- Hardcover: 2664 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Co.; 1st Edition edition (13 Aug. 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393974294
- ISBN-13: 978-0393974294
- Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 6.4 x 24.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 123,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism Hardcover – 13 Aug 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
Many of the collected writings are purposefully obtuse and seemingly out of date. The feminist section could use a bit of revising and updating. Not that useful for the section on Freud either - his work can be found in easier to read formats and many times free.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Belongs on the bookcase of every liberal arts, humanities, philosophy, literature or cultural studies enthusiast.
Here's a case where criticism of both inclusion and omission are justified, if only because over-sampling of one representation must be compensated by elimination of other eminently more valuable contenders. The representative scope, here, is quite broad, and for the most part, well-chosen. But the preponderance, even redundancy, of Marxist criticism, while not in itself objectionable, becomes objectionable because it "forces" out other worthy candidates.
How many variants of Marxist and neo-Marxist criticism compensates for the exclusion of L. Wittgenstein, I. A. Richards, H. G. Gadamer, and P. Ricoeur? Providing well over twenty, perhaps thirty, examples of the former at the expense of the latter simply cannot be justified. The latter are too important. Even if Wittgenstein, particularly, does not "fit" strict criteria for inclusion, numerous devotees of his do, e.g., Charles Altieri, but aren't.
Otherwise, this collection could not be much improved. I would have made room E. Auerbach, again, because the over-sampling of Marxist criticism would have allowed it. While heavily Francophilic, Americans are well-represented, e.g., Emerson, Burke, Frye, Hirsch, Bloom, H. White, H. L. Gates, Jr., etc. I might have chosen different pericopes, greatly abbreviated some of the biographical data, and emphasized the methods more, but these are really minor criticisms.
As positive as I am about the overall effort, these four omissions are troublesome, and do devalue the volume. In particular, Wittgenstein's enormous influence over the entire century makes his omission both incredulous and inexplicable. Otherwise, a very good collection.