Critical survey of literary theory /
edited by Frank N. Magill.
Pasadena, Calif. : Salem Press, c1987.
4 v. (xiv, 1833, xlvii p.) ; 24 cm.
0893563900 (set) :
More Details
Pasadena, Calif. : Salem Press, c1987.
0893563900 (set) :
contents note
v. 1-3. Authors, A-Sw. -- v. 4. Authors, Sy-Z, essays index.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographies and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1989-02:
This new Magill set is testimony to the heightened status of literary critics and criticism that is part and parcel of the intense activity in contemporary literary theory. The bewildering array of theories and critical jargon since the New Criticism of three decades ago--deconstruction, speech act theory, misprision, etc.--makes this survey a welcome sight. Coverage of critics/theorists is international but heavily Western, both historical and up to date. Entries for the 257 writers conform to the same format: lists of main critical works and other major titles; commentary on influence, biography, and work in noncritical genres; and three-to-five-page overviews of criticism and theory plus short bibliographies of secondary sources. Any summary of a theory as novel as Derrida's will leave something to be desired, but the essays this reviewer looked at carefully are sound, if short. The extra essays on historical periods or regions (Greek and Roman, romanticism, Continental, Japanese, modern, etc.), and on the current status of literary studies, should prove very useful. The glossary and index work well. Some weaknesses show up: surprising omissions like F.C. Crews; lists of secondary sources that are unannotated, too short, and not always current (e.g., only five works by three critics are given on T.S. Eliot, none from this decade); and, most noticeably, the too rare inclusion of published bibliographies that could lead readers to more material. For tight budgets, Elmer Borklund's Contemporary Literary Critics (2nd ed., 1982; 1st ed., CH, Sep '78) plus C. Hugh Holman's A Handbook to Literature (5th ed., CH, Mar '87) can suffice at one third the cost. This set covers more, however, and will be of particular use to students in theory courses. Recommended for upper-division and graduate students. -M. H. Loe, SUNY College at Oswego
Appeared in Library Journal on 1989-01-01:
This survey makes an important contribution to our understanding of the history of literary theory. Arranged alphabetically by theorist, entries include biographical data and principal criticism as well as a list of major works, short bibliography, introductory analysis with occasional insights, and discussion of major influences. Volume 4 ends with an overview of the critical tradition and a short glossary of terms. The Western tradition is well represented, as are the African and Eastern traditionsa breakthrough for such surveys; but women and feminists are given short shrift. A useful, though flawed, tool for both expert and student. C. Mark Hurlbert, Indiana Univ. of Pennsylvania, Ind .
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, January 1989
Choice, February 1989
Reference & Research Book News, February 1989
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