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However, the modern sense of «literary theory» only dates to approximately the 1950s when the structuralist linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure began to strongly influence English language literary criticism. One of the fundamental questions of literary theory is «what is literature? Since theorists of literature often draw on a very heterogeneous tradition of Continental philosophy and the philosophy of language, any classification of their approaches is only an approximation. There are many types of literary theory, which take different approaches to texts. This section possibly contains original research. The different interpretive and epistemological perspectives of different schools of theory often arise from, and so give support to, different moral and political commitments.
For instance, the work of the New Critics often contained an implicit moral dimension, and sometimes even a religious one: a New Critic might read a poem by T. In the late 1950s, the Canadian literary critic Northrop Frye attempted to establish an approach for reconciling historical criticism and New Criticism while addressing concerns of early reader-response and numerous psychological and social approaches. Another crucial distinction among the various theories of literary interpretation is intentionality, the amount of weight given to the author’s own opinions about and intentions for a work. For most pre-20th century approaches, the author’s intentions are a guiding factor and an important determiner of the «correct» interpretation of texts. Listed below are some of the most commonly identified schools of literary theory, along with their major authors.
In many cases, such as those of the historian and philosopher Michel Foucault and the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, the authors were not primarily literary critics, but their work has been broadly influential in literary theory. Associated with Romanticism, a philosophy defining aesthetic value as the primary goal in understanding literature. Oscar Wilde who have stressed art for art’s sake. Jacques Derrida, Paul de Man, J.
The Storm Over the University», The New York Review of Books, December 6, 1990. Beyond the Line: Classical Arabic Literary Critics on the Coherence and Unity of the Poem, Brill Publishers, pp. Theory and the Humanities, Once More». Jay treats it as transformative progress, but it impressed us as hack philosophizing, amateur social science, superficial learning, or just plain gamesmanship. Reception Moments,» Modern Literary Theory, and the Teaching of Literature». Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory. Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction.
The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism. Modern Criticism and Theory: A What is literary writing. Theory’s Empire: An Anthology of Dissent. Austin and London: University of Texas Press. A history of modern criticism : 1750-1950. Yale University Press, 1955-1992, 8 volumes.
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Evolutionary Approaches to Literature and Drama. The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008. Edited by Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan.
This article is about the art of written work. For literature in the field technical publications, see Academic publishing. Literature, most generically, is any body of written works. More restrictively, literature refers to writing considered to be an art form or any single writing deemed to have artistic or intellectual value, often due to deploying language in ways that differ from ordinary usage. Literature is classified according to whether it is fiction or non-fiction, and whether it is poetry or prose.
Definitions of literature have varied over time: it is a «culturally relative definition». In Western Europe prior to the 18th century, literature denoted all books and writing. Literary genre is a mode of categorizing literature. A French term for «a literary type or class».
However, such classes are subject to change, and have been used in different ways in different periods and traditions. Inscribed hieroglyphics cover an obelisk in foreground. A stone statue is in background. The history of literature follows closely the development of civilization. This section possibly contains original research.
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