Literature in the Modern World: Critical Essays and Documents / Edition 2

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This text offers a unique combination of English, European, American and Post-Colonial perspectives on literary study from the 1920s to the present day. Carefully introduced and arranged to highlight the development of debates, it is designed to engage newcomers to the field with some of the main themes and issues that will concern them as readers of modern literary texts of all genres.

In the second edition, there is an increased focus on questions of gender and identity and on recent debates, such as "Literature and Nation" and "Literature and Value." The reach and relevance of the book has been extended, including more writers and critics from the world beyond Europe.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A useful collection of critical essays about the study of modern literature in English."--Virginia Quarterly Review

"An intelligent and useful sampling of recent reflections on literature. A good text for introductory courses at either the undergraduate or graduate level."--Steven Rendall, University of Oregon

"Fills a need that has long been felt by teachers of courses in criticism and theory: an introductory selection of readings in, and a clear schematization of, the key debates in the discipline at present."--D.G. Myers, Texas A&M University

"An excellent selection of materials."--Volek Emil, Arizona State University

"A very useful text."--Gregory W. Bredbeck, University of California, Riverside

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199253012
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/1/2004
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 552
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Dennis Walder is Professor of Literature at the Open University and Founding Director of the Literature Department's Colonial and Post-Colonial Research Group. He has published widely on topics ranging from Dickens to V.S. Naipaul.

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Table of Contents

General Introduction
Part One: General Approaches
I Questioning the Canon
1. Repossessing the Past: The Case for an Open Literary History, Marylin Butler
2. Canon and Period, Frank Kermode
3. Literature and the Rise of English, Terry Eagleton
4. Women Poets, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar
5. Literary Theory and the Black Tradition, Henry Louis Gates, Jnr.
II Interpretation
1. The Babel of Interpretations, E. D. Hirsch, Jnr.
2. Interpreting the Variorium, Stanley Fish
3. Who Cares About the Text?, Robert Scholes
4. Literary History as a Challenge to Literary Theory, Hans Robert Jauss
5. The Interpreter's Freud, Geoffrey Hartman
III Commitment
1. To Cambridge Women, Virginia Woolf
2. Writing, Reading, and the Public, Jean-Paul Sartre
3. Commitment, Theodor Adorno
4. The Essential Gesture, Nadine Gordimer
5. Right and Wrong Political Uses of Literature, Italo Calvino
Part Two: Themes and Issues
I Form and Genre
1. Story and Narrative, Seymour Chatman
2. Semiotics of Theatrical Performance, Umberto Eco
3. The Signs of Drama, Martin Esslin
Close Reading, John Barrell
II Modernisms
1. Remarks on Poetry, Paul Valery
2. Order in Narrative, Gerard Genette
3. Towards a Semiotics of Literature, Robert Scholes
4. The Ideology of Modernism, George Lukacs
5. Modernism and the Metropolis, Raymond Williams
6. Gender and Modernism, Bonnie Kime Scott
III Literature and Nation
1. The Lion and the Unicorn, George Orwell
2. Beyond a Boundary, C. L. R. James
3. Woman and Nationalism, Virginia Woolf
4. The Intimate Enemy, Ashis Nandy
5. The National Longing for Form, Timothy Brennan
IV Literature and Ideology
1. A Short Organum for the Theatre, Bertolt Brecht
2. Marxist Criticism, Terry Eagleton
3. The Text Says What It Does Not Say, Pierre Macherey
4. The Death of the Author, Roland Barthes
5. What is an Author?, Michel Foucault
V Literature and Gender
1. Woman and the Other, Simone de Beauvoir
2. Language and Gender, Cora Kaplan
3. Laugh of the Medusa, Helene Cixous
4. Rootedness: The Ancestor as Foundation, Toni Morrison
5. Introduction to Between Men, Eve Kosovsky Sedgewick
6. Subjects of Sex/Gender/Desire, Judith Butler
VI End of Empire
1. The Discourse of the Orient, Edward Said
2. Behind the Cliches of Contemporary Theatre, John McGrath
3. Englands of the Mind, Seamus Heaney
4. From the Victorian Nyanza to the Sheraton San Salvador, Mary Louise Pratt
VII From Commonwealth to Post-Colonial
1. On National Culture, Frantz Fanon
2. Colonialist Criticism, Chinua Achebe
3. History of the Voice, Kamau Brathwaite
4. Post-Colonial Reconstruction, Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin
5. When Was The Post-Colonial?, Stuart Hall
VIII Literature and History
1. Theses on the Philosophy of History, Walter Benjamin
2. History and Fiction, Laurence Lerner
3. Introduction to Metahistory, Hayden White
4. The Text, the Poem, and the Problem of Historical Method, Jerome McGann
5. The Keening Muse, Joseph Brodsky
6. The Hollow Miracle, George Steiner
7. Literary History and Literary Modernity, Paul de Man
IX Literature and Value
1. An Elergy for the Canon, Harold Bloom
2. The Exile of Evaluation, Barbara Hernstein Smith

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