Against Theory

@article{Knapp1982AgainstT,
  title={Against Theory},
  author={Steven K Knapp and Walter Benn Michaels},
  journal={Critical Inquiry},
  year={1982},
  volume={8},
  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… 

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