Thursday, April 17, 2008

Against Theory

The article "Against Theory" brought up some very interesting points concerning literary theories and analyses. However, I noticed some problematic statements throughout the article. The main problematic statement that I would like to address is the statement that literary theory disallows one to uphold one's belief in the "truth" while analyzing a literary text through a certain literary analysis (Knapp and Michaels 739). As I have noticed thus far throughout this course, literary theory and analysis is able to support a belief in a certain "truth" within a literary text, and this support can be provided by textual evidence, historical background, biographical background, social-class disparity, racial disparity, etc. This belief in the "truth" of what a text is trying to convey is not thwarted by gazing into a literary text from a certain perspective, but many times one is able to discover many evidences that will support one's belief in a textual "truth." Also, if one's belief in the "truth" is false, than literary theories and analyses are good devices to use in order to discover problematic beliefs in one's "truth" concerning a text. A reader does not have to separate him/herself from their beliefs, or the text, in order to discover support for a certain belief in the "truth" of a text. In fact, sometimes a certain literary theory is able to allow the reader to come closer to the text by understanding some of the different aspects of the text's background.

1 comment:

Brett Sanders said...

The blog was based off of the article "Against Theory," written by Steven Knapp and Walter Benn Michaels, published by The University of Chicago Press in Critical Inquiry magazine, in Vol. 8, No. 4 in the Summer of 1982, concerning the pages 723-742