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Literary Lenses

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Mary Manning

on 17 December 2013

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Transcript of Literary Lenses

Literary Lenses
A theory attempting to understand the way different people read literature
Romanticism
To
SENSES AND FEELINGS
To
IMAGINATION
To
NATURE
Shift from
FAITH
Late 18th Century - Mid 19th Century
England experienced romanticism in literature before America
AUTHORS OF THIS TIME PERIOD:
Nathaniel Hawthorne-
The Scarlett Letter, Young Goodman Brown

Herman Melville-
Moby Dick
Ralph Waldo Emerson-
Self Reliance, Society and Solitude
John Keats-
Poems
Mary Shelley-
Frankenstein, The Last Man
Robert Burns-
Auld Lang Syne, To A Mouse
EMPHASIS ON REAL LIFE
REALISM
Mid 19th Century - Late 19th Century
Began with French Literature and spread throughout the world
Depicted everyday life and situations, this type of literature emphasized contemporary life and people.
FRENCH REALISM
First came to being with Guastave Courbet's painting in the 1850s. Classics like Madame Bovary by Guastave Flaubert were written at this time, in this style.
ENGLISH REALISM
Coincided with the Victorian Era (1830s-1900) and featured authors like Mary Anne Evans (pen name: George Eliot) who wrote
Adam Mede
and The
Mill on the Floss
AMERICAN REALISM
Occurred later than in Europe, into the 20th Century and showed literature that reflected the time period. Authors at this time include Henry James and Mark Twain
POST COLONIALISM
Originating in the late 20th Century it is an analysis of texts produced in countries that were, at some point, under colonial rule. This type of literature shows the effects of colonial rule on said countries.
Influenced by Marxist thought and deconstruction but ultimately explores the effects of colonialism and stresses the ordinary life in countries that were colonized. Postcolonial literature has themes such as diaspora, loss of culture, and reclamation of culture.
Postcolonial literature is widely identifiable because of the large number of countries that have found themselves under European rule. (An example of European colonialism is shown below with Africa)
AFRICAN AUTHORS
J.G. Farrell: Troubles, The Singapore Grip
Tayib Salih: Season of Migration to the North
Chinua Achebe: Things Fall Apart
AMERICAN AUTHORS
Jean Rhys: Wide Sargasso Sea
Margaret Atwood: The Handmaid's Tale
Giannina Braschi: United States of Banana
MIDDLE EASTERN AUTHORS
Naguib Mahfouz: The Cairo Trilogy
Edward Said: Orientalism
ASIAN AUTHORS
Salman Rushdie: The Satanic Verses
Nick Joaquin: The Storyteller's New Medium
Nihal de Silva: The Far Spent Day
PACIFIC AUTHORS
Sia Fiegel: Where We Once Belonged
Albert Wendt: Sons for the Return Home
Witi Ihimaera: The Whale Rider
HISTORICISM
This type of literature provides background information and represents society at the time. It is read with a sense of time and place. By applying historical context, readers can gain a more accurate picture of the novel. Was especially popular in the from 1930s-1950s
Many contemporary historical fiction authors like Anne Rinaldi, Markus Zusak, and Arthur Golden fall under this category due to the nature of their writings.
POPULAR HISTORICAL NOVELS
NEW HISTORICISM
Developed in the 1980s, this type of criticism is much like historicism but sees history as less linear, rather building to the present of the novel. New Historicists believe it is impossible to retell a historical event as it truly was because we have been conditioned by our environment.
New Historicism can attributed, in large part, to Michel Foucault who explored the idea of power and knowledge in society.
New Historicism has been criticized for relativist stances instead of historical fact.
Oftentimes well known historical books like Pride & Prejudice and Dracula are looked at through this lense to find alternate meanings and views.
EMPHASIS ON SOCIETAL IDEAS AND CULTURE AT DIFFERENT POINTS IN REAL LIFE
FEMINISM
Feminism criticism became popular in the late 1970s when it began to be applied to art and literary works. This focuses on the independence of females and moves away from the idea of a macho-male controlled society.
Much of feminism sprouts from Simone de Beauvoir's ideas, and her book "Le Duxieme Sexe" (The Second Sex)
POPULAR FEMINIST LITERATURE
Alice Walker:
The Color Purple
Kate Chopin: The Awakening
Charlotte Perkins Gilmann: The
Yellow
Wallpaper and Other Stories
Kathryn Sockett: The Help
Q
U
E
E
R
T
HEORY

Emerged in the 1990s and was heavily influenced by women's studies. This genre challenges the idea that gender is essential and builds off feminism literature's ideas like challenging patriarchal stereotypes.
Queer is a product of specific cultural and theoretical pressures which increasingly structured debates about questions of lesbian and gay identity
-Michael Warner
Explores the idea that identities cannot be categorized or even fixed. Believes that sexual identity is a product of social construction.
There is an interval between what someone does (role-taking) and who someone is (the self). Identities consist of many characteristics and cannot be confined to just one.
Queer theory was originally associated with political movements but soon moved to literature and other forms of art.
Popular Queer Theory Novels:
Judith Butler: Gender Trouble
J. Jack Halberstam: The Queer Art of Failure
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick: The Epistomolgy of the Closet
Although Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Judith Butler pioneered this literary field it is now entering mainstream literature and media.
Lens Developed by People who Influence Societal Ideas
MARXISM
Type of literary criticism inspired by Karl Marx. Marxist theory did not take hold until after Marx's lifetime in the 20th Century.
Literary works are considered the creation of people who emphasize class roles and are viewed as a product of work.
Marxist beliefs declare that even literature is a social institution.
PYSCHOANALYTIC
This type of criticism can be attributed to Freud, whose theories were responsible for its creation.
Before 1950

Pyschoanalytic criticism
analyzed the author.
After 1950

Shifted focused to reader's pysche and how the text affected them.
Like Freud believed one could analyze dreams, Jacques Lacan- a pyschoanalytic critic believed literature could be analyzed in much the same way.
Lacan abstractally believed that words were not the things they stood for but the substitute for those things
CONSTRUCTION
Became popular in the late 1900s to 200s with roots in pyschology.
This theory claims that individuals actively construct new knowledge from their experiences rather than acquiring knowledge from the outside to within the learner.
Process by which people transform reality that is applied to literature.
This theory is often applied to learning, teaching, and political ideas as well as literature.
Deconstruction
Heavily influenced by Derrida, this came to popularity in the late 20th Century and emphasizes
binary opposites
.
Derrida puts forth the belief that humans understand things in terms of binary opposites.
BLACK
WHITE
BEGINNING
END
CONSCIOUS
UNCONSCIOUS
Critics who agree with deconstructionism reject the belief that there is such thing as a beginning and end. This belief is called undecidability.
READER RESPONSE
This theory has been well known since the early 20th Century, but has adapted over time and encompasses various approaches to literature.
Like the psychoanalytic approach, Read- Response is concerned with how the text effects the readers.
Louise Rosenblatt, credited with pioneering the reader-response theory, said in her 1969 essay "Towards a Transactional Theory of Reading" the any literary work is a joint production between the reader and writer.
In the 1970's German critic: Wolfgang Iser, furthered this notion by stating that literature is something that only exists within the mind of the reader.
POST STRUCTURALISM
Created by American academics in the 1960s and 1970s to look at mid-century French works.
Like reader-response and psychoanalytic this criticism moves away from a focus on the author and looks for another source of meaning.
A major theme in this criticism is the focus on the instability of human sciences due to the complexity of humans but the impossibility to fully escape the sciences.
TIME PERIODS PEOPLE WERE REACTING TO
MODERNISM
Has its origins in the late 19th and early 20th century in Europe and North America.
Conscious break with traditional styles of
POETRY
VERSE
Make it new!!!!!!
-Ezra Pound
Sigmund Freud and Ernst Mach influenced this theme of breaking with
tRaDiTiOn
Modernism concept gained even more popularity around World War I, dealing with the idea of disillusionment.
POST MODERNISM
Came into being post-World War II and can still be seen in some of today's literature
Heavily relies on:
QUESTIONABLE NARRATORS
FRA GME NTA TION
PARADOX
EXAMPLES OF POST MODERNIST LITERATURE
CRITICISMS THAT ARE OUT OF LEFT FIELD: OBJECTIVE
NEW CRITICISM
Reached height of popularity in the mid-20th Century (1940's-1950's)
A work of literature is self contained and should be given a closed reading, basing all relationships and opinions solely on the text itself.
Emphasis is put on the structure of the literary work symbolism or literary devices like repetition and parallelism
Due to its stressing the closed approach to textual analysis it has been referred to as the "objective" approach to literature.
New Criticism's foundations were laid in the 1920's and 1930's and has occasionally been compared to the rise of American isolationism.
Wimsatt and Beardsley's essays "The Intentional Fallacy" and "The Affective Fallacy" are important texts in this literary movement.
FORMALISM
A group of similar types of literature that arose in the 1920s and 1930s and came to the forefront of literary criticism in the 1940s and 1950s.
Proponents of this critique believe that literature is a work within itself and focus on the relationships within the work.
Believe that everyday language is stale and boring, formalism pushes to reinvent use of language in a more creative way.
Although it reached its height in american in the 1930s and 1940s, Russian formalism took hold
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