Literary Approach In Literature

754 Words4 Pages
In the careful analyses of the artistry of the text, the author of the text has been pronounced dead. There is a growing interest among scholars to bridge the gap between historical and literaryapproaches. The perceived rift between the two approaches may be much more apparent than real. While historical critics emphasize more on the historical aspects of their work, the literary critics stress more on non-historical characters. Therefore, each method tries to fill the gap in the given text. According toMax Turner, different kinds of writing in the Bible call for different methods. Turner appreciates historical, literary, and reader-response approaches since all these could be used for a rich interpretation of biblical texts. M.C De Boer…show more content…
Many methods of biblical interpretation came in reaction to previous ones. For example, historical criticism was born out of a rationalistic outlook of Enlightenment and literary criticism was first applied to linguistic studies. Literary approach to the Bible came in reaction to the insufficiency of historical approaches for biblical interpretation. Despite their origin and motto, biblical methods are tools. The success of a job is not solely dependent on the variety of tools alone. Whatever tools one uses to interpret the biblical text, one’s own presuppositions of the Scripture are important. Perhaps the major problem with both historical and literary approaches is that both strive to find a single meaning intended by the author of the text either in sitz-im-leben or in itsliterary context. Theses approaches tend to focus on one dominant voice in biblical texts, that are diverse in nature.Given the diverse materials used in the Bible, it is unfortunate that much of biblical theology focuses on central, if not a single theme, thereby undermining other perspectives. Old Testament theology has focused much on God’s covenant with his people. God has always been seen as…show more content…
They utilize Russian literary scholar Mikhail Bakhtin’s dialogism approach, which suggests that in a polyphonic novel there is no one dominant voice rather all voices have important value as they interact with each other. Bakhtin (1895-1975) was a philosopher, literary scholar, and a radical Soviet thinker. He lived in polyglot cities and was brought up in a Russian Orthodox Christianity. His circle of friends embraced a new thinking that is away from conventional norms. He was exiled for his unconventional thoughts. His literary theories such as dialogism, heteroglossia, and polyphony are widely used in linguistic and biblical studies. The impact of Bakhtin’s literary theories is very much felt both in the western world as well as in Asia.In his, Problems in Dostoevsky’s Poetics, Bakhtin argues that Dostoevsky’s works are polyphonic or polysubjective in which each voice is unique and on par with others. Bakhtin writes, “A plurality of independent and unmerged voices and consciousness, a genuine polyphony of fully valid voices is in fact the chief characteristic of Dostoevsky’s novels.” For Bakhtin, each voice in Dostoevsky’s novel is autonomous with “equal rights and each with its own world, combine(d) but are not merged in the unity of the event.” Thus in a polyphonic novel, many voices are combined but they remain independent. “The artistic will of polyphony is a will to
Open Document