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Cover

Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction

Second Edition

Jonathan Culler

July 2011

ISBN: 9780199691340

184 pages
Paperback
174x111mm

In Stock

Very Short Introductions

Price: £7.99

Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction offers insights into theories about the nature of language and meaning, human identity, and the power of language. Fully updated for 2010 and including a new chapter on 'Ethics and aesthetics', it steers a clear and lucid path through an often impenetrable subject.

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Description

Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction offers insights into theories about the nature of language and meaning, human identity, and the power of language. Fully updated for 2011 and including a new chapter on 'Ethics and aesthetics', it steers a clear and lucid path through an often impenetrable subject.

  • Previous edition sold 114,000 copies
  • Revised and updated, including new material about the 'death of theory'; the links between the theory of narrative and cognitive science; trauma theory; and ecocriticism, as well as a new chapter on 'Ethics and Aesthetics'
  • A short and clear exposition of a notoriously difficult subject matter
  • Instead of offering summaries of theories, it explores particular problems and approaches to solving them, including aspects of language, identity, and meaning
  • Jonathan Culler is an extremely lucid commentator, much admired in the field of literary theory
  • An understanding of literary theory is useful to students of any literature, making this an excellent introduction for literature undergraduates
  • Part of the bestselling Very Short Introductions series - over three million copies sold worldwide

New to this edition

  • Includes new material looking at the 'death of theory'; the links between the theory of narrative and cognitive science; trauma theory; and ecocriticism, as well as a new chapter on 'Ethics and Aesthetics'
  • Updated bibliographies

About the Author(s)

Jonathan Culler, Class of 1916 Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Cornell University

Jonathan Culler taught at Cambridge University and Oxford University before moving to Cornell, where he is Class of 1916 Professor of English and Comparative Literature. His Structuralist Poetics: Structuralism, Linguistics, and the Study of Literature, won MLA's Lowell Prize and established his reputation as analyst and expositor of critical theory. He has published short introductions to Ferdinand de Saussure and to Roland Barthes, but he is known especially for On Deconstruction and Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction, which has been translated into some 20 languages. He has been President of the American Comparative Literature Association and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001 and to the American Philosophical Society in 2006.

Table of Contents

    1: What is theory?
    2: What is literature and does it matter?
    3: Literature and cultural studies
    4: Language, meaning, and interpretation
    5: Rhetoric, poetics, and poetry
    6: Narrative
    7: Performative language
    8: Identity, identification, and the subject
    9: Ethics and aesthetics
    Appendix: Theoretical schools and movements
    References
    Further Reading
    Index

Reviews

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. Culler has always been remarkable for his expository skills, and here he has found exactly the right method and tone for his purposes. - Sir Frank Kermode

A must read for all literature students. - Bookwise

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