The Role of Literary Criticism in the Processes of Canon Formation in the Postmodernity

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Nikolenko, Viktor
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The 70’s-80’s sociocultural criticism of Western literary canon has dramatically re-shaped the notion of literary canonicity. It has also thematized the problem of literary criticism discourse which generates the interpretative tradition that ensures the endurance of the canonical artworks. As the very notion of canon was challenged, it is an urgent issue to explicate the structure of critical discourse that is capable of literary values production in the postmodern situation of interpretive dissensus. This research investigates the problem of interrelations between postmodern critical discourse and canonical structure. It also explores the role of criticism in explication of hermeneutical potential of a literary canon. Analysis of the critical rhetoric sustains that postmodern criticism is rather engaged with exploration of canonical textuality than with maintenance of literary canons and aesthetic values. While deconstructing the evaluative consensus, it re-approaches the canon as the field of hermeneutical polemics. Postmodern criticism implements the speculative interpretation logic which maintains the canon as a generative source of new methods of reading. As a result, it supersedes the judgment of taste with the hermeneutically productive pragmatics of opinion. The explication of the postmodern critical discourse helps to enhance understanding of the specific critical attention attributed to canonical text in postmodern culture.
literary canon, interpretation, criticism, postmodernism, hermeneutics, літературний канон, інтерпретація, критика, постмодернізм, герменевтика