How to Read Literature
What makes a work of literature good or bad? How freely can the reader interpret it? Could a nursery rhyme like ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’ be full of concealed loathing, resentment and aggression? Eagleton shows how to read with due attention to tone, rhythm, texture, syntax, allusion, ambiguity and other formal aspects of literary works. He also examines broader questions of character, plot, narrative, the creative imagination, the meaning of fictionality and the tension between what works of literature say and what they show. Unfailingly authoritative and cheerfully opinionated, he provides useful commentaries on classicism, romanticism, modernism and postmodernism along with spellbinding insights into a huge range of authors, from William Shakespeare to Jane Austen, from Samuel Beckett to J. K. Rowling.
This edition is for sale in South Asia only.
‘Part of the fun of the book is the way in which Eagleton prompts, provokes and at times infuriates. . . . An ideal introductory guide to critical analysis, and a thoroughly enjoyable reminder of Eagleton’s own skill and subtlety as a reader.’—Felicity James, Times Higher Education Supplement
‘This book is seriously good fun. . . . It fizzles and explodes with ideas. You don’t have to be either teacher or beginner to relish it: Eagleton is so full of enthusiasm that you just need to be able to read.’—Sue Gaisford, The Tablet
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