Manual Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

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As a non-lit major in college, the entire topic was alien to me. Culler, in almost conversational prose and with a dose of humor, gives a clear explaination of what literery criticism is, and perhaps more importantly why it is relevant. Culler begins by admittng that frequently literary theory is used to ubfuscate and intentionally upstage For example, Cullen writes, "What, you haven't read Lacan! How can you talk about the lyric without addressing the specular constitution of the speaking subject?

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Of most interest to me was his explaination of the various theoretical schools and movements - from whence they came, their objectives and the larger isssues each is concerned with. While hardly light reading, at just over pages, it is a manageable without being overbearing - the topic, in spite of Culler's tone, is a dense one.


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While I appreciated the introduction and now feel much more comfortable in understanding the academic conversation around literature, I can't help but feel that in the end, the exercise is narrow with little relevance for those beyond those with a specialization in the subject. Great From Amazon The book arrived in a good amount of time and was in great condition as specified by the seller. Wrong title From Amazon Literary theory is a vastly forbidding topic for anyone to describe, especially in a modest sized text as one of the Very Short Introduction series.

The question is this: If this student thoroughly digests Culler's text and no other, will he be ready for the mystifyingly arcane linguistic tsunami of Derrida, Foucault, Lacan, et al that awaits him?

Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction

The answer, sadly, is no. Out of the eight chapters supposedly about schools of critical theory, Culler zeroes in on the definition of literature, its relation to Cultural Studies, rhetoric, narrative, performative language, and identity and the subject--all matters of high import but not what is normally thought of as Theory. It is only at the concluding appendix that Culler delves into the various schools of critical theory--and even here he gives them short shrift with superficial definition and no way how to use them to view texts under differing schools of thought. The highly praising blurb on the very first page by Patricia Waugh indicates this problem: She lauds Culler for his politic "avoidance of the usual plod through schools and approaches" that in her mind is no problem at all.

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Oxford Very Short Introductions

Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Christopher Butler. Literary Theory: An Introduction. Terry Eagleton. Review Review from previous edition It is impossible to imagine a clearer treatment of the subject, or one that is, within the given limits of length, more comprehensive. To get the free app, enter mobile phone number.

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