Maark

Understanding the various aspects of literary criticism

Literary criticism is
the notion, or more precisely the field of study which is not addressed as such
in secondary literary studies. It teaches about the authors of literature,
works, learning elements of literary history and is initiated to the classification
of works by genre (epistolary, novel, poetry, theater, autobiography). One does
not have to wonder what the essence of criticism is. In order to know more
about this subject and you may always refer to Book
Reviews and Recommendations
. However, if the
criticism is not the object of a theoretical approach, at the end of which one
wonders what the literary criticism is, one practices it however in the
academic form of the composed commentary, the analytical reading. One speaks
works, one writes on texts, one thinks about a poem, a scene or a romantic
character.

The
premise and the trajectory of the course for the first year student

The course, which
begins today and is for first year students, is not about critical practice but
about critical theory. One will not read a work of Baudelaire, of Victor Hugo.
But one will wonder rather how to speak of their works, and even more generally
how one organizes the speech on a literary work whatever it is, what the finality
of it is. It is well known that literary writings have given rise to all sorts
of comments. The only work of Shakespeare thus aroused such a plethora of
glosses that a life would scarcely be enough to read them. A critical
bibliography of Racine’s works would occupy several volumes. This inflation is
dizzying and could end up causing a feeling of discouragement, of inanity.

What
is the point?

This superabundant
critical activity, which is increasing day by day, is it very useful? And could
we not dispense with this long detour? What exactly do we do when we take a
critical look at a work? What bases the legitimacy of this discourse? Are there
good or bad ways to submit a work to criticism? Or at least how can our speech
on a work hope to bring him what he does not have? It is necessary to think of
a reflexive act, an act of second degree (secondary?) That we practice since
primary school.

The
various premise of the word ‘criticism’

But let us first stop
with the word itself of “criticism” which has several meanings,
several meanings, which do not all agree among themselves. Note that
“criticism” is both an adjective and a noun historically and it is
first of all an adjective, which comes from the Latin critics of the Greek
works. This brings a decisive, crucial change. We thus speak of the critical
phase of the disease, or even of the “critical age” to designate the
menopause. It will be necessary to keep in mind this term whose meaning does
not disappear completely and which remains underlying to the modern senses of
the word.