Structuralistic Criticism and Gerard Genette

1053 WordsJan 26, 20115 Pages
Gerard Genette writes at the outset in his essay ‘Structuralism and Literary Criticism’ that methods developed for the study of one discipline could be satisfactorily applied to the study of other discipline as well. This is what he calls “intellectual bricolage ’, borrowing a term from Claude Levi-Strauss. This is precisely so, so far as structuralism is concerned. Structuralism is the name given to Saussure’s approach to language as a system of relationship. But it is applied also to the study of philosophy, literature and other sciences of humanity. Structuralism as a method is peculiarly imitable to literary criticism which is a discourse upon a discourse . Literary criticism in that it is meta-linguistic in character and comes into…show more content…
Genette is of the view that any analysis that confines itself to a work without considering its sources or motives would be implicitly structuralist, and the structural method ought to intervene in order to give this immanent study a sort of rationality of understanding that would replace the rationality of explanation abandoned with the search of causes. Unlike Russian Formalist, Structuralists like Genette gave importance to thematic study also. “Thematic analysis”, writes Genette, “would tend spontaneously to culminate and to be tested in a structural synthesis in which the different themes are grouped in networks, in order to extract their full meaning from their place and function in the system of the work.” Thus, structuralism would appear to be a refuge for all immanent criticism against the danger of fragmentation that threatens thematic analysis. Genette believes that structural criticism is untainted by any of the

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