Twentieth-century literary criticism and theory has comprised a broad range of tendencies and movements: a humanistic tradition, descended from nineteenth-century writers such as Matthew Arnold and continued into the twentieth century through figures such as Irving Babbitt and F. R. Leavis, surviving in our own day in scholars such as Frank Kermode and John Carey; a neo-Romantic tendency, expressed in the work of D. H. Lawrence, G. Wilson Knight, and others; the New Criticism, … Roland Barthes analyzed the new myths of Western culture and proposed a revolutionary oppositional discourse which was aware of its own mythical status. ... Department of English Language and Literature Division of the Humanities. Marxist critics in this era, notably Terry Eagleton and Fredric Jameson, have been obliged to define the connections and divergences between their own stances and the various other branches of criticism; they have drawn on the analyses of Althusser as well as Adorno, Horkheimer, and Benjamin in attempting to account for various phenomena of a mass consumer society and the spectrum of ideas falling under the labels of poststructuralism and postmodernism. Hence, the critical movements of the early twentieth century were already moving in certain directions: the isolation of the aesthetic from moral, religious concerns, and indeed an exaltation of the aesthetic (as transcending reason and the paradigms of bourgeois thought such as utility and pragmatic value) as a last line of defense against a commercialized and dehumanizing world; and a correlative attempt to establish criticism as a serious and âscientificâ activity. Lacanâs understanding of the unconscious as linguistic was seen by some as having revolutionary implications, though some feminists, notably Luce Irigaray and HÃ©lÃ¨ne Cixous, indicted both Freud and Lacanâs own discourse, which they saw as privileging the male and even misogynistic. Alternatively, we might say that the aesthetic embodies a consciousness that the worlds of both subjectivity and objectivity are internally structured by language. Notable among the formalist thinkers of this period were Roman Jakobson (1896â1982), Ãmile Benveniste, Tzvetan Todorov, and Gerard Genette. The revolutionary fervor of the 1960s gave Marxist criticism a revived impetus. Leavis invoked Eliotâs notion of tradition as representing âa new emphasis on the social nature of artistic achievement.â This social nature, for Leavis, is grounded in what he calls an âinherent human nature.â Hence, the study of literature is a study of âthe complexities, potentialities and essential conditions of human nature.â The apparent contradiction in Leavisâ approach between viewing literature as literature and literature as inseparable from all aspects of life seems to be âresolvedâ by an appeal to the assimilating capacity of intuition and a maturing experience of literature, for which no conceptual or theoretical subtlety can substitute. In his own highly idiosyncratic way, Lawrence anticipates the stress on the unconscious, the body, and irrational motives in various areas of contemporary criticism. Leavis and of the American poet Yvor Winters, to the most recent demands for ârelevance.â. Faculty Bill Brown ... Research Interests: Marxism|Cinema Studies|History of Literary Criticism|Literature and the Arts|The Novel|Urban Studies|Visual Culture and Iconography. The 20th century was an exciting and tumultuous time for English literature. The New Critics tended to view poetic language as non-referential, not somehow expressing or describing any real world but erecting a self-contained verbal structure which had emotive impact. Language has been similarly instituted within the connections between âmanâ and âwoman,â between social classes, between conflicting moral and political systems, between various ideological perspectives, between present and past, and between differing readings of âhistory.â Since the beginning of the twentieth century (and even before this, in the work of Locke, Hume, Hegel, and others), there has been an increasing recognition that, for example, âmanâ and âwomanâ are not fixed categories but represent our ways of conceiving the world: gender is at least in part a social and historical construct that is embodied in the concepts expressed by language. It was marked by a crisis of belief, by a questioning and exploring of the categories of subjectivity, objectivity, and time, as well as by a withdrawal into preoccupation with literary form, into the past, into tradition and myth. Explore our list of English Fiction & Prose Literature - 20th Century - Literary Criticism Books at Barnes & Noble®. How is conscious irony to be distinguished from mere ambivalence, or allusiveness from allegory? Jung have all found their way into criticism. 2. Twentieth century literary criticism has a wide variety. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Literature and Books > The 100 Best English-Language Novels of the 20th Century ; Cite. The impetus toward universalism can be discerned even in those critics who are most skeptical of it, the so-called historical relativists who attempt to reconstruct each epochâs outlook and to understand works as they appeared to their first readers. What separated him from the New Critics, however, was his equally forceful counter-insistence â in the moralistic and humanistic tradition of Matthew Arnold â that literary study cannot be confined to isolated works of art nor to a realm of purely literary values. Schools of literary practice, such as Imagism, Futurism, Dadaism, and Surrealism, have found no want of defenders and explicators. Most of the literary-critical movements cited above saw themselves as âoppositional,â as undermining and challenging the prevailing power structures and ideologies of late capitalism and, in some cases, of communism. The concept American literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism represents the subject, aboutness, idea or notion of resources found in Brigham Young University. In general, these critics attempted to reinstate a Romantic belief in pantheism and the organic unity of the world (Murry), and an organicist aesthetic which saw poetry as an organic totality transcending reason and the possibility of paraphrase in prose (Murry, Read). Bertrand Russell and G. E. Moore also saw clarity of language as indispensable to the formulation and solution of philosophical problems. Drawing on the work of Edmund Wilson, these writers considered themselves aloof from bourgeois society, commercialism, Stalinism, and mass culture; they viewed themselves as liberals or democratic socialists and wrote criticism with a social and political emphasis. Here, too, the literary artifact was treated as an autonomous and self-contained verbal structure, insulated from the world of prose, as in Richardsâ distinction between emotive and referential language. CEOE English: English Literature in the 20th Century - Chapter Summary. There is a rich array of â¦ Calverton interpreted the tradition of American literature in terms of Marxist categories such as class and economic infrastructure. The most significant Marxist theorist of this generation was Christopher Caudwell (1907â1937), who died in Spain fighting in the International Brigade. English literatureâStudy and teaching (Higher)âGreat Britain. In reality, however, New Criticism owed much to Romantic theory, especially to Coleridgeâs idea of organic form, and some of its notable practitioners have been left of centre in their social thought. This retreat from an âobjectiveâ reality reached a climax in philosophies such as phenomenology, which parenthesized the objective world, viewing it as a function of perception, and existentialism, which called into question all forms of authority and belief, as well as literary developments such as the Theater of the Absurd, whose proponents such as Samuel Beckett and Eugene Ionesco dramatized the existential absurdity, anguish, and ultimate isolation of human existence. Title. Explore our list of English Fiction & Prose Literature - 20th Century - Literary Criticism NOOK at Barnes & Noble®. The tradition of socialist criticism in Britain went back to William Morris, who first applied Marxist perspectives on the theory of labor and alienation to artistic production. Literature Resource Center not only lets you search for articles in scholarly journals and book chapters, but it also contains the full contents of a number of crucial reference series, including Contemporary Authors, Contemporary Literary Criticism, Twentieth Century Literary Criticism, and Short Story Criticism. Lawrence is one of the more unusual cases in twentieth century literature. Ideological groupings, psychological dogmas, and philosophical trends have generated polemics and analysis, and literary materials have been taken as primary data by sociologists and historians. Section A: Poetry. Literary creators themselves have continued to write illuminating commentary on their own principles and aims. For many, humankind was entering upon an unprecedented era. In the humanist tradition of Matthew Arnold, much of this fin-de-siÃ¨cle criticism saw in literature a refuge from, or remedy for, the ills of modern civilization. Existentialism is a movement of 20th-century literature that focuses on the individual and his or her relationship with the universe or God.. Northrop Fyre, a Canadian theorist, was mostly influential in America in whose works one finds the ideas that are similar to that of structuralism. Eastman and Dell edited the important radical journal the Masses and then the Liberator (1918â1924). This broadly humanist trend is far from dead; it not only has persisted through figures such as F. R. Leavis but also has often structured the very forms of critical endeavors which reject it. In philosophy, this tradition of âheterologicalâ thought can be traced back to Schopenhauerâs critique of Enlightenment philosophy and of a totalizing Hegelian vision, a critique that has continued through Nietzsche, Freud, Bergson, Wittgenstein, Saussure, Heidegger, and Sartre to modern literary and cultural theory. The 20th century English poetry emerged in the early years of the 20 th century through various schools, styles, and influences: The psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan effectively rewrote much Freudian theory in linguistic terms, and held that the unconscious was linguistic in its structure and operation. The phenomenological emphasis was further elaborated by Georges Poulet (1902â1991), Jean-Pierre Richard (b. A group of Marxist critics was centered around the New Left Review, founded in 1960 and edited first by Stuart Hall and then by Perry Anderson. English literatureâHistory and criticismâTheory, etc. Reveals which books and authors have shaped the author's lifeâfrom classic works of English literature to hard â¦ He lived in the fourth century B.C Introduction. 4. This period saw the growth of a number of other radical journals as well as the voicing of revolutionary views by non-Marxist critics such as Kenneth Burke and Edmund Wilson. 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