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Literary Study For Dummies Essay Research Paper

Literary Study For Dummies Essay, Research Paper Williams 1 Connie Williams Professor Carroll May 26, 2000 The Beginning’s of Literary Study – For Dummies J

Literary Study For Dummies Essay, Research Paper

Williams 1

Connie Williams

Professor Carroll

May 26, 2000

The Beginning’s of Literary Study – For Dummies J

A Modified Version of R. L. McGuire’s Passionate Attention: an introduction to literary study.

Literature and criticism

Authors basic assumption of a book- the reading and the study of literature cannot and do not take place outside the context of human values.

One’s unique personal experiences are from whence their values are formed. These values come to light as a reader reads or a writer writes.

Literature is a record of specific personal perceptions: H. Read-”the outer image of inward things”.

Literature proves the richness not the limitations of being human.

Literary criticism is discernment-the ability to see.

The student needs to form their own critical criteria and offer an interpretation of the work based on those criteria.

Judgmental reviewing is narrow and only one aspect of literary criticism. The value of criticism is not that it lays down laws that any reader must follow, but that it offers a new way of seeing a literary work, which may not have been possible to the reader.

For example in the critical analysis of a poem the reader might look for the connections between words, stanzas, structure and ideas.

The four basic approaches to literary criticism are:

1) the mimetic

2) the pragmatic

3) the expressive

4) the objective

Mimetic approach- describes the relationship of the literary work to the world or the universe in which the work was conceived or being read.

Pragmatic approach- describes the effects of the work on its audience.

Williams 2

Expressive approach- proposes the study of the relationship of the work to the writer: biographical, psychological, history, culture.

Objective approach- is that which studies the work in and for itself without reference to the world in which it exists, its effect on its readers, or the works relationship to the author.

The work for itself

Objective criticism- the study of a literary work is done without reference to the mimetic, pragmatic, or expressive possibilities of interpretation. This type of criticism regards the literary work as an object in and for itself because it is art and the work of an individual artist.

The literary work is a craft, a constructed pattern of words, and the basis for our speculations, for its truth, its revelation, and its power.

Descriptive Critical Activities- seeks primarily to describe a text. It is the approach to the work for itself in its simplest form. It is employed on revisions, editions, and on the finished version. Concern lies with the resulting product and its theme or central idea.

Generic criticism- study of the work for itself, the types of literature this criticism employs is poems, novels, and plays.

The study of poetics or prosody is the learning of basic metrical patterns and verbal effects: iambic, tetrameter, couplets, alliteration, rhyme, etc?. This type of study serves to remind us of a vital aspect of the writers’ art. The writer is a craftsman of sound and effect as well as ideas. Keep in mind that writers can be conventional or unconventional.

Thematic approach- attempts to bring the various aspects of form as well as content together to make a statement about the subject of a work. It may also concern itself with the message or moral of that work.

Unity- if a literary work can generate its own meaning by virtue of its internal coherence, then a critical method can concern itself with that esthetic universe.

Unity of Theme- all of the work is about the same topic.

Unity of Imagery- all the images contribute to the same general vision, implication, theme, or central image.

Williams 3

Unity of Tone & Form- the parts of the work fit together and support each other. According to Coleridge,

“But if the definition sought for be that of legitimate poem, I answer, it must be one, the parts of which mutually support and explain each

other; all in their proportion harmonizing with, and supporting the purpose and known influences of metrical arrangement. . .”(McGuire 22).

New criticism- shows interconnections with emphasis on the work.

Mimetic-Mimesis-Imitation

Mimetic criticism- is that which asks how a literary work is important to any of the worlds to which it is related. The best place to begin a survey of mimetic approaches is with the connection between the work and the time in which it was written.

Guideline

1) discover the extent of the departure or conformity of the work from the era/culture in which it was produced. This teaches the student the values of the age in which the work was written. This entails immersion in the history, philosophy, and esthetics, the cultural world of the work.

2)study the contemporary historical records of the time, (court records, diaries, and plays).

3) study the various audiences of the writer.

Archetypal criticism- the kind of literary study and interpretation that attempts to tie literary works to basic patterns in cultures and thought process. This type of criticism is based on myth because myth has its roots in peoples’ cultural and religious responses to events in their lives.

1) psychological archetypal- proven or historically repetitive mind-sets.

2) mythical archetypal-an archetypal that is preserved in mythology.

Subversive literature- is that which affirms individual variations, idiosyncrasies, or the right of the individual to remain outside of society.

Progressive literature- is evaluated in terms of its contribution to material improvement. This type of literature talks of building, buying, growing, technological advancement. Progressive Literature depends on the smooth workings of society in order to reflect progress.

Williams 4

*Marxist critics redefine progress so that it aids the worker not the manufacturer, thus the subject of the literature is changed to “class

struggle”. This reflects a belief that the future holds the fulfillment of human hope.

Pragmatic-Affective Theory

Pragmatic theory- Abrams states that this theory, “looks at the work of art chiefly as a means to an end, an instrument for getting something done, and tends to judge its value according to its success in achieving that aim”(McGuire 37). It is all the ways (emotionally, intellectually, unconsciously, etc. . .) that literature affects one. How we are moved by literature has to do with the extent to which the words that comprise a work posses mimetic values for us, the capacity to strike us as comprehensible and true.

Literature must have the mimetic quality of resembling some aspect of life as the reader knows it. The similarities may be: unconscious, mythical, archetypal, coincidental or typical.

*Examining the point of view of the author and what the work does can aid the reader in approaching the affective function of a work.

*Affective approaches and mimetic approaches overlap because the determination of a works affective power depends as much on the capacity of the work to be true to some aspect of life, as it does upon devices and techniques of presentation.

Expressive

The expressive approach can inquire into the way in which the work embodies some portion of the artist or ways in which authors’ biography will reveal his/her capacity for creation. But to say that a literary work is a consequence of an event or even a series of events, which we can document, is to lose sight of the ultimate mystery of literary creation.

Critical Biography- the study of the events in a writers life and their relationship to his work.

Psychoanalytical approach- the validity of this approach is founded on the assumption that what is in a literary work is not only conscious expression, but also unconscious expression. The conjecture that the style is the author, attempts to make a statement about the author. McGuire seems to convey that psychoanalytical criticism is best left to those with training in the field of psychology.

Williams 5

? The danger of expressive criticism is in its attempt to ascertain the relationship of the work to the artist, in that it may forget that the work and its creator are two different entities, and in doing so neglect to appreciate the craft, discipline, and labor that go into the creation of any work of art.

Expressive criticism is valuable because it teaches us that there is more to art than conscious use of conscious materials.

T.S. Eliot once said, “That a poet might not believe in the content of a work at all”(McGuire 58).

And in contrast,

Coleridge was noted to say, “poetry is the blossom and fragrance of all human knowledge, human thoughts, human passions, emotions, and language”(McGuire 58).

Judging a literary work

? The act of literary criticism in its two-fold state-perception and communication-is a social act. Modifications of ones judgement are intellectual milestones-points of reference for a new direction.

? Critical options ask the reader to discern and define his relationship to what he has read. The reader must go beyond their primary emotional response to the text.

? The reader must put aside the predisposition of their morality and of previous literary experience, provide the work with their undivided attention, and unprejudiced acceptance.

? Critical inquiry is when the reader has a question about a text and seeks to find its answer. This does not entail dissecting the work.

Understanding these guidelines to critical inquiry the reader can pursue their own areas of investigation into:

Form

Shape

Interrelationship of various parts

Relationship to its creator

Effects in its own time and now

Nature of truth of the work

Reflection of its age

Ageless qualities

Clear perception of the work

The reader also must ask questions of the work such as:

Williams 6

1) does or does not reflect some set of values

2) is or is not realistic

3) does the work have the power to create emotion or pleasure

4) does the emotional appeal of the work reflect prejudice or propaganda

5) is or is not a reflection of the artists personality

6) what is the personality that the work reveals

7) the work may be lacking in continuity, coherence, or unity. It may contain a weak style, use inappropriate words, contradictory ideas, cliches or trite phrases

8) does the work contain the power to bring about group action or reform

9) are the works devices used well

Blackmur says of this art of inquiry, “Criticism is like walking, it is only for the one who is still moving and growing”(McGuire 66).

Williams 1

Connie Williams

Professor Carroll

May 26, 2000

The Beginning’s of Literary Study – For Dummies J

A Modified Version of R. L. McGuire’s Passionate Attention: an introduction to literary study.

Literature and criticism

Authors basic assumption of a book- the reading and the study of literature cannot and do not take place outside the context of human values.

One’s unique personal experiences are from whence their values are formed. These values come to light as a reader reads or a writer writes.

Literature is a record of specific personal perceptions: H. Read-”the outer image of inward things”.

Literature proves the richness not the limitations of being human.

Literary criticism is discernment-the ability to see.

The student needs to form their own critical criteria and offer an interpretation of the work based on those criteria.

Judgmental reviewing is narrow and only one aspect of literary criticism. The value of criticism is not that it lays down laws that any reader must follow, but that it offers a new way of seeing a literary work, which may not have been possible to the reader.

For example in the critical analysis of a poem the reader might look for the connections between words, stanzas, structure and ideas.

The four basic approaches to literary criticism are:

1) the mimetic

2) the pragmatic

3) the expressive

4) the objective

Mimetic approach- describes the relationship of the literary work to the world or the universe in which the work was conceived or being read.

Pragmatic approach- describes the effects of the work on its audience.

Williams 2

Expressive approach- proposes the study of the relationship of the work to the writer: biographical, psychological, history, culture.

Objective approach- is that which studies the work in and for itself without reference to the world in which it exists, its effect on its readers, or the works relationship to the author.

The work for itself

Objective criticism- the study of a literary work is done without reference to the mimetic, pragmatic, or expressive possibilities of interpretation. This type of criticism regards the literary work as an object in and for itself because it is art and the work of an individual artist.

The literary work is a craft, a constructed pattern of words, and the basis for our speculations, for its truth, its revelation, and its power.

Descriptive Critical Activities- seeks primarily to describe a text. It is the approach to the work for itself in its simplest form. It is employed on revisions, editions, and on the finished version. Concern lies with the resulting product and its theme or central idea.

Generic criticism- study of the work for itself, the types of literature this criticism employs is poems, novels, and plays.

The study of poetics or prosody is the learning of basic metrical patterns and verbal effects: iambic, tetrameter, couplets, alliteration, rhyme, etc?. This type of study serves to remind us of a vital aspect of the writers’ art. The writer is a craftsman of sound and effect as well as ideas. Keep in mind that writers can be conventional or unconventional.

Thematic approach- attempts to bring the various aspects of form as well as content together to make a statement about the subject of a work. It may also concern itself with the message or moral of that work.

Unity- if a literary work can generate its own meaning by virtue of its internal coherence, then a critical method can concern itself with that esthetic universe.

Unity of Theme- all of the work is about the same topic.

Unity of Imagery- all the images contribute to the same general vision, implication, theme, or central image.

Williams 3

Unity of Tone & Form- the parts of the work fit together and support each other. According to Coleridge,

“But if the definition sought for be that of legitimate poem, I answer, it must be one, the parts of which mutually support and explain each

other; all in their proportion harmonizing with, and supporting the purpose and known influences of metrical arrangement. . .”(McGuire 22).

New criticism- shows interconnections with emphasis on the work.

Mimetic-Mimesis-Imitation

Mimetic criticism- is that which asks how a literary work is important to any of the worlds to which it is related. The best place to begin a survey of mimetic approaches is with the connection between the work and the time in which it was written.

Guideline

1) discover the extent of the departure or conformity of the work from the era/culture in which it was produced. This teaches the student the values of the age in which the work was written. This entails immersion in the history, philosophy, and esthetics, the cultural world of the work.

2)study the contemporary historical records of the time, (court records, diaries, and plays).

3) study the various audiences of the writer.

Archetypal criticism- the kind of literary study and interpretation that attempts to tie literary works to basic patterns in cultures and thought process. This type of criticism is based on myth because myth has its roots in peoples’ cultural and religious responses to events in their lives.

1) psychological archetypal- proven or historically repetitive mind-sets.

2) mythical archetypal-an archetypal that is preserved in mythology.

Subversive literature- is that which affirms individual variations, idiosyncrasies, or the right of the individual to remain outside of society.

Progressive literature- is evaluated in terms of its contribution to material improvement. This type of literature talks of building, buying, growing, technological advancement. Progressive Literature depends on the smooth workings of society in order to reflect progress.

Williams 4

*Marxist critics redefine progress so that it aids the worker not the manufacturer, thus the subject of the literature is changed to “class

struggle”. This reflects a belief that the future holds the fulfillment of human hope.

Pragmatic-Affective Theory

Pragmatic theory- Abrams states that this theory, “looks at the work of art chiefly as a means to an end, an instrument for getting something done, and tends to judge its value according to its success in achieving that aim”(McGuire 37). It is all the ways (emotionally, intellectually, unconsciously, etc. . .) that literature affects one. How we are moved by literature has to do with the extent to which the words that comprise a work posses mimetic values for us, the capacity to strike us as comprehensible and true.

Literature must have the mimetic quality of resembling some aspect of life as the reader knows it. The similarities may be: unconscious, mythical, archetypal, coincidental or typical.

*Examining the point of view of the author and what the work does can aid the reader in approaching the affective function of a work.

*Affective approaches and mimetic approaches overlap because the determination of a works affective power depends as much on the capacity of the work to be true to some aspect of life, as it does upon devices and techniques of presentation.

Expressive

The expressive approach can inquire into the way in which the work embodies some portion of the artist or ways in which authors’ biography will reveal his/her capacity for creation. But to say that a literary work is a consequence of an event or even a series of events, which we can document, is to lose sight of the ultimate mystery of literary creation.

Critical Biography- the study of the events in a writers life and their relationship to his work.

Psychoanalytical approach- the validity of this approach is founded on the assumption that what is in a literary work is not only conscious expression, but also unconscious expression. The conjecture that the style is the author, attempts to make a statement about the author. McGuire seems to convey that psychoanalytical criticism is best left to those with training in the field of psychology.

Williams 5

? The danger of expressive criticism is in its attempt to ascertain the relationship of the work to the artist, in that it may forget that the work and its creator are two different entities, and in doing so neglect to appreciate the craft, discipline, and labor that go into the creation of any work of art.

Expressive criticism is valuable because it teaches us that there is more to art than conscious use of conscious materials.

T.S. Eliot once said, “That a poet might not believe in the content of a work at all”(McGuire 58).

And in contrast,

Coleridge was noted to say, “poetry is the blossom and fragrance of all human knowledge, human thoughts, human passions, emotions, and language”(McGuire 58).

Judging a literary work

? The act of literary criticism in its two-fold state-perception and communication-is a social act. Modifications of ones judgement are intellectual milestones-points of reference for a new direction.

? Critical options ask the reader to discern and define his relationship to what he has read. The reader must go beyond their primary emotional response to the text.

? The reader must put aside the predisposition of their morality and of previous literary experience, provide the work with their undivided attention, and unprejudiced acceptance.

? Critical inquiry is when the reader has a question about a text and seeks to find its answer. This does not entail dissecting the work.

Understanding these guidelines to critical inquiry the reader can pursue their own areas of investigation into:

Form

Shape

Interrelationship of various parts

Relationship to its creator

Effects in its own time and now

Nature of truth of the work

Reflection of its age

Ageless qualities

Clear perception of the work

The reader also must ask questions of the work such as:

Williams 6

1) does or does not reflect some set of values

2) is or is not realistic

3) does the work have the power to create emotion or pleasure

4) does the emotional appeal of the work reflect prejudice or propaganda

5) is or is not a reflection of the artists personality

6) what is the personality that the work reveals

7) the work may be lacking in continuity, coherence, or unity. It may contain a weak style, use inappropriate words, contradictory ideas, cliches or trite phrases

8) does the work contain the power to bring about group action or reform

9) are the works devices used well

Blackmur says of this art of inquiry, “Criticism is like walking, it is only for the one who is still moving and growing”(McGuire 66).

Williams 1

Connie Williams

Professor Carroll

May 26, 2000

The Beginning’s of Literary Study – For Dummies J

A Modified Version of R. L. McGuire’s Passionate Attention: an introduction to literary study.

Literature and criticism

Authors basic assumption of a book- the reading and the study of literature cannot and do not take place outside the context of human values.

One’s unique personal experiences are from whence their values are formed. These values come to light as a reader reads or a writer writes.

Literature is a record of specific personal perceptions: H. Read-”the outer image of inward things”.

Literature proves the richness not the limitations of being human.

Literary criticism is discernment-the ability to see.

The student needs to form their own critical criteria and offer an interpretation of the work based on those criteria.

Judgmental reviewing is narrow and only one aspect of literary criticism. The value of criticism is not that it lays down laws that any reader must follow, but that it offers a new way of seeing a literary work, which may not have been possible to the reader.

For example in the critical analysis of a poem the reader might look for the connections between words, stanzas, structure and ideas.

The four basic approaches to literary criticism are:

1) the mimetic

2) the pragmatic

3) the expressive

4) the objective

Mimetic approach- describes the relationship of the literary work to the world or the universe in which the work was conceived or being read.

Pragmatic approach- describes the effects of the work on its audience.

Williams 2

Expressive approach- proposes the study of the relationship of the work to the writer: biographical, psychological, history, culture.

Objective approach- is that which studies the work in and for itself without reference to the world in which it exists, its effect on its readers, or the works relationship to the author.

The work for itself

Objective criticism- the study of a literary work is done without reference to the mimetic, pragmatic, or expressive possibilities of interpretation. This type of criticism regards the literary work as an object in and for itself because it is art and the work of an individual artist.

The literary work is a craft, a constructed pattern of words, and the basis for our speculations, for its truth, its revelation, and its power.

Descriptive Critical Activities- seeks primarily to describe a text. It is the approach to the work for itself in its simplest form. It is employed on revisions, editions, and on the finished version. Concern lies with the resulting product and its theme or central idea.

Generic criticism- study of the work for itself, the types of literature this criticism employs is poems, novels, and plays.

The study of poetics or prosody is the learning of basic metrical patterns and verbal effects: iambic, tetrameter, couplets, alliteration, rhyme, etc?. This type of study serves to remind us of a vital aspect of the writers’ art. The writer is a craftsman of sound and effect as well as ideas. Keep in mind that writers can be conventional or unconventional.

Thematic approach- attempts to bring the various aspects of form as well as content together to make a statement about the subject of a work. It may also concern itself with the message or moral of that work.

Unity- if a literary work can generate its own meaning by virtue of its internal coherence, then a critical method can concern itself with that esthetic universe.

Unity of Theme- all of the work is about the same topic.

Unity of Imagery- all the images contribute to the same general vision, implication, theme, or central image.

Williams 3

Unity of Tone & Form- the parts of the work fit together and support each other. According to Coleridge,

“But if the definition sought for be that of legitimate poem, I answer, it must be one, the parts of which mutually support and explain each

other; all in their proportion harmonizing with, and supporting the purpose and known influences of metrical arrangement. . .”(McGuire 22).

New criticism- shows interconnections with emphasis on the work.

Mimetic-Mimesis-Imitation

Mimetic criticism- is that which asks how a literary work is important to any of the worlds to which it is related. The best place to begin a survey of mimetic approaches is with the connection between the work and the time in which it was written.

Guideline

1) discover the extent of the departure or conformity of the work from the era/culture in which it was produced. This teaches the student the values of the age in which the work was written. This entails immersion in the history, philosophy, and esthetics, the cultural world of the work.

2)study the contemporary historical records of the time, (court records, diaries, and plays).

3) study the various audiences of the writer.

Archetypal criticism- the kind of literary study and interpretation that attempts to tie literary works to basic patterns in cultures and thought process. This type of criticism is based on myth because myth has its roots in peoples’ cultural and religious responses to events in their lives.

1) psychological archetypal- proven or historically repetitive mind-sets.

2) mythical archetypal-an archetypal that is preserved in mythology.

Subversive literature- is that which affirms individual variations, idiosyncrasies, or the right of the individual to remain outside of society.

Progressive literature- is evaluated in terms of its contribution to material improvement. This type of literature talks of building, buying, growing, technological advancement. Progressive Literature depends on the smooth workings of society in order to reflect progress.

Williams 4

*Marxist critics redefine progress so that it aids the worker not the manufacturer, thus the subject of the literature is changed to “class

struggle”. This reflects a belief that the future holds the fulfillment of human hope.

Pragmatic-Affective Theory

Pragmatic theory- Abrams states that this theory, “looks at the work of art chiefly as a means to an end, an instrument for getting something done, and tends to judge its value according to its success in achieving that aim”(McGuire 37). It is all the ways (emotionally, intellectually, unconsciously, etc. . .) that literature affects one. How we are moved by literature has to do with the extent to which the words that comprise a work posses mimetic values for us, the capacity to strike us as comprehensible and true.

Literature must have the mimetic quality of resembling some aspect of life as the reader knows it. The similarities may be: unconscious, mythical, archetypal, coincidental or typical.

*Examining the point of view of the author and what the work does can aid the reader in approaching the affective function of a work.

*Affective approaches and mimetic approaches overlap because the determination of a works affective power depends as much on the capacity of the work to be true to some aspect of life, as it does upon devices and techniques of presentation.

Expressive

The expressive approach can inquire into the way in which the work embodies some portion of the artist or ways in which authors’ biography will reveal his/her capacity for creation. But to say that a literary work is a consequence of an event or even a series of events, which we can document, is to lose sight of the ultimate mystery of literary creation.

Critical Biography- the study of the events in a writers life and their relationship to his work.

Psychoanalytical approach- the validity of this approach is founded on the assumption that what is in a literary work is not only conscious expression, but also unconscious expression. The conjecture that the style is the author, attempts to make a statement about the author. McGuire seems to convey that psychoanalytical criticism is best left to those with training in the field of psychology.

Williams 5

? The danger of expressive criticism is in its attempt to ascertain the relationship of the work to the artist, in that it may forget that the work and its creator are two different entities, and in doing so neglect to appreciate the craft, discipline, and labor that go into the creation of any work of art.

Expressive criticism is valuable because it teaches us that there is more to art than conscious use of conscious materials.

T.S. Eliot once said, “That a poet might not believe in the content of a work at all”(McGuire 58).

And in contrast,

Coleridge was noted to

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