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 Some scholars, both theoretical and anti-theoretical, refer to the 1970s and 1980s debates on the academic merits of theory as "the theory wars". Text can be read as an author’s unresolved issues in life, resulting in his/her evident work. Their theories of reading derive from vastly different intellectual traditions: the New Critic bases his work on an East-Coast American scholarly and religious tradition, while the Marxist derives his thought from a body of critical social and economic thought, the post-structuralist's work emerges from twentieth-century Continental philosophy of language, and the Darwinian from the modern evolutionary synthesis. Though the chapters in the famous books on literary theories and criticism date back to the days of Plato and even Socrates, I will suggest you all read the book by Peter Barry. For most pre-20th century approaches, the author's intentions are a guiding factor and an important determiner of the "correct" interpretation of texts.  But it was not until the broad impact of structuralism began to be felt in the English-speaking academic world that "literary theory" was thought of as a unified domain. In fact, as much contention as there is between formalism and later schools, they share the tenet that the author's interpretation of a work is no more inherently meaningful than any other. The New Criticism was the first school to disavow the role of the author in interpreting texts, preferring to focus on "the text itself" in a close reading. However, there are the established theories which remain popular and in practice for long compared to a few theories which fade away within years of their proposition.  However, some scholars like Mark Bauerlein continue to argue that less capable theorists have abandoned proven methods of epistemology, resulting in persistent lapses in learning, research, and evaluation.  Since the 19th century, literary scholarship includes literary theory and considerations of intellectual history, moral philosophy, social prophecy, and interdisciplinary themes relevant to how people interpret meaning. Literary theory is the systematic study of the nature of literature and of the methods for literary analysis. Below, I will list the literary theories which are popular, academically discussed and debated and also the topics of many recent research works in the field of English literature.  The New Critics and various European-influenced formalists (particularly the Russian Formalists) had described some of their more abstract efforts as "theoretical" as well. Listed below are some of the most commonly identified schools of literary theory, along with their major authors. . Those who have come to this article directly and want to read the previous article, introduction to literary theory, can click the link to the previous one below: Previous article in the series (introductory): Literary Theory, Next article in the series: Structuralism: Literary Theory, Written by Alok Mishra for English Literature Education, Proudly serving literature students. Literary Theories challenges the out-dated notion that theory is something separable from the act of reading and interpretation and, believing that the best way to learn is through practical application, plunges the student into the midst of a range of critical readings. Broad schools of theory that have historically been important include historical and biographical criticism, New Criticism, formalism, Russian formalism, and structuralism, post-structuralism, Marxism, feminism and French feminism, post-colonialism, new historicism, deconstruction, reader-response criticism, and psychoanalytic criticism. , One of the fundamental questions of literary theory is "what is literature?" The systematic study of the nature of literature. So, without doing the creative work of protracting this introductory paragraph, let’s get directly into finding out different types of literary theories. (1990) "The Storm Over the University", Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Evolutionary approaches to literature & drama", Introduction to Cognitive Cultural Studies, Longinus's On the Sublime (1st century CE), "A Bibliography of Literary Theory, Criticism and Philology", by José Ángel García Landa, "Some Literary Criticism quotes", by Tim Love, Annotated bibliography on literary theory, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Literary_theory&oldid=991219450, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles needing additional references from November 2009, All articles needing additional references, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2019, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2016, Articles that may contain original research from May 2012, All articles that may contain original research, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 7: German, Russian, and Eastern European criticism, 1900-1950, 8: French, Italian and Spanish criticism, 1900-1950, This page was last edited on 28 November 2020, at 22:50. Looks either at the psychological motivations of the characters or of the authors themselves. Specific theories are distinguished not only by their methods and conclusions, but even by how they create meaning in a "text". The theory and criticism of literature are tied to the history of literature. There are many types of literary theory, which take different approaches to texts. However, some theorists acknowledge that these texts do not have a singular, fixed meaning which is deemed "correct". The different interpretive and epistemological perspectives of different schools of theory often arise from, and so give support to, different moral and political commitments. The different interpretive and epistemological perspectives of different schools of theory often arise from, and so give support to, different moral and political commitments. , By the early 1990s, the popularity of "theory" as a subject of interest by itself was declining slightly (along with job openings for pure "theorists") even as the texts of literary theory were incorporated into the study of almost all literature. literary theories and approaches simplified version 1.  In the humanities in modern academia, the latter style of literary scholarship is a development of critical theory. Even among those listed below, many scholars combine methods from more than one of these approaches (for instance, the deconstructive approach of Paul de Man drew on a long tradition of close reading pioneered by the New Critics, and de Man was trained in the European hermeneutic tradition). In the previous article, I have written about the basics or an introduction to literary theory. 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