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Catherine Belsey ³This is a valiant attempt to explain the principles and some of the intricacies of structuralist criticism. It throws a good deal of light on some of the terms, which can baffle the uninitiated«. This is« a helpful introduction to a subject which has loomed large in recent years´
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CATHERINE BELSEY THE POST-MODERN CRITIC Catherine Belsey¶s µCritical Practice¶, which is fundamentally an anthology of essays in the series of µNew Accents¶, presents a modern rather post-modern observation of critical methods. Belsey has criticised the traditional orthodox ways of criticism and has made a scientific analysis of the techniques and styles of the works of last century¶s artists. Her criticism demonstrates, although traditional criticism masquerades as a µcommon sense¶, obvious and uncontroversial approach to literature, it is in fact a product of particular theoretical discourse isolated in time and space, which can make no valid claims to universality of µtruth¶. She goes on to describe various critical positions, which have been set up in oppositions to the orthodoxy-New Criticism, Archetypical Criticism, Reader Theory and the Aesthetic of Reception. However, all these, though productive, are shown to fail because they adopt similar theories of language to the conventional criticism to which they object. The project of the remainder of the book is to explore the possibilities for a new critical practice, which fully takes into account the pioneering work of Saussure and makes use of subsequent advances in the field of semiotics, Marxist theory and psychoanalysis. During the perusal of µCritical Practice¶ several responses emerge - responses documented and grounded in specific examples are discussed in detail in here, The terms "modernism," "postmodernism," "rationalism," "empiricism," "idealism," etc. do not mean in the "aesthetic domains" (art, architecture, and now literary critical theory) what they mean in philosophy. The sense of liberation from an oppressive "modernity" or "modernism" in the aesthetic domains makes great sense - given what "modernity" and "modernism" have meant in those domains. By contrast, "modernity" and "modernism" in philosophy are sufficiently different that it is difficult to make direct comparisons between the aesthetic and the philosophical. In the philosophical world, what the aesthetic postmodernist rejection of "modernity" and "rationalism" appears to mean is really a rejection of Cartesian rationalism and Descartes' propensity to think dualistically. But this is in many ways a major theme of philosophical inquiry since Parmenides made so abundantly clear the limits of dualistic thought in the early 6th ct. B.C.E. Similarly, Belsey is most interesting as she works towards what appears to be a pluralistic theory of interpretation - one which runs between the assumption of a single, transcendent, fixed, universal Truth and sheer relativism. Perhaps this is "post-modern," if the assumption of a single transcendent truth is somehow
"modern" in the terms of literary theory. But it is by no means uniquely "postmodern" in the philosophical domain. On the contrary, much of the work of the major Western philosophers - Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Kant, and their contemporary representatives (e.g., Habermas) - 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. Finally, while Belsey in some ways seems to be stretching towards an explicitly philosophical approach to literary theory - she does not make the complete plunge into philosophy and its traditions. By stepping only halfway towards the philosophical domain, she thereby cuts herself off from the tools and insights, which would serve her so well in her project. Correlatively, despite her explicit interest in logic and logical consistency, she consistently falls prey to a number of common logical fallacies (question-begging, false dilemma, etc.). And her lack of awareness regarding the many philosophical versions of the sort of pluralistic
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middle ground she interested in leaves her to reinventing the wheel without the aid of these earlier and contemporary counterparts.
A CRITIQUE OF CRITICAL PRACTICE Catherine Belsey¶s observations on critical theory vis-à-vis "common sense" run in close parallel to Robert Dreier and Christi Lewis' observations on the resistance to philosophy in art and architecture:
³Common sense approaches literature not as a self conscious and deliberate practice, a method based on a reasoned theoretical position, but as the 'obvious' mode of reading, the 'natural' way of approaching literary works. Critical theory accordingly appears as a perfectly respectable but to some degree peripheral area, almost a distinct discipline, a suitable activity for graduate students or perhaps as a special option for undergraduates, having no necessary connection with the practice of reading itself. At best it is seen as a way of explaining in theoretical terms what we already - and on the whole without encountering any difficulties - do when we read; at worst it is held to be misleading, interfering with the natural way of reading, perplexing the minds of readers with nice speculations of philosophy and so leading to overingenuity, jargon and a loss of direct and spontaneous contact with the immediately perceptible reality of the text´. Over against the self-evident assumption of the common sense view, she will urge the view of Saussure, that "common sense itself is ideologically and discursively constructed, rooted in a specific historical situation and operating in conjunction with a particular social formation." Her critique, we note, is squarely logical and philosophical: "In reality, common sense betrays its own inadequacy by its incoherencies, its contradictions and its silences." Indeed, she makes the essential philosophical point: over against the anti-theoretical pretensions of the common sense approach, she states "But there is no practice without theory, however much that theory is suppressed, unformulated or perceived as 'obvious'." She uses ideology in a specific way: My use of the term, derived from Althusser's, assumes that ideology is not an optional extra, deliberately adopted by self-conscious individuals ('Conservative ideology', for instance), but the very condition of our experience of the world, unconscious precisely in that it is unquestioned, taken for granted. Ideology, in Althusser's use of the term, works
. and thus offers no challenge to the assumptions of common sense. This is an easy way of evading conceptual challenges.in conjunction with political practice and economic practice to constitute the social formation... which often evokes either a single homogenous mass. Contact: (92) 300 94 678 qaisarjanjua@hotmail. 3 Qaisar Iqbal Janjua. but it negates the repeated liberal humanist claim to open-mindedness and pluralism.com .com. 'society'.the last resort of common sense is to dismiss as 'unnecessary jargon' any discourse which conflicts with its own. To resist all linguistic innovation is by implication to claim that we already know all we need to know. or alternatively a loosely connected group of autonomous individuals... Her comment on the strategy of common sense in response to the new terms of her (ostensibly more radical) critical theory is worth reproducing: . qaisarjanjoa@yahoo. a formulation which promotes a more complex and radical analysis of social relations than the familiar term. of course (and of eliciting reassuring sneers).
Consider: Common sense proposes a humanism based on an empiricist-idealist interpretation of the world. idealism. This same problem reappears later when she criticizes the New Criticism for failing to confront "the idealist assumption that the text constituted an expression of an idea. This necessarily general picture paints with such a broad brush that the key terms humanism. whether explicitly or implicitly. empiricism and idealism are generally opposed notions of how knowledge emerges . These propositions. etc. however." Just what sort of "idealism" is this? Platonic? Kantian? Neither? Both? For that. the theory of expressive realism. who expresses it in a discourse.but not necessarily beyond the bounds thereof. which enables other individuals to recognize it as true. common sense urges that 'man' is the origin and source of meaning. the property of a transcendent human nature whose essence is the attribute of each individual (idealism). the terms are used so broadly here as to jumble together what in philosophy is carefully kept separate. In other words. This is not to say that Belsey cannot use the terms in this way . whatever conclusions she may draw about idealism. then. constitute the basis of a practice of reading which assumes. empiricism.are necessarily equivocal. following .only to say that we should be careful not to assume that her use of the terms perfectly matches their use in philosophy. Accordingly. she illustrates a point we've already seen in our discussion of architecture: the use of terms in one discipline may be only vaguely related to their use in another. radically called in question by the implications of post-Saussurean linguistics. This is the theory that literature reflects the reality of experience as it is perceived by one (especially gifted) individual. Our concepts and our knowledge are held to be the product of experience (empiricism). reason or thought. As but one example: in the philosophical tradition. may hold quite nicely in the domain of literary theory . While such a conjunction vaguely recalls Kant (who is not named here) . if they are to refer to any of the many currents of thought which use these terms as labels and organizing categories.As she provides a definition of the common sense view. empiricism.two distinct traditions of reflections on epistemology which Belsey joins neatly together without further comment. and of history (humanism). and this experience is preceded and interpreted by the mind. of action. From a philosophical perspective. a presence which existed in some shadowy realm of subjectivity anterior to and independent of the text itself. and reality .the Kantian synthesis of idealism and empiricism excludes in turn Belsey's use of "transcendent" here to describe human nature.
. which have emerged. and what constitutes evidence of that truth? What is the relationship between a text (a discursive construct) and the world? To what extent is it possible to perceive the world independently of the conventional ways in which it is represented? To what extent is experience contained by language. Difficulties. including the role of perception). include the problem of access to the idea or experience. these are the questions a philosopher would raise regarding epistemology. ontology or metaphysics (what is real? what are the relationships between realities?). society.expressive realism presents a number of problems not easily resolved within the framework of common sense. Contact: (92) 300 94 678 qaisarjanjua@hotmail. but will rather remain 4 Qaisar Iqbal Janjua. which is held to precede the expression of it.com.com . What form does it take? Do ideas exist outside discourse? Is the idea formulated in one discourse (a letter or a diary) the same as an idea formulated in different words in another discourse (a literary text)? In what sense is fiction 'true'. qaisarjanjoa@yahoo. (our account of knowledge and theories of truth. and philosophy of language.. history? To our eyes.her summary of the emergence of the expressive realist position point to the precisely philosophical character of the questions she wants to address: . Yet Belsey will not take up the theoretical approaches and lessons of philosophy to address these questions.
she further cuts herself off from the history of philosophy . allegedly more radical approach. In her analysis of expressive realism in general and New Criticism in particular. As a specific example: she criticizes the New Criticism on the problem of meaning: Within the expressive theory the text could be seen to possess a single. From my .would suggest still other responses to this debate than she is able to uncover. that they echo Plato's critique of writing in the Phaedrus. thereby.. it is conceivable that understanding the larger historical context . which would prove useful in addressing her questions. in her quoting Wimsatt and Beardsley (as representative new critics). determinate meaning. she thereby cuts herself off from a variety of theoretical tools. she would be able to observe that the apparently contemporary debate between what she takes to be the common sense approach and her own.and in particular. and the authority for this meaning was the author.. for example) by John Duns Scotus in the Middle Ages. She does not recognize. Not only does Belsey (following Saussure) reject this view .admittedly biased perspective. she pushes the understanding of meaning in expressive realism to an overly simple extreme: .) . is by no means an entirely new thing under the sun. the insistence on a single meaning seems to a turn regarding language made in the rejection of certain forms of equivocal language (analogical equivocals. This failure to recognize the more nuanced and complex understanding of language in history seems to contribute to a simple dichotomy fundamental to Belsey's project. some of the earlier responses to Plato's critique of writing (including Plato's own as the obvious author of many written works. are no longer the property of the author. Indeed. and some forms of ambiguity (analogical equivocals) may reflect important structures of connection and difference in both language and reality..so does Plato after a fashion. however complex. And in remaining within the framework of literary theory and critical theory. Recognizing this connection not only would have helped enrich her understanding of the long history of the recognition that words. and the continued quest for a guarantee . Ever since Scotus. This simple dichotomy runs the risk of amounting to a false dilemma.within the frameworks of literary theory and critical theory. Meaning was what the author put into the text.the continued assumption that meaning is single. Moreover. for example. Western philosophers and scientists have largely argued that univocal terms are preferable to ambiguous terms .despite the observation made in Plato and Aristotle that language is perhaps intrinsically ambiguous..and from a full appreciation of logic. once written down.
but it is a view which is yet to be demonstrated. and that it cannot therefore inhere timelessly within the words on the page. universal and trans-historical: 'though cultures have change and will change. as she does here . This is Belsey's post-Saussurean view . and trans-historical meaning exists 5 Qaisar Iqbal Janjua. And to return to the initial problem.of this single meaning results in a conviction that the meaning of any text is timeless. Contact: (92) 300 94 678 qaisarjanjua@hotmail. qaisarjanjoa@yahoo. timeless.and then criticize an alternative view for failing to see this point.or is it simply fundamentalism? . introduced here in a questionbegging way: The problem is.com. is to beg a very important question. poems remain and explain'.. universal.is then countered by her alternative. Belsey seems to present us with a simple either/or: Either a single. This extreme version of some sort of idealism .the failure to recognize that meaning exists only within a specific language.com . or more precisely within a specific discourse. To assume it..
including choices which include both the recognition of the role of history. but are released in the process of reading.. and the specific." Without demonstration that (a) in fact these are the only two (exclusive) alternatives and (b) that the second alternative is more likely to be true .we need to notice a distinction which Belsey does not make: it is one thing to argue for an infinite range of possible meanings/interpretations (in a kind of hermeneutical relativism . as she approves of Northrop Frye for glimpsing the "fact" that ". in a sense a liberation from the authoritarianism of the expressive theory. and subjectivity and independent frameworks and realities in the construction of meaning? Belsey repeats this dichotomy later on. It is language. etc.and another thing to acknowledge that texts may issue in a perhaps very large but essentially limited plurality of possible meanings. historically-conditioned discourse. (I'm not sure about Nietzsche: let us see!) Belsey's question-begging takes an irritating turn when she comments: New Criticism thus constitutes a contradictory moment.Or meaning is solely constructed within and is thus valid only in relation to a given. and criticism is concerned with range of possible readings. but inhibited from taking advantage of ... Texts. Aristotle. Belsey does this on the next page as she again critiques the New Critics as they are forced back on a naive empiricism-idealism which maintains that words stand either for things or for experiences. In reality texts do offer positions from which they are intelligible. but these positions are never single because they are always positions in specific discourses. and that these inhere timelessly in the phenomenal world or in the continuity of essential human nature. a matter of familiarity rather than intuition.meaning is conventional. But is this really the only choice? Or are these but the poles on a continuum of choices . which provides the possibility of meaning. SIMILARLY The weakness of the theory originates in the attempt to locate meaning in a single place. what is inherent in the text is a range of possibilities of meaning.. in other words.to presume the truth of the second alternative remains question-begging.the position we see Belsey heading towards) . 'on the page'. but because language is not static but perpetually in process. Meanings are not fixed or given. Beyond the question-begging . in the words of the text. are plural.. ideologically constructed experience of the twentieth century is universalized as the unchanging natural order. culture. open to a number of interpretations. Thus history becomes an anticipation of the present in all important aspects. The latter position does not force us into relativism and is characteristic of such philosophers as Plato.
"as part of a liberal education. is seen as unable to influence the course of history in any substantial way. therefore. forever isolated from the social formation in which in reality it is constructed.com . 'clear of the bondage of history'. to discover that this rich plurality is destined to be contained within a repressive pluralism which argues that conflict between points of view only inhibits the advancement of learning. but also as it.why is liberation clearly good. while we generally endorse liberation .this liberation by its own commitment to empiricism and a concomitant idealism. Contact: (92) 300 94 678 qaisarjanjua@hotmail. and authoritarianism clearly bad? "It is disappointing. We may have missed something ." Why is such a pluralism repressive? Another example of question-begging: Belsey critiques Northrop Frye's "liberal humanism." not only as it is ostensibly founded on empiricismidealism.com." 6 Qaisar Iqbal Janjua. transcending the world we know. can make it possible to conceive of a free and classless society. firstname.lastname@example.org how does expressive theory get linked up with authoritarianism? Moreover." Belsey takes this independence of the determinism of history to mean a kind of transcendence which makes such conceptions ultimately irrelevant to the world we live in: "The human mind.
The question-begging at work in "the social formation in which in reality it is constructed" is made more explicit in her concluding paragraph: No theoretical position can exist in isolation: any conceptual framework for literary criticism has implications which stretch beyond criticism itself to ideology and the place of ideology in the social formation as a whole. furthermore.e. The third possibility which Belsey's dilemma overlooks is the Platonic ideal which is both transcendent of ordinary existence and intimately connected with it (through "participation. and these in turn involve assumptions about human society. Assumptions about literature involve assumptions about language and about meaning.." to use the Platonic phrase). As we understand him. a ground on which one stands in achieving a critical distance from the status quo.the dilemma is disappointing because it misses the philosophical response to this dilemma as worked out by Plato. she asserts here a position she has to prove . Again. goodness. he is Neoplatonic. in fact.i.and one that confronts us with a simple either/or: either meaning and criticism are thoroughly imbedded in and thus relative to a specific historical moment or they are utterly independent (and thus irrelevant). All of this is to say: beware of the oversimplifications regarding philosophy introduced by literary theorists who apparently do not intend to become overly familiar with philosophical approaches and . Another quibble: we simply don't follow Belsey's understanding of philosophers and philosophical schools. This third possibility makes it possible to have a ground distinct from what is . I'm not sure she succeeds in occupying this third position entirely consistently. Beyond the logical fallacy of false dilemma at work here .but as her very limited understanding of Western philosophy prevents her from seeing it. realizing the potential of the ideal is at least as much Aristotle as it is Neoplatonic. The independent universe of literature and the autonomy of criticism are illusory. seeing literature as realizing a potential golden world rather than imitating a brazen one. Aristotle is more likely to be categorical rather than atomistic . We suspect. etc. equality.while yet not entirely divorcing oneself from the ordinary world (and thus becoming irrelevant to it). he is categorical and sweeping. Aristotle. that Belsey seeks to occupy this third position . Example: Where they (the New Critics) are atomistic and detailed.while he is also quite detailed. where they are Aristotelian. which may offer conceptions of important values such as justice. and subsequent philosophers. which fund both a critique of the status quo and provide standards towards which individuals and societies may move .
is directly adopting that historical structure in her presentation of expressive realism as a tradition 7 Qaisar Iqbal Janjua. Countless philosophical steps have been made through the realization that the problems with a given theory issue not so much from a mistaken development of basic premises (what Aristotle called the first principles) especially as these are often implicit. The point of her summary of recent literary criticism is to make the argument: The Anglo-American tradition of critical theory begins to appear as a series of such developments [i.frameworks. perhaps without knowing it. and thus not available for critical inspection . What is needed is a fundamental break with the empiricist-idealist position. qaisarjanjoa@yahoo. but unable to resolve the problems it presents from within the empiricist-idealist conceptual framework. Contact: (92) 300 94 678 qaisarjanjua@hotmail..e. faltering efforts to overcome the limits of expressive realism].com . Yet: Belsey (perhaps inevitably) strains towards the philosophical. Belsey.com. inarticulate.but with the limitations of the premises/first principles themselves. based on a recognition of the inadequacies of the commonsense account of literature.
whose limits can only be overcome by moving beyond its fundamental principles. the language of political power. Fish's reader is disarmingly singular.For the end of a dialectical experience is (or should be) nothing less than a conversion.the practices of 'good readers and critics'." something she says is by now familiar. is its failure to recognize that a plurality of readers must necessarily produce a plurality of readings. but asks that its readers discover the truth for themselves. But this leads to one of my central points of discomfort with much of the argument I see in literary theory: while straining in this (and other ways) towards the philosophical . Aristotle (as one of the first to explicitly argue in this fashion . with his many references to the Presocratics and his explicit debates with Plato) would be pleased. interest in the reader is entirely liberating... as these and earlier examples ('liberation') already make clear. such theorists cut themselves off from a whole tradition whose tools and lessons might well be essential to a more productive engagement with the ultimately philosophical issues raised. So she goes on from here to critique Walter J... this account is still lacking: Its weakness. But. This question-begging is further at work in the language Belsey herself uses to discuss other views. this is the first time she's suggested such a thing. she accuses the empiricist-idealist position as guilty of "suppression of language. and this discovery is often made at the expense not only of a reader's opinions and values.. It is didactic in a special sense.. Slatoff as holding to a position marked by "authoritarianism" which she sees in his terms defining "..by remaining within the boundaries of literary criticism.g. It is.. for it requires of its readers a searching and rigorous scrutiny of everything they believe in and live by. over against . it does not preach the truth. by my reading. but of his self-esteem. specifically Chomsky's. She further asserts that such a singular reader amounts to a "suppression of differences" . a rejection of authorial tyranny in favour of the participation of readers in the production of a plurality of meanings. MORE QUESTION-BEGGING AND FALSE DILEMMA At its best.is disturbing.. linguistics. "Now why is this "authoritarianism"? And on the next page. seems consistent with Platonic notions of dialogue and dialectical readings of the dialogues. but an exchanging of minds.. however. But for Belsey.. we might notice. despite his account of a dialectical relationship between reader and text: A dialectical presentation. not only a changing. She also does not like Stanley Fish..) This account. who learn to 'submit' to the work and let their 'responses' be 'directed and limited' by it.one that is appropriated from Anglo-American.e.
and such truths..com . 8 Qaisar Iqbal Janjua. further.com. there's a questionable either/or: either a single reader or the suppression of differences / or a plurality of readers. and as a result it cannot possibly be trans-historical. this conclusion follows only if we assume that either there is a single. including the appropriation of a given language. trans-historical truth which is immediately accessible to all human beings in a perfectly identical form/content .literary competence is learned. I'm not sure it's that simple. Again.. A similar simplicity: "." Like the most elementary (and fallacious) arguments for relativism. qaisarjanjoa@yahoo. Contact: (92) 300 94 678 qaisarjanjua@hotmail. would involve "learning" of some sort.or everything is learned and thus utterly relative to specific histories/cultures. A (Socratic/ Platonic/ Aristotelian/ Thomistic/ Kantian) middle is possible: what if there are trans-historical truths understood/applied/interpreted in different was in different histories/cultures? This is a logical possibility .Saussure.
"To liberate new ways of reading which overcome the theoretical problems and the practical limitations I have discussed.one she still finds lacking.in which case..Iser's theory suppresses the relationship between language and experience. But is silence the same as suppression? Couple this with her intended project. This is different from taking learning as a sufficient condition for acquiring such understanding . Given the possibility of such a Socratic-Kantian middle. such a middle might require learning as a necessary condition for understanding.. This is because.com. its own transhistorical existence.. Iser doesn't explicate that relationship. represented by Iser . Contact: (92) 300 94 678 qaisarjanjua@hotmail. Obviously. Finally.namely. 9 Qaisar Iqbal Janjua. email@example.com . now that she has ostensibly demonstrated the inadequacies of Iser's theory .." Again.Given the possibility of such a middle. we can see that Belsey's either/or further confuses necessary with sufficient conditions. apparently. an either/or: we either suppress or liberate.. again in terms of political power: . But it would also require a second condition . most of us would value the latter. and such understanding would be entirely relative to a specific history/culture. Belsey turns to the German Aesthetic Response School of literary criticism. learning would fully determine such understanding.
Classical Realism that is promoted by text print and electronic media represents a world of subjects which are the origin of meaning.´ Belsey further elaborates that apart from illusionism. in fiction as a classical realist fiction whether drama or novel. since the author presents it as a shadow which cannot be separated from the body of the text. But they are able to appreciate a classical realist literature due to the fact that the text available is relatively easily intelligible. However. which is already evident from above discussion. a capitalist system emphasizes a lot on individual freedom and ³assumes a world of non-contradictory individuals whose unfettered consciousness is the origin of meaning knowledge and action. Belsey has made a convincing relationship between the subject and the text.´ But the important aspect is that. the role of ideology in a system is to suppress the role of language in the construction of the subject ± since that would be a direct threat to the existing order. The given statement is somewhat paradoxical. According to Catherine Belsey. or knowledge. Belsey here says that. In this way a classical realist constitutes an ideological practice in addressing itself to readers as subjects. Her explanation is conspicuous regarding modern interpretations of classical topics. there is a lack of direct authorial presence. from a paradoxical development of a subject within ideology and which is normally present in classical realist . Belsey points out that the µI¶ of the Romantics is different from classical realist fiction in the sense that it directly involves the individual to respond to that text or a piece of poetry. According to her ideology. interpreting them in order that they freely accept their subjectivity and their subjection. Catherine Belsey being modern critic and competitive authority over literature sets changed definitions which may be considered as new-fangled layers of meanings of the classical terms. WHAT DOES CATHERINE BELSY BRING FORWARD IN HER DISCUSSION OF THE SUBJECT AND THE TEXT? WHAT IS RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE SUBJECT AND THE TEXT ACCORDING TO BELSEY? WHAT IS ILLUSIONISM IN CLASSICAL LITERATURE? HOW CATHERINE BELSEY DEFINES IT? ³The form of the classical realist text acts in conjunction with the expressive theory and with ideology by interpreting the reader as subject.MOST EXPECTED QUESTIONS Q: Q: Q: Ans: The article ³Subject and The Text´ deals with individual or subject and ideology and inter-relationship of these two entities in a classical realist setting.
at which the events of the story become fully intelligible to the reader´ it means that the closure is such point in a story when the fog starts to clear away and the real picture or the situation becomes clear to the reader. provide the destructive element in the text. closure is something which tends to form a very regular order or pattern in classical realist literature. love triangles etc. But it eventually leads to an ideologically accepted closure. firstname.lastname@example.org. Techniques like murder. where a subject feels a certain relief and the order of things is re-established. 10 Qaisar Iqbal Janjua. ³The moment of closure is the point. In Barthes view. These are closures and literacy of discourses.com . According to Belsey. there are certain other questions within the narrative techniques which ensure this subjectivity and subjection. which combine to establish a ³truth´ of the story.texts. Contact: (92) 300 94 678 qaisarjanjua@hotmail.
But. It also makes ³obvious´ in the involvement of a reader as a source of meaning through the use of discourse within inverted commas. . is to make a deliberate and ideological choice. they provide reader with an opportunity to involve in first person narrative and seemingly create the meanings of their own. Catherine Belsey is of the view that Classical Realism presents individuals whose traits of character. WHAT IS POSTSAUSSUREIAN LINGUISTICS? GIVE A DETAILED DEPICTION OF EVOLUTION OF THE LINGUISTICS BEFORE AND AFTER SAUSSURE. It is possible to refuse that position. Human nature. She says that: Q: Q: Q: Ans: ³Initially constructed in discourse. but to do so at least at present. which develops strong author reader relationship. seems as a system of character differences existing in the world but one very clear and distinct closure. This hierarchy of discourse is responsible for a distinction between µDiscourse¶ and µHistory¶. The discourse existing outside the commas is indirect authorial intrusion. WHAT IS RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LANGUAGE AND IDEAOLOGY? GIVE AN EXAUSTIVE OVERVIEW. in fact. according to Benveniste: Because history relates without the intervention of a speaker as there are no µyou¶ or µI¶ involved in it. constrain the choices they make and whose potential for development depends on what is given. however. The presence of third person narrative. understood as essential and predominantly given.e.The second aspect of illusionism in classical realism to the ³hierarchy of discourses´ is in a text i. the existence of a privileged discourse outside the inverted comas. the subject finds in the discourse of the classic realist text a confirmation of the position of autonomous subjectivity represented in ideology as µobvious¶. acts as the indirect authorial presence.´ PROVIDE A DETAILED BACKGROUND TO LINGUISTIC CRITICISM. thus. which ensures the continuation and reaffirmation of the existing ideology. The presence of events or ideas through a first person narrative is not necessarily a way of evading authorial power or authority.
Belsey. almost entirely determined by conventions. treating language as a system within one temporal plane. Saussure argued that linguistics should move from a diachronic study of language i. Saussuries shift of linguistic emphasis to language as a signifying system paralleled development in formalists. and criticism. primarily through the influence of the Swiss Linguist Ferdinand De Saussure (Died 1913). how language develops historically to a synchronic study i. Post Saussuries linguists challenge the expressive realism.Linguistics has had a major impact on 20th century literary theory. He divided language into Langue.com . It is the difference between linguistic signs and themselves that create meaning. Contact: (92) 300 94 678 qaisarjanjua@hotmail. Saussure¶s concept plays very important role in the trial practice. i.com. The basis of Langue is that words are arbitrary signs. how language is actually used in practice. What determines the meaning is not that the word refers to the word or to the ideas or concepts that exist outside the language. 11 Qaisar Iqbal Janjua. qaisarjanjoa@yahoo. Criticism and his work have been most influential on those who follow a formalist approach. In fact.e. Imprecise idealist¶s stances in critical practice regarding the relationship between language and the world and also in the development of this linguistic approach. in that the relation between a word and what it signifies to arbitrary. he builds a basis for a more comprehensive understanding of the relationship between language and the word. the underlying system that governs linguistic usage and Parole.e. According to C.e.
is a system of differences with no positive terms which means that language has been taken through ages as a naming device for already established concepts. The first important point is Saussure¶s insistence about the role of language as not being just a tool to name different things but. The concept ³Rabit´ is signified by the word ³Rabit´. one cannot cut the front without cutting the back at the same time. we make this concept clear by giving it a specific sound that relates us to the concept whenever we utter that very sound. one can neither divide sounds from thought nor thought from sounds. Saussure gives out the concept that language. sound image. i. thought is the front and sound the back. the very utterance of the word the signifier. ³Language can be compared with a sheet of paper. He refused this superficial idea that language serves as a system of naming existing things. sound image makes the difference clear between things. which is the concept that is being given to the sound of the written shape. which is a sound-image. semiotics. in fact. in language the stresses. Saussure¶s concepts have proved to be very important and have removed many discrepancies and ambiguities regarding a relation between language and the ideology of the word. He divides these signs into two basic components.Saussures¶s ³Course in General Linguistics´ is a very important contribution not only in the field of linguistics but also in the development of the science of signs. brings forward the concept related to that sound.e. comes before the very existence of independent concepts. a signifier. Thus without language this continuum cannot be easily deciphered. The signifier. which after Saussure is treated as a signifying practice. or the specific written word combination. When someone says the word ³eglantine³ or ³rose´. According to Saussure. thought or idea exists first and then comes language that makes this concept clear to the viewer or the listener. Saussure believes that language precedes the identity of individual.´ She wants to say that language gives individual identity to the thought or the concept. The word is a continuum independent entity which is differentiated through the signifying system. a man who believed that man lives in a Godless . like wise in language. language is a system of signs. Man is the part of social fact and through the use of language as a signifying system. in fact. Catherine Belsey discuses a lot of important ideas and concepts given by Saussure and highlights their consequences in the study of literature as a signifying system. Saussure was an atheist. The concepts of signifying system have influenced the critical study of literature.
Contact: (92) 300 94 678 qaisarjanjua@hotmail. ³If words stood for pre-existing concepts. leads to an illusive paradox and nature of language is overlooked due to this illusion. So he can give the idea that language makes clear the concept and language gives existence to concept. that a concept would have the same meaning or the same concept in every language. Saussure says. but this is not true´ Saussure means to say that pre-existing concepts are not responsible for meaning. qaisarjanjoa@yahoo. Saussure is of the view that since the signifier and signified are inseparable for example the sound image µRose¶ belongs to the concept µRose¶. 12 Qaisar Iqbal Janjua. they would all have exact equivalents in meaning from one language to the next. is not true.com .com.world. whereas in reality concept is not bound to language. Concept stands first or the thought comes first and then comes language. because different languages perceive the word in different ways. The belief.
language. Language. The word is a continuum and the sign is responsible. This brings us to the valuable benefit of ideology. presentations and representations of the way things are. Because the word God stands for the concept Supreme Power. but signifying system can play a very important role in naturalizing and describing ideas and concepts. But the concept of God is beyond human comprehension. which is a product of a particular social system and it is inscribed in signifying practices i. which clearly establishes the importance of language as a signifying system preceding the existence of independent entity. also becomes a matter of convention and the arbitrary nature of signs explains the social fact which generates a social system.e. to differentiate and distinguish between different entities in this continuum. This classifies the point that language pre-exists the individual. language can certainly not be reduced to ideology. signifies word God is signified by concept God. ³sheep´ for the ³animal´ and ³mutton´ for its ³meat´. The next important element in Saussure¶s theory is that language is a social fact and only a certain community can generate signs. thus. Thus. though the signifier and signified. Another important fact of post-Saussurean linguistics is that language is a system. Belsey. then the same word has been easily translated with the same meaning in English language. Because meaning in a social construct. If it has been the pre-existing concept. likewise. The particular sign in a language is arbitrary since it has no logical connection with the signified. since the individual being born in a social fact is . being a social fact is directly connected with ideology and ideology is inscribed in language.e.He gives the example of the French word ³mouton´ which means both mutton and sheep at the same time. which pre-exists the individual. Thus a child learns a particular set of differentiating concepts. means that language cannot be produced in isolation. This theory of Saussure is not applicable to religious ideology. it is inscribed in a language to a certain extent depending upon the signifying practices as discourses myths. ³God´ He will be there and will always make His presence felt. opines that ideology cannot be reduced to a language and. but although the signifying system as a whole is not arbitrary. If we do not name Him. here. But language being a social fact gives a particular signified or a particular signifier. The concept ³God´ can be identified in different words in different religions. the Almighty. it is directly influenced by a particular social formation. i. in which the individual produces meaning. which identify not given entities but socially constructed signified. But we observe that in English we have two different words.
are all part of symbolic order. social behaviours etc. ³the subjectivity of a specific perspective authority is no guarantee of the authority of a specific perception of the word´. gestures. since realism reflects the word constructed in language. being an important component of social thought or. Language in ideology has a very strong connection. Contact: (92) 300 94 678 qaisarjanjua@hotmail. likewise language and thought has a very strong connection. But language is a most practical way of communication and any threat from any symbolic order to an existing ideology is challenged and stopped within a language. Belsey is of the view that: ³From this post Saussurean perspective. Thus. It is important to note that language is not the only signifying system. The given analysis briefly sums up the post Saussurean linguistic development. qaisarjanjoa@yahoo. ideology being a social fact is closely connected with language. 13 Qaisar Iqbal Janjua. ideology. Images.´ But in fact. because.com. in fact. it is clear that the theory of literature as expressive realism is no longer tangible. Therefore. language precedes the individual.com .before-hand provided with a particular signifying system.
Sweden. it undermines the evaluation of a text and gives an incomplete account of the linguistic possibility. Whereas a person in one of the African tribes does not even know about Democracy and if he is told. Belsey does not simply elaborate this point but brings forward the different conceptions of Expressive Realism. Belsey elaborates that New Criticism is also unable to locate this guarantee of meaning due to its incomplete understanding and vision regarding language and human experience.e. Thus he understands the quality of language as having a varied potential for interpretation and critical appreciation. Likewise. owing to the historical and ideological influences. For example Expressive Realist finds the guarantee of the particular meaning in author¶s mind. Belsey gives an excellent example of a sentence i. and Iceland) .Q: Ans: WHAT IS CONCEPT OF THE PLURALITY OF MEANINGS IN BELSEY¶S ³CRITICISM AND MEANING´? In her article ³Criticism and Meaning´ Catherine Belsey basically deals with the concept of plurality of meaning or with the quality of language as having numerous or infinite possibilities of interpretations. New criticism and Northrop Frye etc.´ It¶s an excellent example to bring out the potential for meaning and the ideological and historical impacts on its interpretation. ³Democracy´ in a different manner. Democracy and civilisation carry totally different concepts in a developed country. Language being a social fact is subject to a variety of major and minor changes even within a single social system. would appreciate it according to the verdict given by the local witch-doctor. For example a person of a developing country like Pakistan would interpret. Denmark. and their attempt to find a device or method of interpretation of meaning aided by certain methodologies. Negating ideology and history in particular. especially without historical and ideological influences. ³Democracy will ensure that we extend the boundary of civilization. Catherine Belsey elaborates the importance of post saussurean Linguistics for its questioning of different critical practices regarding their attempt to locate a guarantee of the meaning of a text. For examples the Scandinavian States (Norway.
have a freedom level of individuality to an extent that would be unthinkable in the states like Iran.com . to pose an individual subject as an authority for a single meaning is to ignore a degree to which subjectivity itself is a discursive construct. To find a guarantee of meaning in the world or in experience is to ignore the fact that our experience of the world is itself articulated in language. qaisarjanjoa@yahoo. Therefore. Q: WHAT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A SUBJECT AND IDEALOGY IS EXPRESSED IN ³ADDRESSING THE SUBJECT´ BY CATHERINE BELSEY? Ans: ³Addressing The Subject´ by Catherine Belsey. this is evident again that the meaning in a particular sentence is plural. Catherine Belsey makes it clear that. This example of the word ³Democracy´ makes evident the fact that language is a social fact and a meaning of a sentence in a discourse will be directly influenced by different influences which could be of an ideological or a historical or a purely linguistic nature. Thus.com. how by the use 14 Qaisar Iqbal Janjua. Contact: (92) 300 94 678 qaisarjanjua@hotmail. deals with the relationship of a subject to an ideology that is given forth in a particular fact and how text promotes a particular set of mode or ideology. Thus Catherine Belsey elaborates the plurality of meaning and its crucial significance in ³Critical Practice´.
ISA is responsible for the usage of language. which can lie outside the boundaries of ideology and can leave to the development of knowledge. science is that branch of knowledge. that language and ideology has strong interaction. This obviously demonstrates the fact that since subject is situated within a language. As mentioned by Catherine Belsey in Chapter 2. Ideology plays very important role in a community and staying within language gives a particular mode of usage to it. which can challenge a particular ideology. what the reader does not realise is that instead of promoting individual thought. because the µI¶ of the conscious state may be within ideology but the µI¶ of conscious may lie outside it. the text is actually strengthening the existing ideology. In fact. There are several apparatuses in the society that Althusser calls as Ideological State apparatuses (ISAs) in a capitalist system. Language is supreme and the subject is constructed within language. According to Belsey. therefore. classical Realism of 19th and 20th century in capitalist systems is excellent example of the practice of promoting a certain ideology without making the reader to realise it. the cutter makes the reader to believe in his individuality without realizing that he is being motivated by the particular ideology. So language is supreme and prime that as within language an individual can differentiate between µI¶ and µYou¶ and feels the identity of his own self and others as well. which promotes a particular ideology. As already discussed in post-Saussurean Linguistics and also evident in this article that although the discussions of Althusser and Lacan. as Lacan mentions in the studies of Freudian concept of the self and the development of the child and realisation of child as an individual µI¶ so the subject is constructed in a language which makes him able to distinguish between ³I´ and µyou¶. The inherent dialectic will eventually lead to a development of new modes of knowledge despite the suppression by existing ideological practices within language. ideology has a strong interrelationship.of particular ideological practices. It may primarily encourage or sustain a particular ideological practice and ensure the continuity of a particular ideological . Text makes something ³obvious´ to the reader and reader thinks that he or she is reading a text as an individual. As discussed in the article. The subject or the self also faces the problem of having inherent contradiction. it can be deduced that the subject can never be separated from a particular set of ideology. without being subservient to one another. which consist of the educational system. Thus new branches of knowledge evolve through a dialectical process within ideology. Functions of literature are diverse.
who expresses it in a discourse which enables other individuals to recognise it as true. Q: HOW EXPRESSIVE REALISM HAS EVOLVED THROUGHOUT THE AGES? Ans: Catherine Belsey define. qaisarjanjoa@yahoo. provides unlike Classical Realism. as it is perceived by one individual. Expressive Realism as ³the theory that literature reflects the reality of experience.com.com . new modes of thought which instead of being obvious to the reader may challenge the existing µI¶ system and thus provide space for the development of new knowledge to the subject.´ 15 Qaisar Iqbal Janjua. Contact: (92) 300 94 678 qaisarjanjua@hotmail. Q: WHAT IS CATHERINE BELSEY¶S IDEA OF EXPRESSIVE REALISM? Q: PROVIDE A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF ³EXPRESSIVE REALISM´ BY CATHERINE BELSEY.set up. Literature on the other hand.
(Victorian age). And the greater power in expressing such thought and feelings as are produced in that manner. where there is minimum interference of government in economic affairs of the country. This age is also the age of industrial capitalism. Mimesis as elaborated by Aristotle is translated as limitation. The beginning of the concept of Expressive Realism can be found in Ruskin¶s book ³Modern Painters´ in 1840 where he is treating poetry (imaginative synonymous literature) and painting as similar Ruskin actually combined both . According to Ruskin the artist must both represent faithfully the objects portrayed and express the thoughts and feelings that evoke in him or her. The concept of representation in Expressive Realism is derived from the critical concept of the Romantics that Poetry (imaginative literature) is ³the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings´ or emotions. The first part deals with 19th century. The idea of representation as given by the Romantics can be summed up in the following lines where Wordsworth in his ³Preface to Lyrical Ballads´ says that: ³The sum of what was said is that the poet is chiefly distinguished from other men by the greater promptness to think and feel without immediate external excitement. The industrial revolution occurred in Europe through rapid development of industry. Thus imitation in literature will evidently and inevitably be the imitation of real life. So the first historical component of Expressive Realism is ³mimesis´ by Aristotle as ³Imitation of reality´ in literature or art.Expressive Realism can be divided into two parts. the Expressive Realism became widely established theory not only in literature but also in painting and especially in landscape painting. especially the 2nd half of 19th century. But these passions and thoughts and feelings are the general questions and thoughts and feelings of men. It is evident from Aristotle¶s attention plotting that he does not by mimesis mean that art should be a literal or photographic representation of reality. The 2nd historical component of Expressive Realism is Representation. Expressive Realism exists in the period of industrial capitalism in the writings of Ruskin. This industrial development actually was the real beginning of the modernism through industrialisation. In representation of reality material from life has to be selected and carefully organised. through the works of the major post Romantic theorist like Ruskin. Capitalism is the system of free economy. The most famous critic of this time is Ruskin. Expressive Realism is influenced by the Aristotelian concept of art as ³mimesis´.´ By the mid-nineteenth century.
qaisarjanjoa@yahoo. because both poetry and painting represent reality. Mimetic accuracy is the foundation of all arts µnothing can atone for the want of truth. without reacting the second. yet it is altogether impossible to reach the 2nd without having previously reached the first. Expressive Realism falls short on the level of perception of reader as the depicted reality in the form of imitation .Aristotelian idea and Romantic concept together. The expressive aspects are apparent only to the few´ So. the representation of thoughts. in the imitation of reality.´ 16 Qaisar Iqbal Janjua. Catherine Belsey critical examines both concepts of Expressive Realism. ³Ruskin¶s criticism will concentrate first on the question of truth to nature. she is of the view.com.com . Contact: (92) 300 94 678 qaisarjanjua@hotmail. since although it is possible to reach what I have stated to be the first end of art. although reality will be portrayed by the artist but every reader will not be able to appreciate the powerful overflow of emotions on a similar level as expressed by the author. the representation of facts. ³Whereas truth to nature is universally pleasing the representational aspects of art will delight everyone.
The formalists were interested. But Catherine Belsey says that it is not possible for all readers to appreciate the imitations of reality on the same level as author has appreciated and represented.´ Catherine Belsey here means to say that ³truth´ itself can not be perceived and imitated by all authors in like manners. as it relates to the human mind. Although reality is in front of all of them but how they perceive it. however.In Ruskin¶s point of view both parts of Expressive Realism i. portray them invested with a nobility not apparent to every one. So it is not but as Ruskin says that because reality is portrayed in the form of limitation so it will be same for all of the reality and its representation will help the reader to see it in that sense what the author wanted to portray or convey. Another difficulty in Ruskin¶s view as presented by Catherine Belsey is the difference of perception from author to reader or artist to spectator. therefore. which they thought to be uniquely literary in their character. not two but one. which have previously dominated critical studies. The facts of nature are there for every one to see and to be plainly expressed. the imitation of reality and its representation are not different quantities. Following the brief idea of difference from Expressive Realism. ³the work of art may be read in different ways by different spectators. So. Russian formation rejected the unsystematic and critical approaches.´ In Belsey¶s view Ruskin falls back on an uneasy separation of µthe representation of facts¶ from µthe representation of thought. They may perceive truth according to their own level of perception and mental and emotional capacities. in the representational or expressive aspects of literary texts. it will remain same for all of them and they will appreciate the imitation of reality in the form of a piece of art. The imitative quantities are not important what is presented is important.¶ By the 1960¶s Expressive Realism had to face many challenges. that what philosophical or literary ideas are conveyed in the text. just at that level as the author has done. Likewise the Semioticians insisted that the word itself. they in fact. They focused on those elements of texts. among those C. are art is mimetic and expressive and Ruskin goes on to again that the two qualities are in fact. represent them differently.e. makes the real difference Belsey says ³Already. some people perceive these facts more keenly and if they are artist. To Formalists Representation is not very important. Ruskin glimpses the problem in his empiricist idealist position. consists entirely . what matters to them is the literariness of the text. Because whenever the truth will be represented to the reader. Belsey mentions some of them for instance Russian formalism and semiotics.
³The novelist.of sign. then combined it with the emotions and feelings and formed Expressive Realism. Contact: (92) 300 94 678 qaisarjanjua@hotmail. is giving form to a story.com . the representation also does not matter. people. he evolved it in his mind in the form of words and words and feelings were finally presented in the form of text is the reader and experience made an image in the mind of the writer it was imitation of reality. First comes language and the use of language within a text. qaisarjanjoa@yahoo. unless we do not study the signs of language. For example she writes. To Semioticians. he. since there can be no unmediated relationship with reality. The first critic in 20th century is Barbra Hardy who directly and indirectly takes an expressive realities stance.com. his feelings and his emotions and the experience which he got from his society. whoever he is and whenever he is writing.´ In Hardy¶s view a novelist is giving form of words to his experiences. 17 Qaisar Iqbal Janjua. places and society. giving form to his moral and metaphysical views and giving form to his particular experience of sensations. Essence of the text that is conveyed by words and symbols is more important. the emotions and feelings come later.
e. which is a result of his felt experience. when applied in literature. So Ruskin. Here. We find a similar stance in Hardy as we find in Ruskin. depends on certain quite specific assumptions. ³The statement I have quoted. R. the felt experience of author becomes crucial in his imitations of reality and in its representation. ideology makes the form of the text not its ideology. in felt life are present both the concepts of imitation and representation.Belsey states almost Barbra Hardy that. Thus. To understand the text is to explain it in terms of the author¶s ideas. Hardy). views and experiences in the mind of the novelist prior to and independent of the formation of them. i. the truth will be the same for all. i. For example he writes about the novels of James as having the quantity for ³the vivid concreteness of the rendering of this world of individuals centres of consciousness we live in´. That is why the autobiographical note is given for the readers before the text so that the reader can easily relate to the idea.´ Hardy¶s statement is structure based and she takes ideology of the author and reader inferior to the form and in sum case of the text. Hardy and F. Leavis. Barbra Hardy is of the view that if truth is imitated just like the objective imitation of reality. It assumes the existence of a story. Leavis¶ approach is important in this regard that it is not formulated in a specific theory or in organised structure. combined with experience and emotions. the imitation of experience takes an important position and is culminated through expressions. apparently innocent. which the author has tried to project in his text. In this evaluation of Henry James¶ works he adopts an approach which is expressive realists approach.e. R. psychological state or social background. however. The word µrendering¶ here carries the direct concept of Expressive Realists¶ representation i. Leavis. are one of the same views that the author is presenting to the reader a particular idea with a belief that the reader will perceive it in the same way as author has tried to convey. Catherine Belsey concludes that the expressive realist portion has been . The 2nd expression realist critic in 20th century is F. Catherine Belsey further elaborates that ³the text is seen as a way of arriving at something´ interior to it: the convictions of the author or his or her experience as part of that society at that particular time. These pre-exist the narrative and are ³expressed´ in it. Henry James consciousness as represented in his novels rests or in derived from his ³most vital experience´ (for Leavis the felt life or felt experience is important as it is important for B.e.
society.com. which is held to precede the expression of it. what do we mean by µrealism¶? In what sense is fiction µtrue¶. Difficulties. history? Q: WHAT ARE NORTHROP FRYE¶S DICTUMS OF LITERARY CRITICISM? Q: WHAT ARE FRYE¶S VIEWS REGARDING REALISM IN LITERATURE? Ans: 18 Qaisar Iqbal Janjua. and what constitutes evidence of that truth? What is the relationship between a text and the word? To what extent is it possible to perceive the word independently of the conventional ways in which it is represented? To what extent is experience contained by language.com . qaisarjanjoa@yahoo. include the problem of access to the idea or experience. In this way. what form does not take. it has become apparent that expressive realism presents a number of problems not easily resolved within the framework of common sense. which have emerged.subject to a series of challenges and in some cases by theories which have since become authorities in their own right. Does idea exist outside its course? Is the idea formulated in one discourse the same as an idea of formulated in different words in another discourse? Further. Contact: (92) 300 94 678 qaisarjanjua@hotmail.
or by co-relating the phase of Zenith.´ . Frye believes that criticism should be a systematic and organised study. because there can be more than what author had the intention to convey in his text. in fact. Man believes in overall generalization when he traces limited patterns of significance by corelating the phase of dawn spring and both with the myths of revival. and the elementary principles of which could be explained in any intelligent nineteen years old. The key to understanding lies in recognition of archetypes which represent a unifying category of literature or literary criticism. he claims that much supposed criticism is sonorous (resonant) nonsense that contributes nothing to a systematic structure of knowledge. the sender cannot but feel that an elaborated schedule of the obvious is being manufactured. pastoral. The first major point in the structure of any literary composition. which the masterpiece seems to draw to appoint in which we can see an enormous number of converging patterns of significance. resurrection and creation and finding there in the archetype of romance. summer and marriage with myths of entering into the paradise and finding there in the archetypes of comedy. In ³Fables of Identity´ 1963. Frye is of the view that ³criticism should become a coherent and systematic study. In short an immense source of critical enlightenment awaits us if we recognise that there may be much more in a poem than even poet may himself be aware of. As for those who primarily practice structural analysis this stop short of recognising that literary criticism needs a coordinating principle by which what is seen in an individual work can be grasped as a part of a vast whole. Frye observes that how random and peripheral is the critical experience which is produced by mediocre works of art. Fry rejects Realists stance that we cannot perceive all that is conveyed in the text by just looking at it (the text) in relation to author¶s thoughts. as opposed to the ideas of Northrop Frye is that criticism is not a parasitic activity but. Text gives an author a chance to trace what author may not has perceived so the text and its meaning to the reader occupy most of the importance in literary criticism. it is a systematic study and evaluation of texts.Northrop Frye is one of those critics whose illustrations are more persuasive. For the purpose of simplification we shall discuss several points separately which have been united in a whole very beautifully. Catherine Belsey has discussed Northrop Frye in much detail and there is relatively less space given to her own critical appreciation in this article.
com. Another important point raised by Northrop Frye is. which sees let as imitating not the world but rather the total deem of man it should be based on imagination not the reality. thus developing a very strong concept 19 Qaisar Iqbal Janjua. mythic symbol and genre for a classification between comparative study of authors and periods. And there-by. a literature which is not primarily about the world is simply not a literature underlying his formalism is the concept of immature and culture. his insistence on the depiction of realism in literature as being undesirable and distasteful.Frye tried to classify literary criticism. He is of the view that a literature based on realistic appreciation.com . He defines these archetypes as recurring images or symbols. i. Frye also puts an end to realist¶s stance by his insistence that the writer¶s aim is to produce the structure of the words for its own sake. he discards the authorial power as celebrated in Expressive Realism. Frye himself describes his own procedure as ³Archetypal criticism´. which connect one text with author and constitute a source of the intelligibility of the text. Contact: (92) 300 94 678 qaisarjanjua@hotmail. qaisarjanjoa@yahoo. symbols. Thus he endeavours in the ³Anatomy of Criticism´ to classify the different modes.e.
in the quest of meanings. It is simply his job to take a poem which a poet has diligently stuffed a specific number of beauties or efforts and complacently extract them one by one. while rejecting New Critics¶ view.of comparative critical approach.´ So. Belsey is of the view that Frye¶s consistence upon the particular point takes him much closer to New Criticism. He should not assume the concept of the text as the author intended to show. It reflects the stance of new critics as they also insisted upon the single meaning of a text. Frye¶s instance upon the idea of let from history and ideology shows that the meaning of a text and above the limitations of time and place in other words the meaning of a text will be single. According to Northrop Frye. Frye opines. So. His ideas about archetypal criticism maintained that human nature being constant. Meaning for Frye remains bound timelessly in verbal structures because the readers ³recognise in them the echo of their own wishes and anxieties´ so the meaning of a text is available in the body of a language. The production of meaning is possible within language only. Frye¶s view is that the . Frye is also one of them. But in reality the meaning of text or these archetypes never remain the same as time makes changes in the attitude and behaviour of people towards any text. He is of the view that a critic should not look upon a literary text in the context of the intention of author. Frye rejects the idea of the author as guarantee of the single meaning of the text. ³The critic is assumed to have no conceptual framework. Frye insists upon the plurality of meanings within a text and Catherine Belsey critically appreciates his efforts in this regard. Frye¶s formation also gives attention to the language of literary works. these archetypes and the different symbols in different texts can be compared without keeping in view their historical settings. ³Text is inevitably plural. a critic or reader should not look up to the intentions of the author. because applying his ideas means that let transcends history and ideology give expression to the timeless aspiration of an essentially unchanging human nature. Belsey is of the view that Frye has not properly discussed the relationship between language of a text and its meanings. language is not just a simple conveying of this but it is its condition. open to a number of readings´ and ³to opt for a single pattern is to narrow the possibilities arbitrarily and unnecessarily´. The rejection of the authorial power in the quest of the meanings of the text focuses our attention upon the plurality of the meanings of a text.
is the account of Frye¶s concepts about criticism as discussed by C. A text keeps in it plurality of meaning as every reader finds a specific meaning present and intelligible to him at a certain time period. he has to live in reality. Major points of Frye¶s critical dictums are: 1. Catherine Belsey finally analyses Frye¶s stance as having appreciative qualities but also having certain major drawbacks. email@example.com of a text is subject to a change because in different times with the development of a number of schools of critical theory.com . they keep on emphasizing different aspects of a text. 2. let not escape from reality) 20 Qaisar Iqbal Janjua.com. Contact: (92) 300 94 678 qaisarjanjua@hotmail. such as Frye¶s lack of appreciation of the important concept of ideology and history and their influence on the meaning of a text over a passage of time. To Frye the plurality of meaning is a healthy stance in criticism as the plural meaning of the text and not in conflict with one another but complementary each contributing to our understanding of the work as a (single) who can. Criticism is considered as systematic and organised study of literature.B. This in brief. Literature based on imagination and ideal factory µthe total dream of man is not the realistic depiction of life and world (Not good option as man cannot transcend from his social and historical values.
For example. Here we will have a brief gaze upon some of the critics that uphold the structure of New Criticism. 4. which gives us the argument of the poem. The meaning of the text is something internal which can be discovered from the text of the poem. The basic idea of thought based on emotions and feelings is texture and the way of conveying that certain idea is structure. basic setting of the text or poem: texture the emotions combined with the structure is texture. scene. Wimsatt and Beardsley have also played an important role on this regard. Ransom allows for ³studies are technique of art which in the case of poetry would concentrate on those devices which distinguish it from prose. John Crowe Ransom wrote a book ³The New Criticism´. For example for critical purposes it is better to study Coleridge¶s ³Kubla Khan´ with a dictionary in your hands. Both of them published their book the ³Verbal Icon Studies in the Meaning of Poetry´ (1954). It concerns itself as a work itself. structure. (shift from another is text in quest of meaning) that is public. Cleanth Brooks says that literature is a description and evaluation of the object. Wimsatt and Beardsley insist that no poem can be judged by reference to the poet¶s intention (authorial power denies). which everything that is ³external´ and not the part of a work as a linguistic fact is private and idiosyncratic. Introduction of the Archetypes as they help in understanding the text by composition with the other. the object or situation or whatever. Negation of the Expressive Realist stances by author as he is guarantee of the meanings of text. 5. Q: Ans: New Criticism was a reaction against the orthodoxy of Expressive Realism. In 1940s and 50s the New Critics in USA put their whole emphasis on ³the text´ as text if became a central plank in what was known as New Criticism. the texture is the thingness of the thing by which it is particularized. rather than with the elaborate investigation into Coleridge¶s reading made by professor Lowes in ³Road to Xanadu´. the structure is the story. in which he proclaims: WHAT IS NEW CRITICISM? HOW CAN IT BE CONSIDERED AS THE MODERN METHOD OF CRITICAL ANALYSIS? ³Criticism is the attempt to define and enjoy the aesthetic or characteristic value of literature´ Ransom has developed a distinction between texture and structure. In reply to those who argue that this isolation of the work cuts it loose from its author and . it carries the creative element that makes the poem superior. description. Plurality of meanings within a text language as a condition to the expression of thoughts relationship between long remedy.3.
Although New Critics focused on a scientific approach for critical studies by denying the authorial power and Belsey agrees with them at that point.com . 3. Brooks insists that what belongs to biography and psychology may be interesting but it is not to be confused with an account of the work. In her view. They denied the authorial power. She also rejected that meaning of the text are 21 Qaisar Iqbal Janjua. 2. firstname.lastname@example.org life and from its reader and their response. because every reader will analyse and understand the text or the words of text in the light of his own age and ideology. In short we can put New Critics in these points that: 1. Meaning of the text is timeless universal and Trance historical´. Contact: (92) 300 94 678 qaisarjanjua@hotmail. But she does not agree that text is a public property and the meaning of the text lies on the page. due to historical changes the words of the text as presented on the page will change. Focus on text as meaning of text can be found ³on the page´ and text as a ³public property´.com.
as unless transcendent highly trained model reader who cannot be wronged. here. She proves it by saying that as meanings of a text are bound to the language. the perception of the reader can be different from one person to another. Q: Q: Ans: The role of the reader in relation to literary text gained importance and significance as one of the challenge to Expressive Realism through the works of several critics in the beginnings of the 1960s. has become significant development in 20th century critical practice. like Wayne Booth¶s concept of the implied author does not make any difference . ³READER POWER´? WHAT IS POWER OF A REDER IN CRITICISM? MAKE A CONVINCING CASE. to evaluate the text. The reader¶s response criticism. there is no mention as such of an analysis of ideological and discussive difference. Slatoff and concluding with Iszer. But in Renaissance age. Slatoffµs most important contribution is his propounding of the idea that text cannot be read in a similar manner.J. WHAT BELSEY WANTS TO PROVE IN HER ESSAY. So. by the readers of that time. Belsey quotes the example of Paradise Lost by Milton that when it was written Satan was considered as a villain and devil. Belsey beautifully proves that the meaning of a text changes from one person to the other and from the age to another. so when language will change the meaning of the text will obviously change. is giving the idea of individual reader and his perception misses on this very important component where as and believes that critic has an undivided power based on liking or disliking etc. Catherine Belsey analysis briefly the development of this theory starting with W. Belsey has summarised the benefits of this approach as. Reader theory mainly constructs a new authority figure as guarantee of a single meaning. as they propounded.´ In the article Reader Power. by all the readers because they cannot determine across history where is no possibility of identical interpretation of texts by various readers. Slatoff. According to Belsey. language is subject to change. Along with this. What Slatoff. ³As its best interest in the reader is entirely liberating a rejection of authorial tyranny in favour of the participation of the reader in the production of plurality of meanings and its these effects as supporting and developing a raw authority figure which she describes as. it is clear that the meaning of the text changes with the passage of time. Satan was placed at a high status and he occupied the stature of a hero.universal because the words will convey the same message to all its readers in all ages.
com . there can be no compatibility between reader and author. Slatoff identifies readings which do not produce a required level of understanding between the reader and the writer as male adjustments indirectly and involuntarily justifying. he is a strong supporter of reader¶s response theory and he has given several important dimensions. sometimes. Catherine critically scrutinizes this point remarking that the production meaning by the reader is this essential movement by the reader is his thread towards the position of the author. Slatoff does not point at the ideology. Contact: (92) 300 94 678 email@example.com the empirical author. Stanley Fish is a famous critic of modern age. once again author interventions. firstname.lastname@example.org. What is lacking from Slatoff¶s analysis is any concept of the role of assumptions and expectations in the productions of meaning. His important dictum is about the development and appreciation of reader powers. His first major idea regarding their power is the emphasis on the experience of the reader and connected with the 22 Qaisar Iqbal Janjua.
Thus establishing the authority of the reader as separate reader as mater of critically evaluates the text.com . 23 Qaisar Iqbal Janjua. Experience by the reader is subject to variation and no text will do the same thing.concept is the idea that what does the text will cause reader. produce the same effect for the readers.com. language ideology and history is not clearly discussed by Fish. Another important contribution by Fish is concentration on the text as on discourse. thus it seizes reader as active participant in the process of the construction of meaning but there is no obvious recognition that experience is ideologically constructed. lending is the antithesis or reverse reaction in which the reader assumes the position as a new authority figure. The relationship between experience. qaisarjanjoa@yahoo. He challenges the reader to face area of difficulty regarding the reading and calls it dialectical. Contact: (92) 300 94 678 qaisarjanjua@hotmail.
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