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ENGL301: Introduction to Literary Theory

Unit 2: Form, Structure, and Signs   In this unit you will explore, in greater detail, some of the first schools of literary thought that arose in the 20th century. These interpretive approaches are text-oriented, sharing an emphasis on literary form and textual device. According to many of the thinkers you will encounter in this unit, neither the author’s intention for a work of literary art, nor the context in which the work was written, matters when deriving meaning from that work.

Unit 2 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take you approximately 13 hours.

☐    Subunit 2.1: 4 hours ☐    Subunit 2.1.1: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 2.1.2: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 2.2: 7 hours ☐    Subunit 2.2.1: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 2.2.2: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 2.2.3: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 2.2.4: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 2.3: 2 hours ☐    Subunit 2.3.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 2.3.2: 1 hour

Unit2 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
- define formalism and Russian formalism and explain the related concept of defamiliarization; - describe and define New Criticism, and explain the concepts of the intentional and affective fallacies; and - explain the major tenets of structuralism.

2.1 Formalism   2.1.1 Key Concepts, Practices, and Figures   - Reading: The University of Tennessee’s Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Dr. Vince Brewton’s “Formalism and New Criticism”

Link: The University of Tennessee’s *Internet Encyclopedia of
Philosophy: Dr.* Vince Brewton’s [“Formalism and New
Criticism”](http://www.iep.utm.edu/literary/#H3) (HTML)  

Instructions: Read the section titled “Formalism and New Criticism”
in *Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy* for a basic introduction to
literary theories.  

 Following your reading, consider answering the following questions:
What is formalism? What is New Criticism? What made New Criticism
“new,” exactly? How did New Criticism change the way literature was
understood and interpreted? As you continue studying literary theory
in this course, consider how the principles of New Criticism have
subsequently been used throughout different modes and methods of
literary theory.  

 Reading this section and considering the above study questions
should take approximately 1 hour.


 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Lecture: Yale University’s Open Yale Courses: Introduction to Theory of Literature: Dr. Paul H. Fry’s “Lecture 7: Russian Formalism”

    Link: Yale University’s Open Yale Courses: Introduction to Theory of Literature: Dr. Paul H. Fry’s “Lecture 7: Russian Formalism” (YouTube)

    Also available in:
    HTML, MP3, Adobe Flash, and Quicktime

    Instructions: Watch Dr. Fry’s 49-minute lecture. Note that a transcript of the lecture, an audio MP3 file, and Flash and QuickTime versions of the video are available through Yale’s Open Yale Courses website, also linked above.

    After watching the lecture, consider answering the following questions: How does formalism per se differ from Russian formalism? How are the two theories connected?
     
    Watching this lecture should take approximately 1 hour. 

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

2.1.2 Defamiliarization: Experience and Language   - Reading: The University of Toronto: Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown’s Glossary of Literary Theory: “Defamiliarization;” Project Gutenberg’s version of Leo Tolstoy’s The Kreutzer Sonata: “Chapter 2;” and Harvard University’s version of Victor Shklovsky’s “Art as Technique”

Link: The University of Toronto: Greig E. Henderson and Christopher
Brown’s *Glossary of Literary Theory*:
[“Defamiliarization”](http://www.library.utoronto.ca/utel/glossary/Defamiliarization.html) (HTML);
Project Gutenberg’s version of Leo Tolstoy’s *The Kreutzer Sonata*:
[“Chapter
2”](http://www.gutenberg.org/files/689/689-h/689-h.htm#link2HCH0002) (HTML);
and Harvard University’s version of Victor Shklovsky’s “[Art as
Technique](https://web.archive.org/web/20120417030149/http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~cultagen/academic/shklovsky1.pdf)” (PDF)  

 *The Kreutzer Sonata*is also available in:  
 [Google
Books](http://books.google.com/books?id=jDEVAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=THE+KREUTZER+SONATA&hl=en&ei=0ZFZTNXvJJShnwfmpITMCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=book-thumbnail&resnum=1&ved=0CCsQ6wEwAA)  
 [PDF](http://www2.hn.psu.edu/faculty/jmanis/tolstoy/kreutzer.pdf)  

[Kindle](http://www.amazon.com/The-Kreutzer-Sonata-ebook/dp/B000XUDFWW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1280938471&sr=1-1)  
    
Instructions: Access the readings, including a definition of
*defamiliarization* and chapter 2 of Leo Tolstoy’s novella *The
Kreutzer Sonata*. For the chapter in *The Kreutzer Sonata*, consider
how formalists would read this chapter as an example of
defamiliarization. Then, read Russian critic Victor Shklovsly’s
essay “Art as Technique,” in which Shklovsky specifically discusses
defamiliarization in *The Kreutzer Sonata*.  

 Following your reading, consider answering the following questions:
Why has defamiliarization been considered an important technique in
the study of literature? How does the second chapter of *The
Kreutzer Sonata* present an occurrence of defamiliarization?  

 Reading these sections should take approximately 2 hours.


 Terms of Use: “Defamiliarization” has been reposted by the kind
permission of Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown, and can be
viewed in original form
[here](http://www.library.utoronto.ca/utel/glossary/Defamiliarization.html).
Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be
reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the
copyright holder. For *The Kreutzer Sonata* and “Art as Technique,”
please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the
webpages above.

2.2 New Criticism   2.2.1 Forerunners to the Movement   - Reading: Bartleby.com’s version of T.S. Eliot’s “Tradition and the Individual Talent” Link: Bartleby.com’s version of T.S. Eliot’s “Tradition and the Individual Talent” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read Eliot’s short essay, which played a role in
launching *New Criticism* as a literary movement. Be sure to read
the introduction at the onset of the reading for more context on the
implications of Eliot’s seminal essay. Eliot’s “Tradition and the
Individual Talent” contains a number of ideas that influenced the
development of New Criticism, including the redefinition of
tradition, the rejection of conventional critical methods, and the
formulation of concepts such as the *objective correlative*.  

 Following your reading, consider answering the following questions:
What does Eliot suppose to be the role of tradition in the
development of English poetry? Why does he feel tradition is often
overlooked in literary studies? What does Eliot mean by *tradition*,
exactly? What is an *objective correlative*, and why does the author
consider this concept so vital to strong literature?  


Reading this essay and considering the above study questions should
take approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.      
  • Lecture: Yale University’s Open Yale Courses: Introduction to Theory of Literature: Dr. Paul H. Fry’s “Lecture 14: Influence”

    Link: Yale University’s Open Yale Courses: Introduction to Theory of Literature: Dr. Paul H. Fry’s “Lecture 14: Influence” (YouTube)
     
    Also available in:
    HTML, MP3, Adobe Flash, and Quicktime
     
    Instructions: Watch the 51-minute lecture for a discussion of Eliot’s influence on New Criticism. Note that a transcript of the lecture, an audio MP3 file, and Flash and QuickTime versions of the video are available through Yale’s Open Yale Courses website, also linked above.

    After watching the lecture, consider answering the following question: Why is tracing influence an important part of literary study, according to Dr. Fry?

    Watching this lecture should take approximately 1 hour.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

2.2.2 Development in the American Universities of the 1930s   - Reading: The University of Tennessee’s Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Dr. Vince Brewton’s “Formalism and New Criticism”

Link: The University of Tennessee’s *Internet Encyclopedia of
Philosophy:* Dr. Vince Brewton’s* *[“Formalism and New
Criticism”](http://www.iep.utm.edu/literary/#H3) (HTML)  

Instructions: Read the section titled “Formalism and New Criticism.”
Note that this reading was assigned earlier in the course for
introductory purposes; as you review the reading, focus in
particular on the evolution of the American school of New Critics in
the 1930s and 1940s.  

 Following your reading, consider answering the following questions:
What is the relationship between *formalism* and *New Criticism*?
What social, political, and artistic changes during the 1930s and
1940s brought about New Criticism?  
    
 Reading this section should take approximately 30 minutes.


 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

2.2.3 Intentional and Affective Fallacies and the Triumph of Close Reading   - Reading: The University of Toronto: Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown’s Glossary of Literary Theory: “Affective Fallacy” and “Intentional Fallacy;” Southern Methodist University’s version of William Wimsatt and Monroe Beardsley’s “The Intentional Fallacy”

Link: The University of Toronto: Greig E. Henderson and Christopher
Brown’s *Glossary of Literary Theory*: [“Affective
Fallacy”](https://resources.saylor.org/wwwresources/archived/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Affective-Fallacy.pdf) (PDF)
and [“Intentional
Fallacy”](https://resources.saylor.org/wwwresources/archived/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Intentional-Fallacy.pdf) (PDF);
Southern Methodist University’s version of William Wimsatt and
Monroe Beardsley’s [“The Intentional
Fallacy”](http://faculty.smu.edu/nschwart/seminar/Fallacy.htm) (HTML)  

Instructions: Access the readings, beginning with definitions of
*affective fallacy* and *intentional fallacy*. Then, read Wimsatt
and Beardsley’s essay titled “The Intentional Fallacy,” from their
book *The Verbal Icon: Studies in the Meaning of Poetry, *for
further discussion of these terms.  

 Following your reading, consider answering the following
question: What is the difference between *affective fallacy* and
*intentional fallacy*?  

 Reading these sections should take approximately 1.5 hours.


 Terms of Use: “Affective Fallacy” and “Intentional Fallacy” have
been reposted by the kind permission of Greig E. Henderson and
Christopher Brown, and can be viewed in their original form
[here](http://www.library.utoronto.ca/utel/glossary/Affecttive_fallacy.html)
and
[here](http://www.library.utoronto.ca/utel/glossary/Intentional_fallacy.html).
Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be
reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the
copyright holder. For the Wimsatt and Beardsley article, please
respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage
above.
  • Lecture: Yale University’s Open Yale Courses: Introduction to Theory of Literature: Dr. Paul H. Fry’s “Lecture 5: The Idea of the Autonomous Artwork”

    Link: Yale University’s Open Yale Courses: Introduction to Theory of Literature: Dr. Paul H. Fry’s “Lecture 5: The Idea of the Autonomous Artwork” (YouTube)
     
    Also available in:
    HTML, MP3, Adobe Flash, and Quicktime
     
    Instructions: Watch the 46-minute lecture. Note that a transcript of the lecture, an audio MP3 file, and Flash and QuickTime versions of the video are available through Yale’s Open Yale Courses website, also linked above.

    After watching the lecture, consider answering the following questions: What is an autonomous artwork, according to Dr. Fry? What might an example of a non-autonomous artwork be?

    Watching this lecture should take approximately 1 hour.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

2.2.4 What Is “New” about New Criticism?   - Reading: Bartleby.com’s version of John Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn” and Mrbauld.com: Cleanth Brooks’s “Keats’ Sylvan Historian: History without Footnotes” Link: Bartleby.com’s version of John Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn” (HTML) and Mrbauld.com: Cleanth Brooks’s “Keats’ Sylvan Historian: History without Footnotes” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” followed by Cleanth Brooks’s critical essay.
In his essay on Keats’s famous poem about art and its relation to beauty, Cleanth Brooks performs a close reading, examining the devices and poetic choices that Keats has made in order to derive meaning from the poem. Brooks’s reading is a quintessential example of a New Critical approach to a text.

 Following your reading, consider answering the following questions:
What does Keats suggest about art, beauty, and time in his poem? How
does Brooks’s piece respond to Keats’s poetry and his theory of
artistic creation? How does Brooks’s approach exemplify New
Criticism?  


Completing these readings should take approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above.
  • Lecture: Yale University’s Open Yale Courses: Introduction to Theory of Literature: Dr. Paul H. Fry’s “Lecture 6: The New Criticism and Other Western Formalisms”

    Link: Yale University’s Open Yale Courses: Introduction to Theory of Literature: Dr. Paul H. Fry’s “Lecture 6: The New Criticism and Other Western Formalisms” (YouTube)
     
    Also available in:
    HTML, MP3, Adobe Flash, and Quicktime
     
    Instructions: Watch the 50-minute lecture. Note that a transcript of the lecture, an audio MP3 file, and Flash and QuickTime versions of the videoare available through Yale’s Open Yale Courses website, also linked above.

    After watching the lecture, consider answering the following questions: What are the “other Western formalisms” that Dr. Fry mentions? How are these approaches to formalism different from formalism per se?

    Watching this lecture should take approximately 1 hour.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

2.3 Structuralism   2.3.1 Structuralism: Similarities to and Differences from Formalism   - Reading: The University of Tennessee’s Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Dr. Vince Brewton’s “Structuralism and Poststructuralism” and The Saylor Foundation’s “Modernism, Formalism, and Structuralism”

Link: The University of Tennessee’s *Internet Encyclopedia of
Philosophy:* *Dr.* Vince Brewton’s [“Structuralism and
Poststructuralism”](http://www.iep.utm.edu/literary/#H5) (HTML) and
The Saylor Foundation’s "[Modernism, Formalism, and
Structuralism](https://resources.saylor.org/wwwresources/archived/site/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/ENGL301-OC-Structuralism_Modernism-FINAL.pdf)"
(PDF)  

Instructions: First, read the section titled “Structuralism and
Poststructuralism” from the *Internet Encyclopedia of
Philosophy’s *article on literary theory. Then read “Modernism,
Formalism, and Structuralism.” This section provides an excellent
review of the basic tenets of modernism and structuralism, as well
as a sense of the theory’s evolution out of formalism.  

 Following your reading, consider answering the following question:
What are the differences between structuralism and
poststructuralism?   

 Reading these sections should take approximately 1 hour.


 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above.

2.3.2 Ferdinand de Saussure and the Linguistic Sign   - Reading: Athenaeum Library of Philosophy’s version of Ferdinand de Saussure’s Third Course of Lectures on General Linguistics: “Introductory Chapter: Brief Survey of the History of Linguistics” and The Saylor Foundation’s An Introduction to Literary Theory Coursepack: “De Saussure’s Linguistic Theories”

Link: Athenaeum Library of Philosophy’s version of Ferdinand de
Saussure’s **Third Course of Lectures on General Linguistics**:
[“Introductory Chapter: Brief Survey of the History of
Linguistics”](http://evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com/saussure.htm) (HTML)
and The Saylor Foundation’s *An Introduction to Literary Theory*
Coursepack: [“De Saussure’s Linguistic
Theories”](https://resources.saylor.org/wwwresources/archived/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/ENGL301-De-Saussures-Liguistic-Theories.pdf) (PDF)  
    
Instructions: First, read the introductory chapter from Ferdinand de
Saussure’s *Third Course of Lectures on General Linguistics*, which
is one of the most prominent texts to come out of the Geneva School
of early linguistics. The Saylor Foundation’s *An Introduction to
Literary Theory* Coursepack may be downloaded at the top of this
course, or the section titled “De Saussure’s Linguistic Theories”
may be downloaded from the link above. Read that section and answer
the study questions provided at the end of the section.  

 Following your reading, consider answering the following questions:
How does an understanding of linguistics help us to understand a
work of literature? How have de Saussure’s theories of linguistics
changed the way literary texts are interpreted? The *Course in
General Linguistics* was published posthumously on the basis of
notes taken from a series of lectures that de Saussure delivered at
the University of Geneva. In his lectures, de Saussure presents
language as a system of signs—a concept that would become the basis
for a number of poststructuralist theories.  
    
 Reading these sections should take approximately 1 hour.


 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above.