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Product details

  • Paperback: 1336 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 2nd Revised edition edition (11 Jun 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405106964
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405106962
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 5.4 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Literary Theory: An Anthology is a definitive collection of classic and contemporary statements in the field of literary theory and criticism. It is an invaluable resource for students who wish to familiarize themselves with the most recent developments in literary theory and with the traditions from which these new theories are derived. The anthology represents all the major schools and methods that make up the dynamic field of literary theory. It contains classic texts from a range of movements, including Formalism, Structuralism, Marxism, Psychoanalysis, Deconstruction, Historicism, and Feminism, and incorporates cutting–edge work by leading theoreticians in the fields of Postmodernism, Cultural Studies, Post–colonialism, Gay and Lesbian studies, and Ethnic Studies. For the second edition, the content has been updated to include the most recent influential texts, particularly in the areas of Ethnic Studies, Transnational Studies, and Cultural Studies.

About the Author

Julie Rivkin is Professor at Connecticut College, where she teaches courses in American Literature, Contemporary Women Writers, and Literary Theory. She is the author of False Positions: The Representational Logics of Henry James′s Fiction (1996). Michael Ryan is Professor of English at Northeastern University, where he teaches courses in American Literature and Culture, American Film, and Literary Theory.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
It has become a commonplace of literary study that to study literature is to study language, yet prior to the formalist movements of the early twentieth century - Russian Formalism and American New Criticism - the study of literature was concerned with everything about literature except language, from the historical context of a literary work to the biography of its author. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By PinkBookWorm on 16 April 2005
Format: Paperback
This book was a set text for a Lit Theory module during my degree. Initially I was just annoyed at having to carry it to and from my lectures, but I soon came to realise that in fact, this book was going to become the corner stone of my work from then on.
My tutor told me that the reason she set this text is so that we could become involved in the original writing that forms what we know as theory today. Instead of reading other academics interpretations and explanations of what a theory is, we were able to go back to the roots, and start to understand the theory ourselves.
What this book has enabled me to do is to become acquainted with these theorists, and use what they wrote in every aspect of my academic work. My grades have jumped the last hurdle into consistent A's because of this book. I can use theorist's original ideas and create my own interpretations of the texts, instead of having to rely solely on other academics theoretical translations
I absolutely believe that this text is essential to any serious literature under- and post- graduate. I say serious student, because there is no hiding the fact that these essays are tough going, and take a lot of time to assimilate into your own understanding. It is however worth all the effort.
(There is also a book called Literary Theory- An Introduction which accompanies this anthology. Personally, I believe that it is frankly, a useless book that offers nothing more than a confused and often over simplified notion of the theories. Thus taking the magic of the anthology away)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By SJSmith TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 21 Sep 2003
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent collection of texts that can be used for anyone studying or interested in a range of subjects from Psychoanalysis, Cultural Studies, Marxism, Feminism, Post-Modernism, Gender Studies and Ethnic Studies amongst a few others. I used it for 3 years during an English/Cultural Studies degree and even if it had not been a recommended reader it is a book I would have bought anyway. Well worth purchasing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ms. J. Coleman on 6 May 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is an absolute must for anyone studying literature at university. The book gives an indepth study of all the literary theories from psychoanalysis, gender, feminism, postmodernism, structuralism etc. It uses the orginal papers written by theorists such as Freud, Derrida, Saussare as well as more modern writers such as Toni Morrison.
While some of the language is heavy going it will give you a firm grasp of literary theories, so its brilliant when you're trying to write essays. Definitely worth the money!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dagny Carolina Opsal on 9 Oct 2009
Format: Paperback
I have been looking for an extensive collection of literary criticism and theory, and this anthology definitely satisfied my needs as a college lecturer in British and American literature. There is a wide selection of different theorists and their work, as well as thorough introduction to the different strands of literary theory. Also, there are many different contributions here, which is of great value to me. I'm tired of shorter works with too few examples and contributions, failing to provide the whole picture. That may not always be the point, but this anthology also provides not only extracts from important works, but they also include a good deal of the selected texts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Loser ladies & gentlemen on 11 Mar 2011
Format: Paperback
I suppose for gifted students this book is an absolute God-send, but I found that some of the chapters were very hard to understand, and ended up gravitating towards simpler texts. It was, however, recommended as an excellent source on my English degree course, and it does cover the major theories of critical analysis, such as Formalism, Structuralism and Post structuralism, as well as the very abstruse concept of 'differance' so persistence is probably the key.
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By Winteramrita on 10 Aug 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're buying this for university it's exactly what you need. Good quality, nice index that is easy to search.
If you're actually interested in Critical Theory you're best to just search for the articles contained in here. The book provides a summary of the different critical thoughts, helpfully arranged by themes (postmodernism, structuralism etc). However, it cuts a lot out of the articles features, leave out whole paragraphs which i find actually changes the meaning of the argument quite a lot. You don't notice it until you've seem the full one and look back at it so it's pretty deceptive. if you want a complete understanding of the writers and their views then look elsewhere but as a simple summary, this is perfectly effective.
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