About the BookLiterary theory is the systematic study of the nature of literature and of the methods for analyzing literature. It is a highly complex and fascinating discipline having an intellectual ancestry of over 2300 years. It is highly inter-disciplinary and intellectually very demanding to comprehend. Literary theory, from Aristotle (Classicism) to Alan Sinfield (Cultural Materialism) in the last decade of the twentieth century, is an unmanageably vast area for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.
The book attempts to simplify an essentially complex subject for the average college student in India. It is meant for the non-specialist in the field. Many difficult concepts have been explained in a manner that is easy to understand by the readers. In order to enable college students to get a complete grasp of theory, the basic terms and concepts are presented with great clarity.
Various schools of theory, from Classicism to Eco-criticism, are arranged chapter-wise in a chronological manner and in terms of critical/theoretical approaches, which will help students gain a cognitive perspective of the subject. Teaching and learning literary theory can be a delightful and rewarding exercise only if we relate it to a literary text, for there is no studying of literature as “pure” literature today. In the words of the eminent deconstructionist critic Paul de Man, “The first reading of a literary work is only an elementary reading. It only serves an utilitarian purpose by offering a paraphrasable summary. The second reading is a meta-reading of the text. It makes us intellectually vibrant and helps us explore new dimensions in the text.”
The book has been written with the primary goal of disseminating knowledge and understanding of theory in an accessible manner so that the learning of literature is transformed into an edifying and enjoyable experience.About the Author/sDr Joseph Chandra is currently Head, Department of English, Loyola College, Chennai. He has twenty-five years of teaching experience at Loyola and is also an accomplished Soft Skills trainer. He is also a recognized research supervisor for doctoral students in English studies. He has authored five books including News and Views; Reading Literature; Power Talk; and Aligning Access and Excellence: A New Paradigm in Higher Education.