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Literary Theory 2019

by Dr. Ladina Bezzola / Dr. Thomas Claviez

by Dr. Ladina Bezzola / Dr. Thomas Claviez

Fichier Détails

Cartes-fiches 99
Langue English
Catégorie Littérature
Niveau Université
Crée / Actualisé 12.12.2019 / 15.11.2021
Attribution de licence Attribution (CC BY)    (Ladina Bezzola, Thomas Claviez)
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Theory is...

Systematization, abstract, detachment, general traits, big picture, extrinsic, reflection / contemplation

Criticism is...

close reading of a particular text, concrete, immersion, singular cases, small job, intrinsic, explication /evaluation


the concrete steps undertaken and tools used in the activity of theory


the whole set of these tools and steps and their organization

Human essence

  • The humanist concept of the individual presupposes ‘man’ as human essence that remains untouched by historical or cultural circumstances. 
  • In the Renaissance this essence was called ‘reason’; in the twentieth century it is generally called ‘consciousness’.

concept of ‘subjectivity’

…marks a radical departure from this philosophical tradition of consciousness by giving a more central place to the unconscious and to cultural overdetermination than it does to consciousness.

The two main theorists responsible for this departure are Freud and Marx.

The Marxist Model

literature only plays a secondary role as it cannot change the base, it can only have a mimetic function (is a passive recording) and it cannot transgress

but: good literature shows how things actually are

materialism vs. idealism

“It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness.”

-> Sein bestimmt Bewusstsein