When Buzzingtales received its review copy of “This Thing Called Literature”, the title instantly generated a smile that was mile wide. Being a lover of literature my antennas came sharply alter to the tag line “In a turbulent world focused on economics and science, do poems, prose and plays matter?” Buzzingtales was inquisitive to find out more and envisioning a more egalitarian world where literature & art are valued as much as commerce or science. Buzzingtales dived straight at the book and discovered that the book was an enlightening piece of work on a pertinent subject. We really want all of you to plunge into the brilliantly written pages and enjoy it as much as we did. So here is a sneak peek of the book without giving up too much and being the spoiler.
With the rapid growth of scientific and vocational courses, and with students wanting tangible rewards from their degrees, Bennett and Royle show us why Literature still holds a crucial place in society.
What is Literature? Why should we study it? Often, students taking courses in Literature don’t get the highest paid jobs. Can studying Literature truly teach us anything about the world?
Addressing this perceived decline in interest in the Humanities, This Thing Called Literature (Routledge, 2015) from acclaimed authorial duo Andrew Bennett and Nicholas Royle demonstrates why the study of Literature is still important in our changing society. Relating Literature to topics such as politics, life, death, and what it is to be a citizen of the 21st Century, this beautifully written book establishes a sense of why and how literature is an exciting and rewarding subject to study.
‘Unlike more or less every other thing you have to do in life that is connected with studying or working for a living, the study of literature doesn’t tie you down to anything. It frees you up. It opens up remarkable possibilities.’
This Thing Called Literature leads the reader through a discussion of the fundamental concepts of literary study. It suggests that the very concept of literature is bound up with the democratic principle of ‘freedom of expression’, a principle threatened by the current shift towards more ‘rewarding’ Bachelor degrees.
‘A very shrewd, lively, and at times irreverent introduction to literary study, which explains that thinking about literature is thinking about everything else, including thinking.’ – Jonathan Culler,
Class of 1916 Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Cornell University, USA.