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Formalism and New Criticism

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Anastasia Woods

on 21 October 2013

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Transcript of Formalism and New Criticism

Formalism and New Criticism
Literary Theory
Formalist's Perspective
dominated the for most of the twentieth century
Russian formalism
New Criticism
"...defined and addressed the specifically literary qualities in the text" (Richter 699)
Analyzing the features within the text
Rejecting exernal factors
Islotation of the piece of literature
Usually used within poetry
Formalist's Checklist
•How does this work use imagery to develop Ester's character?
•What is the quality of the work's organic unity "...the working together of all the parts to make an inseparable whole..." (Tyson 121)? In other words, how does the work as a whole reflect what Esther's character?
•How are the various parts of the work interconnected?
•How do paradox, irony, ambiguity, and tension work in the text?
•How do these parts and their collective whole contribute to or not contribute to the aesthetic quality of the work?
•How does the author resolve Ester's apparent contradictions within the work?
•What does the form of this work say about its content?

Today's Activities
TRACK ME!!!!!!

Work Cited
Do Now
How do critics analyze a piece of work?
What are the literary devices Sylvia Plath uses to display Esther's mental state?
Formalism (1930s-present)
Critics and Practitioners
"art for art's sake"
"content =form"
"texts exist in and for themselves"
Value the ambiguity, irony, and intention in literature
Close reading
Russian Formalists
•Victor Shklovsky
"distinguishes itself from ordinary, communicative language, and is a feature of how art in general works, namely by presenting the world in a strange and new way that allows us to see things differently"
understand form= understand the work of art
Leon Trotsky's Literature and Revolution (1924)
"The form of art is, to a certain and very large degree, independent, but the artist who creates this form, and the spectator who is enjoying it, are not empty machines, one for creating form and the other for appreciating it. They are living people, with a crystallized psychology representing a certain unity, even if not entirely harmonious. This psychology is the result of social conditions" (180, 171).
•Roman Jakobson
•Victor Erlich - Russian Formalism: History - Doctrine, 1955

New Critics
•John Crowe Ransom - The New Criticism, 1938
•I.A. Richards
•William Empson
•T.S. Eliot
•Allen Tate
•Cleanth Brooks

Critics and Practitioners
"a of literature that would be both independent and factual"
define its "literariness" in literature
"Literature has its own history, a history of innovation in formal structures"
Good work today class!!
Now continue being the great students you are
Yeah...I know it's a lot to do.......
"different lenses critics use to view and talk about art, literature, and even culture"
focusing on certain aspects of within the literature
not analyzing the work's meaning
analyzing the underlying theories with the work
Different Literary Theories
Moral Criticism, Dramatic Construction (~360 BC-present)
Formalism, New Criticism, Neo-Aristotelian Criticism (1930s-present)
Psychoanalytic Criticism, Jungian Criticism(1930s-present)
Marxist Criticism (1930s-present)
Reader-Response Criticism (1960s-present)
Structuralism/Semiotics (1920s-present)
Post-Structuralism/Deconstruction (1966-present)
New Historicism/Cultural Studies (1980s-present)
Post-Colonial Criticism (1990s-present)
Feminist Criticism (1960s-present)
Gender/Queer Studies (1970s-present)
Full transcript