This Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive guide yet to both the nature and content of literature and to literary criticism. In ninety essays by leading international critics and scholars such as Catherine Belsey, Terrence Hawker, Catherine Hayles, Cora Kaplan, Christopher Norris and Don E. Wayne, the volume covers traditional topics such as literature and history, poetry, drama and the novel, and newer topics, including the production and reception of literature. Current critical ideas are clearly and provocatively discussed, while the volume's arrangement reflects in a dynamic way the rich diversity of contemporary thinking about literature.
The Encyclopedia includes important sections on criticism, the contexts of English literature and "other literatures" in English. Individual essays cover subjects as diverse as feminist theatre, postmodernism, medieval literature, romantic poetry, Marxist criticism, censorship, realism and the novel, contemporary American poetry, New Historicism,the origins of the modern stage, the renaissance, women and the poetic tradition, the printed book, and Shakespeare and eighteenth-century fiction. Each essay seeks to provide the reader with a clear sense of the full significance of its subject as well as guidance for further reading.
An essential work of reference, the Encyclopedia of Literature and Criticism is a stimulating guide to the central preoccupations of contemporary critical thinking about literature.