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Textbook

How to Do Theory

ISBN: 978-1-4051-1580-3
224 pages
August 2005, ©2005, Wiley-Blackwell
How to Do Theory (1405115807) cover image
This succinct introduction to modern theories of literature and the arts demonstrates how each theory is built and what it can accomplish.
  • Represents a wide variety of theories, including phenomenological theory, hermeneutical theory, gestalt theory, reception theory, semiotic theory, Marxist theory, deconstruction, anthropological theory, and feminist theory.
  • Uses classic literary texts, such as Keats’s Ode on a Grecian Urn, Spenser’s The Shephearde’s Calender and T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land to illustrate his explanations.
  • Includes key statements by the major proponents of each theory.
  • Presents the different theories objectively, allowing students to decide which if any, they subscribe to.
  • Gives students a sense of the potential of theory.
  • Includes a glossary of technical terms.
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    Preface.

    1. Introduction.

    Why Theory?.

    Hard Core and Soft Theory.

    Modes of Theory.

    Theory and Method.

    2. Phenomenological Theory: Ingarden.

    The Layered Structure of the Work.

    Method derived from Theory.

    An Example.

    3. Hermeneutical Theory: Gadamer..

    Understanding.

    Method derived from Theory.

    An Example.

    4. Gestalt Theory: Gombrich..

    Schema and Correction.

    An Example.

    5. Reception Theory: Iser..

    Reaction to a State of Criticism.

    Interface between Text/Context and Text/Reader.

    6. Semiotic Theory: Eco..

    The Iconic Sign.

    The Aesthetic Idiolect.

    An Example.

    7. Psychoanalytical Theory: Ehrenzweig. The Creative Process.

    An Example.

    An Afterthought-Spectacular Imaginig: Lacan.

    8. Marxist Theory: Williams..

    Reflectionist Theory.

    Production.

    Examples.

    9. Deconstruction: Miller..

    Deconstruction at Work.

    Deconstruction Exemplified.

    10. Anthropological Theory: Gans..

    Basics of Generative Anthropology.

    An Anthropological View of Literature.

    11. Dewey's Art as Experience.

    Aesthetic Experience.

    Circularity.

    An Example.

    12. Showalter's “Towards a Feminist Poetics”.

    Women as Readers.

    Women as Writers.

    Revisions and Additions.

    13. Theory in Perspective.

    An Intellectual Landscape.

    The Fabric of Theory.

    What does the Multiplicity of Theories tell us?.

    14. Postscript-Postcolonial Discourse: Said.

    Basic Features of Discourse.

    Startegies of Postcolonial Discourse.

    The Novel as Imperial Discourse.

    Modes of Resistance.

    The Order of Postcolonial Discourse.

    Appendix A John Keats Ode on a Grecian Urn.

    Appendix B Edmund Spenser “Februarie: Aegloga Secunda” from The Shepheardes Calender.

    Appendix C T.S. Eliot “The Fire Sermon” from The Waste Land.

    Index.

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    Wolfgang Iser is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California at Irvine. He is recognized as the founding theorist behind reception theory. His publications include the classic theoretical texts, The Implied Reader: Patterns of Communication from Bunyan to Beckett (1978) and The Act of Reading: A Theory of Aesthetic Response (1979).
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    • An introduction to modern theories of literature and the arts.

    • Represents a wide variety of theories, including phenomenological theory, hermeneutical theory, gestalt theory, reception theory, semiotic theory, Marxist theory, deconstruction, anthropological theory, and feminist theory.

    • Explains how each theory is built and what it can accomplish.

    • Uses classic literary texts, such as Keats’s Ode on a Grecian Urn, Spenser’s The Shephearde’s Calender and T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land to illustrate his explanations.

    • Includes key statements by the major proponents of each theory.

    • Presents the different theories objectively, allowing students to decide which if any, they subscribe to.

    • Gives students a sense of the potential of theory.

    • Includes a glossary of technical terms.
    See More
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