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42 review for The Literary Work of Art: An Investigation on the Borderlines of Ontology, Logic, and Theory of Literature

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Gallup

    I read this book long ago while taking a graduate-level course in literary criticism. The question before me at the time was finding a workable definition for literature. Various people writing on the subject had claimed the word means "everything that is written" (Greenlaw), or only writing with "a certain aesthetic quality" (Hallum), or only writing that "imaginatively" exploits the resources of language (Wellek). The reason for asking the question in the first place was to be able to justify t I read this book long ago while taking a graduate-level course in literary criticism. The question before me at the time was finding a workable definition for literature. Various people writing on the subject had claimed the word means "everything that is written" (Greenlaw), or only writing with "a certain aesthetic quality" (Hallum), or only writing that "imaginatively" exploits the resources of language (Wellek). The reason for asking the question in the first place was to be able to justify the choice of which literary works deserve to be studied and taught. Ingarden's book focuses on the "altogether peculiar structure" of literary works. He chooses that focus after examining and discarding other approaches. For example, a literary work cannot be said to evoke specific emotional or intellectual reactions in readers, and therefore to represent some kind of timeless ideal, because one reader's reaction to it will differ from another's. (A quick scan of commentaries posted on Goodreads bears that out.) A literary work is also distinct from the author's point of view, the reader's preferences and expectations, and objective real-world elements included within it, such as the place where it is set. Instead of all that, according to Ingarden, the key building blocks of a literary work are multiple layers ranging from word sounds up to high-level ideas, and reflecting a progression from beginning to end. At the time, I saw this explication simply as one of many attempts to get a handle on what is and is not literature. I don't think this one was particularly impressive, except for one effect. I think it made me more receptive to books I subsequently read about structural linguistics, which in turn influenced the kinds of papers I wrote for my other courses. I remember thinking it would be rather clever to reverse-engineer literary classics in terms of their structure, i.e., to spend more time on the text itself and less on the ideas it prompts. Some professors disagreed. One kindly wrote at the bottom of a paper analyzing Much Ado About Nothing: "There are few [works] that would not respond almost identically to a structuralist analysis, which is only to be expected since structuralism is by definition reductive. So although your analysis is penetrating in one sense, in another it is not. It does little to explain the dynamics of this as opposed to Shakespeare's other comedies ..." In other words, the structure of a literary work is interesting, but it's not the whole story. Pretending otherwise will lead to trouble.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alejandro

    Extremely enlightening although I would not attempt to read it without previous philosophical preparation. It is quite difficult and highly technical in its discussion with heavy use of Husserl's phenomenological vocabulary. If you do have a philosophical training, though, the final understanding it conveys and the possible fields of investigation it opens up are well worth the fatigue. Extremely enlightening although I would not attempt to read it without previous philosophical preparation. It is quite difficult and highly technical in its discussion with heavy use of Husserl's phenomenological vocabulary. If you do have a philosophical training, though, the final understanding it conveys and the possible fields of investigation it opens up are well worth the fatigue.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kriszti

    This was really hard to read, and I sense this text hides much more meaning...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Teleseparatist

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  5. 4 out of 5

    Mihai Zodian

  6. 4 out of 5

    Marta

  7. 4 out of 5

    Robert

  8. 5 out of 5

    Beverly

  9. 4 out of 5

    Guadalupe Battilana

  10. 5 out of 5

    Leen Verheyen

  11. 4 out of 5

    Aashish Kaul

  12. 4 out of 5

    Una Vojvodic

  13. 5 out of 5

    Natálie Ficencová

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mansoor

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tom Griffiths

  16. 4 out of 5

    Garrett

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mika Oksanen

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michal Lipták

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

  20. 5 out of 5

    Girl

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marwa

  22. 5 out of 5

    Manjaak

  23. 5 out of 5

    Harold

  24. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin

  25. 5 out of 5

    David

  26. 4 out of 5

    mimi

  27. 4 out of 5

    Corbin

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tom Griffiths

  29. 4 out of 5

    Melancholy

  30. 5 out of 5

    Maysa Roberta Degennaro

  31. 4 out of 5

    Charly

  32. 5 out of 5

    Oleuanna Twig

  33. 5 out of 5

    J.A.J.

  34. 4 out of 5

    Marwa

  35. 5 out of 5

    Finn Lauren

  36. 5 out of 5

    S.

  37. 4 out of 5

    Steven Chang

  38. 5 out of 5

    Ibtisam

  39. 5 out of 5

    Samaneh

  40. 4 out of 5

    Josip Cmrečnjak

  41. 5 out of 5

    Fula Ali

  42. 5 out of 5

    Xiuh Montes león

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