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This incredibly useful volume offers an introduction to the history of literary criticism and theory from ancient Greece to the present. Grounded in the close reading of landmark theoretical texts, while seeking to encourage the reader's critical response, Pelagia Goulimari examines: * major thinkers and critics from Plato and Aristotle to Foucault, Derrida, Kristeva, Said and Butler; * key concepts, themes and schools in the history of literary theory: mimesis, inspiration, reason and emotion, the self, the relation of literature to history, society, culture and ethics, feminism, poststructuralism, postcolonialism, queer theory; * genres and movements in literary history: epic, tragedy, comedy, the novel; Romanticism, realism, modernism and postmodernism. Historical connections between theorists and theories are traced and the book is generously cross-referenced. With useful features such as key-point conclusions, further reading sections, descriptive text boxes, detailed headings, and with a comprehensive index, this book is the ideal introduction to anyone approaching literary theory for the first time or unfamiliar with the scope of its history.