The Cambridge History of China. Volume 8


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Add to cart. Be the first to write a review About this product. About this product Product Information Volumes seven and eight of The Cambridge History of China are devoted to the Ming dynasty , the only segment of later imperial history during which all of China proper was ruled by a native, or Han, dynasty.

These volumes provide the largest and most detailed account of the Ming period in any language. Summarising all modern research, volume eight offers detailed studies of governmental structure, the fiscal and legal systems, international relations, social and economic history, transportation networks, and the history of ideas and religion, incorporating original research on subjects never before described in detail. This volume can be utilised as a reference work, or read continuously. Additional Product Features Number of Volumes.

Show More Show Less. No ratings or reviews yet. Be the first to write a review. Best Selling in Nonfiction See all. Permanent Record by Edward Snowden , Hardcover 1. Related events Qing Dynasty. Ming Dynasty. Sung Dynasty.

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Sui Dynasty. Tang Dynasty. Republican China. Cultural Revolution. Qin Dynasty. Han Dynasty. How do series work? Helpers Collectorator 37 , Avron 5 , liao 2 , fdholt 1. Series: Cambridge History of China Series by cover 1—8 of 14 next show all. In the late nineteenth century, Germanic philology initiated the rise of scholarship in the English-speaking university world; in the s, the writings of T. Hulme, T. Eliot and I. Richards launched the era of criticism. To risk a third sweeping generalization, we may regard the period between the mids and the present day as the age of theory.

The present volume explores the major critical movements of the period since , also taking account of relevant earlier developments. The critical writings of Todorov, Barthes, Derrida and Iser have more in common with the Classical and Renaissance philosophers and rhetoricians than with the preceding period of British and American criticism.

The dominance of continental European philosophy and poetics over the positivist and empirical traditions of British thought has marked a major break in criticism - a sort of geological shift. A dominant humanistic discourse has begun to give way to the languages of formalism, structuralism, and phenomenology. Of course, the new theoretical modes sometimes preserve humanistic perspectives: Wolfgang Iser's reception theory, for example, is founded upon the human experience of the reader.

However, the structuralist tradition has proved more resistant to reappropriation by humanisms of one kind or another. It is this theoretical 'anti-humanism' which marks a real break with the era of 'criticism'. These generalizations cannot disguise the fact that resistance to 'theory' has been ubiquitous. First, it alludes to the scientific ambition to master and define a conceptual field.

Secondly, the term is used to refer to those critical discourses which aim to disrupt. See Laurence Lerner ed. The third mode of theory is especially offensive to traditional critics who are struggling to protect the boundaries of their literary discipline. It would be wrong to see the sequence of theories presented in this volume as an unfolding progression. Within Russian Formalism there are a number of diverging tendencies. Problems of classification abound. To take a single example, the so-called Bakhtin School Bakhtin, Voloshinov and Medvedev combines formalist and Marxist perspectives.

The political complexities of this amalgam are such that historians of criticism find it difficult to agree whether the School is essentially formalist or Marxist. The critical concepts which evolved from Saussurean linguistics have been dispersed and disseminated in various unpredictable ways. The concept of the sign, for example, is a site of endless debate. At one extreme, the texts of classical structuralism attempt a definitive description of every kind of social structure. For them, a structure governs a determinate system of signs in which the individual sign is a fixed component linking signifier and signified in happy solidarity.

At the other extreme, the grammatology of Derrida and the later writings of Roland Barthes destabilize the sign's integrity by releasing within it the warring forces of signification which earlier structuralists had sought to contain.


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It is extremely difficult to divide the general history of twentieth-century literary criticism into coherent groupings. This is partly because the histories of criticism in different countries have not followed the same trajectories. Cultural particularities have given quite different accents to the paradigms of critical discourses. For example, while there has been a dominant formalism in every cultural tradition, the patterns of dominance have differed, and the modes of formalism have been differently articulated.

The late reception in the West of Russian Formalism and Czech structuralism entailed a general belatedness in European and American critical awareness. While there are similarities between New Criticism and Russian Formalism, the latter was moving rapidly towards a structuralist position as early as the late s. The lines of twentieth-century criticism in this volume were intended to trace the developments following the period of geological shift.

However, no account of the formalist and structuralist phases in critical history can avoid returning to the early twentieth century for the crucial antecedents See Stephen Knapp and Walter Benn Michaels, 'Against theory', Critical Inquiry, 8 , The late 'discovery' of Ferdinand de Saussure, Russian Formalism and Czech structuralism has the effect of foreshortening an evolving set of critical practices which have had a long and distinguished history in Eastern Europe. In order to do it justice, this volume returns to the period before the emergence of New Criticism, and, leaping over for the most part the s and s, proceeds to follow the later developments in structuralist criticism during the s, s and s.

A second major critical path stems from German hermeneutic and phenomenological philosophy. There are points of debate and convergence with the structuralist tradition, and Derrida's critique of structuralism was partly inspired by the problematics of Heideggerian thought, although, as one would expect, Derrida relentlessly exposes phenomenology's dependence upon the notion of 'real presence'.

Paul Ricoeur argues that phenomenology is more nuanced than structuralism and treats language not as a differential system of units but as a means of referring to an existential situation. Politically and historically oriented types of literary criticism are to be treated in a separate volume. However, it would be wrong to regard the issues of the formalist, structuralist, hermeneutic and phenomenological criticisms as having no bearing on questions of history and politics. Where appropriate, the impact upon such questions is rehearsed and explored.

In chapter 8, Celia Britton specifically examines the assimilation of the structuralist legacy in Freudian and Marxist critical theories. But, for the most part, this volume is focused upon three of Roman Jakobson's famous linguistic functions: message, code, receiver see chapter 3.

These functions correspond roughly to the formalist, structuralist and reader-response types of criticism. However, the functional categories are easily elided and inverted. For example, the Geneva School's phenomenology of reading in practice restores authorial consciousness to a central position in the reading process: the reader's consciousness is identified with textual structures which are in turn expressions of the author's consciousness.

Lacanian critics, working with an amalgam of psychoanalysis and Saussurean linguistics, treat literary texts as loci of transferential psychoanalytic exchanges between readers, authors and textual signifiers. Even though the rationale for separating textualist. Lafayette, IN, , part 1.

Don Ihde Evanston,. They can be fallen under three heads: the linguistic model; the poetics of indeterminacy; the existential problematic. The linguistic model. An implicit debate which runs through several chapters of this history of criticism concerns the status of the model of structure provided by structuralist linguistics. Ferdinand de Saussure envisaged a scientific enterprise which was anti-positivist in its epistemology. Saussure believed that the only way to isolate a systematic level of linguistic structure was to take the focus off the flux of language change diachrony and its complex and unpredictable referential functions, and to study its synchronic aspect the signifying system which enables each and every individual utterance.

At a time when logical positivists were rigorously distinguishing between referential and pseudo-referential linguistic propositions in the search for a rigorously logical form of language capable of describing the world, Saussure was theorizing languages as a differential sign system with no positive terms. He called the science of signs 'semiology' and claimed that his linguistic discoveries would lead the way to an expanded semiology which would uncover the systems underlying every form of social interaction. The subsequent history of structuralist thought has left uncertain the status of the linguistic model within this larger enterprize.

Some structuralists have adopted the view that the linguistic model provides a universally valid structural theory. Claude Levi-Strauss' anthropology is a classic example: Roman Jakobson's phonology with its binary phonemic analysis becomes the precise model for Levi-Strauss' structuralist analyses of kinship relations, myth, gastronomy, totemism, and so on. In contrast, those using the term 'semiotics' often challenge the empire of linguistics, arguing that each system has its own specific structural characteristics, and that the structure of language is not paradigmatic.

The semiotic theory of C. Peirce has been helpful in distinguishing between fundamentally different kinds of sign: the 'icon', the 'index' and the 'symbol'. The icon signifies through resemblance a portrait resembles its sitter ; the index signifies metonymically and causally smoke is an index of fire ; the symbol is a conventional sign as Saussure understood it.

Only in the case of the third type is the connection between signifier and signified arbitrary. The dominance of Saussure's linguistics has had the effect of limiting the dissemination of Peirce's distinctions and of. It is arguable that the various structuralist and poststructuralist revisions of Marxist and psychoanalytic theories are not truly structuralist insofar as they require an ultimate grounding of structures in history or in subjective experience.

A strictly structuralist history is possible in the form of a succession of synchronically functioning systems, but cannot provide an explanation of systemic mutation. By subordinating parole to langue and by bracketing out the referential function of language, Saussurean structuralism dramatically undermined humanist and romantic assumptions about intentionality and creativity. Roland Barthes' celebrated essay, 'The death of the author', pushed these implications to their limit, provocatively announcing the demise of authors and celebrating the productivity of readers, who set in motion the semiosis of texts.

The radical 'anti-humanism' of French structuralism is not directly derived from Saussure, and the formalists and Czech structuralists had already removed the humanist subject from the agenda of literary poetics. Indeed, even T. Eliot's theory of tradition and the individual talent reduces the writing subject to an inert catalyst in a process of textual production.

However, a frankly anti-humanist stance did not emerge until the period of French structuralism and nouvelle critique. This subjectless scientificity dominated a whole range of French structuralist thought in philosophy, anthropology, narratology, and manifested itself in the nouveau roman.

The linguistic model also promoted the notion of a rigorously systematic science of structures. Ambitious attempts to delineate a coherent and comprehensive theory were especially apparent in Russian Formalism, Czech structuralism and French narratology. In , Roman Jakobson summarized the aims of Czech structuralism: 'Any set of phenomena examined by contemporary science is treated not as a mechanical agglomeration but as a structural whole, and the basic task is to reveal the inner, whether static or developmental, laws of this system' quoted in chapter 2, below, p.

In many ways this statement, which was written near the time of the famous Jacobson-Tynjanov theses, expresses the structuralist ambition in its most comprehensive form. The qualifying 'whether static or developmental' reminds us that, at this early stage, there was a bold 5 See Robert Brinkley and Michael Deneen, 'Towards an indexical criticism: on Coleridge, de Man and the materiality of the sign', in Revolution and English Romanticism, ed. French structuralism later returned to the less ambitious conception of structure, one which abandons all attempts to include the diachronic aspect of structures.

One might argue that structuralism would never have climbed to the dizzy heights of scientific grandeur had it not abandoned the Czech comprehensiveness. The concluding remarks in Lubomir Dolezel's chapter draw a reverse conclusion: 'A reduction of twentieth-century structuralism to its French stage greatly distorts its history and its theoretical achievement.

Prague School structuralism had aimed to reshape all perennial problems of poetics and literary history into a coherent and dynamic theoretical system' see below, p. The poetics of indeterminacy. There was no precise moment of transition from structuralism to poststructuralism. There was certainly a waning confidence in the scientific aspirations of French structuralism, which seems to have been given a decisive impetus by the students' protests in the late sixties.

The new cultural pluralism which developed in the late sixties and early seventies women's, gay and black militancy being especially significant issued in a critical pluralism which undermined attempts to develop definitive systems and theories. Many newly articulated concepts, such as 'patriarchy', 'gynocriticism', 'logocentrism', 'difference', and 'heterogeneity', aimed to decentre the governing cultural codes and to prevent the institution of any master code. It is possible to trace a number of consequential divergences within more or less coherent critical movements of the s.

For example, the semiotic movement divides between the rationalist and objective work of writers such as Jonathan Culler and the subversive and destabilizing semiotics of the so-called Tel Quel writers, notably Julia Kristeva see below, chapter The crucial motivation of Kristeva's semiotics was the felt need to centre semiotics upon the theory of the speaking subject.

Semiotics fused with psychoanalysis and became reformulated as 'semanalysis'. The political motivation was no less important. Whereas the politics of structuralism was openly unengaged, the semiotic theories of Tel Quel were just as openly transgressive. Kristeva's semiotic theory, despite her subsequent abandonment of its radicalism, influenced a wide range of trends in later literary criticism, especially those associated with Marxism, psychoanalysis and Bakhtinian historicism. However, the rejection of mastercodes inevitably produces a politics of difference, change and resistance rather than of doctrinal truths.

While the Saussurean concepts remained in play in many poststructuralist theories, the emphasis was very much on play. Even in his. Barthes' theories of hedonistic reading and Derrida's celebration of 'free-play' as opposed to the ossifying systems of structuralism contributed to a complete reorientation of American criticism. However, there are clear differences between the French radical poststructurahst thought and its American epigoni. Art Berman has helpfully defined the philosophical differences.

He shows that American deconstruction is grounded in a romantic 'irony'. Its 'existentialized' version of deconstruction is concerned with certain dichotomies of human experience reason and feeling, science and poetry, etc which preoccupied the romantics. Consequently 'The theoretically infinite openness of language', the 'freeplay' which Derrida bases upon differance and the subversion of the signified, is used by Miller and de Man to support indeterminacy in critical interpretation and by Hartman to support a criticism based on freedom, on unconstrained creative pleasure and self-revelation.

The American deconstructors give Derrideanism an existential turn. The anti-foundational thrust of poststructurahst theories has a number of radical implications for literary studies.

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Structuralist poetics had already questioned the assumption that 'interpretation' was the central task of literary study. The point is not to accumulate alternative interpretations of texts but rather to explain the plurality of interpretations. Jonathan Culler undermined a central plank of New Criticism when he pointed out that 'unity' is simply one possible reading strategy which could be invoked. Perhaps the most disturbing effect of anti-foundationalism is to put in question disciplinary boundaries.

The writings of Derrida, in particular, relentlessly transgress and reject the binary oppositions which govern the protocols of academic discourses. The category of'writing' e'criture precedes any other founding principle and eradicates the conventional boundaries between literary and non-literary texts. Derrida rejects the notion of the 'formal specificity of the literary work'. Poststructuralism Urbana and Chicago, , p. Alan Bass Chicago, , p. While de Man goes as far as to claim that 'Philosophy turns out to be an endless reflection on its own destruction at the hands of literature', Derrida is inclined to preserve the more general category of 'writing' which may be best exemplified in certain modern literary texts, but he is not willing to exempt literature from implication in the metaphysics of presence.

This broadened notion of 'textuality' has the effect of reducing the autonomy of'the literary' and of opening up literary study in the direction of cultural studies. The existential problematic. A key moment in the history of philosophy is Heidegger's existential turn away from the transcendental phenomenology of Husserl.

Husserl's transcendental subject, while also being the object of investigation, gives meaning to its own history and being. In contrast, Heidegger stresses the idea that human subjects are formed by the historical and cultural conditions of their existence. Since individual subjects can never be fully conscious of the conditions of their existence, their understanding is pre-formed and not secured by a transcendental ego. This primordial understanding is the object of phenomenological study, and Heidegger uses the term 'hermeneutics' to describe the attempt to interpret this 'foreknowledge' which precedes every human act of cognition.

In its most radical form, which Paul Ricoeur calls the hermeneutics of suspicion, Heidegger's argument 10 shows that the primordial understanding of the subject tends to cover up its own lack of foundation: our consciousness is always grounded in a groundless terrain whose motions are determined somewhere else in the unconscious, or in historical or linguistic forces. This branch of phenomenology leads directly into the poststructuralist emphasis upon heterogeneity and indeterminacy.

The importance of the phenomenological perspective for poststructuralist positions Derrida's celebrated deconstruction of structuralism is partly a development of his critique of Heidegger, especially in L'ecriture et la difference - Writing and Difference does not disguise the fundamental differences between them. Heidegger rejects the Cartesian ego the notion of a self contemplating the world , and asserts the 'being there' Dasein of human existence 'Being-in-the-World'.

He attacks all forms of dualistic thought which have the effect of separating subjects from the world in which they exist. However, his critique of dualisms, so reminiscent of 9 See Antony Easthope, Literary into Cultural Studies forthcoming. Heidegger, Being and Time, trans. Derrida's deconstructive readings, always returns to the fundamental grounding concept of Being, an almost mystical wholeness, the awareness of which is the test of the individual's authentic existence.

Most literary criticism which draws upon phenomenological thought preserves this concern for the experiential substrata of consciousness. Indeed, the essential contrast between structuralists and the hermeneutic-phenomenological critics lies in their view of language. Paul Ricoeur assumes the derived character of merely linguistic meanings, and the key philosophers in the field 'refer the linguistic order back to the more fundamental structure of experience' see below, pp.

Hans-Georg Gadamer's hermeneutical philosophy insists that all human understanding is grounded in the 'prejudice' of its own historical moment. The understanding of the past must involve the 'fusion' of the horizons of understanding which have conditioned every understanding intervening between past and present. The process of comparing and contrasting the various understandings will establish a sort of human solidarity - a recognition that human existence is inevitably subject to the processes of history. The School of Constance has developed forms of reader-oriented critical theory which share the holistic drive of Heideggerian thought: the reader's relations with texts are conceived as a complex dialectic in which subject and object merge in an experiential fusion.

Putting in question the division between subject and object is both the strength and the weakness of existential critical theory. In the work of Hans Robert Jauss there is a great advance in historical criticism. We are no longer presented with a view of a monumental literary work whose eternal objectivity commands the passive subjectivity of the reader. Iser's theory of reading, following the phenomenologist Ingarden, subtly distinguishes between the artistic work, the reader's 'concretization' of the work, and the work of art, which exists at the point of convergence between artistic work and the reader.

That is, the work of art exists only between the subject and object; its existence is virtual. However, many problems arise from the dissolution of the Cartesianism of earlier positions. Phenomenological critics cannot agree about the extent of the reader's freedom to concretize the text or about the text's degree of indeterminacy.

At times it appears that the determinate aspects of the text are governing the reader's aesthetic experience, while at others the reader's activity appears to be paramount. How 'adequate' must be the reader's response to the text's intentional structures? Such questions seem unresolvable. Robert Holub uses the phrase 'circles of thought' to describe Heidegger's speculations about the relations between 'art' and 'work of art'.

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The phrase sums up much of the interminable struggle involved in sustaining the holism of phenomenology. There is little doubt that the traditions of critical thought which are represented in this volume have transformed the practice of literary criticism in the English-speaking academic world. And yet there seems to be no emerging consensus which could constitute a new paradigm. For some, the critical field has a disturbingly postmodern groundlessness: we can choose to become either reactionaries working on outmoded but workable models, committed formalists refining the methodologies of the masters, or bricoleurs reworking the rich plurality of theories and producing wonderful but fragile constructions.

For some, the choices have an arbitrariness of the market economy about them; for others, the shifting boundaries and receding horizons are the very conditions of modernity. Russian Formalism is a convenient label for a loosely knit group of critics whose signal role for contemporary literary studies can hardly be overestimated. They were born mostly in the s, came to prominence in Russian letters during World War I, established themselves institutionally through the restructuring of academia after the Communist revolution, and became marginalized with the rise of Stalinism in the late s.

Though the affinities of Russian Formalism to some previous trends in Russian poetics cannot be denied A. Potebnya's theory of poetic language, A. Veselovsky's historical poetics, or the metrics of the Symbolist poet-theoreticians A. Belyj and V. Bryusov , it represents a radical departure from the previously dominant mimetic theory of art. The Russian Formalists assailed the view of literature as an emanation of the author's soul, as a socio-historical document, or as a manifestation of a philosophical system.

In this way, their theoretical orientation corresponded to the aesthetic sensibility of modernist art, in particular Futurism, with which the Russian Formalists were initially closely allied. It was the Futurist emphasis on the shocking effect of art and the understanding of poetry as the 'unfolding of the word as such' that found an analogue in Russian Formalist poetics.

Russian Formalism resists a totalizing historical synthesis for several reasons. Though the relations between these two associations were friendly, they approached literature from somewhat different perspectives. According to the Muscovites, Bogatyrev and Jakobson, 'while the Moscow Linguistic Circle proceeds from the assumption that poetry is language in its aesthetic function, the Petersburgers claim that the poetic motif is not always merely the unfolding of linguistic material.

Further, while the former argue that the Members of this organization were deeply influenced by the philosophical ideas propounded at the State Academy by Edmund Husserl's pupil, Gustav Shpet.

The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, Volume 8 | Deconstruction | Phenomenology (Philosophy)

Such intellectual cross-pollination gave rise to what some commentators have termed the 'formal-philosophical school' of the late s which rehabilitated many concepts and methods programmatically spurned by the early Russian Formalists. In his stock-taking article, 'The question of the "formal method'", Viktor Zhirmunsky characterized the Formal school in this way: The general and vague name 'Formal method' usually brings together the most diverse works dealing with poetic language and style in the broad sense of these terms, historical and theoretical poetics, studies of meter, sound orchestration and melodies, stylistics, composition and plot structure, the history ofliterary genres and styles, etc.

From my enumeration, which does not pretend to be exhaustive or systematic, it is obvious that in principle it would be more correct to speak not of a new method but rather of the new tasks of scholarship, of a new sphere of scholarly problems. Other more radical proponents such as Eikhenbaum who on several occasions blasted Zhirmunsky for his 'eclecticism', concurred with him on this point. Within 'Slavjanskaja filologija', p. Efimov, 'Formalizm', p.

The designation of this movement as the the 'Formal method', which by now has become established, thus requires a qualification. What characterizes us is neither 'Formalism' as an aesthetic theory, nor 'methodology' as a closed scholarly system, but only the striving to establish, on the basis of specific properties of the literary material, an independent literary science. Despite their agreement on the necessity of methodological pluralism, however, there is an important difference between Zhirmunsky's 'eclecticism' and Eikhenbaum's 'principled stance.

Perhaps by taking advantage of Eikhenbaum's insight, one could look for a more deep-seated identity for Russian Formalism. Beneath all the diversity of method there may have existed a set of shared epistemological principles that generated the Formalist science of literature.

Unfortunately, the Formalists' methodological pluralism is more than matched by its epistemological pluralism. The principle that literature should be treated as a specific series of facts is too general to distinguish either the Formalists from non-Formalists, or genuine Formalists from fellow travellers. A similar concern was voiced by earlier Russian literary scholars, and the autonomy of literary facts vis-a-vis other phenomena was never solved by the Formalists themselves.

Neither did they agree on what the specific properties of the literary material are or how the new science should proceed from them. The epistemological diversity of this new literary science becomes obvious when we compare those who were methodologically similar, for example, the two leading Formalist metricians, Tomashevsky and Jakobson.

The former, rebutting the charge that the Formalists shirk the basic ontological issues of literary studies that is, what literature is , wrote: I shall answer by comparison. It is possible to study electricity and yet not know what it is. And what does the question, 'what is electricity', mean anyway? I would answer: 'it is that which, if one screws in an electric bulb, will light it. It is important only to discern their manifestations and be aware of their connections.

This is how the Formalists study literature. They conceive of poetics precisely as a discipline that studies the phenomena of literature and not its essence. Jakobson, in contrast, argues that such an ad hoc procedure was the modus operandi of old-fashioned literary scholarship. Perhaps such a conclusion should not surprise us. After all, Eikhenbaum declared that epistemological monism - the reduction of the heterogeneity of art to a single explanatory principle - was the cardinal sin of traditional Russian literary scholarship: OPOJAZ is know today under the alias of the 'Formal method'.

This is misleading. What matters is not the method but the principle. Both the Russian intelligentsia and Russian scholarship have been poisoned by the idea of monism. Marx, like a good German, reduced all of life to 'economies'. And the Russians who did not have their own scholarly Weltanschauung, but only a propensity toward it, did like to learn from German scholarship. Thus, the 'monistic outlook' became king in our country and the rest followed. A basic principle was discovered and schemes were constructed.

Since art did not fit into them it was thrown out. Let it exist as a 'reflection' - sometimes it can be useful for education after all. But no! Enough of monism! We are pluralists. Life is diverse and cannot be reduced to a single principle. Blind men may do so, but even they are beginning to see. Life moves like a river in a continuous flow, but with an infinite number of streams, each of which is particular.

And art is not even a stream of this flow, but a bridge over it. I have in mind in particular two critical schools whose intellectual affinities with Russian Formalism are more or less clear: Prague Structuralism and the neoMarxian group headed by Mikhail Bakhtin. The close genealogical link between Russian Formalism and the Prague School is undeniable. The two not only had common members Bogatyrev and Jakobson but the Prague group consciously named themselves after V Novejsaja, p. Also, several leading Formalists Tomashevsky, Tynyanov, and Vinokur delivered in the s lectures at the Prague Circle, and thus familiarized Czech scholars with the results of their research.

Given this close relationship, it is not surprising that Victor Erlich's trail-blazing work, Russian Formalism, contains a chapter dealing with the Prague School. To account for the repercussions of Russian Formalism in the neighbouring countries, Erlich introduces the umbrella concept of'Slavic Formalism' whose Prague mutation is called 'Structuralism'. Although he points out the differences between what he terms 'pure Formalism' and 'Prague Structuralism',9 for Erlich the literary theory of the Prague School is ultimately a restatement of the 'basic tenets of Russian Formalism in more judicious and rigorous terms'.

It presents the transition from Russian Formalism to Prague Structuralism as a process consisting of a three-stage reconceptualization of what the literary work of art is: 1 The work of art as the sum of devices, which have a de-familiarizing function whose purpose is impeded perception. In this way the two critical schools remain historically connected yet, at the same time, their theoretical distance is emphasized.

Although disagreeing about the relationship between Russian Formalism and the Prague School, the accounts by Erlich and Striedter share one assumption. The theorizing of the Bakhtin group, the two scholars maintain, clearly exceeds the boundaries of Russian Formalism. Erlich is particularly strict on this issue. He includes Bakhtin in what he calls 'neo-Formalist developments' but categorically denies him the Formalist label.

But he is also quick to. In the most comprehensive and meticulous book written on the subject, the Viennese scholar Hansen-Love divides the history of the Formal school into three successive stages. The last stage in his scheme includes not only the sociological and historical approaches propounded by such 'clear-cut' Formalists as Eikhenbaum and Tynyanov, but also semiotics and the theory of communication.

This is the approach advanced, according to Hansen-Love, by the Bakhtinians and the psychologist Lev Vygotsky.


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