Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jonathan Culler

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199691347

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 165

View: 8723

Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction offers insights into theories about the nature of language and meaning, human identity, and the power of language. Fully updated for 2011 and including a new chapter on 'Ethics and aesthetics', it steers a clear and lucid path through an often impenetrable subject.

Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jonathan Culler

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191620637

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 184

View: 3522

What is literary theory? Is there a relationship between literature and culture? In fact, what is literature, and does it matter? These are some of questions addressed by Jonathan Culler in this Very Short Introduction to literary theory. Often a controversial subject, said to have transformed the study of culture and society in the past two decades, literary theory is accused of undermining respect for tradition and truth and encouraging suspicion about the political and psychological implications of cultural projects rather than admiration for great literature. Here, Jonathan Culler explains 'theory', not by describing warring 'schools' but by sketching key 'moves' theory has encouraged, and speaking directly about the implications of theory for thinking about literature, human identity, and the power of language. In this new edition Culler takes a look at new material, including the 'death of theory', the links between the theory of narrative and cognitive science, trauma theory, ecocriticism, and includes a new chapter on 'Ethics and aesthetics'. This lucid introduction is useful for anyone who has wondered what all the fuss is about or who wants to think about literature today. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Critical Theory: a Very Short Introduction

Author: Stephen Eric Bronner

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190692677

Category: Philosophy

Page: 144

View: 999

Preface -- Introduction: what is critical theory? -- The frankfurt school -- A matter of method -- Critical theory and modernism -- Alienation and reification -- Enlightened illusions -- The utopian laboratory -- The happy consciousness -- The great refusal -- From resignation to renewal -- Unfinished tasks -- Further reading -- Index

English Literature: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jonathan Bate

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199569266

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 179

View: 3126

English Literature: A Very Short Introduction discusses why literature matters, how narrative works, and what is distinctly English about English literature. Jonathan Bate considers how we determine the content of the field, and looks at the three major kinds of imaginative literature - English poetry, English drama and The English novel.

Children's Literature: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Kimberley Reynolds

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199560242

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 144

View: 3502

In this lively discussion Kim Reynolds looks at what children's literature is, why it is interesting, how it contributes to culture, and how it is studied as literature. Providing examples from across history and various types of children's literature, she introduces the key debates, developments, and people involved.

Game Theory: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Ken Binmore

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199218463

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 184

View: 5166

Games are everywhere: Drivers maneuvering in heavy traffic are playing a driving game. Bargain hunters bidding on eBay are playing an auctioning game. The supermarket's price for corn flakes is decided by playing an economic game. This Very Short Introduction offers a succinct tour of the fascinating world of game theory, a ground-breaking field that analyzes how to play games in a rational way. Ken Binmore, a renowned game theorist, explains the theory in a way that is both entertaining and non-mathematical yet also deeply insightful, revealing how game theory can shed light on everything from social gatherings, to ethical decision-making, to successful card-playing strategies, to calculating the sex ratio among bees. With mini-biographies of many fascinating, and occasionally eccentric, founders of the subject--including John Nash, subject of the movie A Beautiful Mind--this book offers a concise overview of a cutting-edge field that has seen spectacular successes in evolutionary biology and economics, and is beginning to revolutionize other disciplines from psychology to political science. About the Series: Oxford's Very Short Introductions offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, and Literary Theory to History. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given topic. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how it has developed and influenced society. Whatever the area of study, whatever the topic that fascinates the reader, the series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.

Rhetoric: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Richard Toye

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199651361

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 122

View: 3762

Society's attitudes to rhetoric are often very negative. Here, Richard Toye provides an engaging, historically informed introduction to rhetoric, from Ancient Greece to the present day. Wide-ranging in its scope, this Very Short Introduction is the essential starting point for understanding the art of persuasion.

Comparative Literature: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Ben Hutchinson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192533991

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 160

View: 8246

Comparative Literature is both the past and the future of literary studies. Its history is intimately linked to the political upheavals of modernity: from colonial empire-building in the nineteenth century, via the Jewish diaspora of the twentieth century, to the postcolonial culture wars of the twenty-first century, attempts at 'comparison' have defined the international agenda of literature. But what is comparative literature? Ambitious readers looking to stretch themselves are usually intrigued by the concept, but uncertain of its implications. And rightly so, in many ways: even the professionals cannot agree on a single term, calling it comparative in English, compared in French, and comparing in German. The very term itself, when approached comparatively, opens up a Pandora's box of cultural differences. Yet this, in a nutshell, is the whole point of comparative literature. To look at literature comparatively is to realize just how much can be learned by looking over the horizon of one's own culture; it is to discover not only more about other literatures, but also about one's own; and it is to participate in the great utopian dream of understanding the way nations and languages interact. In an age that is paradoxically defined by migration and border crossing on the one hand, and by a retreat into monolingualism and monoculturalism on the other, the cross-cultural agenda of comparative literature has become increasingly central to the future of the Humanities. We are all, in fact, comparatists, constantly making connections across languages, cultures, and genres as we read. The question is whether we realise it. This Very Short Introduction tells the story of Comparative Literature as an agent of international relations, from the point of view both of scholarship and of cultural history more generally. Outlining the complex history and competing theories of comparative literature, Ben Hutchinson offers an accessible means of entry into a notoriously slippery subject, and shows how comparative literature can be like a Rorschach test, where people see in it what they want to see. Ultimately, Hutchinson places comparative literature at the very heart of literary criticism, for as George Steiner once noted, 'to read is to compare'. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Postmodernism

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Christopher Butler

Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks

ISBN: 0192802399

Category: Art

Page: 142

View: 6243

'a pre-eminently sane, lucid, and concise statement about the central issues, the key examples, and the notorious derilections of postmodernism. I feel a fresh wind blowing away the miasma coiling around the topic. ' -Ihab Hassan, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee'the most intellectually incisive, coherent and comprehensive meditation upon the history and significance of postmodernism that I have yet encountered.' -Patricia Waugh, University of Durham'easily the best introduction to postmodernism currently available' -Hans Bertens, Utrecht University

The Meaning of Life: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Terry Eagleton

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 9780191579035

Category: Philosophy

Page: 128

View: 7574

We have all wondered about the meaning of life. But is there an answer? And do we even really know what we're asking? Terry Eagleton takes a stimulating and quirky look at this most compelling of questions: at the answers explored in philosophy and literature; at the crisis of meaning in modern times; and suggests his own solution to how we might rediscover meaning in our lives.

Habermas: A Very Short Introduction

Author: James Gordon Finlayson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192840959

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 156

View: 3072

This book provides a clear and readable overview of the works of today's most influential German philosopher. It analyses the theoretical underpinnings of Habermas's social theory, and its applications in ethics, politics, and law. Finally, it examines how his social and political theory informs his writing on contemporary, political, and social problems.

Kafka: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Ritchie Robertson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192804553

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 136

View: 8497

In this Very Short Introduction, Ritchie Robertson provides the newcomer with an up-to-date and accessible examination of this fascinating author. Beginning with an examination of Kafka's life, he then goes on to discuss some of the major themes that emerge in Kafka's work, using his short story Metamorphosis as a recurring example.

Poststructuralism: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Catherine Belsey

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191604402

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 128

View: 5291

Poststructuralism changes the way we understand the relations between human beings, their culture, and the world. Following a brief account of the historical relationship between structuralism and poststructuralism, this Very Short Introduction traces the key arguments that have led poststructuralists to challenge traditional theories of language and culture. Whilst the author discusses such well-known figures as Barthes, Foucault, Derrida, and Lacan, she also draws pertinent examples from literature, art, film, and popular culture, unfolding the postructuralist account of what it means to be a human being. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Derrida: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Simon Glendinning

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191619973

Category: Philosophy

Page: 144

View: 5546

Jacques Derrida, the French philosopher, developed his critical technique known as 'deconstruction'. His work is associated with ideas surrounding both post-structuralism and post-modern philosophy, and he was known to have challenged some of the unquestioned assumptions of our philosophical tradition. In this Very Short Introduction, Simon Glendinning explores both the difficulty and significance of the work of Derrida. He presents Derrida's challenging ideas as making a significant contribution to, and providing a powerful reading of, our philosophical heritage. Defending Derrida against many of the charges that were placed against him, he attempts to show why Derrrida's work causes such extreme reactions. Glendinning explains Derrida's distinctive mode of engagement with our philosophical tradition, and shows that this is not a merely negative thing. By exploring his most famous and influential texts, Glendinning shows how and why Derrida's work of deconstruction is inspired not by a 'critical frenzy', but by a loving respect for philosophy. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Beats: A Very Short Introduction

Author: David Sterritt

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199344310

Category: History

Page: 144

View: 7002

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the writers of the Beat Generation revolutionized American literature with their iconoclastic approach to language and their angry assault on the conformity and conservatism of postwar society. They and their followers took aim at the hypocrisy and taboos of their time--particularly those involving sex, race, and class--in such provocative works as Jack Kerouac's On the Road (1957), Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" (1956), and William S. Burroughs's Naked Lunch (1959). In this Very Short Introduction, David Sterritt offers a concise overview of the social, cultural, and aesthetic sensibilities of the Beats, bringing out the similarities that connected them and also the many differences that made them a loosely knit collective rather than an organized movement. Figures in the saga include Neal Cassady, Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, John Clellon Holmes, Carolyn Cassady, and Gary Snyder. As Sterritt ranges from Greenwich Village and San Francisco to Mexico, western Europe, and North Africa, he sheds much light on how the Beats approached literature, drugs, sexuality, art, music, and religion. Members of the Beat Generation hoped that their radical rejection of materialism, consumerism, and regimentation would inspire others to purify their lives and souls as well. Yet they urged the remaking of consciousness on a profoundly inward-looking basis, cultivating "the unspeakable visions of the individual," in Kerouac's phrase. The idea was to revolutionize society by revolutionizing thought, not the other way around. This book explains how the Beats used their antiauthoritarian visions and radical styles to challenge dominant values, fending off absorption into mainstream culture while preparing ground for the larger, more explosive social upheavals of the 1960s. More than half a century later, the Beats' impact can still be felt in literature, cinema, music, theater, and the visual arts. This compact introduction explains why. About the Series: Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.

Barthes: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jonathan Culler

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191577545

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 160

View: 2116

This acclaimed short study, originally published in 1983, and now thoroughly updated, elucidates the varied theoretical contributions of Roland Barthes (1915-80), the 'incomparable enlivener of the literary mind' whose lifelong fascination was with the way people make their world intelligible. He has a multi-faceted claim to fame: to some he is the structuralist who outlined a 'science of literature', and the most prominent promoter of semiology; to others he stands not for science but pleasure, espousing a theory of literature which gives the reader a creative role. This book describes the many projects, which Barthes explored and which helped to change the way we think about a range of cultural phenomena - from literature, fashion, wrestling, and advertising to notions of the self, of history, and of nature. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Literary Theory and Criticism

An Oxford Guide

Author: Patricia Waugh

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 9780199291335

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 598

View: 9121

Edited by Patricia Waugh, this comprehensive guide to literary theory and criticism includes 39 specially commissioned chapters by an outstanding international team of academics. The volume is divided into four parts. Part One covers the key philosophical and aesthetic origins of literary theory, Part Two looks at the foundational movements and thinkers in the first half of the twentieth century, Part Three offers introductory overviews of the most importantmovements and thinkers in modern literary theory and Part Four looks at emergent trends and future directions.

Writing and Script: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Andrew Robinson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199567786

Category: History

Page: 157

View: 890

Writing is a defining marker of civilisation; without it there could be no accumulation of knowledge. Andrew Robinson tells the fascinating story of the history of writing, considering its development, and examining the enormous variety of writing and scripts we use today.