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16. The Social Permeability of Reader and Text

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Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300)

In this first lecture on the theory of literature in social contexts, Professor Paul Fry examines the work of Mikhail Bakhtin and Hans Robert Jauss. The relation of their writing to formalist theory and the work of Barthes and Foucault is articulated. The dimensions of Bakhtin's heteroglossia, along with the idea of common language, are explored in detail through a close reading of the first sentence of Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice. Jauss's study of the history of reception is explicated with reference to Borges' "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote" and the Broadway revival of Damn Yankees.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Language in Social Context
09:32 - Chapter 2. Bakhtin, Jauss, and Formalism
22:01 - Chapter 3. Bakhtin and Authority
28:36 - Chapter 4. Pride and Prejudice
35:52 - Chapter 5. Common Language
40:02 - Chapter 6. Jauss and the History of Reception

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

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.