Essays on literary theory

Hans Robert Jaussthe German theorist, inspired by the phenomenological method of Husserl and Heideggeris Hermeneutics, gave a historical dimension to reader-oriented criticism by developing a version of Reader Response Criticism known as Reception Theory in his book, New Literary History. The renowned cultural theorist, Stuart Hallis one of the main proponents of reception theory; he developed it for media and communication studies from the literary- and history-oriented approaches. Another leading exponent of German reception theory, Wolfgang Iserdrew heavily on the phenomenological aesthetics of Roman Ingarden and the writings of Hans-Georg Gadamer. In his work, The Act of Reading:

Essays on literary theory

After all, both literary theory and the essay in the present day dismantle logical, temporal, and causal order, reject narrative closure, and posit the mediation of subjectivity as a constituent element of intellectual inquiry.

Not only because of their closely aligned discursive and theoretical structures, but also because they both arise in the same period, the essay and modern literary theory naturally bear the signs of mutual influence.

To determine, however, whether literary theory influenced the essay more or the essay literary theory would suppress the complex aesthetic, social, and economic entanglements between them.

Because of the interdisciplinary force of postmodern and present-day literary theory, and because much of what we consider literary theory today evolves directly out of debates within theology, philosophy, and natural science, most often articulated and advanced in the essay, it is necessary to define literary theory for the purposes of this study in the broadest possible terms.

Intro to Literary Theory

Certainly both literary theorists and scholars of the essay have reached far back into the past to reclaim their heritage from writers and from among genres that predate the named existence of either of these relative latecomers to the literary marketplace.

The most obvious generic overlap between the essay and literary theory is the representation of the self in writing.

Although such discursive representation is most comprehensively realized in autobiography, it has long been represented in Western philosophy by metaphors of writing. If for Montaigne the essay was an attempt to capture thought in the very process of formation, we must view his Essaisas an early blueprint of cognition and subjectivity commensurate with the skeptical empiricism of early modernity.

Such discursive models of cognition predate Montaigne: Aristotle, for example, had envisaged the mind as a wax tablet, upon which empirical experience was imprinted.

Locke and Hume represented cognition as a tabula rasa, a blank sheet that stores an infinite number of sense impressions, while for Noam Chomsky the mind is like a block of veined marble, capable of preserving only a finite number of shapes. That the essay has not only been the vehicle of publication for these cognitive blueprints, but has also imitated their shapes, suggests the profound versatility of this genre: As these representations of the mind as metaphors of writing suggest, any attempt to formulate modern subjectivity in— or as—an act of writing will push the generic boundaries of writing itself to new limits.

It was hardly by chance, then, that the essay emerged in the Renaissance, the term itself announcing the rebirth of classical learning in theory, but proving its demise in practice. The Newtonian and Cartesian advancement in physics outstripped Pythagorean mathematics.

And, finally, a prose revolution inaugurated by Erasmus and Rabelais, and brought to fruition by Montaigne, Bacon, Hobbes, and subsequent generations of philosopher essayists, eradicated the artificial symmetry of Ciceronian language, undermining, as it did so, the whole intricate structure of the correspondent universe.

In sum, the empirical sciences colluded with the essay to undermine the Renaissance world picture, positing in its stead a secular, materialist world view. We might trace in the skeptical empiricism of this new philosophy the antecedents to the postmodern theoretical essay, whose tendency toward authorial self-disclosure, anti-systematic thinking, and an insurgence against received tradition suggests that modern criticism, although claiming to reinvent itself with every generation, is just another variation of an old form.

*Literary Theory and the Essay

Here are the fragments of T. What Donne, the early Modernist Arnold, and the late Modernist Eliot would mourn, postmodern critics following the lead of Barthes and Adorno would eulogize.

In short, what Barthes here celebrates as the pleasures of openended textuality is precisely the form and substance of the essay. The expansion of the bourgeois public sphere in the 18th century, enabled by imperial affluence, was accompanied by an increase in leisure time, a boom in print culture, the birth of literary and philosophical societies, and the legislation of civic institutions, such as libraries and museums.

Central to the development of intellectual culture and the advent of professional art criticism was the appearance of coffeehouses throughout Europe. These urban literary circles shaped the critical essay in the modern sense: The Adams-powered platen press in the s and the Wharfedale cylinder press of the s revolutionized print culture.

The ability to mass-produce printed material rapidly, cheaply, and more efficiently presaged a rise in the private press in both Britain and the United States.- “Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory” by Peter Barry is a book that presents literary and cultural theory in a systematic, simple and coherent way.

Literary Theory Essay.

Formalist Literary Theory - Sample Essays

Literary Theory Essay. This essay asks you to choose one of the theories presented in class—Psychoanalytic theory, such as term papers, research papers, thesis papers, essays, dissertations and other custom writing services inclusive of research material, for assistance purposes only.

These custom papers should be. parts of a theory. You will want to give a brief summary of the theory so that the reader understands exactly what lens you’re applying to the text. You may want to provide that summary before the presentation of your actual analysis, or you can interweave details of the theory as they become necessary in the midst of your analysis.

Essays on literary theory

Essays on Literary theory. The Literary theory is one of the most popular assignments among students' documents. If you are stuck with writing or missing ideas, scroll down and find inspiration in the best samples.

Literary theory is quite a rare and popular topic for writing an essay. Skirting The Issue: Essays In Literary Theory (Financial Analysis; 76) ( How may feminist strategies of reading appropriate the literary theory developed in France since the s?

Barthes, and other French theorists into the very fabric of her critical readings. In these brilliant essays on Proust and Beckett. More Essay Examples on Comparison Rubric. Many academicians perceive “hybridity” as a concept interrelated in the era of post-colonialism - Hybridity (Literary Theory) introduction.

Accordingly, scholars of the 19th century are influenced by the ideas justifying colonialism; interrelating multicultural concepts as a result of interrelationship between the colonist and the colonized in a.

Literary Theory | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy