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Questions for Weekly Discussions about Tyson’s Critical Theory Today - Week 7  

2018-02-24 16:27:52|  分类: +文论 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Tyson, Lois. Critical Theory Today: A User-friendly Guide. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge, 2006. (洛伊丝·泰森:《当代批评理论实用指南》(第二版),赵国新等译。北京:外研社,2014)

Questions for Weekly Discussions about Tyson’s Critical Theory Today

Week 7: New Historicism and Cultural Criticism

1.  How is Michel Foucault’s theory of power and discourse (power/knowledge) related to new historicism?

2.  How do you understand Stephen Greenblatt’s notion of the circulation of discourses?

3.  What is the difference between new historicism and traditional historical criticism?

4.  What is the relationship between the past and present, between history and literature, between “high” and “low” forms of culture?

5.  As Tyson has stated, her reading of The Great Gatsby in this chapter is both a new historical interpretation and a cultural critique (300). But it seems to have escaped her attention that she has mixed up traditional historical criticism with new historicism, reflecting two completely conflicting philosophies in her reading of the novel. Do you agree? Why/why not?

           Pay attention to her argument and conclusion:

Specifically, I argue that the novel circulates one of the dominant discourses of the period in which it was written: the discourse of the self-made man, which held that any poor boy in America, if he had the right personal qualities, could rise to the top of the financial world. In addition, I examine the ways in which The Great Gatsby embodies one of the central contradictions of the discourse of the self-made man: although this discourse claims to open the annals of American history to all those who have the ambition and perseverance required to “make their mark,” the discourse is permeated by the desire to “escape” history, to transcend the historical realities of time, place, and human limitation. (301)

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