The present volume is a collection of six papers on the theme of structuralism and literary critique, which go in the exposition of this important, yet unexplored field of looking at literature and literary discourse from the point of view of scientific inquiry. The central problem in structural literary critique is thus the definition of the object of our analysis that goes under the epithet of literary composition. Roland Barthes, however, claims that we possess an History of literature but not a Science of literature because we have not yet recognized fully the nature of literary object, which is a written object.
Literary criticism is a structuralist activity through an implicit and unconscious tructaralism. Gerard Genette wants to specify the significance and importance of the question whether the critic is not called to organize explicitly his structuralist vocation by using the structural method, by indicating other principal ways through which structuralism reaches the object of the critic and presents itself to him as fecund procedure. Zolkiewski gives a critical reply to the question that why the theory of Lukacs needs modification rather than talking over the theory of Levi-Strauss. The principal argument is that his theory has a right conception of the determining role of this instinctual process of social choice of the functioning and transposition of great structure.
Gill deals with the question of fundamental nature of an human being. Is it A Man or a woman? Whatever it is, it is incomplete without the other. In the introduction he brings together the various strands of the though? According to him, the function of literary critique is to unfold the basic layers of the structure of a given literary creation in such as way that each underlying current leads to a better comprehension of the emerging patterns of significance. There are three fundamental levels of literary structuration, according to him- the first level is that of semiotics that follows the normal syntactic organization- the emergence of literary significance is controlled by the syntactic artifice or a system of signs or symbols or signifiers-
The second level of analysis is that of Semiology. The semiotic organization is the organization of form. The semiological significance emerges at the level of content- though the basic process of structuration and comprehension remains the same, the semiological patterns can be understood only through the interplay of the basic psychic components of each human situation. The third level is that of mediation which emerges from associative field of ideological bed or the field of pragmatics.
Introduction : Structuralism and Literary Critique/U.S. Gill
1. Structuralism and Literary Criticism/Gerard Genette
2. Science of Literature/Roland Barthes
3. The Semiotics of Discourse in Traditional Indian Culture/H.S. Gill
4. Two Structuralisms/Stefan Zolkiewski
5. Sartre and Levi-Strauss/Jean Pouillon