Adventures in Reading

Revisted Reviews: Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction by Jonathan Culler

I finished Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction by Jonathan Culler last evening and admittedly was not quite a fan of it. Parts of it I found to be horribly dense and while it’s not A Very Easy Introduction much of the book didn’t really seem to fit under the topic. Granted, some of you who are experts in literary theory may disagree. However, I did enjoy a good portion of the book that went into the history of the novel, what exactly literary theory is, looked into the canon and how “reading” styles have changed over time, and so forth. Perhaps most splendidly it offers a short and concise list of all the big literary theories (i.e. feminism, Marxist, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, etc).

Looking back, this is definitely a book that went right over my head at the time and always has been one that I mean to return to. While I love this series of books, I admit that they are not really intended for a beginner. Some of the books, like Literary Theory, demand much more from the reader than other basic introductions.


It’s been years since I read this one, but I think I might still have it on the stacks. It would definitely be worth revisiting although I do believe I had some issues with it.

Comment by Andi

Andi: I recall it being a useful guide, but it’s also been quite some time since I’ve read it.

Comment by bookchronicle

[…] Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction, by Johnathan […]

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