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Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction…
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Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction (1997)

by Jonathan D. Culler

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1,075147,771 (3.63)17
  1. 10
    50 Literature Ideas You Really Need to Know by John Sutherland (TeaWren)
    TeaWren: I recommend '50 Literature Ideas' first as it provides a clear, concise overview of 50 common literary terms. This way, when 'Literary Theory' uses those words to describe other words/ideas you'll know what it's on about. I wish I'd done that.
  2. 00
    Six Walks in the Fictional Woods by Umberto Eco (Oct326)
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» See also 17 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Capsule review: Difficult. Some interesting ideas, but I don't feel like I got a good, general understanding of the subject. Additionally, the language seems not to be aimed at the beginner. ( )
  Sopoforic | Feb 6, 2014 |
-takes away much of the confusion of this topic ( )
  mykl-s | Aug 31, 2013 |
Very useful idea for a reference book, great choice of subject matter, nice compact size. Horrible writing style. There were sentences so convoluted in here I reread them thrice over just to make sure I wasn't imagining things or going blind. ( )
  Atsa | May 23, 2013 |
I loved that Culler organized the work thematically rather than by critical schools. Given that many of the best theorists overlap in many fields--is Judith Butler a psychoanalyst or feminist? is Althusser a structuralist or Marxist? and what is Foucault?--I think Culler's approach best represents how theory actually works. After all, poststructuralism, Marxism, and psychoanalysis tend to do much the same thing in a theoretical context: they all call 'the natural' (of language, of the state and economics, of the personality) into question and thereby transform the self into subject. That denaturalization is the key difference from what came before, not the differences between, say, a politically informed and a merely linguistic poststructuralism.

Moreover, even though it originally appeared about 10 years ago, its refusal to split theory into various schools preserved it from obsolescence. The pure Lacanian died out in 1999 or so, and now the best critics draw on everything.

Highly recommended. This is probably the one I'll assign. ( )
  karl.steel | Apr 2, 2013 |
A novel approach to literary theory as the book begins by focusing on the kinds of interpretive 'moves' that happen in literary theory. Chapters cover what liverature is and why it matters; literature and cultural studies; language, meaning and interpretation; rhetorics, poetics and poetry; narrative; performative language; identity, indetification and subject. A final appendix covers theoretical schools and movements. ( )
  ruric | Dec 30, 2012 |
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In literary and cultural studies these days there is a lot of talk about theory - not theory of literature, mind you; just plain 'theory'.
In literary and cultural studies these days, there has for some time been a lot of talk about theory — not theory of literature, mind you; just plain 'theory'.  (2nd ed.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 019285383X, Paperback)

What is literary theory? Is there a relationship between literature and culture? In fact, what is literature, and does it matter? These questions and more are addressed in Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction, a book which steers a clear path through a subject which is often perceived to be complex and impenetrable.
Jonathan Culler, an extremely lucid commentator and much admired in the field of literary theory, offers discerning insights into such theories as the nature of language and meaning, and whether literature is a form of self-expression or a method of appeal to an audience. Concise yet thorough, Literary Theory also outlines the ideas behind a number of different schools: deconstruction, semiotics, postcolonial theory, and structuralism, among others.
From topics such as literature and social identity to poetry, poetics, and rhetoric, Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction is a welcome guide for anyone interested in the importance of literature and the debates surrounding it.

About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:05:25 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

From topics such as literature and social identity to poetry, poetics, and rhetoric, Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction is a welcome guide for anyone interested in the importance of literature and the debates surrounding it.

» see all 2 descriptions

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