Tyson creates a clear but comprehensive guide to a beginners look at the theories, but the book is also helpful for more in depth knowledge as I learnt things I didn't know previously about theories. My first encounter with literary theory and literary criticism was when I made the mistake of reading the bland book titled, Yay! Lois Tyson’s Critical Theory Today is an extremely comprehensive and highly readable introductory guide aimed for those who seek to gain a thorough understanding of the various schools of literary criticism it offers. With critical theory, however, the split between philosophy and social reality lessens. The chapter on deconstruction is what first attracted me to this book, but I ended up reading the whole thing. 3.5-5 Very good summary of Literary Theory in easy to understand language. Both Lukács and Gramsci focused their critique on the social forces that prevent people from understanding how power affects their lives. One of the best books on critical theory. Many of these works are "classics" but it allows for access to examples and potentially a familiarity with the works she addre. I think, in the end, I didn't really enjoy the topic of Literary Theory, and I struggled a lot with the topic. I would recommend this to any English major or teacher who seeks an understanding of literary criticism in a way that doesn't hurt the brain! Following in Marx's critical footsteps, Hungarian György Lukács and Italian Antonio Gramsci developed theories that explored the cultural and ideological sides of power and domination. I highly recommend this one... One of my favorite textbooks ever, and probably one of the reasons I changed my major from "Professional Writing" to "Literature." The contemporary politics and economic structures of the time greatly influenced their thought and writing, as they lived during the height of national socialism. Shortly after Lukács and Gramsci published their ideas, the Institute for Social Research was founded at the University of Frankfurt, and the Frankfurt School of critical theorists took shape. I’ve finally finished reading this huge book on literary theory! We’d love your help. Yay! I have been acquainted, after reading this book, most of the fundamental discourses in 20th century critical theory, thanks to Lois Tyson. Tyson's introduction to critical theory is very useful. It differs from traditional theory, which focuses only on understanding or explaining society. This new edition of the classic guide offers a thorough and accessible introduction to contemporary critical theory. She provides excellent overviews of the types of theories popular in English studies today, and she does a good job of showing the strong and weak points of each. A must-read for anyone interested in literary theory in particular and in viewing literature from a more specified lens in general. Critical Theory. Start by marking “Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide” as Want to Read: Error rating book. Critical theory as it is known today can be traced to Marx's critiques of the economy and society. In this work, Horkheimer asserted that a critical theory must do two important things: It must account for society within a historical context, and it should seek to offer a robust and holistic critique by incorporating insights from all social sciences. This book basically takes the complex jargon of theorists and puts it in exceptionally easy terms. “Similarly, a psychoanalytic reading of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye (1970) might analyze the ways in which the novel reveals the debilitating psychological effects of racism, especially when these effects are internalized by its victims, which we see in the belief of many of the black characters that their race has the negative qualities ascribed to it by white America. “Critical Theory” in the narrow sense designates several generations of German philosophers and social theorists in the Western European Marxist tradition known as … Questions different literary critics ask are also presented in this book, enabling me as a reader to know what I should focus on when applying the theories I’ve learnt from this book. One of my Literature teachers recommended this book to us a while back at a PACES program and I've been slowly getting through it over the course of the year. I an understand why it is/was an introductory textbook for college and university students. Welcome back. Critical theory is a social theory oriented toward critiquing and changing society as a whole. Wonderful guide to literary criticism (Psychoanalytical, Marxist, Feminist, New Criticism, Reader-response, Deconstructive, New historical and cultural, Lesbian/gay/queer, African American, and Postcolonial. 3). ok I read like 5/6 of it a year ago and then lost the book I'm calling it quits. Critical Theory Today is the essential introduction to contemporary criticial theory. I would have read this textbook even if it hadn’t been required for a course in Literary Criticism. It provides clear, simple explanations and concrete examples of complex concepts, making a wide variety of commonly used critical theories accessible to novices without sacrificing any theoretical rigor or thoroughness. This is a really beautifully executed piece of pedagogy. Apart from using The Great Gatsby as its core reference, Critical Theory Today explains different critical theories by drawing upon examples from widely anthologised works such as Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Tony Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and Beloved, Kate Chopin's short story 'The Storm' and her novel The Awakening, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman amongst others. This is by far the best Literature theory book I've read (though my readings in that realm are still rather narrow). The theory must adequately explain the social problems that exist, offer practical solutions for how to respond to them, and abide by the norms of criticism established by the field. Be the first to ask a question about Critical Theory Today. Critical theory, Marxist-inspired movement in social and political philosophy originally associated with the work of the Frankfurt School. Lois Tyson’s Critical Theory Today is an extremely comprehensive and highly readable introductory guide aimed for those who seek to gain a thorough understanding of the various schools of literary criticism it offers. This book should be the universal primer on critical theory; it's accessible yet informative, rich with models and abstract philosophy alike. All are applied to The Great Gatspy, so one can read just one work of art and get a hell of an understanding of it by reading the analyses at the end of each chapter. While Critical Race Theory has the noble goal of pointing out problems that can be hard to see and that maintain or constitute racism, it turns out to be a remarkably bad way of going about this. This textbook is accessible and a great introduction to Critical Theory. by Routledge, Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide. 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