This is a splendid anthology that evaluates, puts into perspective and thoughtfully criticizes contemporary literary and cultural theory. A welcome alternative to dogmatic thought, this book is designed to generate a lively debate. A must for every serious student of literature and culture.
(Thomas Pavel, University of Chicago, author of The Spell of Language: Poststructuralism and Speculation
Patai and Corral's Theory's Empire represents the invigorating leading edge of a new diversity of thought in the academy, the vision of a healthy skeptical approach to what has become theoretical orthodoxy and dogmatism.
(Jon Erickson, Ohio State University, author of The Fate of the Object: From Modern Object to Postmodern Sign
If you never quite believed that thought is the same as action, that fact is irrelevant, that declaration amounts to proof, or that cultures rather than individuals compose works of art, you will discover in Theory's Empire why you are neither deluded nor delusional. Theories may help scholarship seem relevant, but they are no substitute for empirical evidence, logical argument, and plain old common sense.
(Mary Lefkowitz, Wellesley College, author of Not Out Of Africa: How Afrocentrism Became AnExcuse To Teach Myth As History
Superb introductions, guaranteed to stir every reader dejected by deconstruction.
Clearly, this is not your father's textbook; it's closer to The Norton Anthology of Screw-the Academy
(Michael Potemra National Review
A sign that things may be changing...its 47 contributors patiently dissect all aspects of theory.
(James Seaton Wall Street Journal
Theory's Empire is important because it shows that the opposition to theory is not just the preserve of intellectual lightweights.
(William Pannapacker Chronicle of Higher Education
This is a valuable book for scholars and for those encountering literary theory for the first time... Recommended.
Theory's Empire is a unique documentation of an intellectual deformation that still affects the way literature is studied.
(Brian Vickers, A 2005 Book of the Year Times Literary Supplement
Patai and Corral waste no time and pull no punches.
(Michael Berube Common Review
Theory's Empire offers a powerful retrospective on the rise of "Theory" in the American academy.
(Sara Castro-Klaren Modern Language Notes
Theory's Empiregathers together the work of many scholars and critics into a multi-faceted but coherent defense of literature, and of the many intellectual and temperamental habits that must accompany that defense-a belief in judgment and in literature's moral significance, and, most happily of all, a proud assertion of the love that dare not speak its name in university literature courses, the love of art. One hopes that future generations of students, wondering why they should study literature in the first place, will take strength from this volume.
(David Denby, author of Great Books: My Adventures with Homer, Rousseau, Woolf, and Other Indestructible Writers of the Western World
Theory's Empire is a magnificent collection of essays that returns sanity and rationality to literary criticism, rescuing it from the esotericism, jargon and delusions under which it had been buried by the "theorizers." An indispensable book for lovers of genuine literature and criticism!
(Mario Vargas Llosa, author of The Way to Paradise