You are on page 1of 13

NAME: SARAH OMAR

M.PHIL SEMESTER: 2

ENGLISH.LITERATURE

COURSE: LITERARY CRITICISM

INSTRUCTOR: DR. WASEEM ANWAR

it is considered a whole experience that is taken from an inspiration. it is an art of fault finding. . On a conclusive note. it is not produced in a void/ vacuum. Thus. it reflects the essence of the text that is interpreted from the original subject-matter. A critic does more things with literature than judge it. – Cazamian. criticism does give life to creative art whether with a positive or negative approach. Thus it can become a comparative or research based literature study. literary criticism is an evaluation or analysis of literature. the danger of criticism is art becomes politics. literature is a Re-presentation of art. & reflections. criticism is known as an art. Moreover. criticism helps the reader to go beyond the literature. is criticism of sore. Nonetheless. rather than translation. and the best criticism is just a reflection carried as far as it can go‖. criticism makes an individual very conscious of oneself and one‘s judgments. reactions. Representation is in fact a Mimesis theory that is in fact a transliteration of the original Greek word. But. Hence. Moreover. about responses. In fact.REVIEW:1 The word criticism is derived from the Greek word ‗judgment‘. As Cazamian says: ―All sincere reflections upon a text. Likewise. The reason is criticism can create & destroy you. Moreover. It tends to rejuvenate the creative work even in rejection.

it is notable in the classical literary criticism approach. Aristotle.‖ Therefore. Daiches mentions Platonic dilemma regarding to poetry that is according to Plato. which ought to be controlled and disciplined‖.‖Nonetheless. in ―Critical Approaches to Literature‖ by David Daiches. ―All kinds of poetry listing the kinds known to him in Greek literature-involvemimesis. Longinus. As it is said by Aristotle. Aristotle was able to defend poetry in his Poetics. proceed[ing] to show the poetic gift derived from a uniquely significant human faculty. especially subjective criticism. and other classical critics have given their own view and methodological approach to analyze a text. imitation or representation. Aristotle was inductive in his approach unlike Plato who was deductive in his approach.REVIEW: 2 Regarding criticism. The purpose of subjective criticism is that one‘s perceptions are relatively true but not absolutely true. the basic argument about poetry for Plato is that ―poetry is inferior because it is an imitation of an imitation. . Like. t is a way of setting some standards for one to criticize other subject matters. substantial truth in them. Hence. Nonetheless. and one can represent various aspects of real or imaginary situations through any one of a variety of means or media. Plato. Hence. it is the product of an ‗inferior part of the soul‘ and it harms by nourishing the passions. and springs from improper knowledge and lack of understanding of both how to use and how to make what it describes. For instance. it is a reflection of oneself on others. the distinction between Plato and Aristotle can be seen through their distinctive approaches towards the subject matter of poetry from different perspectives that does have a relative. ―is far removed from truth. It is considered a dialectical approach.

However. reflection is distinctive from representation.REVIEW: 3 Mimesis is often translated as an ‗imitation‘. just as it is also a method of exploring and challenging the notions of the real. Furthermore it has been pursued by Plato and Aristotle who questioned the nature of reality to be represented. Since representation is the distortion of reality while reflection having more than one connotation mirrors the expression or the object in its static state in a subjective manner bringing it to life respectively. art represents man who is also fixed in time as well. And art has the ability to capture the stillness of an object like Keats who became popular because he was able to capture the art of the Grecian urn in his Ode to the Grecian Urn in its static form. art is based on relative truth. Even reality is sometimes defined in contradistinction to imaginary. . Besides. mimesis is a method of strengthening and deepening the moral understanding. On the other hand. Mimesis involves a process. It is a creative form of ‗Representation‘ that can have an element of reflection in a literary text but cannot substitute the essence of the text. an active relation with living reality. it is in fact a transliteration that focuses on the origin of the alphabets. Hence. literature and representation of literature is an expression of art. Plato builds an argument on representation that it is not replica of the object. In fact. Moreover. Likewise.

This brings him again close Plato. Thus. (Daiches) Sidney deals with the usefulness of other forms of poetry also. His Apology for Poetry is a spirited defence of poetry against all the charges laid against it since Plato. Hence. Longinus believes that great literature is that ―which excites and arouses the reader not only once but repeatedly. it is an art of imitation for a specific purpose : it imitates ‗to teach and delight‘. Longinus produced the pleasure affective theory of literature. ―Poetry.REVIEW: 4 On the subject of representation. . to law by its encouragement of human rather than civic goodness‖. according to Sidney. While. Hence the ultimate function of literature for Longinus. Unlike Aristotle and Plato. Philip Sidney holds a very important place as well. the most significant tool and medium of literature is language. poetry was an art of imitation. to science by its moral end. to history by its universality.among the English critics. is to be sublime and to have on its readers the effect of ecstasy or transport that sublimity has. ― comparable to the modern meaning of the word literature‖. To Sidney. Sidney makes poetry what Plato wished it to be – a vision of the idea itself and a force for the perfection of the soul. Therefore. As language according to Aristotle mentioned by David Daiches is . Thence. his conception of poetry is different from Aristotle‘s. the poet imitates not the brazen world of Nature but the golden world of the Idea itself. and its ultimate justification. Poetry is not so much an art of imitation as of invention or creation. Though Sidney professes to follow Aristotle. He considers poetry as the oldest of all branches of learning and establishes its superiority. is superior to philosophy by its charm. Sidney also unconsciously differs with Aristotle in the meaning he gives to imitation. Language is a vital tool in literature. According to him. To Aristotle.

and Coleridge wrote the Biographia to . [sic] buttressed by the authority of anonymity. It had to ―corner for itself some of the creative energy of poetry itself. poetry was considered to be an expressive rather than a mimetic art. opinionated reviews in the periodicals prompted his attempt to devise a critical method that would supplant mere opinions with reviews based on a set of sound literary principles. S. For instance. Eliot reports.‖ With this statement. because such norms and conventions were associated with rationality—the very target of most Romantic poetry—criticism needed to head in a different direction. even his own poetry.‖ according to Eagleton. However.REVIEW: 5 English literary criticism of the Romantic era is most closely associated with the writings of William Wordsworth in his Preface to Lyrical Ballads and Samuel Taylor Coleridge in his Biographia Literaria. shifting the center of attention from the work as a reflection or imitation of reality to the artist. in the Preface to Lyrical Ballads. and the artist's relationship to the work. Wordsworth projected a very different view of poetry than was standard at the time. Thus. T. but also his own creative practices. were rigorously subordinated to their politics. for example. Wordsworth stated the nature of poetry as ―the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings. According to Eagleton: ―Criticism was now explicitly. unabashedly political: the journals tended to select for review only those works on which they could loosely peg lengthy ideological pieces. The Romantic poet/critic thus began to produce criticism that explained and justified not only creativity itself. and their literary judgements.‖ Coleridge's unhappiness with the vicious. or shift to a quasi-philosophical meditation on the nature and consequences of the creative act. that ―Wordsworth wrote his Preface to defend his own manner of writing poetry.

according to Cantor. or in part he did. acknowledges the self-serving quality of the image put forth by Romantic poets who saw themselves as isolated and inspired geniuses possessed of special gifts unavailable to the masses.defend Wordsworth's poetry.)‖ (19TH Century Criticism) . leading it into the future. ―the artist stands above society as a prophetic visionary. in his study of twentieth-century attacks on Romantic criticism. Thence. Cantor.‖ Paul A. while free of its past and not engaged in its present activities (in the sense of being essentially unaffected and above all uncorrupted by them.

s Eliot. The purpose of this statement by Richards is that significantly our response to art consists of our senses. For Eliot. In the essay Eliot explains that the past and present move parallel alongside each other.REVIEW: 6 ‗To appreciate a work of art . in the essay by T. everything is interlinked in our lives. Moreover. While work according to Eliot is personal & impersonal. Since introspection or reflection is required in a good piece of work. Thus he views art from an objective stance. On a short note he also discusses that the poets should revive the past and connects it to the present as he had done in his poem Prufrock. Eliot reacted to the different creative processes popularized during his time. Moreover. Eliot‘s another stance is the anti romantic view of the process. Tradition exerts on an idea as it is significant. . it is universal. Likewise. responses and ideas about specific authors in relation to their work. Moreover. art for art sake is representation of the collective consciousness of the Victorian society. The phrase art for art sake then focuses on the originality of an idea. the language and structure of meanings should be balanced and harmonized into a coherent sequel. he focuses on the personal set of preoccupations. He depersonalizes the romantic magnification of emotive and subjective perception. Since. Richards gives the theory of value & pleasure. and the physiological process which is used to respond to works of art. He believed in the unified sensibility of the society.. ―Tradition & Individual Talent‖. a work of art is independent and is a world in its own‘ – Richard..

all languages are rooted in a depth grammar of human meaning. Since. A philosophical.REVIEW: 7 Hermeneutics is the art of interpreting. it is the single horizon of human understanding. the comprehension of any written text requires hermeneutics. hermeneutic understanding strives to break through the limitations of a particular world-view to the matter that calls to thinking. linguistic. Hermeneutics always seeks to understand the particular way a problem engages the present. Hermeneutics is applied in the practice of historical retrieval. Without collapsing critical thinking into relativism. Ideas are nested in historical. reading a literary text is as much a hermeneutic act as interpreting law or Scripture. a desire to engage a historically transmitted question as a genuine question. the re-construction of the historical context of scientific and literary works. which makes speakers of various languages members of a human community. canon law. As the speculative grammarians of the middle Ages recognized. . hermeneutics opposes the rationalist tendency to downplay the uniqueness of languages. or literary problem can only be genuinely understood through a grasp of its origin. Furthermore. it developed into a general theory of human understanding through the work of Derrida and others. Moreover. worthy of consideration in its own right. Hermeneutics opposes the radical relativist notion that meaning cannot be trans-lingual. By addressing questions within ever-new horizons. A philosophical impulse motivates hermeneutic re-construction. Hermeneutics is not satisfied with translating the language of the other. it wants to speak with the other in the language of the other. hermeneutics recognizes the historicity of human understanding. theological. and the interpretation of Scripture. Although it began as a legal and theological methodology governing the application of civil law. and cultural horizons of meaning. On the other hand.

The sense of liberation from an oppressive "modernity" or "modernism" in the aesthetic domains makes great sense . By contrast. Reader Theory and the Aesthetic of Reception. obvious and uncontroversial approach to literature. She goes on to describe various critical positions.one which runs between the assumption of a single. Belsey is most interesting as she works towards what appears to be a pluralistic theory of interpretation . The terms "modernism.given what "modernity" and "modernism" have meant in those domains. all these." if the ." "empiricism. During the perusal of ‗Critical Practice‘ several responses emerge . in her book the Critical Practice. "modernity" and "modernism" in philosophy are sufficiently different that it is difficult to make direct comparisons between the aesthetic and the philosophical. Her criticism demonstrates. Perhaps this is "post-modern. However. although traditional criticism masquerades as a ‗common sense‘. she had criticized the traditional orthodox ways of criticism and had made a scientific analysis of the techniques and styles of the works of last century‘s artists. universal Truth and sheer relativism. do not mean in the "aesthetic domains" (art. which can make no valid claims to universality of ‗truth‘. Similarly.responses documented and grounded in specific examples are discussed in detail in here. it is in fact a product of particular theoretical discourse isolated in time and space. which have been set up in oppositions to the orthodoxy-New Criticism. and now literary critical theory) what they mean in philosophy." etc. transcendent." "postmodernism.REVIEW : 8 Regarding Catherine Belsey. fixed. architecture. Archetypical Criticism. are shown to fail because they adopt similar theories of language to the conventional criticism objected upon. though productive." "idealism." "rationalism.

Habermas) . Aquinas. which would serve her so well in her project. And her lack of awareness regarding the many philosophical versions of the sort of pluralistic middle ground she interested in leaves her to reinventing the wheel without the aid of these earlier and contemporary counterparts.she does not make the complete plunge into philosophy and its traditions..is precisely the project of overcoming dualistic modes of thinking and establishing pluralistic middle grounds between dogmatic assertions of single universal truths and (equally dogmatic) relativistic assertions of there existing no truth whatsoever. and their contemporary representatives (e. Kant. Aristotle.). . she consistently falls prey to a number of common logical fallacies (question-begging. Finally. Correlatively.g.Plato. On the contrary. while Belsey in some ways seems to be stretching towards an explicitly philosophical approach to literary theory . despite her explicit interest in logic and logical consistency. etc. By stepping only halfway towards the philosophical domain. she thereby cuts herself off from the tools and insights. false dilemma. much of the work of the major Western philosophers . But it is by no means uniquely "postmodern" in the philosophical domain.assumption of a single transcendent truth is somehow "modern" in the terms of literary theory.

Holland goes further than almost any other theorist in his rejection of the ‗affective fallacy‘. Norman N. in contrast. applies ‗ego-psychology‘ to the study of literature. In short. reading is seen as fundamentally a recreation of identity by means of a ‗transactive‘ relation between the reader and the text. Holland. Moreover.REVIEW: 9 Most psychoanalytic criticism has tended to concentrate on the relation between a literary text and the psychology of its creator. Since. argues that the meaning and the significance of a literary text needs to be seen in relation to the identity structure of the reader of that text. identity theory suggests a promising method in the field of psychological criticism. . Holland. who used t to dismiss the reader‘s subjectivity as irrelevant because they regarded the text as an object. that is. a psychological critc. a concept associated with the New Critics. independent of both author and reader.

the feminist critic recognizes that literature is an important contributing element to the moral atmosphere in which women are derogated. Such literature is alien from a female point of view because it denies her essential selfhood. academic curricula. Thus. ‗the images of women‘ determines how women characters are represented in literature. it has failed to solve the problems of evil because it projects evil upon women or ―Other‖. Donovan through. seats of conscious. Initially feminist criticism reflected on the feminist ideology. Hence. in some Western literature. one of the major developments n literary studies is the emergence of feminist criticism. However. such as Jew. the ‗images of women‘ school of feminist critics adopts this point of view and is particular concerned with how women characters are represented in literature. Negro thereby denying the reality of the contingent order. Moreover.REVIEW: 10 On a final note. Feminist criticism is moral because it sees that one of the central problems of Western literature is that in much of it women are not human beings. On the other hand. feminist criticism becomes political when it asserts that literature. not others…Women in literature written by men are seen as others or mere objects. and the standards of critical judgments should be changed. . Nonetheless. feminist criticism is rooted in the fundamental a priori intuition that women are seats of consciousness: are selves.