Best Literary Theory Books

Here you will get Best Literary Theory Books For you.This is an up-to-date list of recommended books.

1. Ulysses Annotated: Notes for James Joyce's Ulysses

Author: by Don Gifford
Published at: University of California Press; First Edition, 20th Anniversary (January 14, 2008)
ISBN: 978-0520253971

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Don Gifford’s annotations to Joyce’s great modern classic comprise a specialized encyclopedia that will inform any reading of Ulysses. The suggestive potential of minor details was enormously fascinating to Joyce, and the precision of his use of detail is a most important aspect of his literary method.

The annotations in this volume illuminate details which are not in the public realm for most of us. The annotations gloss place names, define slang terms, give capsule histories of institutions and political and cultural movements and figures, supply bits of local and Irish legend and lore, explain religious nomenclature and practices, trace literary allusions and references to other cultures.

Annotations are keyed not only to the reading text of the critical edition of Ulysses, but to the standard 1961 Random House edition, and the current Modern Library and Vintage texts.


2. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism

Author: by Vincent B. Leitch
Published at: W. W. Norton & Company; Third edition (June 11, 2018)
ISBN: 978-0393602951

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More comprehensive and up-to-date than ever before The gold standard anthology for anyone who wants to understand the development and current state of literary theory. Offering 191 pieces by 157 authors, The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, Third Edition, is more comprehensive and more varied in its selection than any other anthology.

Forty-eight NEW selectionsconcentrated mostly on the twentieth and twenty-first centuriesmake the book not only the best overview of the history of theory, but also a remarkably up-to-date portrait of the state of theory today.


3. Lectures on Russian Literature

Author: by Vladimir Nabokov
Published at: Mariner Books; First edition (December 16, 2002)
ISBN: 978-0156027762

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The author’s observations on the great nineteenth-century Russian writers-Chekhov, Dostoevsky, Gogol, Gorky, Tolstoy, and Turgenev.This volume… Never once fails to instruct and stimulate. This is a great Russian talking of great Russians (Anthony Burgess). Edited and with an Introduction by Fredson Bowers; illustrations.


4. Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity

Author: by Ray Bradbury
Published at: Joshua Odell Editions; 0 edition (August 1, 1994)
ISBN: 978-1877741098

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“Bradbury, all charged up, drunk on life, joyous with writing, puts together nine past essays on writing and creativity and discharges every ounce of zest and gusto in him.”-Kirkus Reviews “Zen and the Art of Writing is purely and simply Bradbury’s love song to his craft.”-Los Angeles Times


5. Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide

Author: by Lois Tyson
Published at: Routledge; 3rd edition (November 24, 2014)
ISBN: 978-0415506755

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This thoroughly updated third edition of Critical Theory Today offers an accessible introduction to contemporary critical theory, providing in-depth coverage of the most common approaches to literary analysis today, including: feminism; psychoanalysis; Marxism; reader-response theory; New Criticism; structuralism and semiotics; deconstruction; new historicism and cultural criticism; lesbian, gay, and queer theory; African American criticism and postcolonial criticism.

This new edition features: a major expansion of the chapter on postcolonial criticism that includes topics such as Nordicism, globalization and the end’ of postcolonial theory, global tourism and global conservation an extended explanation of each theory, using examples from everyday life, popular culture, and literary texts a list of specific questions critics ask about literary texts an interpretation of F.

Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby through the lens of each theory a list of questions for further practice to guide readers in applying each theory to different literary works updated and expanded bibliographies Both engaging and rigorous, this is a “how-to” book for undergraduate and graduate students new to critical theory and for college professors who want to broaden their repertoire of critical approaches to literature.


6. The Penguin Dictionary of Symbols (Dictionary, Penguin)

Author: by Jean Chevalier

Published at: Penguin Books; 2nd Revised ed. edition (March 1, 1997)
ISBN: 978-0140512540

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This remarkable and wide-ranging book is an inventory of symbols and the symbolic imagination. The editors and their fifteen contributors are drawn from a variety of scholarly backgroundsincluding anthropology, ethnology, psychotherapy and art history. This diversity of approach is responsible for the book’s unique character, a reflection of the multiplicity of symbols and signs and the phenomenal range of possible interpretations they offer.

This book draws together folklore, literary and artistic sources, and focuses on the symbolic dimension of every colour, number, sound, gesture, expression or character trait that has benefitted from symbolic interpretation. The conscious and unconscious minds are explored, desire and dreams are treated alongside the known and the chronicled.

Extraordinary in its range and eclecticism, this dictionary was originally published in French as the Dictionnaire des Symboles, and it is regarded as the standard work on the subject.


7. Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others

Author: by Sara Ahmed
Published at: Duke University Press Books; First Edition (December 4, 2006)
ISBN: 978-0822339144

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In this groundbreaking work, Sara Ahmed demonstrates how queer studies can put phenomenology to productive use. Focusing on the orientation aspect of sexual orientation and the orient in orientalism, Ahmed examines what it means for bodies to be situated in space and time.

Bodies take shape as they move through the world directing themselves toward or away from objects and others. Being orientated means feeling at home, knowing where one stands, or having certain objects within reach. Orientations affect what is proximate to the body or what can be reached.

A queer phenomenology, Ahmed contends, reveals how social relations are arranged spatially, how queerness disrupts and reorders these relations by not following the accepted paths, and how a politics of disorientation puts other objects within reach, those that might, at first glance, seem awry.

Ahmed proposes that a queer phenomenology might investigate not only how the concept of orientation is informed by phenomenology but also the orientation of phenomenology itself. Thus she reflects on the significance of the objects that appearand those that do notas signs of orientation in classic phenomenological texts such as Husserl’s Ideas.


8. The Arcades Project

Author: by Walter Benjamin
Published at: Belknap Press: An Imprint of Harvard University Press; Third Printing edition (March 30, 2002)
ISBN: 978-0674008021

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“To great writers,” Walter Benjamin once wrote, “finished works weigh lighter than those fragments on which they labor their entire lives.” Conceived in Paris in 1927 and still in progress when Benjamin fled the Occupation in 1940, The Arcades Project (in German, Das Passagen-Werk) is a monumental ruin, meticulously constructed over the course of thirteen years-“the theater,” as Benjamin called it, “of all my struggles and all my ideas.” Focusing on the arcades of nineteenth-century Paris-glass-roofed rows of shops that were early centers of consumerism-Benjamin presents a montage of quotations from, and reflections on, hundreds of published sources, arranging them in thirty-six categories with descriptive rubrics such as “Fashion,” “Boredom,” “Dream City,” “Photography,” “Catacombs,” “Advertising,” “Prostitution,” “Baudelaire,” and “Theory of Progress.” His central preoccupation is what he calls the commodification of things-a process in which he locates the decisive shift to the modern age.


9. The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility, and Other Writings on Media

Author: by Walter Benjamin
Published at: Belknap Press: An Imprint of Harvard University Press; Illustrated edition (May 31, 2008)
ISBN: 978-0674024458

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Benjamin’s famous Work of Art essay sets out his boldest thoughtson media and on culture in generalin their most realized form, while retaining an edge that gets under the skin of everyone who reads it. In this essay the visual arts of the machine age morph into literature and theory and then back again to images, gestures, and thought.

This essay, however, is only the beginning of a vast collection of writings that the editors have assembled to demonstrate what was revolutionary about Benjamin’s explorations on media. Long before Marshall McLuhan, Benjamin saw that the way a bullet rips into its victim is exactly the way a movie or pop song lodges in the soul.

This book contains the second, and most daring, of the four versions of the Work of Art essaythe one that addresses the utopian developments of the modern media. The collection tracks Benjamin’s observations on the media as they are revealed in essays on the production and reception of art; on film, radio, and photography; and on the modern transformations of literature and painting.

10. Epistemology of the Closet, Updated with a New Preface

Author: by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
Published at: University of California Press; First edition (January 17, 2008)
ISBN: 978-0520254060

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Since the late 1980s, queer studies and theory have become vital to the intellectual and political life of the United States. This has been due, in no small degree, to the influence of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s critically acclaimed Epistemology of the Closet.

Working from classic texts of European and American writersincluding Melville, James, Nietzsche, Proust, and WildeSedgwick analyzes a turn-of-the-century historical moment in which sexual orientation became as important a demarcation of personhood as gender had been for centuries. In her preface to this updated edition Sedgwick places the book both personally and historically, looking specifically at the horror of the first wave of the AIDS epidemic and its influence on the text.

11. Lectures on Literature

Author: by Vladimir Nabokov
Published at: Mariner Books; First edition (December 16, 2002)
ISBN: 978-0156027755

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For two decades, first at Wellesley and then at Cornell, Nabokov introduced undergraduates to the delights of great fiction. Here, collected for the first time, are his famous lectures, which include Mansfield Park, Bleak House, and Ulysses. Edited and with a Foreword by Fredson Bowers; Introduction by John Updike; illustrations.

12. The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World

Author: by Elaine Scarry
Published at: Oxford University Press; 1st edition (April 23, 1987)
ISBN: 978-0195049961

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Part philosophical meditation, part cultural critique, The Body in Pain is a profoundly original study that has already stirred excitement in a wide range of intellectual circles. The book is an analysis of physical suffering and its relation to the numerous vocabularies and cultural forces-literary, political, philosophical, medical, religious-that confront it.

Elaine Scarry bases her study on a wide range of sources: literature and art, medical case histories, documents on torture compiled by Amnesty International, legal transcripts of personal injury trials, and military and strategic writings by such figures as Clausewitz, Churchill, Liddell Hart, and Kissinger, She weaves these into her discussion with an eloquence, humanity, and insight that recall the writings of Hannah Arendt and Jean-Paul Sartre.

Scarry begins with the fact of pain’s inexpressibility. Not only is physical pain enormously difficult to describe in words-confronted with it, Virginia Woolf once noted, “language runs dry”-it also actively destroys language, reducing sufferers in the most extreme instances to an inarticulate state of cries and moans.

13. The Interpretation of Cultures

Author: by Clifford Geertz
Published at: Basic Books; 3rd edition (August 15, 2017)
ISBN: 978-0465093557

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One of the twentieth century’s most influential books, this classic work of anthropology offers a groundbreaking exploration of what culture is With The Interpretation of Cultures, the distinguished anthropologist Clifford Geertz developed the concept of thick description, and in so doing, he virtually rewrote the rules of his field.

Culture, Geertz argues, does not drive human behavior. Rather, it is a web of symbols that can help us better understand what that behavior means. A thick description explains not only the behavior, but the context in which it occurs, and to describe something thickly, Geertz argues, is the fundamental role of the anthropologist.

Named one of the 100 most important books published since World War II by the Times Literary Supplement, The Interpretation of Cultures transformed how we think about others’ cultures and our own. This definitive edition, with a foreword by Robert Darnton, remains an essential book for anthropologists, historians, and anyone else seeking to better understand human cultures.

14. The Affect Theory Reader

Author: by Melissa Gregg
Published at: Duke University Press Books; Illustrated edition (November 12, 2010)
ISBN: 978-0822347767

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This field-defining collection consolidates and builds momentum in the burgeoning area of affect studies. The contributors include many of the central theorists of affectthose visceral forces beneath, alongside, or generally other than conscious knowing that can serve to drive us toward movement, thought, and ever-changing forms of relation.

As Lauren Berlant explores cruel optimism, Brian Massumi theorizes the affective logic of public threat, and Elspeth Probyn examines shame, they, along with the other contributors, show how an awareness of affect is opening up exciting new insights in disciplines from anthropology, cultural studies, geography, and psychology to philosophy, queer studies, and sociology.

In essays diverse in subject matter, style, and perspective, the contributors demonstrate how affect theory illuminates the intertwined realms of the aesthetic, the ethical, and the political as they play out across bodies (human and non-human) in both mundane and extraordinary ways.

15. On Beauty and Being Just

Author: by Elaine Scarry
Published at: Princeton University Press; Reprint edition (November 1, 2001)
ISBN: 978-0691089591

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Have we become beauty-blind? For two decades or more in the humanities, various political arguments have been put forward against beauty: that it distracts us from more important issues; that it is the handmaiden of privilege; and that it masks political interests.

In On Beauty and Being Just Elaine Scarry not only defends beauty from the political arguments against it but also argues that beauty does indeed press us toward a greater concern for justice. Taking inspiration from writers and thinkers as diverse as Homer, Plato, Marcel Proust, Simone Weil, and Iris Murdoch as well as her own experiences, Scarry offers up an elegant, passionate manifesto for the revival of beauty in our intellectual work as well as our homes, museums, and classrooms.

Scarry argues that our responses to beauty are perceptual events of profound significance for the individual and for society. Presenting us with a rare and exceptional opportunity to witness fairness, beauty assists us in our attention to justice. The beautiful object renders fairness, an abstract concept, concrete by making it directly available to our sensory perceptions.