Questions tagged [theory]

Questions related to literary theory, i.e. the body of frameworks, ideas and methods about how to interpret literature. This tag can be used for questions about literary terms and theories of literature, including the history of such concepts. For questions about existing interpretations and evaluations, use the [literary-criticism] tag.

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What evidence is there for the “recession of accent” theory?

In the late 19th and early 20th century, there was a theory that certain oddities in the rhythms of Shakespeare and other early modern English poets could best be explained by recession of accent. ...
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Where did Derrida say that he deliberately made his works difficult?

In a comment below the question How does Derrida's Signifying obfuscate his writing?, DJohnson wrote, Just for the record Derrida has been quoted as stating that he deliberately made his ...
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Why did New Historicims and Cultural Materialism develop such an intense interest in Shakespeare and his contemporaries?

In the 1980s and 1990s, New Historicism and Cultural Materialism were two related and very influential schools of literary theory. Below are a few influential titles: Radical Tragedy: Religion, ...
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How did the Frankfurt School's Critical Theory influence literary theory?

The Frankfurt School is a school of social theory and philosophy associated with the University of Frankfurt's Institute for Social Research (German: Institut für Sozialforschung, IfS). It is known ...
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Forms of foregrounding: are recurrence / equivalence the same?

I'm struggling to grasp the difference between the literary devices of recurrence and equivalence. I'm preparing for an exam where we are asked to define these terms. In German, they are referred to ...
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What is the difference between emotions and feelings in Eliot's essay Tradition and the Individual Talent?

In his most famous essay, "Traditional and the Individual Talent", T. S. Eliot appears to make a distinction between emotions and feelings. Read especially the following passage (emphasis mine): ...
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Is Roland Barthes' s/z structuralist or post-structuralist?

In S/Z (1970) the French literary theorist Roland Barthes analysed Balzac's story Sarassine. Is his method of analysis structuralist or post-structuralist?
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What is the difference between emotions and feelings in Wordsworth's Preface to Lyrical Ballads?

In the Preface to the second edition of Lyrical Ballads (1800), Wordsworth famously wrote that all good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: (...). He later adds (my emphasis): ...
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Has Antonin Scalia's version of textualism influenced literary theory or hermeneutics?

The late U. S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia famously advocated a form of textualism, interpreting legal texts as reasonable readers at the time of the law's writing would've understood it. (...
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Where did Derrida say that Jonathan Culler's On Deconstruction is a good introduction to his work?

The works of the French philosopher Jacques Derrida (1930 – 2004) had a significant impact on literary theory, leading to the development of a method of analysis known as deconstruction. (Derrida said ...
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Meaning of vision du monde in Lucien Goldmann's genetic structuralism

In the 1960s the French philosopher, sociologist and literary theorist Lucien Goldmann developed a theory known as "genetic criticism" (e.g. in Sciences humaines et philosophie. Suivi de ...
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How can enjambment be used to enhance rhythm in a poem?

I was wondering how enjambment can be used to improve the rhythm in poetry. I have seen some innovative uses of it by e.e. cummings, such as by breaking a word and writing the ending on the next line....
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What is literature?

Since this site is called Literature Stack Exchange, one of the most basic questions we could ask here is how scholars of literature define literature. We have an older question on the ways academics ...
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What are Cultural Marxism and Critical Theory and how are they related to literary criticism?

Cultural Marxism is a theory claiming that there exists an unholy alliance of abortionists, feminists, globalists, homosexuals, intellectuals and socialists who have translated the far left’s old ...