What is Literary Theory? Is there a relationship between literature and culture? In fact, what is Literature, and does it matter? These are the sorts of questions addressed by Jonathan Culler in a book which steers a clear path through a subject which is often perceived to be impenetrable. It offers insights into theories about the nature of language and meaning, whether literature is a form of self-expression or a method of appeal to an audience, and outlines the ideas behind a number of different schools: deconstruction, semiotics, postcolonial theory, and structuralism amongst them.
Review from previous edition It is impossible to imagine a clearer treatment of the subject, or one that is, within the given limits of length, more comprehensive. Culler has always been remarkable for his expository skills, and here he has found exactly the right method and tone for his purposes. Sir Frank Kermode
Jonathan Culler war u.a. Gastdozent für Französisch und Komparatistik in Yale und ist heute Professor für Englische und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft an der Cornell Univeristy (New York).