How to Interpret Literature : Critical Theory for Literary and Cultural Studies

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-07-18
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Offering a refreshing combination of accessibility and intellectual rigor,How to Interpret Literature: Critical Theory for Literary and Cultural Studies,Second Edition, presents an up-to-date, concise, and wide-ranging historicist survey of contemporary thinking in critical theory. The only book of its kind that thoroughly merges literary studies with cultural studies, it provides a critical look at the major movements in literary studies since the 1930s, including those often omitted from other texts. It is also the only up-to-date survey of literary theory that devotes full chapters to Queer Theory and Postcolonial and Race Studies. Intellectually challenging yet remarkably readable,How to Interpret Literature,Second Edition, is ideal as either a stand-alone text or in conjunction with an anthology of primary readings. DISTINCTIVE FEATURES * Uses aconversational and engaging tonethat speaks directly to today's students * Covers avariety of theoretical schools--including New Criticism, Structuralism, Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis, Feminism, and Marxism--weaving connections among chapters to show how these different movements respond to and build upon each other * Offers a richassortment of pedagogical features(charts, text boxes that address frequently asked questions, photos, and a bibliography) NEW TO THIS EDITION * Incorporates thelatest developmentsin the field (e.g., continental political philosophy, ecocriticism, and disability studies) * Presents areorganized and expanded final chapter(Chapter 11: Reader Response) * Now includes"How to Interpret" sectionswithin every chapter *Moves suggested readings to the ends of corresponding chaptersto highlight the texts for students * Includes references to morerecent literature and contemporary movies(e.g.,Avatar), diversifying the already broad selection of examples

Author Biography

Robert Dale Parker is James M. Benson Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
New Criticismp. 11
How to Interpret: Key Concepts for New Critical Interpretationp. 18
Historicizing the New Criticism: Rethinking Literary Unityp. 23
The Intentional Fallacy and the Affective Fallacyp. 30
How to Interpret: A New Critical Examplep. 38
Further Readingp. 42
Structuralismp. 44
Key Concepts in Structuralismp. 45
How to Interpret: Structuralism in Cultural and Literary Studiesp. 52
The Death of the Authorp. 57
How to Interpret: The Detective Novelp. 58
Structuralism, Formalism, and Literary Historyp. 63
The Structuralist Study of Narrative: Narratologyp. 66
Narrative Syntax, Metaphor, and Metonymyp. 78
Further Readingp. 84
Deconstructionp. 86
Key Concepts in Deconstructionp. 87
How to Interpret: A Deconstructionist Examplep. 93
Writing, Speech, and Differancep. 95
Deconstruction beyond Derridap. 99
Deconstruction, Essentialism, and Identityp. 102
How to Interpret: More Deconstructive Examplesp. 108
Further Readingp. 110
Psychoanalysisp. 112
The Psychoanalytic Understanding of the Mindp. 115
Sigmund Freudp. 118
How to Interpret: Models of Psychoanalytic Interpretationp. 123
From the Interpretation of Dreams to the Interpretation of Literaturep. 128
How to Interpret: Psychoanalytic Examplesp. 131
Jacques Lacanp. 138
Further Readingp. 147
Feminismp. 148
Early Feminist Criticismp. 151
Sex and Genderp. 157
Feminismsp. 159
How to Interpret: Feminist Examplesp. 163
Feminism and Visual Pleasurep. 166
Further Readingp. 176
Queer Studiesp. 179
Key Concepts in Queer Studiesp. 180
How to Interpret: A Queer Studies Examplep. 186
Queer Studies and Historyp. 189
Outing: Writers, Characters, and the Literary Closetp. 194
Homosociality and Heterosexual Panicp. 199
How to Interpret: Another Queer Studies Examplep. 205
Further Readingp. 208
Marxismp. 211
Key Concepts in Marxismp. 212
Contemporary Marxism, Ideology, and Agencyp. 221
How to Interpret: Marxist Examplesp. 235
Further Readingp. 242
Historicism and Cultural Studiesp. 244
New Historicismp. 244
How to Interpret: Historicist Examplesp. 250
Michel Foucaultp. 255
Cultural Studiesp. 260
How to Interpret: A Cultural Studies Examplep. 262
Cultural Studies, Historicism, and Literaturep. 265
Further Readingp. 267
Postcolonial and Race Studiesp. 270
Postcolonialismp. 271
From Orientalism to Deconstruction: Edward Said, Homi Bhabha, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivakp. 278
How to Interpret: A Postcolonial Studies Examplep. 293
Race Studies: Postcolonial Theory and the Construction of Racep. 295
How to Interpret: Postcolonial and Race Studies Examplesp. 307
Further Readingp. 311
Reader Responsep. 314
Ideal, Implied, and Actual Readersp. 317
Structuralist Models of Reading and Communicationp. 319
Aesthetic Judgment, Interpretive Communities, and Resisting Readersp. 324
Reception Theory and Reception Historyp. 328
Readers and the New Technologiesp. 330
Further Readingp. 332
Afterwordp. 335
Works Citedp. 337
Photographic Creditsp. 341
Indexp. 343
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