This sophisticated and wide-ranging look at literary criticism addresses the major theorists of today and proposes a constructive approach to challenging critical debates. Disclosing conflict as the inevitable outcome of historical change, Suresh Raval refuses the stark either-or choice between the foundationalist stance, which seeks to find the right answers, and the relativist position, which denies the possibility of identifying right and wrong. Raval explores the question of conflict in literary criticism and theory by analyzing how different theories have treated key issues, not to resolve these problems but to show why they resist decisive solution.
Ivor Armstrong Richards was one of the founders of modern literary criticism. He enthused a generation of writers and readers and was an influential supporter of the young T.S. Eliot. 'Principles of Literary Criticism' was the text that first established his reputation and pioneered the movement that became known as the 'New Criticism'. Through a powerful presentation of the need to read critically and creatively, with an alertness to the psychological and emotional effects of language, Richards presented a powerful new understanding both of literature and of the role of the reader.
As the study of literature has extended to cultural contexts, critics have developed a language all their own. Yet, argues Mark Bauerlein, scholars of literature today are so unskilled in pertinent sociohistorical methods that they compensate by adopting cliches and catchphrases that serve as substitutes for information and logic. Thus by labeling a set of ideas an "ideology" they avoid specifying those ideas, or by saying that someone "essentializes" a concept they convey the air of decisive refutation. As long as a paper is generously sprinkled with the right words, clarification is deemed superfluous. Bauerlein contends that such usages only serve to signal political commitments, prove me...
This volume attempts to represent European theories of poetry from Plato's time to the year 1700. Editor Allan H. Gilbert has selected writers who in their own day spoke for the future rather than the past, and those whose conceptions are of value at present, either in developing our own critical thought or in interpreting the most important literature of their own ages.
This collection of essays provides students of literary critical theory with an introduction to Freudian methods of interpretation, and shows how those methods have been transformed by recent developments in French psychoanalysis, particularly by the influence of Jacques Lacan. It explains how classical Freudian criticism tended to focus on the thematic content of the literary text, whereas Lacanian criticism focuses on its linguistic structure, redirecting the reader to the words themselves. Concepts and methods are defined by tracing the role played by the drama of Oedipus in the development of psychoanalytic theory and criticism. The essays cover a wide generic scope and are divided into three parts: drama, narrative and poetry. Each is accompanied by explanatory headnotes giving clear definitions of complex terms.
Blanchot's writings on literature have imposed themselves in the canon of modern literary theory and yet have remained a mysterious presence. This is in part due to their almost hypnotic literary style, in part due to their distinctive amalgam of a number of philosophical sources (Hegel, Heidegger, Levinas, Bataille), which, although hardly unknown in the Anglophone philosophical world, have not yet made themselves fully at home in literary theory. This book aims to make visible the coherence of Blanchot's critical project. To recognize the challenge that Blanchot represents for literary criticism, one has to see that he always has in view the self-interrogation that characterizes modern literature, both in its theory and its practice. Blanchot's essays study the forms and the paths of this research, its solutions and its impasses; and increasingly, they sketch out the philosophical and historical horizon within which its significance appears. The effect is to revise the terms in which we see the genesis of the modern literary concept, not least of the manifestations of which is literary criticism itself.
Ecofeminist Literary Criticism is the first collection of its kind: a diverse anthology that explores both how ecofeminism can enrich literary criticism and how literary criticism can contribute to ecofeminist theory and activism. Ecofeminism is a practical movement for social change that discerns interconnections among all forms of oppression: the exploitation of nature, the oppression of women, class exploitation, racism, colonialism. Against binary divisions such as self/other, culture/nature, man/woman, humans/animals, and white/non-white, ecofeminist theory asserts that human identity is shaped by more fluid relationships and by an acknowledgment of both connection and difference. Once considered the province of philosophy and women's studies, ecofeminism in recent years has been incorporated into a broader spectrum of academic discourse. Ecofeminist Literary Criticism assembles some of the most insightful advocates of this perspective to illuminate ecofeminism as a valuable component of literary criticism.