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Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide 2nd Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is very useful for undergraduate students, but also for those students thinking about going to graduate school. It is well organized and provides good examples of questions to brainstorm about topics for papers. The author is very objective discussing the different theoretical approaches to writing about literature. Although students who are new to critical theory may find some of the concepts difficult, the author is sensitive to the needs of this audience and explains them carefully and clearly. She also includes a meaningful bibliography for further exploration. The book is mainly intended for English literature classes, but film studies, cultural studies and literature courses other than English can also benefit from it. I teach Spanish in an undergraduate liberal arts college and will seriously consider this title for my advanced literature courses and independent research projects.
In her introduction, Tyson issues a stern warning that critical theory is an evolving and very nearly living and breathing field that involves a series of "overlapping, competing, quarrelling visions of the world rather than as tidy categories." (page 9) Tyson introduces each school of critical theory in roughly historical chronology, beginning with Psychoanalytic criticism, and following with Marxist, Feminist, New Critical, Reader-Response, Structuralist, Deconstructionist, New Historicist, Queer theory, African-American, and finishing with Post-Colonialist. In each case, Tyson provides an historical context, which leads into a close analysis of that particular school's underlying premises. Tyson "fleshes out" each school with a close reading of THE GREAT GATSBY, a novel which invites a spectrum of divergent analyses. She also includes a helpful list of questions that one might ask to connect that specific theory to a designated text. This list has potential for the interested student to practice writing his or her own analyses of standard literary works that invite interpretation under that critical lens.Read more ›
However, one must know that this book enumerates the underlying principles and key issues pertaining to the different schools of critical theory in a student-friendly manner and does not trace their historical developments; nor does it focus on individual theorists and their works. For that, you need to turn to a different book on the subject. I wish Prof. Tyson comes up with another volume dedicated to that purpose.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very insightful. It puts theory into simple, everyday language and uses clear examples in the text. Tyson keeps the readings interesting and conversational, and my reluctance to... Read morePublished 20 days ago by Sadie
I wanted to understand what deconstruction was about, but I found most articles and books extremely dense and frustrating until I discovered Critical Theory Today. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Pal
The book was informative and provided a more comprehensive understanding to the Literary Theory studies. I passed my course. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jordan
The book was literally falling apart.Published 6 months ago by Disappointed/ this is a untrustworthy seller!!!
This book pushes a political agenda that degrades America and the initiative of success in an individual.Published 10 months ago by John
This is written in a very DRY, boring tone. I struggled to read it and wished we used a different book.Published 10 months ago by gina
A great text! Not only very helpful but an enjoyable read as well.Published 14 months ago by egl898
I had to buy this for a literature class and for the purposes of the class it works just fine but otherwise, I hated reading every minute of it.Published 17 months ago by Hannah Richardson
This book is extremely helpful for every essay I've completed since purchasing it. If you're a college student and care about the quality of your essays, get this book.Published 18 months ago by GreenQueen33