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STRUCTURALISM & POST-STRUCTURALISM
Transcript of STRUCTURALISM & POST-STRUCTURALISM
-Rose in the wake of EXISTENTIALISM
-Fields: humanities, anthropology, linguistics and literary theories
-Heavily influenced by Ferdinand de SAUSSURE
STRUCTURALISM & POST-STRUCTURALISM
- His work: key in the development of the theory of structuralism and structural anthropology.
- The "father of modern anthropology".
- Famous book: Tristes Tropiques. Ideas of the "savage" mind and the "civilized" mind.
- One of the central figures in the Structuralist school of thought.
CLAUDE LEVI-STRAUSS (1908-2009)
- There must be a STRUCTURE in every text.
- Language as a system of signs and signification.
- In literary theory, it challenged the idea of a work reflecting a given reality.
- Examination of underlying structures by critics.
- Language as a closed, stable system.
- Rejection of the concept of human freedom and focused on human experience.
- Various structures.
- Interprets and analyses material in terms of oppositions, contrasts, and hierarchical structures.
- Looks at how characters, themes, symbols and motifs have been repeated throughout literature.
- France, late 1960s and 1970s (late 20th century).
- Context: political turmoil, rebellion and disillusionment.
- Opposition to Structuralism.
- Related to Post-Modernism
- A response to Structuralism
- It denotes the heterogeneity of a serious of mid-20th century works
- The author's intended meaning is secondary to the meaning that the reader perceives
- The author is replaced
- Rejection of binary oppositions
- Deconstruction of assumptions and knowledge systems which produce the illusion of singular meaning
TWO IMPORTANT CONCEPTS
- The concept of the "self" comprises conflicting tensions instead of coherence (Structuralist idea).
- Variety of perspectives and multi-faced interpretation of a text.
- Initially Structuralists and then focused on Post-structuralistm
- Both focused on how Structuralism could be applied to literature
- Structuralism as a way of connecting different sciences like linguistic, philosophy, biology, psychology.
- Structuralism is an old and respected scientific method which is now becoming a valuable instrument of investigation in other fields.
-Major work: Structuralism (1970)
- Philosophical and literary works.
- 1963: Death and the Labyrinth: The World of Raymond Roussel.
- Foucault explores theory, criticism, and psychology with reference to the texts of Raymond Roussel, one of the first notable experimental writers.
- Foucault's discussions on power and discourse have inspired many critical theorists.
- 1960s and 1970s: influence on French intellectuals, especially those associated with poststructuralism.
-His ideas: impact on critical and literary theory, linguistics, 20th-century French philosophy, sociology, feminist theory, film theory and clinical psychoanalysis.
- "Écrits": collection of Lacan's psychoanalytic writings from 1940s to 1060s.
- "The Éditions du Seuil volume Autres écrits"(2001): Lacan's writings from 1960s to 1970s.
- Influential in international critical analysis,cultural theory and feminism after publishing her first book Semeiotikè in 1969.
-Her books and essays address intertextuality, the semiotic, and abjection, in the fields of linguistics, literary theory and criticism, psychoanalysis, biography and autobiography, political and cultural analysis, art and art history.
- She stands as one of the foremost Structuralists.
- Important place in Post-structuralism too.
- One of the major figures associated with Post-structuralism and Postmodern philosophy.
- Best known for developing a form of semiotic analysis known as Deconstruction.
- Lecture "Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Science" (1966): theoretical limitations of Structuralism
- His investigation focused on revealing the importance of language.
(1) Structuralism and After (Methuen, London, 1982)
(2) The Death of the Author (1968).
(1)Relies upon the logic of language.
(2) Descriptive view (synchronic).
(3) Analytical concepts used from linguistics, psychology, anthropology, and other fields to interpret those structures.
(4) It emphasized the logical and scientific nature of its results.
(1) How knowledge is produced and critiques structuralist premises.
(2) Relies upon the subversive, poetic subconscious of the logic of language.
(3) Historical view (diachronic).
(4) To understand an object (e.g. a text), it is necessary to study both the object itself and the systems of knowledge that produced the object.
- Some theories of literature pay attention to the distinction between "literary" and other sorts of texts.
- Other schools (particularly post-structuralism in its various forms) have sought to break down distinctions between the two.
- Structuralism examine the underlying structures, the linguistic units in a text and how the author conveys meaning through structures.
- Post-structuralist approaches criticize or go beyond Structuralism's aspirations to create a rational science of culture.