Literature > Literary Theory and Criticism

   
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Bread and Circuses
Theories of Mass Culture As Social Decay
Patrick Brantlinger
Brantlinger shows how the belief in the historical inevitability of social decay—a belief today perpetuated by the mass media themselves—has become the dominant view of mass culture in our time.


"Bread and Circuses is a joy to read. Brantlinger is learned, witty, and, best of all, inviting of conversation."—Voice Literary Supplement



Russian Formalism
A Metapoetics
Peter Steiner
Russian Formalism, one of this century's most important movements in literary criticism, has received far less attention than most of its rivals. Examining Formalism in light of the most recent developments in literary theory, Peter Steiner here...


"One of the most advanced, sophisticated, and consistently self-reflective works in literary (meta)theory to date—in some respects akin to Hayden White's influential Metahistory, written with comparable verve and panache."—Review in World Literature Today



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...



What Happens When Nothing Happens
Boredom and Everyday Life in Contemporary Comics
Greice Schneider
Contemporary graphic novels show an interesting shift from the extraordinary to the ordinary in slice-of-life stories in which nothing happens. This volume brings together close readings of work by Lewis Trondheim, Chris Ware, and Adrian Tomine.



If God Meant to Interfere
American Literature and the Rise of the Christian Right
Christopher Douglas
In If God Meant to Interfere, Christopher Douglas shows that American writers struggled to understand and respond to the new social and political force of the Christian Right.



Petrarchism at Work
Contextual Economies in the Age of Shakespeare
William J. Kennedy
Petrarchan" poets were self-consciously aware of themselves as poets—as craftsmen, revisers, and professionals. As William J. Kennedy shows in Petrarchism at Work, this commitment to professionalism and the mastery of poetic craft is essential to understanding Petrarch's legacy.



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