Complete Idiot's Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism

ISBN-10: 1615642412
ISBN-13: 9781615642410
Edition: 2013
List price: $19.95 Buy it from $6.99
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Description: From Plato to Freud to ecocriticism, the book illustrates dozens of stimulating-and sometimes notoriously complex-perspectives for approaching literature and film. The book offers authoritative, clear, and easy-to-follow explanations of theories  More...

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Book details

List price: $19.95
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date: 3/5/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 336
Size: 7.50" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.616
Language: English

From Plato to Freud to ecocriticism, the book illustrates dozens of stimulating-and sometimes notoriously complex-perspectives for approaching literature and film. The book offers authoritative, clear, and easy-to-follow explanations of theories that range from established classics to the controversies of current theory. Each chapter offers a conversational, step-by-step explanation of a single theory, critic, or issue, accompanied by concrete examples for applying the concepts and engaging suggestions for related literary readings. Following a section on the foundations of literary theory, the book is organized thematically, with an eye to the best way to develop a real, working understanding of the various theories. Cross-references are particularly important, since it's through the interaction of examples that readers most effectively advance from basic topics and arguments to some of the more specialized and complicated issues. Each chapter is designed to tell a complete story, yet also to reach out to other chapters for development and debate. Literary theorists are hardly unified in their views, and this book reflects the various traditions, agreements, influences, and squabbles that are a part of the field. Special features include hundreds of references to and quotations from novels, stories, plays, poems, movies, and other media. Online resources could also include video and music clips, as well as high-quality examples of visual art mentioned in the book. The book also includes periodic "running" references to selected key titles (such as Frankenstein) in order to illustrate the effect of different theories on a single work.

Basic Ingredients and Useful Terms
It's Just a Theory
You Can't Help It
So Which Is It, Theory or Criticism?
Getting Some Perspective
Suspicious Minds
Do Writers Know All This Stuff?
Stick to the Script
Real Worlds and Real Words
What's the Word for That, Again?
Two Sides of the Coin
Theme
Form
Order, Please
Plot
Motif
Who Are These People?
Narrators
Characterization
Writers Love Details
Imagery
Figurative Language
In Theory, How Do You Read?
New Criticism Looks Very Closely
Everything Fits Together
Buy Organic
Can't I Just Read?
In Other Words, There Are No Other Words
Reading Closely for What?
There's a Pattern Here
No, You're Not Reading Too Much Into It
Ironic, Isn't It?
What's Wrong with "Old" Criticism?
Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings
Did the Author Really Mean That?
Everyone's a Critic
Who Begs to Differ?
Russian Formalism Fixates on the Machinery
Look At the Text, Not Through It
Not Content with Form and Content
A Scientific Basis for Literary Study
Why Did They Do This?
It's What Art Really Is
Habit Dulls Our Perception
Make the Ordinary Strange
Make the Artistry Obvious
Revealing the Tricks
Plot vs. Story-Stuff
Literary History Is the Interplay of Form
Reader-Response Criticism Watches Itself
In the Eye of the Beholder
Making It Up as You Go Along
Show Your Work
Draw a Blank
Crack the Code
Making You Up as It Goes Along
"You" Are There
Group Dynamics
Getting Real
Regaining Consciousness
Aristotle and Friends Plot the Course
Reading for Fun and (Intellectual) Profit
Delightful Instruction
Get It Out of Your System, or Not
Mime in a Box
Plot Changes Everything
The Rules of the Game
One Ring to Rule Them All
They're Just Guidelines, Really
What Is Literature, Anyway?
Plato's Fundamental Gripe Against Literature
What's the Big Idea Here?
Me and My Shadows
A True Original
Cheat Sheets
Writers Blocked
Bad Influence
Madness and Magnets
Famous Platonic Relationships
The Romantics Get Defensive
Plato II: Revenge of the Poets
A Sincere Apology
It's Just My Nature
Wordsworth's Emotional Rescue
Coleridge's Fevered Imagination
Keats and Beautiful Truthiness
Shelley Gets Played Like a Harp
Marx Sees Through the Material World
Immersed in the System
Alma Mater-ialism
Let's Simplify Things
Living the Dream
Wake Up and Smell the Ideology
Get Real
Shocking Audiences Worldwide
Return of the Repressed
Freud Sees a Symptom
Thinking Big
What Do You Have in Mind?
Dream Weaving
Literature on the Couch
Must Be About Sex
Unless It's About Death
Saussure and Science Settle Into a Good Read
Must Be a Sign
Adding Some Structure
Just a Slice, Please
It's Your Move
Stop in for Great Values
Everybody Gets in On the Act
It's All in Your Head
Hey, Whose Book Is This?
Feminist Theories Change the Game
Is This Pedestal High Enough for You?
Particularly Universal
It's Only Natural, Isn't It?
Girl, That Rochester Is Bad News
Diving Into the Stereotypists' Pool
Writing Circles Around You
Evolving Phases
Body Works
What Do You Mean, "We"?
Gender and Queer Theories Read Desire
Tending Gender
Typecasting Sexuality
Pride Fest
Beyond Stonewall
Lesbian Revisions
It's Showtime!
Beyond Gay and Straight
Ethnic Studies Changes the Key
Are You What You Read?
National Sensations
Please Check One of the Boxes
American Autograph
Write Makes Might
Modern Subjects
Theory Turns
Reading Like a Writer
Well, That Figures
Borders and Belongings
Disability Studies Gets Physical
Social Ills
Marked Bodies
Stormin' Normin'
Posing Gender
Book It
Learn on Me
I See What You Mean
Thinking Otherwise
Aud, Isn't It?
Try to Watch Your Language
Structuralism Senses a Pattern Here
Patterns and Rules
Not What It Means, but How Does It Mean?
Oh That Old Chestnut (or, Why So Grimm?)
Working the Story
Logical Tools
Jung at Art (or, Swingin' a Myth)
It's the Economy
Does This Tie Match My Signifying System?
Great Expectations
So You Say
Deconstruction Says It's Not What You Think
Philosophy's Low Opinion of Language
Truth First
With Writing in Mind
Bye-Bye Binary
Texting from Work
Living in the Material Word
Psychology Brings Linguistics to the Couch
Post-Structuralist Mind
Mirror, Mirror, Then the Wall
Subjects of Significance
Getting Saussure Stuck in Your Head
Chain Letters
Taking Your Place
Baby Talk (Or, a Womb with a View)
Who's Pulling the Strings?
In the World and Of the World
Cultural Studies Tries to Ruin a Good Time
High Fives for High Culture
The Culture Industry
Enlighten Me-No, Don't
New Forms for New Minds
Making Copies
Material Feelings
Freaky Styley
Who Are Your References?
What Just Happened?
The Pastiche Prologue
Wait, Let Me Finish
History Gets Literary
New and Improved
Plotting Along in the Past
There's Culture in My Poetry!
Making the Connections
Knowing Looks
Doesn't Know When to Quit
Russian Legacy
I Hear Voices
Step Into My Parlor
Postcolonial Criticism Flaunts the Fashions
Reading Between the Lands
Us and Them
Return to Thornfield
Look at It This Way
Other Others
Choosing Your Words Carefully
Are You Lookin' at Me?
Ecocriticism Offers a Word from Our Sponsor
Hit the Ground Running
It's Writing, Naturally
Portrait of the Land as a Young Woman
Varieties of Ecocritical Experience
Seeing But Not Scene
Collective Energies
Glossary
Index

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