Ecocriticism is an intentionally broad approach that isknown by a number of other designations, including"green (cultural) studies", "ecopoetics", and"environmental literary criticism".
From theories to TheoryDelia Da Sousa Correa and W. R. Owens: TheHandbook to Literary Research. 2nd ed. London:Routledge, 2010Theory exerts an institutional pressure. Students ofliterature are supposed to understand that their variousprojects must demonstrate an awareness of Theory.Theory is a dominant academic discourse, a body ofknowledge that should be acquired and applied.
From theories to TheoryTheory is not a given field of knowledge with many‘schools’ which has to be sampled and picked fromand applied, but is an institutional extrapolation froman ongoing process of debating and thinking aboutliterature and criticism.
TheoriesIf so, can any work be analyzed by any method andcritical perspective↕↕↕Certain works are more suitable for an analysisaccording to a particular method or critical perspective
Critical approachesWilfred L. Guerin, Earle Labor, Lee Morgan, Jeanne C.Reesman, John R. Willingham:A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature. 4thed. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Oress, 1999
M. H. Abrams, The Mirror and the Lamp: Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition(1953)Introduction: Orientation of Critical Theories
The literary work examined in relation to the world the audiencethe authoror examined in itself
The literary work in relation to:
The literary work in relation to:Work of art – universe:How art reflects / mirrors / represents the worlde.g., realism (or the effect of the real)Work of art – artist:How the artist creates, what it is the artist expresses
The literary work in relation to:Work of art – audience What effect the work of art has / should haveWork of art – in itself:What it is like (formal, structural analyses)
Mimetic theoriesMimesis and imitationrather: representationAristotle’s Poetics: dramatic plot as imitation of an actionColeridge: imitation of nature in being an organic unityRealistic imitation: recognizable (it is like what the reader knows)Aristotle: imitation: an internal relation of form to content, vs an external relation of copy and originalYou are aware of the resemblance of tragic action to human behaviour and you are aware of the conventions of tragic drama as different from other
Pragmatic theories1970s: reader-response criticism, Literary Pragmatics: reader’s contribution to textreading actualizes potential meaning18thcentury: art has to be useful"The end of writing is to instruct; the end ofpoetry is to instruct by pleasing,“(Samuel Johnson's Preface to Shakespeare)Follows classical theory of rhetoric (= art of persuasion) 5 part process:invention, arrangement, style, memory, delivery
Expressive theoriesArt as an expression of feelings:“For all good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” William Wordsworth in “Preface to Lyrical Ballads” (1800)Art as an expression of the personal subconscious