Beginning theory has been helping students navigate through the thickets of literary and cultural theory for well over a decade now. This new and expanded third edition continues to offer students and readers the best one-volume introduction to the field. The bewildering variety of approaches, theorists and technical language is lucidly and ...Read MoreBeginning theory has been helping students navigate through the thickets of literary and cultural theory for well over a decade now. This new and expanded third edition continues to offer students and readers the best one-volume introduction to the field. The bewildering variety of approaches, theorists and technical language is lucidly and expertly unravelled. Unlike many books which assume certain positions about the critics and the theories they represent, Peter Barry allows readers to develop their own ideas once first principles and concepts have been grasped. The book has been updated and includes two new chapters, one of which (Literary theory - a history in ten events) innovatively surveys the course of theory, while the other (Theory after 'Theory') maps the arrival of new 'isms' since the second edition appeared in 2002. Liberal humanism - Structuralism - Post-structuralism and deconstruction - Postmodernism - Psychoanalytic criticism - Feminist criticism - Lesbian/gay criticism - Marxist criticism - New historicism and cultural materialism - Postcolonial criticism - Stylistics - Narratology - Ecocriticism - Presentism/Transversal poetics/ New aestheticism/Historical formalism/Cognitive poetics.Read Less
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This book is not only easy to read and well laid out, but also has been updated to cover more recent developments in the area of literary theory with chapters on ecocriticism and gay/lesbian literature. The samples he uses in every chapter are very helpful as well as the the descriptions of what each kind of critic would look for in a literary work.
He even supplies some readings for the samples.
Very helpful to anyone requiring an overview of literary theory.
Jul 24, 2008
Useful for beginning students
The book provides a clear and easy to follow guide to to all theories from stylistics to deconstruction. It also encourages readers to questions some of the assumptions of theory thereby making it more accessible and less intimidating. Students beginning to make a foray into the literary theory jungle will find this book a comforting companion.
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