Essays in Anthropology: Variations on a Theme

Similarly, snow can only make things cold because it is its nature to be cold. Experience shows that if I am cold and thirsty, my desires for warmth and drink.

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Absolutely brilliant.


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But that is not all! At the end of each chapter is a summary box that is the perfect summary! In half a page he summarises concisely the topic discussed in the previous 20 or so pages. I love this book and I will definitely be rereading it again or parts of it soon.

I need to let all the knowledge simmer for a bit before retackling it. It reaffirmed my deep interest in Postcolonial Theory and introduced me to a new field: Ecocriticism.

It piqued my interest in Lacanian Poststructuralism and to Deconstructionism, and I hope I walk away with a slightly better understanding of Foucault's Theories. I have never imagined I could enjoy a book about literary theories as much as I did. This book offers an amazing, EASY, introduction to almost all literary schools, in a simple way.

The book is a page-turner! However, Bertens employs a sophisticated but still comprehensible language in explaining whose theory is related to literature in what way. Overall, definitely get this book. The most confusing and dense book I have ever read, second to only the actual theoretical works that this book actually refers to. It's confusing perhaps because the concepts are hard, and they are hard to wrap your head around because you are simultaneously challenging so many assumptions at once that you start question your own thoughts as well.

Literary Theory: the Basics

If you're a uni student like me, make sure to read this when you have a clear mind. And if your brain ever starts to hurt which The most confusing and dense book I have ever read, second to only the actual theoretical works that this book actually refers to. And if your brain ever starts to hurt which it would, don't worry it's normal go take a walk or relax or something, because this is a book you'll need total attention for.

This book tells the reader how literature became worthy and how history has shaped what we see as 'good' literature.

Marxist Criticism

It gives outlines for the main theories Feminism, Marxism, Race and Postcolonial , but it also shows relatively new theories such as Queer Theory and Ecocriticism environment and animals. This book gives the reader a good overview with great quotes, while suggesting other books if you need to go further into the subject.

This relatively brief text offers a reasonably thorough introduction to the basics of literary theory -- in that, it does an excellent job of living up to its title. As its discussion of literary theory is somewhat perfunctory, this book is not recommended for the more advanced student, who likely requires greater depth of analysis. However, for those just starting out or wishing simply to dabble in literary theory, this introductory text provides an excellent starting point. Bertens This relatively brief text offers a reasonably thorough introduction to the basics of literary theory -- in that, it does an excellent job of living up to its title.

Bertens grounds his discussion in the intersection of literary interpretation and literary theory, and addresses the major bodies of literary criticism in chronological order over the past century. Each chapter addresses one major critical trend or school, and lists the seminal texts and authors of each, as well as their specific contributions and main ideas.

At the end of each chapter, a brief summary reiterates some of the more sentient points, and situates the critical school in the context of criticism and theory more broadly. Perhaps most appealing in this volume is Bertens' rumination on the relevance of each of these different theories to today's reading experience. He includes modern trends, such as queer studies and ecocriticism, and reminds the reader to always consider critical approaches in the context of the period from which they arise: "The basic assumptions underlying the 'reality' of our grandparents have to a large extent and beyond doubt been shown to be constructed" p.

For such a small volume, this is quite an accomplishment. Clear, flowed nicely and much more than just readable.

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It was a proper delight to study this. This is honestly one of the most offensive and appalling books I've read. I've never seen a non-fiction text so perversely warped and self-contradictory in my life. Although the author claims to express diverse perspectives in terms of literary analysis, the vocabulary is chalk full of subtle ideological persuasion, directing the reader towards his own personal beliefs.

I don't understand literary theory

This is all the more revolting as the author presents the idea of ideological persuasion, condemning it even while he commits t This is honestly one of the most offensive and appalling books I've read. This is all the more revolting as the author presents the idea of ideological persuasion, condemning it even while he commits the selfsame action. There are many criticisms I could make about this book, but this the most enervating. This almost subliminal persuasion is most apparent in his particular choice of words.

For example, using the words"obey" and "loyal" as opposed to "follow" and "firm", for the negative connotations the former bear. He uses them ironically to paint an individual as brainwashed by a system of beliefs which he wishes to depict as corrupt. He cites a hundred different theorists by name and portrays them as heroes, using positive or negatively connotative terms to shape the readers opinion to agree with him. Using the phrase "not uncontested", for instance, instead of simply "contested" or better yet"challenged" to describe contrasting opinions, designates roles in a hierarchy as both the former, again, bears negative connotations.

Moreover, he persistently includes the reader in his personal interpretation by his usage of the first-person plural pronoun, 'we'. It's always 'we' are like this, 'we' see the world as this. Who is this 'we'?

Literary Theory: The Basics : Hans Bertens - Book2look

Does the author think he can speak for me when he says 'we'? What authority gives him the right to say that? In short, his language is far from impartial, something which is unacceptable for such a text as this. Other complaints about the text I have are Bertens idol worshiping, attribution of ideas to specific figures in history, insistence of SJW themes, pedantic use of theoretical jargon, and abstract manner of describing theories.

Throughout the text you'll see name after name ad naseaum , supposed theorists associated with inventing ideas. Of course, an idea can't be invented, just as 'theorist' as a title is totally arbitrary, and the whole system of social and literary theory as a profession is nonsense, but Bertens maintains a steadfast adherence. He ascribes the idea that words are used to describe objects or the idea that story telling often follow a particular formula to specific people from the 19th century no less!

This is more than just ridiculous, it's outright insulting. I came up with these same ideas just from my own experience and reasoning! Where's my accreditation? This is just like when a person patented the wheel in as a "circular transportation facilitation device. But even if these ideas came to you as new and astonishing, which they shouldn't if you have a functioning brain and even a little experience with classic art, it's impossible to get behind any of them since they're so poorly delineated. Bertens dwells in abstraction and uses metaphors and analogies instead of concrete examples.

It's all the same in the end because no person should have a serious reason to read this text unless it was assigned for a class. Everything in its pages could be ascertained by just reading literature and thinking about what you read. You don't need a certified thinker to tell you what or how to think, nor do you need to read this to know how to read fiction. Apr 18, S.

Wilson rated it it was amazing. An exhaustive look at the foundations of literary theory, with detailed examinations of the different forms of literary criticism. I especially enjoyed the sections on poststructuralism, deconstruction, and postmodernism, although they did result in a sharp increase of my TBR list. A must read for any student of literature. Bertens seems to get to the point a little bit more quickly than other authors of theory books.

Jun 30, Ben rated it really liked it. Excellent, clear overview of a wide range of theories. Would definitely recommend to anyone with an interest in literary theory. Accessible, interesting and quick to read.