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A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature

A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Now in its fifth edition, A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature has become both a standard introduction to the close reading of literature and an invaluable resource for English graduate students. It offers students and other readers a variety of ways to interpret a piece of literature, ranging from historical/biographical and moral/philosophical approaches through the formalist, the psychological, the mythic and archetypal, and into such contemporary perspectives as feminist criticism and cultural studies. The book applies these diverse approaches to the same six classic works--"To His Coy Mistress," Hamlet, Huckleberry Finn, "Young Goodman Brown," "Everyday Use," and, new to this edition, Frankenstein--showing students how various methods offer different insights and enriching their response to and understanding of the individual works. The fifth edition is enhanced by the addition of Frankenstein, a complex work that lends itself to multiple levels of interpretation and is familiar in both its cinematic and literary forms. The coverage of Frankenstein incorporates material on popular culture--discussions of various fiction, stage, film, and television appearances of the work--as well as several photographs. This edition also features organizational and content changes that bring the volume up-to-date with contemporary literary criticism. Offering a valuable combination of theory and practice, A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature, Fifth Edition, is ideal for courses in literary criticism or theory and can also be used in introduction to literature courses.

Synopsis:

Now in its fourth edition, A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature has became a perennial classic for learning the close reading of literature. This fourth edition features a new chapter on cultural studies and the inclusion and interpretation of Alice Walker's singularly rich short story, "Everyday Use".

Table of Contents

Illustrations

Preface

1. GETTING STARTED: THE PRECRITICAL RESPONSE

I. Setting

II. Plot

III. Character

IV. Structure

V. Style

VI. Atmosphere

VII. Theme

2. FIRST THINGS FIRST: TEXUAL SCHOLARSHIP, GENRES, AND SOURCE STUDY

I. First, a Note on the Traditional Approaches

II. Three Foundational Questions

A. Textual Scholarship: Do We Have an Accurate Version of What We Are Studying?

1. General Observations

2. Text Study in Practice

B. Matters of Genre: What Are We Dealing With?

1. An Overview of Genre

2. Genre Characteristics in Practice

C. Source Study: Did Earlier Writings Help This Work Come into Being?

3. HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL APPROACHES

I. General Observations

II. Historical and Biographical Approaches in Practice

A. "To His Coy Mistress"

B. Hamlet

C. Huckleberry Finn

D. "Young Goodman Brown"

E. "Everyday Use"

F. Frankenstein

4. MORAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL APPROACHES

I. General Observations

II. Moral and Philosophical Approaches in Practice

A. "To His Coy Mistress"

B. Hamlet

C. Huckleberry Finn

D. "Young Goodman Brown"

E. "Everyday Use"

F. Frankenstein

5. THE FORMALIST APPROACH

I. Reading a Poem: An Introduction to the Formalist Approach

II. The Process of Formalist Analysis: Making the Close Reader

III. A Brief History of Formalist Criticism

A. The Course of a Half Century

B. Backgrounds of Formalist Theory

C. The New Criticism

IV. Constants of the Formalist Approach: Some Key Concepts, Terms, and Devices

A. Form and Organic Form

B. Texture, Image, Symbol

C. Fallacies

D. Point of View

E. The Speaker's Voice

F. Tension, Irony, Paradox

V. The Formalist Approach in Practice

A. Word, Image, and Theme: Space-Time Metaphors in "To His Coy Mistress"

B. The Dark, the Light, and the Pink: Ambiguity as Form in "Young Goodman Brown"

1. Virtues and Vices

2. Symbol or Allegory?

3. Loss upon Loss

C. Romance and Reality, Land and River: The Journey as Repetitive Form in Huckleberry Finn

D. Dialectic as Form: The Trap Metaphor in Hamlet

1. The Trap Imagery

2. The Cosmological Trap

3. "Seeming" and "Being"

4. "Seeing" and "Knowing"

E. Irony and Narrative Voice: A Formalist Approach to "Everyday Use"

F. Frankenstein: A Formalist Reading, with an Emphasis on Exponents

VI. Limitations of the Formalist Approach

6. THE PSYCHOLOGICAL APPROACH: FREUD

I. Aims and Principles

A. Abuses and Misunderstandings of the Psychological Approach

B. Freud's Theories

II. The Psychological Approach in Practice

A. Hamlet: The Oedipus Complex

B. Rebellion Against the Father in Huckleberry Finn

C. Prometheus Manqu: The Monster Unbound

D. "Young Goodman Brown": Id Versus Superego

E. Death Wish in Poe's Fiction

F. Love and Death in Blake's "Sick Rose"

G. Sexual Imagery in "To His Coy Mistress"

H. Morality over the Pleasure Principle in "Everyday Use"

III. Other Possibilities and Limitations of the Psychological Approach

7. MYTHOLOGICAL AND ARCHETYPAL APPROACHES

I. Definitions and Misconceptions

II. Some Examples of Archetypes

A. Images

B. Archetypal Motifs or Patterns

C. Archetypes as Genres

III. Myth Criticism in Practice

A. Anthropology and Its Uses

1. The Sacrificial Hero: Hamlet

2. Archetypes of Time and Immortality: "To His Coy Mistress"

B. Jungian Psychology and Its Archetypal Insights

1. Some Special Archetypes: Shadow, Persona, and Anima

2. "Young Goodman Brown": A Failure of Individuation

3. Creature or Creator: Who Is the Real Monster in Frankenstein?

4. Syntheses of Jung and Anthropology

C. Myth Criticism and the American Dream: Huckleberry Finn as the American Adam

D. "Everyday Use": The Great [Grand]Mother

IV. Limitations of Myth Criticism

8. FEMINISMS AND GENDER STUDIES

I. Feminisms and Feminist Literary Criticism: Definitions

II. Woman: Created or Constructed?

A. Feminism and Psychoanalysis

B. Multicultural Feminisms

C. Marxist Feminism

D. Feminist Film Studies

III. Gender Studies

IV. Feminisms in Practice

A. The Marble Vault: The Mistress in "To His Coy Mistress"

B. Frailty, Thy Name Is Hamlet: Hamlet and Women

C. "The Workshop of Filthy Creation": Men and Women in Frankenstein

1. Mary and Percy, Author and Editor

2. Masculinity and Femininity in the Frankenstein Family

3. "I Am Thy Creature . . ."

D. Men, Women, and the Loss of Faith in "Young Goodman Brown"

E. Women and "Sivilization" in Huckleberry Finn

F. "In Real Life": Recovering the Feminine Past in "Everyday Use"

V. The Future of Feminist Literary Studies and Gender Studies: Some Problems and Limitations

9. CULTURAL STUDIES

I. What Is (or Are) "Cultural Studies"?

II. Five Types of Cultural Studies

A. British Cultural Materialism

B. New Historicism

C. American Multiculturalism

1. African American Writers

2. Latina/o Writers

3. American Indian Literatures

4. Asian American Writers

D. Postmodernism and Popular Culture

1. Postmodernism

2. Popular Culture

E. Postcolonial Studies

III. Cultural Studies in Practice

A. Two Characters in Hamlet: Marginalization with a Vengeance

B. "To His Coy Mistress": Implied Culture Versus Historical Fact

C. From Paradise Lost to Frank-N-Furter: The Creature Lives!

1. Revolutionary Births

2. The Frankenpheme in Popular Culture: Fiction, Drama, Film, Television

D. "The Lore of Fiends": Hawthorne and His Market

E. "Telling the Truth, Mainly": Tricksterism in Huckleberry Finn

E. Cultures in Conflict: A Story Looks at Cultural Change

IV. Limitations of Cultural Studies

10. THE PLAY OF MEANING(S): READER-RESPONSE CRITICISM, DIALOGICS, AND STRUCTURALISM AND POSTSTRUCTURALISM, INCLUDING DECONSTRUCTION

I. Reader-Response Criticism

II. Dialogics

III. Structuralism and Poststructuralism, Including Deconstruction

A. Structuralism: Context and Definition

B. The Linguistic Model

C. Russian Formalism: Extending Saussure

D. Structuralism, Levi Strauss, and Semiotics

E. French Structuralism: Codes and Decoding

F. British and American Interpreters

G. Poststructuralism: Deconstruction

Epilogue

Appendix A, Andrew Marvell, "To His Coy Mistress"

Appendix B, Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Young Goodman Brown"

Appendix C, Alice Walker, "Everyday Use: for your grandmama"

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195160178
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Subject:
Criticism
Author:
null, Jeanne C.
Author:
Labor, Earle
Author:
Reesman, Jeanne C.
Author:
null, Lee
Author:
Morgan, Lee
Author:
null, Wilfred L.
Author:
null, John R.
Author:
Guerin, Wilfred L.
Author:
null, Earle
Author:
John R. Willingham
Subject:
Semiotics & Theory
Subject:
General Literary Criticism & Collections
Subject:
Literature/English | Literary Theory
Edition Number:
5
Edition Description:
paper 9841
Publication Date:
20041230
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
9 illus.
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
5.4 x 8.2 x 1.2 in 1.319 lb

Related Subjects

Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature
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Product details 448 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780195160178 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Now in its fourth edition, A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature has became a perennial classic for learning the close reading of literature. This fourth edition features a new chapter on cultural studies and the inclusion and interpretation of Alice Walker's singularly rich short story, "Everyday Use".
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