witz – that is, "wit" or "humor" of a certain sort – more highly than the serious Anglophone Romanticism. The late nineteenth century brought renown to authors known more for critical writing than for their own literary work, such as Matthew Arnold. Romantics redirects here. ... 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. ... Aesthetics (or esthetics) (from the Greek word αισθητική) is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty. ... In aesthetics, the sublime (from the Latin sublimis (exalted)) is the quality of transcendent greatness, whether physical, moral, intellectual or artistic. ... For the general context, see Romanticism. ... Classicism door in Olomouc, The Czech Republic Teatr Wielki in Warsaw Church La Madeleine in Paris Classicism, in the arts, refers generally to a high regard for classical antiquity, as setting standards for taste which the classicist seeks to emulate. ... Matthew Arnold Caricature from Punch, 1881: Admit that Homer sometimes nods, That poets do write trash, Our Bard has written Balder Dead, And also Balder-dash Family tree Matthew Arnold (24 December 1822 – 15 April 1888) was an English poet and cultural critic, who worked as an inspector of schools. ...


The New Criticism

However important all of these aesthetic movements were as antecedents, current ideas about literary criticism derive almost entirely from the new direction taken in the early twentieth century. Early in the century the school of criticism known as Russian Formalism, and slightly later the New Criticism in Britain and America, came to dominate the study and discussion of literature. Both schools emphasized the close reading of texts, elevating it far above generalizing discussion and speculation about either authorial intention (to say nothing of the author's psychology or biography, which became almost taboo subjects) or reader response. This emphasis on form and precise attention to "the words themselves" has persisted, after the decline of these critical doctrines themselves. // 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. ... New Criticism was the dominant trend in English and American literary criticism of the early twentieth century, from the 1920s to the early 1960s. ... In literary criticism, close reading describes the careful, sustained interpretation of a brief passage of text. ... In literary theory and aesthetics, authorial intentionality is a concept referring to an utterances authors intent as it is encoded in the medium of communication (speech, writing, performance). ... 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. ...


Theory

In 1957 Northrop Frye published the influential Anatomy of Criticism. In his works Frye noted that some critics tend to embrace an ideology, and to judge literary pieces on the basis of their adherence to such ideology. 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. ... An ideology is an organized collection of ideas. ...


In the British and American literary establishment, the New Criticism was more or less dominant until the late 1960s. Around that time Anglo-American university literature departments began to witness a rise of a more explicitly philosophical literary theory, influenced by structuralism, then post-structuralism, and other kinds of Continental philosophy. It continued until the mid-1980s, when interest in "theory" peaked. Many later critics, though undoubtedly still influenced by theoretical work, have been comfortable simply interpreting literature rather than writing explicitly about methodology and philosophical presumptions. New Criticism was the dominant trend in English and American literary criticism of the early twentieth century, from the 1920s to the early 1960s. ... Literary theory is the theory (or the philosophy) of the interpretation of literature and literary criticism. ... Structuralism as a term refers to various theories across the humanities, social sciences and economics many of which share the assumption that structural relationships between concepts vary between different cultures/languages and that these relationships can be usefully exposed and explored. ... Post-structuralism encompasses the intellectual developments of continental philosophers and critical theorists that wrote with tendencies of twentieth-century French philosophy. ... Continental philosophy, in contemporary usage, refers to a set of traditions of 19th and 20th century philosophy from mainland Europe. ...


History of the Book

Related to other forms of literary criticism, the history of the book is a field of interdisciplinary enquiry drawing on the methods of bibliography, cultural history, history of literature, and media theory. Principally concerned with the production, circulation, and reception of texts and their material forms, book history seeks to connect forms of textuality with their material aspects. The history of the book is the story of a suite of technological innovations that improved the quality of text conservation, the access to information, portability, and the cost of production. ... For Works Cited lists, see Citation. ... Cultural history (from the German term Kulturgeschichte), at least in its common definition since the 1970s, often combines the approaches of anthropology and history to look at popular cultural traditions and cultural interpretations of historical experience. ... 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 of these pieces. ... In psychology, communication theory and sociology, media influence or media effects refers to the theories about the ways the mass media affect how their audiences think and behave. ...


Among the issues within the history of literature with which book history can be seen to intersect are: the development of authorship as a profession, the formation of reading audiences, the constraints of censorship and copyright, and the economics of literary form.


The current state of literary criticism

Today interest in literary theory and Continental philosophy coexists in university literature departments with a more conservative literary criticism of which the New Critics would probably have approved. Acrimonious disagreements over the goals and methods of literary criticism, which characterized both sides taken by critics during the "rise" of theory, have declined (though they still happen), and many critics feel that they now have a great plurality of methods and approaches from which to choose. Literary theory is the theory (or the philosophy) of the interpretation of literature and literary criticism. ... Continental philosophy, in contemporary usage, refers to a set of traditions of 19th and 20th century philosophy from mainland Europe. ... New Criticism was the dominant trend in English and American literary criticism of the early twentieth century, from the 1920s to the early 1960s. ...


Some critics work largely with theoretical texts, while others read traditional literature; interest in the literary canon is still great, but many critics are also interested in minority and women's literatures, while some critics influenced by cultural studies read popular texts like comic books or pulp/genre fiction. Ecocritics have drawn connections between literature and the natural sciences. Many literary critics also work in film criticism or media studies. Some write intellectual history; others bring the results and methods of social history to bear on reading literature. 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. ... Mary Wollstonecraft, 1759-1797 Womens writing as a discrete area of literary studies is based on the notion that the experience of women, historically, has been shaped by their gender, and so women writers by definition are a group worthy of separate study. ... Cultural studies is an academic discipline which combines political economy, communication, sociology, social theory, literary theory, media theory, film/video studies, cultural anthropology, philosophy, museum studies and art history/criticism to study cultural phenomena in various societies. ... A comic book is a magazine or book containing the art form of comics. ... This article is about inexpensive fiction magazines. ... Genre fiction is a term for fictional works (novels, short stories) written with the intent of fitting into a specific literary genre in order to appeal to the fans of that genre. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of films, individually and collectively. ... Media Studies is the study of the constitution and effects of media. ... Intellectual history means either: the history of intellectuals, or: the history of the people who create, discuss, write about and in other ways propagate ideas. ... Å…Social history is an area of historical study considered by some to be a social science that attempts to view historical evidence from the point of view of developing social trends. ...


Ronald Dworkin, the well respected American legal philosopher, has argued that the purpose of literary critique (from the so-called "aesthetic hypothesis") is to show which manner of reading reveals a text to be the best possible work of art.[citation needed] Ronald Dworkin (born 1931) is an American legal philosopher, and currently professor of Jurisprudence at University College London and the New York University School of Law. ...


Bibliography

  • Habib, M.A.R. A History of Literary Criticism: From Plato to the Present.ISBN 0-631-23200-1
  • Encyclopedia of literary critics and criticism, ed. by Chris Murray, London [etc.] : Fitzroy Dearborn, 1999
  • Holquist, Michael. Dialogism: Bakhtin and His World, Second Edition. Routledge, 2002.
  • Holquist, Michael. “Introduction.” Speech Genres and Other Late Essays. By Mikhail Bakhtin. Eds. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1986. ix-xxiii.
  • Holquist, Michael. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. By Mikhail Bakhtin. Austin and London: University of Texas Press, 1981.

See also

Literary theory is the theory (or the philosophy) of the interpretation of literature and literary criticism. ... The following is a list of literary terms; that is, those words used in discussion, classification, criticism, and analysis of literature. ... The history of the book is the story of a suite of technological innovations that improved the quality of text conservation, the access to information, portability, and the cost of production. ... Deconstruction is a term in contemporary philosophy, literary criticism, and the social sciences, denoting a process by which the texts and languages of Western philosophy (in particular) appear to shift and complicate in meaning when read in light of the assumptions and absences they reveal within themselves. ... Jacques Derrida (IPA: in French [1], in English ) (July 15, 1930 – October 8, 2004) was an Algerian-born French philosopher, known as the founder of deconstruction. ... Marxist literary criticism is a loose term describing literary criticism informed by the philosophy or the politics of Marxism. ... Feminist literary criticism is literary criticism informed by feminist theory, or by the politics of feminism more broadly. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... This article is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Psychoanalytic literary criticism is literary criticism which, in method, concept, theory or form, is influenced by the tradition of psychoanalysis begun by Sigmund Freud. ... Semiotic literary criticism, also called literary semiotics, is the approach to literary criticism informed by the theory of signs or semiotics. ... Genre studies are a structuralist approach to literary theory, film theory, and other cultural theories. ... Hysterical realism, also called recherché postmodernism or maximalism, is a literary genre typified by a strong contrast between elaborately absurd prose, plotting, or characterization and careful detailed investigations of real specific social phenomena. ... The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Fifth Edition The Modern Language Association of America (MLA) is the principal professional association in the United States for scholars of literature and literary criticism. ... Comparative literature (sometimes abbreviated Comp. ... Poetic tradition is a concept similar to that of the poetic or literary canon (a body of works of significant literary merit, instrumental in shaping Western culture and modes of thought). ... Darwinian Literary Studies (aka Literary Darwinism) is a branch of literary criticism that studies literature in the context of evolution through natural selection, specifically gene-culture coevolution. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... 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. ...

External links

  • Dictionary of the History of Ideas: Literary Criticism
  • Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism Award Winners
  • Internet Public Library: Literary Criticism Collection of Critical and Biographical Websites
Image File history File links Literary_Criticism. ... Image File history File links Sound-icon. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 291st day of the year (292nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Feminist Literary Criticism (11793 words)
Since feminist literary criticism has re-discovered the forgotten texts, from the 17th centu-ry onwards, written by women whose contribution to the emergence of the novel genre is undeniable, and included them in the critical evalua-tions, it is quite important to present them both in a historical and liter-ary perspective.
Although the literary field was occupied by 'men of letters' in the 17th century, the women, especially during the second half of the century, embarked on new forms of writing that brought fiction closer to reality.
Modem critical theory states that reading a text with the intention of decoding its meaning(s) is a reductive act, and it imposes some kind of limitation (in the sense of closure) on the text.
Literary criticism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (934 words)
Literary criticism is the study, discussion, evaluation, and interpretation of literature.
The literary criticism of the Renaissance developed classical ideas of unity of form and content into a literary neoclassicism which proclaimed literature to be central to culture and entrusted the poet or author with the preservation of a long literary tradition.
Early in the century the school of criticism known as Russian Formalism, and slightly later the New Criticism in Britain and America, came to dominate the study and discussion of literature.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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