The Myth of Theory

The Myth of Theory

by William Righter


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What is critical theory, and can it claim to exist as a free-standing entity independent of the object of enquiry? Is the much discussed gulf between Anglo-Saxon empiricism and Continental poststructuralism more apparent than real? In The Myth of Theory Righter explores the nature of thinking about literature, and the assumed polarities between the abstract reasonings of philosophy and the concrete exploratory maneuvers of critical practice. He goes on to examine the role of theory in critical observation, through extended case studies of the work of critics including Barthes, Bloom, Poulet, Eliot, Empson, Kristeva and Derrida.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521100410
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 01/18/2009
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

1. From chaos to case; 2. The bizarre territory; 3. The curve of the mirror; 4. From 'so complex an irony' to 'such a textual logic'; 5. From 'wit' to 'astonishment'; 6. 'Fool' and 'pharmakon'; 7. 'The monstrous clarity'; 8. From 'ensemble' to 'exception'; 9. Pagan perspectives; 10. The Tao of criticism.

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