The Routledge Concise History of Literary Criticism and Theory
Routledge – 2013 – 320 pages
This incredibly useful volume offers an introduction to the history of literary criticism and theory from classical antiquity to the present. It is almost impossible to read or study literature without acknowledging its relationship to criticism and this guide shows how the two have been inextricable since Plato.
Introducing theory and criticism through the texts themselves, Pelagia Goulimari examines:
With handy features such as a glossary, annotated further reading, descriptive text boxes and instructive marginalia this book is the ideal introduction to anyone approaching theory and criticism for the first time.
Introduction 1. ‘Mimesis. Plato and the Poet’ 2. ‘Aristotle and Nietzsche on Tragedy’ 3. ‘The Medieval Sign and the Modern Sign: Plotinus, Augustine, Aquinas, Saussure, Derrida’ 4. ‘From Mimesis to Creation: Horace, Plotinus, Sir Philip Sidney and Renaissance Humanism’ 5. ‘Imagination, Reason, Taste and Sympathy: Hume, Wollstonecraft, Shelley (Enlightenment and Romanticism)’ 6. ‘Realism and the Novel. Dickens, George Eliot, Flaubert, Hardy, Henry James, Lukács, Auerbach, Bakhtin, Barthes, J. Hillis Miller, Leo Bersani’ 7. ‘Modernity, Multiperspectivism, Culture, Criticism: Marx, Baudelaire, Arnold, Pater, Nietzsche, Wilde’ 8. ‘The Self in Fragments: Psychoanalysis and Literature. Freud, Lacan, Irigaray, Kristeva, Laura Mulvey, Harold Bloom, Gilbert & Gubar’ 9. ‘Bakhtin’s Dialogism’ 10. ‘Close Reading vs. Interpretation: From Practical Criticism (I.A. Richards, F.R. Leavis, William Empson) to Cultural Materialism (Raymond Williams) & from New Criticism (John Crowe Ransom, Cleanth Brooks, Wimsatt & Beardsley) to Northrop Frye and Stanley Fish’ 11. ‘Writer’s and Reader’s Freedom vs. Différance. From Existentialism (Sartre, Camus, de Beauvoir, Fanon) to Poststructuralism (Barthes, Foucault, Deleuze & Guattari, Said – Derrida, Cixous, de Man, Spivak, Bhabha, Gates)’ 12. ‘Performative Literature: Familiarizing the Unfamiliar, Defamiliarizing the Familiar. Shelley, George Eliot, Shklovsky, Brecht, J.L. Austin, Toni Morrison, Butler, Sedgwick, Sinfield’ 13. ‘History vs. histories. Thucydides, Augustine, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Walter Benjamin, Foucault, New Historicism, Lyotard, Jameson’
Pelagia Goulimari is a lecturer at Wadham College, University of Oxford where she teaches various courses on literary theory. She is founder and general editor of Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities. Her publications include Postmodernism: What Moment? (2007), Toni Morrison (2009) and many articles in Textual Practice, Postmodern Culture, Hypatia: Journal of Feminist Philosophy, Angelaki and elsewhere.