Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory

Overview

This book has been helping students navigate through the thickest of literary and cultural theory for well over a decade now. This new and expanded third edition continues to offer students and readers the best one-volume introduction to the field.

The bewildering variety of approaches, theorists and technical language is lucidly and expertly unravelled. Unlike many books which assume certain positions about the critics and the theories they represent, Peter Barry allows readers...

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Overview

This book has been helping students navigate through the thickest of literary and cultural theory for well over a decade now. This new and expanded third edition continues to offer students and readers the best one-volume introduction to the field.

The bewildering variety of approaches, theorists and technical language is lucidly and expertly unravelled. Unlike many books which assume certain positions about the critics and the theories they represent, Peter Barry allows readers to develop their own ideas once first principles and concepts have been grasped.

The book has been updated and includes two new chapters, one of which (Literary theory -- a history in ten events) innovatively surveys the course of theory, while the other (Theory after ‘Theory’) maps the arrival of new 'isms' since the second edition appeared in 2002.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“It is no surprise to learn that Beginning theory has already been reprinted nine times. There is no other book that offers such a comprehensive account of the field, combined with thoughtful, detailed exposition of the theoretical approaches under discussion. Far from being a modest survey of contemporary literary theory, it has had a vital role in shaping the way that theory is taught in Britain and North America.” --English Association Newsletter

Booknews
An accessible yet non-simplistic guide to 11 major types of theoretical thought encountered in university courses on literary and cultural theory, from liberal humanism to lesbian/gay criticism to postcolonial criticism and stylistics. Each chapter describes the central tenets of the approach, discusses what each type of critic does, provides examples, poses study questions to the reader, and provides a selected reading list. 5x8". Distributed by St. Martin's Press. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780719079276
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Publication date: 5/12/2009
  • Series: Beginnings Series
  • Edition description: Third Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 160,471
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Barry is Professor of English at the University of Aberystwyth.

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Table of Contents

Theory before 'Theory' - Liberal humanism
• Structuralism
• Post-structuralism and deconstruction
• Postmodernism *Psychoanalytic criticism
• Feminist criticism
• Lesbian/gay criticism
• Marxist criticism
• New historicism and cultural materialism
• Postcolonial criticism
• Stylistics
• Narratology
• Ecocriticism
• Literary theory – a history in ten events
• Theory after 'Theory'
• Appendices
• Edgar Allan Poe: 'The Oval Portrait'
• Dylan Thomas: 'A Refusal to Mourn'
• William Cowper: 'The Castaway'
• Where do we go from here: Further reading

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