An Introduction to Poetics


Tzvetan Todorov
Translated by Richard Howard
Introduction by Peter Brooks

A concise exposition of the structuralist approach to literature.

A clear, concise, and masterly exposition of the structuralist approach to literature, it is one of the key documents of French structuralism. All of Todorov’s qualities are evident in it: the ability to present complex critical notions simply but without simplification and to use precise terminology without falling into jargon; a willingness to tackle controversial issues without invoking dogma; and a great modesty which, in a programmatic book, allows him to be expository without being preachy.

Born and educated in Sofia, Bulgaria, Tzvetan Todorov draws upon Slavic as well as French, German, and Anglo-American traditions of literary theory. He is Maitre de Recherches at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris and has lectured at various North American Universities. Among his books available in English are The Poetics of Prose and The Fantastic; A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre.

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