Critical Practice

Front Cover
Psychology Press, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 161 pages
2 Reviews

What is poststructuralist theory, and what difference does it make to literary criticism? Where do we find the meaning of the text: in the author's head? in the reader's? Or do we, instead, make meaning in the practice of reading itself? If so, what part do our own values play in the process of interpretation? And what is the role of the text? Catherine Belsey considers these and other questions concerning the relations between human beings and language, readers and texts, writing and cultural politics. Assuming no prior knowledge of poststructuralism, Critical Practice guides the reader confidently through the maze of contemporary theory. It simply and lucidly explains the views of key figures such as Louis Althusser, Roland Barthes, Jacques Lacan and Jacques Derrida, and shows their theories at work in readings of familiar literary texts.

Critical Practice argues that theory matters, because it makes a difference to what we do when we read, opening up new possibilities for literary and cultural analysis. Poststructuralism, in conjunction with psychoanalysis and deconstruction, makes radical change to the way we read both a priority and a possibility.

With a new chapter, updated guidance on further reading and revisions throughout, this second edition of Critical Practice is the ideal guide to the present and future of literary studies.

 

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User Review  - soniaandree - LibraryThing

Essential book for any student of English - the reading is concise and straight to the point, literary theory sections are clearly explained and should help students improve their marks noticeably. This is a classic of any academic library. Read full review

Contents

Traditional Criticism and Common Sense
1
Challenges to Expressive Realism
14
Criticism and Meaning
35
Addressing the Subject
52
The Interrogative Text
78
The Work of Reading
95
Deconstruction and the Differance it Makes
114
Towards a Productive Critical Practice
126
FURTHER READING
145
NOTES
150
REFERENCES
154
INDEX
159
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About the author (2002)

Catherine Belsey is Professor of English at Cardiff University, where she chairs the Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory. Her books include Desire: Love Stories in Western Culture and Shakespeare and the Loss of Eden.

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