Kerala University – Syllabus 2017

MA Language and Literature Click on the link above...

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Women’s Writing – prescribed stories

Dr. S. Devika

The Goddess of Revenge

Lalithambika Antharjanam

IT WAS NEARLY midnight. I was sitting alone in the room where I usually did all my writing. The compassionate Goddess of Sleep stood by me, waiting to enfold in her caress the wounds that my spirit had accumulated in the course of the day’s hard work. But I knew that if I threw down the pen and paper I had taken up to write my story, I would not be able to touch them again till the same time tomorrow, when the usual obstacles would again present themselves. I sat there wrapped in thought. Silence lay deep around me, interrupted now and then by the sounds of two rats engaged in love talk in the attic above, or the snores of the children sleeping in the next room. The light from the lamp on the table crept out through the window and cast…

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T.S.Eliot – Theory of Poetry

Dr. S. Devika

T.S.Eliot

T.S. Eliot, American-English poet, playwright, editor and literary critic, heralded a new dawn as the pioneer of the modernist movement in literature. His name has become synonymous with modernism and the general change that came about in the realm of imaginative literature and criticism between the years 1910 and 1939. Eliot’s description of himself in his preface to ‘For Lancelot Andrews’ as a classicist in literature, a royalist in politics and an Anglo-Catholic in religion sets the tone for his lifelong commitment to criticism. His five hundred odd essays published as reviews and articles from time to time have exerted a tremendous influence on the critical temper of the twentieth century. As George Watson remarks, “Eliot made English criticism look different but not in a simple sense.” He held very strong and dogmatic beliefs, and  turned the critical tradition of the English speaking world upside down with his revolutionary…

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Elements and Forms of Drama

Dr. S. Devika

Drama

The drama is a literary form designed for the theatre, where actors take the role of characters, perform the indicated action and utter the written dialogue before an audience. It is three dimensional. As Marjorie Boulton says, “it is literature that walks, and talks before our eyes.” It is an art that stresses on theatricality for its impact. The art of drama is closely bound up with stage-conditions, the skill of the actors, and the tastes of the audience before whom it is to be staged.

Drama, like the novel, has plot, character, dialogue, setting, and it also expresses an outlook on life. But in the handling of these features the dramatic art is different from the art of the novelist. While the novel relates and reports, the drama imitates by action and speech. The novel is self-contained but the drama needs elements outside of itself for its completion…

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New Criticism

Dr. S. Devika

New Criticism is a school of Anglo-American literary critical theory that was influential from the late 1920s and prominent until the late 1960s, whose founding fathers were two colossal figures of the critical world, T.S.Eliot and I.A.Richards. Though influenced by Russian Formalism, it developed independently on both sides of the Atlantic, in England and the United States, centering around literary devices and the author’s craft with an exclusive focus on poetry. It insisted on the intrinsic value of a work of art and investigated the individual work as an independent unit of meaning. It was opposed to the critical practice of bringing historical, socio-political or biographical data to bear on the interpretation of a work.

The term ‘New Criticism’, though put into circulation by J.E. Spingarn in his booklet The New Criticism in 1911,  was made current by John Crowe Ransom’s  The New Criticism (1941), a work that organized the…

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Archetypal Criticism

Dr. S. Devika

Archetypal literary criticism is a theory that interprets a text by focusing on recurring myths and archetypes in the narrative and symbols, images character types in a literary work. Archetype denotes recurrent narrative designs, patterns of action, character types, themes and images which are identifiable in a wide variety of works of literature, as well as in myths, dreams and even social rituals. Such recurrent items result from elemental and universal patterns in the human psyche.

Swiss born psychoanalyst, C.G.Jung’s (1875-1961) work speculates about myths and archetypes in relation to the unconscious. According to him, myths are the “culturally elaborated representations of the contents of the deepest recess of the human psyche: the world of the archetypes”.  He used the term archetype to refer to the experiences of our ancestors which get lodged in the ‘collective unconscious’ of the whole race. Jungian psychoanalysis distinguishes between the personal and collective unconscious…

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Russian Formalism

Dr. S. Devika

Russian Formalism or East European Formalism  is a school of literary criticism and literary theory  that originated in Moscow (Moscow Linguistic Circle) and St. Petersburg (Opojaz) in the 1920s. Among the leading representatives of the movement were Boris Eichenbaum, Victor Shklovsky, and Roman Jakobson. When this critical mode was suppressed by the Soviet Union in the early 1930s, the center of the formalist study of literature moved to Czechoslovakia, where it was continued especially by members of the Prague Linguistic Circle, which included Roman Jakobson, Jan Mukarovsky, and René Wellek. A comprehensive and influential formalist essay is  Roman Jakobson’s “Linguistics and Poetics,” included in his Language in Literature (1987). Russian Formalists emphasized the autonomous nature of literature, and insisted that the proper study of literature lay neither in a reflection of the life of its author nor in the historical or cultural milieu in which it was created. They believed…

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Deconstruction

Dr. S. Devika

Post-structuralism is a label formulated by American academics to denote the heterogeneous works of a series of French intellectuals who came to prominence in the 1960s and ’70s and deflated the scientific certainties and pretensions of structuralism, making a mockery of structuralism. A key application of post-structuralism is deconstruction which defines a new kind of reading practice. Deconstruction is a form of philosophical and literary analysis, derived mainly from work begun in the 1960s by the French philosopher Jacques Derrida, that questions the fundamental conceptual “oppositions,” in Western philosophy through a close examination of the language and logic of philosophical and literary texts. It was the most influential theoretical trend in literary criticism during the 1970s and 1980s. In the 1970s the term was applied to work by Derrida, Paul de Man, J. Hillis Miller, and Barbara Johnson, among other scholars. In the 1980s it designated more loosely a range…

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