top-rated free essay

What is Literary Criticism?

By lka7ralte Oct 17, 2013 484 Words
This paper is only for testing, just wanna be member.Literary criticism is the study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often informed by literary theory, which is the philosophical discussion of its methods and goals. Though the two activities are closely related, literary critics are not always, and have not always been, theorists.

Whether or not literary criticism should be considered a separate field of inquiry from literary theory, or conversely from book reviewing, is a matter of some controversy. For example, the Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism[1] draws no distinction between literary theory and literary criticism, and almost always uses the terms together to describe the same concept. Some critics consider literary criticism a practical application of literary theory, because criticism always deals directly with particular literary works, while theory may be more general or abstract.

Literary criticism is often published in essay or book form. Academic literary critics teach in literature departments and publish in academic journals, and more popular critics publish their criticism in broadly circulating periodicals such as the Times Literary Supplement, the New York Times Book Review, the New York Review of Books, the London Review of Books, The Nation, and The New Yorker.Classical and medieval criticism

Literary criticism has probably existed for as long as literature. In the 4th century BC Aristotle wrote the Poetics, a typology and description of literary forms with many specific criticisms of contemporary works of art. Poetics developed for the first time the concepts of mimesis and catharsis, which are still crucial in literary study. Plato's attacks on poetry as imitative, secondary, and false were formative as well. Around the same time, Bharata Muni, in his Natya Shastra, wrote literary criticism on ancient Indian literature and Sanskrit drama.

Later classical and medieval criticism often focused on religious texts, and the several long religious traditions of hermeneutics and textual exegesis have had a profound influence on the study of secular texts. This was particularly the case for the literary traditions of the three Abrahamic religions: Jewish literature, Christian literature and Islamic literature.

Literary criticism was also employed in other forms of medieval Arabic literature and Arabic poetry from the 9th century, notably by Al-Jahiz in his al-Bayan wa-'l-tabyin and al-Hayawan, and by Abdullah ibn al-Mu'tazz in his Kitab al-Badi.Renaissance criticism

The literary criticism of the Renaissance developed classical ideas of unity of form and content into literary neoclassicism, proclaiming literature as central to culture, entrusting the poet and the author with preservation of a long literary tradition. The birth of Renaissance criticism was in 1498, with the recovery of classic texts, most notably, Giorgio Valla's Latin translation of Aristotle's Poetics. The work of Aristotle, especially Poetics, was the most important influence upon literary criticism until the late eighteenth century. Lodovico Castelvetro was one of the most influential Renaissance critics who wrote commentaries on Aristotle's Poetics in 1570.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Literary Criticism

    ...Literary Criticism What comes to your mind when you hear the word “criticism”? Nowadays, most people look at criticism as something negative and personally, it has a negative connotation to me. Multimedia (for example, television, radio, etc.) has often depicted criticism as an antagonist. On reality TV shows, say, a singing competition, t...

    Read More
  • Literary Criticism

    ...Psychoanalytical Approach in Literary Criticism (Written report) PSYCHOANALYTICAL APPROACH IN LITERATURE Psychoanalytic literary criticism refers to 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...

    Read More
  • The Relevance of Literary Theory and Criticism Today

    ...Literary Theory and Criticism and Its Relevance Today Literary criticism is primarily the evaluation of the importance of a particular work or body of work on such grounds as: the personal and/or cultural importance of the themes and the uses of language of a text; the insights and impact of a text; and the aesthetic creation (or, performance) ...

    Read More
  • Literary Criticism

    ...BIOGRAPHICAL CRITICISM Biographical criticism begins with the simple but central insight that literature is written by actual people and that understanding an author’s life can help readers more thoroughly comprehend the work. Anyone who reads the biography of a writer quickly sees how much an author’s experience shapes—both directly and ...

    Read More
  • Literary Criticism

    ...Literary Criticism Critics throughout the years agree that F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is one of his most renowned accomplishments in his entire career. Although there are a few who believe this novel was like one of his previous ones. It portrays not only his understanding of the Jazz Age of being happy and having money but also the...

    Read More
  • Literary Criticism

    ...danced & seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the Lake, they looked so gay ever dancing ever changing. This wind blew directly over the lake to them. There was here & there a little knot & a few stragglers a few yards higher up but they were so few as not to disturb the simplicity & unity & life of that one bus...

    Read More
  • Literary Criticisms

    ...January 8, 2013 Assignment #1 1. What are the different types of Literary Criticisms? * New Criticism / Formalism - This type of criticism concerns itself with the parts of a text and how the parts fit together to make a whole. Because of this, it does not bring in any information outside of the text: biography of the author, historic...

    Read More
  • Nature and Function of Literary Criticism

    ...The word criticism is derived from the Greek word meaning " judgment". Hence, criticism was known to be the exercise of judgment on works of literature, or it can be said that criticism is the play of mind to observe the merits and defects on the work of literature. A critic , therefore, is a person who expresses judgment on works of literature ...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.