In this first lecture, Professor Paul Fry explores the course’s title in three parts. The relationship between theory and philosophy, the question of what literature is and does, and what constitutes an introduction are interrogated. The professor then situates the emergence of literary theory in the history of modern criticism and, through an analysis of major thinkers such as Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud, provides antecedents for twentieth-century theoretical developments.
00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction 04:29 - Chapter 2. Theory and Philosophy 10:08 - Chapter 3. What Is Literature? 13:10 - Chapter 4. The Idea of an “Introduction” 18:11 - Chapter 5. Literary Theory and the History of Modern Criticism 32:10 - Chapter 6. The Hermeneutics of Suspicion