A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature
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Now in its fifth edition, A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature has become both a standard introduction to the close reading of literature and an invaluable resource for English graduate students. It offers students and other readers a variety of ways to interpret a piece of literature, ranging from historical/biographical and moral/philosophical approaches through the formalist, the psychological, the mythic and archetypal, and into such contemporary perspectives as feminist criticism and cultural studies. The book applies these diverse approaches to the same six classic works–“To His Coyy Mistress,” Hamlet, Huckleberry Finn, “Young Goodman Brown,” “Everyday Use,” and, new to this edition, Frankenstein–showing students how various methods offer different insights and enriching their response to and understanding of the individual works. The fifth edition is enhanced by the addition of Frankenstein, a complex work that lends itself to multiple levels of interpretation and is familiar in both its cinematic and literary forms. The coverage of Frankenstein incorporates material on popular culture–discussions of various fiction, stage, film, and television appearances of the work–as well as several photographs. This edition also features organizational and content changes that bring the volume up-to-date with contemporary literary criticism. Offering a valuable combination of theory and practice, A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature, Fifth Edition, is ideal for courses in literary criticism or theory and can also be used in introduction to literature courses.
“From the first edition on, I have chosen this Handbook over all the other ‘writing about literature’ texts in competition with it because of the authors’ basic methodology of explaining the theory, then following through with models of each theory applied to a cross section of literary genres (with Frankenstein, now including popular culture and film). Each audience finds this text to be so helpful and accessible that the most common response is ‘I wish I had known about this sooner!'”–Alan S. Loxterman, University of Richmond
“[T]he descriptions of the various approaches are succinct, thoughtful, and incisive. The authors get right to the point with no confusing vocabulary or terms that might discourage students. . . . At the end of the term we ask for course evaluations from our students, and one suggestion I have found asks me to spend more time in class discussing the assigned chapters in A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature. . . . This handbook does all I want and I have had no reason to choose another text.”–Harry Rusche, Emory University
“Features of the book that led to my adopting it are the sensible, clear, and non-eccentric explanations of the major critical approaches and equally sound analyses of sample texts. . . . A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature is at the head of the class in every way. It is accurate, clear, and illustrative.”–George Hahn, Towson University