50 Literature Ideas You Really Need to Know

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 28 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 28 August, 2011, 12:00am

50 Literature Ideas You Really Need to Know
by John Sutherland
Quercus Publishing (e-book)

Know what heteroglossiac means? Or extradiegetic analepsis? For readers who baulk at literary criticism because of the use of such words, this is an excellent (and simple) book that will help them understand not just writing but also writing about writing. John Sutherland doesn't dumb down concepts in 50 Literature Ideas You Really Need to Know; rather, he cuts to the chase, rejecting T.S. Eliot's claim that 'it is only those who create literature who can write usefully about it'. Although he stresses that no criticism or 'theory' can explain a literary work, his objective is to assemble the best toolkit to help readers choose an approach that works best for them. This is an opportunity to get to grips with the difference between narrative and story, why some consider mimesis 'key to the literary door', why literary epics have died as a genre and whether deconstruction is something that 'should never leave the hot air of academic conferences'. The most important 'idea', Sutherland says, is that literature is there to give pleasure.


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