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This presentation was prepared for the workshop at HMP Institute of English Training and Research, Gujarat (INDIA). It deals with some important questions for the preparation of UGC NET / SLET examination for the qalification of Lecturer. It also gives brief introduction about some important books on Literary Theory and Criticism

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  1. 1. We shall discuss… • Paper II: OT Qs from Literary Theory • Paper III: Section A: • Unit IX: Literary Theory and Criticism up to T.S.Eliot. • Unit X: Contemporary Theory. • Section B: • Elective V – Literary Theory and Criticism.
  2. 2. What should be read ??? • Literary Criticism – its place in the domain of literature? • If art is criticism of life, criticism is criticism of art. • Gerard Genet: Metaliterature – literature written to explain literature - discourse upon discourse. • Who should be a critic? Should he be a creative artist/writer? • Different views: critic should be a poet or a man with poetic sensibility, aesthetic power, empathy and understanding? • Down the centuries we have several good critics who were themselves creative writers at the same time there are several great critics who were not creative writers, e.g. Aristotle.
  3. 3. Expected questions from Literary Theory and Criticism • Paper 2: This paper will cover 50 OTQ – 2 marks each – so there may be 10 Objective Type Questions from last two units of Literary Theory and Criticism.
  4. 4. Expected questions from Literary theory and Criticism • Paper 3: Section II may have 4 questions of 5 marks, to be answered in up to 30 words each. • Paper 3: Section III shall have 5 Questions from Elective V for 12 marks each – to be answered in up to 200 words. All questions compulsory if this ‘elective’ is chosen. • Paper 3: Section IV: 1 Essay type question of 40 marks – to be answered in up to 1000 words.
  5. 5. Sample questions: paper II • Who is the author / which work is written by the author? – Who is the writer of ‘An Essay of Dramatic Poesy’? – ‘Ars Poetica’ is written by……? • Some well-known lines – oft quoted ones: • Who said that ‘poetry is a speaking picture’? • In which critical work does Coleridge write ‘willing suspension of disbelief’? • ‘Interpretation is intellect’s revenge upon imagination’. Who said it? • ‘Language of poetry is the language of paradox?’
  6. 6. • Arrange the following critical works in chronological order: On the Sublime, Poetics, Biographia Literaria, Study of Poetry, Tradition and individual talent. • Some difficult words or concept: • What is the meaning of hamartia / peripeteia / anagnorisis / catharsis / difference / sign- signifier-signified / gynocriticism / phonocentric –logocentric / langue-parole ?
  7. 7. Sample Questions: paper III • Section I: Critique of passage or stanza: – I.A.Richards’s Practical Criticism. – Terry Eagleton’s How to Read a Poem? – A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature. Q: Give a critique of the poem ‘TO His Coy Mistress’ from five difference approaches? Historical/Biographical, Moral/Philosophical, Formalist, Psychological, Myth Criticism, Feminism, Cultural Study, New Criticism. Marks: 5 (X 5qs) Words: 30
  8. 8. Definitional /seeking particular information questions: • Section II: What is the meaning of….. • Q.1.: What do you mean by campus novel? • Q.2.: What is Dialogic Criticism? (pg 63 MHA) • Q.3: What did Barthes have against authors? Did he think books wrote themselves? (pg 21 short intro-oup) • 4. Derrida is very hard to read. Why doesn’t he write more simply? Doesn’t he want to communicate? (Pg 79-sh int-oup) • Marks: 5 (x 15qs) Words: 30
  9. 9. Definitional /seeking particular information questions: • Epic Theatre, Comedy of Menace, Theatre of Absurd, Dissociation of Sensibility, Feminism, Cultural study, structuralism, Post- structuralism • Marks: 5 (x 15qs) Words: 30
  10. 10. Analytical / Evaluative Questions: • Section III: Qs asked on the major specializations/electives: • Q: Explain ‘Poetry is not an expression of personality but an escape from personality’? • Q: Explain the term DifferAnce. • Q: What did Keats mean by ‘negative capability’? • Q: On what grounds do Modernism and Post modernism differ? (pg 175 MHA) • Q: What are Coleridge’s view on fancy and imagination? • Marks: 12 (X 5 Qs) Words: 200
  11. 11. Essay type question: • Section IV: • Q: What do you mean by New Historicism? Write an essay in 1000 words about it. • A: Introduction – Basic Principle – Premises – Practice – reading the New Historical way – Stephan Greenblatt’s view point – New and Old Historicism: Difference – Influence of other theories. (Courtesy: Sample Booklet, Vallaths)
  12. 12. Essay type question: • Q: Write an essay on Deconstruction. • A: Saussure’s linguistic model of sign-signifier-signified – Binary opposition – Deconstructing Levi Strauss and Saussure – DifferAnce – differ + defer – De-centreing the centre – Theory of supplementarity – M.H.Abram’s view point – Lacan’s Otherness of langauge (pg 57 OUP) – Julia Kristeva’s Strangers to Ourselves (pg 63 OUP) – Roland Barthes – Death of the Author. – Foucault’s Discipline and Punishment. (pg 53) – Read: A Glossary by M.H. Abraham and Intro by V S Seturaman
  13. 13. Workshop activity: • 1. Write in 30 words about Tragic Hero/Tragedy/Catharsis/Differance/New Criticism. (5 marks – 4 min) • 2. Write in 200 words about Feminism/Real Estimate/Dryden’s view on Shakespeare/Dryden’s view on Chaucer/Archetypal Criticism/Richards’s Four types of Meaning/Post colonialism/Structuralism and Post Structuralism/ Modernism and post modernism. (12 marks – 10 min)
  14. 14. • The following slides attempts to give a brief introduction to some books on ‘Literary Theory and Criticism’.
  15. 15. Modern literary criticism and theory By Rafey Habib • Written in concise and clear language, this book offers an historical overview of literary criticism and theory throughout the twentieth century along with a close analysis of some of the most important and commonly taught texts from the period. Provides an accessible introduction to modern literary theory and criticism • Places various modes of criticism within their historical and intellectual contexts • Offers close readings of some of the major critical texts of the period • Explores the works of a diverse group of 20th-century writers, including Babbitt, Woolf, Bakhtin, Heidegger, Lacan, Derrida, Judith Butler, Zizek, Nussbaum, Negri and Hardt • Covers formalism, psychoanalysis, structuralism, deconstruction, Marxism, feminism, reader-response criticism, historicism, gender studies, cultural studies, and film theory
  16. 16. The Cambridge history of literary criticism • This volume in The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism brings together a wide range of highly informative essays on developments in literary criticism and theory during the twentieth century. The main focus is on historical, philosophical and sociocultural approaches to literature and it offers both authoritative treatments of the topics under review and a lively sense of engagement and dialogue among the contributors. It has a full bibliographical apparatus and provides an invaluable resource for readers who are seeking to orient themselves in this complex and often bewildering field.
  17. 17. Literary theory By Terry Eagleton • This classic work is designed to cover all of the major movements in literary studies in this century. Noted for its clear, engaging style and unpretentious treatment, Literary Theory has become the introduction of choice for anyone interested in learning about the world of contemporary literary thought. The second edition contains a major new survey chapter that addresses developments in cultural theory since the book's original publication in 1983, including feminist theory, postmodernism, and poststructuralism.
  18. 18. After Theory By Terry Eagleton • For anyone forced to wrestle with the likes of Derrida and Foucault during their college days, Terry Eagleton needs no introduction. His clear and accessible primer on literary theory was (and is) an indispensable guide to the post-modern era in the humanities. Now Eagleton argues that the golden age of cultural theory has ended, and with characteristic wit and verve, he traces its rise and fall from structuralism to post-colonial studies and beyond. In a new era of globalization and terrorism, Eagleton warns, the bundle of ideas known as post-modernism is essentially toothless.In this eloquent synthesis of a lifetime of learning, Eagleton challenges contemporary intellectuals to engage with a range of vital topics-love, evil, death, morality, religion, and revolution-that they've ignored over the past thirty years. Lively and provocative, Eagleton's latest will engage readers inside and outside the academy who are eager for a more holistic and humane way of quot;readingquot; the world.quot;A rare opportunity to enjoy the art of cultural and social diagnosis at its purest! Eagleton offers a unique combination of theoretical stringency and acerbic common-sense witticism, of critical historical reflection and the ability to ask the 'big' metaphysical questions.quot;-Slavoj Zizek
  19. 19. Critical Approaches To Literature By Daiches, David • Critical Approaches To Literature Is An Examination Of The Different Ways In Which Literature Has Been Explained And Evaluated From The Time Of Plato To Modern Times. In The First Part Dr Daiches Examines The Philosophical Foundations Of Criticism, Then Moves On To Consider Aspects Of Practical Criticism. In The Last Section, The Book Explores The Relationship Between Criticism And Other Interrelated Spheres Of Learning.
  20. 20. How to read a poem By Terry Eagleton • Lucid, entertaining and full of insight, How To Read A Poem is designed to banish the intimidation that too often attends the subject of poetry, and in doing so to bring it into the personal possession of the students and the general reader. • Offers a detailed examination of poetic form and its relation to content. * Takes a wide range of poems from the Renaissance to the present day and submits them to brilliantly illuminating closes analysis. * Discusses the work of major poets, including John Milton, Alexander Pope, John Keats, Christina Rossetti, Emily Dickinson, W.B. Yeats, Robert Frost, W.H.Auden, Seamus Heaney, Derek Mahon, and many more. * Includes a helpful glossary of poetic terms.
  21. 21. Practical criticism By Ivor Armstrong Richards, Richard (INT) Hoggart • Linguist, critic, poet, and psychologist, I. A. Richards (1893-1979) was one of the great polymaths of the twentieth century. He is best known, however, as one of the founders of modern literary critical theory. Richards revolutionized criticism by turning away from biographical and historical readings as well as from the aesthetic impressionism. Seeking a more exacting approach, he analyzed literary texts as syntactical structures that could be broken down into smaller interacting verbal units of meaning. Practical Criticism, first published in 1929, remains a landmark and classic volume in demonstrating this method.
  22. 22. Web Resources: • • • •