A study of contemporary literature

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A study of contemporary literature

You can help by adding to it. August In the Enlightenment period s to sliterary criticism became more popular. During this time period literacy rates started to rise in the public, no longer was reading exclusive for the wealthy or scholarly.

With the rise of the literate public and swiftness of printing, criticism arose too. Reading was no longer viewed solely as educational or as a sacred source of religion; it was a form of entertainment.

Many works of Jonathan Swift were criticized including his book Gulliver's Travels, which one critic described as "the detestable story of the Yahoos". German Romanticismwhich followed closely after the late development of German classicismemphasized an aesthetic of fragmentation that can appear startlingly modern to the reader of English literature, and valued Witz — that is, "wit" or "humor" of a certain sort — more highly than the serious Anglophone Romanticism.

The late nineteenth century brought renown to authors known more for their literary criticism than for their own literary work, such as Matthew Arnold. The New Criticism[ edit ] However important all of these aesthetic movements were as antecedents, current ideas about literary criticism derive almost entirely from the new direction taken in the early twentieth century.

Early in the century the school of criticism known as Russian Formalismand slightly later the New Criticism in Britain and in the United States, came to dominate the study and discussion of literature, in the English-speaking world.

Both schools emphasized the close reading of texts, elevating it far above generalizing discussion and speculation about either authorial intention to say nothing of the author's psychology or biography, which became almost taboo subjects or reader response.

This emphasis on form and precise attention to "the words themselves" has persisted, after the decline of these critical doctrines themselves. In his works Frye noted that some critics tend to embrace an ideologyand to judge literary pieces on the basis of their adherence to such ideology.

This has been a highly influential viewpoint among modern conservative thinkers. Michael Jonesfor example, argues in his Degenerate Moderns that Stanley Fish was influenced by his adulterous affairs to reject classic literature that condemned adultery. In the British and American literary establishment, the New Criticism was more or less dominant until the late s.

Around that time Anglo-American university literature departments began to witness a rise of a more explicitly philosophical literary theoryinfluenced by structuralismthen post-structuralismand other kinds of Continental philosophy.

It continued until the mids, when interest in "theory" peaked. Many later critics, though undoubtedly still influenced by theoretical work, have been comfortable simply interpreting literature rather than writing explicitly about methodology and philosophical presumptions.

History of the book[ edit ] Related to other forms of literary criticism, the history of the book is a field of interdisciplinary inquiry drawing on the methods of bibliographycultural historyhistory of literatureand media theory.

Principally concerned with the production, circulation, and reception of texts and their material forms, book history seeks to connect forms of textuality with their material aspects. Among the issues within the history of literature with which book history can be seen to intersect are: Current state[ edit ] Today, interest in literary theory and continental philosophy coexists in university literature departments with a more conservative literary criticism of which the New Critics would probably have approved.

Disagreements over the goals and methods of literary criticism, which characterized both sides taken by critics during the "rise" of theory, have declined. Many critics feel that they now have a great plurality of methods and approaches from which to choose. Ecocritics have drawn connections between literature and the natural sciences.

Darwinian literary studies studies literature in the context of evolutionary influences on human nature. Many literary critics also work in film criticism or media studies. Some write intellectual history ; others bring the results and methods of social history to bear on reading literature.

Value of academic criticism[ edit ] The value of extensive literary analysis has been questioned by several prominent artists. Vladimir Nabokov once wrote that good readers do not read books, and particularly those which are considered to be literary masterpieces, "for the academic purpose of indulging in generalizations".

Joyce the modernist writer's grandson said, "If my grandfather was here, he would have died laughing Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man can be picked up, read, and enjoyed by virtually anybody without scholarly guides, theories, and intricate explanations, as can Ulysses, if you forget about all the hue and cry.About Us.

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A study of contemporary literature

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