The Return of Thematic Criticism (Harvard English Studies)

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9780674766877: The Return of Thematic Criticism (Harvard English Studies)

Once it was anathema to speak about the content of a work of art in the wake of high modernism and formalism. Critical practice has moved beyond such limits, and today the focus on themes is the hallmark of feminist, new historicist, ethnic, and even deconstructionist approaches, though that focus may not always be openly declared. This manifesto reasserts the validity of the thematic approach to criticism in our day, bringing together for the first time an international group of critics and theoreticians who have thought deeply about literary motifs and themes.

How can we determine the theme of a given text? May the focus on form be the theme of a certain moment? Can the motif be understood as a formal category? What operations permit us to say that three or four texts constitute variants of the same theme? The contributors challenge the conventional dismissal of "merely" thematic approaches and offer the reader different ways of tackling the issue of what a piece of writing is "about."

The work here comes out of such diverse intellectual traditions as Russian film theory, French phenomenology, Foucault, narratology, the Frankfurt School, intellectual history (Geistesgeschichte), psychoanalytic criticism, linguistics, ideological criticism, Proppian folklore studies, and computerized plot summary models. In addition to a collection of aphorisms from Plato to Robert Coover and a group of general and theoretical essays, this volume contains examples of practical engagement with such topics as literary history, Shakespeare, autumn poetry, anti-Semitism, fading colors, bachelors, Richard Wagner, and the Mexican Revolution. No comparable volume exists.

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About the Author:

Werner Sollors is Henry B. and Anne M. Cabot Professor of English Literature and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University.

Review:

This interdisciplinary collection sets the most advanced poetic and ideological approaches side-by-side to resolve the ancient conflict between formalism and the study of content. As a corollary, Sollor's anthology seeks to sweep away or at least rehabilitate the theoretically impoverished notion-hunting of certain feminists, many new historicists, and race/class/gender critics, to say nothing of second-generation Derrideans... The distinguished contributors...definitely place thematic criticism back on the agenda, and, at the same time, call for a higher level of humanistic discourse. (Virginia Quarterly Review)

This collection of essays on thematic criticism, edited by Werner Sollors, can be considered among the most successful and useful examples of the genre...The Return of Thematic Criticism gives a new turn to, and offers new points of observation on, a critical debate that has reached a phase of general confusion and has entered some blind alleys. It should stimulate a broad discussion of international scope, given the importance of the subject and the numbers of centers of research interested in it. The book can also be of notable help to scholars and students, for it can give new theoretical awareness to those who are engaged in some form of thematic criticism without having a theoretical awareness of what they do and without being bothered to consider the methodological problems involved. (Remo Ceserani Southern Humanities Review)

This study of thematics opens up afresh the problems of literary theory...It also might be an impetus to re-examine the history of postmodernist theory which has co-opted one aspect of thematics in response to modernism but appears to have blithefully ignored what remains problematic. (John Stephen Martin Ariel)

This is a judicious, wide-ranging study. (J. F. O'Malley Choice)

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Editore: HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States (1993)
ISBN 10: 0674766873 ISBN 13: 9780674766877
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Descrizione libro HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 1993. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. New.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Once it was anathema to speak about the content of a work of art in the wake of high modernism and formalism. Critical practice has moved beyond such limits, and today the focus on themes is the hallmark of feminist, new historicist, ethnic, and even deconstructionist approaches, though that focus may not always be openly declared. This manifesto reasserts the validity of the thematic approach to criticism in our day, bringing together for the first time an international group of critics and theoreticians who have thought deeply about literary motifs and themes. How can we determine the theme of a given text? May the focus on form be the theme of a certain moment? Can the motif be understood as a formal category? What operations permit us to say that three or four texts constitute variants of the same theme? The contributors challenge the conventional dismissal of merely thematic approaches and offer the reader different ways of tacking the issues of what a piece of writing is about . The work here comes out of such diverse intellectual traditions as Russian film theory, French phenomenology, Foucault, narratology, the Frankfurt School, intellectual history (Geistesgeschichte), psychoanalytic criticism, linguistics, ideological criticism, Proppian folklore studies, and computerized plot summary models. In addition to a collection of aphorisms from Plato to Robert Coover, and a group of general and theoretical essays, this volume contains examples of practical engagement with such topics as literary history, Shakespeare, autumn poetry, anti-Semitism, fading colours, bachelors, Richard Wagner, and the Mexican Revolution. Contributors include Nancy Armstrong, Claude Bremond, Menachem Brinker, Juan Bruce-Novoa, J.M. Coetzee, Leslie Fielder, Sander L. Gilman, Holger Klein, Harry Levin, Francesco Orlando, Thomas Pavel, David Perkins, Marie-Laure Ryan, Yuri K. Shcheglov, Leon Somville, George Steiner, Raymond Trousson, Michel Vanhelleputte, Lynn Wardley, Theodor Wolpers, Alexander Zholkovsky, and Theodore Ziolkowski. Codice libro della libreria BTE9780674766877

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Descrizione libro Harvard University Press, 1993. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110674766873

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Descrizione libro 1993. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Paperback. Once it was anathema to speak about the content of a work of art in the wake of high modernism and formalism. Critical practice has moved beyond such limits, and today the foc.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 321 pages. 0.440. Codice libro della libreria 9780674766877

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EDITED BY WERNER SOLLORS
Editore: Cumbreland, Rhode Island, U.S.A.: Harvard Univ Pr (1993)
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Descrizione libro Cumbreland, Rhode Island, U.S.A.: Harvard Univ Pr, 1993. Soft cover. Condizione libro: New. Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng. Codice libro della libreria 3E65

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