Literary Theory for the Rest of Us

(yes, these are meant to be funny. No, I wasn't trying to offend anyone. Etc. etc. etc.)

Formalism- The text spontaneously descended from Heaven and all we have to do to understand it is read it and analyze its form, cause clearly context can tell us nothing, nothing at all!!!

Psychoanalytic criticism- The text harbors within itself all kinds of dark, mysterious, atavistic tidbits that tell us whether or not the author had a thing for his mamma, or something...

Marxism- The text features someone oppressing someone else, even if the text is just about two people sitting on a nondescript sofa drinking water and not saying anything at all.

Reader-response criticism- The text is what my brain makes of it, and if that means that Moby-Dick is about an elephant's quest for really tasty sushi, then so be it.

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