What is Literary Theory? Is there a relationship between literature and culture? In fact, what is Literature, and does it matter? These are the sorts of questions addressed by Jonathan Culler in a book which steers a clear path through a subject which is often perceived to be impenetrable. It offers insights into theories about the nature of language and meaning, whether literature is a form of self-expression or a method of appeal to an audience, and outlines the ideas behind a number of different schools: deconstruction, semiotics, postcolonial theory, and structuralism amongst them.
Jonathan Culler is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Cornell University and a leading figure in the world of literary theory. Praised by Frank Kermode for his remarkable expository skills, his publications include seminal works on deconstruction and semiology as well as studies of individual authors.