2. Introduction (cont.)

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Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300)

In this second introductory lecture, Professor Paul Fry explores the interrelation of skepticism and determinism. The nature of discourse and the related issue of discursivity is read through two modern works, Anton Chekov's Cherry Orchard and Henry James' The Ambassadors. Exemplary critical focus on literary authority is located in Michel Foucault's "What Is an Author" and [Roland] Barthes' "The Death of the Author," both of which are read with an emphasis on their historical contexts. Objections to the approach and conclusions of the two theorists are examined, particularly in light of the rise of cultural studies.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction
01:52 - Chapter 2. Anton Chekhov and Henry James
11:26 - Chapter 3. Author and Authority
19:36 - Chapter 4. "The Founders of Discursivity"
28:20 - Chapter 5. Critique of the "Author Function"

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

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.