Theory of Literature


a)To reflect on the conditions that make possible to determine a set of unique traces of the English, Irish, North-American and Portuguese novels, from their origin until today;
b)To determine how the experimental novel and/or the anti-novel can be built;
c)To understand the differences and the similarities between pre-modernist, modernist and post-modernist novels;
d)To discuss the validity of the concept of novelism as a way to find an interdisciplinary term in the theory of the novel comparable to the concept of poetics;
e)To learn how to do relevant research in the field of Literary Theory;
f)To organize bibliographic research as a preparation for critical reading of a literary work;
g)To produce a short research paper on one of the works studied in class.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Rogério Miguel do Deserto Rodrigues de Puga


Weekly - 3

Total - 280

Teaching language



Available soon


- Bressler, Charles E. (2002). Literary Criticism: An Introduction to Theory and Practice, 3ª ed., New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
- Culler, Jonathan (2011). Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: OUP.
- Eagleton, Terry (2005). The English Novel. An Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell.
- Head, Dominic (2002). The Cambridge Introduction to Modern British Fiction, 1950-2000, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- McKeon, Michael (ed.) (2000). Theory of the Novel: An Historical Approach, Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
- Waugh, Patricia (2006). Literary Theory and Criticism: An Oxford Guide. Oxford: OUP.

Teaching method

Presentation of the various topics by the lecturer; reading and discussion of a selection of texts covering the topics outlined in the syllabus;
Tutorial supervision of the research work related to the final paper chosen by the student

Evaluation method

Presentation of a research paper. (100%)

Subject matter

The building the novel and novelism: what is novelism?; the novel as narration of knowledge; novelism as antifoundationalism; the question of the representation of the real in post-modern novels; the magical realism and the border between the real and fiction; the hypertextual rewriting of History; the play of the story without a story and the reinvention of storytelling; the question of self-reflexivity; autoglosa and intertextuality as forms of novelism; the illusion of sequentiality and discursive cohesion of the fictional text.