Reddit mentions: The best 20th century literary criticism books

We found 29 Reddit comments discussing the best 20th century literary criticism books. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 10 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

idea-bulb Interested in what Redditors like? Check out our Shuffle feature

Shuffle: random products popular on Reddit

Top Reddit comments about 20th Century Literary Criticism:

u/tfshaman · 1 pointr/aspergers

This thread is going to pile up with people trying to convince you that their projection of meaning is somehow profound, or people reaching for some kind of loophole/argument to preserve the Sacred Meaning of Life. I am not one of them, OP.

Welcome to the 1st world desert, friend. Comfortable life, good friends, torrid romance, hobbies, pets, music. We're hanging out at the Sizzler at the edge of the universe. Any trivial thing we want to distract ourselves from the Terror is ours to devour. All of the disposable income that life as STEMfuck Sperglords grants, all for nothing. All we can do is ride the snake. I would recommend The Trouble with Being Born by E. M. Cioran, a delightful collection of nihilistic psalms and meditations.

<3 u bb, enjoy this unwinding into the void.

u/Mughi · 8 pointsr/books

Sure. Stop me when this gets boring!

The History of Middle-earth.

The History of the Hobbit.

The Road to Middle-earth, J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century and Roots and Branches, all by Tom Shippey

You should read Tolkien's Letters, too.

Other books to consider:

The LOTR reader's Companion

J.R.R. Tolkien and His Literary Resonances

Perilous Realms: Celtic and Norse in Tolkien's Middle-earth

The Keys of Middle-Earth: Discovering Medieval Literature through the Fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien

Understanding The Lord of the Rings: The Best of Tolkien Criticism

J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide

If you're feeling rich, you could try to find a copy of Songs For The Philologists, a collection of poems, mostly in Old English, written by Tolkien and E.V. Gordon (I only have a .pdf copy).

I'd also read Tolkien's Beowulf criticism.

and just for fun, read Ents, Elves, and Eriador: The Environmental Vision of J.R.R. Tolkien, which is nothing to do with philology but which was cowritten by my major professor :)

Let's see, what else? Anything by Douglas A. Anderson, Verlyn Flieger or Michael Drout (especially Drout's Beowulf and the Critics and How Tradition Works: A Meme-Based Cultural Poetics of the Anglo-Saxon Tenth Century.

That's pretty much all that leaps immediately to mind, just glancing over my bookshelves, but if you search for "Tolkien scholarship and criticism" you will find much, much more. Hope this helps!

u/ur_frnd_the_footnote · 3 pointsr/AskLiteraryStudies

For a post about methodological historicism, the terms people are throwing out in response could sure use some more careful historicizing. Personally, I would call the two methods you describe "historicizing" and "strategic" or "interested" forms of reading.

Given your question, you may be interested in the work of Joseph North. His recent (and controversial) book Literary Criticism: A Concise Political History draws a broad distinction between two modes of reading: scholarship and criticism. Where that distinction gets interesting for you is when he starts characterizing the former:

>“We might call this the “historicist/contextualist” paradigm, by which I simply mean that almost all of the most influential movements in literary studies since the 1980s [i.e., since the rise of what u/drjeffy rightly calls New Historicism] have proceeded on the assumption that, for academic purposes, works of literature are chiefly of interest as diagnostic instruments for determining the state of the cultures in which they were written or read”

That looks to me a lot like what you're describing in scenario one. I'm less sure that you and he mean the same thing about scenario two, but the overlap is worth exploring if you're curious.

u/amazon-converter-bot · 2 pointsr/FreeEBOOKS

Here are all the local Amazon links I could find:

Beep bloop. I'm a bot to convert Amazon ebook links to local Amazon sites.
I currently look here:,,,,,,,,,,,,, if you would like your local version of Amazon adding please contact my creator.

u/angstycollegekid · 4 pointsr/askphilosophy

Anti-natalism is what you're looking for. As /u/UmamiSalami mentioned, Better Never to have Been by David Benatar is a great resource. Two of my favorite philosophers in general—who both coincidentally happened to oppose natalism—are Schopenhauer and Cioran. Check out their Studies in Pessimism and The Trouble With Being Born, respectively.

u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/SanctionedSuicide

Gotta love E.M. Cioran. Best book title ever, The Trouble with Being Born.

u/GarleyCavidson · 1 pointr/accelerationism



Inventing the Future (Left Accelerationism)

Libidinal Economy (Lyotard)

Anti-Oedipuis: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (Deleuze and Guattari)

Capitalist Realism (Fisher)

K-Punk(Fisher, a newly released anthology)


This is the best introduction I've come across

The MAP (Manifesto for an Accelerationist Politics)

This article from The Guardian

u/shichiju · 9 pointsr/literature

As this book [] points out, Kakutani had a huge negative influence on the development of World Literature. Everything had to be "magic realism" for her, on the template of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, whom she didn't even read until after he won the Nobel Prize. Her idea of World Literature was someone with a foreign name, educated at an American university, writing in English. She did not read any foreign languages.

u/Kwanjai3KBattery · 1 pointr/changemyview

So as others have said these are basically internet problems and if you log off and do some IRL political activism then those problems are much much less bad (not perfect, and I do understand that you've already had one negative experience of activism, but a lot better).

I'd also say these are largely bubble problems and if you step back and try not to take the political bubble too seriously then you will also find that helps. A lot of what you're talking about is basically the "office gossip" of the left, it's not really the substance, and just as if you spend your time at work getting involved in the gossip and not the work then you'll get depressed so too with the left.

But insofar as there's a substance issue here I do have someone you might like, but I'm giving you a health warning first. I personally feel identity politics is very important and if you negate it what you end up with is the "dirtbag left" (ie eXile, chapo etc..) which just very quickly becomes quite toxic and entitled and complacent. It's important to have compassion when thinking about people whose life experiences might be different to your own, otherwise the slide down the slope into the alt right is alarmingly short.

Now, all that said, the man you're looking for is Mark Fisher (RIP), Vampire Castle, K-Punk and Acid Communism. He was a controversial figure, but I think you're going to love him, and he's much more nuanced and compassionate (and clever) than the dirtbag crowd

u/WizardWatson9 · 6 pointsr/atheism

A fine example! No, I would not deface Mein Kampf, for the reasons I described above. Adolph Hitler's ideas may be as atrocious as, reportedly, his writing skill, but they still deserve to be presented, if only to serve as a grim example of the methods of persuasion employed by a genocidal dictator.

In fact, on a slightly tangential note, a man named Daniel Kalder wrote a very interesting article on Quillette on the subject of learning from the writings of dictators, as well as a book, The Infernal Library. I haven't read the book, but I highly recommend the article.

u/supposedlyfunthing · 2 pointsr/AskLiteraryStudies

Tim Groenland's recent book on editing Carver and Wallace might be of interest:

(If at all possible, don't buy it from Amazon. And if you can't afford it, please reach out; I'll get you what I can.)

u/kerbals_must_die · 1 pointr/CasualUK

For the sum of only £63.95, you could be the proud owner of the Kindle edition of this academic text about Russian authors who emigrated to Israel in the 90s. Or if you prefer hardcovers, it'll only set you back a measly £6k.

u/sunsy94 · 4 pointsr/AskLiteraryStudies

Richard Bentley was an 18th century scholar who produced a version of Paradise Lost that argued there were transcribing errors in the text that he went on to fix in his edition. He mostly changed some words around to what seemed more appropriate to him. There is also a great chapter in William Empson's Some Versions of Pastoral about Bentley and Milton.

u/pptyx · 1 pointr/Communalists

Did you mean the Fisher book? If so then yes it's in print and ebook. The quotation is from its final chapter, which is the draft introduction to his never completed book, Acid Communism.

u/pm_me_your_jhanas · 1 pointr/Buddhism

E M Cioran's "The Trouble with Being Born" Sympathy can do wonders for the soul

u/Type_ya_name_here · 7 pointsr/Showerthoughts

Your post reminded me of this book which examines how there is more bad-ness in life than good-ness and how life is full of pain, illness, suffering and death. While there are lovely sunsets m, kisses with cute girls and various other ‘good’ things...the list is much smaller than the list of bad things.
Here is another great book. Emil (who was a fantastic modern day philosopher) examines the issues with being born, how it’s always too late for suicide and takes a sideways look at the world.