In this article, I will be writing about the different types of literary theory or the different schools of literary thoughts. We write articles for the students and scholars of English Literature. [citation needed]. Listed below are some of the most commonly identified schools of literary theory, along with their major authors. Searle, John. Those who have come to this article directly and want to read the previous article, introduction to literary theory, can click the link to the previous one below: Previous article in the series (introductory): Literary Theory, Next article in the series: Structuralism: Literary Theory, Written by Alok Mishra for English Literature Education, Proudly serving literature students. Specific theories are distinguished not only by their methods and conclusions, but even by how they create meaning in a "text". Once the article comes live, you will see a link to the next article in the series below. [citation needed] But it was not until the broad impact of structuralism began to be felt in the English-speaking academic world that "literary theory" was thought of as a unified domain. I am sure this series on literary theory and criticism by English Literature Education will be useful for the students of literature. [citation needed] During this span of time, literary theory was perceived as academically cutting-edge, and most university literature departments sought to teach and study theory and incorporate it into their curricula. However, the modern sense of "literary theory" only dates to approximately the 1950s when the structuralist linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure began to strongly influence English language literary criticism. For instance, the work of the New Critics often contained an implicit moral dimension, and sometimes even a religious one: a New Critic might read a poem by T. S. Eliot or Gerard Manley Hopkins for its degree of honesty in expressing the torment and contradiction of a serious search for belief in the modern world. Other schools (particularly post-structuralism in its various forms: new historicism, deconstruction, some strains of Marxism and feminism) have sought to break down distinctions between the two and have applied the tools of textual interpretation to a wide range of "texts", including film, non-fiction, historical writing, and even cultural events. [citation needed] Or a post-structuralist critic might simply avoid the issue by understanding the religious meaning of a poem as an allegory of meaning, treating the poem's references to "God" by discussing their referential nature rather than what they refer to. Another crucial distinction among the various theories of literary interpretation is intentionality, the amount of weight given to the author's own opinions about and intentions for a work. Broad schools of theory that have historically been important include historical and biographical criticism, New Criticism, formalism, Russian formalism, and structuralism, post-structuralism, Marxism, feminism and French feminism, post-colonialism, new historicism, deconstruction, reader-response criticism, and psychoanalytic criticism. For most pre-20th century approaches, the author's intentions are a guiding factor and an important determiner of the "correct" interpretation of texts. For instance, the work of the New Critics often contained an implicit moral dimension, and sometimes even a religious one: a New Critic might read a poem by T. S. Eliot or Gerard Manley Hopkins for its degree of honesty in expressing the torment and contradiction of a serious search for belief in the modern world. [3] The aesthetic theories of philosophers from ancient philosophy through the 18th and 19th centuries are important influences on current literary study. This will be best for you if you are a beginner and good for you if you know the basics already. [citation needed], In the academic world of the United Kingdom and the United States, literary theory was at its most popular from the late 1960s (when its influence was beginning to spread outward from universities such as Johns Hopkins, Yale, and Cornell) through the 1980s (by which time it was taught nearly everywhere in some form). Literary theory is the systematic study of the nature of literature and of the methods for literary analysis. His approach, laid out in his Anatomy of Criticism, was explicitly structuralist, relying on the assumption of an intertextual "order of words" and universality of certain structural types. The next step will be understanding different kinds of literary theories one by one with their definitions, applications and relevance today. [citation needed], By the early 1990s, the popularity of "theory" as a subject of interest by itself was declining slightly (along with job openings for pure "theorists") even as the texts of literary theory were incorporated into the study of almost all literature. The systematic study of the nature of literature. Even among those listed below, many scholars combine methods from more than one of these approaches (for instance, the deconstructive approach of Paul de Man drew on a long tradition of close reading pioneered by the New Critics, and de Man was trained in the European hermeneutic tradition). Mikhail Bakhtin argued that the "utter inadequacy" of literary theory is evident when it is forced to deal with the novel; while other genres are fairly stabilized, the novel is still developing.[6]. [citation needed] By 2010, the controversy over the use of theory in literary studies had quieted down, and discussions on the topic within literary and cultural studies tend now to be considerably milder and less lively. In many cases, such as those of the historian and philosopher Michel Foucault and the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, the authors were not primarily literary critics, but their work has been broadly influential in literary theory. [citation needed], One of the fundamental questions of literary theory is "what is literature?" However, there are the established theories which remain popular and in practice for long compared to a few theories which fade away within years of their proposition. The New Criticism was the first school to disavow the role of the author in interpreting texts, preferring to focus on "the text itself" in a close reading. Meanwhile, a Marxistcritic … Literary Theories challenges the out-dated notion that theory is something separable from the act of reading and interpretation and, believing that the best way to learn is through practical application, plunges the student into the midst of a range of critical readings.