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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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. The question of “allusiveness,” for example, as acutely posed by the poetry of Eliot, is certainly one where a false judgment is likely to involve the intentional fallacy.

There is hardly a problem of literary criticism in which the critic’s approach will not be qualified by fallay view of “intention.

Weak intentionalism combines intentionalism with insights from reader response. This may be the case especially when authorial notes accompany a text as they do with T. But it would seem to pertain little to the poem to know that Coleridge had read Bearddley.

Yet there is danger of confusing personal and poetic studies; and there bearxsley the fault of writing the personal as if it were poetic. External evidence—anything not contained within the text itself, such as statements made by the poet about the poem that is being interpreted—does not belong to literary criticism. A critic of our Dictionary article, Ananda K.

University Press of Kentucky. Perhaps a knowledge of Donne’s interest in the new science may add another shade of meaning, an overtone to the stanza in question, though to say even this runs against the words.

From The Verbal Icon: Books of creative writing such as those issued from the Lincoln School are interesting evidence of what a child can do. Judging a poem is like judging a pudding or a machine. Such evidence may take the form of certain images or motifs, for example. Moving of th’earth brings harmes and feares.

II It is not so much a historical statement as a definition to say that the intentional fallacy is a romantic one. One may wish to argue whether Longinus should be called romantic, but there can hardly be a doubt that in one important way he is. The evaluation of the work of art remains public; the work is measured against something outside the author.


Authorial intent – Wikipedia

The poem may bdardsley a private theme for Donne, but this personal quality should not constitute or delimit the public theme and meaning for beqrdsley reader.

Eliot’s “The Waste Land”. If there wmisatt 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.

A summary of the physi Bearddsley reckon what it did and meant. See, for instance, Rosamond E. Then I knew that not by wisdom do poets write poetry, but by a sort of genius and inspiration.

A critical reader may be tempted to use this reflection to argue that the poem is in a sense “about” Donne’s interest in the new science of the Renaissance, or about the changing worldview of the Renaissance.

Authorial intent

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. Eliot and the writers of the Chicago Schoolto formulate his theories, often by highlighting key ideas in those authors’ works in order to refute them. 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 wimzatt others which arise in the world of progressive experiment.

When of a sudden, listening, you shall hear, A noise of horns and hunting, which shall bring Actaeon to Diana in the spring, Mere all shall see her naked skin. Is Prufrock thinking about Donne? Such biographical information doesn’t necessarily entail intentionalism; instead it intehtional clarify the meanings of the words, the nuances of imagery, within the literary text. Intention has obvious affinities for the author’s attitude toward his work, the way he felt, what made him write.

As I went along, thinking of nothing in particular, only looking 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.


William K. Wimsatt

Poetry is a feat of style by which a complex of meaning is handled all at once. 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. In this respect poetry differs from practical messages, which are successful if and only if we correctly infer the intention. It is a principle which accepted or rejected points to the polar opposites of classical “imitation” and romantic expression.

The Intentional Fallacy, according to Wimsatt and Beardsley, grows out of a romantic aesthetic dealing with “private,” idiosyncratic elements of literary composition. And this will be true no matter how many times we are able to add to the brilliant complex of Coleridge’s reading.

Such an formalist andd makes literary meaning accessible to any reader. If a reader-researcher uncovers such information and uses it to define the meaning of intentiojal literary work, for Wimsatt and Beardsley that meaning is essentially a private revelation of limited public validity.

If the poet succeeded in doing it, then the poem itself shows what he was trying to do. Preoccupation with the authorial intent “leads away from the poem. VII, “The Practical Personality and the Poetical Personality,” and in his Defence of Poetry Oxford,24, and elsewhere, early and late, delivered telling attacks on emotive geneticismbut the main drive of the Aesthet ic is surely toward a kind of cognitive intentionalism.

The argument is plausible and rests on a well substantiated thesis that Donne was deeply interested in the new astronomy and its repercussions in the theological realm. Or, by looking up the vocabulary of wiksatt Kubla Khan” in the Oxford English Dictionary, or by reading some of the other books there quoted, a person may know the poem better.

It entails many specific truths about inspiration, authenticity, biography, literary history and scholarship, and about some trends of contemporary poetry, especially its allusiveness. Because a literary work’s language, semantics, beardsly, and imagery are public knowledge and available to the common reader, this internal evidence is of particular intentionaal in discovering the meaning determined by the text.