Literature

September 18, 2008

LITERARY THEORY: AN INTRODUCTION

Author: Terry Eagleton

Edition: Anniversary

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Pages: 248

Price: £16.99

ISBN 9781405179218

Criticism dates, art doesn't - but that doesn't mean we shouldn't revisit Terry Eagleton's classic, if only to see how far we have come. This book shaped the reception of theory in Britain for a generation.

Who is it for? A collector's item.

Presentation: This book offers an introduction to a range of theories from phenomenology to post-structuralism.

Would you recommend it? If your original copy has fallen to pieces, now is your chance to replace it.

MODERN CRITICISM AND THEORY

Authors: David Lodge and Nigel Wood

Edition: Third

Publisher: Pearson

Pages: 864

Price: £24.99

ISBN 97805884543

This is one of the best of its kind, containing extracts from key thinkers on everything from discourse to detective fiction. The new edition brings readers up to date with the latest thinking in literary and cultural studies.

Who is it for? A useful resource for lecturers, research students and undergraduates.

Presentation: The contents are arranged historically and thematically. Each extract begins with an introduction and ends with suggestions for further reading. The text also uses a helpful cross-referencing system.

Would you recommend it? A must-buy.

MODERNISM: A SOURCEBOOK

Editor: Steven Matthews

Edition: First

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Pages: 291

Price: £55.00 and £18.99

ISBN 9781403998293 and 8309

This is a sourcebook of documents from the Modernist period, drawn mainly from the Anglo-American tradition. The extracts focus on historical and cultural issues rather than the usual aesthetic ones.

Who is it for? This book belongs on any undergraduate Modernism course. It will help students relate developments in art to changes in the wider world.

Presentation: There is a substantial introduction, a good chronology of major events and publications and an overview of each section.

Would you recommend it? Yes - order it for your students.

MODERN LITERARY CRITICISM AND THEORY: A HISTORY

Author: M.A.R. Habib

Edition: First

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Pages: 264

Price: £50.00 and £12.99

ISBN 9781405176675 and 6668

Habib covers an astonishing array of thinkers from Mikhail Bakhtin to Martha Nussbaum. Not the least of this book's appeal is Habib's belief in the continuing value of criticism.

Who is it for? This will appeal to specialists.

Presentation: Good browsing, but gives the narrative a slightly static quality.

Would you recommend it? Those who want to know where literary critics may be going should have this.

THE EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY NOVEL AND CONTEMPORARY SOCIAL ISSUES: AN INTRODUCTION

Author: Stuart Sim

Edition: First

Publisher: Edinburgh University Press

Pages: 207

Price: £50.00 and £15.99

ISBN 9780748625994 and 6007

This introduces key authors from the "long" 18th century. Focusing on individual novels, it looks at the development of a range of genres from realism to science fiction. The main claim is that the concerns of novelists such as Ann Radcliffe are still relevant today. Tom Jones, for instance, addresses our anxieties about anti-social behaviour.

Who is it for? If you want your students to connect with 18th-century literature, put this book on your course. It is accessible, challenging and guaranteed to liven up the dullest seminar.

Presentation: Each chapter begins with the issue to be discussed: family values, the surveillance society and so on.

Would you recommend it? It's a bargain at £15.99 for the paperback.

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