Literary Theory: An Introduction

Overview

“This concise and lucid volume offers a satisfying survey of all the major theories, from structuralism in the 1960s to deconstruction today, that have made academic criticism both intriguing and off-putting to the outsider.” —New York Times Book Review

 

“Literary Theory has the kind of racy readability that one associates more often with English critics who have set their faces resolutely against theory. It’s not just a brilliant polemical essay; it’s also a remarkable feat of condensation, explication, and synthesis.” —Sunday Times

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Overview

“This concise and lucid volume offers a satisfying survey of all the major theories, from structuralism in the 1960s to deconstruction today, that have made academic criticism both intriguing and off-putting to the outsider.” —New York Times Book Review

 

“Literary Theory has the kind of racy readability that one associates more often with English critics who have set their faces resolutely against theory. It’s not just a brilliant polemical essay; it’s also a remarkable feat of condensation, explication, and synthesis.” —Sunday Times (London)

 

“A concise guide to the most interesting and mystifying trends in the study of literature over the last fifty years.” —The Nation

 

This classic work covers all of the major movements in literary studies in this century. Noted for its clear, engaging style and unpretentious treatment, Literary Theory has become the introduction of choice for anyone interested in learning about the world of contemporary literary thought.

 

On the twenty-fifth anniversary of Literary Theory’s debut, Terry Eagleton reflects on the state of theory in academia today, the growth of antitheory (itself an interesting theoretical subject), its common-if problematic-place among survey coursework, and theory’s continued relevance to scholarly pursuits. In this contemporary, retrospective moment, as scholars critically analyze the incredibly broad impact of the theoretical movement, Literary Theory remains an essential initiation to the intellectually stimulating world of theoretical analysis.

 

Terry Eagleton is John Edward Taylor professor of English literature at the University of Manchester. His numerous books include The Meaning of Life, How to Read a Poem, and After Theory.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816654475
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 4/24/2008
  • Edition description: Anniversar
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 464,687
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Terry Eagleton is John Edward Taylor Professor of English Literature at the University of Manchester. His recent publications include How to Read a Poem (2006), The English Novel (2004), Sweet Violence: The Idea of the Tragic (2003), The Idea of Culture (2000), Scholars and Rebels in Nineteenth-Century Ireland (1999), and The Illusions of Postmodernism (1996), all published by Blackwell Publishing.
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Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition
Preface
Introduction: What is Literature? 1
1 The Rise of English 15
2 Phenomenology, Hermeneutics, Reception Theory 47
3 Structuralism and Semiotics 79
4 Post-Structuralism 110
5 Psychoanalysis 131
Conclusion: Political Criticism 169
Afterword 190
Notes 209
Bibliography 217
Index 224
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 11, 2010

    Great for the Resource Shelf

    Although this book does encompass as much theories as a Norton Anthology, the book accomplishes its purpose. This would be great starter point for a college student majoring in English. Especially if your main focus is within the Structuralism theory then this book will give you a broad researcher's review of the theory. I would recommend for someone who does a lot of academic or scholarly writing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2003

    Outstanding introdution to literary theory

    Eagleton's book remains the most helpful, and the most witty and enjoyable, introduction to the study of literary theory around. First published a decade ago, it has lost none of its zest for debate and none of its clarity in describing some rather heavy issues and ideas. Highly recommended. I would not teach a course in literary theory without it.

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