Publication Details

Willis, I (2009). Preview Press the Escape key to close Modern Literary Theory and Ancient Texts. An Introduction. The Classical Review, 59 (1), 4-5.


This short volume is designed to introduce classicists (mainly students of classical literature) to a range of twentieth-century theoretical approaches to the study of texts. Its best feature is S.’s unapologetic and palpable commitment both to theory, as the engine for producing new ways to frame and to explore crucial questions about literature, and to literary texts themselves. His conclusion, arguing that literary theory helps us perceive the ‘strangeness’ of classical texts and their provocations to ‘see the world from a strange perspective’ (p. 208), is passionate and convincing; the sections where he focusses on the application of modern theories to ancient texts are also strong, if rather few in number.