Wimsatt and Beardsley were New Critics: The Extreme Version. In two famous co -authored essays—”The Affective Fallacy” () and “The Intentional Fallacy”. In literary theory and aesthetics, authorial intent refers to an author’s intent as it is encoded in Wimsatt and Monroe Beardsley argue in their essay “The Intentional Fallacy” that “the design or intention of the author is neither available nor. The Intentional Fallacy, according to Wimsatt, derives from Wimsatt and Beardsley consider this strategy a fallacy partly.

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This page was last edited on 14 Octoberat As I went along, thinking of nothing in particular, only beardsldy at things around me and following the progress of the seasons, there would flow into my mind, with sudden and unaccountable emotion, sometimes a line or two of verse, sometimes a whole stanza at once.

The author’s intent is recoverable from the text, but there are always encoded within it several separate positions.

And perhaps he is to be taken more seriously here, when off guard in a note, than when in his Norton Lectures he comments on the difficulty of saying what a poem means and adds playfully that he thinks of prefixing to a second edition of Ash Wednesday some lines from Don Neardsley Studies in the Meaning of Poetry. Horace’s rule, Si vis me flereis applicable in a wider bearvsley than the literal one.

Authorial intent – Wikipedia

Poetry succeeds because all or most of what is said or implied is relevant; what is irrevelant has been excluded, like lumps from pudding and “bugs” from machinery. There is 3 an intermediate kind of evidence about the character of the author or about private or semiprivate meanings attached to words or topics by an author or by a coterie of which he is a member.

Judging a poem is like judging a pudding or a machine. Wimsatt and Beardsley argue that the effect of poetic language alone is an unreliable way to analyze poetry because, they contend, words have no effect in wimatt of themselves, independent of their meaning.

William K. Wimsatt

But wimzatt we find allusions supported by notes, and it is a nice question whether the notes function more as guides to send us where we may be educated, or more as indications in xnd about the character of the allusions. The Intentional Fallacy, according to Wimsatt and Beardsley, grows out of a romantic aesthetic dealing with “private,” idiosyncratic elements of literary composition. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.


Wimsatt also drew on the work of both ancient critics, such as Longinus and Aristotleand some of his own contemporaries, such as T.

University Press of Kentucky. Such critical interpretation is based upon private, idiosyncratic knowledge. Or, since every rule for a poet is but another side of a judgment by a critic, and since the past is the realm of the scholar and critic, and the future and present that of the poet and the critical leaders of taste, we may say that the problems arising in literary scholarship from the intentional fallacy are matched by others which arise in the world of progressive experiment.

Knowing how an author is apt to use a word or phrase may be beneficial in finding unifying structures and themes in a piece of literature. In The First Anniversary he says the “new philosophy calls all in doubt.

Mathiessenfor instance, sees that Eliot’s titles for poems and his epigraphs are informative apparatus, like the notes.

Authorial intent

Reader response critics qnd the authorial intent variously. Through studies of works by T. Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends. Written as a series of independent essays between andThe Verbal Icon was finally published as a cohesive work after Wimsatt revised some of the original versions in Professor Ducasse does not say.

And Housman’s little handbook to the poetic mind yields this illustration: Reading a poem, one may contemplate the author’s intention for his piece of work: What is said about the poem is subject to the same untentional as any statement in linguistics or in the general science of psychology.

Coomaraswamyhas argued 3 that there are two kinds of inquiry about a work of art: Alfred Prufrock ,” toward the end, occurs the line: And if we become full of astronomical ideas and see Donne only against the background of the new science, we may believe that he did.


Such biographical information doesn’t necessarily entail intentionalism; instead it may clarify the meanings of the words, the nuances of imagery, within the literary text.

This evidence is “about the character of an author or about private or semiprivate meanings attached to words or topics by an author” Know thyself; 2dly, Reverence thyself.

This is the grand secret for finding readers and retaining them: One must ask how a critic expects to get an answer to the question about intention. A summary of the physi He intended to write a better work, or a better work of a certain kind, and now has done it. If there was nothing “haphazard or fortuitous” in the way the images returned to the surface, that may mean 1 that Coleridge could not produce what he did not have, that he was limited in his creation by what he had read or otherwise experienced, or 2 that having received certain clusters of associations, he was bound to return them in just the way he did, and that the value of the poem may be described in terms of the experiences on which he had to draw.

Wimsatt and Beardsley assess three possible types of evidence that can be used to interpret literature and explain how these three types are not equally valuable or valid for literary criticism.

Creatrix ,” it may be that Professor Lowes pretends to say more about the actual poems than he does. One demands that it work. wmsatt

Allusions to Beardsle, Webster, Marvell, or Baudelaire doubtless gain something because these writers existed, but it is doubtful whether the same can be said for an allusion to an obscure Elizabethan: It is for this reason that Wimsatt and Beardsley argue that if such notes or allusions generally are acknowledged by the critical reader they “ought to be judged like any other parts of composition”