Reader. Contemporary Critical Theories | Sophocles | Tragedy

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TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. FORM AND STRUCTURE_____________________________________________ 1.1 FORMALISM___________________________________________________ 2.1.5 Herbert Weisinger: from ‘The Myth and Ritual Approach to Shakespearean Tragedy’ ____________________________________________________________ 2.1.6 Eric Gould: from Mythical Intentions in Modern Literature_________________ 1.1.1 Victor Shklovsky: from ‘Art as Technique’__________________ 1.1.2 Vladimir Propp: from Morphology of the Folktale__
  TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. FORM AND STRUCTURE _____________________________________________  1.1 FORMALISM    ___________________________________________________  1.1.1 Victor Shklovsky: from ‘Art as Technique’ __________________  1.1.2 Vladimir Propp: from Morphology of the Folktale    _________________________ 1.1.3 Mikhail Bakhtin: from ‘The Prehistory of Novelistic Discourse’     ____________ 1.1.4 E.M. Forster: from Aspects of the Novel     _________________________________ 1.1.5 Wayne C. Booth: from The Rhetoric of Fiction    ____________________________  1.1.6 Wayne C. Booth: from ‘Emotions, Beliefs, and the Reader’s Objectivity’ _________  1.2 THE NEW CRITICISM    ____________________________________________  1.2.1 Cleanth Brooks: from ‘The Formalist Critic ‘    _____________________________ 1.2.3 W. K. Wimsatt and M. Beardsley: from ‘The Intentional Fallacy’    ______________ 1.2.4 W. K. Wimsatt and M. Beardsley: from ‘The Affective Fallacy’    _______________ 1.3 STRUCTURALISM    _______________________________________________  1.3.1 Roman Jakobson: from ‘Linguistics and Poetics’ ___________________________ 1.3.2 Roman Jakobson: from ‘The metaphoric and metonymic poles’     ________________ 1.3.3 A. - J.Greimas: from Structural Semantics    ____________________________  1.3.4 Gérard Genette: from ‘Frontiers of Narrative’    _____________________________ 1.3.5 Gérard Genette: from ‘Structuralism and Literary Criticism’    ___________________ 1.3.6 Tzvetan Todorov: from ‘Definition of Poetics’    _____________________________  1.3.7 Jonathan Culler: from Structuralist Poetics    ______________________________ 1.3.8 Roland Barthes: from ‘Textual Analysis: Poe’s Valdemar’     ____________________  1.4 DECONSTRUCTION    _____________________________________________ 1.4.1 Jacques Derrida: from ‘Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences’    _____________________________________________________________  1.4.4 Paul de Man: from Blindness and Insight: Essays in The Rhetoric of Contemporary Criticism ______________________________________________________________  1.4.5 Paul de Man: from ‘Semiology and Rhetoric’ (1979)    ________________________ 1.4.6 Barbara Johnson: from ‘The Frame of Reference: Poe, Lacan, Derrida’    __________  1.4.8 Richard A. Rand: from ‘Geraldine’ ___________________________________  2. PROTO -THEMES ______________________________________________ 2.1 MYTH CRITICISM    __________________________________________  2.1.1 Joseph Campbell: from The Hero With A Thousand Faces    ___________________  2.1.2 Northrop Frye: from ‘The Archetypes of Literature’    ________________________ 2.1.4 Leslie A. Fiedler: from ‘Archetype and Signature: The Relationship of Poet and Poem’    _______________________________________________________________ 2.1.5 Herbert Weisinger: from ‘The Myth and Ritual Approach to Shakespearean Tragedy’    ____________________________________________________________  2.1.6 Eric Gould: from Mythical Intentions in Modern Literature    _________________  2.1 JUNGIAN ARCHETYPAL CRITICISM ____________________  2.2.1 Carl Gustav Jung: from ‘Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious’     __________  2.2.2 Carl Gustav Jung: from ‘Psychology and Literature’    ______________________ 2.2.3 Maud Bodkin: from ‘Archetypal Patterns in Poetry: Psychological Studies of  Imagination ‘    _________________________________________________________ 2.2.4 Albert Gelpi: from ‘Emily Dickinson and the Deerslayer: the Dilemma of the Woman Poet in America’    ________________________________________________  3. SUBJECTIVITY IN CRITICISM __________________________________ 3.1 PSYCHOANALYTICAL APPROACHES ______________________  3.1.1 Sigmund Freud: from The Essentials of Psycho-Analysis    ___________________  3.1.3 Jacques Lacan: from ‘The Mirror Stage As Formative of the Function of the I As Revealed in Psychoanalytic Experience’    _____________________________________ 3.1.4 Jacques Lacan: from ‘The Agency of the Letter in the Unconscious or Reason since Freud’ __________________________________________________________ 3.1.7 Harold Bloom: from ‘Poetry, Revisionism, and Repression’    __________________  3.1.8 Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari: from Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and   Psychoanalysis    ________________________________________________________  3.2 PHENOMENOLOGICAL CRITICISM ________________________  3.2.2 Georges Poulet: from ‘The Self and Other Critical in Consciousness’    ___________ 3.2.3 Roman Ingarden: from ‘Some Epistemological Problems in the Cognition of the Aesthetic Concretization of the Literary Work of Art’    ____________________________  3.2.5 Geoffrey Hartman: from Wordsworth’s Poetry 1787-1814    ___________________  3.3 READER-RESPONSE CRITICISM    __________________________  3.3.1 Hans Robert Jauss: from ‘Literary History As a Challenge to Literary Theory’ ____  3.3.3 Stanley Fish: from ‘Literature in the Reader: Affective Stylistics’     ______________ 3.3.4 Stanley Fish: from ‘Interpreting the Variorum’     __________________________  4. HISTORY, IDEOLOGY    __________________________________________  4.1 NEO-MARXIST APPROACHES _________________________  4.1.1 Walter Benjamin: from ‘The Author As Producer’    ________________________ 4.1.2 Walter Benjamin: from ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’ ________________________________________________________  4.1.3 Terry Eagleton: from Criticism and Ideology    ____________________________   TABLE OF CONTENTS 4.1.5 Terry Eagleton: from Marxism and Literary Criticism (1976)    __________________  4.1.6 Terry Eagleton: from ‘The Rise of English’    _______________________________ 4.1.8 Fredric Jameson: from ‘The politics of theory: Ideological positions in the  postmodernism debate’    ___________________________________________________ 4.1.9 Frederic Jameson: from ‘On Interpretation: Literature As a Socially Symbolic Act’    __ 4.1.10 Raymond Williams: from ‘Dominant, Residual, and Emergent’    _______________  4.2 MICHEL FOUCAULT: POWER AND DISCOURSE    _______________  4.2.1 Friedrich Nietzsche: from The Will to Power     _____________________________  4.2.2 M. Foucault: from ‘Why Study Power? The Question of the Subject’    ____________ 4.2.3 M. Foucault: from ‘How Is Power Exercized?’ _________________________  4.2.4 Michel Foucault: from The Order of Things:An Archaeology of the Human Sciences    ______________________________________________________________ 4.2.5 Michel Foucault: from Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison    ___________  4.3 THE NEW HISTORICISM    _______________________________  4.3.1 Stephen Greenblatt: from Shakespearean Negotiations: The Circulation Of Social   Energy in Renaissance England     _____________________________________________ 4.3.2 Hayden White: from Tropics of Discourse    _______________________________ 4.3.3 Jonathan Dollimore and Alan Sinfield: from ‘History and Ideology: The Instance of   Henry V’     ______________________________________________________________  4.4 FEMINIST CONCERNS AND APPROACHES __________________  4.4.1 Simone De Beauvoir: from The Second Sex    _______________________________  4.4.2 Julia Kristeva: from ‘Women’s Time’ __________________________________ 4.4.3 Hélène Cixous: from ‘The Laugh of the Medusa’    __________________________ 4.4.4 Elaine Showalter: from ‘Towards a Feminist Poetics’    _______________________ 4.4.5 Elaine Showalter: from ‘Representing Ophelia: Women, Madness, and the Responsibilities of Feminist Criticism’ (1985)    ___________________________________ 4.4.6 Sandra M. Gilbert: from ‘Literary Paternity’    ______________________________ 4.4.8 Lillian S. Robinson: from ‘Treason Our Text Feminist Challenges to the Literary Canon’    _______________________________________________________________  4.5 ETHNO-CRITICISM ___________________________________  4.5.1 Edward Said: from ‘Crisis [in orientalism]’    _______________________________ 4.5.2 Edward W. Said: from ‘The Politics of Knowledge’    _________________________ 4.5.3 Edward W. Said: from ‘The Problem of Textuality    ______________________ 4.5.4 Edward W. Said: from ‘Secular Criticism’    ________________________________  4.5.5 Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: from The Signifying Monkey (1988)    __________________ 4.5.6 Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: from From the Seen to the Told ______________________  5. ANTI-RELATIVISM, ANTI-ANTI-FOUNDATIONALISM: TRADITIONALIST RESPONSES ____________________________________  5.2 Harold Bloom: from The Western Canon    _________________________________  5.3 Harold Bloom: from ‘Bloom and Doom’ ________________________________  5.5 E. D. Hirsch Jr.: from ‘Faulty perspectives’     _______________________________   Contemporary Critical Theories. A Reader 1. FORM AND STRUCTURE 1.1FORMALISM  1.1.1Victor Shklovsky: from ‘Art as Technique’ ‘Art is thinking in images.’ This maxim, which even high-schoolstudents parrot, is nevertheless the starting point for the erudite philologist whois beginning to put together some kind of systematic literary theory. The idea,srcinated in part by Potebnya, has spread. ‘Without imagery there is no art, andin particular no poetry’, Potebnya writes. And elsewhere, ‘Poetry, as well as prose, is first and foremost a special way of thinking and knowing’. 1  [...]Potebnya’s conclusion, which can be formulated ‘poetry equals imagery’,gave rise to the whole theory that ‘imagery equals symbolism’, that theimage may serve as the invariable predicate of various subjects. [...] Theconclusion stems partly from the fact that Potebnya did not distinguish between the language of poetry and the language of prose. Consequently,he ignored the fact that there are two aspects of imagery: imagery as a practical means of thinking, as a means of placing objects withincategories; and imagery as poetic, as a means of reinforcing an impression.I shall clarify with an example. I want to attract the attention of a youngchild who is eating bread and butter and getting the butter on her fingers. Icall, ‘Hey, butterfingers!’ This is a figure of speech, a clearly prosaictrope. Now a different example. The child is playing with my glasses anddrops them. I call, ‘Hey, butterfingers!’ This figure of speech is a poetictrope. (In the first example, ‘butterfingers’ is metonymic; in the second,metaphoric - but this is not what I want to stress.)Poetic imagery is a means of creating the strongest possible impression.As a method it is, depending upon its purpose, neither more nor lesseffective than other poetic techniques; it is neither more nor less effectivethan ordinary or negative parallelism, comparison, repetition, balanced 1 Alexander Potebnya ([ed.] nineteenth-century Russian philologist and theorist),  Iz zapisok po teorii slovesnosti [Notes on the Theory of Language] (Kharkov, 1905), pp.83, 97. structure, hyperbole, the commonly accepted rhetorical figures, and allthose methods which emphasize the emotional effect of an expression(including words or even articulated sounds). [...] Poetic imagery is butone of the devices of poetic language.If we start to examine the general laws of perception, we see that as perception becomes habitual, it becomes automatic. Thus, for example,all of our habits retreat into the area of the unconsciously automatic; if one remembers the sensations of holding a pen or of speaking in a foreignlanguage for the first time and compares that with his feeling at performing the action for the ten thousandth time, he will agree with us.[...]y^f04[...] Habitualization devours works, clothes, furniture, one’s wife,and the fear of war. [...] And art exists that one may recover the sensationof life; it exists to make one feel things, to make the stone  stony. The purpose of art is to impart the sensation of things as they are perceivedand not as they are known. The technique of art is to make objects‘unfamiliar’, to make forms difficult, to increase the difficulty and lengthof perception because the process of perception is an aesthetic end initself and must be prolonged.  Art is a way of experiencing the artfulnessof an object; the object is not important. [...]After we see an object several times, we begin to recognize it. Theobject is in front of us and we know about it, but we do not see it - hencewe cannot say anything significant about it. Art removes objects from theautomatism of perception in several ways. Here I want to illustrate a wayused repeatedly by Leo Tolstoy, that writer who [...] seems to presentthings as if he himself saw them, saw them in their entirety, and did notalter them.Tolstoy makes the familiar seem strange by not naming the familiar object. He describes an object as if he were seeing it for the first time, anevent as if it were happening for the first time. In describing somethinghe avoids the accepted names of its parts and instead namescorresponding parts of other objects. For example, in ‘Shame’, Tolstoy‘defamiliarizes’ the idea of flogging in this way: ‘to strip people whohave broken the law, to hurl them to the floor, and to wrap on their   Contemporary Critical Theories. A Reader  bottoms with switches’, and, after a few lines, ‘to lash about on the naked buttocks’. Then he remarks:Just why precisely this stupid, savage means of causing pain and not anyother - why not prick the shoulders or any part of the body with needles,squeeze the hands or the feet in a vise, or anything like that?I apologize for this harsh example, but it is typical for Tolstoy’s way of  pricking the conscience. The familiar act of flogging is made unfamiliar  both by the description and by the proposal to change its form withoutchanging its nature. Tolstoy uses this technique of ‘defamiliarization’constantly. [...] Now, having explained the nature of this technique, let us try todetermine the approximate limits of its application. I personally feel thatdefamiliarization is found almost everywhere form is found. In other words, the difference between Potebnya’s point of view and ours is this:An image is not a permanent referent for those mutable complexities of life which are revealed through it; its purpose is not to make us perceivemeaning, but to create a special perception of the object - it creates a‘vision’ of the object instead of serving as a means for knowing it  . [...]Quite often in literature the sexual act itself is defamiliarized; for example, the  Decameron refers to ‘scraping out a barrel’, ‘catchingnightingales’, ‘gay wool-beating work’, (the last is not developed in the plot). Defamiliarization is often used in describing the sexual organs.A whole series of plots is based on such a lack of recognition; for example, in Afanasyev’s  Intimate Tales the entire story of ‘The ShyMistress’ is based on the fact that an object is not called by its proper name - or, in other words, on a game of nonrecognition. So too inOnchukov’s ‘Spotted Petticoats’, tale no. 525, and also in ‘The Bare andthe Hare’ from  Intimate Tales, in which the bear and the hare make a‘wound’.Such constructions as ‘the pestle and the mortar’, or ‘Old Nick and theinfernal regions’ (  Decameron ), are also examples of the techniques of defamiliarization in psychological parallelism. Here, then, I repeat that the perception of disharmony in a harmonious context is important in parallelism. The purpose of parallelism, like the general purpose of imagery, is to transfer the usual perception of an object into the sphere of a new perception - that is, to make a unique semantic modification.In studying poetic speech in its phonetic and lexical structure as well asin its characteristic distribution of words and in the characteristic thoughtstructures compounded from the words, we find everywhere the artistictrademark - that is, we find material obviously created to remove theautomatism of perception; the author’s purpose is to create the visionwhich results from that deautomatised perception. A work is created‘artistically’ so that its perception is impeded and the greatest possibleeffect is produced through the slowness of the perception. As a result of this lingering, the object is perceived not in its extension in space, but, soto speak, in its continuity. Thus ‘poetic language’ gives satisfaction. 1.1.2 Vladimir Propp: from Morphology of the Folktale 2 Let us first of all attempt to formulate our task. As already stated in theforeword, this work is dedicated to the study of   fairy tales. The existenceof fairy tales as a special class is assumed as an essential workinghypothesis. By 'fairy tales' are meant at present those tales classified byAarne under numbers 300 to 749. This definition is artificial, but theoccasion will subsequently arise to give a more precise determination onthe basis of resultant conclusions. We are undertaking a comparison of the themes of these tales. For the sake of comparison we shall separatethe component parts of fairy tales by special methods; and then, we shallmake a comparison of tales according to their components. The resultwill be a morphology (i.e., a description of the tale according to itscomponent parts and the relationship of these components to each other and to the whole).What method can achieve an accurate description of the tale? Let us 2 Vladimir Propp, Morphology of the Folktale (University of Texas Press,Austin, 1968), pp. 19-22.
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