Structuralism And Poststructuralism In Literature Pdf
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By literary theory we refer not to the meaning of a work of literature but to the theories that reveal what literature can mean.
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In that sense, they are very similar. They both reject the empiricist view of language as a transparent medium between our mind and the world, and they both claim that language is rather to be seen as a system of signs existing independently from both the mind and physical reality. In fact, they go as far as to argue that language precedes the world in that it makes it intelligible though differentiation. Similarly, both structuralist and post-structuralist thinkers who often are the same ones, shifting their view will agree with Jacques Lacan that the subject is only possible through language. From there, it follows that language supersedes the human being as the source of meaning, action and history.
Glossary of Poetic Terms
Poetics Today 1 March ; 23 1 : 43— Rather than denying the insights of post-structuralist theory, literary interpretation and theory with an evolutionary cognitive perspective actually nestles nicely within a central niche of deconstructionist thinking, that is,the critique of representation. What we learn from recent cognitive science is that the meanings of texts are indeed unstable and dependent upon contingent contexts.
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Post-structuralism is a term for philosophical, theoretical and literary forms of theory that both build upon and reject ideas established by structuralism , the intellectual project that preceded it. Accordingly, post-structuralism discards the idea of interpreting media or the world within pre-established, socially-constructed structures. While structuralism proposes that one may understand human culture by means of a structure modeled on language , and that this understanding differs from concrete reality and from abstract ideas by proposing, instead, a "third order" that mediates between the two,  a post-structuralist critique might suggest that to build meaning out of such an interpretation, one must falsely assume that the definitions of these signs are both valid and fixed, and that the author employing structuralist theory is somehow above and apart from these structures they are describing so as to be able to wholly appreciate them. The rigidity, tendency to categorize, and intimation of universal truths found in structuralist thinking is then a common target of post-structuralist thought, while also building upon structuralist conceptions of reality mediated by the interrelationship between signs. Writers whose works are often characterised as post-structuralist include: Roland Barthes , Jacques Derrida , Michel Foucault , Gilles Deleuze , Judith Butler , Jean Baudrillard and Julia Kristeva , although many theorists who have been called "post-structuralist" have rejected the label.