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I am in need of examples of New Historicism in literature.I am in need of examples of...

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mattstudent7 | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted January 21, 2011 at 3:59 AM via web

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I am in need of examples of New Historicism in literature.

I am in need of examples of New Historicism in literature.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 21, 2011 at 5:28 AM (Answer #2)

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The approach of New Historicism argues that a work of literature does not exist devoid of its conditions or circumstances.  In this light, literary works are as much a product of the author's mindset as well as the conditions that surround it.  The historical and social context of the author is almost as important as anything else in assessing the construction of the literary work.  In this light, New Historicism is based off of the contingent, stressing its role in the development of literature.   This can be seen in many works.  I think that Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children is a fine example because only through understanding how the experience of Partition, homelands that exist in the subjective, and the idea of displacement in Rushdie's own life can the full magnitude of the novel be explored.  The works of Nadine Gordimer are another example of how the New Historicist approach can yield greater insight into the work.  When seen in the context of South Africa's struggle with Apartheid, writings such as the short story "Once Upon a Time" acquire even more meaning to them.

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gabrielleleco | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 19, 2012 at 2:17 PM (Answer #3)

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The approach of New Historicism argues that a work of literature does not exist devoid of its conditions or circumstances.  In this light, literary works are as much a product of the author's mindset as well as the conditions that surround it.  The historical and social context of the author is almost as important as anything else in assessing the construction of the literary work.  In this light, New Historicism is based off of the contingent, stressing its role in the development of literature.   This can be seen in many works.  I think that Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children is a fine example because only through understanding how the experience of Partition, homelands that exist in the subjective, and the idea of displacement in Rushdie's own life can the full magnitude of the novel be explored.  The works of Nadine Gordimer are another example of how the New Historicist approach can yield greater insight into the work.  When seen in the context of South Africa's struggle with Apartheid, writings such as the short story "Once Upon a Time" acquire even more meaning to them.

Hi akannan,

I appreciate your answer because I'm having a difficult time understanding New Historicism. I've been reading Stephen Lynn's "Texts and Contexts" which sheds light on New Historicism, offering an example of how oher written works of the time "affected" a character in the story. In other words, the character was simply a product of his time and other works from the time offer evidence of how that product was created.  What confuses me is how similar this notion seems to HIstorical Criticism.... I'm trying to find an example of how New Historicism can be applied to a certain work of poetry. Every example I try to use seems more like Historical or Boigraphical crit than New Historicism. Can you offer any example of New historicism's application to a poem?

Thank you,

Brie

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