New Criticism and Reader-response Theory in Literary Criticism of the USA: Comparative Aspect

Lyudmyla Anisimova

Abstract


The aim of our research is to accomplish the comparative analysis of two powerful in the USA literary critical movements of XX century: New Criticism and Reader-Response Theory (paying attention more to the last one, less studied in Ukraine). Their features, main contradictions, common ideas, points of coincidence, reasons of emergence and decline, degree of influence to the development of theoretical and critical process and value for contemporary science are revealed. Though in majority of guides and glossaries pointed that Reader-Response Theory stands in total opposition to the hegemony of formalistic New Criticism and as the reaction to assay Affective fallacy of W. K. Wimsatt and Monroe Beardsley in late 1960th and early 70th in the USA. As we thought, exactly L. M. Rosenblatt (1904-2005) should considered to be the founder of denoted theory and her book “Literature as Exploration” (1938) as the pioneer work in reader-oriented criticism. It is interesting that both New critics and Reader-response theorists considered the book of I.A. Richards “Practical Criticism” (1929) as the important basis for their theories, but accenting different aspects. Therefore to a certain extent these theories from the beginnings have got common source, but different vectors of development and time of growth.

In article the main classifications of RRT of N. N. Holland and L. M. Rosenblatt are represented, analyzed and compared. Also common and distinctive features of New Criticism and RRT are defined. In general the most suitable for practical use is L. M. Rosenblatt’s transactional theory of reading, in which the same attention is paid both to the reader and the text, and meaning is evoking during the process of transaction between them.

Keywords


New Criticism; Reader-Response Theory; comparative analysis; literary criticism of the USA

References


Bleich D. Subjective Criticism. Baltimore, 1981, 309 p.

Carton Evan, Graff Gerald. Criticism since 1940. In: The Cambridge History of American Literature: Poetry and Criticism, 1940–1995. Cambridge, New York, 1996, pp. 261–472.

Childers Joseph, Hentzi Gary. Columbia Dictionary of Modern Literary and Cultural Criticism. New York, 1995, 362 p.

Columbia Literary History of the United States. New York, 1988, 1263 p.

Culler Jonathan. Prolegomena to a Theory of Reading. In: The Reader in the Text: Essays on Audience and Interpretation. Princeton, N.J., 1980, pp. 46–67.

Davis Todd F., Womack Kenneth. Formalist Criticism and Reader-Response Theory. New York, 2002, x, 202 p.

Fish Stanley. Is There a Text in This Class? : The Authority of Interpretative Communities. Cambridge, 1980, viii, 394 p.

Holland Norman N. Re-Covering “The Purloined Letter”: Reading as a Personal Translation. In: The Reader in the Text : Essays on Audience and Interpretation. Princeton, N.J., 1980, pp. 350–370.

Holland Norman N. Reader-response already is cognitive criticism. Bridging the Gap. 1995, vol. 4, issue 1. Available at: http://www.stanford.edu/group/SHR/4-1/text/holland.commentary.html (accessed 10 September 2012).

Hyman Stanley Edgar. The Armed Vision: A Study in the Methods of Modern Literary Criticism. New York, 1973, 417 p.

Pratt Mary Louise. Interpretive Strategies/Strategic Interpretations: on Anglo-American Reader-Response Criticism. Boundary, 1982–83, no. 2, pp. 201–204.

Rosenblatt L. M. Literature as Exploration. New York, 1995, xx, 321 p.

Rosenblatt Louise M. Literary Theory. In: Handbook of Research on Teaching Language Arts. Routledge, 2003, pp. 67–74.

Rosenblatt L. M. The Reader, the Text, the Poem: The Transactional Theory of the Literary Work. – Carbondale, 1994, xv, 210 p.

The Reader in the Text: Essays on Audience and Interpretation. Princeton, 1980, viii, 441 p.

Tyson L. Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide. New York, 2006, 465 p.


GOST Style Citations


Bleich D. Subjective Criticism / David Bleich. – Baltimore : The John Hopkins University Press, 1981. – 309 p.

 

Carton E. Criticism since 1940 / Evan Carton, Gerald Graff // The Cambridge History of American Literature. Vol. 8 : Poetry and Criticism, 1940–1995 ; [gen. editor Sacvan Bercovitch]. – Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1996. – P. 261–472.

 

Childers J. Columbia Dictionary of Modern Literary and Cultural Criticism / Joseph Childers, Gary Hentzi. – New York : Columbia University Press, 1995. – 362 p.

 

Columbia Literary History of the United States / [gen. editor Elliott Emory]. – New York : Columbia University Press, 1988. – 1263 p.

 

Culler J. Prolegomena to a Theory of Reading / Jonathan Culler // The Reader in the Text : Essays on Audience and Interpretation ; [edited by Susan R. Suleiman and Inge Crosman [Wimmers]. – Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 1980. – P. 46–67.

 

Davis Todd F. Formalist Criticism and Reader-Response Theory / Todd F. Davis, Kenneth Womack. – New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2002. – x, 202 p.

 

Fish S. Is There a Text in This Class? : The Authority of Interpretative Communities / Stanley Eugene Fish. – Cambridge : Harvard University Press, 1980. – viii, 394 p.

 

Holland Norman N. Re-Covering „The Purloined Letter”: Reading as a Personal Translation / Norman N. Holland // The Reader in the Text : Essays on Audience and Interpretation ; [edited by Susan R. Suleiman and Inge Crosman [Wimmers]. – Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 1980. – P. 350–370.

 

Holland Norman N. Reader-response already is cognitive criticism [Electronic resource] / Norman N. Holland // Bridging the Gap. – SEHR, vol. 4, issue 1, 1995. – Available at : http://www.stanford.edu/group/SHR/4-1/text/holland.commentary.html.

 

Hyman Stanley Edgar. The Armed Vision: A Study in the Methods of Modern Literary Criticism : [reprinted ed.] / Stanley Edgar Hyman. – New York; Knopf : Greenwood Press, 1973. – 417 p.

 

Pratt Mary Louise. Interpretive Strategies/Strategic Interpretations: on Anglo-American Reader-Response Criticism / Mary Louise Pratt // Boundary № 2, 1982–83. – P. 201–204.

 

Rosenblatt L. M. Literature as Exploration / Louise Michelle Rosenblatt. – 5th ed. – New York : The Modern Association of America, 1995. – xx, 321 p.

 

Rosenblatt L. M. Literary Theory / Louise Michelle Rosenblatt // Handbook of Research on Teaching Language Arts / [gen. ed. James Flood]. – IRA, National Council of Teachers of English Routledge, 2003. – P. 67–74.

 

Rosenblatt L. M. The Reader, the Text, the Poem: The Transactional Theory of the Literary Work / Louise Michelle Rosenblatt. – Carbondale : Southern Illinois University Press, 1994. – xv, 210 p.

 

The Reader in the Text: Essays on Audience and Interpretation ; [edited by Susan R. Suleiman and Inge Crosman [Wimmers]. – Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 1980. – viii, 441 p.

 

Tyson L. Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide / Lois Tyson. – 2nd ed. – Taylor & Francis, 2006. – 465 p.





Copyright (c) 2013

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The journal publishes research papers on terms: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License 

 

Pytannia literaturoznavstva
ISSN 2306-2908 
Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University
2 Kotsiubynsky str., Chernivtsi 58012, Ukraine