Top positive review
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on 17 August 2011
Helpfully arranged historically and thematically, the contents section is typical of the whole. Lodge has set out to cover the wide and varied range of modern criticism and to do so with the professorial certitude and depth typical of his other scholarly texts.
Its index and contents sections read like a "who's who" of structuralism and semiotics from the defining beginnings by Ferdinand de Saussure in which he defined and dissected the linguistic sign - its difficulties, range, its personal and social nature together with the physical creation of language to the modern great, Umberto Eco, whose essay looks carefully (twenty-four closely examined sections) at what it takes to make a cult book or movie, in this case, "Casablanca", before moving on to Allen's "Bananas" with its visual allusions to Eisenstein's Odessa steps section in "Potemkin". His list includes the expected and old favourites - Barthes's "Death of the Author", Foucalt's "What is an Author", Jacobson's "Linguistics and Poetics" - as well as some less well-known (to me at least), e.g. Mitchell's "Femininity, narrative and psychoanalysis" and de Man's "Resistance to Theory".
A companion to his earlier "20h Century Literary Criticism: a Reader", it is an enjoyable and fairly comprehensive overview of the subject thoughtfully edited.