Pale Wire (Popscene)

Monday, August 23, 2004

English Explained


Last night I buzzed my way through Jonathon Culler's grad-school mega-hit Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction.

If you've ever wondered what exactly cultural studies are or desired an entree into the intimidating, and often inpenetrable, pages of Bulter, Derrida and Foucault, this may be the book for you. It's petite little thing, only 120 pages. What I like about it is that Culler, as he is quick to note, isn't interested in summarizing and critiquing the raft of thoretical schools that inhabit (some would say infest) western universities. Instead, he digs deeper, explaning the foundational questions and values of this thing we call Theory.

Apparently, there's a whole series of these very short introducton books. They've got everything from Habermas to Hegal to Hieroglyphics.