The Tsunami of literary study: Toward an e pluribus unum approach to the exploration of literature

Mounir Ben Zid*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


It is fashionable at the present time to stress the idea that different scholars all have different modes of analyzing literary texts. To some extent, this must be true. We all have different experiences, which may prompt us to have slightly different ways of exploring a literary text. Yet my own position and mode of studying literature rejects the assumption that the reader can find a way into the text or achieve a 'healthy' interpretation through one single angle of vision or mode of criticism. With the looming demise of literature and soft 'tsunami' of literary study in the era of globalization, the present paper advances the claim that literary analysis should find its way in a new 'global' and interdisciplinary approach where "intrinsic" and "extrinsic" evidence are contrasted. The overarching premise of the paper is that there is an urgent need for an integration, a 'Worlding' or an intermarriage of disparate modes of criticism, making use of various discourses and tools of analysis borrowed from various schools of thought and disciplines such as 'Literary Linguistics' and 'Humanist Criticism'. The above interdisciplinary model will be applied to Shakespeare's Sonnet 66 to examine how an awareness of a global and interdisciplinary mode of analysis is likely to preserve the 'raison d'être' of literature, produce a more 'accurate' analysis and achieve a 'healthier' interpretation of literary texts that resist any prescribed or fixed truth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-40
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Language and Literature
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


  • Humanist criticism
  • Literary analysis
  • Literary pragmatics
  • Literary stylistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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