M.H. Abrams Literary Classification
This is a way of catagorizing literature and literary critcism
developed by M.H. Abrams. It is essentially based on deciding
what is the most important aspect or aspect of text in general.
Once that is decided the critic can evaluate the text based on
that criterion or those criteria.
Mimetic criticism judges the literary work based in terms of the
"truth" of its representation of the reality of the world
and of human life and character.
Pragmatic criticism focuses on a literary work as something designed to
produce emotional or moral responses in the reader, and on how those
effects are produced.
Expressive criticism views a work as an expression of the individuality of the author.
Objective Criticism focuses on the intrinsic qualities of a literary
work. treating it as an object of art that can be studied and evaluated
without reference to author or reader.
One of the most fascinating things about the Post-Structuralist movements
is that they are impossible to classify under any one of the catagories.
For example. Some psychoanalytic critics, such as Jaques Lacan, continue to focus on the author, but now
are interested in analyzing how the structure of the language itself
can subvert authorial intention, which is in a sense an objective
Return to Home Base