>In 1946, William K.

>In 1946, William K. Wimsatt and Monroe Beardsley published a classic and controversial New Critical essay entitled "The Intentional Fallacy", in which they argued strongly against the relevance of an author's intention, or "intended meaning" in the analysis of a literary work. For Wimsatt and Beardsley, the words on the page were all that mattered; importation of meanings from outside the text was considered irrelevant, and potentially distracting.
>In another essay, "The Affective Fallacy," which served as a kind of sister essay to "The Intentional Fallacy" Wimsatt and Beardsley also discounted the reader's personal/emotional reaction to a literary work as a valid means of analyzing a text. This fallacy would later be repudiated by theorists from the reader-response school of literary theory.
Were they right?
Is quality independent of its context, intentions and the reader itself?

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  1. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    I do not see how one can remove their own reaction from the interpretation of a text. Or why you would want to, for that matter

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      Do you have brain damage?

      • 4 months ago
        Anonymous

        You can pretend to be objective all you like, it will never be true

        • 4 months ago
          Anonymous

          ok moron

  2. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    Yes, good art is created, Great Art is discovered. The artist is significant only in his chancing upon some resonant pattern in the collective unconscious and putting it to paper. From there it is up to the critic, or society as the critic, to filter through the massive output of would-be art, and, in a process not unlike that of the artist himself, to uncover greatness. At the intersection of many minds overlaid, a structure emerges in the commonalities, and any mapping of a subset of that structure onto the sensory world is Great Art. The affinity for Great Art obviously pre-exists the art itself. A consequence of this is that any intention or message the artist claims upon Great Art is either a pretty wallpaper over the deeper structure, or an inherent part of the structure over which the artist has no more claim than any other person should. Furthermore, we must separate the effects of art upon the viewer from the potential for art within the viewer.

    A simple anology would be a chemist, a drug, the receptors in the mind which facilitate the drug's action, the user of a drug, and the its effects upon the user.

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      This sort of relativist bromidism is exactly what critical noncreatives tend to believe to justify their inability.
      >it's all predetermined, bro
      >nobody makes anything
      Let me guess, you advocate for AI as well?

      • 4 months ago
        Anonymous

        When "artists" complain about AI you can just smell the fear and desperation on them

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      this line of thought is at least fun. it makes me imagine the reader/viewer enjoying the artist as a caricature, caring only for the way the artist fits into the role of creator and bohemian and even medium. the artist becomes only a reminder to the audience of the existence of art in life, allowing the audience to become conscious participants. it is probably bullshit but it is again kind of fun to think about.

  3. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    The latter one, no, the former maybe

  4. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    Yes, they were absolutely right and I'm so thankful for New Criticism.

  5. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    Neither matter because everything is meaningless.

  6. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    >Were they right?
    >Is quality independent of its context, intentions and the reader itself?

    Well, first those essays weren't arguing about determining the quality of works, they were advocating for a certain criteria against which a text could be analyzed. Meaning simply you could take the worst fan-fic and still critique it in terms of themes, symbolism, character, narrative, etc.

    The intentional fallacy was a response to the prevailing method of literary analysis at the time: if you wanted to study Shakespeare you pulled as much as possible of Billy's life (not much) and the time/place he was living in and used that to analyze what Hamlet meant.

    The affective fallacy came about as a response to the typical analysis that critiques a work based on whether or not one was "moved" or "connected with the character", etc.

    Were they right? Maybe partly. Formalism is the foundation for every other lens we used to critique works. Most lit students (if they have a good school) spend at least one class analyzing texts using only a formalist approach before moving to others.

    And while the author's intent (notice very carefully I said intent and not biography) has pretty much never again been considered important other factors New Criticism disregarded, such as culture, time period, geographic location have been brought back to importance (see New Historicism), and, as alluded to in the OP, reader-response arose in response to the affective fallacy (though reader-response was short-lived and never gained much traction).

    And while most types of criticism disregard purely formalist approaches to analysis (lgbt, feminist, marxist, post-colonial) there has been a resurgence recently with post-formalism coming to the fore. Oddly enough, it's a female academic (her name escapes me, I'll find it later) who has spearheaded this approach (if it were a man it would probably be disregarded).

    Anyway, that was way too much, but I love literary theory and couldn't stop once I started typing.

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      literary theory is bunk and you've devoted your life to meaningless drivel. congrats.

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      >And while most types of criticism disregard purely formalist approaches to analysis (lgbt, feminist, marxist, post-colonial) there has been a resurgence recently with post-formalism coming to the fore. Oddly enough, it's a female academic (her name escapes me, I'll find it later) who has spearheaded this approach (if it were a man it would probably be disregarded).

      Do you mean Susan Wolfson?

      • 4 months ago
        Anonymous

        >Susan Wolfson
        Really good shout, anon. I wasn’t thinking of Wolfson when I posted but she absolutely does fit the description. Reading for Form is a great essay collection, fwiw. It was Care-girlne Levine I was thinking of though. Check out Forms if you haven’t already.

        • 4 months ago
          Anonymous

          >It was Care-girlne Levine I was thinking of though

          Oh yes! Of course! I should've remembered this.

  7. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    If the argument against authorial intent made its intended impact, you wouldn't have people still doing the exact opposite. "What did he mean by this", for example, would not be a meme. People still (and always will) seek meaning in texts by wondering what the person who wrote it was thinking - naturally. Naming it a sort of fallacy is a self-important misnomer.

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      That makes no sense. People will debate and discuss a work thousand ways but the work itself will always transcend the creator's intended message and exist without it. Just look at Bosch paintings. No one actually knows what did he meant with them, except for some theories like how his hellish landscapes represent that time his home city burnt down. There's still debate about their true meaning, symbolism or even where he got the ideas from, but that doesn't means they are bad.

      • 4 months ago
        Anonymous

        >or even where he got the ideas from
        But then that's committing the intentional fallacy, because it doesn't matter where he got the idea or what his intentions were, according to the intentional fallacy. And I think that's wrong and that all roads lead back to the artist. I think this is even truer in a world where an artist's work can easily get 86'd from the canon if the artist gets cancelled or does something otherwise unbecoming. If the text is transcendent of the author why then is that not how it fricking works at all? I think this is a two-way street. I think the artist is inexorable from their work. From time immemorial until the end of days people are going to be captivated by not just the art but also by the artist. A reading that is unaware or doesn't care about the mind, the historical backdrop, the society that produced a work isn't a complete reading.

        • 4 months ago
          Anonymous

          not reading your morose harangue, cope and seethe

          • 4 months ago
            Anonymous

            Yes, and you too are a homosexual.

        • 4 months ago
          Anonymous

          >I think this is a two-way street. I think the artist is inexorable from their work

          >I think this is a two-way street. I think the artist is inexorable from their work.

          The artist cannot be separated from the work, nor can the audience, nor can the world in which it exists. These are all coordinates that make up what Abrams calls the "total situation" of the work. When we're speaking of literary/art criticism or analysis, however, the critic has to privilege one of the coordinates in order to bring order to their response.

          Does the work demonstrate coherence, proficiency, and innovation in relation to other works in the same field of comparison? Does it express the artist's vision, genius, intention, or skill? How is it received by the audience? How does it reflect the world/universe in which the artefact is produced?

          These questions are all connected and no serious or thinking person would imagine that they can be completely separated. The New Critics and Formalists, for historically contingent reasons, privileged the artefact itself, making the other coordinates secondary and tertiary.

          Formalism is an important way for students to learn to approach a text, dealing (for instance) with the language that constitutes a poem, rather than jumping to biography, intention, or history. Shakepeare's Sonnet 20, for example, signifies even if one knows nothing about Shakespeare. Of course a fuller understanding of the poem entails knowing how sonnets work, how the text existed in the cultural and literary milieu, and what can known about Shakespeare's biography and purposes in writing the sonnets.

          What actually is the problem here?

          • 4 months ago
            Anonymous

            >The artist cannot be separated from the work
            lol

          • 4 months ago
            Anonymous

            Telling that all you can say is "lol"

          • 4 months ago
            Anonymous

            Yeah, it's telling how shitty that whole essay it's.

  8. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    yeah. this is why I can write an essay on how A Modest Proposal is about the Enunaki creating earthling slaves, at least thats what it means to me subjectively and I will twist and cherry pick the evidence to support it. but at the end of the day who cares. no one is correct or incorrect. we all get a participation trophy for our unique subjective insights gained through our personally lived experience. this is why I always ask gay Eskimos what their personal truth is in being stabbed in the toe with a rusty nail. gay Eskimos experience the world no one else possibly can.

  9. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    it's too bad we have to discuss literary theory on the religion board like this. they should really make a literature board someday.

  10. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    The first is brain-dead moronic. Original authorial intent is the only way to interpret anything, and any analysis that does not take that into account is nothing more than fanfiction. I don't know what to even make of the second one, especially when taken with the first. all-in-all, these two sound moronic.

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