"Theory of Literature" by Paul H.              Fry

Theory of Literature Paul H. Fry

Series:
The Open Yale Courses Series
Format:
Paperback
Publication date:
24 Apr 2012
ISBN:
9780300180831
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
400 pages: 235 x 156 x 25mm
Illustrations:
10 b-w illus.

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Bringing his perennially popular course to the page, Yale University Professor Paul H. Fry offers in this welcome book a guided tour of the main trends in twentieth-century literary theory. At the core of the book's discussion is a series of underlying questions: What is literature, how is it produced, how can it be understood, and what is its purpose?

Fry engages with the major themes and strands in twentieth-century literary theory, among them the hermeneutic circle, New Criticism, structuralism, linguistics and literature, Freud and fiction, Jacques Lacan's theories, the postmodern psyche, the political unconscious, New Historicism, the classical feminist tradition, African American criticism, queer theory, and gender performativity. By incorporating philosophical and social perspectives to connect these many trends, the author offers readers a coherent overall context for a deeper and richer reading of literature.

More about this title

Visit Paul H. Fry's course page on the official Open Yale Courses website.


Paul H. Fry is William Lampson Professor of English, Yale University. Among his previous books is Wordsworth and the Poetry of What We Are, published by Yale University Press. He lives in New Haven, CT.

"In a crowded field Paul H. Fry’s Theory of Literature stands out for a number of reasons that, taken together, make a compelling case for it being the classroom text of choice for lecturers working with advanced students on literary theory. Professor Fry has been teaching, refining and updating the course of 26 hour-long lectures at Yale, which make up this book, for decades (back to when Paul de Man was lecturing down the corridor) and the accumulated experience and expertise are clear in the lightly worn authority, comprehensive range and judicious weighting and sifting that distinguish every page.

No other guide to theory combines this authority and range with the accessibility and engaging, often humorous manner in which the reader is addressed (as those lucky Yale students); none connects the development of theory so tellingly with philosophy and history (including Fry’s own); none teases out the connections and divergences between and among theorists with such deft skill; and none moves so confidently between lucid summary of very challenging theoretical ideas and closely probing readings of particularly revealing passages in the theorists under discussion. The result is a book that, with its own unfolding narrative and infectiously conveyed urge to connect and to explain, is a genuine and intense pleasure to read. And that, in this field, is unprecedented."—Richard Jacobs, principal lecturer in Literature, University of Brighton, UK