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Context • Not a linear sequence • 1st argument - the need to combine particular literary works ('critique') with a general study of the literary system ('poétique') - talked about in 1 st essay, illustrated in 4th • 2nd argument - how to balance 'poétique' with a history of literature - talked about in 2nd essay, illustrated in 3rd • Broader argument about language itself in all 4 essays • Interest in systems derived from structuralism, the methodology of which was derived from linguistics • Structuralism came mainly from Saussure • 4 ideas that underlie G.'s arguments o Langue/Parole - whole system of language/particular utterance which has to be looked at within the system o Signifier/Signified - word/notion - no intrinsic link between them, merely a convention o Synchronic/Diachronic - language at a particular time/how language changes over time - G. wanted to integrate history back into literary theory o Syntagm/Paradigm - sequence of words in a sentence/words chosen from a set • General interest in systems and theory of literature, as well as linguistic structures - thus, G. uses detailed/rigorous analysis and technical language
Critique et Poétique • General argument of combining particular works with a theory of literature • Difficult to write without a broader theory - any writer thinking about a work is engaged, never read a text in isolation, automatically think of genre etc. • Traditional idea of poetics was all about issuing rules about what is in each genre for G., poetics = system's capacity to produce individual works - 'une exploration des divers possibles du discours' (pg11) • For Jakobson, the object of literary study was 'la littérarité' (pg11) shouldn't look at literature as a series of things, but look at the system producing them, what has been/might be written • G. blames romanticism and positivism for looking at individual facts/authors and calls for a corroboration, raising the question of historical awareness he rejects viewing works as systems in themselves, taken out of historical context - 'une oeuvre, considerée…comme un 'objet' clos…' (pg10)
Poétique et Histoire • Goes through ways in which critics have brought history into their studies, but says they haven't done it right, they don't reflect on what history and literature actually are
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