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An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory offers a new way of thinking about literature and what is involved in reading critically.
Literary theory is a core subject in the study of literature.But theory - especially when it takes the form of 'isms' - can often be intimidating or boring for students. Bennett & Royle have avoided simply giving potted summaries of 'isms' and instead present brief essays on a range of key critical concepts all of which have more or less familiar names. These concepts are put into practice through readings of particular literary texts.
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'I don't know of any book that could, or does, compete with this one. It is irreplaceable'
Richard Rand, University of Alabama
‘...this excellent book is very well-written and an outstanding introduction to literary studies. One of the most stimulating introductions available'
Robert Eaglestone, Royal Holloway, University of LondonFrom the Back Cover:
'The best introduction to literary study on the market' Jonathan Culler,
'The most un-boring, unnerving, unpretentious textbook I've ever come across'
Elizabeth Wright, University of Cambridge
'It is by far the bext and most readable of all such introductions that I know of...The treatment of the various topics is masterful, even-handed, and informative. I cannot think of a better introduction for undergraduates, to be sure, but for many graduate students too.'
Hayden White, University of California at Santa Cruz
I don't know of any book that could, or does, compete with this one. It is irreplaceable'
Richard Rand, University of Alabama
(Bennett and Royle have) cracked the problem of how to be introductory and sophisticated, accessible but not patronising.'
Peter Buse, English Subject Centre Newsletter
An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theoryprovides a completely fresh and original introduction to literary studies.
Bennett & Royle approach their subject by way of literary works themselves (a poem by Emily Dickinson, a passage from Shakespeare, a novel by Salman Rushdie), rather than by way of abstract theoretical ideas and isms. In thirty-two short chapters they focus on a range of familiar-looking terms (character, the author, voice, narrative) as well as less obvious ones (laughter, pleasure, ghosts, secrets) in order to show why such literary texts are so compelling. This third edition updates and expands on earlier editions, and includes new chapters on:
An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory avoids what is so frequently tiresome or intimidating about 'theory', offering instead an introduction that is consistently entertaining, thought provoking and surprising.
The authors have wide experience of teaching and lecturing on literature and literary theory at universities in Britain, Europe and the United States. Andrew Bennett is Professor of English at the University of Bristol and Nicholas Royle is Professor English at the University of Sussex.
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