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Routledge Critical Thinkersis a new series for anyone needing an acessible introduction to the key figures in contemporary critical thought. The books provide crucial orientation for further study and equip readers to engage with each theorist's original texts. InSigmund Freud, his key ideas are discussed as well as the intellectual, social and historical contexts in which they were first presented. The book answers the questions: Why is Freud important? What motivated and influenced him? And who did Freud influence?Sigmund Freudis a comprehensive and important introduction to a complex thinker.
Jacques Lacan is one of the most challenging and controversial of contemporary thinkers, as well as the most influential psychoanalyst since Freud. Lacanian theory has reached far beyond the consulting room to engage with such diverse disciplines as literature, film, gender and social theory. This book covers the full extent of Lacan's career and provides an accessible guide to Lacanian concepts and his writing on: *the imaginary and the symbolic *the Oedipus Complex and the meaning of the phallus *the subject and the unconscious *the real *sexual difference. Locating Lacan's work in the context of contemporary French thought and the history of psychoanalysis, Sean Homer's Jacques Lacan is the ideal introduction to this influential theorist.
It is difficult to imagine a world without common sense, the distinction between truth and falsehood, the belief in some form of morality or an agreement that we are all human. But Friedrich Nietzsche did imagine such a world, and his work has become a crucial point of departure for contemporary critical theory and debate. This volume introduces this key thinker to students of literary and cultural studies, offering a lucid account of Nietzsche's thought on: * anti-humanism * good and evil * the Overman * nihilism * the Will to Power. Lee Spinks prepares readers for their first encounter with Nietzsche's most influential texts, enabling them to begin to apply his thought in studies of literature, art and contemporary culture.
Roland Barthes is a central figure in the study of language, literature, culture and the media. This book prepares readers for their first encounter with his crucial writings on some of the most important theoretical debates, including: *existentialism and Marxism *semiology, or the 'language of signs' *structuralism and narrative analysis *post-structuralism, deconstruction and 'the death of the author' *theories of the text and intertextuality. Tracing his engagement with other key thinkers such as Sartre, Saussure, Derrida and Kristeva, this volume offers a clear picture of Barthes work in-context. The in-depth understanding of Barthes offered by this guide is essential to anyone reading contemporary critical theory.
The concept of ‘memory’ has given rise to some of the most exciting new directions in contemporary theory. In this much-needed guide to a burgeoning field of a study, Anne Whitehead: presents a history of the concept of ‘memory’ and its uses, encompassing both memory as activity and the nature of memory examines debates around the term in their historical and cultural contexts introduces the reader to key thinkers in the field, from ancient Greece to the present day traces the links between theorisations and literary representations of memory. Offering a clear and succinct guide to one of the most important terms in contemporary theory, this volume is essential reading for anyone entering the field of Memory Studies, or seeking to understand current developments in Cultural and Literary Studies.
Beginning theory has been helping students navigate through the thickets of literary and cultural theory for well over a decade now. This new and expanded third edition continues to offer students and readers the best one-volume introduction to the field. The bewildering variety of approaches, theorists and technical language is lucidly and expertly unravelled. Unlike many books which assume certain positions about the critics and the theories they represent, Peter Barry allows readers to develop their own ideas once first principles and concepts have been grasped. The book has been updated and includes two new chapters, one of which (Literary theory - a history in ten events) innovatively surveys the course of theory, while the other (Theory after 'Theory') maps the arrival of new 'isms' since the second edition appeared in 2002. Liberal humanism - Structuralism - Post-structuralism and deconstruction - Postmodernism - Psychoanalytic criticism - Feminist criticism - Lesbian/gay criticism - Marxist criticism - New historicism and cultural materialism - Postcolonial criticism - Stylistics - Narratology - Ecocriticism - Presentism/Transversal poetics/ New aestheticism/Historical formalism/Cognitive poetics.
The work of Sigmund Freud has penetrated almost every area of literary theory and cultural studies, as well as contemporary culture. Pamela Thurschwell explains and contextualises psychoanalytic theory and its meaning for modern thinking. This updated second edition explores developments and responses to Freud’s work, including: tracing contexts and developments of Freud’s work over the course of his career exploring paradoxes and contradictions in his writing focusing on psychoanalysis as an interpretative strategy, paying special attention to its impact on literary and cultural theory examining the recent backlash against Freud and arguing for the continued relevance of psychoanalysis. Encouraging and preparing readers to approach Freud’s original texts, this guide ensures that readers of all levels will find Freud accessible, challenging and of continued relevance.

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