How to Interpret Literature: Critical Theory for Literary and Cultural Studies / Edition 1

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Overview

Offering a refreshing combination of accessibility and intellectual rigor, How to Interpret Literature: Critical Theory for Literary and Cultural Studies, Second Edition, presents an up-to-date, concise, and wide-ranging historicist survey of contemporary thinking in critical theory.

The only book of its kind that thoroughly merges literary studies with cultural studies, this text provides a critical look at the major movements in literary studies since the 1930s, including those often omitted from other texts. It is also the only up-to-date survey of literary theory that devotes extensive treatment to Queer Theory and Postcolonial and Race Studies. How to Interpret Literature, Second Edition, is ideal as either a stand-alone text or in conjunction with an anthology of primary readings such as Robert Dale Parker's Critical Theory: A Reader for Literary and Cultural Studies.

DISTINCTIVE FEATURES
* Uses a conversational and engaging tone that speaks directly to today's students
* Covers a variety of theoretical schools—including New Criticism, Structuralism, Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis, Feminism, and Marxism—weaving connections among chapters to show how these different movements respond to and build on each other
* Offers a rich assortment of pedagogical features (charts, text boxes that address frequently asked questions, photos, and a bibliography)

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A must-read for anyone teaching or seeking to understand literary theory."

—Christopher Hogarth, Wagner College

"Robert Dale Parker's examples—personal, literary, cultural, and historical—vivify in often sprightly and unapologetically blunt language what could otherwise be a 'long, hard slog' through extremely intimidating material. His own pedagogical adventures and experiences in teaching literary theory and criticism provide an unexpectedly fresh narrative and contextual perspective."

—Tiffany Gilbert, University of North Carolina, Wilmington

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195334708
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 2/4/2008
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Dale Parker is James M. Benson Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: New Criticism
How to Interpret: Key Concepts from New Criticism
Historicizing the New Criticism: Rethinking Literary Unity
The Intentional Fallacy and the Affective Fallacy
How to Interpret: A New Critical Example
Chapter 3: Structuralism
Key Concepts in Structuralism
How to Interpret: Structuralism in Cultural and Literary Studies
The Death of the Author
How to Interpret: The Detective Novel
Structuralism, Formalism, and Literary History
The Structuralist Study of Narrative: Narratology
Narrative Syntax, Metaphor, and Metonymy
Chapter 4: Deconstruction
Key Concepts in Deconstruction
How to Interpret: A Deconstructionist Example
Writing, Speech, and Différance
Deconstruction beyond Derrida
Deconstruction, Essentialism, and Identity
How to Interpret: More Deconstructive Examples
Chapter 5: Psychoanalysis
The Psychoanalytic Understanding of the Mind
Sigmund Freud
How to Interpret: Models of Psychoanalytic Interpretation
From the Interpretation of Dreams to the Interpretation of Literature
How to Interpret: Psychoanalytic Examples
Jacques Lacan
Chapter 6: Feminism
Early Feminist Criticism
Sex and Gender
Feminisms
How to Interpret: Feminist Examples
Feminism and Visual Pleasure
Chapter 7: Queer Studies
Key Concepts in Queer Studies
How to Interpret: A Queer Studies Example
Queer Studies and History
Outing: Writers, Characters, and the Literary Closet
Homosociality and Heterosexual Panic
How to Interpret: Another Queer Studies Example
Chapter 8: Marxism
Key Concepts in Marxism
Contemporary Marxism, Ideology, and Agency
How to Interpret: Marxist Examples
Chapter 9: Historicism and Cultural Studies
New Historicism
How to Interpret: Historicist Examples
Michel Foucault
Cultural Studies
How to Interpret: A Cultural Studies Example
Cultural Studies, Historicism, and Literature
Chapter 10: Postcolonial and Race Studies
Postcolonialism
From Orientalism to Deconstruction: Edward Said, Homi Bhabha, and Gayatri
Chakravorty Spivak
How to Interpret: A Postcolonial Studies Example
Race Studies: Postcolonial Theory and the Construction of Race
How to Interpret: Postcolonial and Race Studies Examples
Chapter 11: Reader Response
Ideal, Implied, and Actual Readers
Structuralist Models of Reading and Communication
Aesthetic Judgment, Interpretive Communities, and Resisting Readers
Reception Theory and Reception History
Readers and the New Technologies
Afterword
Works Cited
Further Reading

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