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Literary Theory: The Basics Paperback – 4 Oct 2007


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Paperback, 4 Oct 2007
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Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (4 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415396719
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415396714
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 523,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'Clear, vigorous and often creatively provocative, Hans Bertens's historical overview of western literary theory is one of the very best introductions currently available.' - Michael Worton, University College London, UK


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By shoehorn on 6 May 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Bertens's intro to literary theory is the most intelligently written, most comprehensive history of the academic study of literature. A careful reading of this book will put you at a vast advantage in any academic environment, whether at undergraduate-, or (selectively re-read for a refreshment of your argumentative capacities) at PhD level. This book is better than most literature courses will ever be. You simply cannot afford to miss this. Also, in contrast to my fellow reviewer T.Bernard I have always found the index to be perfectly adequate in its detail, but you should probably get the latest edition just to make sure.
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By CarriKP on 24 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This really is one of the best books on literary theory that I've encountered. I found I was still referring to it when writing my MA dissertation. It is clearly written and very wide-ranging. For many students it will cover most of their requirements where literary theory is concerned - those who wish to explore further will have an excellent grounding from having studied this text. Highly recommended.
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By T.Bernard on 18 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is really useful as a tool to understand the complicated terminology associated with literary theory. Unfortunately, the index is very inaccurate.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Clear, concise, and insightful 24 Jun. 2005
By Q - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is absolutely the best introduction to modern literary theory, and I have read them all! He introduces the theories in an historical narrative, explaining how and why they arose. He discusses the major figures in theory, and includes a valuable guide to further reading. His explanations of the abstruse and arcane world of literary theory are models of clarity and conciseness. I teach an introductory class on literary theory, and this is the book I use, chosen after carefully reviewing all available options.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Not for Beginners 13 April 2005
By Drew - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Hans Bertens' comprehensive analysis of the core literary theories is a good tool for those who are already familiar with the methods and issues involving poststructuralism, New Criticism, Marxism, etc. and would like more of an advanced philosophical analysis of the schools of criticism. But if you are new to the subject, I would suggest finding an easier read. Throughout the his analyses, Bertens' text is vague to a considerable degree and he has a habit of jumping all over the place. This may produce more difficulty for those who are new to this area of literature and who need a concrete, upfront foundation in the various theoretical methods. To make matters worse, the text was written with the European/British student in mind, so the language may be more difficult to grasp.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good Explanations but So-So Writing 20 Jan. 2007
By Andy Tam - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Bertens did a good job in explaining and demonstrating with examples the main points of the various literary approaches and other related topics, like in the discussion of language as an arbitary system of signs, he showed how -- in theory -- the word "nerd" acquired its meaning. However, there are many typos and the writing is inconsistent. Moreover, wordiness leads to many confusions. I suggest that, before you go into a chapter, read the summary, which is more accessible, to get a feel of the topic.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Good introduction 20 July 2005
By C. A. Norwood - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good introduction to literary theory. I am pleased with the depth and breadth of coverage. The "readability" of the book is fine as well; theory has the potential to be some REALLY dry stuff, but Bertens makes it palatable without watering it down any more than necessary. I gave it four stars only because I reserve five stars for items that really knock my socks off. "Basics" was good and well worth the rather low price.
Index all messed up 4 Sept. 2010
By Cornelius Jackson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This was a pretty helpful intro to literary theory. I just wanted to note that the page numbers in the index at the back of the 2nd edition are all wrong. To find something, subtract 4 from the page # listed; for example, the reference to Balzac is actually on page 70, not 74. Annoying!
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