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A quarter of a century on from its original publication,Literary Theory: An Introduction still conjures thesubversion, excitement and exoticism that characterized theorythrough the 1960s and 70s, when it posed an unprecedented challengeto the literary establishment. Eagleton has added a new preface tothis anniversary edition to address more recent developments inliterary studies, including what he describes as “the growthof a kind of anti-theory”, and the idea that literary theoryhas been institutionalized. Insightful and enlightening,Literary Theory: An Introduction remains the essential guideto the field.

  • 25th Anniversary Edition of Terry Eagleton’s classicintroduction to literary theory
  • First published in 1983, and revised in 1996 to includematerial on developments in feminist and cultural theory
  • Has served as an inspiration to generations of students andteachers
  • Continues to function as arguably the definitive undergraduatetextbook on literary theory
  • Reissue includes a new foreword by Eagleton himself, reflectingon the impact and enduring success of the book, and on developmentsin literary theory since it was first published
Published: Wiley on Nov 30, 2011
ISBN: 9781118306291
List price: $33.99
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If you only read one book about literary theory...well, who would blame you? Still, the educated layperson who wants to bump their understanding of contemporary literary criticism up to a respectable cocktail party level probably can't do much better than Eagleton's slim, thoroughly accessible introduction to the subject. Literary Theory traces the history of literature as an academic discipline from English Romanticism, through Saussure and semiotics, all the way to the fashionable heavy-hitters of postmodernism. Neither an acolyte nor a debunker, Eagleton gives each theory a clear explanation and a fair shake in crisp, jargon-free prose. He is up front about his own ideological slants (feminist, Marxist), and although the last of these can at times make him sound quaintly Cold War, at no point does he drop into didacticism. This is a book that truly lives up to its subtitle.read more
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essential reading for anyone into english lit critread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
10 yrs after getting an MA in English Literature, I finally read this book. I wish I had read it at least 15 years ago. Eagleton does a fantastic job to make theory understandable and interesting. I recommend to anyone interested in Lit Crit, this is the first book to read.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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If you only read one book about literary theory...well, who would blame you? Still, the educated layperson who wants to bump their understanding of contemporary literary criticism up to a respectable cocktail party level probably can't do much better than Eagleton's slim, thoroughly accessible introduction to the subject. Literary Theory traces the history of literature as an academic discipline from English Romanticism, through Saussure and semiotics, all the way to the fashionable heavy-hitters of postmodernism. Neither an acolyte nor a debunker, Eagleton gives each theory a clear explanation and a fair shake in crisp, jargon-free prose. He is up front about his own ideological slants (feminist, Marxist), and although the last of these can at times make him sound quaintly Cold War, at no point does he drop into didacticism. This is a book that truly lives up to its subtitle.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
essential reading for anyone into english lit crit
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
10 yrs after getting an MA in English Literature, I finally read this book. I wish I had read it at least 15 years ago. Eagleton does a fantastic job to make theory understandable and interesting. I recommend to anyone interested in Lit Crit, this is the first book to read.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A quarter of a century on from its original publication, Literary Theory: An Introduction still conjures the subversion, excitement and exoticism that characterized theory through the 1960s and 70s, when it posed an unprecedented challenge to the literary establishment. Eagleton has added a new preface to this anniversary edition to address more recent developments in literary studies, including what he describes as “the growth of a kind of anti–theory”, and the idea that literary theory has been institutionalized. Insightful and enlightening, Literary Theory: An Introduction remains the essential guide to the field.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Just as you don't have to be a Marxist to appreciate how insightful Marxist economists can be... in the same way, Terry Eagleton manages to cut through centuries of assumptions in literary criticism to reveal some startling home truths about the role books play in society. Don't be a smarmy Martin Amis type and ignore what this guy has to say.
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My guide book to the world of critical theories when i was 20! I read it at least dozens, if not hundreds of times, and surprisingly it was an exciting read.
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