Language, Literature, and Critical Practice: Ways of Analysing Text

By David Birch | Go to book overview

Foreword

Language, Literature and Critical Practice was commissioned by Ronald Carter, the general editor of this series, to be a survey of the academic work that has been carried out at the everbroadening interface of language and literary studies. Whilst I have attempted to write to that brief, I have also been conscious of the impossibility of the task.

Years ago, there may only have been one interface to handle, though I doubt it. Today, interfaces are legion-and that presents something of a dilemma. On the one hand, the very diversity of interests that inform contemporary critical practice is what makes text analysis such an exciting and dynamic occupation, on the other, no one individual can ever hope to be expert in all that diversity. With that in mind, then, Language, Literature and Critical Practice is my reading of how some of the major twentieth-century theoretical, philosophical, and critical/political positions have influenced textual analysis. Other positions, other assumptions, may preoccupy other people to greater or lesser extents.

David Birch

-xv-

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Language, Literature, and Critical Practice: Ways of Analysing Text
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Series Editor's Introduction to the Interface Series xi
  • Foreword xv
  • Acknowledgements xvi
  • Text Analyses xvii
  • Preface 1
  • 1 - How Texts Mean: Reading as Critical/Political Practice 5
  • 2 - Language, Literature and Scientific Fictions 45
  • 3 - Reading Literary Texts: Traditions, Assumptions, Practices 57
  • 4 - Reading Texts Closely: Language, Style and the 'Buried Life of Words' 88
  • 5 - The Linguistics of Text: Structures and Strictures 117
  • Afterword 167
  • Notes 170
  • Bibliography 176
  • Index 207
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