4th Edition

An Introduction to Literary Studies

By Mario Klarer Copyright 2024
    230 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    230 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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 as well as film and television series. Starting with the basics of what constitutes a literary text, the book moves through an analysis of major genres, important periods, and key theoretical approaches to literature and film. It also looks at the practicalities of finding and referencing secondary sources when writing a research paper.

    The expanded new edition has been updated to include:

    • a wider range of examples from world literature, cinema, and television series
    • additional references to contemporary streaming formats
    • updated chapters on postcolonial theory, cultural studies, gender theory, feminism, and queer theory
    • new sections on digital humanities, ecocriticism, literary translations, and paratexts
    • extended explanations of traditional genres, e.g., the epic, drama, and poetry
    • a completely revised chapter on the most recent MLA guidelines with rules for citing new media formats

    The detailed glossary ensures that the book is accessible to readers of any level, making this an ideal self-study guide or a course book for Introduction to Literature classes.


    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

    Structuring Your Research Paper

    Citing Your Sources: The MLA Style Guide

    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 Cinematic Terms


    Author and Title Index

    Subject Index


    Mario Klarer is Professor of American Studies at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. His recent 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).