An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory

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Pearson Longman, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 344 pages

A new edition of one of the market leading texts for those interested in critical theory and its effect on our reading of the English literary canon. Renowned for its accessible, witty style, the new edition is updated throughout and contains four new chapters to reflect the continuing development of the subject.

* The key elements of this book that make it so popular are its clear, highly accessible articulation of ideas, the wide range of texts used as illustrative examples, and its witty, humourous style.

* Number 1 textbook on our Literature list.

* Literary Theory & Criticism is the only major, core course in English departments - every Literature student will study it.

* A new chapter on Creative Writing - currently the biggest 'growth area' in the Humanities in the UK.

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I'm not sure I can agree.
For a first year student of English; this book seems vastly unreadable. Both the manner of writing and the content provided are portrayed in a complex jumble of quotes and
references, with each chapter making one or two points which tend to not be consistent.
A chapter may take a subject and a single poem (e.g. Chapter 4) and spend pages analysing the poem, making poorly formatted extrapolations and not really answer any real questions. Another note would be to criticise the relentless deployment of poorly-explained or unexplained '-isms' which regularly function to confuse, or make vague, certain aims of the points being made.
Unfortunately, this isn't a book for me. Even more unfortunately, it's a book I'm forced to read.

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About the author (2004)

The authors have wide experience of teaching literature and literary theory at universities in Britain, Finland and Denmark.

Andrew Bennett is currently Professor of English at the University of Bristol. He has also authored: 'Romantic Poets and the Culture of Posterity' (CUP) and 'Katherine Mansfield' (Northcote House, 2003).

Nicholas Royle is currently Professor of English at the University of Sussex. He is the author of: 'The Uncanny: An Introduction' (MUP) and 'Jacques Derrida' in the Routledge Critical Thinkers Series.

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