In Search of Authority is the most engaging introduction to literary theory available today.
This is the third edition of a book that has been widely used to introduce undergraduates to the field of literary theory. Its distinctive quality is the way in which it makes complex literary theories, such as structuralism, deconstruction, and post-modernism, accessible to students by relating these theories to students' own enjoyment in reading literature. Each theory is illustrated by several applications of the theory to well-known literary works.
Based on a reader-response approach to literature, In Search of Authority begins with an up-to-date account of the status of literary theory in the 21st century, including a response to recent debates about the "post-theory" question. It concludes with a discussion of how an understanding of literary theory can lead to the empowerment of the individual reader, and of how the authority of the professor can be gradually transferred to the student.
This third edition has been revised and updated throughout. Each chapter ends with several questions to help students check their understanding of the key ideas in the chapter.
Educated at Queen's University, Oxford University, and the University of Nancy, France, Stephen Bonnycastle is Professor of English at the Royal Military College of Canada. He was president of the Association for Bibliotherapy in Canada in 1995, and in 2005 won his university's award for teaching excellence. In Search of Authority has been translated into Chinese.