Literature > Literary Theory and Criticism

   
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Bread and Circuses
Theories of Mass Culture As Social Decay
Patrick Brantlinger
Lively and well written, Bread and Circuses analyzes theories that have treated mass culture as either a symptom or a cause of social decadence. Discussing many of the most influential and representative theories of mass culture, it ranges widely from Greek and Roman origins, through Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Ortega y Gasset, T. S. Eliot, and the...



Russian Formalism
A Metapoetics
Peter Steiner
Russian Formalism, one of the twentieth century's most important movements in literary criticism, has received far less attention than most of its rivals. Examining Formalism in light of more recent developments in literary theory, Peter Steiner here offers the most comprehensive critique of Formalism to date. Steiner studies the work of the...



On the Threshold of Eurasia
Revolutionary Poetics in the Caucasus
Leah Feldman
On the Threshold of Eurasia explores the idea of the Russian and Soviet "East" as a political, aesthetic, and scientific system of ideas that emerged through a series of intertextual encounters produced by Russians and Turkic Muslims on the imperial periphery amidst the revolutionary transition from 1905 to 1929. Identifying the role of Russian...



Understanding Others
Peoples, Animals, Pasts
Dominick LaCapra
To what extent do we and can we understand others—other peoples, species, times, and places? What is the role of others within ourselves, epitomized in the notion of unconscious forces? Can we come to terms with our internalized others in ways that foster mutual understanding and counteract the tendency to scapegoat, project, victimize, and...



Light without Heat
The Observational Mood from Bacon to Milton
David Carroll Simon
In Light without Heat, David Carroll Simon argues for the importance of carelessness to the literary and scientific experiments of the seventeenth century. While scholars have often looked to this period in order to narrate the triumph of methodical rigor as a quintessentially modern intellectual value, Simon describes the appeal of open-ended...



History Is a Contemporary Literature
Manifesto for the Social Sciences
Ivan Jablonka
Ivan Jablonka’s History Is a Contemporary Literature offers highly innovative perspectives on the writing of history, the relationship between literature and the social sciences, and the way that both social-scientific inquiry and literary explorations contribute to our understanding of the world. Jablonka argues that the act and art of...



Populating the Novel
Literary Form and the Politics of Surplus Life
Emily Steinlight
From the teeming streets of Dickens’s London to the households of domestic fiction, nineteenth-century British writers constructed worlds crammed beyond capacity with human life. In Populating the Novel, Emily Steinlight contends that rather than simply reflecting demographic growth, such pervasive literary crowding contributed to a seismic...



Spaces of Feeling
Affect and Awareness in Modernist Literature
Marta Figlerowicz
Can other people notice our affects more easily than we do? In Spaces of Feeling, Marta Figlerowicz examines modernist novels and poems that treat this possibility as electrifying, but also deeply disturbing. Their characters and lyric speakers are undone, Figlerowicz posits, by the realization that they depend on others to solve their inward...



Haunting Encounters
The Ethics of Reading across Boundaries of Difference
Joanne Lipson Freed
Acts of cross-cultural reading have ethical consequences. In Haunting Encounters, Joanne Lipson Freed traces the narrative strategies through which certain works of fiction forge connections with their readers across boundaries of difference. Freed uses the idea of haunting—an intense, temporary, and transformative encounter that defies...



Doing Double Dutch
The International Circulation of Literature from the Low Countries
Dutch literature is increasingly understood as a network of texts and poetics connected to other languages and literatures through translations and adaptations. In this book, a team of international researchers explores how Dutch literary texts cross linguistic, historical, geophysical, political, religious, and disciplinary borders, and...



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