Literary Theory and Criticism : An Oxford Guide, Paperback

Literary Theory and Criticism : An Oxford Guide Paperback

Edited by Patricia Waugh

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Edited by Patricia Waugh, this comprehensive guide to literary theory and criticism includes 39 specially commissioned chapters by an outstanding international team of academics.

The volume is divided into four parts. Part One covers the key philosophical and aesthetic origins of literary theory, Part Two looks at the foundational movements and thinkers in the first half of the twentieth century, Part Three offers introductory overviews of the most important movements and thinkers in modern literary theory and Part Four looks at emergent trends and future directions.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Literary theory
  • ISBN: 9780199258369



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So far the best single guide I know. The Bennett and Royle is superb, but they to often resort to the suspended law of non-contradiction. Waugh, by contrast, gives us a great many voices and approaches, and, moreover, by combining both thematic sections and traditional review of schools, provides tools both for the usual intro to lit theory course and far more ambitious courses. Overall, the tendency in Waugh could be said to be typically that of the UK, in that its interests tend towards explorations of the possibilities of resisting capitalism. Oddly, though, for a book whose ultimate affinities may be to Marxism, it is generally resistant to historicism.<br/><br/>There are several essays that, missing the practical point of the book, attempt to shift whole critical discourses rather than providing an introduction to same, especially Paccaud-Huguet on 'Psychoanalysis After Freud,' Hamilton on 'Reconstructing Historicism,' and Punter on 'Anti-Canon Theory.' Some will work, if at all, only with strenuous classroom effort: Bandfield on I.A. Richards, Shereen on the Aristotelian Chicago critical approach, and Onega on Structuralism. Given the size of the book, however, it's no trouble at all to teach only what you think will work best.