Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

54

Phenomenology, Hermeneutics, Reception Theory

6
terms
5
notes

Eagleton, T. (1995). Phenomenology, Hermeneutics, Reception Theory. In Eagleton, T. Literary Theory: An Introduction. Blackwell, pp. 54-90

(or bracketing, or Einklammerung in German; or epoché) the act of suspending judgment about the natural world to instead focus on analysis of experience; developed as part of phenomenology by Edmund Husserl

55

the so-called 'phenomenological reduction', is Husserl's first important move. Everything not 'immanent' to consciousness must be rigorously excluded; all realities must be treated as pure 'phenomena', in terms of their appearances in our mind, and this is the only absolute data from which we can begin

—p.55 by Terry Eagleton
notable
3 years, 6 months ago

the so-called 'phenomenological reduction', is Husserl's first important move. Everything not 'immanent' to consciousness must be rigorously excluded; all realities must be treated as pure 'phenomena', in terms of their appearances in our mind, and this is the only absolute data from which we can begin

—p.55 by Terry Eagleton
notable
3 years, 6 months ago

(adjective) expressing or of the nature of necessary truth or absolute certainty

57

For Husserl, knowledge of phenomena is absolutely certain, or as he says 'apodictic', because it is intuitive

—p.57 by Terry Eagleton
confirm
3 years, 6 months ago

For Husserl, knowledge of phenomena is absolutely certain, or as he says 'apodictic', because it is intuitive

—p.57 by Terry Eagleton
confirm
3 years, 6 months ago

(1) a group of linguists based in Geneva who pioneered modern structural linguistics, incl Saussure; and (2) a group of literary theorists and critics working from a phenomenological perspective, incl Poulet

58

the main critical debt to phenomenology is evident in the so-called Geneva school of criticism

—p.58 by Terry Eagleton
notable
3 years, 6 months ago

the main critical debt to phenomenology is evident in the so-called Geneva school of criticism

—p.58 by Terry Eagleton
notable
3 years, 6 months ago
59

Phenomenological criticism is an attempt to apply the phenomenological method to literary works. As with Husserl's 'bracketing' of the real object, the actual historical context of the literary work, its author, conditions of production and readership are ignored; phenomenological criticism aims instead of a wholly 'immanent' reading of the text, totally unaffected by anything outside it. The text itself is reduced to a pure embodiment of the author's consciousness: all of its stylistic and semantic aspects are grasped as organic parts of a complex totality, of which the unifying essence is the author's mind. To know this mind, we must not refer to anything we actually know of the author--biographical criticism is banned--but only to those aspects of his or her consciousness which manifest themselves in the work itself. Moreover, we are concerned with the 'deep structures' of this mind, which can be found in recurrent themes and patterns of imagery; and in grasping these we are grasping the way the writer 'lived' his world, the phenomenological relations between himself as subject and the world as object. The 'world' of a literary work is not a objective reality, but what in German is called Lebenswelt, reality as actually organized and experienced by an individual subject. [...]

thus the process is a "passive reception" of the text, an attempt to understand the author's mind through the words on the page

—p.59 by Terry Eagleton 3 years, 6 months ago

Phenomenological criticism is an attempt to apply the phenomenological method to literary works. As with Husserl's 'bracketing' of the real object, the actual historical context of the literary work, its author, conditions of production and readership are ignored; phenomenological criticism aims instead of a wholly 'immanent' reading of the text, totally unaffected by anything outside it. The text itself is reduced to a pure embodiment of the author's consciousness: all of its stylistic and semantic aspects are grasped as organic parts of a complex totality, of which the unifying essence is the author's mind. To know this mind, we must not refer to anything we actually know of the author--biographical criticism is banned--but only to those aspects of his or her consciousness which manifest themselves in the work itself. Moreover, we are concerned with the 'deep structures' of this mind, which can be found in recurrent themes and patterns of imagery; and in grasping these we are grasping the way the writer 'lived' his world, the phenomenological relations between himself as subject and the world as object. The 'world' of a literary work is not a objective reality, but what in German is called Lebenswelt, reality as actually organized and experienced by an individual subject. [...]

thus the process is a "passive reception" of the text, an attempt to understand the author's mind through the words on the page

—p.59 by Terry Eagleton 3 years, 6 months ago
60

The hallmark of the 'linguistic revolution' of the twentieth century, from Saussure and Wittgenstein to contemporary literary theory, is the recognition that meaning is not simply something 'expressed' or 'reflected' in language: it is actually produced by it. It is not as though we have meanings, or experiences, which we then proceed to cloak with words; we can only have the meanings and experiences in the first place because we have a language to have them in. What this suggests, moreover, is that our experience as individuals is social to its roots; for there can be no such thing as a private language, and to imagine a language is to imagine a whole form of social life. [...]

—p.60 by Terry Eagleton 3 years, 6 months ago

The hallmark of the 'linguistic revolution' of the twentieth century, from Saussure and Wittgenstein to contemporary literary theory, is the recognition that meaning is not simply something 'expressed' or 'reflected' in language: it is actually produced by it. It is not as though we have meanings, or experiences, which we then proceed to cloak with words; we can only have the meanings and experiences in the first place because we have a language to have them in. What this suggests, moreover, is that our experience as individuals is social to its roots; for there can be no such thing as a private language, and to imagine a language is to imagine a whole form of social life. [...]

—p.60 by Terry Eagleton 3 years, 6 months ago

the theory and methodology of interpretation, especially the interpretation of biblical texts, wisdom literature, and philosophical texts

66

Heidegger describes his philosophical enterprise as a 'hermeneutic of Being'; and the word 'hermeneutic' means the science or art of interpretation

—p.66 by Terry Eagleton
notable
3 years, 6 months ago

Heidegger describes his philosophical enterprise as a 'hermeneutic of Being'; and the word 'hermeneutic' means the science or art of interpretation

—p.66 by Terry Eagleton
notable
3 years, 6 months ago
68

[...] For Hirsch an author's meaning is his own, and should not be stolen or trespassed upon by the reader. The meaning of the text is not to be socialized, made the public property of its various readers; it belongs solely to the author, who should have the exclusive rights over its disposal long after he or she is dead. Interestingly, Hirsch concludes that his own point of view is really quite arbitrary. There is nothing in the nature of the text itself which constrains a reader to construe it in accordance with authorial meaning; it is just that if we do not choose to respect the author's meaning then we have no 'norm' of interpretation, and risk opening the floodgates to critical anarchy. Like most authoritarian regimes, that is to say, Hirschian theory is quite unable rationally to justify its own ruling values. [...]

[...] Meanings are not as stable and determinate as Hirsch thinks, even authorial ones--and the reason they are not is because, as he will not recognize, they are the products of language, which always has something slippery about it. It is difficult to know what it could be to have a 'pure' intention or express a 'pure' meaning; it is only because Hirsch holds meaning apart from language that he is able to trust to such chimeras. An author's intention is itself a complex 'text', which can be debated, translated and variously interpreted just like any other.

E. D. Hirsch Jr

—p.68 by Terry Eagleton 3 years, 6 months ago

[...] For Hirsch an author's meaning is his own, and should not be stolen or trespassed upon by the reader. The meaning of the text is not to be socialized, made the public property of its various readers; it belongs solely to the author, who should have the exclusive rights over its disposal long after he or she is dead. Interestingly, Hirsch concludes that his own point of view is really quite arbitrary. There is nothing in the nature of the text itself which constrains a reader to construe it in accordance with authorial meaning; it is just that if we do not choose to respect the author's meaning then we have no 'norm' of interpretation, and risk opening the floodgates to critical anarchy. Like most authoritarian regimes, that is to say, Hirschian theory is quite unable rationally to justify its own ruling values. [...]

[...] Meanings are not as stable and determinate as Hirsch thinks, even authorial ones--and the reason they are not is because, as he will not recognize, they are the products of language, which always has something slippery about it. It is difficult to know what it could be to have a 'pure' intention or express a 'pure' meaning; it is only because Hirsch holds meaning apart from language that he is able to trust to such chimeras. An author's intention is itself a complex 'text', which can be debated, translated and variously interpreted just like any other.

E. D. Hirsch Jr

—p.68 by Terry Eagleton 3 years, 6 months ago

relating to judicial proceedings and the administration of the law

68

To secure the meaning of a work for all time, rescuing it from the ravages of history, criticism has to police its potentially anarchic details, hemming them back with the compound of 'typical' meaning. Its stance towards the text is authoritarian and juridical

—p.68 by Terry Eagleton
notable
3 years, 6 months ago

To secure the meaning of a work for all time, rescuing it from the ravages of history, criticism has to police its potentially anarchic details, hemming them back with the compound of 'typical' meaning. Its stance towards the text is authoritarian and juridical

—p.68 by Terry Eagleton
notable
3 years, 6 months ago
74

The most recent development of hermeneutics in Germany is known as 'reception aesthetics' or 'reception theory', and unlike Gadamer it does not concentrate exclusively on works of the past. Reception theory examines the reader's role in literature, and as such is a fairly novel development. Indeed one might very roughly periodize the history of modern literary theory in three stages: a preoccupation with the author (Romanticism and the nineteenth century); an exclusive concern with the text (New Criticism); and a marked shift of attention to the reader over recent years. The reader has always been the most underprivileged of this trio--strangely, since without him or her there would be no literary texts at all. Literary texts do not exist on bookshelves: they are processes of signification materialized only in the practice of reading. For literature to happen, the reader is quite as vital as the author.

—p.74 by Terry Eagleton 3 years, 6 months ago

The most recent development of hermeneutics in Germany is known as 'reception aesthetics' or 'reception theory', and unlike Gadamer it does not concentrate exclusively on works of the past. Reception theory examines the reader's role in literature, and as such is a fairly novel development. Indeed one might very roughly periodize the history of modern literary theory in three stages: a preoccupation with the author (Romanticism and the nineteenth century); an exclusive concern with the text (New Criticism); and a marked shift of attention to the reader over recent years. The reader has always been the most underprivileged of this trio--strangely, since without him or her there would be no literary texts at all. Literary texts do not exist on bookshelves: they are processes of signification materialized only in the practice of reading. For literature to happen, the reader is quite as vital as the author.

—p.74 by Terry Eagleton 3 years, 6 months ago
79

[...] The whole point of reading, for a critic like Iser, is that is brings us into deeper self-consciousness, catalyzes a more critical view of our own identities. It is as though what we have been 'reading', in working our way through a book is ourselves.

holy shit. Wolfgang Iser

—p.79 by Terry Eagleton 3 years, 6 months ago

[...] The whole point of reading, for a critic like Iser, is that is brings us into deeper self-consciousness, catalyzes a more critical view of our own identities. It is as though what we have been 'reading', in working our way through a book is ourselves.

holy shit. Wolfgang Iser

—p.79 by Terry Eagleton 3 years, 6 months ago

arranged (scales, sepals, plates, etc.) so that they overlap like roof tiles

89

there is no such thing as a purely 'literary' response: all such responses, not least those to literary form, to the aspects of a work which are sometimes jealously reserved to the 'aesthetic', are deeply imbricated with the kind of social and historical individuals we are.

—p.89 by Terry Eagleton
notable
3 years, 6 months ago

there is no such thing as a purely 'literary' response: all such responses, not least those to literary form, to the aspects of a work which are sometimes jealously reserved to the 'aesthetic', are deeply imbricated with the kind of social and historical individuals we are.

—p.89 by Terry Eagleton
notable
3 years, 6 months ago