chapter  4
28 Pages

Theoretical approaches to literature

As with the classification systems of genres and text types, the approaches to literary texts are characterized by a number of divergent methodologies. The following sections show that literary interpretations always reflect a particular institutional, cultural, and historical background. The various trends in textual studies are represented either by consecutive schools or parallel ones, which at times compete with each other. On the one hand, the various scholarly approaches to literary texts partly overlap; on the other, they differ in their theoretical foundations. The abundance of competing methods in contemporary literary criticism requires one to be familiar with at least the most important trends and their general approaches.