An Introduction to Literary Studies  book cover
4th Edition

An Introduction to Literary Studies

  • Available for pre-order on June 27, 2023. Item will ship after July 18, 2023
ISBN 9780367678289
July 18, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
232 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations

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USD $46.95

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Book Description

The fourth edition of this classic beginner’s guide to literary studies has been fully updated throughout. Mario Klarer offers a concise and accessible discussion of central issues in English and world literature. Starting with the basics of what constitutes a literary text, the book moves through analysis of major genres, major periods, and key theoretical approaches to literature. It also looks at the practicalities of finding and referencing literature and writing a research paper.

The expanded new edition has been updated to include:

  • A wider range of examples from world literature, cinema, and TV series, including Amanda O’Gorman’s ‘The Hill We Climb’ and Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s ‘Fleabag’
  • Additional references to contemporary streaming formats
  • More recent examples, such as Amanda Gorman’s ‘The Hill We Climb’
  • Updates to chapters on postcolonial theory, cultural studies, gender, feminism, and queer theory, and new sections on digital humanities ecocriticism literary translations, and paratexts
  • Extended explanations for traditional genres, e.g., the epic, drama, and poetry
  • Updated references to the most recent version of the MLA bibliography with more information on secondary material online, use and citation of digital and social media, and guidelines for citing new media formats

The detailed glossary ensures the book is accessible to readers of any level, making this an ideal introduction to literary studies that will be of value and use throughout an entire course.

Table of Contents

List of Figures

Preliminary Remarks

Preface to the Fourth Edition


1. What Is Literature? What Is a Text?

Genre, Text Type, and Discourse

Primary and Secondary Sources


2. Major Genres in Literary Studies





3. Periods of Literature

4. Theoretical Approaches to Literature

Text-Oriented Approaches

Author-Oriented Approaches

Reader-Oriented Approaches

Context-Oriented Approaches

Literary Critique or Evaluation

Film Theory

5. Where and How to Find Secondary Literature

6. How to Write a Research Paper

7. Suggestions for Further Reading

General Literary Terminology

Authors and Works

Literary Theory


Literary History

How to Write a Research Paper

Glossary of Literary and Cinematographic Terms


Author and Title Index

Subject Index

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Mario Klarer is Professor of American Studies at the University of Innsbruck. His research interests focus on Mediterranean piracy and slavery. His publications include Barbary Captives (Columbia UP, 2022) and A Short Literary History of the United States (Routledge, 2014).