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form - literary theory


Formalism (literature)
In literary studies, formalism sometimes refers to inquiry into the form (rather than the content) of works of literature, but usually refers broadly to approaches to interpreting or evaluating literary works that focus on features of the text itself (especially properties of its language) rather than on the contexts of its creation (biographical, historical or intellectual) or the contexts of its reception. The term groups together a number of different approaches to literature, many of which seriously diverge from one another. Formalism, in this broad sense, was the dominant mode of academic literary study in the US at least from the end of the Second World War through the 1970s, especially as embodied in René Wellek and Austin Warren's Theory of Literature (1948, 1955, 1962). Beginning in the late 1970s, formalism was substantially displaced by various approaches (often with political aims or assumptions) that were suspicious of the idea that a literary work could be separated from its origins or uses. The term has often had a pejorative cast and has been used by opponents to indicate either aridity or ideological deviance. Some recent trends in academic literary criticism suggest that formalism may be making a comeback. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formalism_%28literature%29 [Jan 2006]

Formalism (art)
Formalism is the concept that a work's artistic value is entirely determined by its form--the way it is made, its purely visual aspects and its medium. Formalism emphasizes compositional elements such as color, line, shape and texture rather than context and content. Formalism dominated modern art from the late 1800s through the 1960s. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formalism_%28art%29 [Jan 2006]

See also: form - content - 1949 - literary theory - literature - theory

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