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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Literary Theory by Hans Bertens.
Wolfgang Huemer Editor. Providing the ideal first step in understanding the often bewildering world of literary theory, this text is an easy to follow and clearly presented introduction to this fascinating area. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages.
Published September 27th by Routledge first published January 1st More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Literary Theory , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews.
Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Literary Theory: The Basics. Thank you Hans Bertens for writing this wonderfully accessible introduction to literary theory. Reading this book is like reading a page-turner that hooks you not because of the plot, but because the character is so relatable that his or her plight becomes yours. It is strange to think of a non-fiction book in this way, but this is what reading this text has been like.
I felt like Bertens took me by the hand, sat me down, and embarked on his encompassing knowledge of literary theory, all the whi Thank you Hans Bertens for writing this wonderfully accessible introduction to literary theory. I felt like Bertens took me by the hand, sat me down, and embarked on his encompassing knowledge of literary theory, all the while taking his time to make sure the language is simple no unnecessary jargon , the explanations clear no embedded subclauses , and the examples relevant no obscure references.
And to top it off, the breadth is covered with just enough depth. Bertens knows his subject and it shows by his economy of language and thought, rather than by pretentiousness or verbal diarrhea. Absolutely brilliant. But that is not all! At the end of each chapter is a summary box that is the perfect summary! In half a page he summarises concisely the topic discussed in the previous 20 or so pages. I love this book and I will definitely be rereading it again or parts of it soon.
I need to let all the knowledge simmer for a bit before retackling it. It reaffirmed my deep interest in Postcolonial Theory and introduced me to a new field: Ecocriticism. It piqued my interest in Lacanian Poststructuralism and to Deconstructionism, and I hope I walk away with a slightly better understanding of Foucault's Theories. I have never imagined I could enjoy a book about literary theories as much as I did. This book offers an amazing, EASY, introduction to almost all literary schools, in a simple way.
The book is a page-turner! However, Bertens employs a sophisticated but still comprehensible language in explaining whose theory is related to literature in what way.
Overall, definitely get this book. The most confusing and dense book I have ever read, second to only the actual theoretical works that this book actually refers to. It's confusing perhaps because the concepts are hard, and they are hard to wrap your head around because you are simultaneously challenging so many assumptions at once that you start question your own thoughts as well.
If you're a uni student like me, make sure to read this when you have a clear mind. And if your brain ever starts to hurt which it would, don't worry i The most confusing and dense book I have ever read, second to only the actual theoretical works that this book actually refers to.
And if your brain ever starts to hurt which it would, don't worry it's normal go take a walk or relax or something, because this is a book you'll need total attention for. This book tells the reader how literature became worthy and how history has shaped what we see as 'good' literature.
It gives outlines for the main theories Feminism, Marxism, Race and Postcolonial , but it also shows relatively new theories such as Queer Theory and Ecocriticism environment and animals. This book gives the reader a good overview with great quotes, while suggesting other books if you need to go further into the subject.
This relatively brief text offers a reasonably thorough introduction to the basics of literary theory -- in that, it does an excellent job of living up to its title. As its discussion of literary theory is somewhat perfunctory, this book is not recommended for the more advanced student, who likely requires greater depth of analysis. However, for those just starting out or wishing simply to dabble in literary theory, this introductory text provides an excellent starting point.
Bertens grounds his This relatively brief text offers a reasonably thorough introduction to the basics of literary theory -- in that, it does an excellent job of living up to its title. Bertens grounds his discussion in the intersection of literary interpretation and literary theory, and addresses the major bodies of literary criticism in chronological order over the past century. Each chapter addresses one major critical trend or school, and lists the seminal texts and authors of each, as well as their specific contributions and main ideas.
At the end of each chapter, a brief summary reiterates some of the more sentient points, and situates the critical school in the context of criticism and theory more broadly.
Perhaps most appealing in this volume is Bertens' rumination on the relevance of each of these different theories to today's reading experience. He includes modern trends, such as queer studies and ecocriticism, and reminds the reader to always consider critical approaches in the context of the period from which they arise: "The basic assumptions underlying the 'reality' of our grandparents have to a large extent and beyond doubt been shown to be constructed" p.
For such a small volume, this is quite an accomplishment. Clear, flowed nicely and much more than just readable. It was a proper delight to study this. This is honestly one of the most offensive and appalling books I've read. I've never seen a non-fiction text so perversely warped and self-contradictory in my life. Although the author claims to express diverse perspectives in terms of literary analysis, the vocabulary is chalk full of subtle ideological persuasion, directing the reader towards his own personal beliefs.
This is all the more revolting as the author presents the idea of ideological persuasion, condemning it even while he commits t This is honestly one of the most offensive and appalling books I've read.
This is all the more revolting as the author presents the idea of ideological persuasion, condemning it even while he commits the selfsame action. There are many criticisms I could make about this book, but this the most enervating. This almost subliminal persuasion is most apparent in his particular choice of words. For example, using the words"obey" and "loyal" as opposed to "follow" and "firm", for the negative connotations the former bear.
He uses them ironically to paint an individual as brainwashed by a system of beliefs which he wishes to depict as corrupt. He cites a hundred different theorists by name and portrays them as heroes, using positive or negatively connotative terms to shape the readers opinion to agree with him. Using the phrase "not uncontested", for instance, instead of simply "contested" or better yet"challenged" to describe contrasting opinions, designates roles in a hierarchy as both the former, again, bears negative connotations.
Moreover, he persistently includes the reader in his personal interpretation by his usage of the first-person plural pronoun, 'we'. It's always 'we' are like this, 'we' see the world as this. Who is this 'we'? Does the author think he can speak for me when he says 'we'?
What authority gives him the right to say that? In short, his language is far from impartial, something which is unacceptable for such a text as this. Other complaints about the text I have are Bertens idol worshiping, attribution of ideas to specific figures in history, insistence of SJW themes, pedantic use of theoretical jargon, and abstract manner of describing theories. Throughout the text you'll see name after name ad naseaum , supposed theorists associated with inventing ideas.
Of course, an idea can't be invented, just as 'theorist' as a title is totally arbitrary, and the whole system of social and literary theory as a profession is nonsense, but Bertens maintains a steadfast adherence.
He ascribes the idea that words are used to describe objects or the idea that story telling often follow a particular formula to specific people from the 19th century no less! This is more than just ridiculous, it's outright insulting. I came up with these same ideas just from my own experience and reasoning! Where's my accreditation? This is just like when a person patented the wheel in as a "circular transportation facilitation device.
But even if these ideas came to you as new and astonishing, which they shouldn't if you have a functioning brain and even a little experience with classic art, it's impossible to get behind any of them since they're so poorly delineated. Bertens dwells in abstraction and uses metaphors and analogies instead of concrete examples.
Literary Theory: The Basics
Literary Theory : The Basics. Johannes Willem Bertens , Hans Bertens. Providing the ideal first step in understanding the often bewildering world of literary theory, this text is an easy to follow and clearly presented introduction to this fascinating area. Postcolonial criticism and theory. Sexuality literature and culture.