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The authorial delusion: counting lady Macbeth’s children

Varotsi, L. P. (2017) The authorial delusion: counting lady Macbeth’s children. New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing, 14 (1). pp. 70-79. ISSN 1479-0726

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/14790726.2016.1226342


In 1933, literary critic L. C. Knights published a caustic essay against the notion cultivated by certain of his colleagues, predominantly A. C. Bradley, that Shakespeare is a ‘great creator of characters’. Knights (1973) regarded the examination of isolated particles such as ‘character’ as disorientating, alleging that an analysis of this sort obscures the greater merit of language. Knight’s polemic essentially stands in the threshold of the dissention between formalists and realists: the former consider the examination of the fictional narrative as anything but a textual construct a scholarly faux pas; the latter regard the referential relationship between text and the world as a foundation for the creation of fiction. This is a pseudo-dilemma. The notion that literature is denuded of its artistic merit once it is defined by its constituent artefacts is disorienting, for it completely bypasses the dynamics of its creation. Put differently, a post-event analysis can exist as a standalone act, albeit it cannot challenge or dismiss the foundational principles of the event’s creation process.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting
ID Code:68058
Publisher:Taylor & Francis


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