The Philosophy of Modern Literary Theory presents a short introduction to the problems, theories and concepts of literary criticism, from Anglo-American New Criticism to Deconstruction and Postmodernism. The book argues that modern theories can only be properly understood when placed in the philosophical and aesthetic context in which they originated and evolved. The book ranges across not just the philosophical underpinnings of English Literature but also the critical literatures of Eastern Europe, France, Germany, Italy and North America. For the first time, the major schools of literary theory - from Marxism to psychoanalysis to Critical Theory - are set within their philosophical context. The theorists discussed include Adorno, Bakhtin, Barthes, Benjamin, Croce, Derrida, Eco, Fish, Gadamer, Goldmann, Greimas, Hegel, Heidegger, Jakobson, Jameson, Jauss, Kant, Lukacs, Lyotard, de Man, Mannheim, Marx and Nietzsche.
Peter V. Zima is Professor and Director of the Institute of General and Comparative Literature at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria. He is the author of a range of critical books, including Deconstruction and Critical Theory.