INTRODUCTION TO LITERARTURE AND LITERARY STUDIES<br />Dr. Deeptha Achar<br />Dr. Sachin Ketkar<br />Associate Professors,<br />Department of English, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara<br />
In English we generally use the word `literature’ in two ways.<br />We use it WITH A DEFINITE ARTICLE or we use it WITHOUT A DEFINITE ARTICLE.<br />When we use it with a definite article, as in `I want to read all THE literature available on swine flu’, it implies I have read everything which has appeared in print.<br />When we use it without the definite article, as in ` I have selected literature as one of my subjects in the college’, it implies I am studying TEXTS which have SIGNIFICANT ARTISTIC VALUE in a particular culture, e.g. If I am studying Gujarati literature I am studying things like poems of JhaverchandMeghani or novels of Pannalal Patel.<br />Meanings of the term `literature’<br />
We tend to use the term ` English Literature’ for all literature written on the British Isles in English, e.g. Plays of Shakespeare, poems of Keats or novels of Thomas Hardy<br />Sometimes we also study literature AVAILABLE in ENGLISH LANGUAGE, e.g. short stories of Indian writer in English like RK Narayan or poems of an American poet Robert Frost<br />We also study literature from other languages TRANSLATED into ENGLISH when we study `English Literature’, e.g . Plays of GirishKarnad or short stories of Rabindranath Tagore<br />‘English Literature’ or `Literature in English’<br />
We study literature because it is extremely important part of our culture and society. <br />Literary studies is an all inclusive term for systematic study of literary texts. Literary studies adds to our knowledge of literature.<br />Literary studies includes literary criticism, literary history and comparative literary studies<br />Literary Studies<br />
Literary criticism is a reasoned and systematic discussion of literature.<br />The word `criticism’ usually does not have the negative meaning we usually associate with the word `criticism’. <br />Criticism is usually of two types: Theoretical criticism and practical criticism.<br />Literary Criticism<br />
`Theory’ is usually contrasted with `practice’.<br />By `theory’ we imply more generalized, abstract and conceptual discussion of literature like the definition of `literariness’, classification of various types of literature, relation of literature and society, literary values and so on. <br />Aristotle’s Poetics and Bharata’s Natyashastra would be examples of earliest theoretical criticism.<br />Rene Wellek and Austin Warren’s Theory of Literature and Jonathan Culler’s Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction are recent examples of theoretical criticism.<br />Literary Theory<br />
Practical criticism involves ANALYSIS, INTERPRETATION and EVALUATION of PARTICULAR literary texts, rather than discussion of literature in general. <br />Theoretical issues may be explicitly stated or implicitly assumed in practical criticism.<br />Practical Criticism<br />
Literary History implies history of particular literature, e.gHistory of Gujarati Literature or History of English Literature<br />Literary history is concerned with changes in literary norms, periodization , dominant trends, authors, texts of various periods and traditions.<br />Historical criticism is an attempt to understand authors and literary texts in their cultural, social and historical context.<br />Historical criticism helps in writing literary history and literary history helps historical criticism.<br />Literary history and historical criticism<br />
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