Textual Power: Literary Theory and the Teaching of English

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Robert Scholes has written an enviable book on the uses and abuses of literary theory in the teaching of literature. One of [his] most forceful points...is that 'literary theory' is not something a teacher may either 'use' or not use, for teaching itself is an unavoidably theoretical activity. -Gerald Graff, Novel Scholes' emphasis in Textual Power is indicated by the book's subtitle. After a provocative analysis of disciplinary values and departmental tendencies...[he] proposes that 'we must stop teaching literature and start studying texts'...His book is essential for college libraries. -R.C. Gebhardt, Choice There is no issue more current, more relevant to the present scene, than the problem of pedagogy and its relation to contemporary theory. Textual Power is an important, provocative, and above all useful contribution to this discussion. -Gregory L. Ulmer Robert Scholes, author of Structuralism in Literature and Semiotics and Interpretation among other books, is Alumni-Alumnae University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Brown University.