A Reader's Guide to Contemporary Literary Theory / Edition 3

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Unsurpassed as a text for upper-division and beginning graduate students, Raman Selden's classic text is the liveliest, most readable and most reliable guide to contemporary literary theory. Includes applications of theory, cross-referenced to Selden's companion volume, Practicing Theory and Reading Literature.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A very clear, sustained, impartial guide." — Choice

"A good starting point for students who want to have a readable overview of critical theories." — English Literature in Transition

"Distinguished chiefly by its clarity and impartiality, this is a useful guide to the main schools of contemporary critical thought." — Journal of Modern Literature

"An extremely helpful volume." — South Atlantic Review

"The ideal crash course. Remarkable for its clarity." — Times Literary Supplement

Following Selden's death, the present edition of his classic reference-text has been ably revised and updated by Peter Widdowson. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813108162
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 6/28/1993
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.49 (w) x 8.51 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Widdowson is Professor of Literature at the University of Gloucester. Peter Brooker is Professor of Modern Literature and Culture at University College, Northampton.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Fourth Edition
Introduction 1
1 New Criticism, moral formalism and F. R. Leavis 13
Origins: Eliot, Richards, Empson 13
The American New Critics 17
Moral formalism: F. R. Leavis 23
2 Russian formalism 29
Shklovsky, Mukarovsky, Jakobson 30
The Bakhtin School 41
3 Reader-oriented theories 47
Phenomenology: Husserl, Heidegger, Gadamer 51
Hans Robert Jauss and Wolfgang Iser 53
Fish, Riffaterre, Bleich 58
4 Structuralist theories 66
The linguistic background 67
Structuralist narratology 71
Metaphor and metonymy 78
Structuralist poetics 81
5 Marxist theories 88
Soviet Socialist Realism 90
Lukacs and Brecht 93
The Frankfurt School: Adorno and Benjamin 99
'Structuralist' Marxism: Goldmann, Althusser, Macherey 103
'New Left' Marxism: Williams, Eagleton, Jameson 108
6 Feminist theories 121
First-wave feminist criticism: Woolf and de Beauvoir 124
Second-wave feminist criticism 127
i. Kate Millett: sexual politics 130
ii. Marxist feminism 132
iii. Elaine Showalter: gynocriticism 134
iv. French feminism: Kristeva, Cixous, Irigaray 137
7 Poststructuralist theories 150
Roland Barthes 155
Psychoanalytic theories 161
i. Jacques Lacan 162
ii. Julia Kristeva 168
iii. Deleuze and Guattari 169
Deconstruction 170
i. Jacques Derrida 170
ii. American deconstruction 176
Michel Foucault 184
New Historicism and cultural materialism 187
8 Postmodernist theories 200
Jean Baudrillard 204
Jean-Francois Lyotard 207
Postmodernism and Marxism 210
Postmodern feminisms 213
9 Postcolonialist theories 221
Edward Said 223
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak 225
Homi K. Bhabha 228
Race and ethnicity 231
10 Gay, lesbian and queer theories 243
Gay theory and criticism 244
Lesbian feminist theory and criticism 248
Queer theory and criticism 254
Index 267
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