Literary Theories: A Reader and Guide

Edited by Julian Wolfreys

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Literary Theories: A Reader and Guide is the first reader and introductory guide in one volume. Bringing together theoretically orientated readings by leading exponents of literary theory with lucid introductions, the book offers the student reader a foundation textbook in literary theory. Divided into 12 sections covering structuralism, feminism, marxism, reader-response theory, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, post-structuralism, postmodernism, new historicism, postcolonialism, gay studies and queer theory, and cultural studies, Literary Theories introduces the reader to the most challenging and engaging aspects of critical studies in the humanities today. Each section contains several influential texts that provide discussion of theoretical positions and striking examples of close readings of various works of literature from a number of perspectives. The introductions introduce the theory in question, discuss its main currents, give cross-references to other theories, and contextualise the readings that follow. An indispensable aid to understanding theory, Literary Theoriesis a significant introduction to theoretical approaches to literature.

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The introductory and supplementary material make this much more than the usual standalone readers. It is a 12-week course in itself.
Peter Childs
For those to whom this field of academic life is a vast mystery or for those to whom its writings are a way of life, this collection will be equally useful.
Julian Wolfeys is Professor of English Literature at the University of Portsmouth, where he is also Director of the Centre for Studies in LIterature. He is author and editor of more than 40 books on nineteenth- and twentieth-century English literature and literary theory. Most recently he has published Dickens’s London and The Derrida Wordbook, both with Edinburgh University Press. He recently published his first novel, Silent Music.

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