Beginning theory has been helping students navigate through the thickets of literary and cultural theory for over two decades. This new and expanded fourth edition continues to offer readers the best single-volume introduction to the field.
The bewildering variety of approaches, theorists and technical language is lucidly and expertly unravelled. Unlike many books which assume certain positions about the critics and the theories they represent, Beginning theory allows readers to develop their own ideas once first principles and concepts have been grasped.
The book has been updated for this edition and includes a new introduction, expanded chapters, and an overview of the subject ('Theory after "Theory"') which maps the arrival of new 'isms' since the second edition appeared in 2002 and the third edition in 2009. -- .
'There is no other book that offers such a comprehensive account of the field, combined with thoughtful, detailed exposition of the theoretical approaches under discussion. Far from being a modest survey of contemporary literary theory, it has had a vital role in shaping the way that theory is taught in Britain and North America.' English Association Newsletter -- .
Peter Barry is Emeritus Professor of English at Aberystwyth University -- .
Preface to the fourth edition
1 Theory before 'theory'
3 Post-structuralism and deconstruction
5 Psychoanalytic criticism
6 Feminist criticism
7 Queer theory
8 Marxist criticism
9 New historicism and cultural materialism
10 Postcolonial criticism
14 Literary theory - a history in ten events
15 Theory after 'Theory'
Where do we go from here? Further reading
Index -- .