Against Theory

  title={Against Theory},
  author={Steven K Knapp and Walter Benn Michaels},
  journal={Critical Inquiry},
  pages={723 - 742}
By "theory" we mean a special project in literary criticism: the attempt to govern interpretations of particular texts by appealing to an account of interpretation in general. The term is sometimes applied to literary subjects with no direct bearing on the interpretation of individual works, such as narratology, stylistics, and prosody. Despite their generality, however, these subjects seem to us essentially empirical, and our argument against theory will not apply to them. Contemporary theory… 
Theory-Inspired Rather than Theory-Based Criticism: Towards a Semeiocritical Method for the Interpretation of Literature
Abstract The present article is written almost a decade and a half after the reticent announcement of the death of literary theory by a number of scholars around the world. But during all these
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“The Fallacy of ‘Fallacy’” concentrates on the limitations of logical binaries in constructing arguments for literary theory. My test case is claims about intention. Theorists argue either that
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The Evolution of Literary Study, 1883–1983
  • K. Kroeber
  • History, Art
    PMLA/Publications of the Modern Language Association of America
  • 1984
I was appalled by the invitation to write this essay. Although I have always urged students to become aware of the way they read, of why they read in that silly fashion, and of how they might read
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In this paper I consider the arguments for and against textualism, or the position that the meaning of a text can be ascertained solely by reference to the rules of grammar and the conventional
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