Introduction (cont.) 
Introduction (cont.)
by Yale / Paul H. Fry
Video Lecture 2 of 26
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Date Added: October 26, 2009

Lecture Description


Overview:



In this second introductory lecture, Professor Paul Fry explores the interrelation of skepticism and determinism. The nature of discourse and the related issue of discursivity is read through two modern works, Anton Chekov's Cherry Orchard and Henry James' The Ambassadors. Exemplary critical focus on literary authority is located in Michel Foucault's "What Is an Author" and Roland Barthes' "The Death of the Author," both of which are read with an emphasis on their historical contexts. Objections to the approach and conclusions of the two theorists are examined, particularly in light of the rise of cultural studies.



Reading assignment:



Foucault, Michel. "What Is an Author?" In The Critical Tradition, pp. 904-14



Barthes, Roland. "The Death of the Author." In The Critical Tradition, pp. 874-77

Course Index

Course Description


In this course, Prof. Paul H. Fry gives 26 video lectures on Theory of Literature. This is a survey of the main trends in twentieth-century literary theory. Lectures will provide background for the readings and explicate them where appropriate, while attempting to develop a coherent overall context that incorporates philosophical and social perspectives on the recurrent questions: what is literature, how is it produced, how can it be understood, and what is its purpose?

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