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...



Taming Cannibals
Race and the Victorians
Patrick Brantlinger
Brantlinger unravels contradictions embedded in the racist and imperialist ideology of the British...



On the Threshold of Eurasia
Revolutionary Poetics in the Caucasus
Leah Michele 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...



Telling the Truth
The Theory and Practice of Documentary Fiction
Barbara C. Foley
Barbara Foley here focuses on the relatively neglected genre of documentary fiction: novels that are continually near the borderline between factual and fictive discourse. She links the development of the genre over three centuries to the evolution of capitalism, but her analyses of literary texts depart significantly from those of most current...



Signature Pieces
On the Institution of Authorship
Peggy Kamuf
Some contemporary approaches to literature still accept the separation of historical, biographical, external concerns from formal, internal ones. On the borderline that lends this division between inside and outside its apparent coherence is signature. In Peggy Kamuf’s view, studying signature will help us to rediscover some of the stakes of...



Meaning and Interpretation
Wittgenstein, Henry James, and Literary Knowledge
Garry L. Hagberg, Garry L. Hagberg
'What is the meaning of a word?' In this thought-provoking book, Hagberg demonstrates how this question—which initiated Wittgenstein's later work in the philosophy of language—is significant for our understanding not only of linguistic meaning but of the meaning of works of art and literature as...



Joyce
The Return of the Repressed
Did James Joyce, that icon of modernity, spearhead the dismantling of the Cartesian subject? Or was he a supreme example of a modern man forever divided and never fully known to himself? This volume reads the dialogue of contradictory cultural voices in Joyce’s works—revolutionary and reactionary, critical and subject to critique, marginal and...



Interpretive Conventions
The Reader in the Study of American Fiction
Steven Mailloux
In Interpretive Conventions, Steven Mailloux examines five influential theories of the reading process—those of Stanley Fish, Jonathan Culler, Wolfgang Iser, Norman Holland, and David...



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