Survery of Literary Criticism

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

the end of the visits from the past

Today we finished up with the individual critic presentations.

Judith Butler (a.k.a Debbie)

classified as a feminist, even though she prefers not to be called one
queer theory
her book "Gender Trouble"
femininity is defined as other of masculinity
it needs to be one identity, not opposites
through language, we ill break down walls that oppress us - gender roles
not fear of literal castration but fear of homosexual castration (figuratively)
gender roles come from society
more than identifying with or desiring a sex
so, we need to break down feminine and masculine and make them less static, we all take on many roles

Cleanth Brooks (a.k.a. Ray)

Formalist, New Critic
"If poetry is worth teaching at all, it is worth teaching as poetry"
the text itself is important
not the reader, author, historical contexts - they don't matter!!
his book "Well Wrought Urn" (or poem?)
not origin, author, reader that matters, but only the text itself

Stanley Fish

story about 2 classes and carried over assignment - how a class made a religious poem out of a random grouping of names
How do you know a poem when you see one?
usually by distinguishable language
Reader Response critic
"Is there a text in this class" - his book

Steven Greenblatt

New Historicism - inadvertantly coined the phrase
prefers Poetics of Culture
"the text is history and history is textual" - can't seperate the two
example - prisoners who were influenced by text - acutal history, historical currency
osellatin gbetween art and history
"Learning To Curse" - his book

John Dryden (a.k.a. Danny)

Restoration Dramatist, Classicist
best known for poetry
Dryden found a brick, left a marble
"Marriage a la mode" - his play
quote - "man should have a be a good poet"
1. The Bible
2. The complete works of John Dryden
Excellent oration of the poem "One Happy Moment" !!!

And that's the last of them!!
For Thursday, we are supposed to bring a one sentence description of our critics, along with a one to two word definition and a test question.

Dr. Sexson encouraged us to invite dead people to dinner to learn more about them - sounds a little funky but it could be fun!

New Critics say to "stay inside the text", that the author doesn't know anymore about the text than the reader knows

Jacques Derrida - deconstructionist
he responded to the stay inside the text by saying that "there is NO outside the text"
he broadened the definition of the text
it's not just words on a page, but anything that can be interpreted and read
for example - movies, people, events, etc.
deconstruction - THERE IS NO TRUTH - Nietzche

Brooks say poem "the tree" is a bad poem, but we remember it and some like it very much!
"all is vain" from Isaiah
realist - real, substantial, and...?
nominalist - just words, don't mean anything

Finnegan's Wake - end point of criticism?

Personally, I don't think there will ever be an end to criticism. As long as there someone out there who wants to impress someone else, there will always be people acting like they know more than they really do and attempting to sound intelluctual by criticizing. I will try to not let it be me!!


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