Contemporary Literary Theory. The Literary Text is at the center other literary texts author ------------ literary text ------------ readers world in.
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Presentation on theme: "Contemporary Literary Theory. The Literary Text is at the center other literary texts author ------------ literary text ------------ readers world in."— Presentation transcript:
The Literary Text is at the center other literary texts author ------------ literary text ------------ readers world in which text was produced
Who focuses on the literary text? New Critics / formalists – “new” in 1920’s – dominate mid-20 th C literary studies – focus on forms: lit devices, genres, irony, etc. – begun in reaction to historically based criticism Deconstructionists – see language as inherently unstable & fluctuating – arises from work of linguists & existentialist philosophers
Who focuses on other literary texts? Archetypal critics – look for common motifs among literary works Psychoanalytic critics – see literary works as expressions of commonly held neuroses found in literature and life Literary influence critics – look at how one literary work may be written in response to another
Who focuses on the author? Some feminist, gender & Marxist criticsfeministgenderMarxist – expanding the canon by women, by those of alternative sexualities, by the economically disadvantaged, etc. – arises from the “hypenated-American” syndrome – only one aspect of these critical schools
Who focuses on the reader? Some feminist, gender & Marxist criticsfeministgenderMarxist – interested in which gender or sexual orientation or socio- economic class purchases which sort of literary experience Some cultural studies critics – Interested in what sort of subjectivity is “created” by the literary work Reader-response critic – sees “meaning” in literary works as something made by a community of readers, and not as belonging or adhering to the work itself, hence changing over time.
Who focuses on the world in which the literary text is produced? Old & New HistoricistsNew Historicists – both focus on older literature & see literary works as closely embedded in their cultures Cultural Studies critics Cultural Studies – see literary works as one cultural product among many arising from a particular culture at a discrete moment Marxist critics Marxist – see literary texts as going out into the world to “work” on shaping the ideologies of their consumers