"This introduction to literary studies is set to become the standard for the next generation. With its attention to the narrative, cultural, and (inter)medial dimensions of the 'life of texts', it skillfully provides access to a rich and dynamic field. Highly recommended as a reliable and immensely readable companion to all graduate and postgraduate students of modern literatures."
Astrid Erll, Professor of Anglophone Literatures and Cultures at Goethe University Frankfurt
"The book is a smart, coherent guide to the humanities and to literary studies in particular. The Life of Texts introduces literary studies as a field with history and an always-developing vocabulary, presenting literary studies as part of (and not separate from) lived cultural experience. From advertisements to the avant-garde, structuralism to media studies, this book seems to cover (or at least connect to) it all. Organized and designed with a visual clarity that facilitates ease of engagement with complicated terms, ideas, and historical knowledge, this book will support the teaching of literary studies as well as, and perhaps more importantly, learning about why such learning matters."
Jessica Pressman, Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University
This innovative introduction to literary studies takes 'the life of texts' as its overarching frame. It provides a conceptual and methodological toolbox for analysing novels, poems, and all sorts of other texts as they circulate in oral, print, and digital form. It shows how texts inspire each other, and how stories migrate across media. It explains why literature has been interpreted in different ways across time. Finally, it asks why some texts fascinate people so much that they are reproduced and passed on to others in the form of new editions, in adaptations to film and theatre, and, last but not least, in the ways we look at the world and act out our lives.
The Life of Texts is designed around particular issues rather than the history of the discipline as such. Each chapter concentrates on a different aspect of 'the life of texts' and introduces the key debates and concepts relevant to its study. The issues discussed range from aesthetics and narrative to intertextuality and intermediality, from reading practices to hermeneutics and semiotics, popular culture to literary canonisation, postcolonial criticism to cultural memory. Key concepts and schools in the field have been highlighted in the text and then collected in a glossary for ease of reference. All chapters are richly illustrated with examples from different language areas.
Kiene Brillenburg Wurth is hoogleraar Literatuur en Vergelijkende Media aan de Universiteit Utrecht.
Ann Rigney bekleedt de leerstoel Vergelijkende Literatuur aan de Universiteit Utrecht.