Cover image for Literary theory at work : three texts
Literary theory at work : three texts
Tallack, Douglas.
Publication Information:
Totowa, N.J. : Barnes & Noble, 1987.
Physical Description:
218 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR883 .L5 1987 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



This is a sequel to the successful ^IModern Literary Theory by Jefferson and Robey (Barnes & Noble). While the latter concentrates on expounding theory without embarking on its application, Tallack and his Critical Theory group take three literary texts and show how different literary theories can be used in practice in the analysis of real texts. The three texts are^R In the Cage by Henry James, St Mawr by D. H. Lawrence, and Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. The branches of theory applied to them are Structuralism (Narrative Theory and Character Theory), Psychoanalytic Theory, Feminism, Linguistics, and Reader Response Theory, Deconstruction and Marxism.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Nine essays by the members of the University of Nottingham Critical Theory Group presenting nine discrete approaches to contemporary critical theory, allocated as follows: three essays on Henry James's ``In the Cage,'' three essays on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, and three essays on D.H. Lawrence's St. Mawr. The critical approaches include structuralist narratology (Heart of Darkness), feminism and deconstruction (``In the Cage''), and Marxian ideological analysis (St. Mawr, Heart of Darkness). Readers will probably find this book very refreshing, for it enables them to confront in a rather methodical way the pedagogical problems faced by even the most elementary exposition of critical theory. Literary Theory at Work announces a timely pedagogical project whose collaborative interdisciplinary institutional structure provides a useful model from which one can rethink the kinds of curricular changes needed in the light of recent critical theory. Although the essays are uneven, the collection hangs together very well. Douglas Tallack's Derridian reading of ``In the Cage,'' Diana Knight's Genettean, and Steve Smith's readings of Heart of Darkness deserve particular attention. Recommended for graduate and undergraduate collections with strong interests in criticism and pedagogy.-N. Lukacher, University of Illinois at Chicago