Download APE 11 Introduction to Interpretation literary criticism

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Literary Criticism
What’s your favorite book…
and WHY?
How do you decide if a book
is worth reading?
For scholars, answering this question
is the next level
(after literary analysis):
literary criticism.
Fundamentally, this refers to the
of the value of a particular
work or body of work based on…
In other words, once you recognize
the masterful way in which the
author uses language, you are
ready to evaluate the value of the
text as a whole.
Readers do this by using
interpretive strategies.
There are many different kinds.
For example:
am an advocate of
New Criticism,
which believes that a work
of literature should be
an object independent of
the author’s intention or
life experience.
Mortimer Adler
Many people apply my theories
to literature. They look for
evidence of sexual symbols, restricted
emotional development, and dreams,
among other things. They
call this
Psychoanalytic Criticism.
Sigmund Freud
Another approach is
Reader Response,
which places primary value
on the reader’s
accumulated experience.
Many people are interested in different
kinds of contextual interpretations:
Feminist, African-American, Asian-
Native American,
…and there are advocates of
political-economic criticism.
As a reaction to New Criticism, an
approach known as New Historicism
advocated that a greater
understanding of literature occurs
when the reader places it in its cultural,
political, sociological, and ideological
This approach
requires a lot of
So, how do you decide if a book is
worth reading?
Like most readers, you can and will mix
these strategies to produce a personal
interpretation for yourself!