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The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism

, 1,008 pages
November 2004



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The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism
second edition

Selected by Choice Magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title

The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism has become the indispensable resource for scholars and students of literary theory and discourse. The long-awaited second edition includes 48 new entries and subentries and has been revised throughout, taking account of ten years of rapidly changing scholarship.

While concentrating on the explosion of contemporary critical and theoretical works, the Guide presents a comprehensive historical survey of ideas and individuals ranging from Plato and Aristotle to twentieth-century scholars. It includes more than 240 alphabetically arranged entries on critics and theorists, critical schools and movements, and the critical and theoretical innovations of specific countries and historical periods. It also examines developments in other disciplines which have shaped literary theory and criticism. An international, encyclopedic guide to the field's most important figures, schools, and movements, the new edition reflects the state of literary theory and criticism.

Michael Groden is a professor of English at the University of Western Ontario. Martin Kreiswirth is dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, professor of English, and founding director of the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism at the University of Western Ontario.Imre Szeman is an associate professor of English at McMaster University.

"Nothing quite matches this in scope and depth. Taken as a whole, the guide provides a synoptic overview of literary theory from a twentieth-century Western point of view. The articles are succinct and pointed."

"A massive, double-columned Yellow Pages of lit crit. If it falls between Abrams and Zola, historically between Plato and postmodernism, intellectually between Aristotle and feminism, or geographically between Japanese Theory and Criticism and Caribbean, you can probably find it here."

"A superlative work of reference that can be read for information, and not just another overview. It provides a comprehensive historical survey of ideas and scholars from Plato to modern times, examining developments in other disciplines which have shaped literary theory and criticism."

"Two centuries ago this jumbo-size book would have come into the world not modestly as a 'guide' but as a fully fledged encyclopedia. It divides a whole field of knowledge into its constituent parts and presents them in alphabetical order with great lucidity... This is a text whose coverage and the general excellence of its entries really will suit the everyday business of study and research."

"This comprehensive and easily understood reference book will serve as an indispensable guide for helping students or scholars assess and discuss an overwhelming body of material, especially such 'buzz' topics as multiculturalism."

"Books such as Holman's Handbook to Literature define these concepts briefly but are no substitute for the Guide's analytical essays and their explanations of the development and significance of key critical theories and their methods. Since the Guide is more comprehensive and analytical than Wendell Harris's Dictionary of Concepts in Literary Criticism and Theory, no academic library reference collection can do without it."

"An uncommonly absorbing reference book that attempts to map changes wrought by an anxious new worldliness and self-consciousness among scholars, which the term 'theory' connotes... For writers and critics, [this] is a must, but every committed reader will want to own it."

"The new Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism is very exciting. I especially like the match up of authors with subjects. The coverage is ample and the array of topics superb. This new Guide will add to the Press's lustre as a publisher of reference books. Beyond that, it promises to be an invaluable source of new ideas as well as information—which any reference work worth its salt should be."

"In the maze of writers and positions, past and present, that surround us in the field that we refer to as 'theory' nowadays, this volume should indeed be an invaluable guide."

"First published in 1994, this title has established itself as one of the main references in the field, through well-written, in-depth articles on critics, schools, periods, and critical innovations of specific countries and ethnic traditions."

"A satisfying offering in the discipline of literary theory; The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism endeabors to cover not only individual critics and philosophers from antiquity to the present day, but also the full range of the many diverse schools of critical thought."

"This edition of the Guide is a terrific resource... I know I'll be consulting it frequently until the third edition arrives."

"In all, the Guide's substantial essays provide an appropriately updated sense of the most important issues and figures in contemporary theoretical discussions of literature and interpretation."

"The new version of Guide will provide a new generation of scholars and students with an exhaustive reference, but it will also serve as a valuable and critical measurement of the discipline."

"Certainly it should (and I hope — will) be adopted by research librarians affiliated with any credible institution of higher learning."

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