Literary Criticism

2828 products

  • Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes

    Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes

    A new edition of the world-renowned classic that has enthralled and delighted millions of readers with its timeless tales of gods and heroes.


  • Monsters: A Fan's Dilemma


  • A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life
  • Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes

    Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes

    This 75th anniversary edition of a classic bestseller is stunningly illustrated and designed to enchant fans of Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology at all ages.Since its original publication by Little, Brown and Company in 1942, Edith Hamilton's Mythology has sold millions of copies throughout the world and established itself as a perennial bestseller.For more than seven decades readers have chosen this book above all others to discover the enchanting world of mythology -- from Odysseus's adventure-filled journey to the Norse god Odin's effort to postpone the final day of doom. This deluxe, hardcover edition is fully-illustrated throughout with all-new, specially commissioned art, making it a true collector's item.


  • A Room of One's Own


  • Novelist As a Vocation


  • Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion


  • The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction
  • How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines

    How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines

    A thoroughly revised and updated edition of Thomas C. Foster's classic guide-a lively and entertaining introduction to literature and literary basics, including symbols, themes and contexts, that shows you how to make your everyday reading experience more rewarding and enjoyable. While many books can be enjoyed for their basic stories, there are often deeper literary meanings interwoven in these texts. How to Read Literature Like a Professor helps us to discover those hidden truths by looking at literature with the eyes-and the literary codes-of the ultimate professional reader, the college professor. What does it mean when a literary hero is traveling along a dusty road? When he hands a drink to his companion? When he's drenched in a sudden rain shower? Ranging from major themes to literary models, narrative devices and form, Thomas C. Foster provides us with a broad overview of literature-a world where a road leads to a quest, a shared meal may signify a communion, and rain, whether cleansing or destructive, is never just a shower-and shows us how to make our reading experience more enriching, satisfying, and fun. This revised edition includes new chapters, a new preface and epilogue, and incorporates updated teaching points that Foster has developed over the past decade.


  • The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession


  • Black Women Writers at Work

    Black Women Writers at Work

    “Black women writers and critics are acting on the old adage that one must speak for oneself if one wishes to be heard.” —Claudia Tate, from the introductionLong out of print, Black Women Writers at Work is a vital contribution to Black literature in the 20th century. Through candid interviews with Maya Angelou, Toni Cade Bambara, Gwendolyn Brooks, Alexis De Veaux, Nikki Giovanni, Kristin Hunter, Gayl Jones, Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, Sonia Sanchez, Ntozake Shange, Alice Walker, Margaret Walker, and Sherley Anne Williams, the book highlights the practices and critical linkages between the work and lived experiences of Black women writers whose work laid the foundation for many who have come after.Responding to questions about why and for whom they write, and how they perceive their responsibility to their work, to others, and to society, the featured playwrights, poets, novelists, and essayists provide a window into the connections between their lives and their art.Finally available for a new generation, this classic work has an urgent message for readers and writers today.


  • King Lear

    King Lear

    In this edition, R.A. Foakes brings to bear a number of historical perspectives and critically addresses recent explorations of "King Lear" as a play of redemption, a play of despair and a play that destabilises all commentary.


  • Pandora's Jar: Women in the Greek Myths


  • The Wife of Bath: A Biography

    The Wife of Bath: A Biography

    From the award-winning biographer of Chaucer, the story of his most popular and scandalous character, from the Middle Ages to #MeTooEver since her triumphant debut in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the Wife of Bath, arguably the first ordinary and recognisably real woman in English literature, has obsessed readers—from Shakespeare to James Joyce, Voltaire to Pasolini, Dryden to Zadie Smith. Few literary characters have led such colourful lives or matched her influence or capacity for reinvention in poetry, drama, fiction, and film. In The Wife of Bath, Marion Turner tells the fascinating story of where Chaucer’s favourite character came from, how she related to real medieval women, and where her many travels have taken her since the fourteenth century, from Falstaff and Molly Bloom to #MeToo and Black Lives Matter.A sexually active and funny working woman, the Wife of Bath, also known as Alison, talks explicitly about sexual pleasure. She is also a victim of domestic abuse who tells a story of rape and redemption. Formed from misogynist sources, she plays with stereotypes. Turner sets Alison’s fictional story alongside the lives of real medieval women—from a maid who travelled around Europe, abandoned her employer, and forged a new career in Rome to a duchess who married her fourth husband, a teenager, when she was sixty-five. Turner also tells the incredible story of Alison’s post-medieval life, from seventeenth-century ballads and Polish communist pop art to her reclamation by postcolonial Black British women writers.Entertaining and enlightening, funny and provocative, The Wife of Bath is a one-of-a-kind history of a literary and feminist icon who continues to capture the imagination of readers.


  • Devotion


    “Devotion is short enough to devour at one enjoyable sitting and thought-provoking enough to deserve re-reading.”—Suzi Feay, Financial Times “Devotion shows rather than tells what it means to give a life to writing. ”—Katherine Cooper, Hyperallergic A work of creative brilliance may seem like magic—its source a mystery, its impact unexpectedly stirring. How does an artist accomplish such an achievement, connecting deeply with an audience never met? In this groundbreaking book, one of our culture’s beloved artists offers a detailed account of her own creative process, inspirations, and unexpected connections. Patti Smith, a National Book Award-winning author, first presents an original and beautifully crafted tale of obsession—a young skater who lives for her art, a possessive collector who ruthlessly seeks his prize, a relationship forged of need both craven and exalted. She then takes us on a second journey, exploring the sources of her story. We travel through the South of France to Camus’s house, and visit the garden of the great publisher Gallimard where the ghosts of Mishima, Nabokov, and Genet mingle. Smith tracks down Simone Weil’s grave in a lonely cemetery, hours from London, and winds through the nameless Paris streets of Patrick Modiano’s novels. Whether writing in a café or a train, Smith generously opens her notebooks and lets us glimpse the alchemy of her art and craft in this arresting and original book on writing. The Why I Write series is based on the Windham-Campbell Lectures, delivered annually to commemorate the awarding of the Donald Windham-Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prizes at Yale University.

  • Frankenstein: Or the Modern Prometheus the 1818 Text

    Frankenstein: Or the Modern Prometheus the 1818 Text

    By the dim and yellow light of the moon, as it forced its way through the window-shutters, I beheld the wretch-the miserable monster whom I had created. He held up the curtain of the bed; and his eyes, if eyes they may be called, were fixed on me. His jaws opened... Frankenstein is the most celebrated horror story ever written. It tells the dreadful tale of Victor Frankenstein, a visionary young student of natural philosophy, who discovers the secret of life. In the grip of his obsession he constructs a being from dead body parts, and animates this creature. The results, for Victor and for his family, are catastrophic. Written when Mary Shelley was just eighteen, Frankenstein was inspired by the ghost stories and vogue for Gothic literature that fascinated the Romantic writers of her time. She transformed these supernatural elements an epic parable that warned against the threats to humanity posed by accelerating technological progress. Published for the 200th anniversary, this edition, based on the original 1818 text, explains in detail the turbulent intellectual context in which Shelley was writing, and also investigates how her novel has since become a byword for controversial practices in science and medicine, from manipulating ecosystems to vivisection and genetic modification. As an iconic study of power, creativity, and, ultimately, what it is to be human, Frankenstein continues to shape our thinking in profound ways to this day.


  • Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction

    Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction

    SEE the amazing vintage book covers featuring well-dressed skeletons, evil dolls, knife-wielding killer crabs! READ the shocking plots involving devil worship, satanic children, and haunted real estate! LEARN the stories of long-forgotten creators as well as familiar names like V.C. Andrews and Anne Rice. Horror author and vintage paperback book collector Grady Hendrix offers killer commentary and witty insight on these trashy thrillers that tried so hard to be the next Exorcist or Rosemary s Baby. It s an affectionate, nostalgic, and unflinching tour through the horror fiction boom of the seventies and eighties, complete with story summaries and artist and author profiles. Plus recommendations for which of these forgotten treasures are well worth your reading time and which should stay buried.


  • The Making of Middle-earth: The Worlds of Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings


  • How to Read a Book

    How to Read a Book

    How to Read a Book, originally published in 1940, has become a rare phenomenon, a living classic.


  • Three Roads Back: How Emerson, Thoreau, and William James Responded to the Greatest Losses of Their Lives

    Three Roads Back: How Emerson, Thoreau, and William James Responded to the Greatest Losses of Their Lives

    From their acclaimed biographer, a final, powerful book about how Emerson, Thoreau, and William James forged resilience from devastating loss, changing the course of American thoughtIn Three Roads Back, Robert Richardson, the author of magisterial biographies of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and William James, tells the connected stories of how these foundational American writers and thinkers dealt with personal tragedies early in their careers. For Emerson, it was the death of his young wife and, eleven years later, his five-year-old son; for Thoreau, it was the death of his brother; and for James, it was the death of his beloved cousin Minnie Temple. Filled with rich biographical detail and unforgettable passages from the journals and letters of Emerson, Thoreau, and James, these vivid and moving stories of loss and hard-fought resilience show how the writers’ responses to these deaths helped spur them on to their greatest work, influencing the birth and course of American literature and philosophy.In reaction to his traumatic loss, Emerson lost his Unitarian faith and found solace in nature. Thoreau, too, leaned on nature and its regenerative power, discovering that “death is the law of new life,” an insight that would find expression in Walden. And James, following a period of panic and despair, experienced a redemptive conversion and new ideas that would drive his work as a psychologist and philosopher. As Richardson shows, all three emerged from their grief with a new way of seeing, one shaped by a belief in what Emerson called “the deep remedial force that underlies all facts.”An inspiring book about resilience and the new growth and creativity that can stem from devastating loss, Three Roads Back is also an extraordinary account of the hidden wellsprings of American thought.


  • The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems


  • The Best of Brevity: Twenty Groundbreaking Years of Flash Nonfiction


  • Great Short Books: A Year of ReadingóBriefly


  • Tolkien in the Twenty-First Century: The Meaning of Middle-Earth Today


  • Eros the Bittersweet

    Eros the Bittersweet

    "Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time A book about romantic love, Eros the Bittersweet is Anne Carson's exploration of the concept of "eros" in both classical philosophy and literature. Beginning with

  • The Art of Memoir


  • Wonder Confronts Certainty: Russian Writers on the Timeless Questions and Why Their Answers Matter

    Wonder Confronts Certainty: Russian Writers on the Timeless Questions and Why Their Answers Matter

    Gary Saul Morson brings to life the intense intellectual debates shaping two centuries of Russian writing. Dialogues of great writers with philosophical wanderers and blood-soaked radicals reveal a contest between unyielding dogmatism and open-minded wonder, rendering the Russian literary canon at once distinctive and universally human.


  • A Room Of One's Own


  • The Conspiracy against the Human Race: A Contrivance of Horror


  • Eros the Bittersweet: An Essay

    Eros the Bittersweet: An Essay

    Named one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time by the Modern LibraryAnne Carson’s remarkable first book about the paradoxical nature of romantic loveSince it was first published, Eros the Bittersweet, Anne Carson’s lyrical meditation on love in ancient Greek literature and philosophy, has established itself as a favorite among an unusually broad audience, including classicists, essayists, poets, and general readers. Beginning with the poet Sappho’s invention of the word “bittersweet” to describe Eros, Carson’s original and beautifully written book is a wide-ranging reflection on the conflicted nature of romantic love, which is both “miserable” and “one of the greatest pleasures we have.”


  • Rules for the Dance: A Handbook for Writing and Reading Metrical Verse


  • What Was Shakespeare Really Like?

    What Was Shakespeare Really Like?

    Sir Stanley Wells is one of the world's greatest authorities on William Shakespeare. Here he brings a lifetime of learning and reflection to bear on some of the most tantalising questions about the poet and dramatist that there are. How did he think, feel, and work? What were his relationships like? What did he believe about death? What made him laugh? This freshly thought and immensely engaging study wrestles with fundamental debates concerning Shakespeare's personality and life. The mysteries of how Shakespeare lived, whom and how he loved, how he worked, how he produced some of the greatest and most abidingly popular works in the history of world literature and drama, have fascinated readers for centuries. This concise, crystalline book conjures illuminating insights to reveal Shakespeare as he was. Wells brings the writer and dramatist alive, in all his fascinating humanity, for readers of today.


  • Constructing a Nervous System: A Memoir


  • Burning the Books: A History of the Deliberate Destruction of Knowledge

    Burning the Books: A History of the Deliberate Destruction of Knowledge

    A Wolfson History Prize FinalistA New Statesman Book of the YearA Sunday Times Book of the Year“Timely and authoritative…I enjoyed it immensely.”—Philip Pullman“If you care about books, and if you believe we must all stand up to the destruction of knowledge and cultural heritage, this is a brilliant read—both powerful and prescient.”—Elif ShafakLibraries have been attacked since ancient times but they have been especially threatened in the modern era, through war as well as willful neglect. Burning the Books describes the deliberate destruction of the knowledge safeguarded in libraries from Alexandria to Sarajevo, from smashed Assyrian tablets to the torching of the Library of Congress. The director of the world-famous Bodleian Libraries, Richard Ovenden, captures the political, religious, and cultural motivations behind these acts. He also shines a light on the librarians and archivists preserving history and memory, often risking their lives in the process.More than simply repositories for knowledge, libraries support the rule of law and inspire and inform citizens. Ovenden reminds us of their social and political importance, challenging us to protect and support these essential institutions.“Wonderful…full of good stories and burning with passion.”—Sunday Times“The sound of a warning vibrates through this book.”—The Guardian“Essential reading for anyone concerned with libraries and what Ovenden outlines as their role in ‘the support of democracy, the rule of law and open society.’”—Wall Street Journal“Ovenden emphasizes that attacks on books, archives, and recorded information are the usual practice of authoritarian regimes.”—Michael Dirda, Washington Post


  • Great Short Books: A Year of Reading√≥Briefly


  • My Trade Is Mystery: Seven Meditations from a Life in Writing

    My Trade Is Mystery: Seven Meditations from a Life in Writing

    An invaluable companion for any writer seeking to make the writing life a more complex and cooperative venture


  • The Weird and the Eerie

    The Weird and the Eerie

    "What exactly are the Weird and the Eerie? In this new essay, Mark Fisher argues that some of the most haunting and anomalous fiction of the 20th century belongs to these two modes. The Weird and the Eerie are closely related but distinct modes, each possessing its own distinct properties. Both have often been associated with Horror, yet this emphasis overlooks the aching fascination that such texts can exercise. The Weird and the Eerie both fundamentally concern the outside and the unknown, which are not intrinsically horrifying, even if they are always unsettling. Perhaps a proper understanding of the human condition requires examination of liminal concepts such as the weird and the eerie. These two modes will be analysed with reference to the work of authors such as H. P. Lovecraft, H. G. Wells, M.R. James, Christopher Priest, Joan Lindsay, Nigel Kneale, Daphne Du Maurier, Alan Garner and Margaret Atwood, and films by Stanley Kubrick, Jonathan Glazer and Christoper Nolan." 8755476922682,"If Women Rose Rooted has been described as both transformative and essential. Sharon Blackie leads the reader on a quest to find their place in the world

  • Cyrano De Bergerac


  • How to Read Nonfiction Like a Professor: A Smart, Irreverent Guide to Biography, History, Journalism, Blogs, and Everything in Between


  • In Praise of Good Bookstores

    In Praise of Good Bookstores

    From a devoted reader and lifelong bookseller, an eloquent and charming reflection on the singular importance of bookstoresDo we need bookstores in the twenty-first century? If so, what makes a good one? In this beautifully written book, Jeff Deutsch—the director of Chicago’s Seminary Co-op Bookstores, one of the finest bookstores in the world—pays loving tribute to one of our most important and endangered civic institutions. He considers how qualities like space, time, abundance, and community find expression in a good bookstore. Along the way, he also predicts—perhaps audaciously—a future in which the bookstore not only endures, but realizes its highest aspirations.In exploring why good bookstores matter, Deutsch draws on his lifelong experience as a bookseller, but also his upbringing as an Orthodox Jew. This spiritual and cultural heritage instilled in him a reverence for reading, not as a means to a living, but as an essential part of a meaningful life. Central among Deutsch’s arguments for the necessity of bookstores is the incalculable value of browsing—since, when we are deep in the act of looking at the shelves, we move through space as though we are inside the mind itself, immersed in self-reflection.In the age of one-click shopping, this is no ordinary defense of bookstores, but rather an urgent account of why they are essential places of discovery, refuge, and fulfillment that enrich the communities that are lucky enough to have them.


  • NB by J. C.: A Walk Through the Times Literary Supplement


  • Dumbledore: The Life and Lies of Hogwarts's Renowned Headmaster; An Unofficial Exploration
  • Maus Now: Selected Writing


  • The Wordhord: Daily Life in Old English


  • Emma


    'I wonder what will become of her!' So speculate the friends and neighbours of Emma Woodhouse, the lovely, lively, wilful,and fallible heroine of Jane Austen's fourth published novel. Confident that she knows best, Emma schemes to find a suitable husband for her pliant friend Harriet, only to discover that she understands the feelings of others as little as she does her own heart. As Emma puzzles and blunders her way through the mysteries of her social world, Austen evokes for her readers a cast of unforgettable characters and a detailed portrait of a small town undergoing historical transition. Written with matchless wit and irony, judged by many to be her finest novel, Emma has been adapted many times for film and television. This new edition emphasises the novel's extraordinary technical audacity. While apparently conservative in its choice of setting and range of characters, it was - and is - a formally revolutionary work.


  • By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from the New York Times Book Review

    By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from the New York Times Book Review

    Every Sunday, readers of The New York Times Book Review turn with anticipation to see which novelist, historian or artist will be the subject of the By the Book feature. These wide-ranging interviews are conducted by Pamela Paul, the editor of the Book Review, and here she brings together sixty-five of the most intriguing and fascinating exchanges.


  • El libro de la literature / The Book of Literature

    El libro de la literature / The Book of Literature

    Grandes ideas, explicaciones sencillasCon un lenguaje claro, sencillos esquemas e ingeniosas ilustraciones, El libro de la literatura es el manual perfecto para introducirse en la historia de la literatura universal, desde las epopeyas antiguas como la Ilíada o el Mahabharata hasta la obra de autores contemporáneos como Gabriel García Márquez o Margaret Atwood.¿Qué simboliza la gran ballena blanca en Moby Dick? ¿Qué es el monólogo interior? ¿Y qué tienen en común Lolita y La naranja mecánica? Descúbrelo en este libro de literatura, que explora los temas, estilos y movimientos literarios clave a través de más de 250 obras.Tanto el estudiante como el ávido lector hallarán en este libro de literatura en español abundantes sugerencias para sus lecturas.Las grandes obras de la historia de la literatura explicadas de forma sencillaEl libro de la literatura nos adentra en el maravilloso mundo de la humanidades a través de un apasionante viaje a lo largo de los siglos. Recopilatorio de las grandes obras de la historia, así como los autores que han marcado un antes y un después en la literatura tales como Shakespeare, Geoffrey Chaucer, Margaret Atwood, Miguel de Cervantes, Gabriel García Marquez, Jose Luis Borges, en este apasionante libro de literatura.Sumérgete en este libro de poesía y literatura en español y descubre más de 100 fascinantes lecturas y los escritores que hay detrás, a lo largo de los siguientes capítulos: • Héroes y leyendas • Del Renacimiento a la Ilustración • El Romanticismo y el auge de la novela • Representar la vida real • Ruptura con la tradición • Literatura de posguerra • Literatura contemporánea El libro de la literatura pertenece a la galardonada serie Grandes Ideas explica temas complejos de un modo fácil de entender mediante explicaciones claras y alejándose del academicismo tradicional. Su creativo diseño y los gráficos innovadores que acompañan al texto hacen de esta serie una introducción perfecta a una gran diversidad de materias para toda la familia.


  • The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature

    The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature

    Paints a lucid picture of the medieval world view, providing the historical and cultural background to the literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. This, Lewis's last book, has been hailed as 'the final memorial to the work of a great scholar and teacher and a wise and noble mind'.


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