Introductions to Theory: The following is designed for people who are interested in literary theory and criticism but have never previously encountered the field. It aims to provide a comprehensive overview to the current field, a way to approach canonical or vital texts and allow the reader to follow their own interests deeper into more specific areas of study. Subsequent lists will go into greater detail on all aspects of literary theory and criticism, but if you have never encountered the field before, what follows is designed to give you a way to some of the key ideas, themes, thinkers and intellectual movements.
Peter Barry: Beginning Theory: An introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory, 3rd edition (Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2009)
Andrew Bennett & Nicholas Royle: An Introduction to Literature Criticism and Theory 4th Edition (London, Routledge, 2009)
Catherine Belsey: Poststructuralism: A Very Short Introduction, (Oxford, OUP, 2002)
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