By David Carter
A pocket advisor to the most important innovations of literary idea, explaining them in transparent, obtainable language. slicing during the usually complicated welter of peripheral writing on what could be an vastly unwieldy topic, David Carter covers the foremost thinkers, writers and theories in present lit-crit use, together with Derrida; Baudrillard; Habermas; Postmodernism; Deconstruction; Formalism; Hermeneutics; and Reception thought. a useful source for college students and readers.
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Additional info for Literary Theory (Pocket Essential series)
This was not, of course, new in the theory of literature. The time sequence of events in a Greek tragedy, for example, is clearly different to that of the events it relates. Usually the tragedy starts with a report of what happened before and then the audience is plunged into the middle of events (in medias res), with occasional references back to earlier stages in the story. Boris Tomashevski developed further a concept that Shklovsky had first formulated in his essay on the English author Lawrence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy.
Thus, a narrative may adopt either of two structures: there is a contract or other principle of order, which is violated and subsequently punished, or there is the absence of such a contract (disorder) with a subsequent establishment of order. Greek tragedies and some of Shakespeare’s plays conform to the first structure and American novels of the Wild West conform to the second. It must be stressed that Greimas’ approach enables the reader to identify how meaning is created in the text but does not imply any 49 Literary Theory 23/5/06 8:40 am Page 50 DAV I D CA RT E R specific interpretation.
He abhorred the notion of order and systems with central controlling principles. Social structures consist of various levels in complex interaction with each other and often in mutual conflict. One level may dominate the rest at any time but this is itself determined by economic 62 Literary Theory 23/5/06 8:40 am Page 63 L I T E R A RY T H E O RY factors. In A Letter on Art, Althusser considers art to be located somewhere between ideology and scientific knowledge. A work of literature he sees in a somewhat negative light: it neither provides a full understanding of the real world, nor does it simply lend expression to the ideology of a specific class.
Literary Theory (Pocket Essential series) by David Carter