Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Literary Theory & Criticism | M.A Entrance | UGC NET

What is Literature ? what is Literary Criticism? and what is Theory? 

What is Literature Sometimes simple questions flummox us simply because we take certain things and ideas, about which questions cannot be asked, for granted.
The term "Literature", as Raymond Williams, with whose work you may already be familiar, has reminded us, is of a comparatively recent origin. Originally, it referred to, as indeed it still does, my written, printed matter on any subject. We still refer to medical "literature", talk about availability or otherwise of "literature" on a subject etc. Earlier it signified something similar. It is from this source that the term, "literate" was derived. Sometime in the 19th century it began connoting specifically what was earlier covered under the broad rubric of "poetry". As an academic discipline, "classics" and "rhetoric" preceded it. Literature's critical meaning is still visible in the use of the word "literature".



Matthew Arnold (1822-88) gave it the final statement of its meaning in his famous essays. Now in its specialized use it means what poetry used to signify in earlier times. It includes all imaginative writing: poetry, fiction, drama. The rise of the notion of literature is intimately related to the growth of the print industry, when texts were easily duplicated in the wake of the steam-run printing machines during the Industrial Revolution (1750-1850) in Europe. Books became main commodities as the capitalist market economy generated a middle class which had the leisure and the literacy to read books. The idea of literature grew along with another similar concept, of culture. A very simple relationship between these: Agriculture->Industrilization->leisure->literature- >culture


What is Literary Criticism

 This too is one of those awkward questions about which I have already told you. When someone asks you whether you like a particular book, a novel, a short story, and you say "yes" or "no" you are on the threshold of literary criticism. When she asks you why, and then you attempt an answer trying to rationalize your perception, you are "doing" literary criticism, albeit at a rudimentary level. Similarly, you do film or art criticism. Understanding and interpreting literary experience, even when not articulated can be literary criticism. Now, this can be an amateurish response. Alternatively, it could also be a highly sophisticated, professional one of the kind we generally read in review columns or journals. English poets and critics whose works you read have battled over the question of the relative superiority or otherwise of criticism over creation: Wordsworth and Arnold, for example. Some enduring criticism has also come into being by way of "Defense of Poetry". You already know of some of these, such as Sidney's (1554-1586) and Shelley's (1792-1822) Essays. The classical criticism of the Greeks and Romans grew around attacks on and defense of the position of poets in a civil society. "Aesthetics" and "Poetics" were terms that were earlier used before the vogue of "Criticism" set in. You can find brief histories of such common words ii Raymond Williams's book entitled keywords. And then, more recently, "theory" was introduced into our departments.
literary theory & criticism, Literary Movements, Literary Critics, English Literature, English Theory, my exam solution, myexamsolution.com

What is Theory

Theory creates the sense in a systematic way to consider the literature. A THEORY provides a system by which experience can be organized and made sense of, or at least into something which will be comprehensible. All theories are constructed against the threat of chaos, which is the absence of system or organizing principles, to make sense of what comes to us, however, provisional and imperfect that sense may have to be. That is the basis of all dogma, religious and political alike.
In their philosophical writing, Hobbes (1588-1679) and Locke (1632-1704) talk about "wit" and "judgement" and illustrate their general theory by referring to (among other categories of knowledge, like History,) poetry. Hobbes says, "In a good poem. both Judgement and Fancy are required. Judgement without Fancy is wit, but Fancy without Judgment not." The eighteenth century philosopher, Kant (1724-1804), had talked about "Aesthetic Judgment" as opposed to "Moral Judgment", and described it as "purposiveness without purpose". Wordsworth's (1770-1850) theory of literature in his "Preface" to the Lyrical Ballads is as much literary criticism as "Theory” : the Romantic theory of poetry.



Literary Movements

  • English Renaissance
  • American Romanticism
  • British Romanticism
  • Children’s literature
  • 18th Century Literature
  • Gothic Literature
  • Harlem Renaissance Literature
  • Magical Realism
  • Medieval English Literature
  • Modernist & Post Modernist Literature
  • Naturalism
  • Postcolonial Literature
  • Surrealist Literature
  • Science Fiction
  • Transcendentalist Literature


Literary Critics

  • Aristotle
  • Walter Benjamin
  • Judith Butler
  • Noam Chomsky
  • Jacques Derrida
  • Michel Foucault
  • Sigmund Freud
  • Antonio Gramsci
  • Raymond Williams
  • Plato
  • Edward Said
  • Ferdinand de Saussure
  • Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak  
  • Friedrich Nietzsche



In this quiet short Idea of literary Theory and Criticism have the real meaning which leads the real beginning.
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