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26. Reflections; Who Doesn't Hate Theory Now?

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Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300)

In this final lecture on literary theory, Professor Paul Fry revisits the relationship between language and speech, language and intention, and language and communication. Over the course of this discussion, he retrospectively defines theory as a means of establishing the extent to which "it is legitimate to be suspicious of communication." Along the way, he reconnects with New Criticism, Jakobson, Bakhtin, Saussure, de Man, Fish, and Knapp and Michaels. Through an analysis of epitaphs and a final tour through Tony the Tow Truck, he underscores the central role of language in the variety of literary theories presented in the course.

00:00 - Chapter 1. What Is Theory?
08:28 - Chapter 2. Three Ways That Language Impedes Speech
24:43 - Chapter 3. Language Speaking Through Speech
29:37 - Chapter 4. A Study of Epitaphs
40:59 - Chapter 5. Final Reflections on Tony the Tow Truck
47:07 - Chapter 6. Three Final Theses

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.