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Theory of Literature

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  169 ratings  ·  12 reviews
A classic of criticism that examines the nature, function, form, and contents of literature. "The most ordered, ranging and purposeful attempt...toward keeping the study of literature at once intelligent and liberal" (New York Times). Index.
Paperback, Revised, 384 pages
Published June 18th 1964 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 1942)
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Classic mid-century literary theory. This book fell out of fashion with the rise of structuralism and post-structuralism in the 1960s and '70s, but it actually has quite a lot to teach us still. Wellek and Warren are very fair to a variety of approaches, stressing the importance of not only close reading, but of textual criticism, the development of convention, and the recognition of fluid boundaries between "literature" and other varieties of writing. Amazingly, in the '40s, they noted the disu ...more
Fred Zimny
A landmark classic. A Theory of Literature of 1944-46, being an influential and comprehensive analysis of the American New Criticism movement.

According to Wellek, the work was written with the idea between Warren and himself that “we should rather combine our forces to produce a book which would formulate a theory of literature with an emphasis on the aesthetic fact which cannot be divorced from evaluation and hence from criticism.”]

There are familiarities with Russian formalism, the Prague Lin
Thom Dunn
I recall this being the Bible of the Yale objectivist school of Literary Analysis, from which the Chicago School broke in 1952 with Critics and Criticism.....But perhaps that was another title altogether.....Seven Types of Ambiguity ?
What a nerd I am. This is one of my favorite books.
Maggie Joyce
First published in 1947, this book is a well organized classic of literary critism. The extrinsic approach to literary analysis draws correlations between literary style and biography, psychology, society, ideas and other arts. It is amazing to realize how closely related, and multi-faceted styles and ways of studying other disciplines inform literature.

Although this book explores literatary style in many different ways I was particularly excited about how composition of literature is similar t
YudistiraBlack Arc
this book very good to finished my thesis
Sep 27, 2008 BoekenTrol rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to BoekenTrol by: was compulsory
I was so happy that I did not have to read it once again when I passed my exam on basics of literary history.... I had the Dutch version, the translators did a good job, but a very tough book stays a very tough book.
It is very abstract, despite the writers added examples. No, I keep it, for old times sake, but not to read again.
A major work of introduction to comparative literature.
Sep 21, 2013 Fabián marked it as to-read
Es un libro clásico sobre teoría literaria, de importancia decisiva para litgeratos y público en general
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This book is very good.
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