Fundamentals of the theory of literature
The first thing to learn about the basics of literary theory is what literature itself is in General. Literature (Latin litteratura-written) is a set of speech structures captured in oral and written form (literature and writing); that is, literature is a note on the refrigerator about cutlets on the stove, and a folklore proverb passed from mouth to mouth, as well as any epic or novel that occupies hundreds of printed pages. Thus, the theory of literature is a system of knowledge, theses and their bases about the totality of speech structures captured in oral or written form.But this definition reveals the object of study, and I will talk about the subject later. In this article, we are talking about a scientific approach to the study of literature, and therefore in the definition it is necessary to understand that knowledge and other things are scientific, and the theory of literature itself is part of Philology, which, in turn, is divided into linguistics (or linguistics, linguistics) – the science of language and literary studies – the science of literature itself. However, the subjects of these Sciences are different, one studies the instrument (language), the other the products created with it (literature); but these Sciences themselves are closely related. Only literary theory will be considered here, as is clear from the title, but in addition to this, literary criticism includes two other major disciplines: literary history and literary criticism.
After understanding what literature, literary studies, the latter’s disciplines and related linguistics are, you can go on to study the basics of literary theory. The theory of literature is closely related to philosophy, or rather to the latter’s discipline of aesthetics; they both ask questions about the criteria of artistry, ideality, meaning, beauty and beauty, style, and other relevant categories. Some researchers refer to the theory of literature as the philosophy of literature, which I personally agree with.
In turn, the theory of literature contains three sections: poetics, aesthetics of literature and the theory of the literary process; I will discuss them in more detail.
Poetics-this section studies the specifics of the structure of literary works in their elementary and complex components, as well as the techniques of poetic production and the form of its product. If otherwise, then poetics as a branch of literary theory forms a system of knowledge about the means and techniques of expression in the poetic art; the latter clearly indicates that the subject of poetics is every poetic product of fiction. Poetics is often descriptive, not normative (stating what exists without a command to what should exist and how);
The aesthetics of literature systematically studies the non-professional creative perception of the variety of forms of the surrounding and internal world of any perceiver (for example, a person), as well as their structure and modification, which are reflected in literature. In other words, this section transfers the subject of aesthetics to its own object – literature. In General, you can define aesthetics richly, widely and at the same time deeply, in some ways, but the main thing in this case is still true, since the subject of aesthetics contains the entire world (including the inner world of a rational being) in all its diversity. So here I have chosen a more modest definition;
The theory of the literary process studies the sequential change of fiction with a generalization of the prerequisites and grounds for them (changes), as well as the laws in their course (as an integral and internally interconnected process) and the consequences of this process. Simply put, this section examines the change in world literature in the culture of humanity yesterday, today, and even tomorrow.
Subject of literary theory
The subject of scientific interest is a set of signs, features and properties of an object that make it complete and allows us to consider it both in isolation from other objects, and in connection with them. Otherwise, the subject is some selected properties of an object, phenomena that can be studied in isolation from other properties of the same object. Regarding the topic of this article, the problem is that the scientific community defines a number of subjects of literary theory, depending on the approach and system of ideas about the most relevant connections of both literature and its theory. Since this article is not exhaustive or even pretends to be such a study, but only touches on the topic in General terms, and therefore is called the basics of literary theory, I will limit myself to three subjects with their incomplete disclosure, choosing them as an illustration. So, the first approach is meaningful, in my opinion, the closest to the essence of the object, since it chooses the main subject of this very essence of literature as a phenomenon.
The subject of literature theory with a content approach is the method(s) of constructing a literary work (its structure) and its content product. This approach affects the concepts of an idea, a plot, a theme, an artistic composition, a style of presentation, and so on. That is, what I have called the features of the essence of literature (but not the essence itself, of course);
The sociological approach to the definition of the subject of literary theory calls the latter features of the reflection of social reality in symbols-images. I can immediately name an omission in this approach in that literature does not always reflect reality. However, this approach focuses on the image, method of presentation, worldview connection, even class, ethnicity, nationality, and the like;
The historical approach is understandable and not as vulnerable to comment as the previous one; this approach considers the subject of literary theory to be the production of literature as an integral historical process. It is not difficult to understand that in this case there is as much, if not less, of literary criticism than there is of history as a science and a field of knowledge. The literary component identifies patterns and structural features in the historical process of creating works, which is reflected in the typology of literary genera (see the article), literary types (see the article) and literary genres (see the article), as well as directions and General principles.
An object is something that exists in objective reality, regardless of the perception of anyone. And the fact that the object of study of literary studies in General and the theory of literature in particular is literature itself (as an objectively existing phenomenon of reality), I believe, and so it is clear, without further explanation, but I made it just in case.