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Literary Theory: An Introduction (1983)
Some argue that literary theory has paled considerably after the heady days of the structuralists, post-structuralists, post-modernists, post-colonialism, practitioners of New Historicism, eco-feminists, and queer theorists. However, as Eagleton (English literature, U. of Manchester) points out, the field is still dynamic, dense and deep. In elegant, rigorous and relatively kindly fashion he covers all the major movements, including the fascinating growth of anti-theory, describing how the study of literature grew and developed, the rise of phenomenology, hermeneutics and reception theory, the resulting growth of structuralism and the study of semiotics, the concepts and contributions of post-structuralism, and the long relationship between criticism and the concepts of psychoanalysis. He commentary on political criticism and the various movements it engendered is particularly helpful to those just starting to sort out literary critics of the present and recent past.
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