What are Shmoop Literary Critic Resources?
If there weren’t literary critics to help us understand what we’re reading and why, our copy of The Sound and the Fury might as well function as a drink coaster. At least it would keep us from getting all those frustrating rings on our coffee table.
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Just ask our pen pal, Nam Pang... a panda at the Chengdu Zoo.
We don't want to rag on our new friend, but the conversation is fairly one-sided.
But when it comes to literary theorists, it's worth the extra effort to hear what they have to say.
As long as they... speak English and don't show up on any endangered species lists.
Literary theorists bring us new ways of reading our favorite books and poems...
...and they really want to get us thinking about what we read, how we read it, and why.
It's complicated stuff, and sometimes it involves some complicated language.
But with a little help from our trusty literary glossary, we can get through it.
Say you're at your favorite coffeehouse, dressed to the nines in
your favorite hipster scarf and ironic t-shirt...
...and you're doing your best to look the part by carrying around
a copy of James Joyce's Ulysses.
But then you think... hey, why not actually try
reading it instead of merely using it as a prop?
Unfortunately... it goes something like this...
Until, of course, Shmoop sprinkles its magical, literary theory fairy dust over you.
And just like that, Ulysses makes perfect sense to you.
Well, okay, maybe not perfect sense. It turns out that, when theorists go online...
...they really loosen up and tell you what's on their minds.
It can verge on reality TV.
"Watch as Roland Barthes live blogs The Bachelorette!
When you mess with a rose, you get the thorns..."
"Check out the confidential logs from Freud's therapy sessions with his most famous clients!"
"See Judith Butler's picks for Top 5 Gender Bending Films!"
"Find out why Stanley Fish hates Volvos!
And why Stanley Volvo hates fish!"
"Listen as Foucault lists his "Top 8 Most-Hated Institutions!
See if your school made the list!"
Their stuff can be a little sensational sometimes...
...but it's frequently provocative...
...and almost always allows us - or forces us -
to see things differently than we might have otherwise.
Of course, that's just our theory...