文學批評首頁   /  New Criticism 新批評  /  簡介
Pygmalion And Galatea, by Jean-Leon Gerome, after 1881

Literary Criticism: From Self to Subjectivity

New Criticism  (新批評): Introduction




新批評的基本主張是文本是一個獨立,內在 } 張力、互相呼應的生命體 (organism);理論基礎是自由人本主義(liberal humanism)。

在九二一集集大地震之後,台灣的土地、人心、政治組織都殘破不堪的時候來談新批評,我們應更有切身的反省.獨立整體(autonomy, totality)-不管是人的、文本的、國家的、甚至土地的-必然存在嗎?是一種建構?還是不可能存在?永遠有缺憾、漏洞?

I. 在新批評之前  Methods previous to New Criticism:
extrinsic analysis--historical/biographical,  moral/philosophical (New Humanist),  impressionist critics, expressive school (textbook)

新批評發軔於1940年代.在此之前,文學研究的重點主要有二:文獻研究和作家生平研究.以"metaphor"為例,研究者的重點是:這首詩有幾個版本?什麼時候發表?其中有何差異?這首詩是Sylvia Plath在哪個階段寫的?和她的生平有何關係? 這些都是所謂的外緣研究(extrinsic study)。


在它的歷史脈絡下,新批評的確有很大的貢獻:它轉外緣研究為內在文本研究 (intrinsic study);
它使文學批評成為一門獨立學科,當時的新批評者(如:John Crowe Ransom, Rene Wellek, Cleanth Brooks, Robert Penn Warren I.A. Richard)成為英美文學的典律(canon)建立者,寫下許多影響深遠的教科書(如:Understanding Poetry, Understanding Drama, Understanding Fiction系列; Wellek所寫的英國文學史﹔參考textbook p. 33)

有人稱解構主義為第二代的「新批評」,有人(J.Hillis Miller)大嘆當下「文化研究」者不做細讀,忽視文本的含意……姑且不論這些說法是對是錯,但它們都指出細讀的重要性。

1. "the text and the text alone" approach

2. Eliot--the poet does not infuse the poem with his or her personality and emotions, but uses language in such a way as to incorporate within the poem the impersonal feelings and emotions common to all mankind.  The poem is an impersonal formulation of common feelings and emotions  e. g. objective correlative;

3. a poem as an autonomy--having an ontological status

4. intentional fallacy--a poem's meaning is nothing more than an expression of the private experiences
or intention  of its authors v.s. the poet's mind as a catalyst, bringing together the experiences of the author's personality...into an external object  and a new creation. ...the poem is about the experiences of the author that are similar to all of our experiences.

5. affective fallacy--confuses what a poem is with what it does
How do we understand a text? Where can we find the poem's meaning?

6. Since the poem itself is an artifact or objective entity, its meaning must reside within its own structure.

7. organic unity--the critic's job, ascertain the structure of the poem, to see how it operates to achieve its
unity, and to discover how meaning evolves directly from the poem itself.
    --how meaning is achieved through the various and sometimes conflicting elements operating in the
poem itself.
    **organic unity--all parts of a poem are interrelated and interconnected, with each part reflecting and
helping to support the poem's central idea. ...allows for the  harmonization of conflicting ideas, feelings, and attitudes, ...

什麼叫做"text-and-text only approach"?

對於作家而言,寫作是超越個人生命限制的過程。因此,Sylvia Plath 在寫 "metaphor"時,所要呈現的不是她自己個人的懷孕經驗,而是一種普遍的 (universal)、複雜的經驗。其中所用的暗喻可能和她的身平經驗有關,但是它們就是Eliot所謂的客觀對應物(objective correlatives),由此,詩所呈現的經驗不再限於詩人的個人,而是能呼喚起讀者的同感。

我們必須仔細研究文本中所有的文學技巧,包括詩的詩律 (fju) (prosody)比喻語言 (fju)(明喻、暗喻、擬人法、頓呼法),以及敘述文的結構、敘述者等等。換言之,我們要發現文本的形式(form)如何表達意義(content),要解析文本如何構成完整的意義。

意圖謬誤(intentional fallacy):如果我們由詩中的綠蘋果引申說Plath懷孕時常常吃蘋果,就犯了此謬誤.詩的意義既然能獨立於創作者,我們一方面不須要自限於作者的意圖,甚至不可以斷下結論,認為詩和小說中的「我」就是作者本人。

paradox, ambiguity, unreliable narrator, irony-- 一些可以造成多重以及矛盾意義的文學技巧。研究這些衝突意義如何產生張力,如何被解消。

問題:How about your own writing? Do you see your mind as a catalyst, bringing changes while itself unchanged? Do you believe in universality?

to be continued --



A. Theoretical Limitations (cf. Handbook, Handout on Keats):
1. success with intensive rather than extensive criticism
        **intensive criticism, with a distinct object of study

    2. preference of certain poets (e.g. T. S. Eliot, the Metaphysical Poets) and certain genres

        (e.g. poem, short story, but not diary or essay)
    3. organicism--correspond to a certain kind of American social theory, which regards

        society as conflict-free, smoothly functioning, mutually adjusting set of interrelations
    4. its belief in objective correlatives and universality--Do you agree or not?

B. What comes after New Criticism?
1. textuality rather than text; placing the text back in its context
    2. seeing the author and reader as conditioned subject, but not godlike "creator" able to
            transcend their socio-historical conditions
    3. seeing gaps, but not totality out of the text; challenging the text



Copyright ©2009 國科會人文學中心 All Rights Reserved.