Download e-book for iPad: A Biocultural Approach to Literary Theory and Interpretation by Nancy Easterlin

By Nancy Easterlin

ISBN-10: 1421404729

ISBN-13: 9781421404721

ISBN-10: 1421405040

ISBN-13: 9781421405049

Combining cognitive and evolutionary learn with conventional humanist equipment, Nancy Easterlin demonstrates how a biocultural point of view in conception and feedback opens up new chances for literary interpretation.

Easterlin continues that the perform of literary interpretation continues to be of significant highbrow and social worth. Taking an open but really apt process, she argues, even if, that literary interpretation stands to realize dramatically from a fair-minded and inventive program of cognitive and evolutionary study. This paintings does simply that, expounding a biocultural process that charts a center direction among overly reductive ways to literature and traditionalists who see the sciences as a risk to the humanities.

Easterlin develops her biocultural technique through evaluating it to 4 significant subfields inside literary reports: new historicism, ecocriticism, cognitive techniques, and evolutionary ways. After a radical evaluation of every subfield, she reconsiders them in gentle of appropriate learn in cognitive and evolutionary psychology and offers a textual research of literary works from the romantic period to the current, together with William Wordsworth’s "Simon Lee" and the Lucy poems, Mary Robinson’s "Old Barnard," Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s "Dejection: An Ode," D. H. Lawrence’s The Fox, Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, and Raymond Carver’s "I may possibly See the Smallest Things."

A Biocultural method of Literary idea and Interpretation bargains a clean and reasoned method of literary reports that right away preserves the vital significance that interpretation performs within the humanities and embraces the interesting advancements of the cognitive sciences.

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Additional resources for A Biocultural Approach to Literary Theory and Interpretation

Sample text

No matter how one defines art, it functions within the richly semantic world of human life, and literature, although an extremely recent subset of all the arts, nonetheless evinces marked similarities in function to its forebears. A second difficulty in attempting to formulate an adaptive account of art is that our concept of it is protean, just as its place and function in culture are protean. For most of our species’ existence, what we now retrospectively identify as the arts—dance and ritual, body adornment, chants and songs, cave paintings—were not produced by individual artists or consumed by solitary users.

These theories, always operant in the reading process, shade into one another (a reader’s theory of reality is prerequisite to her theory of context, for instance), but “a consilient theory of literary interpretation must not sacrifice or elide this com- Literature, Science, and Biocultural Interpretation 21 plexity and must avoid any premature grafting of concepts from the natural sciences onto literary texts” (325). Because of the unimaginable complexity of the process, interpretation requires methodological reduction, “since it is impossible to deal with a single text while keeping all these parameters at work” (326).

These theories, always operant in the reading process, shade into one another (a reader’s theory of reality is prerequisite to her theory of context, for instance), but “a consilient theory of literary interpretation must not sacrifice or elide this com- Literature, Science, and Biocultural Interpretation 21 plexity and must avoid any premature grafting of concepts from the natural sciences onto literary texts” (325). Because of the unimaginable complexity of the process, interpretation requires methodological reduction, “since it is impossible to deal with a single text while keeping all these parameters at work” (326).

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A Biocultural Approach to Literary Theory and Interpretation by Nancy Easterlin


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