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Literaturwissenschaft und Eigensinn

(2011) JOURNAL OF LITERARY THEORY. 5(2). p.251-261
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Abstract
In this essay, carrying out work in literary studies is viewed as a creative and individually shaped process whose strength lies not primarily in its methodologically secure analytical competence but in its production of a diversity of critical thought that is subjectively grounded and, furthermore, addressed to a reader – and thus written in anticipation of a reply. The positive valorization of a subjective approach to literary material is accompanied by a sceptical attitude to the attempt to introduce norms and standards into literary studies in order to qualitatively improve the latter. This scepticism stems from the conviction that standardizations can never be enforced without a loss of diversity – but diversity is necessary if scholarly chauvinism is to be undermined and new ideas are to emerge beyond the mainstream. With this thesis, the essay picks up Paul Feyerabend’s remarks on the theory of science; with the phrase ›anything goes‹, he called for an acceptance of the idea that innovative engagement with certain problems or phenomena does not necessarily emerge from intentional and scientifically objective consideration but is borne »by a vague urge, by a ›passion‹ (Kierkegaard)«. If spontaneous, seemingly absurd ideas are permitted, that is to say, or if a ›counterinductive‹ approach is taken, results can be obtained that would not have appeared had a rational route been followed. A literary studies that draws on Feyerabend can make these ideas productive and free scholarly work from the narrow limits of a self-understanding that is directed toward objective propositional insights, and place the thought of the individual in the foreground instead.
Keywords
Literary Theory

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Wennerscheid, Sophie. 2011. “Literaturwissenschaft Und Eigensinn.” Journal of Literary Theory 5 (2): 251–261.
APA
Wennerscheid, S. (2011). Literaturwissenschaft und Eigensinn. JOURNAL OF LITERARY THEORY, 5(2), 251–261.
Vancouver
1.
Wennerscheid S. Literaturwissenschaft und Eigensinn. JOURNAL OF LITERARY THEORY. 2011;5(2):251–61.
MLA
Wennerscheid, Sophie. “Literaturwissenschaft Und Eigensinn.” JOURNAL OF LITERARY THEORY 5.2 (2011): 251–261. Print.
@article{4128889,
  abstract     = {In this essay, carrying out work in literary studies is viewed as a creative and individually shaped process whose strength lies not primarily in its methodologically secure analytical competence but in its production of a diversity of critical thought that is subjectively grounded and, furthermore, addressed to a reader -- and thus written in anticipation of a reply. The positive valorization of a subjective approach to literary material is accompanied by a sceptical attitude to the attempt to introduce norms and standards into literary studies in order to qualitatively improve the latter. This scepticism stems from the conviction that standardizations can never be enforced without a loss of diversity -- but diversity is necessary if scholarly chauvinism is to be undermined and new ideas are to emerge beyond the mainstream. With this thesis, the essay picks up Paul Feyerabend{\textquoteright}s remarks on the theory of science; with the phrase {\guilsinglright}anything goes{\guilsinglleft}, he called for an acceptance of the idea that innovative engagement with certain problems or phenomena does not necessarily emerge from intentional and scientifically objective consideration but is borne {\guillemotright}by a vague urge, by a {\guilsinglright}passion{\guilsinglleft} (Kierkegaard){\guillemotleft}. If spontaneous, seemingly absurd ideas are permitted, that is to say, or if a {\guilsinglright}counterinductive{\guilsinglleft} approach is taken, results can be obtained that would not have appeared had a rational route been followed. A literary studies that draws on Feyerabend can make these ideas productive and free scholarly work from the narrow limits of a self-understanding that is directed toward objective propositional insights, and place the thought of the individual in the foreground instead.},
  author       = {Wennerscheid, Sophie},
  issn         = {1862-5290},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF LITERARY THEORY},
  language     = {ger},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {251--261},
  title        = {Literaturwissenschaft und Eigensinn},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/JLT.2011.004},
  volume       = {5},
  year         = {2011},
}

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