How to Interpret Literature

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

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Description

Offering a refreshing combination of accessibility and intellectual rigor, How to Interpret Literature: Critical Theory for Literary and Cultural Studies presents an up-to-date, concise, and wide-ranging historicist survey of contemporary thinking in critical theory. Ideal for upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses in literary and critical theory, this is the only book of its kind that thoroughly merges literary studies with cultural studies, including film. Robert Dale Parker provides a critical look at the major movements in literary studies since the 1930s, including those often omitted from other texts. He includes chapters on New Criticism, Structuralism, Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis, Feminism, Queer Studies, Marxism, Historicism and Cultural Studies, Postcolonial and Race Studies, and Reader Response. Parker weaves connections among chapters, showing how these different ways of thinking respond to and build upon each other. Through these exchanges, he prepares students to join contemporary dialogues in literary and cultural studies. Parker's engaging writing style relates directly to today's students and their daily lives.He underscores the connections between critical theory and students' other coursework, as well as its links to their technologically filled lives. The text is enhanced by charts, text boxes that address frequently asked questions, photos, and a bibliography. Intellectually challenging yet remarkably readable-and devoted to the interpretation of both literary and cultural studies-How to Interpret Literature stands out from other surveys of critical theory. Its flexible format makes this volume ideal as either a stand-alone text or in conjunction with an anthology of primary readings.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 134.62 x 208.28 x 20.32mm | 362.87g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 42 black-and-white halftones, 12 line.
  • 0195334701
  • 9780195334708
  • 859,285

Review quote

"I prefer this book, with its lucid summary of major movements and deep insight into how different critics used or rejected theory, to every comparable book I'm aware of in the field. How to Interpret Literature offers a historical account of theory that's genuinely historical, and not simply a list of major concepts associated with different theoretical schools. Robert Dale Parker explains how theoretical arguments develop over time, how new theories build on older arguments, and how theoretical arguments blend and overlap. He never loses sight of a larger, highly original argument, about the necessary relation between critical thinking and everyday life." --Barry Faulk, Florida State University"This history of critical movements as interrelated developmentally will be more helpful to students than the names-and-dates chronology of its competitors. Its greatest strength is not just clarity but energy--its author's delight in sharing with a general audience the 'secrets' of "I prefer this book, with its lucid summary of major movements and deep insight into how different critics used or rejected theory, to every comparable book I'm aware of in the field. How to Interpret Literature offers a historical account of theory that's genuinely historical, and not simply a list of major concepts associated with different theoretical schools. Robert Dale Parker explains how theoretical arguments develop over time, how new theories build on older arguments, and how theoretical arguments blend and overlap. He never loses sight of a larger, highly original argument, about the necessary relation between critical thinking and everyday life." --Barry Faulk, Florida State University "This history of critical movements as interrelated developmentally will be more helpful to students than the names-and-dates chronology of its competitors. Its greatest strength is not just clarity but energy--its author's delight in sharing with a general audience the 'secrets' of how criticism gets done." --Alan Loxterman, University of Richmond "I prefer this book, with its lucid summary of major movements and deep insight into how different critics used or rejected theory, to every comparable book I'm aware of in the field. How to Interpret Literature offers a historical account of theory that's genuinely historical, and not simply a listof major concepts associated with different theoretical schools. Robert Dale Parker explains how theoretical arguments develop over time, how new theories build on older arguments, and how theoretical arguments blend and overlap. He never loses sight of a larger, highly original argument, about thenecessary relation between critical thinking and everyday life." --Barry Faulk, Florida State University"This history of critical movements as interrelated developmentally will be more helpful to students than the names-and-dates chronology of its competitors. Its greatest strength is not just clarity but energy--its author's delight in sharing with a general audience the 'secrets' of how criticismgets done." --Alan Loxterman, University of Richmondshow more

Table of contents

CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION; CHAPTER 2. NEW CRITICISM; How to Interpret: Key Concepts from New Critical Interpretation; Historicizing the New Criticism: Rethinking Literary Unity; The Intentional Fallacy and the Affective Fallacy; How to Interpret: A New Critical Example; CHAPTER 3. STRUCTURALISM; Structuralism in Cultural and Literary Studies; The Structuralist Study of Narrative: Narratology; Narrative Syntax, Metaphor and Metonymy; CHAPTER 4. DECONSTRUCTION; Writing, Speech, and Differance; Deconstruction beyond Derrida; Deconstruction, Essentialism, and Identity; How to Interpret: More Deconstructive Examples; CHAPTER 5. PSYCHOANALYSIS; The Psychoanalytic Understanding of the Mind; Sigmund Freud; How to Interpret: Models of Psychoanalytic Interpretation; From the Interpretation of Dreams to the Interpretation of Literature; Jacques Lacan; CHAPTER 6. FEMINISM; Early Feminist Criticism; Sex and Gender; Feminisms; How to Interpret: Feminist Examples; Feminism and Visual Pleasure; CHAPTER 7. QUEER STUDIES; How to Interpret: A Queer Studies Example; Queer Studies and History; Outing: Writers, Characters, and the Literary Closet; Homosociality and Heterosexual Panic; How to Interpret: Another Queer Studies Example; CHAPTER 8. MARXISM; Contemporary Marxism, Ideology, and Agency; How to Interpret: Marxist Examples; CHAPTER 9. HISTORICISM AND CULTURAL STUDIES; New Historicism; Michel Foucault; Cultural Studies; How to Interpret: Cultural Studies, Historicism, and Literature; CHAPTER 10. POSTCOLONIAL AND RACE STUDIES; Postcolonialism; From Orientalism to Deconstruction: Edward Said, Homi Bhabha, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak; Race Studies: Postcolonial Theory and the Construction of Race; How to Interpret: Postcolonial and Race Studies Examples; CHAPTER 11. READER RESPONSEshow more

Rating details

281 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 25% (70)
4 42% (118)
3 24% (67)
2 7% (19)
1 2% (7)
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