Literary Criticism
Modernism – Postmodernism – Postcolonialism – Feminist Critisism

Blueprint C pp 145-221
What is Modernism?
 Naturalism, expressionism, cubism, surrealism,
impressionism
 Therese Raquin

 Individualism
What is Post-modernism?
 Dadaism,
 Inspired by modernism, combined with modernism
 After modernism
What is Postcolonialism?
 After colonialism, colonialism should have affected it
somehow
 From the eightees and forward,...
What is Feminist Criticism
 A movement during the eightees called riot grrl
 Guerilla Girls
 About inequalities
Purpose goals
 Know and understand the four movements
 Acquire close reading skills
 Become independant critical thinke...
Book Choice
Why Be So Critical
READ AND REACT pp 145-149
1.

What is the difference between
evaluating and interpreting a text?

1.

E...
Modernism
 Challenging old 19th-century
traditions
 Doubt and mistrust of
authority
 World War I
 New scientific disco...
New Narrative Techniques
 Stream of Consciousness
 Multiple point of view
 Twisting of chronology
 Fragmentation
 Gap...
Modernism
READ AND REACT pp 156-161
1.

Explain in your own words what
the text tells us about why
modernist writers rejec...
Ulysses
REFLECT AND SHARE pp 162-165

1. a, How did you experience the reading?
b, What does Joyce want you to experience ...
The Second Coming
REFLECT AND SHARE pp 166-167
1.

Look at the meaning of the word gyre. What shape does 1.
it have? The g...
Postmodernism
 Who cares what it means?
 Meaninglessness
 Texts are related in a web of ideas
 Words words words! But ...
Postmodernism
READ & REACT pp 171-175

 What is the relationship between art and meaning, according to
a postmodernist?
...
New Narrative Techniques
Postmodernism
 Playful disregard of meaning
 Decentering a text
 Breaking of genre

 Intertex...
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
READ & REACT pp 177-182

1.

Which lines indicate that Rosencrantz and Guildernstern...
Play at questions
Pair up
The goal of the game is only to ask questions. If you make a
statement, repeat yourself, grunt, ...
Thoughts about the person from Porlock
READ & REACT pp 183-186
1.

What problem does Smith think Coleridge was really havi...
Postcolonialism
Feminist Critisism
Harper Lee
 A novelist born 1926 in USA
 Praised by critics everywhere for her one
and only book, which also won a
Pulit...
Discussion
 Is To Kill a Mockingbird postmodern?
 Why? Why not?

 Is Adaptation postmodern?
 Why? Why not?
James Joyce
 An Irish novelist and poet
born in 1882
 Influenced modernistic
literature greatly with his
avant-garde sty...
Virginia Woolf
 Born Adeline Virginia Stephen in
London in 1882
 Joined the intellectual group of
artists and writers kn...
Imagism
This is just to say
I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet

and s...
Principles of Imagist Poetry


To use the language of common speech, but to employ the exact word, not the nearly
exact, ...
Imagist Poems
pp 114-116

 Choose one of the poems
 Try to identify in what way the principles are evident
 Find exampl...
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literary criticism - the -isms of 19th and 20th century

  1. 1. Literary Criticism Modernism – Postmodernism – Postcolonialism – Feminist Critisism Blueprint C pp 145-221
  2. 2. What is Modernism?  Naturalism, expressionism, cubism, surrealism, impressionism  Therese Raquin  Individualism
  3. 3. What is Post-modernism?  Dadaism,  Inspired by modernism, combined with modernism  After modernism
  4. 4. What is Postcolonialism?  After colonialism, colonialism should have affected it somehow  From the eightees and forward, dealing with problems after the colonialism, poverty, social status.
  5. 5. What is Feminist Criticism  A movement during the eightees called riot grrl  Guerilla Girls  About inequalities
  6. 6. Purpose goals  Know and understand the four movements  Acquire close reading skills  Become independant critical thinkers  To communicate in spoken and written English
  7. 7. Book Choice
  8. 8. Why Be So Critical READ AND REACT pp 145-149 1. What is the difference between evaluating and interpreting a text? 1. Evaluate: State wheter a text is good or bad. Interpret: Pry text open and look carefully inside to try and discover its meaning and analyse its content 2. How do critics work like scientists? How does their work differ from that of scientists? 2. They establish a method, focus on a specific question, pay careful attention to detail and base their answers on evidence in the text. Unlike scientists, critics never draw absolute conclusions. Instead their conclusions should open up even more possibilities and ask even more questions. 3. Why does Auden find the Role of the Critic useful? Summarize his answers in your own words. 3. Critics can inform about unfamiliar works, disarm dislikeable works, depict connections between works of different ages or cultures, explain works, illustrate creative parts of works and show how art relates to life, science, economics, ethics, religion, etc. 4. Learning to be critical of a text can develop serious intellectual muscle. When you learn to read and critically evaluate a text, you can also apply that skill to understanding art, media, scientific reports, films, poetry etc. 4. Why be so critical of a text? What can the act of criticizing do for you?
  9. 9. Modernism  Challenging old 19th-century traditions  Doubt and mistrust of authority  World War I  New scientific discoveries  What is truth?  New narrative techniques
  10. 10. New Narrative Techniques  Stream of Consciousness  Multiple point of view  Twisting of chronology  Fragmentation  Gaps  Uncertainty about language
  11. 11. Modernism READ AND REACT pp 156-161 1. Explain in your own words what the text tells us about why modernist writers rejected older, known formats. 2. What is the main shift in focus from late 17th century literature to the period of modernism? Name some of the new techniques used by writers as they tried to demonstrate their new ways of thinking about art and the truth. Communist revolutions meant that people questioned old power structures, colonial power was questioned and scientific advances in psychology, physics and lingustics showed that things were not as they have been tought to be. Also, the horrors of of WW! Undermined people’s faith in authoroties. All this led Modernist to cast aside old structures and to seek new ways of artistic expression. 2. 3. 1. From portraying what can be observed on the outside to portraying the invisible interior – seeking truth hidden beneath the surface 3. Time twisting, multiple point of view, stream of consciousness, use of gaps, fragmentation, uncertainty about language
  12. 12. Ulysses REFLECT AND SHARE pp 162-165 1. a, How did you experience the reading? b, What does Joyce want you to experience and understand about the workings of a person’s mind as you read this? 2. Identify a passage in the Joyce text that gives you the sense you are ”listening in” to the mind of a woman rather than a man. How and why did you make your selection? 3. Apply the ”Critics Checklist for Modernism” to this text. How many elements can you find at work here?
  13. 13. The Second Coming REFLECT AND SHARE pp 166-167 1. Look at the meaning of the word gyre. What shape does 1. it have? The gyre is symbolic of Yeat’s view of history, or the way time passes. Does he think time is linear? What is the alternative? 2. Why do you think the falcon cannot hear the falconer? 3. How do you interpret the line ”The best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity”? What does this mean to you? Have you ever seen people acting this way? Describe what you mean. 2. Falcon flies too far away 4. What is the Second Coming to Yeats? What form will it take? 3. Are they the ”good” and the ”bad”? 5. What kind of relationship do you think Yeats has with Christianity? 4. The rebirth of Christ. A beast? Circular. No. Something that expands outward as it goes up toward chaos and instability.
  14. 14. Postmodernism  Who cares what it means?  Meaninglessness  Texts are related in a web of ideas  Words words words! But what do they mean?  Blurry line between fiction and reality
  15. 15. Postmodernism READ & REACT pp 171-175  What is the relationship between art and meaning, according to a postmodernist?  How can it be said that Postmodernism is playful?  What is the problem with language, according to a postmodernist?  What is the postmodernist’s problem with language? Explain in your own words.  What does metafiction mean? Explain in your own words.  What is intertextuality? What is its purpose?
  16. 16. New Narrative Techniques Postmodernism  Playful disregard of meaning  Decentering a text  Breaking of genre  Intertextuality  Metafiction  Truth is relative  Re-uses many typical traits of Modernism
  17. 17. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead READ & REACT pp 177-182 1. Which lines indicate that Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are feeling confused? Choose three and explain. 2. What information are they sure about? 3. What strategy do they develop to deal with Hamlet? 4. Why won’t Guildenstern agree to go after Hamlet? 5. Who introduces the word game, and how? 6. What are the rules of the game? How is the game scored? 7. Who wins the game? 8. Refer to the postmodern checklist and identify as many elements as you can in this text.
  18. 18. Play at questions Pair up The goal of the game is only to ask questions. If you make a statement, repeat yourself, grunt, use synonyms, rhetoric or non-sequiturs, you foul and give your opponent a point. Every game goes up to three points. One needs to win two games in order to win the entire match.
  19. 19. Thoughts about the person from Porlock READ & REACT pp 183-186 1. What problem does Smith think Coleridge was really having when the person from Porlock interrupted him? 2. Who is the person from Porlock, according to Smith? Describe him. 3. Make a chart where you identify which parts of the poem are regular and rhytmic, and which parts read as fragmentary thoughts in plain verse. 4. Why does Smith say she ”longs for the person from Porlock”? List some of the reasons she gives in the poem. 5. Smith refers to the ”One above” who is experimenting. Who is this? What is being experimented with? Why? 6. Look at the checklist for postmodernism. Which postmodern elements can you find at work in this poem?
  20. 20. Postcolonialism
  21. 21. Feminist Critisism
  22. 22. Harper Lee  A novelist born 1926 in USA  Praised by critics everywhere for her one and only book, which also won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1961  To Kill A Mockingbird contains autobiographical parallells, a method which is widely used by postmodern writers
  23. 23. Discussion  Is To Kill a Mockingbird postmodern?  Why? Why not?  Is Adaptation postmodern?  Why? Why not?
  24. 24. James Joyce  An Irish novelist and poet born in 1882  Influenced modernistic literature greatly with his avant-garde style and his “stream of consciousness”  His most famous works includes: Ulysses, Dubliners and A Portray of the Artist as a Young Man
  25. 25. Virginia Woolf  Born Adeline Virginia Stephen in London in 1882  Joined the intellectual group of artists and writers known as the Bloomsbury  Unique for Woolf ’s texts are the experimentation with psychological conflicts and emotional motives of her characters  Most famous works includes: To the Lighthouse, Orlando, The Waves and Mrs Dalloway
  26. 26. Imagism This is just to say I have eaten the plums that were in the icebox Forgive me they were delicious so sweet and so cold and which you were probably saving for breakfast. By William Carlos Williams
  27. 27. Principles of Imagist Poetry  To use the language of common speech, but to employ the exact word, not the nearly exact, nor the merely decorative word.  To create new rythms … We believe that the individuality of a poet may often be better expressed in free verse than in conventional forms. In poetry, a new cadence means a new idea.  To allow absolute freedom in the choice of subject  To present an image. We are not a school of painters, but we believe that poetry should render particulars exactly and not deal in vague generalities, however magnicient and sonorous. It is for this reason that we oppose the cosmic poet, who seems to us to shirk the real difficulties of this art.  To produce poetry that is hard and clear, never blurred nor indefinite.  Finally, most of us believe that concentration is of the very essence of poetry.
  28. 28. Imagist Poems pp 114-116  Choose one of the poems  Try to identify in what way the principles are evident  Find examples of metaphore and similie  Find examples where other senses than sight are used  Come up with questions and try to answer them  Discuss and try to analyse what emotions it stirs in you

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