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Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $74
  • February 2010
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-93292-8
  • 6.6 × 9.6 in / 2800 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

The Norton Anthology of Theory & Criticism

Second Edition


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Vincent B. Leitch (General Editor, University of Oklahoma), William E. Cain (Editor, Wellesley College), Laurie A. Finke (Editor, Kenyon College), Barbara E. Johnson (Editor, late of Harvard University), John McGowan (Editor, University of North Carolina), T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting (Editor, Vanderbilt University), Jeffrey J. Williams (Editor, Carnegie Mellon University)


The most comprehensive anthology of theory and criticism, now up-to-date and global.

The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism is the gold standard for anyone who wishes to understand the development and current state of literary theory. Offering 185 pieces (31 of them new) by 148 authors (18 of them new), The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, Second Edition, is more comprehensive, and more varied, in its selection than any other anthology. New selections from non-western theory and a thoroughly updated twentieth century selection make the book even more diverse and authoritative.


The most comprehensive introduction to critical theory available

The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, Second Edition, includes works from 148 writers, from antiquity to the present, and 119 pieces from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Pieces from Chinese, Japanese, and Sanskrit theory broaden the anthology’s purview and a 30-page “Introduction to Theory and Criticism” provides a brisk and informative overview of major schools, movements, and thinkers.


Norton Anthology quality

The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, Second Edition, includes all the features that make a Norton a Norton. Carefully edited selections provide students and instructors with the most fundamental and most readable segments of the works from which they come. Extensive headnotes and abundant annotations bring even the most complicated texts into clear focus. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism features the most thorough bibliography of the subject available in any venue, and a full-fledged ‘subject’ index that makes the connections among ideas and texts explicit.

An impressive editorial team

The editors of The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, Second Edition, are an eclectic, world-class team, coming at the field from several different complementary perspectives.

The best value

The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, Second Edition, has more figures, more works, and all the features that make a Norton a Norton. Even with all of these advantages, The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism costs less than other anthologies and is far less expensive than a paperback reading list of nearly any size.

    * New to the Second Edition


    GORGIAS OF LEONTINI (ca. 483–376 B.C.E.)

    1. From Encomium of Helen

    PLATO (ca. 427–ca. 347 B.C.E.)

    1. Republic
      1. From Book II
      2. From Book III
      3. From Book VII
      4. From Book X
    2. From Phaedrus

    ARISTOTLE (384–322 B.C.E.)

    1. Poetics
    2. On Rhetoric
      1. Book I
        1. From Chapter 2
        2. From Chapter 3
      2. Book II
        1. From Chapter 1
      3. Book III
        1. From Chapter 2

    HORACE (65–8 B.C.E.)

    1. Ars Poetica

    LONGINUS (first century C.E.)

    1. From On Sublimity

    AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO (354–430)

    1. On Christian Teaching
      1. From Book One
      2. From Book Two
      3. From Book Three

    MOSES MAIMONIDES (1135–1204)

    1. The Guide of the Perplexed
      1. [Introduction to the First Part]

    THOMAS AQUINAS (1225–1274)

    1. Summa Theologica
      1. From Question I

    DANTE ALIGHIERI (1265–1321)

    1. Il Convivio
      1. Book Two
        1. Chapter 1
    2. From The Letter to Can Grande

    GIOVANNI BOCCACCIO (1313–1375)

    1. Genealogy of the Gentile Gods
      1. Book 14
        1. V. Other Cavillers at the Poets and Their Imputations
        2. VII. The Definition of Poetry, Its Origin, and Function
        3. XII. The Obscurity of Poetry Is Not Just Cause For Condemning It

    CHRISTINE DE PIZAN (ca. 1365–ca. 1429)

    1. *From Christine’s Reaction to Jean de Montrueil’s Treatise on the Roman de la Rose
    2. The Book of the City of Ladies
      1. From Part One
      2. From Part Two

    JOACHIM DU BELLAY (ca. 1522–1560)

    1. The Defense and Enrichment of the French Language
      1. First Book
        1. Chapters 1–7
      2. Second Book
        1. Chapters 3-4

    GIACOPO MAZZONI (1548–1598)

    1. On the Defense of the Comedy of Dante
      1. From Introduction and Summary

    SIR PHILIP SIDNEY (1554–1586)

    1. From The Defence of Poesy

    PIERRE CORNEILLE (1606–1684)

    1. Of the Three Unities of Action, Time, and Place

    JOHN DRYDEN (1631–1700)

    1. From An Essay of Dramatic Poesy

    APHRA BEHN (1640–1689)

    1. The Dutch Lover
      1. Epistle to the Reader
    2. Preface to The Lucky Chance

    GIAMBATTISTA VICO (1668–1744)

    1. From New Science

    JOSEPH ADDISON (1672–1719)

    1. The Spectator, No. 62
      1. [True and False Wit]
    2. The Spectator, No. 412
      1. [On the Sublime]

    ALEXANDER POPE (1688–1744)

    1. From An Essay on Criticism

    SAMUEL JOHNSON (1709–1784)

    1. The Rambler, No. 4
      1. [On Fiction]
    2. The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia
      1. Chapter X. Imlac’s History Continued. A Dissertation upon Poetry
    3. From Preface to Shakespeare
    4. Lives of the English Poets
      1. From Cowley
        1. [On Metaphysical Wit]

    DAVID HUME (1711–1776)

    1. Of the Standard of Taste

    IMMANUEL KANT (1724–1804)

    1. Critique of the Power of Judgment
      1. From Introduction
      2. From First Book. Analytic of the Beautiful
      3. From Second Book. Analytic of the Sublime

    EDMUND BURKE (1729–1797)

    1. A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful
      1. From Part I. Sections I-VIII.
      2. From Part III. Section XXVII.


    1. From Laocoön
      FRIEDRICH VON SCHILLER (1759–1805)
    1. On the Aesthetic Education of Man
      1. Second Letter
      2. Sixth Letter
      3. Ninth Letter


    1. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
      1. From Chapter II. The Prevailing Opinion of a Sexual Character Discussed


    1. From Essay on Fictions
    2. On Literature Considered in Its Relationship to Social Institutions
      1. On Women Writers (2.4)


    1. Hermeneutics
      1. Outline of the 1819 Lectures
      2. Introduction
      3. Part Two. The Technical Interpretation


    1. Phenomenology of Spirit
      1. [The Master-Slave Dialectic]
    2. Lectures on Fine Art
      1. From Introduction

    WILLIAM WORDSWORTH (1770–1850)

    1. Preface to Lyrical Ballads, with Pastoral and Other Poems (1802)


    1. Biographia Literaria
    2. Part I
      1. From Chapter 1
      2. From Chapter 4
      3. From Chapter 13
    3. Part II
      1. Chapter 14

    PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY (1792–1822)

    1. From A Defence of Poetry

    RALPH WALDO EMERSON (1803–1882)

    1. From The American Scholar
    2. The Poet

    EDGAR ALLAN POE (1809–1849)

    1. The Philosophy of Composition

    KARL MARX (1818–1883) and FRIEDRICH ENGELS (1820–1895)

    1. From Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844
    2. From The German Ideology
    3. From The Communist Manifesto
    4. From Grundrisse
    5. From Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy
    6. Capital, Volume 1
      1. From Chapter 1. Commodities
      2. From Chapter 10. The Working-Day
    7. From Letter from Friedrich Engels to Joseph Bloch

    CHARLES BAUDELAIRE (1821–1867)

    1. The Painter of Modern Life
      1. From I. Beauty, Fashion, and Happiness
      2. From III. The Artist, Man of the World, Man of the Crowd, and Child
      3. IV. Modernity
      4. From IX. The Dandy
      5. XI. In Praise of Cosmetics

    MATTHEW ARNOLD (1822–1888)

    1. The Function of Criticism at the Present Time
    2. Culture and Anarchy
      1. From Chapter 1. Sweetness and Light

    WALTER PATER (1839–1894)

    1. Studies in the History of the Renaissance
      1. Preface
      2. Conclusion

    STÉPHANE MALLARMÉ (1842–1898)

    1. Crisis in Poetry

    HENRY JAMES (1843–1916)

    1. The Art of Fiction


    1. On Truth and Lying in a Non-Moral Sense
    2. From The Birth of Tragedy

    OSCAR WILDE (1854–1900)

    1.  Preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray
    2. *From The Decay of Lying: An Observation
    3. From The Critic as Artist

    SIGMUND FREUD (1856–1939)

    1. The Interpretation of Dreams
      1. From Chapter V. The Material and Sources of Dreams
      2. From Chapter VI. The Dream-Work
    2. From The “Uncanny”
    3. Fetishism


    1. Course in General Linguistics
    2. Introduction
      1. From Chapter III. The Object of Linguistics
    3. Part One. General Principles
      1. Chapter I. Nature of the Linguistic Sign
    4. Part Two. Synchronic Linguistics
      1. Chapter IV. Linguistic Value
      2. Chapter V. Syntagmatic and Associative Relations

    W. E. B. DU BOIS (1868–1963)

    1. Criteria of Negro Art

    LEON TROTSKY (1879–1940)

    1. Literature and Revolution
      1. The Formalist School of Poetry and Marxism

    VIRGINIA WOOLF (1882–1941)

    1. A Room of One’s Own
      1. [Shakespeare’s Sister]
      2. [Chloe Liked Olivia]
      3. [Androgny]

    GYÖRGY LUKÁCS (1885–1971)

    1. *The Historical Novel
      1. From Chapter 1. The Classical Form of The Historical Novel

    BORIS EICHENBAUM (1886–1959)

    1. From The Theory of the “Formal Method”

    T. S. ELIOT (1888–1965)

    1. Tradition and the Individual Talent
    2. The Metaphysical Poets

    JOHN CROWE RANSOM (1888–1974)

    1. Criticism, Inc.

    MARTIN HEIDEGGER (1889–1976)

    1. Language

    ANTONIO GRAMSCI (1891–1937)

    1. The Formation of the Intellectuals

    ZORA NEALE HURSTON (1891–1960)

    1. Characteristics of Negro Expression
    2. What White Publishers Won’t Print

    *ERICH AUERBACH (1892-1957)

    1. Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature
      1. Chapter 1. Odysseus’s Scar

    WALTER BENJAMIN (1892–1940)

    1. The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility

    MIKHAIL M. BAKHTIN (1895–1975)

    1. From Discourse in the Novel

    MAX HORKHEIMER (1895–1973) and THEODOR W. ADORNO (1903–1969)

    1. Dialectic of Enlightenment
      1. From The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception

    EDMUND WILSON (1895–1972)

    1. *The Historical Interpretation of Literature

    ROMAN JAKOBSON (1896–1982)

    1. From Linguistics and Poetics
    2. Two Aspects of Language and Two Types of Aphasic Disturbances
      1. V. The Metaphoric and Metonymic Poles

    JACQUES LACAN (1901–1981)

    1. The Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function of the I as Revealed in Psychoanalytic Experience
    2. From The Agency of the Letter in the Unconscious
    3. The Signification of the Phallus

    LANGSTON HUGHES (1902–1967)

    1. The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain

    JEAN-PAUL SARTRE (1905–1980)

    1. What Is Literature?
      1. Why Write?

    CLEANTH BROOKS (1906–1994)

    1. The Well Wrought Urn
      1. Chapter 11. The Heresy of Paraphrase

    WILLIAM K. WIMSATT JR. (1907–1975) and MONROE C. BEARDSLEY (1915–1985)

    1. The Intentional Fallacy
    2. The Affective Fallacy

    SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR (1908–1986)

    1. The Second Sex
      1. Chapter XI. Myth and Reality


    1. Tristes Tropiques
      1. Chapter 28. A Writing Lesson

    J. L. AUSTIN (1911–1960)

    1. Performative Utterances

    NORTHROP FRYE (1912–1991)

    1. The Archetypes of Literature

    ROLAND BARTHES (1915–1980)

    1. Mythologies
      1. Photography and Electoral Appeal
    2. The Death of the Author
    3. From Work to Text

    LOUIS ALTHUSSER (1918–1990)

    1. From Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses

    PAUL DE MAN (1919–1983)

    1. Semiology and Rhetoric

    *C. D. NARASIMHAIAH (1919-2005)

    1. Towards the Formulation of a Common Poetic for Indian Literatures Today

    IRVING HOWE (1920–1993)

    1. History and the Novel

    HANS ROBERT JAUSS (b. 1921)

    1. From Literary History as a Challenge to Literary Theory

    RAYMOND WILLIAMS (1921–1988)

    1. *Base and Superstructure in Marxist Cultural Theory

    FRANTZ FANON (1925–1961)

    1. The Wretched of the Earth
      1. From On National Culture

    GILLES DELEUZE (1925–1995) and FÉLIX GUATTARI (1930–1992)

    1. Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature
      1. From Chapter 3. What Is a Minor Literature?
    2. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia
      1. From Introduction: Rhizome


    1. Defining the Postmodern

    MICHEL FOUCAULT (1926–1984)

    1. What Is an Author?
    2. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison
      1. The Carceral
    3. The History of Sexuality, Volume 1, An Introduction
      1. Part Two: The Repressive Hypothesis
        1. Chapter 1. The Incitement to Discourse
        2. Chapter 2. The Perverse Implantation

    WOLFGANG ISER (1926 - 2007)

    1. Interaction between Text and Reader

    HAYDEN WHITE (b. 1928)

    1. The Historical Text as Literary Artifact

    JEAN BAUDRILLARD (1929-2007)

    1. From The Precession of Simulacra

    JÜRGEN HABERMAS (b. 1929)

    1. *The Public Sphere: An Encyclopedia Article
    2. Modernity—An Incomplete Project

    ADRIENNE RICH (b. 1929)

    1. From Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence

    CHINUA ACHEBE (b. 1930)

    1. An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness

    *ADŪNĪS (B. 1930)

    1. An Introduction to Arab Poetics
      1. From Chapter 1. Poetics and Orality in The Jahiliyya
      2. From Chapter 4. Poetics and Modernity

    HAROLD BLOOM (b. 1930)

    1. The Anxiety of Influence
      1. Introduction. A Meditation upon Priority, and a Synopsis
      2. Interchapter. A Manifesto for Antithetical Criticism

    PIERRE BOURDIEU (b. 1930-2002)

    1. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste
      1. Introduction
    2.  *Rules of Art: Genesis and Structure of the Literary Field
      1. Part I. From Chapter 2
      2. Part III. From Chapter 1

    JACQUES DERRIDA (1930–2004)

    1. Of Grammatology
      1. Exergue
      2. The Exorbitant. Question of Method
    2. Dissemination
      1. Plato’s Pharmacy
        1. I
          1. 1. Pharmacia
          2. 2. The Father of Logos
          3. 4. From The Pharmakon
          4. 5. The Pharmakeus
        2. II
          1. 9. From Play: From the Pharmakon to the Letter and from Blindness to the Supplement
    3. *Specters of Marx
      1. From Chapter 1. Injunctions of Marx
      2. From Chapter 3. Wears and Tears

    *ZEHOU LI (b. 1930)

    1. Four Essays on Aesthetics: Twoard a Global View
      1. Chapter 8. The Stratification of Form and Primitive Sedimentation

    RICHARD OHMANN (b. 1931)

    1. From The Shaping of a Canon: U.S. Fiction, 1960–1975

    STUART HALL (b. 1932)

    1. Cultural Studies and Its Theoretical Legacies


    1. Contingencies of Value
      1. Chapter 3. Contingencies of Value

    FREDRIC JAMESON (b. 1934)

    1. The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act
      1. Preface
      2. From Chapter 1. On Interpretation: Literature as a Socially Symbolic Act
    2. Postmodernism and Consumer Society

    EDWARD W. SAID (1935–2003)

    1. Orientalism
      1. Introduction
    2. *Culture and Imperialism
      1. Chapter 2, Section 2, Jane Austen and Empire

    MONIQUE WITTIG (1935-2003)

    1. One Is Not Born a Woman

    *BENEDICT ANDERSON (b. 1936)

    1. Imagined Communities: Reflection on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism
      1. Chapter 3. The Origins of National Consciousness

    SANDRA M. GILBERT (b. 1936) and SUSAN GUBAR (b. 1944)

    1. The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination
      1. From Chapter 2. Infection in the Sentence: The Woman Writer and the Anxiety of Authorship

    HÉLÉNE CIXOUS (b. 1937)

    1. The Laugh of the Medusa

    GERALD GRAFF (b. 1937)

    1. Taking Cover in Coverage

    STANLEY E. FISH (b. 1938)

    1. Interpreting the Variorum

    NGUGI WA THIONG’O (b. 1938), TABAN LO LIYONG (b. 1939), HENRY OWUOR-ANYUMBA (1932–1992)

    1. On the Abolition of the English Department

    TZVETAN TODOROV (b. 1939)

    1. Structural Analysis of Narrative

    PAULA GUNN ALLEN (1939-2008)

    1. Kochinnenako in Academe: Three Approaches to Interpreting a Keres Indian Tale

    *KŌJIN KARATANI (b. 1941)

    1. Origins of Modern Japanese Literature
      1. From Chapter 1. The Discovery of Landscape

    ANNETTE KOLODNY (b. 1941)

    1. Dancing through the Minefield: Some Observations on the Theory, Practice, and Politics of a Feminist Literary Criticism

    JULIA KRISTEVA (b. 1941)

    1. Revolution in Poetic Language
      1. From Part I. The Semiotic and the Symbolic

    LAURA MULVEY (b. 1941)

    1. Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema

    GLORIA ANZALDÚA (1942–2004)

    1. Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza
      1. Chapter 7. La conciencia de la mestiza: Towards a New Consciousness


    1. A Critique of Postcolonial Reason
      1. From Chapter 3. History
      2. [Can the Subaltern Speak?]

    TERRY EAGLETON (b. 1943)

    1. Literary Theory: An Introduction
      1. From Chapter 1. The Rise of English


    1. *From Resonance and Wonder

    BARBARA CHRISTIAN (1943–2000)

    1. The Race for Theory

    *N. KATHERINE HAYLES (b. 1943)

    1. How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics
      1. Chapter 2. Virtual Bodies and Flickering Signifiers

    DONNA HARAWAY (b. 1944)

    1. A Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the 1980s

    BARBARA SMITH (b. 1946)

    1. Toward a Black Feminist Criticism

    BARBARA JOHNSON (1947–2009)

    1. From Melville’s Fist: The Execution of Billy Budd


    1. Why Has Critique Run Out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern

      *MARTHA C. NUSSBAUM (b. 1947)

      1. Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education
        1. Chapter 3. The Narrative Imagination

      BONNIE ZIMMERMAN (b. 1947)

      1. What Has Never Been: An Overview of Lesbian Feminist Literary Criticism

      SUSAN BORDO (b. 1947)

      1. Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body
        1. Chapter 5. The Body and the Reproduction of Femininity

      HOMI K. BHABHA (b. 1949)

      1. The Commitment to Theory

      *GAYLE RUBIN (b. 1949)

      1. From Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality

      *SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK (b. 1949)

      1. Courtly Love, or, Woman as Thing

      HENRY LOUIS GATES JR. (b. 1950)

      1. Talking Black: Critical Signs of the Times

      *FRANCO MORETTI (b. 1950)

      1. Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for A Literary History
        1. Chapter 1. Graphs


      1. Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire
        1. From Introduction
      2. Epistemology of the Closet
        1. From Introduction: Axiomatic

      DICK HEBDIGE (b. 1951)

      1. Subculture: The Meaning of Style
        1. *Chapter 6. Subculture: The Unnatural Break

      STEVEN KNAPP (b. 1951) and WALTER BENN MICHAELS (b. 1948)

      1. Against Theory

      BELL HOOKS (b. Gloria Jean Watkins, 1952)

      1. Postmodern Blackness

      *LISA LOWE (b. 1955)

      1. Work, Immigration, Gender: New Subjects of Cultural Politics

      *PAUL GILROY (b. 1956)

      1. The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciouness
        1. From Chapter 1. The Black Atlantic as a Counterculture of Modernity
      2. Cultural Studies in Black and White

      JUDITH BUTLER (b. 1956)

      1. Gender Trouble
        1. From Preface
        2. From Chapter 3. Subversive Bodily Acts

      *ANDREW ROSS (b. 1956)

      1. From The Mental Labor Problem

      *LAUREN BERLANT (b. 1957) and MICHAEL WARNER (b. 1958)

      1. Sex in Public

      *MICHAEL HARDT (b. 1960) and ANTONIO NEGRI (b. 1933)

      1. Empire
        1. Part 2. From Section 4. Symptoms of Passage

      *JUDITH HALBERSTAM (b. 1961)

      1. The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly: Men, Women, and Masculinity