Download PDF by Kenneth Womack, Todd F. Davis: Formalist Criticism and Reader-Response Theory

By Kenneth Womack, Todd F. Davis

ISBN-10: 033376532X

ISBN-13: 9780333765326

This helpful advisor bargains an available advent to 2 vital pursuits within the heritage of twentieth century literary thought. A complementary textual content to the Palgrave quantity Postmodern Narrative concept by way of Mark Currie, this new identify addresses a number of theoretical issues, in addition to each one field's valuable figures and interpretive modes. As with different books within the Transitions sequence, Formalist feedback and Reader-Response thought comprises readings of a number of widely-studied texts, together with Joseph Conrad's center of Darkness, Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, and F. Scott Fitzgerald's the good Gatsby, between others.

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An important fixture at Cambridge, Leavis’s role as critic cannot be divorced from his role as teacher, nor should his position as chief editor of the journal Scrutiny, which published most of his scholarship before it was collected in book form, be overlooked. As the journal’s nomenclature suggests, for Leavis, ‘scrutiny’ is the critic’s main concern. While many critics attack Leavis’s lack of specificity in his practice of scrutinizing a given text – most notably René Wellek debated Leavis on this matter in the pages of Scrutiny in 1937 – little doubt remains that Leavis’s demands for close reading, practical criticism, and a celebration of what he called Life left an indelible mark upon the ways literature was brought before the masses – both in school and in the generally educated public of England.

Next, Richards names the ‘pervasive influence of mnemonic irrelevancies’ (15) as a consistent barrier to any apprehension of the poem. As a precursor to Wimsatt and Beardsley’s affective fallacy, this desire on the part of the reader to introduce ‘some personal scene or adventure, erratic associations, the interference of emotional reverberations from a past which may have nothing to do with the poem,’ Richards contends, often interferes with the student’s understanding of the poem. ’ What many of these ‘problems’ have in common is an a priori theoretical perspective that Richards believes inhibits or restricts the student from seeing the poem for what it really is.

A richly textured narrative technique inherent in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian prose, skaz refers to literary works in which metaphor, theme, and point of view function according to the stylistic requirements of oral narration and folktales. In a 1918 essay, ‘The Illusion of the Skaz,’ Eichenbaum offers a detailed discussion of skaz as a literary phenomenon, as well as a vehicle for understanding the fundamental nature of plot as a structural element. In addition to defining plot as the ‘interweaving of motifs by the aid of their motivations’ (qtd.

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Formalist Criticism and Reader-Response Theory by Kenneth Womack, Todd F. Davis

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