What is literary theory? Is there a relationship between literature and culture?
These are some of questions addressed by Jonathan Culler in this new edition of his highly popular Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction. Culler, an extremely lucid commentator and much admired in the field of literary theory, uses easy-to-grasp examples as he outlines the ideas behind schools of criticism that can otherwise be quite daunting, such as deconstruction, semiotics, and postcolonial theory. He explains "theory" not by describing warring "schools" but by sketching key "moves" that theory has encouraged, and by speaking directly about the implications of theory for thinking about literature, human identity, and the power of language.
In this Second Edition, Culler includes much new material, including a discussion of the "death of theory," a look at topics such as trauma theory, eco-criticism, and the link between the theory of narrative and cognitive science, plus a new chapter on "Ethics and Aesthetics." Shedding light on everything from literature and social identity, to poetry, poetics, and rhetoric, Literary Theory is a welcome guide for all lovers of literature.
©1997 Jonathan Culler (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
As I am currently studying Stylistics (a branch of linguistics), I wanted a book in a related area to listen to. This perfectly fits the bill, covering a lot of concepts and theorists I have been introduced to over the past few years, but from a different perspective. A very dense text, I did find myself frequently rewinding a few minutes to make sure I had absorbed what was being said.
Cutler illustrates and explains complex ideas in a coherent, if brief, manner. A very good introduction for someone who already has some knowledge of the underlying theories.
Yen reads the text clearly and with no ticks or speech traits that distracted me. His vocal performance is well suited to this type of text. I would seek out other texts read by him in future.
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