It's Just The Same Ol' Stuff

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The Critical Path, Frye

Literary Criticism--EL312

All of the criticisms we have learned in the past couple of weeks is not the way we should be going in literature, according to Frye. He even quotes Milton in the article:
"an attempt to repair the ruin of our first parents"

We attempt to learn the styles and structures of past poems and poets. Intertextual criticism to him is a "force even stronger than history." Frye cuts even deeper into the integrity of historical criticism when he stated that "the history beyond literature does not cease to exist or to be relevant to the critic." IT DOES NOT MATTER about what was going on at the time the text has been written, it is forerunners of the text that is the important thing. But Frye questions the notion of individuality in a text if we get "inspiration" from previous text... so here is a question.

Is a text really unique and individual?

I had a teacher in high school tell me that "there is no such thing as an individual piece of work." After reading Frye's article, I couldn't agree with him more.

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I have such a hard time buying into the intertextuality criticism.

Not to say it doesn't exist, and as David pointed out, its hard to refute Frye, but at the same time...can we really assume we've have every original thought and that everything is just following in the footsteps of the past?

My inherent problem with intertextual criticism is this: Can we ever really say that we've found true, good connections to other works, or are we simply finding things that happen to link up, or are we even forcing a connection when there was none?