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This Guide for the Perplexed provides an advanced introduction to literary theory from basic information and orientation for the uninformed leading on to more sophisticated readings. It engages directly with the difficulty many students find intimidating, asking 'What is ''Literary Theory''?' and offering a clear, concise, accessible guide to the major theories and theorists, including: humanism; structuralism; poststructuralism; psychoanalytic approaches; feminist approaches; queer theory; ideology and discourse; new historicism; race and postcolonialism; postmodernism. The final chapter points to new directions in literary and cultural theory.
1. What is "Literary Theory?"
2. Humanist Literary Theory
3. Structuralism Interlude: Humanism, Structuralism, Poststructuralism
5. Psychoanalyses Interlude: 'Self' to 'Subject'
7. Queer Theory Interlude: History to Historicism
8. Ideology and Discourse
9. Race and Postcolonialist Theories
10. Postmodernism Coda - 'Now what?'