Volume 12, Issue 46 (2019)                   LCQ 2019, 12(46): 91-126 | Back to browse issues page

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Javidshad M, nikouei A. Antitheory and Neopragmatism in Steven Knapp and Walter Benn Michaels’ Ideas. LCQ. 2019; 12 (46) :91-126
URL: http://lcq.modares.ac.ir/article-29-24974-en.html
1- Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics, Humanities Faculty, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran , javid@javidedu.com
2- Associate Professor of Persian Language and Literature, University of Guilan
Abstract:   (3905 Views)
Nowadays, one of the most fundamental and controversial theoretical discussions in literary criticism is to evade meta-theory in literary practices. The prominent thinkers in this area, known as neo-pragmatists, include Terry Eagleton, Stanley Fish, Steven Knapp, and Walter Benn Michaels who emphasize that the course of theory and criticism has now been diverted from its original aim of advancing social justice in the early eighteenth century and has now become a fetish that solidifies and reproduces the hierarchical society. In 1980s, we witnessed the acme of theoretical discussions and practices in literary studies; yet, in this decade, anti-theory and anti-theoretical discussions come to their acme, knowing Knapp and Michaels’ ideas as one of their key manifestos. Knapp and Michaels believe that theoretical discussions have been the result of the separation of such inseparable terms as meaning-intention, language-speech acts, and theory-practice, leading to “theoretical enterprise.” These two critics argue that since authorial discussions are “empirical” issues, theoretical responses to them do not solve the problem; rather, they are merely a “theoretical temptation.” In this article, following a concise survey of thinkers in the realm of theory and related concepts, in particular anti-theory, meta-theory, and post-theory, we have attempted to explore the two’s ideas, review reactions to them and the errors in their argument, and finally investigate what message Knapp and Michaels’ article can have for our country’s literary society.
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Article Type: Original Research | Subject: Literary theory
Received: 2018/09/10 | Published: 2019/10/2

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