best books on literary theory and criticism pdf

Best books on literary theory and criticism pdf

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Literary criticism

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Literary criticism , the reasoned consideration of literary works and issues. It applies, as a term, to any argumentation about literature , whether or not specific works are analyzed. Criticism in this narrow sense can be distinguished not only from aesthetics the philosophy of artistic value but also from other matters that may concern the student of literature: biographical questions, bibliography , historical knowledge, sources and influences, and problems of method. For another particular aspect of literary criticism, see textual criticism. The functions of literary criticism vary widely, ranging from the reviewing of books as they are published to systematic theoretical discussion.

Literary criticism

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links. Literary theory and criticism are steadily evolving disciplines devoted to the interpretation of literary works.

They offer unique ways to analyze texts through specific perspectives or sets of principles. There are many literary theories, or frameworks, available to address and analyze a given text. These approaches range from Marxist to psychoanalytic to feminist and beyond. Queer theory, a recent addition to the field, looks at literature through the prism of sex, gender, and identity. The books listed below are some of the leading overviews of this fascinating branch of critical theory.

This hefty tome is a comprehensive anthology of literary theory and criticism, representing the various schools and movements from antiquity to the present. Editors Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan have divided this collection into 12 sections, each of which covers an important school of literary criticism, from Russian formalism to critical race theory.

This book, aimed at students, offers a simple overview of more traditional approaches to literary criticism, beginning with definitions of common literary elements like setting, plot, and character. The rest of the book is devoted to the most influential schools of literary criticism, including psychological and feminist approaches. Peter Barry's introduction to literary and cultural theory is a concise overview of analytical approaches, including relatively newer ones such as ecocriticism and cognitive poetics.

The book also includes a reading list for further study. This overview of the major movements in literary criticism comes from Terry Eagleton, a well-known Marxist critic who has also written books about religion, ethics, and Shakespeare. It includes analyses of " The Great Gatsby " from historical, feminist, and many other perspectives. This short book is designed for students who are just beginning to learn about literary theory and criticism.

Busy students will appreciate this book from Jonathan Culler, which covers the history of literary theory in fewer than pages. Literary critic Frank Kermode says that "it is impossible to imagine a clearer treatment of the subject or one that is, within the given limits of length, more comprehensive. Deborah Appleman's book is a guide to teaching literary theory in the high school classroom. It includes essays on various approaches, including reader-response and postmodern theory, along with an appendix of classroom activities for teachers.

This volume, edited by Robyn Warhol and Diane Price Herndl, is a comprehensive collection of feminist literary criticism. Share Flipboard Email. Esther Lombardi. Literature Expert. Esther Lombardi, M. Updated March 26, Buy on Amazon. Cite this Article Format. Lombardi, Esther. Arna Bontemps, Documenting the Harlem Renaissance.

Anthology: Definition and Examples in Literature. What Is Critical Race Theory? Definition, Principles, and Applications. Socialist Feminism vs. Other Types of Feminism. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our.

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When I was an undergrad, there were two different kinds of English majors. Theory was exciting for me. After graduating, I continued studying it on my own and pursued theory and criticism wherever I could in grad school. Because I found these subjects so mind-blowing as an undergrad, I try to introduce my students to appropriate concepts whenever I can. There was this moment that their eyes lit up with understanding, and that is what I live for as a teacher.

See the English Libguide for more assistance with Literary Criticism. See the English Databases List for more resources. Literary criticism is essentially an opinion, supported by evidence, relating to theme, style, setting or historical or political context. Although criticism may include some of the following elements in order to support an idea, literary criticism is NOT a plot summary, a biography of the author, or simply finding fault with the literature. Researching, reading, and writing works of literary criticism will help you to make better sense of the work, form judgments about literature, study ideas from different points of view, and determine on an individual level whether a literary work is worth reading.


and one difficult to grasp literary theory followed another in quick succession, helpful to keep a good reference book or two by your side while you write.


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Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links. Literary theory and criticism are steadily evolving disciplines devoted to the interpretation of literary works. They offer unique ways to analyze texts through specific perspectives or sets of principles. There are many literary theories, or frameworks, available to address and analyze a given text.

By literary theory we refer not to the meaning of a work of literature but to the theories that reveal what literature can mean. Literary theory is a description of the underlying principles, one might say the tools, by which we attempt to understand literature. All literary interpretation draws on a basis in theory but can serve as a justification for very different kinds of critical activity.

One of the most famous poems in the English language, The Second Coming is the definitive vision of the Yeatsian apocalypse. The poetry of the sixteenth century defies facile generalizations. Although the same can obviously be said for the poetry of other periods as well, this elusiveness of categorization is particularly characteristic of the sixteenth century. Paradise Lost is a poetic rewriting of the book of Genesis. No poet in memory has ever had quite so spectacular a debut as the young T.

Twentieth-Century Literary Theory

Need a refresher about literary theory? The following web sites provide descriptions of literary theories, tips for applying the theory to a work, and additional resources you may wish to consult. All literary theories are lenses through which we can see texts.

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