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Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Claiming to be completely revised and enlarged, this third edition consists primarily of bio-critical entries about individual authors, but it also includes survey articles about national literatures and literary movements. All essays conclude with secondary sources, and author essays have a "Further Works" section, which lists works by the author not discussed in the text. The set includes a Nationality Index and a General Index (with no cross references), and See Also references are indicated by small capitals in the body of the essays. Comparison to the second edition (Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century, 4 vols., edited by Leonard S. Klein, 1981-1993: LJ 8/81, Vol 1) shows, unfortunately, that many of the essays were lifted wholesale from the earlier edition, often without updates to either the secondary sources or the "Further Works." Omissions of new writings by such authors as Derek Walcott and V.S. Naipul, as well as new writings on such famous writers as William Butler Yeats, lead one to wonder how the publisher defines "completely revised." To be fair, this edition does provide information about authors not included in the second edition; updates some, but not all, of the essays that appeared in the earlier edition; and brings together in one resource a way of finding basic information. It is most useful for its coverage of non-Western literatures and authors. However, given the set's hefty price, it is only recommended for those libraries without the second edition or access to sources such as Gale's Contemporary Authors, Twentieth Century Literary Criticism, and Contemporary Literary Criticism.--Cynthia A. Johnson, Barnard Coll. Lib., New York Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558623767
  • Publisher: Cengage Gale
  • Publication date: 1/1/1999
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 738

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