Literary Theory: A Practical Introduction

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9781405107204: Literary Theory: A Practical Introduction
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Michael Ryan's Literary Theory: A Practical Introduction, Second Edition introduces students to the full range of contemporary approaches to the study of literature and culture, from Formalism, Structuralism, and Historicism to Ethnic Studies, Gender Studies, and Global English.


  • Introduces readings from a variety of theoretical perspectives, on classic literary texts.
  • Demonstrates how the varying perspectives on texts can lead to different interpretations of the same work.
  • Contains an accessible account of different theoretical approaches
  • An ideal resource for use in introductory courses on literary theory and criticism.
  • Designed to function both as a stand-alone text and a companion to Rivkin and Ryan’s Literary Theory: An Anthology, Second Edition.

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Book Description:

Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan's Literary Theory: A Practical Introduction. Second Edition picks up where such books as Terry Eagleton's celebrated Literary Theory: An Introduction and Peter Barry's Beginning Theory left off by providing actual readings from a variety of theoretical perspectives of the same literary texts. In this new edition key materials on 'Liberal Humanism, Archtypal Criticism, and Stylistics' and 'Rhetoric and Interpretation' have been added. The volume thus significantly augments the range of contemporary critical approaches represented, from Ethnic Studies to Historicism, from Queer Theory to Post-Modernism. Literary Theory: A Practical Introduction is ideal for use in introductory courses on literary theory and criticism. It contains accessible accounts of each theoretical approach, and it demonstrates how the same classic texts can be read differently from different theoretical perspectives. It is designed both as a stand-alone text or one that can be especially usefully used in conjunction with Rivkin and Ryans's Literary Theory: An Anthology. Second Edition.

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This new edition of Michael Ryan's Literary Theory: A Practical Introduction introduces students to the full range of contemporary approaches to the study of literature and culture, from formalism, structuralism, and historicism to ethnic studies, gender studies, and post-colonial studies.

The textbook provides basic instruction for first-time students. Each theory or approach is explained in a way suitable for beginners before it is brought to bear on the same small selection of literary texts, from King Lear to Alice Munro's short stories and Elizabeth Bishop's poetry. This edition is unique in that it expands the range of texts to include film, from The Matrix to Run, Lola, Run.

Literary Theory: A Practical Introduction is an ideal resource for use in introductory courses on literary theory and criticism. It contains accessible accounts of the full range of theoretical approaches, and it demonstrates how the same classic and contemporary texts, when read from different perspectives, can lead to a variety of interpretations. The book is designed to function as both a stand-alone text and a companion to Rivkin and Ryan's Literary Theory: An Anthology (2nd edition).


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