The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism
Vincent B. Leitch
In recent times, theory and criticism have become central to literary and
cultural studies, treated less as aids to the study of literature and culture
than as ends in themselves. As Jonathan Culler noted in Framing the Sign:
Criticism and Its Institutions (1988), “Formerly the history of criticism was
part of the history of literature (the story of changing conceptions of literature advanced by great writers), but . . . now the history of literature is part
of the history of criticism.