3rd Edition

Modern Criticism and Theory A Reader

By Nigel Wood, David Lodge Copyright 2014
    866 Pages
    by Routledge

    866 Pages
    by Routledge

    This third edition of Modern Criticism and Theory represents a major expansion on its previous incarnations with some twenty five new pieces or essays included. This expansion has two principal purposes. Firstly, in keeping with the collection’s aim to reflect contemporary preoccupations, the reader has expanded forward to include such newly emergent considerations as ecocriticism and post-theory.

    Secondly, with the aim of presenting as broad an account of modern theory as possible, the reader expands backwards to to take in exemplary pieces by formative writers and thinkers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries such as Marx, Freud and Virginia Woolf.. This radical expansion of content is prefaced by a wide-ranging introduction, which provides a rationale for the collection and demonstrates how connections can be made between competing theories and critical schools.

    The purpose of the collection remains that of introducing the reader to the guiding concepts of contemporary literary and cultural debate. It does so by presenting substantial extracts from seminal thinkers and surrounding them with the contextual materials necessary to a full understanding. Each selection has a headnote, which gives biographical details of the author and provides suggestions for further reading, and footnotes that help explain difficult references. The collection is ordered both historically and thematically and readers are encouraged to draw for themselves connections between essays and theories. 

    Modern Criticism and Theory has long been regarded as a necessary collection. Now revised for the twenty first century it goes further and provides students and the general reader with a wide-ranging survey of the complex landscape of modern theory and a critical assessment of the way we think – and live – in the world today.



     1. Karl Marx “Preface” and section on “The Premisses of the Materialist Method” in The German Ideology  2. Ferdinand de Saussure “The Object of Study”   3. Sigmund Freud “The Premises and Technique of Interpretation” and “Manifest and Latent Elements”   4. Walter Benjamin “The Task of the Translator”   5. Virginia Woolf A Room of One’s Own  6. Simone de Beauvoir The Second Sex, “Myth and Reality” and “Women’s Situation and Character”  7. Frantz Fanon “The Negro and Language”  8. Roman Jakobson “Linguistics & Poetics” and “The Metaphoric & Metonymic Poles”   9. Berthold Brecht “Study of the First Scene of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus”  10. Jacques Lacan “The Insistence of the Letter in the Unconscious”  11. Jacques Derrida “Structure, Sign & Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences”  12. Tzvetan Todorov “The Typology of Detective Form”  13. Mikhail Bakhtin “From the Prehistory of Novelistic Discourse”  14. E. D. Hirsch Jr. “Faulty Perspectives” – in current edition - and “In Defence of the Author”  15. Michel Foucault “What is an author?”   16. Wolfgang Iser   “The Reading Process: a phenomenological approach”  17. Roland Barthes“The Death of the Author” and “Textual Analysis: Poe's 'Valdemar'”  18. Raymond Williams “The Country and the City”  19. Julia Kristeva “The Ethics of Linguistics”  20. Helene Cixous “Sorties”  21. Edward Said “Crisis”  22. Stanley Fish “Interpreting the Variorum”  23. J Hillis Miller “The Critic as Host”  24. Jean-Francois Lyotard“Answering the Question What is Postmodernism?”  25. Jean Baudrillard “Simulacra and Simulations”  26. Paul de Man “The Resistance to Theory”  27. Geoffrey Hartman “The Interpreter’s Freud”  28. Umberto Eco “Casablanca: cult movies and intertextual collage”  29. Michael Rifaterre“Transposing Presuppositions on the Semiotics of Literary Translation”  30. Patrocinio P. Schweickart “Reading Ourselves: Toward a feminist theory of reading”  31. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick “The Beast in the Closet”  32. Luce Irigarary   “The Bodily Encounter with the Mother”  33. Fredric Jameson“Postmodernism and Consumer Society”  34. Stephen Greenblatt “The Circulation of Social Energy”  35. Jerome McGann “The Textual Condition”  36. Stuart Hall“New Ethnicities”  37. Gayatri Chakravarty Spivak“Questions of Multi-culturalism”  38. Judith Butler“Critically Queer”  39. Malcolm Bowie“Freud and the European Unconscious”  40. Jeffrey Weeks“The Sphere of the Intimate and the Values of Everyday Life”  41. Lawrence Buell“Place”  42. Slavoj Zizek“Fantasy as a Political Category: A Lacanian Approach”  43. Meyda Yegenoglu“The battle of the veil: woman between Orientalism  and nationalism”  44. David Scott Kastan“From codex to computer; or, presence of mind”  45. Alexander Stille“Writing and the Creation of the Past”  46. Valentine Cunningham“Touching Reading”  47. Jacqueline Rose“Daddy”  48. Terry Eagleton“The Rise and Fall of Theory” 


    David Lodge is Emeritus Professor of English Literatureat the University of Birmingham, where he taught from 1960 until 1987. He is well-known as one of the most significant British novelists and critics of recent times. His work, fiction and non-fiction, has been translated into some twenty-five languages

    Nigel Wood is Professor of Literature at Loughborough University. Widely published as an editor and critic, Nigel is currently working on the Longman Annotated Edition of the poems of Alexander Pope.