Literary Criticism from Plato to The Present: An Introduction

M.A.R. Habib

ISBN: 9788126535491

512 pages

Exclusively distributed by Atlantic Publisher & Distributors 

INR 650


In clear, concise, and elegant prose, the acclaimed literary scholar M. A. R. Habib introduces major critical movements, figures, and texts, while paying close attention to textual detail, broader historical context, and the interconnections between various theories. Beginning with Classical literary criticism, the author goes on to explore literary criticism from the Middle Ages through the Early Modern and Modern periods into the twentieth century, including in his treatment major historical phenomena such as the French Revolution and major philosophies and political theories such as those of Locke and Marx. Literary Criticism from Plato to the Present is an indispensable and intellectually stimulating introduction to the history of literary criticism and theory.

Part I Classical Literary Criticism and Rhetoric.

Classical Literary Criticism.

· Introduction to the Classical Period.

· Plato (428--ca. 347 BC).

· Aristotle (384--322 BC).


The Traditions of Rhetoric.

· Greek Rhetoric.

· Roman Rhetoric.

· The Subsequent History of Rhetoric: An Overview.

· The Legacy of Rhetoric.


Greek and Latin Criticism During the Roman Empire.

· Horace (65--8 BC).

· Longinus (First Century AD).

· Neo-Platonism.


Part II The Medieval Era.

The Early Middle Ages.

· Historical Background.

· Intellectual and Theological Currents.


The Later Middle Ages.

· Historical Background.

· Intellectual Currents of the Later Middle Ages.

· The Traditions of Medieval Criticism.

· Transitions: Medieval Humanism.


Part III The Early Modern Period to the Enlightenment.

The Early Modern Period.

· Historical Background.

· Intellectual Background.

· Confronting the Classical Heritage.

· Defending the Vernacular.

· Poetics and the Defense of Poetry.

· Poetic Form and Rhetoric.


Neoclassical Literary Criticism.

· French Neoclassicism.

· Neoclassicism in England.


The Enlightenment.

· Historical and Intellectual Background.

· Enlightenment Literary Criticism: Language, Taste and Imagination.


The Aesthetics of Kant and Hegel.

· Immanuel Kant (1724--1804).

· Hegel (1770--1831).


Part IV Romanticism and the Later Nineteenth Century.


· Germany.

· France.

· England.

· America.


Realism, Naturalism, Symbolism and Aestheticism.

· Historical Background: The Later Nineteenth Century.

· Realism and Naturalism.

· Symbolism and Aestheticism.


The Heterological Thinkers.

· Arthur Schopenhauer (1788--1860).

· Friedrich Nietzsche (1844--1900).

· Henri Bergson (1859--1941).

· Matthew Arnold (1822--1888).


Part V The Twentieth Century: A Brief Introduction.


From Liberal Humanism to Formalism.

· The Background of Modernism.

· The Poetics of Modernism: W. B. Yeats, Ezra Pound, and T. S. Eliot.

· Formalism.

· Russian Formalism.

· The New Criticism.


Socially Conscious Criticism of the Earlier Twentieth Century.

· F. R. Leavis.

· Marxist and Left-Wing Criticism.

· The Fundamental Principles of Marxism.

· Marxist Literary Criticism: A Historical Overview.

· Early Feminist Criticism: Simone de Beauvoir and Virginia Woolf.


Phenomenology, Existentialism, Structuralism.

· Phenomenology.

· Existentialism.

· Heterology.

· Structuralism.


The Era of Poststructuralism (I): Later Marxism, Psychoanalysis, Deconstruction.

· Later Marxist Criticism.

· Psychoanalysis.

· Deconstruction.


The Era of Poststructuralism (II): Postmodernism, Modern Feminism, Gender Studies.

· Jurgen Habermas (b. 1929).

· Jean Baudrillard (1929--2007).

· Jean-Fran¸cois Lyotard (1924--1998).

· bell hooks (Gloria Jean Watkins; b. 1952).

· Modern Feminism.

· Gender Studies.


The Later Twentieth Century: New Historicism, Reader-Response Theory, Postcolonial Criticism, Cultural Studies.

· The New Historicism.

· Reader-Response and Reception Theory.

· Postcolonial Criticism.

· Cultural Studies.

· Epilogue New Directions: Looking Back, Looking Forward.