WHAT IS LITERARY THEORY?

Literary criticism is the practice of interpreting and writing about literature as the latter, in turn, strives to make sense of the world. Literary theory is the study of the principles which inform how critics make sense of literary works. Purpose Of Studying Literary theory: • One of the views is likely to affirm your perspective and speak to what you see in the literature you are studying. • Studying a view different from yours not to disagree with it, but to understand it , it helps you understand those who hold that view. • Studying a work from more than one view gives you a deeper understanding of the author s work and a better appreciation for the richness of it.
4 criti#ue

4pproach to Literature 5 6roup work

School Of thought5 Principles 5 !deas

Studying Of Principles 1riticism of 1riticism "ormalism

Formalism :
!n literary criticism, "ormalism refers to a style of in#uiry that focuses, almost e$clusively, on features of the literary te$t itself, to the e$clusion of biographical, historical, or intellectual conte$ts. %he name &"ormalism& derives from one of the central tenets of "ormalist thought: %hat the form of a work of literature is inherently a part of its content, and that the attempt to separate the two is fallacious. 'y focusing on literary form and e$cluding superfluous conte$ts, "ormalists believed that it would be possible to trace the evolution and development of literary forms, and thus, literature itself. "ormalism is a philosophical theory of the foundations of mathematics that had a spectacular but brief heyday in the ()*+s. Foundations : %he Linguistic %urn ,-ussian. defamiliari/ation0 %he 1ultural %urn ,2ew 1riticism. 3uman liberalism0

Fpure formalism0 *0 ()*(E()G+ movement towards 1/echoslovakia and Poland under pressure from Bar$ismHStalinism I emergence of structuralism . !n reality. Russian Formalism New Criticism Russian Formalism : -ussian "ormalism refers primarily to the work of the Society for the Study of Poetic Language founded in ()(@ in St. among others. ?iktor Shklovsky. Phases: (0 ()(DE()*+ in -ussia . -ichards. many of which seriously diverge from one another. %here was thus a shift away from the moral approach to literature towards a scientific approach. organi/ation. structure. the two schools largely developed in isolation from one another. even many of the theories proposed by critics working within their respective schools often diverged from one another. "ormalism emerged primarily and particularly out of the work of -oman =ackobson. and the term groups together a number of different approaches to literature.4. and ?iktor Shklovsky."ormalism has advantage of forcing writers to evaluate a work on its own terms rather to relay on 7accepted8 notions of writer work. 'oris >ichenbaum. 4lthough the theories -oman =ackobson of and 2ew 1riticism are similar in a number of respects.ar through the ()<+s. and should not be conflated or considered identical.ord choice. "ormalism. On the >uropean continent. and secondarily to the Boscow Linguistic 1ircle founded in ()(C by -oman =ackobson. multiple language Historical Prospects: %here is no one school of "ormalism. was the dominant mode of academic literary study in the 9nited States and 9nited :ingdom from the end of the Second . "ocus on "orm. and particularly the "ormalism of the &2ew 1ritics. in the broadest sense. . Petersburg by 'oris >ichenbaum. =ohn 1rowe -ansom and %. -ussian "ormalists interested in the analysis of the te$t but their main concern was with method as the scientific basis for literary theory. !.& including. and Aury %ynyanov.orld .S >liot.

but also more rewarding engangement with the te$t and. 3is aim was to define the techni#ues of art which writers employed to produce specific effects. %he 2ew 1ritic is concerned with the te$t itself. 4rchibald BacLeish states.'asic 4ssumptions: • Scientific approach focused on Fliterariness which can be found on the level of form rather than content. • 4esthetics of deviation . • 4 te$t is the sum total of its devices. %he emphasis on the actual processes of the presentation of a literary te$t is known as 7laying bare8 its own devices.plot0 cannot be separated.story0 and siu/het • . the most essential literary thing a novel can achieve is to draw attention to itself and the literary devices it employs. &K4 poem must not meanH'ut beK&. and therefore the form and structure of a work. 1oncentrated on poetry. a history of innovation in formal structures. it does not seek a te$t Kmeaning. with the world . is in fact an integral part of the content of the work. • Jefamiliari/ation forces the reader to slow down and effects a more strenuous. ?iktor Shkolvsky s critical writing was the most prominent work of -ussian "ormalism.K& . One of his most attractive concepts was the notion of defamilari/ation. 4ccording to Shklovsky. form and content. and is not determined by e$ternal. far from being merely the decorative wrapping of the content. fabula . "ormal method. &with its language and organi/ation.K but how it Kspeaks itself. New Criticism : "amously.hat a work of literature says cannot be separated from how the literary work says it. Jefamiliari/ation Jevices "abula and syu/het -ussian "ormalism is concerned with the meaningfulness of artistic devices. • Literature has its own history. %he core of the te$t is not the theme but its devices. • 4rt as a device of defamiliari/ation . by implication. Jefamiliari/ation is derived from the word ostranenie meaning 7making strange8. material history. • .

. Fsincerity . 'asic 4ssumptions H Principles: • Literature has its origins in natural processes of human consciousness . . (@E*( 0 . cf.and must0 be studies in isolation from conte$ts of any kind.% he origins of the dominant 4ngloE4merican traditions of criticism in the midEtwentieth century . 4 2ew 1ritic would think of great literature Lust like a great paintingEEsomething that will inspire awe simply because it is a great work of art. not in the reader . • 1riteria of e$cellence: organic fusion of form and content. it is not necessary to consider e$ternal factors ..imsattH 'eardsley: 7%he 4ffective "allacy80 • %he te$t as an obLect which can be appreciated and decoded without recourse to authorial intention . • "ormalistic approach: detailed analysis of literary form is a prere#uisite for successful readings. • %he purpose of literature is essentially the enhancement of life and the propagation of humane values. • Literature is of timeless significance. 4nd ne$t phase is 3uman Liberalism which states that one who can understands literature he can write or interpret literature too.the ideology of liberal humanism. %he subLect is antecedent to and thus transcends the forces of society. but: unity of content and form.imsattH'eardsley: 7%he !ntentional "alacy80 • !ntrinsic approach: the reader will have to Fenter the te$t in order to unlock its meaning from the inside. • %he literary te$t contains its own meaning within itself. • literature is taken seriously on its own terms for the first time . and language. • showingHFenactment rather than e$planation. e$perience.. Human Liberalism : Liberalism gives liberty to literature: literature is a common property. it can .roughly from the ()*+s to the ()<+s0 are of course comple$ and often apparently contradictory as are their theoretical and critical positions and practices. 'arry ())D. • 3uman nature is essentially unchanging. • !ndividuality is something securely possessed within each of us as our uni#ue Fessence . • Beaning resides in the te$t.1leanth 'rooks: 7%he 3eresy of Paraphrase80 !mportance: • the approach encourages an intimate engagement with te$tual features .

& and &te$ts e$ist in and for themselves. enduring. and other critical approaches to reading and criti#uing literature depend upon readers familiarity with these terms to articulate their findings. irony. and want to make literary criticism a science.ith these isolated and obLective readings. categori/e. %he maLor premises of 2ew 1riticism include: &art for artKs sake. still.& &content form. and it has retained its great influence in many academic #uarters. 4long the way. 2ew 1riticism wants to pull out and discuss any universal truths that literary works might hold concerning the human condition. !ts terminology continues as the basis for most literary education in the 9nited States. 2ew 1riticism aims to classify.Summary: "ormalist theory has dominated the 4merican literary scene for most of the twentieth century. and intention. !ts practitioners advocate methodical and systematic readings of te$ts.& %hese premises lead to the development of reading strategies that isolate and obLectify the overt structures of te$ts as well as authorial techni#ues and language usage. . "ormalists value poetry rich in ambiguity. they cannot deny that 2ew 1riticism has left a lasting impression on 4merican literary scholarship. 1urrent theorists tend to critici/e "ormalism for this and other symptoms of narrowEmindedness. %hese truths are considered by 2ew 1ritics to be static. and catalog works according to their formal attributes. and applicable to all humanity. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM .