Theory and Text: the Ambiguous Object of Critique

When "critical lens" are applied to texts, which should then serve as an object of critique: the theory that supplemented the text in the first place, or the text interpreted by the theory itself?

  • And, if you could add more - topics are essentially like a brainstorming of the article that is going to be written, so maybe clear up some vague topics. – scole 6 years ago
  • I would day that the critical lens is applied to the actual piece, as it is a form of literary theory. There's numerous approaches to reading a text: postcolonial, gender studies, historical lens, etc. etc. Usually, one of these approaches are applied to the actual piece read, and then you provide information from the leading scholars and theorists in this particular field as to how the text should be interpreted. – danielle577 6 years ago
  • It should be a mutual exchange between the chosen object of critique, the text, and the critical theorist's perspectives. To clarify, the author is mobilizing the work of someone else to a text which has either a) never been subject to said critique or b) never been subject to the author's interpretation of it through a "critical lens." Something to consider, in addition to the notion of "what" to critique is "how." If I claim to be deconstructing an anime for its representation of effeminate men through queer theory, equal attention should be drawn to whose critical text am I using, what aspect of their argument accentuates my point, and, because of the nature of Artifice, something else in the theorist's text not used. – JMIWrites 6 years ago
  • I write critical analyses of literature as part of my job, and my view is that the critical theory and the literary work both become objects of critique. The theory illuminates the literary work (it guides our close reading of the literary work, helps uncover patterns in the literary work, etc.) even as the literary work illuminates the critical theory (it serves as an example of or a complication to the theory being used). – JamesBKelley 4 years ago

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