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100 Must-Read Books on English: Essays, Writing, and Literary Criticism

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You've probably used this book yourself. This is The Elements of Style, the classic style manual, now in a fourth edition. Walter Benjamin was one of the most original cultural critics of the twentieth century. Illuminations includes his views on Kafka, with whom he felt a close personal affinity; his studies on Baudelaire and Proust; and his essays on Leskov and on Brecht's Epic Theater.

A half-century after its translation into English, Erich Auerbach's Mimesis still stands as a monumental achievement in literary criticism. A brilliant display of erudition, wit, and wisdom, his exploration of how great European writers from Homer to Virginia Woolf depicted reality has taught generations how to read Western First published in , Seven Types of Ambiguity has long been recognized as a landmark in the history of English literary criticism.

Revised twice since it first appeared, it has remained one of the most widely read and quoted works of literary analysis. Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted.

Now, Penguin brings you the works of In his books and in a string of wide-ranging and inventive essays, Luc Sante has shown himself to be not only one of our pre-eminent stylists, but also a critic of uncommon power and range.

Striking out at the conception of criticism as restricted to mere opinion or ritual gesture, Northrop Frye wrote this magisterial work proceeding on the assumption that criticism is a structure of thought and knowledge in its own right. In four brilliant essays on historical, ethical, archetypical, and rhetorical Collecting two book-length essays, "A Room of One's Own and Three Guineas" is Virginia Woolf's most powerful feminist writing, justifying the need for women to possess intellectual freedom and financial independence.

Orientalism examines how the West has historically perceived the East and how Western imperialism has shaped these perceptions. Published in , Said's work is a landmark in post-colonial studies.

Two-time Booker Prize-winner J. Coetzee is one of the world's greatest novelists. This thought-provoking collection gathers twenty-six of his essays on books and writing. In his opening piece, "What Is a Classic? Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.

Information is endlessly available to us; where shall wisdom be found? For more than forty years, Bloom has transformed college students into lifelong readers with The Liberal Imagination is one of the most admired and influential works of criticism of the last century, a work that is not only a masterpiece of literary criticism but an important statement about politics and society.

Published in , one of the chillier moments of the For two decades, first at Wellesley and then at Cornell, Nabokov introduced undergraduates to the delights of great fiction. Here, collected for the first time, are his famous lectures, which include Mansfield Park, Bleak House, and Ulysses. Against Interpretation was Susan Sontag's first collection of essays and is a modern classic. Originally published in , it has never gone out of print and has influenced generations of readers all over the world.

It includes the famous essays "Notes on Camp" and "Against Interpretation," as well As a brilliant survey of English literature in terms of changing attitudes towards country and city, Williams' highly-acclaimed study reveals the shifting images and associations between these two traditional poles of life throughout the major developmental periods of English culture. When first published in , A Literature of Their Own quickly set the stage for the creative explosion of feminist literary studies that transformed the field in the s.

Launching a major new area for literary investigation, the book uncovered the long but neglected tradition of women writers Book annotation not available for this title. Univ of Minnesota PrPublication Date: Leavis's most controversial book, The Great Tradition, an uncompromising critical and polemical survey of English fiction that was first published in He puts a powerful case On Writing Well has been praised for its sound advice, its clarity and the warmth of its style.

It is a book for everybody who wants to learn how to write or who needs to do some writing to get through the day, as almost everybody does in Bruno Bettelheim was one of the great child psychologists of the twentieth century and perhaps none of his books has been more influential than this revelatory study of fairy tales and their universal importance in understanding childhood development.

Analyzing a wide range of traditional stories, from the tales of Fredric Jameson, in The Political Unconscious, opposes the view that literary creation can take place in isolation from its political context.

He asserts the priority of the political interpretation of literary texts, claiming it to be at the center of all reading and understanding, not just a supplement Forster's "Aspects of the Novel" is an innovative and effusive treatise on a literary form that, at the time of publication, had only recently begun to enjoy serious academic consideration.

This "Penguin Classics" edition is edited with an introduction by Oliver Stallybrass, and features a new preface Why literally shouldn't be taken literally.

Why Americans think home in on something is a mistake and Brits think hone in is. Is it OK to spell OK okay? What's wrong with hence why? Was Alanis Morrisette ever ironic? This highly acclaimed study analyzes the various trends in English criticism during the first four decades of this century. Fry offers in this welcome book a guided tour of the main trends in twentieth-century literary theory. What is literature, how is it The first edition of The Rhetoric of Fiction transformed the criticism of fiction and soon became a classic in the field.

One of the most widely used texts in fiction courses, it is a standard reference point in advanced discussions of how fictional form works, how authors make Fussell describes how the futility and insanity of war defined the thinking of a generation and led England away from Romantacism. The book won the In a sensitive analysis that weaves together literary criticism and historical narrative, Crain describes the The dorks are saving the nation, and this book proves it.

These serio-comic essays bear a message, lightly Widely acclaimed upon publication, it has since taken its place among a handful of books considered mandatory reading for all Thirty years since its first publication in English, French philosopher Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Space one of the most appealing and lyrical explorations of home. Bachelard takes us on a journey, from cellar to attic, to show how our perceptions of houses and other shelters shape our In this work of feminist literary criticism the authors explore the works of many major 19th-century women writers.

They chart a tangible desire expressed for freedom from the restraints of a confining patriarchal society and trace a distinctive female literary tradition.

Lawrence asserted that 'the proper function of a critic is to save the tale from the artist who created it'. In these highly individual, penetrating essays he has exposed 'the American whole soul' within some of that continent's major works of literature.

In seeking to establish the status It also provides the best, most sustained exposure possible to the most wide-ranging, acute, and original Ivor Armstrong Richards was one of the founders of modern literary criticism. He enthused a generation of writers and readers and was an influential supporter of the young T.

Principles of Literary Criticism was the text that first established his reputation and pioneered the movement that became A classic that has been widely used by several generations, this book consists of detailed commentaries on ten famous English poems from the Elizabethan period to the present. Spanning many historical and literary contexts, Moral Imagination brings together a dozen recent essays by one of America's premier cultural critics.

David Bromwich explores the importance of imagination and sympathy to suggest how these faculties may illuminate the motives of human action and the reality of justice. A Rulebook for Arguments is a succinct introduction to the art of writing and assessing arguments, organized around specific rules, each illustrated and explained soundly but briefly.

This widely popular primer--translated into eight languages--remains the first choice in all disciplines for writers who seek straightforward guidance about The fairy tale is arguably one of the most important cultural and social influences on children's lives.

But until the first publication of Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion, little attention had been paid to the ways in which the writers and collectors of tales used traditional Ngugi describes this book as 'a summary of some of the issues in which I have been passionately involved for the last twenty years of my practice in fiction, theatre, criticism and in teaching of literature.

Michel de Montaigne was one of the most influential figures of the Renaissance, singlehandedly responsible for popularising the essay as a literary form. Many books on writing tell you how to think more creatively, how to conjure up an idea from scratch. Many, once you have an idea, show you how to express it clearly and elegantly. And many handbooks offer reliable advice on the use of commas, semicolons, and What do we mean when we say that someone is a writer?

Is he or she an entertainer? A high priest of the god Art? And who, for that matter, are these mysterious readers? In this wise and irresistibly quotable book, The quality of today's literary writing arouses the strongest opinions. For novelist and critic Gabriel Josipovici, the contemporary novel in English is profoundly disappointing - a poor relation of its groundbreaking Modernist forebears. This agile and passionate book asks why. Modernism, Josipovici suggests, is only superficially a reaction Shakespeare and Judicial Rhetoric illustrates Shakespeare's creative processes by revealing some of the intellectual materials out of which some of his most famous works were composed.

This bestselling text by Charles Barber, with updating contributions from Joan C. Beal and Philip A. Shaw, recounts the history of the English language from its remote ancestry to the present day. Renaissance Self-Fashioning is a study of sixteenth-century life and literature that spawned a new era of scholarly inquiry.

Stein on Writing provides immediately useful advice for all writers of fiction and nonfiction, whether they are newcomers or old hands, students or instructors, amateurs or professionals. As the always clear and direct Stein explains here, "This is not a book of theory.

It is a book of Beginning with an essay on the attributes that define a classic number one - classics are those books that people always say they are The 23 essays or "love songs" that make up the now classic volume Air Guitar trawl a "vast, invisible underground empire" of pleasure, through record stores, honky-tonks, art galleries, jazz clubs, cocktail lounges, surf shops and hot-rod stores, as restlessly on the move as the America they depict.

The World of Odysseus is a concise and penetrating account of the society that gave birth to the Iliad and the Odyssey--a book that provides a vivid picture of the Greek Dark Ages, its men and women, works and days, morals and values. Long celebrated as a pathbreaking In establishing the role of the political novel and tracing its growth into the twentieth century, Mr. For almost three decades, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak has been ignoring the standardized "rules" of the academy and trespassing across disciplinary boundaries.

Today she remains one of the foremost figures in the study of world literature and its cultural consequences. In this new book she declares the death of They might be works of literary criticism.

They might be novels with characters who are writers, or which are set in publishing worlds. Perhaps they are good "how to" books on writing.

But it is for books that reflect on writing, literature and the book world in some way. This is our recommended reading list, as compiled by staff and friends. Angela Carter Reading Group. It complements my Angela Carter Bookclub, which meets in Bristol on the first Saturday of every month and has an online following.

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An essay is a piece of writing which is often written from an author's personal point of view. Essays can consist of a number of elements, including: literary criticism, political manifestos, learned arguments, observations of daily .

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As with everything, when writing essays about books, there is a formula or guidelines you need to follow. Guidelines to follow when writing essays about books There’s no specific rule that says you should have a plan before writing an essay. Must-Read Books on English: Essays, Writing, and Literary Criticism is a reading list for the literate.