Theory

Explore literary and critical theory in classic and contemporary literature and culture. These articles span 19th and 20th century philosophy, literary and critical theories.

The Best Books for Studying Magical Realism

The Best Books for Studying Magical Realism

In a magical realist story there must be an irreducible element, something that cannot be explained by logic, familiar knowledge, or received belief.” ~David Young and Keith Hollaman Magical realism is a radically complicated literary mode. It’s so complicated that I get uncomfortable every time I hear someone describe a work of literature as a …

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Mark Edmundson

Mark Edmundson on Becoming the Author’s Advocate, His Attorney for Explication and Defense

“The kind of teaching I part company with, the kind that seems to me most destructive to the freedom of self-making, is the kind that simply applies a standing set of terms to every text that comes to hand. These forms of teaching are a little like bad translation. Every work, alas, is rewritten in …

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Exploring Truth and the Intellect With Friedrich Nietzsche

“Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a a devotee of truth, then inquire.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche, Letter to His Sister, 1865 Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), the German philosopher and professor of philology, wrote the essay, “Truth and Lie in …

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Reading Beyond Murakami Course Series Book Oblivion

Introducing the Reading Beyond Murakami Course Series

I’m excited to introduce a brand new way to engage with Haruki Murakami’s mind-bending stories. The Reading Beyond Murakami Course Series is a systematic approach to understanding the author in a whole new way. Life-long learners will delight in learning and re-learning what makes literature so profound. The first course launches March 20 and is an in-depth look …

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Critical Theory and Philosophy

The Best Books for Studying Literary and Critical Theory

“When the critic has said everything in his power about a literary text, he has still said nothing; for the very existence of literature implies that it cannot be replaced by non-literature” Tzvetan Todorov When I was an undergrad, there were two different kinds of English majors. You were either a “lit-head” or a “theory-head.” …

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