Survery of Literary Criticism

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Derrida and review

Here are my notes from today's class:

difference between deconstructionist - everythign is a part of a text or textual itself; and New Criticism - no history, biography, or other contexts, just words

Derrida (page 1817)
the last of the canonical critics
"there is nothing outside the text"
he loves to play with language
"The interpretation is simply another room of the dream" - everything is textual, language, and discourse
- writing is really superior to speech
he disagrees with: logocentrism - truth, reality , facts, and reason are privileged center of Western culture, phonocentrism - privilege speech over writing, transcendental signified - something out there is beyond us and etermines who we are and what we do
- writing is fundamental, even the critics of writing have to criticize it IN WRITING!!
PHARMAKON - word for writing - means drug, remedy, poison
language is dynamic
mythocentrism(??)


Pigeon-holing the critics

Foucault - post structualist "History is discourse". "power" (much in common with Derrida)

Paul de Man - deconstructionist, "Language is rhetorical", texts are unstable, interpretation is rhetorical, look at rhetoric, not dealing with truth but with play of words

Wimsatt - Formalist, New Critic intentional fallacy - can't look at author's intent
affective fallacy - can't look at reader's response, to get the meaning of the text

Poe - Classicist, a work should have one single effect (Aristotle on drugs?!)
death of a beautiful woman is very important, works should be short - readable in one sitting

Dryden - also a Classicist

Fish - Fishy Foo, Reader Response, poetry is that which is seen with poetry seeing eyes

Wollstonecraft - first feminist - society should educate women equally with men (handout)

Jung - depth psychologist, of the unconscious mind, known for his archetypes of the collective unconscious (of characters) Remember Star Wars

Peacocke- Romantic satirist, critic of poetry, inspired Shellly to write Defense of Poetry, give up childish poems, etc.

Emerson - transcendentalist, petry is inspired by God, (opposite of Derrida)

Thompkins - feminist, wants people to take off their straight jackets and write more personally and less objectively (which is how males write)

Vico - "original", system of Ages - gods, heroes, men, chaos he was a historian, mythologist, and much more

Hugh of St. Victor - function of literature is to TEACH, didactic, his image of the berry and plucking it from vineyard to put in your mouth (you do the same with words)

Bhabha - post-colonialist, influenced by deconstructionists, breaks down Western binary oppostitions, the haves and have nots

Nietzsche - Existentialist, God IS DEAD, How do we knokw what is essential?, existence is more important than essence, "TRUTH IS A MOBILE ARMY OF METAPHORS"

Bakhtin - structualist, monologic versus dialogic writing (single speech versus dialogue, dynamic speech)

Barthes - French structualist, Death of the author, language is important

de Beavuoir - feminist (one of the top 5), her book "The Second Sex", existentialist, women have been defined by men, but now should be free to define themselves

Kristeva - feminist - hard to classify, semanalysis - linguistics dissolve the sign, intertextuality

Mulvey - feminist film critic, issues of the "Male Gaze", men representing females

Gates - deconstructionist, address questions of race, "RACE Is A TEXT"

G and G - feminists (also in the top 5ish), book "The Mad Woman in the Attic", males experience anxiety of influence, females experience anxiety of authorship

Todorov - structual analyst, simple clauses arranged to form the plot

Schlermaker - Romantic, HERMENUETICS - science of interpretation, relating to the BIBLE, also the hermenuetic circle

Schiller - Romantic, concerned with spiritual and physical freedom, "In error only is there truth", making mistakes are important

Eagleton - Marxist, social and political roles in literature and in culture

Greenblatt - New Historicist, text is history and history is a text, history is a collection of rhetoric

Wordsworth - Romantic, "Poetry is a spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings"

Benjamin - social historian, "aura", aesthetic changes in social history

Butler - feminist and queer theorist, probably pissed of most people with her work, gender and sexuality is a costume that society imposes upon us and gender is a construct, we've invented sexuality, her book "Gender Trouble"

70% of the exam will come from what's on the blackboard today

Also included on the exam will be Northrup Frye and other things from notes previous to the individual critic presentations


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