An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory
'The best introduction to literary study on the market' Jonathan Culler,
'The most un-boring, unnerving, unpretentious textbook I've ever come across'
"Elizabeth Wright, University of Cambridge"
'It is by far the bext and most readable of all such introductions that I know of...The treatment of the various topics is masterful, even-handed, and informative. I cannot think of a better introduction for undergraduates, to be sure, but for many graduate students too.'
"Hayden White, University of California at Santa Cruz"
I don't know of any book that could, or does, compete with this one. It is irreplaceable' ""
"Richard Rand, University of Alabama"
(Bennett and Royle have) cracked the problem of how to be introductory and sophisticated, accessible but not patronising.'
"Peter Buse, English Subject Centre Newsletter"
"An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory"provides a completely fresh and original introduction to literary studies.
Bennett & Royle approach their subject by way of literary works themselves (a poem by Emily Dickinson, a passage from Shakespeare, a novel by Salman Rushdie), rather than by way of abstract theoretical ideas and "isms." In thirty-two short chapters they focus on a range of familiar-looking terms (character, the author, voice, narrative) as well as less obvious ones (laughter, pleasure, ghosts, secrets) in order to show why such literary texts are so compelling. This third edition updates and expands on earlier editions, and includes new chapters on:
"An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory" avoids what is so frequently tiresome or intimidating about 'theory', offering instead an introduction that is consistently entertaining, thought provoking and surprising.
The authors have wide experience of teaching and lecturing on literature and literary theory at universities in Britain, Europe and the United States. Andrew Bennett is Professor of English at the University of Bristol and Nicholas Royle is Professor English at the University of Sussex.
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I'm not sure I can agree.
For a first year student of English; this book seems vastly unreadable. Both the manner of writing and the content provided are portrayed in a complex jumble of quotes and references, with each chapter making one or two points which tend to not be consistent.
A chapter may take a subject and a single poem (e.g. Chapter 4) and spend pages analysing the poem, making poorly formatted extrapolations and not really answer any real questions. Another note would be to criticise the relentless deployment of poorly-explained or unexplained '-isms' which regularly function to confuse, or make vague, certain aims of the points being made.
Unfortunately, this isn't a book for me. Even more unfortunately, it's a book I'm forced to read.