The Edinburgh Introduction to Studying English Literature

The Edinburgh Introduction to Studying English Literature


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What does university study of English Literature involve today? How should students read literary texts? Answers to these questions have substantially changed and developed over recent decades, often in response to advances in literary theory.

In the light of this and other recent developments, The Edinburgh Introduction provides a new, updated guide for students beginning their study of literature today. Recent developments in theory are explained throughout, but they are not the only focus of attention. Instead, the emphasis is on clear, pragmatic explanation of critical practices, and of literary forms, styles and techniques. These explanations are carefully illustrated through examples taken from readily-available works - usually ones included in the Norton or other major anthologies. Each chapter is written by an experienced academic and teacher from Edinburgh University's Department of English Literature, recently reaffirmed as one of the best in the United Kingdom.

The result is an unbeatable resource for new students: a well-stocked toolbox, offering foundational introductions to ways literary texts can be approached, and to the critical, formal and historical understanding this requires. New students will find essential insights on every page, guiding their understanding for years to come and thoroughly opening up for them all the imaginative promise of literary study.

Key Features:

An up-to-the minute foundational guide for new students

Comprehensive range of literary forms, styles and critical strategies introduced

Careful exemplification, demonstrating reading strategies at work

Based on successful introductory courses in one of the UK's leading university literature departments

The texts discussed in the book generally appear in the Norton Anthology of English Literature

All editors and contributors are current or recent members of the Department of English Literature in the University of Edinburgh.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780748640263
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Publication date: 06/15/2010
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Dermot Cavanagh is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Edinburgh Alan Gillis is Lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh Michelle Keown is Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Edinburgh James Loxley is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Edinburgh Randall Stevenson is Professor of Twentieth-Century Literature at the University of Edinburgh

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Section I Introductory 1

1 What is Literature? Alex Thomson 3

2 English Literary Studies: Origins and Nature Robert Irvine 16

3 Kinds of Literature David Salter 25

Section II Poetry 35

4 Poetry: An Introduction Alan Gillis 37

5 Metre and Rhythm Lee Spinks 47

6 Verse Forms Penny Fielding 57

7 Poetic Imagery Sarah M. Dunnigan 67

8 Poetry and History Greg Walker 78

9 Vernacular Poetry Colin Nicholson 88

Section III Narrative 99

10 Genre and Form: The Short Story Kenneth Millard 101

11 Narrative Language Keith Hughes 110

12 Narrative Structure and Technique Randall Stevenson 120

13 Constructing Character Rajorshi Chakraborti 129

14 Narrative, Society and History Aaron Kelly 139

15 Life Writing Laura Marcus 148

Section IV Drama 159

16 Introducing Drama Roger Savage 161

17 Text and Performance Olga Taxidou 171

18 Tragedy Simon Malpas 180

19 Comedy Jonathan Wild 189

20 History and Politics Dermot Cavanagh 199

21 Sex, Gender and Performance Suzanne Trill 208

Worked Cited 220

Notes on Contributors 229

Index 234

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