Literature in the Modern World: Critical Essays and Documents

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A unique combination of English, European, feminist, and "New Writing" essays on literary studies from the 1920s to the 1980s, this book sheds new light on the main theoretical issues involved in the study of modern literary texts. The book includes the views of leading critics and theorists such as Sandra M. Gilbert, Susan Gubar, Frank Kermode, Edward Said, and Lionel Trilling, as well as such renowned writers as W.H. Auden, Umberto Eco, Seamus Heaney, Czeslaw Milosz, and Virginia Woolf. Focusing on major ...
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Oxford, England 1991 Trade paperback New ed. New. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 400 p. Audience: General/trade.

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Overview


A unique combination of English, European, feminist, and "New Writing" essays on literary studies from the 1920s to the 1980s, this book sheds new light on the main theoretical issues involved in the study of modern literary texts. The book includes the views of leading critics and theorists such as Sandra M. Gilbert, Susan Gubar, Frank Kermode, Edward Said, and Lionel Trilling, as well as such renowned writers as W.H. Auden, Umberto Eco, Seamus Heaney, Czeslaw Milosz, and Virginia Woolf. Focusing on major critical topics--genre, interpretation, history and criticism, gender, and race--Literature in the Modern World provides a critical awareness of the debates likely to dominate future discussions of literature.
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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: 9780198710370
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/1990
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.13 (h) x 0.98 (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

Introduction 1
Pt. 1 General Approaches 17
I Questioning the 'Canon' 19
1 Repossessing the Past: The Case for an Open Literary History 20
2 Canon and Period 27
3 Literature and the Rise of English 31
4 Women Poets 37
5 Literary Theory and the Black Tradition 44
II Interpretation 52
1 The Babel of Interpretations 53
2 Interpreting the Variorum 60
3 Who Cares About the Text? 68
4 Literary History as a Challenge to Literary Theory 72
5 The Interpreter's Freud 80
III Commitment 90
1 To Cambridge Women 91
2 Writing, Reading, and the Public 96
3 Commitment 103
4 Right and Wrong Political Uses of Literature 114
Pt. 2 Themes and Issues 117
I Form and Genre 119
1 Story and Narrative 120
2 Semiotics of Theatrical Performance 129
3 The Signs of Drama 137
4 Close Reading 146
II Modernisms 153
1 Remarks on Poetry 154
2 Order in Narrative 158
3 Towards a Semiotics of Literature 167
4 The Ideology of Modernism 175
5 Modernism and the Metropolis 180
6 The Gender of Modernism 187
III Literature and Nation 191
1 Beyond a Boundary 192
2 Woman and Nationalism 198
3 The Intimate Enemy 202
4 The National Longing for Form 211
5 Imaginary Homelands 226
IV Literature and Ideology 232
1 A Short Organum for the Theatre 233
2 Marxist Criticism 243
3 The Text Says What it Does Not Say 252
4 The Death of the Author 259
5 What is an Author? 263
V Literature and Gender 279
1 Woman and the Other 280
2 Language and Gender 285
3 The Laugh of the Medusa 291
4 Rootedness: The Ancestor as Foundation 301
5 Introduction to Between Men 307
6 Subjects of Sex/Gender/Desire 320
VI End of Empire 328
1 The Discourse of the Orient 329
2 Englands of the Mind 340
3 Behind the Cliches of Contemporary Theatre 348
4 From the Victoria Nyanza to the Sheraton San Salvador 354
VII From Commonwealth to Post-Colonial 370
1 On National Culture 371
2 Colonialist Criticism 378
3 History of the Voice 386
4 Post-Colonial Reconstructions: Literature, Meaning, Value 396
5 The Angel of Progress: Pitfalls of the Term 'Post-Colonialism' 401
6 When Was 'the Post-Colonial'? Thinking at the Limit 415
VIII Literature and History 433
1 Theses on the Philosophy of History 434
2 History and Fiction 436
3 Introduction to Metahistory 444
4 The Text, the Poem, and the Problem of Historical Method 449
5 The Keening Muse 466
6 The Hollow Miracle 473
7 Literary History and Literary Modernity 478
IX Literature and Value 494
1 What is a Classic? 495
2 The Exile of Evaluation 504
Acknowledgements 518
Index of People and Works 523
Subject Index 532
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