2013 | 22/1 | 19-33
Article title

The Formalist Roots of Stanley Fish’s and E. D. Hirsch’s Hermeneutics

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The paper investigates the extent to which Stanley Fish’s constructivism and E. D. Hirsch’s hermeneutics are similar in their assumptions and program. Although it is commonly accepted that they constitute polar opposites of literary theory, Fish and Hirsch are embedded in the theoretical discourse of New Criticism’s approach to literary studies and develop in a form of critique of the formalist stance. The problems they encounter and the way they approach literary texts are shaped by formalist assumptions that eventually lead to serious discrepancies between their postulated theory and practice. Both theories of interpretation seem to be operating within a similar framework of ideas which determines their understanding of the problems regarding literary studies as well as their solutions. What appears to be even more important is that the ‘‘textual” theoretical framework itself causes serious problems for both programmes of literary hermeneutics.
  • University of Silesia
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