Wimsatt and Beardsley on the Intentional Fallacy

The intentional and affective fallacies

In The Verbal Icon (1954), William Wimsatt and Monroe Beardsley describe two other fallacies which are encountered in the study of literature.

The "Intentional Fallacy" is the mistake of attempting to understand the author's intentions when interpreting a literary work. Such an approach is fallacious because the meaning of a work should be contained solely within the work itself, and attempts to understand the author's intention violate the autonomy of the work.

The "Affective Fallacy" is the mistake of equating a work with its emotional effects upon an audience. The new critics believed that a text should not have to be understood relative to the responses of its readers; its merit (and meaning) must be inherent.

Terms for the critical methods they opposed in this essay are romantic criticism, biographical criticism, and genetic criticism (AKA "source-hunting"). They allege that these methods begin "by trying to derive the standard of criticism from the psychological causes of the poem and in biography and relativism" (from the introduction to "The Affective Fallacy").

Judging a poem is like judging a pudding or a machine. One demands that it work. Poetry is a feat of style by which a complex of meaning is handled all at once. Poetry succeeds because all or most of what is said or implied is relevant; what is irrelevant has been excluded, like lumps from pudding and 'bugs' from machinery. In this respect poetry differs from practical messages, which are successful if and only if we correctly infer the intention. They are more abstract than poetry.

The poem is not the critic's own and not the author's (it is detached from the author at birth and goes about the world beyond his power to intend about it or control it). The poem belongs to the public. It is embodied in language [and] is an object of public knowledge.

. . . the way of objective criticism of works of art . . . enables us to distinguish between a skilful murder and a skilful poem. A skilful murder is an example which Coomaraswamy uses, and in his system the difference between murder and the poem is simply a 'moral' one, not an 'artistic' one, since each if carried out according to plan is 'artistically successful. We maintain that [asking "whether the work of art' ought ever to have been undertaken at all and so whether it is worth preserving'"] is an inquiry of more worth than [asking "whether the artist achieved his intentions"], and since [the former] and not [the latter] is capable of distinguishing poetry from murder, the name 'artistic criticism' is properly given to [the former].

Criticism is "the public art of evaluating poems" and requires "terms of objectification"--"The evaluation of the work remains public; the work is measured against something outside the author."

. . . author psychology can be historical too, and then we have literary biography, a legitimate and attractive study in itself . . . Yet there is danger of confusing personal and poetic studies; and there is the fault of writing the personal as if it were the poetic.

There is a difference between internal and external evidence for the meaning of a poem. [Public internal evidence of the meaning of the poem] is discovered through the semantics and syntax of a poem, through our habitual knowledge of the language, through grammars, dictionaries, and all the literature which is the source of dictionaries, in general, through all that makes a language and culture; while what is . . . external is private or idiosyncratic; not a part of the work as a linguistic fact: it consists of revelations (in journals, for example, or letters or reported conversations) about how or why the poet wrote the poem.


Comments

Anonymous said…
Good afternoon many have machines which not insuranced,
you have a unique opportunity only today to receive insurance the machine free of charge
auto insurance
auto insurance
cars insurance
cars insurance
texas car insurance
texas car insurance
car insurance quotes
car insurance quotes
car insurance policy
car insurance policy
xanax
phentermine
buy tramadol
Anonymous said…
Hi people
I do not know what to give for Christmas of the to friends, advise something ....
Anonymous said…
Hello. Good day
Who listens to what music?
I Love songs Justin Timberlake and Paris Hilton
Anonymous said…
Mmm my sweety private weblink collection. I hope you enjoy it !
ass parade
naruto xxx





------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
About Christmas
merry christmas
Anonymous said…
Hello. Prompt how to get acquainted with the girl it to me to like. But does not know about it
I have read through one history
Each of you has your personal story; it is your history. Keeping a diary or writing your feelings in a special notebook is a wonderful way to learn how to think and write about who you are -- to develop your own identity and voice.

People of all ages are able to do this. Your own history is special because of your circumstances: your cultural, racial, religious or ethnic background. Your story is also part of human history, a part of the story of the dignity and worth of all human beings. By putting opinions and thoughts into words, you, too, can give voice to your inner self and strivings.

A long entry by Anne Frank on April 5, 1944, written after more than a year and a half of hiding from the Nazis, describes the range of emotions 14-year-old Anne is experiencing:

". . . but the moment I was alone I knew I was going to cry my eyes out. I slid to the floor in my nightgown and began by saying my prayers, very fervently. Then I drew my knees to my chest, lay my head on my arms and cried, all huddled up on the bare floor. A loud sob brought me back down to earth, and I choked back my tears, since I didn't want anyone next door to hear me . . .

"And now it's really over. I finally realized that I must do my school work to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that's what I want! I know I can write. A few of my stories are good, my descriptions of the Secret Annex are humorous, much of my diary is vivid and alive, but . . . it remains to be seen whether I really have talent . . .

"When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that's a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer? I hope so, oh, I hope so very much, because writing allows me to record everything, all my thoughts, ideals and fantasies.

"I haven't worked on Cady's Life for ages. In my mind I've worked out exactly what happens next, but the story doesn't seem to be coming along very well. I might never finish it, and it'll wind up in the wastepaper basket or the stove. That's a horrible thought, but then I say to myself, "At the age of 14 and with so little experience, you can't write about philosophy.' So onward and upward, with renewed spirits. It'll all work out, because I'm determined to write! Yours, Anne M. Frank

For those of you interested in reading some of Anne Frank's first stories and essays, including a version of Cady's Life, see Tales From the Secret Annex (Doubleday, 1996). Next: Reviewing and revising your writing
Anonymous said…
Thanks for the info, very much appreciated. Its a little to digest but will keep reading.
- www.blogger.com g
samsung ringtone
motorola ringtone
sony ericsson ringtone
nokia ringtone
Anonymous said…
Please Do not delete it , I need lots of money urgent.















Bye
Anonymous said…
Hi
Do not delete it please. I need money urgent
















Bye
Anonymous said…
Please Do not delete it , I need lots of money urgent.















G'night
Anonymous said…
Hi all!
Do not delete it please. I need money urgent
[url=http://elidel.phpbbx.de/]Elidel[/url]
[url=http://kenalog.phpbbx.de/]Kenalog[/url]
[url=http://nizoral.phpbbx.de/]Nizoral[/url]
[url=http://penlac.phpbbx.de/]Penlac[/url]
[url=http://protopic.phpbbx.de/]Protopic[/url]
[url=http://sumycin.phpbbx.de/]Sumycin[/url]
[url=http://synalar.phpbbx.de/]Synalar[/url]
[url=http://temovate.phpbbx.de/]Temovate[/url]
[url=http://evista.phpbbx.de/]Evista[/url]
[url=http://fosamax.phpbbx.de/]Fosamax[/url]
[url=http://levbid.phpbbx.de/]Levbid[/url]
[url=http://seasonale.phpbbx.de/]Seasonale[/url]
Bye
Anonymous said…
Please Do not delete it , I need lots of money urgent.
[url=http://clarinex.phpbbx.de/]Clarinex[/url]
[url=http://nasocort.phpbbx.de/]Nasocort[/url]
[url=http://patanol.phpbbx.de/]Patanol[/url]
[url=http://celexa4u.phpbbx.de/]Celexa[/url]
[url=http://elavil.phpbbx.de/]Elavil[/url]
[url=http://lexapro4u.phpbbx.de/]Lexapro[/url]
[url=http://remeron.phpbbx.de/]Remeron[/url]
[url=http://albenza.phpbbx.de/]Albenza[/url]
[url=http://eurax.phpbbx.de/]Eurax[/url]
[url=http://elimite.phpbbx.de/]Elimite[/url]
[url=http://vermox.phpbbx.de/]Vermox[/url]
[url=http://tamiflu4u.phpbbx.de/]Tamiflu[/url]
Bye
Anonymous said…
Please Do not delete it , I need lots of money urgent.

[url=http://s3.freepowerboards.com/lvov/]bentyl[/url]
[url=http://s3.freepowerboards.com/msk/]buspar[/url]
[url=http://s3.freepowerboards.com/vitebsk/]butalbital[/url]
[url=http://s3.freepowerboards.com/mecheslav/]carisoprodol[/url]
[url=http://s3.freepowerboards.com/sanek/]celebrex[/url]
[url=http://s3.freepowerboards.com/nicka/]celexa[/url]
[url=http://s3.freepowerboards.com/cilka/]cialis[/url]
[url=http://s3.freepowerboards.com/milka/]clarinex[/url]
[url=http://s3.freepowerboards.com/lagon/]aphthasol[/url]
[url=http://s3.freepowerboards.com/kick/]claritin[/url]
[url=http://s3.freepowerboards.com/artezio/]clomid[/url]
[url=http://s3.freepowerboards.com/hillka/]colchicine[/url]
[url=http://s3.freepowerboards.com/testerclub/]condylox[/url]
[url=http://s3.freepowerboards.com/testers/]cyclobenzaprine[/url]
[url=http://s3.freepowerboards.com/jixx/]denavir[/url]

Bye
Anonymous said…
[url=http://dietpatch.siamforum.com/]diet patch[/url]
diet patch
http://dietpatch.siamforum.com/
[url=http://highcholesterol.siamforum.com/]high cholesterol diet[/url]
high cholesterol diet
http://highcholesterol.siamforum.com/
[url=http://diet.siamforum.com/]diet[/url]
diet
http://diet.siamforum.com/
[url=http://dietpill.siamforum.com/]diet pill[/url]
diet pill
http://dietpill.siamforum.com/
[url=http://dietplan.siamforum.com/]diet plan[/url]
diet plan
http://dietplan.siamforum.com/
Anonymous said…
[url=http://s-url.net/0oi1]diet[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0oi2]diet pill[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0oi3]diet plan[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0oi4]diabetic diet[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0oi5]diet phentermine[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0oi6]diet food[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0oi7]diet hoodia pill[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0oi8]best diet pill[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0oi9]adipex diet pill[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0oia]diet program[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0oib]weight loss[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0oic]weight loss pill[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0oid]weight loss tip[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0oie]fast weight loss[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0oif]natural weight loss[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0oig]weight loss plan[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0oih]easy weight loss[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0oii]low cholesterol diet[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0oij]diet supplemental[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0oik]weight loss program[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0oil]weight loss meridia[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0oim]weight loss drug[/url]
Anonymous said…
[url=http://s-url.net/0ohg]Ultracet[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0ohh]Cheap Xanax[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0ohi]Xenical[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0ohj]Online Tramadol[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0ohk]Syntrax[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0ohl]Paxil[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0ohm]Nicotrol[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0ohn]Nexium[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0ohp]Motrin[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0ohq]Nasonex[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0ohr]Cheap Phentermine[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0ohs]Prevacid[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0oht]Skelaxin[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0ohu]Sonata[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0ohv]Renova[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0ohw]Prozac[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0ohx]Prilosec[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0ohy]Cheap Propecia[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0ohz]diet patch[/url]
[url=http://s-url.net/0oi0]High Cholesterol Diet[/url]
Nidhi said…
Thanks a lot for the information on WImsatt's essay. I have an exam to give.
Anonymous said…
Online Poker bonus no deposit - no deposit bonuses Good luck on the table :) free poker money Regards and sorry if spam for you.Play real money if you hungry , same cookie there - $150 bez depozytu za darmo graj i wygrywaj albo przegrywaj.
poker portal free poker money
pedro velasquez said…
Affective fallacy is a term from literary bet basketball criticism used to refer to the supposed error of judging or evaluating a text on the basis of its emotional effects on a reader. The term was coined by W.K. Wimsatt and Monroe Beardsley as a principle of New Criticism. The New Criticism represented a new, largely academic, sportsbook approach to literary studies that focused on the literary text itself as the object of study and not as a social artefact that expressed the inner life of the artist or the society in which it was written. The New Critics attempted to make literary criticism into a more rigorous field, march madness modeled on the dominant paradigm of knowledge in modern society–science. In the process they forced critics to address the work of art itself and examine the nature of human creativity and artistic creation.
http://www.enterbet.com
Term Papers said…
I have been visiting various blogs for my Term Papers research. I have found your blog to be quite useful. Keep updating your blog with valuable information... Regards
istanbul said…
TTG Travel Agency is a leading travel agency and tour operator in istanbul Turkey with more than seven years of professional travel service. Because of our dedication and commitment to your needs istanbul travel we are able to offer you better quality of service at lower prices than other operators. http://www.istanbulhotels.com We provide hundreds of elaborately pre-designed Turkey tour packages, Turkey tours discounted, Guided turkey hotels and Turkey Tours, and we also provide customized travel service that is organized according to your specific needs and requirements http://www.istanbulhotels.com Our tours are professionally guided, intimate, and safe.

Popular posts from this blog

A Summary of Rolland Barthes' "From Work to Text"

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales" as a Picture of Contemporary Society

I.A.Richards' Two Uses of Language