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Texts and Contexts: Writing about Literature with Critical Theory

by

Texts and Contexts: Writing about Literature with Critical Theory Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

  This book is deeply rooted in the views, responses, and history of contemporary critical theories.

 

  This popular book presents a user-friendly introduction to contemporary critical theories—from new criticism to cultural studies—as part of the practice of analyzing and writing about literature.  The new edition has more coverage of film and other genres reflecting the growing interest in film as an academic field.  There is more on current approaches to literature, including the relationship between rhetoric and reader-response criticism, Marxism, postcolonialism, queer theory, feminist theory, and African-American studies.

 

  For anyone interested in applying critical theory to writing about literature. 

 

Synopsis:

  Texts and Contexts:  Writing about Literature presents a user-friendly introduction to contemporary critical theories—from new criticism to cultural studies—as part of the practice of analyzing and writing about literature.  Some of the changes to the new edition include enhanced coverage of film and other genres reflecting the growing interest in film as an academic field and engaging students.  New sample texts and projects, all classroom-tested, appear at the end of every theory chapter, along with guiding questions to offer more practice for students in applying critical theory to literary texts.  There is more on current approaches to literature, including the relationship between rhetoric and reader-response criticism, Marxism, postcolonialism, queer theory, feminist theory, and African-American studies.

Table of Contents

Preface

1          An Introduction, Theoretically  

Textual Tours

Checking Some Baggage    

Anything to Declare?        

Recommended Further Reading

 

2          Critical Worlds: A Selective Tour         

Brendan Gill, from Here at “The New Yorker” 

New Criticism 

Reader-Response Criticism 

Deconstructive Criticism 

Historical Approaches    

Psychological Criticism    

Feminist Criticism 

Other Approaches      

Works Cited 

Recommended Further Reading 

 

3          Unifying the Work: New Criticism        

The Purpose of New Criticism 

Basic Principles Reflected    

Archibald MacLeish, “Ars Poetica”  

Radicals in Tweed Jackets

How to Do New Criticism

The Writing Process: A Sample Essay  

Gwendolyn Brooks, “The Mother” 48  

Preparing to Write       

Shaping 

Drafting

Practicing New Criticism          

Lucille Clifton, “forgiving my father”

Stephen Shu-ning Liu, “My Father’s Martial Art”

Ben Jonson, “On My First Son”

“The Prodigal Son” (Luke 15: 11—32, King James Version)

Useful Terms   

Checklist

Works Cited and Recommended Reading        

 

4          Creating the Text: Reader-Response Criticism  

The Purpose of Reader-Response Criticism     

New Criticism as the Old Criticism

The Reader Emerges   

Hypertextual Readers

How to Do Reader-Response Criticism           

Preparing to Respond  

Sandra Cisneros, “Love Poem #1”       

Making Sense

Subjective Response

Receptive Response

The Writing Process: A Sample Essay  

Preparing to Respond  

Ernest Hemingway, “A Very Short Story”        

Preparing to Write  

Shaping

Drafting

Practicing Reader-Response Criticism  

Michael Drayton, “Since There’s No Help”

Judith Minty, “Killing the Bear”

Caroline Fraser, “All Bears”

Emily Dickinson, “Through the Dark Sod”

Useful Terms   

Works Cited and Recommended

 Further Reading 

 

5          Opening Up the Text: Deconstructive Criticism 

The Purpose of Deconstruction

How to Do Deconstruction      

William Butler Yeats, Sailing to Byzantium 

The Writing Process: A Sample Essay  

Amy Clampitt, “Discovery”

Preparing to Write       

Shaping    

Drafting 

Practicing Deconstructive Criticism       

Continuing Education, Cut Through the Anxiety...

William Blake, “London”

Linda Pastan, “Ethics”

John Donne, “Death Be Not Proud”

Useful Terms     

Checklist

Works Cited and Recommended Further Reading 

 

6          Connecting the Text: Varieties of Historical Criticism           

The Purposes of Biographical, Historical, Postcolonial, Ethnic, Marxist, and Cultural

Studies

Biographical and Historical Criticism    

John Milton, When I Consider How My Light Is Spent

Cultural Studies    

New Historicism

History as Text       

Marxist Criticism 

Postcolonial Studies     

How to Do Historical, Postcolonial, and Cultural Studies          

The Writing Process: Sample Essays    

John Cheever, Reunion    

A Biographical Essay  

Preparing to Write

Shaping     

Drafting           

A New Historical Essay

Preparing to Write

 Shaping

Drafting 

Practicing Historical, Postcolonial, and Cultural Studies 

Useful Terms

Checklist      

Works Cited and Recommended Further Reading 

           

7          Minding the Work:  Psychological Criticism      

The Purpose of Psychological Criticism

How to Do Psychological Criticism      

William Wordsworth, “A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal” 

The Writing Process: A Sample Essay  

William Shakespeare, from Hamlet       

Preparing to Write

Shaping 

Drafting           

Practicing Psychological Criticism         

Emily Dickinson, “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass”        

Marianne Moore, “O to Be a Dragon” 

Matthew Arnold, “Dover Beach” 

Your Dream Here

Useful Terms

Checklist

Works Cited and Recommended Further Reading 

 

8          Gendering the Text: Feminist Criticism, Post-Feminism, and Queer Theory        

The Purposes of Feminist Criticism, Post-Feminism, and  

Queer Theory

How to Do Feminist Criticism, Post-Feminism, and Queer Theory        

Mary Astell, from A Serious Proposal 

The Writing Process: A Sample Essay  

Samuel Johnson, To Miss _____ On Her Playing upon the Harpsichord...        

Preparing to Respond 

Shaping 

Drafting           

Revision: Gay and Lesbian Criticism     

Practicing Feminist, Post-Feminist and Queer Theory Criticism 

William Shakespeare, Shall I Compare Thee...

Emily Dickinson, My Life had stood...

Tobias Wolff, “Say Yes”          

Gender in the Movies 

Useful Terms

Checklist

Works Cited

Recommended Further Reading           

           

 

Appendix 1: John Donne, The Canonization     

Appendix 2: How Theories Relate                                   

Credits

Index   

 

Product Details

ISBN:
9780205716746
Subtitle:
Writing About Literature with Critical Theory
Author:
Lynn, Steven
Author:
Lynn, Steven J.
Publisher:
Longman
Subject:
Composition & Creative Writing - General
Subject:
Composition & Creative Writing
Subject:
Reference-Student Writing Guides
Subject:
Reference/Writing
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
June 2010
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 x 0.6 in 367 gr

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"Synopsis" by ,

  Texts and Contexts:  Writing about Literature presents a user-friendly introduction to contemporary critical theories—from new criticism to cultural studies—as part of the practice of analyzing and writing about literature.  Some of the changes to the new edition include enhanced coverage of film and other genres reflecting the growing interest in film as an academic field and engaging students.  New sample texts and projects, all classroom-tested, appear at the end of every theory chapter, along with guiding questions to offer more practice for students in applying critical theory to literary texts.  There is more on current approaches to literature, including the relationship between rhetoric and reader-response criticism, Marxism, postcolonialism, queer theory, feminist theory, and African-American studies.

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