Structuralism And Poststructuralism In Literature Pdf
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Post-structuralism denotes a way of theorizing that emerged around the s, predominantly in France, among otherwise extremely diverse intellectuals although many question this label. Most thinkers termed post-structuralist, as well as the legitimating struggles and heated debates, were prominent until about the s. Beyond this date, the debates died down and many once radical post-structuralist ideas were subsequently absorbed into mainstream disciplines. As the name suggests, a post-structuralist way of thinking is rooted in structuralism, but it also represents a retrospective critique of certain structuralist commitments. Like structuralism, post-structuralism identifies a way of theorizing that belongs equally to literary theory the systematic study of literary texts , philosophy especially the study of how thought works, insofar as thinking is carried out in language , and critical theory emancipatory social science via discourse analysis and ideology critique. The starting points for a post-structural theoretical vision within this enormous terrain of interdisciplinary scholarship are language, signification, and semiotics.
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By literary theory we refer not to the meaning of a work of literature but to the theories that reveal what literature can mean. Literary theory is a description of the underlying principles, one might say the tools, by which we attempt to understand literature. All literary interpretation draws on a basis in theory but can serve as a justification for very different kinds of critical activity. It is literary theory that formulates the relationship between author and work; literary theory develops the significance of race, class, and gender for literary study, both from the standpoint of the biography of the author and an analysis of their thematic presence within texts. Literary theory offers varying approaches for understanding the role of historical context in interpretation as well as the relevance of linguistic and unconscious elements of the text.
Post-structuralism is a term for philosophical, theoretical and literary forms of theory that both build upon and reject ideas established by structuralism , the intellectual project that preceded it. Accordingly, post-structuralism discards the idea of interpreting media or the world within pre-established, socially-constructed structures. While structuralism proposes that one may understand human culture by means of a structure modeled on language , and that this understanding differs from concrete reality and from abstract ideas by proposing, instead, a "third order" that mediates between the two,  a post-structuralist critique might suggest that to build meaning out of such an interpretation, one must falsely assume that the definitions of these signs are both valid and fixed, and that the author employing structuralist theory is somehow above and apart from these structures they are describing so as to be able to wholly appreciate them. The rigidity, tendency to categorize, and intimation of universal truths found in structuralist thinking is then a common target of post-structuralist thought, while also building upon structuralist conceptions of reality mediated by the interrelationship between signs. Writers whose works are often characterised as post-structuralist include: Roland Barthes , Jacques Derrida , Michel Foucault , Gilles Deleuze , Judith Butler , Jean Baudrillard and Julia Kristeva , although many theorists who have been called "post-structuralist" have rejected the label.
Glossary of Poetic Terms
Poststructuralism , movement in literary criticism and philosophy begun in France in the late s. Poststructuralism Article Additional Info. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies.
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