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Literary Criticism from Plato to the Present: An Introduction

ISBN: 978-1-4051-6035-3
312 pages
January 2011, ©2010, Wiley-Blackwell
Literary Criticism from Plato to the Present: An Introduction (1405160357) cover image
Literary Criticism from Plato to the Present provides a concise and authoritative overview of the development of Western literary criticism and theory from the Classical period to the present day
  • An indispensable and intellectually stimulating introduction to the history of literary criticism and theory
  • Introduces the major movements, figures, and texts of literary criticism
  • Provides historical context and shows the interconnections between various theories
  • An ideal text for all students of literature and criticism

 

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Acknowledgments.

Introduction.

Part I Classical Literary Criticism and Rhetoric.

1 Classical Literary Criticism.

Introduction to the Classical Period.

Plato (428–ca. 347 BC).

Aristotle (384–322 BC).

2 The Traditions of Rhetoric.

Greek Rhetoric.

Roman Rhetoric.

The Subsequent History of Rhetoric: An Overview.

The Legacy of Rhetoric.

3 Greek and Latin Criticism During the Roman Empire.

Horace (65–8 BC).

Longinus (First Century AD).

Neo-Platonism.

Part II The Medieval Era.

4 The Early Middle Ages.

Historical Background.

Intellectual and Theological Currents.

5 The Later Middle Ages.

Historical Background.

Intellectual Currents of the Later Middle Ages.

The Traditions of Medieval Criticism.

Transitions: Medieval Humanism.

Part III The Early Modern Period to the Enlightenment.

6 The Early Modern Period.

Historical Background.

Intellectual Background.

Confronting the Classical Heritage.

Defending the Vernacular.

Poetics and the Defense of Poetry.

Poetic Form and Rhetoric.

7 Neoclassical Literary Criticism.

French Neoclassicism.

Neoclassicism in England.

8 The Enlightenment.

Historical and Intellectual Background.

Enlightenment Literary Criticism: Language, Taste, and Imagination.

9 The Aesthetics of Kant and Hegel.

Immanuel Kant (1724–1804).

Hegel (1770–1831).

Part IV Romanticism and the Later Nineteenth Century.

10 Romanticism.

Germany.

France.

England.

America.

11 Realism, Naturalism, Symbolism, and Aestheticism.

Historical Background: The Later Nineteenth Century.

Realism and Naturalism.

Symbolism and Aestheticism.

12 The Heterological Thinkers.

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860).

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900).

Henri Bergson (1859–1941).

Matthew Arnold (1822–1888).

Part V The Twentieth Century: A Brief Introduction.

Introduction.

13 From Liberal Humanism to Formalism.

The Background of Modernism.

The Poetics of Modernism: W. B. Yeats, Ezra Pound, and T. S. Eliot.

Formalism.

Russian Formalism.

The New Criticism.

14 Socially Conscious Criticism of the Earlier Twentieth Century.

F. R. Leavis.

Marxist and Left-Wing Criticism.

The Fundamental Principles of Marxism.

Marxist Literary Criticism: A Historical Overview.

Early Feminist Criticism: Simone de Beauvoir and Virginia Woolf.

15 Phenomenology, Existentialism, Structuralism.

Phenomenology.

Existentialism.

Heterology.

Structuralism.

16 The Era of Poststructuralism (I): Later Marxism, Psychoanalysis, Deconstruction.

Later Marxist Criticism.

Psychoanalysis.

Deconstruction.

17 The Era of Poststructuralism (II): Postmodernism, Modern Feminism, Gender Studies.

Jurgen Habermas (b. 1929).

Jean Baudrillard (1929–2007).

Jean-Fran¸cois Lyotard (1924–1998).

bell hooks (Gloria Jean Watkins; b. 1952).

Modern Feminism.

Gender Studies.

18 The Later Twentieth Century: New Historicism, Reader-Response Theory, Postcolonial Criticism, Cultural Studies.

The New Historicism.

Reader-Response and Reception Theory.

Postcolonial Criticism.

Cultural Studies.

Epilogue New Directions: Looking Back, Looking Forward.

Index.

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M. A. R. Habib received his doctorate from the University of Oxford. He is the author of seven books, including the highly acclaimed A History of Literary Criticism: From Plato to the Present (2005) and Modern Literary Criticism and Theory (2008). A book of his poetry, Shades of Islam: Poems for a New Century, will appear in September 2010. 
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"Habib aims to offer a concise, authoritative overview of literary criticism and theory in the West via an in-depth examination of its key movements, figures and texts." (Times Higher Education Supplement, 24 February 2011)

"Rafey Habib's book carves out a distinctive niche in this lately much-discussed but still strikingly eventful and rewarding history of thought."
Christopher Norris, Cardiff University

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