An introduction to literary theory. It covers the major theoretical approaches, including: structuralism; feminism; Marxist literary theories; reader-response theories; psychoanalytic criticism; deconstruction; poststructuralism; new historicism; postcolonial theory; gay studies/queer theory; and cultural studies. A table of contents arranged by theoretical method and a second arranged by major topics offer the reader alternative pathways through the volume. A brief section, "How To Use This Book", and a general introduction that traces the history and importance of literary theory completes the introductory material. In each of the following chapters, the authors provide a presentation of the theory in question and a model reading of a key text to help the reader understand both the methodology and the practice of literary theory. The texts used for illustration include "The Tempest", "Paradise Lost", "The Prelude", "Middlemarch", "In Memoriam", "Mrs Dalloway" and "The Swimming Pool Library". Each chapter ends with an annotated bibliography and a supplementary bibliography, while a general bibliography and a glossary of terms complete the book.
Julian Wolfreys is Professor of Modern Literature and Culture, with the Department of English and Drama, at Loughborough University. He has published extensively on nineteenth- and twentieth-century British literature, and theoretical approaches to literature. His most recent books are Thomas Hardy and Literature, in Theory. He is currently working on The Derrida Wordbook (EUP) and a study of the relation between philosophy and poetry in the nineteenth century.