EPÄILYKSEN ESTETIIKKA, ACTA UNIVERSITATIS OULUENSIS B Humaniora 94

Literary criticism lost its connection with textual criticism as formalist theories gained ground\nafter the 1950s. The formalist conceptions of the autonomy of the literary work, however, have\nbeen subsequently questioned while the relationship between literary and textual criticism has\nremained distant. The present study searches for the historical reasons for this, and with the help\nof literary philosophy strives to revive the vanished relationship by demonstrating the essential\nsignification of textual criticism to literary criticism.\nIn the Anglo-American context the literary critics’ disinterest in textual criticism has been\nexplained away as a vestige of New Critical literary theory. The present study brings a new\ninterdisciplinary viewpoint to this discussion by showing that Analytic Aesthetics has had a\ncentral role in maintaining the separation of textual criticism and literary criticism. By examining\nprominent theories of the ontology of the literary work the study reveals a tradition of a monolithic\nconception of the literary work within Analytic Aesthetics that considers the literary work to have\nonly one stable text. In this tradition different phenomena of textual variation are marginalised as\ninessential to the identity of the work. By the same token, textual criticism is cast out from the field\nof literary criticism as being aesthetically insignificant.\nThe study criticises the monolithic tradition for its historically limited conception of the work,\none that is grounded in the invention of print and the modern conception of the author. This\nconception does not take into account the historically and constantly changing media of\nproduction, recording and transmitting that affects the relationship between the concepts of work\nand text. The monolithic conception is wholly unsuitable for the thinking of the works of oral\nliterature, medieval manuscript culture and contemporary hypertexts. Neither does it work well\nwith printed literature. This study demonstrates how this conception of the work supports a blind\nfaith approach to the stability of the printed text that gives a completely false impression of the\nhistorical nature of the literary work.\nAccording to this study literary criticism should be based on an aesthetic of suspicion that\napproaches every text with a critical attitude. The literary critic should examine the history of\ntextual transmission of the work under study and only then determine and justify from the\nviewpoint of the given research frame the selection of which text versions the work’s\ninterpretation is based on. By examining unpublished as well as published versions of Aaro\nHellaakoski’s Me kaksi, the present study demonstrates in practice how taking textual variation\ninto account produces interpretations of the work that would not otherwise be possible when\nworking only with a single text version.

ISBN-10:
978-951-42-6208-1
Kieli:
eng.
Sivumäärä:
242 s.
Tekijät:
Pulkkinen Veijo
Tuotekoodi 013982
25,00 €