Literary theory

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If you are visiting this page through my user-page, then you would have found this topic listed among my interests.

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  • Criticism of literary texts
  • Famous critics

It will be useful for you here to have some preliminary idea of literary criticism. What is literary criticism? The obvious answer: criticism of literary works. Again, even more obviously, that cannot be the simple answer to the question. We could even begin with asking : is there a profession to which a "critic" belongs? Who, in other words, can be a "critic" ? Such questions are not silly or irrelevant. I could even pose the idea -- am I a critic? Many writers (and thinkers) over time have analysed and judged literary writing. Can we call them 'critics' too ? A broad answer to many such questions is, yes, anyone can be a critic; I am also a critic; many writers and thinkers have also been critics. But if we look for a professional category we would not find anyone who is a 'critic' and nothing else ! You would have understood by now that 'criticism' has to do with analysis and a judicious understanding. Critics look for subtle meanings in novels, etc. They can measure the value of a literary work. So, it is indeed ponderous or weighty work because it involves a breadth of knowledge, aesthetic or artistic judgment, and a sensitivity to language.

There have been many great critics. Plato, and Aristotle, for instance, are names you may be familiar with. Plato was not a literary critic, while Aristotle wrote a theoretical piece on drama, and epic, called the Poetics.