Methods of Literary Criticism

I have discovered some tools for the methodology of literary criticism. They are:
a) Philosophical Etymology
b) Cultural Anatomy
c) Psychological Pharmacology
d) Ontological Nebula

Philosophical Etymology
What is philosophical Etymology? Philosophical etymology is a cross examination of literary and cultural meanings in the light of Philosophy. It seeks to give newer shades of meaning to older thoughts. Let’s look at some examples. The school of structuralism coined that all language is made up of signs. A sign consists of the signifier and the signified. The signifier is a visual tangible thing and the signified is an idea. Let’s use an example: I blossomed in her garden. Here blossomed is figurative and an idea and hence it is the signified. Garden forms the signifier.

Postmodern Philosopher Derrida developed the idea of Binary Divide. A Binary Divide is a text that privileges some and marginalizes others. Let’s look at an example. It is said in an advert: Wanted only Native Speakers to Teach English. This narrative privileges Native Speakers over English spoken by the colonized people. Using the Binary Divide we can deconstruct texts.

From Derrida I have developed an idea called Binary Fusion. Binary fusion is a text that promotes equality. Let’s look at an advert. We do not discriminate people on the basis of gender, color or orientation. This text contains a Binary Fusion. Let’s look at another example. Black Culture, Black Gospel, Jazz and Blues are universally epitomized binary fusions of culture. A literary interpreter can analyze texts and bring out notions of marginalization and privilege and also write a narrative of Binary Fusion.

Then comes Kristeva’s texts of the semiotic and the symbolic. A semiotic text omits grammar and punctuation. Such a kind of text can be found in streams of consciousness narratives, in drama, film and music. A symbolic text on the other hand adheres to the strict conventions of language. Doing a literary analysis we can classify texts into semiotic and symbolic elements.

Form a Marxian point of view we can analyze texts by looking at class values like the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Do texts privilege the Blue Blood or monitor the interests of the working class. Does the text promote the interests of the Capitalist society? What is the dialectic materialism embedded in the text. This refers to political and historical problems created by Social tremors. The narrator can find out how various social institutions have contributed to the writing of literature.

Philosophical Etymology also takes a look at Feminist Theology. Do social, cultural, political and historical institutions promote gender equality and support Feminism. How are the roles of a working mother enacted in s society? Does the intrusion of masculinity affect the reading of texts? To what levels of subversion are meanings of the feminine in a text?

Psychological Pharmacology
Psychological Pharmacology looks at the theories of Freud, Lacan and Jung. From Freud we have the three states: ID (passion and the libido), Ego (language and culture assimilated from parents) and Super Ego (the laws of the society). While doing textual interpretation the author can find out how these mechanisms are working in a text. Texts can also be phallic and vaginal that is texts promoting the language of the feminine and the masculine. Is the language of the text phallic or vaginal?
Next I would like to take the theories of Lacan into consideration. Prominent are the Mirror Stage and the Gaze. The Mirror stage consists of the child’s entry into Language. Mirror stage can be a psychoanalytic tool to gauge level of subversion in a text. It’s an analysis of psychological symptoms in a work of literature. Gaze for Lacan has sexual connotations. What kind of gaze is present in a text? Gazes can be feminine, masculine and gay.
Next I would like to take Jung’s theories into account. Jung has classified the psyche into archetypes (personality types). Some archetypes are the Wizard, the Witch, the lover and many more. We can analyze how and why and for what these archetypes are created.

Ontological Nebula
Ontology a study of being comes from Existential Philosophy. Here I take the traditional ontology and the ontology created by me into consideration. Traditional Ontology, the one espoused by Sartre and Camus is destructive as it condemns life to be absurd and chaotic. Constructive Ontology created by me states that meaning of being lies in Valueblization (from Value and Realization). We can analyze texts and examine whether texts are favoring destructive ontology or constructive ontology.

Cultural Anatomy

What Cultural Functions does a text serve? For who is the narrative intended? Which cultural institutions are prominent? Is there a culture clash or a culture divide?




Apostasy as a traditional meaning means renunciation of faith. For me Apostasy means something else; it’s a visual idiom meaning Christ who had to renounce his body and shed his precious blood on the cross so that we may be saved. For explaining it: let me go a bit into semiotics. In Semiotics: the sign is got two parts: the signifier (a visual tangible idea) and signified (an idea). For example: if we say that Rose is Passion, rose is the signifier and passion the signified. For Derrida, signs in texts privilege some and marginalize others and that he called as binary divide. The cross is a powerful sign an apostasy which when erased also signifies the cross. The cross can never be erased and apostasy is a new figure of speech, a trope in the English Language. By Apostasy (blood shed on the cross) we became not marginalized but privileged citizens to enter heaven. Praise God hallelujah Amen. All glory and honor be to King the Christ the only eternal everlasting God.

Post-Structural Assemblage of the Sign

The assumption of this writing starts from the view that all signs are Signifiers. A signifier is a tangible reality with a sense of meaning. I have divided the post-structural assemblage of the sign into various categories.
(a) Semantoria
Semantoria refers to the phonic and graphic content of the letter. Here the letter of the language metamorphizes into a primary content of meaning which can be a spoken one or a written one. The presence or absence of meaning as implied by deconstruction can be considered as implying sensibilities. The essence of connotation can only be an implication of construction.
b) Verboria
In semantics verbs are performative, that is they perform an action. A verb such as swim is a signifier and it performs the action of swimming. For words to be the symptom of Verboria, they can form an idea that is sensible and not an abstract one like love, passion or kindness. For example: in a sentence: she dances, the meaning becomes complete and that state of completion is called verboria. Writing of Verboria taken in the grammatological sense of Derrida’s Deconstruction fails to become a deconstructive entity.
c) Logoria
Logoria is a state of forming a sign from a signifier and a signified. It was Saussure who introduced it into language. A signifier is a tangible entity and belongs to the sensate realm. For e.g. let’s take odor. Odor belongs to the sensate realm and it can be felt. Here Odor is a Signifier. If I say: the odor is nauseating, nauseating becomes a signified or a connoted idea. Nauseating becomes the Signified. Post-structuralists use deconstruction to deconstruct signs. When there is a presence in a sign, there is also an absence. Post-Structuralists argue that a sign privileges presence and marginalizes an absence. For example if I say that colored people cannot be intellectuals, I am privileging the presence of White and marginalizing the presence of the colored. For Derrida the stability of signs in a language is an articulated hegemony. Language by its very structure when prone to articulation becomes victim of structural inconsistencies. It is the duty of deconstruction to articulate critical readings to autonomic democracy.
d) Metoria
A Metoria is an effect of reading tropes or figures of speech. Let’s take a metaphor as an example. For example Palestine is a Volcano. The meaning implied here is Palestine’s political climate is very volatile. Palestine is the tenor the denoted part of the sentence and Volcano is the vehicle which carries the tenor. A metaphor can have a realism of meaning which is mere semantic content. At a secondary level, the meaning of a metaphor implies an aesthetic effect. The reader gets to appreciate the content of meaning created by the metaphor. For a reading of metaphor there is also a tertiary level of meaning and meaning becomes an ideology, a meta-narrative or a grand-narrative. For example: Palestine is a volcano suggests that it is nation longing for being recognized to an absolute status as a nation-entity. The opponents of this view might claim that Palestine is inducing terrorist activities and rampant unlawful behavior. The tertiary level of reading a metaphor can be deconstructive that is undoing the privileged status of meaning.

e) Symboloria
Mathematical and Scientific symbols fall into this category. For example the word DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid falls into the symbolic category of meaning. The structural presence of meaning is always one of being abstract and being in transformation.



Borges the father of magic realism fell on the table asleep holding the pen. In the dream he saw a feminine beast; her body was a claw and her face was a fang; she was holding a scroll that was folded like a phallus. In the dream he was told that the sign of the structuralists, the one consisting of the signifier and the signified was going to be made esoteric and arcane. What are the signifier and the signified in the sign? For example if Rose is Passion, rose is physical and tangible and belongs to the sensate realm and passion is an idea and belongs to the intelligible realm. The feminine beast having the body of claw and the face of a fang unrolled the folded phallus. On it was written: ‘I am making the signifier go blind and the signified go deaf’. She grinned at him viciously and smiled toothless and said: hockusposckuslexicadabra. Puzzled Borges woke up and made a disappointed fart.