Best 20th Century Literary Criticism Books

Here you will get Best 20th Century Literary Criticism Books For you.This is an up-to-date list of recommended books.

1. The Trouble with Being Born

Author: by E. M. Cioran
Published at: Arcade; 1st edition (February 1, 2013)
ISBN: 978-1611457407

View on Amazon

A love of Cioran creates an urge to press his writing into someone’s hand, and is followed by an equal urge to pull it away as poison. The New YorkerIn this volume, which reaffirms the uncompromising brilliance of his mind, Cioran strips the human condition down to its most basic components, birth and death, suggesting that disaster lies not in the prospect of death but in the fact of birth, “that laughable accident.” In the lucid, aphoristic style that characterizes his work, Cioran writes of time and death, God and religion, suicide and suffering, and the temptation to silence.

Through sharp observation and patient contemplation, Cioran cuts to the heart of the human experience. In the company of Nietzsche and Kierkegaard.”Publishers Weekly”No modern writer twists the knife with Cioran’s dexterity….His writing … Is informed with the bitterness of genuine compassion.”Boston Phoenix

2. James Baldwin: A Biography

Author: by David Leeming
Published at: Arcade; Reprint edition (February 24, 2015)
ISBN: 978-1628724387

View on Amazon

The most revealing and subjectively penetrating assessment of Baldwin’s life yet published. The New York Times Book Review. The first Baldwin biography in which one can recognize the human features of this brilliant, troubled, principled, supremely courageous man. Boston GlobeJames Baldwin was one of the great writers of the last century.

In works that have become part of the American canonGo Tell It on a Mountain, Giovanni’s Room, Another Country, The Fire Next Time, and The Evidence of Things Not Seenhe explored issues of race and racism in America, class distinction, and sexual difference.

A gay, African American writer who was born in Harlem, he found the freedom to express himself living in exile in Paris. When he returned to America to cover the Civil Rights movement, he became an activist and controversial spokesman for the movement, writing books that became bestsellers and made him a celebrity, landing him on the cover of Time.

In this biography, David Leeming creates an intimate portrait of a complex, troubled, driven, and brilliant man. He plumbs every aspect of Baldwin’s life: his relationships with the unknown and the famous, including painter Beauford Delaney, Richard Wright, Lorraine Hansberry, Marlon Brando, Harry Belafonte, Lena Horne, and childhood friend Richard Avedon; his expatriate years in France and Turkey; his gift for compassion and love; the public pressures that overwhelmed his quest for happiness, and his passionate battle for black identity, racial justice, and to end the racial nightmare and achieve our country.

3. Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction (QUIRK BOOKS)

Author: by Grady Hendrix
Published at: Quirk Books; First Printing edition (September 19, 2017)
ISBN: 978-1594749810

View on Amazon

From the New York Times best-selling author of The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires comes an affectionate, nostalgic, and unflinchingly funny celebration of the horror fiction boom of the 1970s and ’80s Take a tour through the horror paperback novels of two iconic decades …If you dare.

Page through dozens and dozens of amazing book covers featuring well-dressed skeletons, evil dolls, and knife-wielding killer crabs! Read shocking plot summaries that invoke devil worship, satanic children, and haunted real estate! Horror author and vintage paperback book collector Grady Hendrix offers killer commentary and witty insight on these trashy thrillers that tried so hard to be the next Exorcist or Rosemary’s Baby.

Complete with story summaries and artist and author profiles, this unforgettable volume dishes on familiar authors like V.C.Andrews and R.L. Stine, plus many more who’ve faded into obscurity. Also included are recommendations for which of these forgotten treasures are well worth your reading time and which should stay buried.

4. K-punk: The Collected and Unpublished Writings of Mark Fisher

Author: by Mark Fisher
Published at: Repeater; New edition (November 13, 2018)
ISBN: 978-1912248285

View on Amazon

A comprehensive collection of the writings of Mark Fisher (1968-2017), whose work defined critical writing for a generation. This comprehensive collection brings together the work of acclaimed blogger, writer, political activist and lecturer Mark Fisher (aka k-punk). Covering the period 2004 – 2016, the collection will include some of the best writings from his seminal blog k-punk; a selection of his brilliantly insightful film, television and music reviews; his key writings on politics, activism, precarity, hauntology, mental health and popular modernism for numerous websites and magazines; his final unfinished introduction to his planned work on “Acid Communism”; and a number of important interviews from the last decade.

Edited by Darren Ambrose and with a foreword by Simon Reynolds.

5. The Great Gatsby: With a New Historical Introduction for the Classroom

Author: by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Published at: Decameron Books (January 4, 2021)

ISBN: 978-1936767694

View on Amazon

With New Historical Introduction for the ClassroomThe novel that helped define an era. The Great Gatsby is considered F. Scott Fitzgerald’s magnum opus, exploring themes of decadence, idealism, social stigmas, patriarchal norms, and the deleterious effects of unencumbered wealth in capitalistic society, set against the backdrop of the Jazz Age and the Roaring Twenties.

At its heart, it’s a cautionary tale, a revealing look into the darker side to the American Dream. When I came back from the East last autumn I felt that I wanted the world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever; I wanted no more riotous excursions with privileged glimpses into the human heart.

Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reactionGatsby who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn. If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away.

6. A Short History of Decay

Author: by E. M. Cioran
Published at: Arcade; 1st edition (November 13, 2012)
ISBN: 978-1611457360

View on Amazon

Dissects Man’s decadence in a remarkable series of moving and beautiful pieces. To miss reading this book would be a deprivation.Los Angeles TimesE.M. Cioran confronts the place of today’s world in the context of human historyfocusing on such major issues of the twentieth century as human progress, fanaticism, and sciencein this nihilistic and witty collection of aphoristic essays concerning the nature of civilization in mid-twentieth-century Europe.

Table of Contents:ForewordDirections for DecompositionThe Second-Hand ThinkerFaces of DecadenceSanctity and the Grimaces of the AbsoluteThe Dcor of KnowledgeAbdicationsTouching upon Man’s need to worship, the feebleness of God, the downfall of the Ancient Greeks and the melancholy baseness of all existence, Cioran’s pieces are pessimistic in the extreme, but also display a beautiful certainty that renders them delicate, vivid, and memorable.

Illuminating and brutally honest,When A Short History of Decay was published, it tended to polarize readers. Many dismissed it as overly morose and pessimistic, completely out of tune with the obligatory optimism of postwar European culture. Others praised it for precisely these reasons (in his review of the book, Maurice Nadeau proclaimed Cioran the one whose arrival has been prepared by all the philosophers of the void and of the absurd, harbinger of bad news par excellence’).

7. The Weird and the Eerie

Author: by Mark Fisher
Published at: Repeater (January 31, 2017)
ISBN: 978-1910924389

View on Amazon

A noted British cultural critic takes on some of the strangest and most anomalous works of art from the 20th century and dissects our fascination with the unsettling in popular music, film, and writing What exactly are the Weird and the Eerie?

Two closely related but distinct modes, and each possesses its own distinct properties. Both have often been associated with Horror, but this genre alone does not fully encapsulate the pull of the outside and the unknown. In several essays, Mark Fisher argues that a proper understanding of the human condition requires examination of transitory concepts such as the weird and the eerie.

Featuring discussion of the works of: H.P.Lovecraft, H.G.Wells, M.R. James, Christopher Priest, Joan Lindsay, Nigel Kneale, Daphne Du Maurier, Alan Garner and Margaret Atwood, and films by Stanley Kubrick, Jonathan Glazer and Christoper Nolan.

8. The Year of Our Lord 1943: Christian Humanism in an Age of Crisis

Author: by Alan Jacobs
Published at: Oxford University Press (August 2, 2018)
ISBN: 978-0190864651

View on Amazon

By early 1943, it had become increasingly clear that the Allies would win the Second World War. Around the same time, it also became increasingly clear to many Christian intellectuals on both sides of the Atlantic that the soon-to-be-victorious nations were not culturally or morally prepared for their success.

A war won by technological superiority merely laid the groundwork for a post-war society governed by technocrats. These Christian intellectuals-Jacques Maritain, T.S.Eliot, C.S.Lewis, W.H. Auden, and Simone Weil, among others-sought both to articulate a sober and reflective critique of their own culture and to outline a plan for the moral and spiritual regeneration of their countries in the post-war world.

In this book, Alan Jacobs explores the poems, novels, essays, reviews, and lectures of these five central figures, in which they presented, with great imaginative energy and force, pictures of the very different paths now set before the Western democracies.

Working mostly separately and in ignorance of one another’s ideas, the five developed a strikingly consistent argument that the only means by which democratic societies could be prepared for their world-wide economic and political dominance was through a renewal of education that was grounded in a Christian understanding of the power and limitations of human beings.

9. We Stand Alone: An Epic War Novel (The Airmen Series)

Author: by David Lee Corley
Published at: Independently Published (April 2, 2018)
ISBN: 978-1642042955

View on Amazon

A daring plan.A deadly trap. Will Vietnamese rebels take the bait and attack French paratroopers in a winner-take-all battle? A historical novel that reads like a modern political thriller, full of exciting action, larger-than-life characters, and unforgettable events. Kirkus Reviews Hanoi 1953.

France struggles to retain control of its Indochina empire after World War II. Communist rebels under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh fight for freedom in Vietnam. With both sides determined, the war is developing into a stalemate untilA French general devises a plan to secure victory in one decisive battle.

To achieve success the French must square off with the elusive rebels.Bait is needed. A brigade of elite paratroopers is sent into the Muong Thanh Valley far from French supply lines. A dilapidated airport is rebuilt into a fortified air bridge the paratroopers’ lifeline and only means of escape.

If Ho Chi Minh takes the bait, the French will use their artillery and aircraft to destroy the Viet Minh rebels as they attempt to overrun the garrison with their superior numbers. It seems like such a good planEvents unfold from multiple points of view: the French General Cogny, who devises and executes the plan; the American pilot Tom Coyle, recruited by the CIA to fly for the French Air Force; the war correspondent Brigitte Friang, who jumps with the French paratroopers into the valley and Viet Minh Commanding General Giap, considered by military historians to be the most brilliant strategist of the 20th Century.

10. Lolita in the Afterlife: On Beauty, Risk, and Reckoning with the Most Indelible and Shocking Novel of the Twentieth Century

Author: by Jenny Minton Quigley
Published at: Vintage (March 16, 2021)
ISBN: 978-1984898838

View on Amazon

A vibrant collection of sharp and essential modern pieces on Vladimir Nabokov’s perennially provocative bookwith original contributions from a stellar cast of prominent twenty-first century writers. In 1958, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita was published in the United States to immediate controversy and bestsellerdom.

More than sixty years later, this phenomenal novel generates as much buzz as it did when originally published. Central to countless issues at the forefront of our national discourseart and politics, race and whiteness, gender and power, sexual traumaLolita lives on, in an afterlife as blinding as a supernova.

Lolita in the Afterlife is edited by the daughter of Lolita’s original publisher in America. WITH CONTRIBUTIONS BYRobin Givhan Aleksandar Hemon Jim Shepard Emily Mortimer Laura Lippman Erika L. Snchez Sarah Weinman Andre Dubus III Mary Gaitskill Zainab Salbi Christina Baker Kline Ian Frazier Cheryl Strayed Sloane Crosley Victor LaValle Jill Kargman Lila Azam Zanganeh Roxane Gay Claire Dederer Jessica Shattuck Stacy Schiff Susan Choi Kate Elizabeth Russell Tom Bissell Kira Von Eichel Bindu Bansinath Dani Shapiro Alexander Chee Lauren Groff Morgan Jerkins

11. The Temptation to Exist

Author: by E. M. Cioran
Published at: Arcade; 1st edition (February 1, 2013)
ISBN: 978-1611457384

View on Amazon

A sort of final philosopher of the Western world. His statements have the compression of poetry and the audacity of cosmic clowningThe Washington PostThis collection of eleven essays, when originally published in France, created a literary whirlwind on the Left Bank.

Cioran writes incisively about Western civilizations, the writer, the novel, mystics, apostles, and philosophers. The Temptation to Exist first introduced this brilliant European thinker twenty years ago to American readers, in a superb translation by Richard Howard. This literary mystique around Cioran continues to grow, and The Temptation to Exist has become an underground classic.

In this work Cioran writes about Western civilizations, the writer, the novel, about mystics, apostles, philosophers. For those to whom the very word philosophy brings visions of arduous reading, be assured: Cioran is crystal-clear, his style quotable and aphoristic.

12. J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye: A Cultural History

Author: by Josef Benson
Published at: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (March 12, 2018)
ISBN: 978-1442277946

View on Amazon

Since its publication in 1951, The Catcher in the Rye has been a cultural phenomenon, not only as an assigned text for English courses, but as a touchstone for generations of alienated youth. As the focus of recent major films and a successful off-Broadway play attest, J.D.

Salinger and his novel continue to fascinate an American reading public.But who was J.D. Salinger, and how did he come to write a novel whose impact continues to resonate with millions of readers?In J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye: A Cultural History, Josef Benson examines the legacy of an elusive author and his work.

After exploring how the novel reflected Salinger’s tortured psyche, the study discusses how the book made an impact on multiple generations of readersfrom 1960s counter-culture youth and followers of the Black Power movement of the 1970s to the disenfranchised teens of the Reagan era and the celebrity-fixated masses of the present day.

Benson also unravels the mystery behind Salinger’s reclusiveness, the effects the novel had on the reading public who adored it, and why three American assassins cited the novel as an inspiration. The author also considers why this work of fiction has been among the most widely taughtand most frequently bannedbooks of all time.

13. Proustian Uncertainties: On Reading and Rereading In Search of Lost Time

Author: by Saul Friedländer
Published at: Other Press (December 8, 2020)
ISBN: 978-1590519110

View on Amazon

Named a Times Literary Supplement Best Book of the Year A Pulitzer Prizewinning historian revisits Marcel Proust’s masterpiece in this essay on literature and memory, exploring the question of identitythat of the novel’s narrator and Proust’s own. This engaging reexamination of In Search of Lost Time considers how the narrator defines himself, how this compares to what we know of Proust himself, and what the significance is of these various points of commonality and divergence.

We know, for example, that the author did not hide his homosexuality, but the narrator did.Why the difference? We know that the narrator tried to marginalize his part-Jewish background. Does this reflect the author’s position, and how does the narrator handle what he tries, but does not manage, to dismiss?

These are major questions raised by the text and reflected in the text, to which the author’s life doesn’t give obvious answers. The narrator’s reflections on time, on death, on memory, and on love are as many paths leading to the image of self that he projects.

14. Blues for Mister Charlie: A Play

Author: by James Baldwin
Published at: Vintage; Reprint edition (April 25, 1995)
ISBN: 978-0679761785

View on Amazon

In a small Southern town, a white man murders a black man, then throws his body in the weeds. With this act of violence-which is loosely based on the notorious 1955 killing of Emmett Till-James Baldwin launches an unsparing and at times agonizing probe of the wounds of race.

For where once a white storekeeper could have shot a “boy” like Richard Henry with impunity, times have changed. And centuries of brutality and fear, patronage and contempt, are about to erupt in a moment of truth as devastating as a shotgun blast.

In his award-winning play, Baldwin turns a murder and its aftermath into an inquest in which even the most well-intentioned whites are implicated-and in which even a killer receives his share of compassion.

15. Seven Types of Ambiguity

Author: by William Empson
Published at: New Directions (January 17, 1966)
ISBN: 978-0811200370

View on Amazon

First published in 1930, Seven Types of Ambiguity has long been recognized as a landmark in the history of English literary criticism. Revised twice since it first appeared, it has remained one of the most widely read and quoted works of literary analysis.

Ambiguity, according to Empson, includes “any verbal nuance, however slight, which gives room for alternative reactions to the same piece of language.” From this definition, broad enough by his own admission sometimes to see “stretched absurdly far,” he launches into a brilliant discussion, under seven classifications of differing complexity and depth, of such works, among others, as Shakespeare’s plays and the poetry of Chaucer, Donne, Marvell, Pope, Wordsworth, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and T.S.Eliot.

16. One Week in America: The 1968 Notre Dame Literary Festival and a Changing Nation

Author: by Patrick Parr
Published at: Chicago Review Press (March 2, 2021)
ISBN: 978-1641601788

View on Amazon

Masterfully researched and beautifully written, One Week in America is … An important piece of history full of larger-than-life characters and unlikely heroes. Jonathan Eig, author of Ali: A Life The major players in this story are names that just about every American has heard of: Ralph Ellison, Martin Luther King Jr., Norman Mailer, Lyndon B.

Johnson, Joseph Heller, Kurt Vonnegut, William F. Buckley Jr. For one chaotic week in 1968, college students, talented authors, and presidential candidates grappled with major events. The result was one of the most historic literary festivals of the twentieth centuryOne Week in America is a day-by-day narrative of the 1968 Notre Dame Sophomore Literary Festival and the national events that grabbed the spotlight that April week.

On one particular week, sixties politics and literature came together on campus.