Falling into Theory is a brief and inexpensive collection of essays that asks literature students to think about the fundamental questions of literary studies today....
|Title||:||Falling Into Theory: Conflicting Views on Reading Literature|
|Number of Pages||:||414 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Falling Into Theory: Conflicting Views on Reading Literature Reviews
I use this book in a class for English majors. It sparks great discussions about foundational topics, but it does feel more dated each year.
The fact that "Conflicting Views" is in the sub-title did not bode well for this book when I began reading it, and it went downhill from there. This book is a self-styled introduction to literary criticism and purports to include an expansive view from the different theories, but it does neither-- at least, not effectively. The articles are almost entirely chosen for their bent toward Marxist and Feminist theory-- two theories I particularly favor, as I believe they are the most realistically represented in Victorian to Modern literature, but there is nothing from, say, Phenomenological or Russian Formalism. The authors he chose are extremely esoteric and their articles border on pedantry. Also, every other article nearly 100% disagrees with every other article in the book, with some articles even being completely devoted to disagreeing with absolutely everyone (George Levine, a scholar I particularly adore for his work in Victorian science, so this was a crying shame). By the end, I did not emerge with a better understanding of the modern cannon or of literature, and it felt like a giant waste of time.
Good things: Inexpensive, (mostly) good editing. Best thing I could find that wouldn't break my students' bank accounts for an Intro class. Cons: It's just so...old. These essays aren't iconic for the most part, so you're left with a tough decision: use this and give students a stale look at the discipline's debates, use an anthology with way more text than you could cover in a semester that costs 3x as much and probably isn't that much more current, or create your own, more current set of readings. I choose a combination of one and three, but it took a lot of prep time. Bottom line: Gerald Graff, there's gold on the streets waiting to be scooped up. Work out an updated third edition. There's a desperate market for insightful inexpensive essays paired in current conversation.
I have been working through the essays for 2 months now and finally have to return the text to the library. I am reading Toni Morrison's essay on Black Matter(s) in the last section on "How We Read".I have ordered my own copy so that I can continue to work on the essays and reference materials.My recommendation for anyone that is interested in this book on Literary theory is to read David Richter's essays at the beginning of each section and then chart a path through the text based upon interest that he sparks.
I didn't read every essay in here, but the ones I did read were interesting. Some were very difficult to read because they were really tense. However, some were fairly easy to read.Interesting book for those interested in different types of literary criticism.
This book does a pretty good job of excerpting essays from "seminal" works of lit crit. Some of it can be pretty dense, though.
There are some excellent essays in here. This book taught me how to be a reader, and how to write for a reader.