Thinking about study, I've gone back to an introductory book that I bought in my first year of university. This is a really refreshing and engaging little book about, let's be honest a pretty dull topic. Well I find it facinating, but I definately think I'm in the minority - you don't hear too many people raving about Lit Theory.
Anyway, if it is your cup of tea, or you're looking to start a Literature course, I highly recommend this book for the following reasons:
1. It's very very short (handy for those of us whose handbags, or manbags, are groaning as it is).
2. Culler writes incredibly concisely and is easy to understand despite the fact that he is explaining quite challenging ideas.
3. Culler has a great way of building on knowledge chapter by chapter.
4. Culler uses really simple examples - literary, pop culture or everyday language - to explain complex theories.
5. There are great resources at the back of the book, designed to explain differing schools of thought and terminolody and to inspire further reading.
Now saying all this, I did not get through this entire book when I was actually in first year. But this is due to the fact that I got by on an absolute minimal amount of effort in those days (quite shameful really). My second attempt at reading this book has been far more successful and rewarding.
Are you interested in Literary theory? How do you think Lit Theory helps writers? Also, out of interest, which novels do you consider to be literary?