What makes a work of literature good or bad? How freely can the
reader interpret it? Could a nursery rhyme like "Baa Baa Black
Sheep" be full of concealed loathing, resentment, and aggression?
In this accessible, delightfully entertaining book, Terry Eagleton
addresses these intriguing questions and a host of others. "How to
Read Literature "is the book of choice for students new to the
study of literature and for all other readers interested in
deepening their understanding and enriching their reading
In a series of brilliant analyses, Eagleton shows how to read
with due attention to tone, rhythm, texture, syntax, allusion,
ambiguity, and other formal aspects of literary works. He also
examines broader questions of character, plot, narrative, the
creative imagination, the meaning of fictionality, and the tension
between what works of literature say and what they show.
Unfailingly authoritative and cheerfully opinionated, the author
provides useful commentaries on classicism, Romanticism, modernism,
and postmodernism along with spellbinding insights into a huge
range of authors, from Shakespeare and J. K. Rowling to Jane Austen
and Samuel Beckett.
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