M.H. Abrams: "The Mirror and the Lamp"

Topics: Linguistics, Semiotics, Literary theory Pages: 2 (408 words) Published: April 2, 2012
M.H. Abrams: "The Mirror and the Lamp". It is establishes between a work and three pivotal points. -The primary focus of literature/art is to instruct which brings it into the realm of education. 1. Work represents the product itself. It is called an artefact. 2. Most important thing is artificer (artist)

3. Taken to have a subject derived from something
4. Lastly this comprehensive quality is absorbed by people. -There are varying literary schools of thought but they exclusively choose one.

Artist - If the focus is on the artist, we read Hamlet but we look at Shakespeare, the creator. Biographical criticism, the perspective that the biographical criticism reflects the event, specific experiences, personal prejudices, and life are reflected in the work. So that Hamlet is a projection of Shakespeare. The danger of this approach is that it can become a fallacy. The poet is (not) the speaker. It can and cannot be the speaker, we don't separate the work from the writer.

Psychological - In the world of physiological, the physiological state of the artist and the manifestations of repressed needs, desires, and frustrations are reflected in the work. We move away from the work and focus on the physiological state of the artist.

Universe: Social Historic - The work expresses the values, issues, and concerns of the age which produced the work. Moral/Didactic - From this perspective, the art should reflect an ethical perspective. If it teaches us anything, it becomes didactic.

Audience: Reader Response - There is no single interpretation which takes present over another. It becomes affected, tainted by our emotions, and perspectives. We aren't really talking about literature, we are taking our feelings. How we interpret literature changes the work itself.

Work - The work should stand alone from the artist, universe, and audience. 1. Philosophical - Within the realm of PC, the work reflects an idea. We eliminate the art when we just...
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