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Literary theory in a strict sense is the systematic study of the nature of literature and of the methods for analyzing literature. Literature is the Art of written works Literally translated the word means "acquaintance with letters" (from Latin littera letter An epic is a lengthy Narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation As a Literary genre of High culture, romance or chivalric romance refers to a style of heroic Prose and verse Narrative A novel (from Italian novella, Spanish novela, French nouvelle for "new" "news" or "short story Comedy (from the Greek κωμωδίαkomodia has a popular meaning (any discourse generally intended to amuse especially in Television, Film, and Drama is the specific mode of Fiction represented in Performance. Satire is often strictly defined as a literary genre or form; although in practice it is also found in the graphic and Performing arts In satire human A performance, in Performing arts, generally comprises an event in which one group of people (the performer or performers behave in a particular way for another group of people A Book is a set or collection of written printed illustrated or blank sheets made of Paper, Parchment, or other material usually fastened together For the Wikipedia guideline regarding editing articles see WikipediaManual of Style. The following is a list of literary terms; that is those words used in discussion classification criticism and analysis of Literature. The history of literature is the historical development of Writings in Prose or Poetry which attempt to provide Entertainment, enlightenment The History of literature in the Modern period in Europe begins with the Age of Enlightenment and the conclusion of the Baroque period in the 18th century This is a list of lists of Books in Wikipedia General lists List of anonymously published works List of books The following are lists of Writers: By name A &ndash B &ndash Y &ndash Z By type of writing This is a list of literary awards from around the world Worldwide in scope Nobel Prize in Literature Neustadt International Prize This is a list of awards that are or have been given out to writers of Poetry, either for a specific poem collection of poems or body of work Literary criticism is the study discussion evaluation and interpretation of Literature. A literary magazine is a Periodical devoted to Literature in a broad sense Literature is the Art of written works Literally translated the word means "acquaintance with letters" (from Latin littera letter  However, literary scholarship since the 19th century often includes—in addition to, or even instead of literary theory in the strict sense—considerations of intellectual history, moral philosophy, social prophecy, and other interdisciplinary themes.  In the humanities, the latter style of scholarship is often called simply "theory. The humanities are academic disciplines which study the Human condition, using methods that are primarily Analytic, Critical, or Speculative " As a consequence, the word "theory" has become an umbrella term for a variety of scholarly approaches to reading texts. Most of these approaches are informed by various strands of Continental philosophy. Continental philosophy, in contemporary usage refers to a set of traditions of 19th and 20th century philosophy from mainland Europe
One of the fundamental questions of literary theory is "what is literature?", though many contemporary theorists and literary scholars believe either that "literature" cannot be defined or that it can refer to any use of language. Literature is the Art of written works Literally translated the word means "acquaintance with letters" (from Latin littera letter A language is a dynamic set of visual auditory or tactile Symbols of Communication and the elements used to manipulate them Specific theories are distinguished not only by their methods and conclusions, but even by how they define a "text. TEXT is the band founded by Kristofer Steen David Sandström Fredrik Bäckström and Jon F Brännström " For some scholars of literature, "texts" comprises little more than "books belonging to the Western literary canon. The Western canon is a term used to denote a canon of books and more widely music and art, that has been the most influential in " But the principles and methods of literary theory have been applied to non-fiction, popular fiction, film, historical documents, law, advertising, etc. Genre fiction is a term for fictional works ( Novels short stories) written with the intent of fitting into a specific Literary genre , in the related field of cultural studies. Cultural studies is an academic discipline which combines Political economy, Communication, Sociology, Social theory, Literary theory In fact, some scholars within cultural studies treat cultural events, like fashion or football riots, as "texts" to be interpreted. By this measure, literary theory can be thought of as the general theory of interpretation.
Since theorists of literature often draw on a very heterogeneous tradition of Continental philosophy and the philosophy of language, any classification of their approaches is only an approximation. Continental philosophy, in contemporary usage refers to a set of traditions of 19th and 20th century philosophy from mainland Europe Philosophy of language is the reasoned inquiry into the nature origins and usage of Language. There are many "schools" or types of literary theory, which take different approaches to understanding texts. Most theorists, even among those listed below, combine methods from more than one of these approaches (for instance, the deconstructive approach of Paul de Man drew on a long tradition of close reading pioneered by the New Critics, and de Man was trained in the European hermeneutic tradition). Deconstruction is a term used in Philosophy, Literary criticism, and the Social sciences, popularised through its usage by Jacques Derrida in Paul de Man ( December 6, 1919 December 21, 1983) was a Belgian -born Deconstructionist literary critic and In Literary criticism, close reading describes the careful sustained interpretation of a brief passage of text New Criticism was a dominant trend in English and American Literary criticism of the mid twentieth century from the 1920s to the early 1960s Hermeneutics may be described as the development and study of Theories of the interpretation and understanding of texts
Broad schools of theory that have historically been important include the New Criticism, formalism, Russian formalism, and structuralism, post-structuralism, Marxism, feminism and French feminism, Christian, post-colonialism, new historicism, deconstruction, reader-response criticism, and psychoanalytic criticism. New Criticism was a dominant trend in English and American Literary criticism of the mid twentieth century from the 1920s to the early 1960s In Literary theory, formalism refers to critical approaches that analyze interpret or evaluate the inherent features of a text Russian formalism was an influential school of literary criticism in Russia from the 1910s to the 1930s For the use of structuralism in biology see Structuralism (biology Structuralism is an approach to the human sciences that attempts to analyze Post-structuralism encompasses the intellectual developments of continental philosophers and critical theorists who wrote with tendencies of twentieth-century Marxism is the political philosophy and practice derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Feminism is a discourse that involves various movements theories, and Philosophies which are concerned with the issue of Gender difference, advocate Feminism is a discourse that involves various movements theories, and Philosophies which are concerned with the issue of Gender difference, advocate A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth Postcolonialism ( postcolonial theory, post-colonial theory) is an intellectual discourse that holds together a set of theories found among the texts and New Historicism developed in the 1980s primarily through the work of the critic Stephen Greenblatt, and gained widespread influence in the 1990s Deconstruction is a term used in Philosophy, Literary criticism, and the Social sciences, popularised through its usage by Jacques Derrida in Reader-response criticism is a school of Literary theory that focuses on the reader (or " Audience " and his or her experience of a Literary Psychoanalysis is a body of ideas developed by Austrian physician Sigmund Freud and his followers which is devoted to the study of human psychological functioning and behavior
The practice of literary theory became a profession in the 20th century, but it has historical roots that run as far back as ancient Greece (Aristotle's Poetics is an often cited early example) and ancient Rome (Longinus' On the Sublime and Horace's Ars Poetica), and the aesthetic theories of philosophers from ancient philosophy through the 18th and 19th centuries are important influences on current literary study. Aristotle (Greek Aristotélēs) (384 BC – 322 BC was a Greek philosopher a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. Aristotle 's Poetics ( Greek: Ποιητικός, c 335 BCE aims to give an account of what he calls 'poetry' (for him the term includes the Longinus (Λογγῖνος is the conventional name of the author of the treatise On the Sublime (Περὶ ὕψους a work which focuses on the effect of Quintus Horatius Flaccus, ( Venosa, December 8, 65 BC - Rome, November 27, 8 BC known in the English-speaking world as Horace Ars Poetica is a term meaning "The Art of Poetry" or "On the Nature of Poetry" Aesthetics or esthetics ( also spelled æsthetics) is commonly known as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values sometimes called Philosophy is the study of general problems concerning matters such as existence knowledge truth beauty justice validity mind and language This page lists some links to ancient philosophy. In Western philosophy, the spread of Christianity through the Roman Empire marked the end of Hellenistic The theory and criticism of literature are, of course, also closely tied to the history of literature. Literary criticism is the study discussion evaluation and interpretation of Literature. The history of literature is the historical development of Writings in Prose or Poetry which attempt to provide Entertainment, enlightenment
The modern sense of "literary theory," however, dates only to approximately the 1950s, when the structuralist linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure began strongly to influence English language literary criticism. For the use of structuralism in biology see Structuralism (biology Structuralism is an approach to the human sciences that attempts to analyze Ferdinand de Saussure (fɛʁdinɑ̃ də soˈsyːʁ ( November 26, 1857 – February 22, 1913) was a Swiss linguist English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States The New Critics and various European-influenced formalists (particularly the Russian Formalists) had described some of their more abstract efforts as "theoretical" as well. New Criticism was a dominant trend in English and American Literary criticism of the mid twentieth century from the 1920s to the early 1960s In Literary theory, formalism refers to critical approaches that analyze interpret or evaluate the inherent features of a text Russian formalism was an influential school of literary criticism in Russia from the 1910s to the 1930s But it was not until the broad impact of structuralism began to be felt in the English-speaking academic world that "literary theory" was thought of as a unified domain.
In the academic world of the United Kingdom and the United States, literary theory was at its most popular from the late 1960s (when its influence was beginning to spread outward from elite universities like Johns Hopkins and Yale) through the 1980s (by which time it was taught nearly everywhere in some form). During this span of time, literary theory was perceived as academically cutting-edge research, and most university literature departments sought to teach and study theory and incorporate it into their curricula. Because of its meteoric rise in popularity and the difficult language of its key texts, theory was also often criticized as faddish or trendy obscurantism (and many academic satire novels of the period, such as those by David Lodge, feature theory prominently). Obscurantism (from the Latin obscurans, "darkening" is the practice of deliberately preventing the facts or full details of something from becoming known David John Lodge CBE, (born January 28, 1935 at Brockley London, England) is a British author Some scholars, both theoretical and anti-theoretical, refer to the 1970s and 1980s debates on the academic merits of theory as "the theory wars. "
By the early 1990s, the popularity of "theory" as a subject of interest by itself was declining slightly (along with job openings for pure "theorists") even as the texts of literary theory were incorporated into the study of almost all literature. As of 2004, the controversy over the use of theory in literary studies has all but died out, and discussions on the topic within literary and cultural studies tend now to be considerably milder and less acrimonious (though the appearance of volumes such as Theory's Empire: An Anthology of Dissent, edited by Nathan Parker with Andrew Costigan, may signal a resurgence of the controversy). "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again " Some scholars draw heavily on theory in their work, while others only mention it in passing or not at all; but it is an acknowledged, important part of the study of literature.
The intellectual traditions and priorities of the various kinds of literary theory are often radically different. Even finding a set of common terms to compare them by can be difficult.
For instance, the work of the New Critics often contained an implicit moral dimension, and sometimes even a religious one: a New Critic might read a poem by T. S. Eliot or Gerard Manley Hopkins for its degree of honesty in expressing the torment and contradiction of a serious search for belief in the modern world. New Criticism was a dominant trend in English and American Literary criticism of the mid twentieth century from the 1920s to the early 1960s Thomas Stearns Eliot, OM (September 26 1888 – January 4 1965 was a poet Dramatist, and Literary critic. Gerard Manley Hopkins ( 28 July 1844 – 8 June, 1889) was an English Poet, Roman Catholic convert and Meanwhile a Marxist critic might find such judgments merely ideological rather than critical; the Marxist would say that the New Critical reading did not keep enough critical distance from the poem's religious stance to be able to understand it. Marxism is the political philosophy and practice derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Or a post-structuralist critic might simply avoid the issue by understanding the religious meaning of a poem as an allegory of meaning, treating the poem's references to "God" by discussing their referential nature rather than what they refer to. Post-structuralism encompasses the intellectual developments of continental philosophers and critical theorists who wrote with tendencies of twentieth-century
Such a disagreement cannot be easily resolved, because it is inherent in the radically different terms and goals (that is, the theories) of the critics. Their theories of reading derive from vastly different intellectual traditions: the New Critic bases his work on an East-Coast American scholarly and religious tradition, while the Marxist derives his thought from a body of critical social and economic thought, and the post-structuralist's work emerges from twentieth-century Continental philosophy of language. To expect such different approaches to have much in common would be naïve; so calling them all "theories of literature" without acknowledging their heterogeneity is itself a reduction of their differences.
In the late 1950s, Canadian literary critic Northrop Frye attempted to establish an approach for reconciling historical criticism and New Criticism while addressing concerns of early reader-response and numerous psychological and social approaches. Herman Northrop Frye, CC, MA (Oxon, DD, DLitt, FRSC ( July 14, 1912 &ndash January 23, 1991 His approach, laid out in his Anatomy of Criticism, was explicitly structuralist, relying on the assumption of an intertextual "order of words" and universality of certain structural types. Herman Northrop Frye 's Anatomy of Criticism Four Essays (Princeton University Press 1957 attempts to formulate an overall view of the scope theory principles His approach held sway in English literature programs for several decades but lost favor during the ascendence of post-structuralism.
For some theories of literature (especially certain kinds of formalism), the distinction between 'literary' and other sorts of texts is of paramount importance. Other schools (particularly post-structuralism in its various forms: new historicism, deconstruction, some strains of Marxism and feminism) have sought to break down distinctions between the two and have applied the tools of textual interpretation to a wide range of 'texts', including film, non-fiction, historical writing, and even cultural events.
Bakhtin argued that the "utter inadequacy" of literary theory is evident when it is forced to deal with the novel; other genres are intact already stabilized while the novel is still young and developing. Mikhail Mikhailovich Bakhtin ( Russian: Михаил Михайлович Бахти́н mʲɪxʌˈil mʲɪˈxajləvʲɪʨ bʌxˈtʲin ( November 17, 1895 A novel (from Italian novella, Spanish novela, French nouvelle for "new" "news" or "short story 
Another crucial distinction among the various theories of literary interpretation is intentionality, the amount of weight given to the author's own opinions about and intentions for a work. For most pre-20th century approaches, the author's intentions are a guiding factor and an important determiner of the 'correct' interpretation of texts. The New Criticism was the first school to disavow the role of the author in interpreting texts, preferring to focus on "the text itself" in a close reading. In Literary criticism, close reading describes the careful sustained interpretation of a brief passage of text In fact, as much contention as there is between formalism and later schools, they share the tenet that the author's interpretation of a work is no more inherently meaningful than any other.
Listed below are some of the most commonly identified schools of literary theory, along with their major authors. In many cases, such as those of the historian and philosopher Michel Foucault and the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, the authors were not primarily literary critics, but their work has been broadly influential in literary theory. Michel Foucault ( (15 October 1926 – 25 June 1984 was a French philosopher, Historian, Intellectual, Critic and Sociologist. Claude Lévi-Strauss (klod levi stʁos born 28 November 1908 is a French Anthropologist.