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February 25, 2007

The Head Shrinkers of Literature

The Uses Of Psychology, Paris

Literary Criticism--EL312

It is extremely valuable to bring literature and psychology together. The psychologist and the artist often know about the same areas of experience, but they comprehend them and present their knowledge in different ways.

Since I am doing my presentation on this article, I won't go into really great detail. However, Paris made some great points about mimetic criticism. He stated that novel are the closest thing to reality in literature. Over time, the novels became more realistic than some other genres out there. Some literary critics shy away from psychological analysist of fictional characters as if they were real people.That is because the characters are a part of a "dramatic and thematic structures of the works". However, Paris (and I pretty much agree with him) believes that you can't have a legitimate character study without a psychological critcism.

So what draws the line between legitimate criticism of a character or just a confusing list of psychological symptoms for a fictional characters?

Posted by KevinHinton at February 25, 2007 5:46 PM


Forgive me,
I know NOW that I have to go into great detail for my blog on my presentation. Here are some links to other works that will go well with my presentation

Paris's other works


Paris made a point that novels are the most realistic of the genres and it will be easy to make a psychological analysis from one of the characters. This is a good example.


Paris also mentioned in certian cases "it is proper to treat literary characters as real people and that only by doing so can we fully appreciate the distinctive achievement of the genre". Meaning a real mimetic approach is capturing how people really react to let's say romance or horror. There is more of a mimetic tone in King than in Rowling.

The characters and the surroundings of the time are the bread and butter of realistic fiction. And they are far from perfect...therefore if novels "attempt to represent life" then most novels cannot achieve those happily ever after stories we love so dearly.

Critics worry that there is not enough harmony in novels...but like I stated earlier, life is cruel.

Posted by: Kevin "Kelo The Great" Hinton at March 1, 2007 3:16 AM

Wasn't it Paris who also said that the characters begin developing a mind and psyche entirely their own? Isn't that a little bit of a false claim?

The character is by nature engendered to its creator, as many of us feel we are with the Lord. We will often fight with our own doubts if we have control over a situation or if it is God leading us through something.

Is that a fair comparison, then, to relate ourselves in the servitude of God to the characters of a novel in which the author has delved so deeply that their inner-most thoughts come through?

Posted by: Kevin at March 1, 2007 4:26 PM

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