Books
Owen Holland

Introducing Literary Criticism

    Nessehas quoted7 days ago
    His arguments also recall Derrida’s, insofar as Barthes identified the figure of the “author” in traditional criticism as a means of limiting interpretative possibilities by encouraging critics to search for a single, theological meaning: the message of the “Author-God”.
    Nessehas quoted7 days ago
    Many of the thinkers now identified with post-structuralism remained indebted to the insights of Saussure’s linguistics, but sought critically to expand its range of possibilities.
    Nessehas quoted7 days ago
    Derrida’s essay constituted part of a varied critique of the ruling logocentrism of the Western philosophical tradition.
    Nessehas quoted7 days ago
    Barthes’ earlier work, including Mythologies (1957) and “Introduction to the Structural Analysis of Narrative” (1966), have an identifiably structuralist emphasis in their analysis of popular culture as a sign-system.
    Nessehas quoted7 days ago
    The clearest example of Foucault’s influence on the study of literature is his essay “What is an Author?” (1969), in which he charts the long-term development of the “author function”, revealing how the idea of the author – often viewed as timeless or unchanging – varies according to historical context.
    Nessehas quoted7 days ago
    Rather than assuming that a literary text simply reflects, or mirrors, a given social reality – as was the dominant assumption of traditional criticism concerning the 19th-century realist novel – such texts could also be seen as belonging to a network of signifying conventions and allusive references to other written works.
    Nessehas quoted7 days ago
    The structuralist suspension of language’s referential function was also influential in encouraging some thinkers to examine the inverse: the ways in which social reality itself is constructed through language (sometimes known as the “linguistic turn”).
    Nessehas quoted7 days ago
    For literary criticism, such an approach provided a way of viewing texts as expressions (or symptoms) of a wider system that could be delineated
    Nessehas quoted7 days ago
    The scientific impulse of early formalism was carried over into the structuralist attempt to determine the systematic rules of linguistic and literary phenomena, mapping the underlying (and universal) structures of consciousness that give rise to these phenomena.
    Nessehas quoted21 days ago
    There is no essential connection, for Saussure, between the “signifier” (a phonetic construct or sound pattern) and the “signified” (mental concept), which, taken together, constitute the linguistic “sign”.
    Nessehas quoted21 days ago
    investigation of the relationship between langue and parole at a given phase in the development of a language.
    Nessehas quoted21 days ago
    This synchronic approach,
    Nessehas quoted21 days ago
    Saussure broke with the diachronic principles underlying previous approaches to the study of language (that is, tracking historical changes in language) and argued instead for a synchronic approach: looking at language at a particular point in history.
    Nessehas quoted21 days ago
    which points to another important division between the written and spoken word.
    Nessehas quoted21 days ago
    Saussure’s structuralist linguistics entails a set of claims about how language is constructed according to certain rules that are frequently contradicted by particular instances of language use.
    Nessehas quotedlast month
    of the most salient features of this theoretical turn in literary studies is the emphasis on interdisciplinarity, with its implied critique of narrow specialization. The interdisciplinary impetus has encouraged literary critics to engage with other disciplines, including philosophy and anthropology, and has often entailed a radicalization (and politicization) of approach.
    Nessehas quotedlast month
    the latter half of the 20th century, New Criticism came under pressure. Its methods had proved useful as a teaching tool following the expansion of higher education after WWII, but this expansion was also one factor that led to a political and theoretical turn in literary criticism in the 1960s and 70s.
    Nessehas quotedlast month
    One function of literary language, then, is to defamiliarize readers from everyday, habitual patterns of thought by exposing them to the shock of the new.
    Nessehas quotedlast month
    Formalists sought to shift the focus of literary study away from the representational, or mimetic, aspects of literature as a reflection of social reality and set out to determine the specificity of literary language that could be examined as literary language.
    Nessehas quotedlast month
    Poetic language exists separately from everyday speech insofar as its primary aim is not necessarily to communicate, but operates instead according to its own laws, creating effects through the manipulation of particular devices (e.g. rhythm, repetition, alliteration).
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