Cover image for Literary movements for students : presenting analysis, context, and criticism on literary movements
Literary movements for students : presenting analysis, context, and criticism on literary movements
Galens, David.
Publication Information:
Detroit, Mich. : Gale, [2002]

Physical Description:
2 volumes : illustrations ; 29 cm
Added Author:


Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN597 .L58 2002 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
PN597 .L58 2002 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

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"Literary Movements for Students is designed to meet the needs of students and researchers studying literary movements and the specific works representative of various movements. Entries provide in-depth historical background information on each movement as well as modern critical interpretation of each movement's characteristic styles and themes. Approximately 25 movements are covered, including absurdism, Greek drama, modernism, science fiction/fantasy, surrealism and many others.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Another valuable title in the Gale For Students line, this set is meant to "provide readers with a guide to understanding, enjoying, and studying literary movements." Twenty-eight literary movements are described in their historical and cultural contexts. Volume 1 includes literature before the twentieth century (alphabetical chapters from "Bildungsroman" to "Transcendentalism"), and volume 2 covers the twentieth century ("Absurdism" to "Symbolism"). Each chapter consists of an introduction, brief entries for representative authors and works, and discussion of themes, styles, variations, and historical context. An original signed critical essay is included in each chapter along with, in most cases, lengthy excerpts from one or more previously published critical works. Black-and-white photos, sidebars listing such items as media adaptations and suggested topics and resources for further study, bibliographies of source material, and annotated further reading lists complete most chapters. A particularly useful feature is "Compare and Contrast," in which the cultural and historical background of each movement is compared to conditions in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Front matter for each volume includes a volume-specific table of contents, a literary chronology, and a list of contributors (mostly freelance writers). Three indexes are found at the end: a "Cumulative Author/Title Index," a "Nationality/Ethnicity Index," and a "Subject/Theme Index." Also at the end of each volume is a useful glossary defining and cross-referencing terms from abstract to zeitgeist. There are a few problems with the indexing. Chinua Achebe isn't in the "Author/Title Index" although his novel Things Fall Apart is. The "Subject/Theme Index" is not detailed enough--under Fate and chance, for example, are 47 undifferentiated page number citations. Edward Said is pictured and mentioned briefly in the chapter "Postcolonialism" but does not appear in any index; a general index would capture items that do not fit within the indexing system. Despite these minor flaws, high-school English and social studies teacher will snap this work up, and it will be well used in school, college, and public library collections.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-The substantial slices of Western literary history (with a focus on the U.S. and England) served up here will help readers understand works in context. An average of 12 pages is devoted to each movement, allowing for both detail and overview. Sections on origins, representative authors and works, themes, style, offshoots, historical background, critical assessment, an original critical essay, and an excerpt from a standard critical piece comprise each entry. Sidebars offer pedagogical extras. The alphabetical entries are consistent in level and voice and range from relatively simple description of texts to more challenging intricacies of criticism; they each end with a list of sources and "Further Reading" suggestions. The indexes, however, misrepresent the volumes' coverage and seriously weaken their utility. Writers are indexed only if they are among the "Representative Authors." Thus, although Sons and Lovers is described (in the "Bildungsroman" entry), D. H. Lawrence does not appear in the nationality/ethnicity index or in the author/title index (though his novel's title does). Henry Roth is not indexed, even among the Jewish writers in the ethnicity index, though Call It Sleep, a "Representative Work," is in the title index. The omission of Restoration drama, the Spanish Golden Age, detective fiction, and gay and lesbian literature may reflect the limits of the "movement" concept. Despite such reservations, these volumes are well-conceived, reliable, and valuable resources, and will be sought by teachers as well as students.-Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Galens provides overviews and critiques of 28 literary movements, classicism to postmodernism. Volume 1 features movements before the 20th century, while volume 2 concentrates on more modern movements. The volumes are alphabetized separately, and each provides a separate author, nationality, and subject/theme index. Each entry introduces the movement and its historical context and discusses representative authors, texts, and prominent themes. In contrast to the poorly reviewed Twentieth-Century Literary Movements Dictionary, ed. by Helene Henderson and Jay P. Pederson (CH, Jul'91; Mar'00), Galen's work distinguishes itself by supplying special features for instructors, such as ideas for research papers, study questions, and a specially commissioned critical essay on each movement. The "Further Reading" section is surprisingly underdeveloped and, except where Internet resources are cited, slightly dated. The glossary is duplicated in both volumes, even though nearly all terms are easily located in standard reference sources. Unified indexing and greater attention to additional resources would enhance the set, but it nevertheless supplies accessible entry into major literary movements. Summing Up: Recommended. High school students and undergraduates. R. M. Roberts Lincoln Land Community College