Colonial literature[ edit ] Because of the large immigration to Boston in the s, the articulation of Puritan ideals, and the early establishment of a college and a printing press in Cambridgethe New England colonies have often been regarded as the center of early American literature. However, the first European settlements in North America had been founded elsewhere many years earlier.
Literary and Cultural Theory 1. What Is Literary Theory? Literary theory refers to any principles derived from internal analysis of literary texts or from knowledge external to the text that can be applied in multiple interpretive situations. All critical practice regarding literature depends on an underlying structure of ideas in at least two ways: For example, to speak of the "unity" of Oedipus the King explicitly invokes Aristotle's theoretical statements on poetics.
Critics that explain the climactic drowning of Edna Pontellier in The Awakening as a suicide generally call upon a supporting architecture of feminist and gender theory. The structure of ideas that enables criticism of a literary work may or may not be acknowledged by the critic, and the status of literary theory within the academic discipline of literary studies continues to evolve.
Literary theory and the formal practice of literary interpretation runs a parallel but less well known course with the history of philosophy and is evident in the historical record at least as far An overview of the american literary as Plato. The Cratylus contains a Plato's meditation on the relationship of words and the things to which they refer.
Modern literary theory gradually emerges in Europe during the nineteenth century. In one of the earliest developments of literary theory, German "higher criticism" subjected biblical texts to a radical historicizing that broke with traditional scriptural interpretation.
This dispute was taken up anew by the French theorist Roland Barthes in his famous declaration of the "Death of the Author. Nietzsche's critique of knowledge has had a profound impact on literary studies and helped usher in an era of intense literary theorizing that has yet to pass.
Attention to the etymology of the term "theory," from the Greek "theoria," alerts us to the partial nature of theoretical approaches to literature. This is precisely what literary theory offers, though specific theories often claim to present a complete system for understanding literature.
The current state of theory is such that there are many overlapping areas of influence, and older schools of theory, though no longer enjoying their previous eminence, continue to exert an influence on the whole.
The once widely-held conviction an implicit theory that literature is a repository of all that is meaningful and ennobling in the human experience, a view championed by the Leavis School in Britain, may no longer be acknowledged by name but remains an essential justification for the current structure of American universities and liberal arts curricula.
The moment of "Deconstruction" may have passed, but its emphasis on the indeterminacy of signs that we are unable to establish exclusively what a word means when used in a given situation and thus of texts, remains significant. Many critics may not embrace the label "feminist," but the premise that gender is a social construct, one of theoretical feminisms distinguishing insights, is now axiomatic in a number of theoretical perspectives.
While literary theory has always implied or directly expressed a conception of the world outside the text, in the twentieth century three movements—"Marxist theory" of the Frankfurt School, "Feminism," and "Postmodernism"—have opened the field of literary studies into a broader area of inquiry.
Marxist approaches to literature require an understanding of the primary economic and social bases of culture since Marxist aesthetic theory sees the work of art as a product, directly or indirectly, of the base structure of society.
Feminist thought and practice analyzes the production of literature and literary representation within the framework that includes all social and cultural formations as they pertain to the role of women in history. Postmodern thought consists of both aesthetic and epistemological strands.
Postmodernism in art has included a move toward non-referential, non-linear, abstract forms; a heightened degree of self-referentiality; and the collapse of categories and conventions that had traditionally governed art. Postmodern thought has led to the serious questioning of the so-called metanarratives of history, science, philosophy, and economic and sexual reproduction.
Under postmodernity, all knowledge comes to be seen as "constructed" within historical self-contained systems of understanding. Marxist, feminist, and postmodern thought have brought about the incorporation of all human discourses that is, interlocking fields of language and knowledge as a subject matter for analysis by the literary theorist.
Using the various poststructuralist and postmodern theories that often draw on disciplines other than the literary—linguistic, anthropological, psychoanalytic, and philosophical—for their primary insights, literary theory has become an interdisciplinary body of cultural theory.
Taking as its premise that human societies and knowledge consist of texts in one form or another, cultural theory for better or worse is now applied to the varieties of texts, ambitiously undertaking to become the preeminent model of inquiry into the human condition.
Literary theory is a site of theories: The other schools of literary theory, to varying degrees, embrace a postmodern view of language and reality that calls into serious question the objective referent of literary studies.
The following categories are certainly not exhaustive, nor are they mutually exclusive, but they represent the major trends in literary theory of this century.Psychoanalytic literary criticism is literary criticism or literary theory which, in method, concept, or form, is influenced by the tradition of psychoanalysis begun by Sigmund Freud..
Psychoanalytic reading has been practiced since the early development of psychoanalysis itself, and has developed into a heterogeneous interpretive tradition. “An Overview of American Literature” conquest of the Americas.
The development of the printing press fifty years before Columbus’s first voyage. Mark Twain () A selective list of online literary criticism for the nineteenth-century American novelist and story writer Mark Twain, favoring signed articles and articles published in .
Video: Overview of Literary Periods and Movements: A Historical Crash Course When it comes to studying literature, there's about years of it to take in - and that's just in the English language!
American Literature does not easily lend itself to classification by time period.
The Postbac Premed Program allows students, alongside all other Columbia University undergraduates, to complete the academic prerequisites for admission to schools of allopathic medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and graduate programs in allied health fields such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, or physician’s assistant programs. Mark Twain () A selective list of online literary criticism for the nineteenth-century American novelist and story writer Mark Twain, favoring signed articles and articles published in . Gale's research resources include unique online databases, library primary sources, newspaper digital archives, eBooks, courses and large print books.
Given the size of the United States and its varied population, there are often several literary movements happening at the same time. Literary Theory "Literary theory" is the body of ideas and methods we use in the practical reading of literature.
By literary theory we refer not to the meaning of a work of literature but to the theories that reveal what literature can mean.