John Wiley & Sons What is Literature? Cover An essential guide to understanding literary theory and criticism in the European tradition What is.. Product #: 978-1-4051-8294-2 Regular price: $34.49 $34.49 In Stock

What is Literature?

A Critical Anthology

Robson, Mark (Editor)


1. Edition May 2020
632 Pages, Softcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-4051-8294-2
John Wiley & Sons

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An essential guide to understanding literary theory and criticism in the European tradition

What is Literature? A Critical Anthology explores the most fundamental question in literary studies. 'What is literature?' is the name of a problem that emerges with the idea of literature in European modernity. This volume offers a cross-section of modern literary theory and reflects on the history of thinking about literature as a specific form. What is Literature? reveals how ideas of the literary draw on the foundations of Western thought in ancient Greece and Rome, charting the emergence of modern literature in the eighteenth century, and including selections from the present state of the art.

The anthology includes the work of leading writers and critics of the last two thousand years including Plato, Henry James, Virginia Woolf, Edward Said, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Jacques Rancière, and many others. The book is an insightful examination of the nature of literature, its meanings and values, functions and forms, provocations and mysteries.

What is Literature? brings together in one volume influential and intriguing essays that show our enduring fascination with the idea of literature. This important guide:
* Contains a broad selection of the most significant texts on the topic of literature
* Includes leading writers from ancient times to the most recent thinkers on literature and criticism
* Encourages readers to reflect on the varied meanings of "literature"

What is Literature? A Critical Anthology is a unique collection of texts that will appeal to every student and scholar of literature and literary criticism in the European tradition.

Introduction 1

1 Hamburg Dramaturgy (1769) 8
G. E. Lessing

2 Of the Standard of Taste (1777) 32
David Hume

3 Critique of Judgment (1790) 45
Immanuel Kant

4 On the Aesthetic Education of Man (1795) 65
Friedrich Schiller

5 On the Study of Greek Poetry (1797) and Philosophical Fragments (1798-1800) 74
Friedrich Schlegel

6 Lectures on Dramatic Art (1811) 88
A. W. Schlegel

7 Preface to Lyrical Ballads, with Pastoral and Other Poems (1802) 104
William Wordsworth

8 Biographia Literaria (1817) 124
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

9 Aesthetics: Lectures on Fine Art (1835) 134
G. W. F. Hegel

10 The Function of Criticism at the Present Time (1864) 148
Matthew Arnold

11 The Birth of Tragedy (1872) 166
Friedrich Nietzsche

12 The Art of Fiction (1884) 188
Henry James

13 Crisis of Verse (1897) 202
Stéphane Mallarmé

14 Art as Technique (1917) 210
Viktor Shklovsky

15 The Uncanny (1919) 226
Sigmund Freud

16 Tradition and the Individual Talent (1919) and The Function of Criticism (1923) 252
T. S. Eliot

17 A Room of One's Own (1929) 265
Virginia Woolf

18 The Storyteller (1936): Reflections on the Works of Nikolai Leskov 282
Walter Benjamin

19 Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote 299
Jorge Luis Borges

20 What is Literature? (1948) 306
Jean-Paul Sartre

21 Literature and the Right to Death (1948) 320
Maurice Blanchot

22 Language (1950) 349
Martin Heidegger

23 Trying to Understand Endgame (1958) 363
Theodor W. Adorno

24 The Meridian (1960) 389
Paul Celan

25 What is an Author? (1969) 398
Michel Foucault

26 Sorties: Out and Out: Attacks/Ways Out/Forays (1975) 411
Hélène Cixous

27 What is a Minor Literature? (1975) 426
Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari

28 Literature and Life (1993) 437
Gilles Deleuze

29 The Literary Absolute (1978) 441
Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and Jean-Luc Nancy

30 Orientalism (1978) 459
Edward W. Said

31 Autobiography as De-facement (1979) 479
Paul de Man

32 Che cos'è la poesia? (1988) and Before the Law (1982) 489
Jacques Derrida

33 Signs Taken for Wonders (1986): Questions of Ambivalence and Authority under a Tree Outside Delhi, May 1817 519
Homi K. Bhabha

34 What is the History of Literature? (1997) 538
Stephen Greenblatt

35 A Critique of Postcolonial Reason (1999) 558
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

36 Literature for the Planet (2001) 576
Wai Chee Dimock

37 The Politics of Literature (2003) 596
Jacques Rancière

38 Close Reading in an Age of Global Writing (2013) 609
Rebecca L. Walkowitz

Index 621
MARK ROBSON??is the Chair of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Dundee, Scotland, where he also teaches philosophy and visual culture. He founded and is the Director of the Centre for Critical and Creative Cultures at Dundee, and is author and editor of several books including Theatre & Death, The Sense of Early Modern Writing and (with James Loxley) Shakespeare, Jonson, and the Claims of the Performative.