Edited by Julian Wolfreys
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.
The introductory and supplementary material make this much more than the usual standalone readers. It is a 12-week course in itself.
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.