Peter Barry
Search for other papers by Peter Barry in
Current site
Google Scholar
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

This introduction invites readers look back on their previous training in literary studies. It looks at the assumptions behind traditional literary criticism, or 'liberal humanism' as theorists usually call it. The word 'liberal' in this formulation means not politically radical, and hence generally evasive and non-committal on political issues. 'Humanism' implies something similar; it suggests a range of negative attributes, such as 'non-Marxist' and 'non-feminist', and 'non-theoretical'. The chapter explains that we are looking, in literary theory, for something we can use, not something which will use us. It suggests a useful form of intensive reading, known as 'SQ3R' or 'SQRRR', which breaks down the reading of a difficult chapter or article into five stages, as designated by the letters 'SQRRR'. The stages are: Survey, Question, Read, Recall, and Review. The chapter includes a STOP and THINK section to help readers reflect on the nature of literary education to date.

  • Collapse
  • Expand

All of MUP's digital content including Open Access books and journals is now available on manchesterhive.


Beginning theory (fourth edition)

An introduction to literary and cultural theory


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1316 405 27
Full Text Views 175 46 3
PDF Downloads 163 47 5