April 10, 2007

Marx? A Literary Critic?

So. Marx deserves some credit for literary criticism. Who knew? Obviously Keesy, but that is neither here nor there. I enjoyed reading about Marx's idea that style isn't everything. The author needs to keep in mind that the time period the author was writing in had a huge influence on what he or she was writing.

To write well is more than a matter of "style"; it also means having at one's disposal an ideological perspective which can penetrate to the realities of men's experience in a certain situation...not just because its author happens to have an excellent prose-style, but because his historical situation allows him access to such insights.

I think that the above quote goes back to what Keesey was saying about being aware of your historical biases when you are writing. Many of us are studying style in Advanced Literature right now and we can see some of this come into play. Style is often affected by the surrounding times. Sometimes style is even a reaction to another style. It is interesting the way that these things come in and out of fashion the way that clothes do and I think that is what Marx is trying to say. By keeping in mine the historical situation you are in, it can help you to write a better piece because you will know what your audiences are looking for. Style is also something fun to experiment with and your experiments can either go well for you or they can backfire. It all depends on what the people want to read at that time.

Eagleton, ''Literature and History'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

Posted by Tiffany Brattina at April 10, 2007 2:19 AM | TrackBack

Marxism is something that is very relevant to different types of literary criticism, and I'm glad that you brought it up. Let's go even further than "historical situation;" let's go even further into social class, rank, socioeconomic status, and other parts of culture that few discuss, but many write about. Hardships come with many of these topics, and it is very difficult to try to discuss, without saying the wrong thing. But I think that it is very interesting, and I am going to be ready to discuss these different types of cultural and social criticisms, especially Marxism.

Posted by: Jason Pugh at April 12, 2007 5:32 PM
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