Praise for An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory
‘Sparkling, enthusiastic, and admirably well-informed' - HélèneCixous'By far the best introduction we have, bar none. This unmatched book is for everyone: from those beginning literary study, through advanced students, and up to teachers; even those who, like me, have been professing literature for years and years' - J. Hillis Miller, UCI Distinguished Research Professor of Comparative Literature and English and the University of California, IrvineThe best introduction to literary studies on the market’
- Jonathan Culler, Cornell University
‘The most un-boring, unnerving, unpretentious textbook I’ve ever come across’
- Elizabeth Wright, University of Cambridge
‘It is by far the best and most readable of all such introductions that I know of The treatment of the various topics is masterful, even-handed and informative. I cannot think of a better introduction for undergraduates, to be sure, but for many graduate students too.’
- Hayden White, University of California at Santa Cruz
‘I don’t know of any book that could, or does, compete with this one. It is irreplaceable’
- Richard Rand, University of Alabama
‘[Bennett and Royle have] cracked the problem of how to be introductory and sophisticated, accessible but not patronising.’
- Peter Buse, English Subject Centre Newsletter
‘This excellent book is very well-written and an outstanding introduction to literary studies. An extremely stimulating introduction.’
- Robert Eaglestone, Royal Holloway, University of London
‘Bennett and Royle offer a different kind of introduction, which directly involves the reader in the problems and pleasures of thinking about literature its distinctiveness, its strangeness, its power, its inexhaustibility They succeed brilliantly in encouraging readers who are new to theory to appreciate its importance, enjoy its revelations, and understand some of its conceptual apparatus without diminishing the centrality of literary writing itself, This is a book which students in every introductory course on criticism and theory would benefit from having.’
- Derek Attridge, University of York
‘I am convinced that Bennett and Royle have written a pathbreaking work and I suspect that this book so full of laughter, suspense, secrets and pleasure will have an appeal beyond a strictly academic audience’.
- Alan Shima, University of Gothenburg
‘All the chapters in the volume are illuminating, informative, and original.’
- Robert Mills, King’s College London
Fresh, original and compelling, An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory is the essential guide to literary studies.
Starting at ‘the beginning’ and concluding with ‘the end’, the book covers topics that range from the familiar (character, narrative, the author) to the more unusual (secrets, pleasure, ghosts). Eschewing abstract isms, Bennett and Royle successfully illuminate complex ideas by engaging directly with literary works so that a reading of Jane Eyre opens up ways of thinking about racial difference, whilst Chaucer, Raymond Chandler and Monty Python are all invoked in a discussion of literary laughter.
Each chapter ends with a narrative guide to further reading and the book also includes a glossary and bibliography. The fourth edition has been revised to incorporate two timely new chapters on animals and the environment.
A breath of fresh air in a field that can often seem dry and dauntingly theoretical, this book will open the reader’s eyes to the exhilarating possibilities of both reading and studying literature.
Andrew Bennett isProfessor of English at the University of Bristol and Nicholas Royle is Professor of English at the University of Sussex.