v Assignment paper:E-C-302 Research Methodology
v Topic : Vocation of research scholar
v Student’s Name : Gandhi Pooja S.
v Roll No : 08
v URL : gandhipooja151011.blogspot.com
v Semester : 3
v Batch : 2010-11
Dr. Dilip Barad
Department of English
Ø Vocation of research scholar:
Literary scholar and the critics are engaged in a common pursuit, so that the findings of one are indispensable to the work of the other. Some professional students of literature prefer to regard themselves primarily as critics, some as scholars; but the dichotomy between the two is far more apparent than real, and every good student of literature is constantly combining the two roles, often without knowing it.
The difference is mainly one of emphasis. The critic’s business is primarily with the literary work itself- with its structure, style, and content of ideas. Scholars, on the other hand, are more concerned with the facts attending its genesis and subsequent history. Believing that every work of art must be seen from without as well as from within, they seek to illuminate it from every conceivable angle, to make it as intelligible as possible by the uncovering and application of data residing outside itself.
Critic is more focus on what Shakespeare said. For the scholar history of the literature is more important. Scholar can imagine what the poet imagine and also think like the critic thinks with emotion and intellect. Even critic can think with image of scholar (Reader response theory). Critic’s primary concern is the text and scholar’s primary concern is genesis and history.
According to the late scholar-critic George Whalley:
“No true scholar can lack critical acumen; and the scholar’s eye is rather like the poet’s- not, to be sure, “in a fine frenzy rolling,” but at least looking for something as yet unknown which it knows it will find,……………………………… without scholarship the criticism of a poem may easily become a free fantasia on a non-existent theme.”
It is the product of an individual human being’s imagination and intellectual; therefore, we must know all we can about the author. Sanite- Beuve’s critical axiom tel arbre, tel fruit (“like the tree, like the fruit”) is a bland oversimplification, to be sure, but the fact remains that behind the book is a man or woman whose character and experience cannot be overlooked in any effort to establish what the book really says. The quality of the imagination, the genetic and psychological factors that shaped a writer’s personality and determined the atmosphere of his or her inner being, the experiences, large and small, that fed the store from which such an artist in words drew the substance of at: all these must be sought, examined, and weighed if we are to comprehend the meaning of a text.
Moreover, no one writes in a vacuum. Whatever private influences are involved, authors, whether conformists or rebels, are the products of time and place, their mental set fatefully determined by the social and cultural environment. We must understand the manifold socially derived attitudes- the morality, the myths, the assumptions, the biases- that it reflects or embraces. And because, in the overwhelming majority of instances, it was written not for its author’s private self alone but for a specific contemporary audience and only incidentally for us, we must try to find out precisely how the mingled ideas of that earlier world affected the text’s shape and content. Most especially is it necessary to reconstruct the then prevailed?
Literary research, then, is devoted, for one thing, to the enlightenment of criticism- which may or may not take advantage of the proffered information. It seeks to illuminate the work of the art as it really is, and- the difference may be considerable- as it was to its first audiences; equally, it tries to see the writer as he really was, his cultural heritage and the people for whom he wrote as they really were. But while this is unquestionably its major purpose, it has at least one other important function. Literary history constitutes one of the strands of which the history of civilization itself is woven. Like its sister disciplines of musicology and art history, it finds its material in the vast array of records we have inherited of the imaginative side of human experience- in its case, the representation in language of that experience. Literature preserves for us, for example, the poignance of the medieval aspiration toward Heaven though held down by mortal splendors that excitement of the Renaissance awareness of the splendors that environ Western mankind in the here and now; the cool and candid re-estimate of the world and the human self that the eighteenth century made under the auspices of revolutionary science and skeptical philosophy; and the spiritual chiaroscuro of wasteland and earthly paradise, the bewildering series of shocks and recoveries, to which modern society has been subjected in the past two centuries. Literature, then, is an eloquent artistic document, infinitely varied, of mankind’s journey: the autobiography of race’s soul.
There are the unmeasurable but intensely real personal satisfactions that literary research affords men and women of a certain temperament: the sheer joy of finding out things that have previously been unknown and thus of increasing, if but by a few grains, the aggregate of human knowledge. One of us has sought to describe the sources and qualities of this pleasure in earlier books, and they will occasionally appear again in the following chapters. The genuine scholar is impelled by a deeply ingrained curiosity, an undeniable urge to learn as well as to teach.
As a consequence of this recent dramatic expansion of the scope of literary interest, it is certain that, given a fair degree of imagination, originally of approach, solidity of learning, and the wish and the will to see works of literary art and their creators from new perspectives, everyone called to the profession will discover amply rewarding projects. In America during the half century or so, most literary research has been done by academic people, and publishing the results of research has provided the traditional boost up the professional ladder. Unfortunately, the notorious cliché “publish or perish” still describes the attitude of many college and university administrators charged with deciding the fate of young untenured faculty members. Any external pressure to write scholarly books and articles is pernicious not only because it may well divert a career from its natural course, thus causing good deal of personal unhappiness, but because scholarship performed under duress is seldom very good scholarship. Indeed, t is to the “publish or perish” mentality that we can attribute the present bloated condition of the annual bibliographies and appearance, in the proliferating journals, of a lamentable amount of incompetent, pretentions, or trivial writing that should have been intercepted somewhere between the typewriter or personal computer and the press.
It may well be that, as Dr. Johnson held, “no man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money”; if so, the history of literary scholarship at its best is populated with amiable blockheads. What are the chief qualities of mind and temperament that go to make up a successful and happy scholar? The thought occurs that the ideally equipped literary scholar should have come to his or her profession after serving a practical apprenticeship in one or the other of two occupations: law and journalism. The practice of law requires a thorough command of the principles of evidence, a knowledge of how to make one’s efficient way through the accumulated “literature” on a subject (in legal terms, the statutes and decisions applying to a given case), and a devotion both to accuracy and to detail. It was perhaps no accident that James Boswell himself, who often would “run half over London, in order to fix a date correctly,” was a lawyer by profession. Journalism, more specifically the work of the investigative reporter, also calls for resourcefulness- knowing where to go for one’s information and how to obtain it, the ability to recognize and follow up leads, and tenacity in pursuit of the facts. Both professions, moreover, require organization skill, the ability to put facts together in a pattern that is clear and, if controversy is involved, persuasive.
In the second place, researchers must have a vivid sense of history: the ability to cast themselves back into another age. They must be able to adjust their intellectual sights and imaginative responses to the systems of thought and the social and cultural atmosphere that prevailed in fourteenth- century England or early twentieth century America. It is pithily embodied in a proverb that H.L. Mencken attributes to the Japanese: “Learning without wisdom is a load of books on an ass’s back.” One can be a researcher, full of knowledge, without also being a scholar. Research is the means scholarship the end; research is an occupation, scholarship is a habit of mind and a way of life. Scholars are more than researchers, for while they may be gifted in the discovery and assessment of facts, they are, besides, persons of broad and luminous learning. They have both the wisdom and the knowledge that enable them to put facts in their place- in two senses.
John Livingston Lowes, spoken in1933 but really dateless:
“Humane scholarship…… moves and must move within two worlds at once- the world of scientific method and the world, in whatever degree, of creative art…………………………………. . And that end is, in the broadest sense of the world, interpretation- the interpretation, in the light of all that our researches can reveal, of the literature which is our professional concern.”