The Fall of Literary Theory

A 21st Century Return to Deconstruction and Poststructuralism, with Applications

by Liana Vrajitoru Andreasen


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The book revives literary theory, which was popular at the end of the 20th century, with the purpose of showing how useful it is in the current century in opening the minds of students to the dangers of claiming to have a fixed identity. The book shows that in Western cultures identity is a construct that always sees individuals as lacking something (being fallen) that can be retrieved or gained at the expense of an Other, an adversary seen as standing in the way of identity fulfillment. The book shows the history of "fallenness" through an analysis of Melville's Billy Budd, Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!, Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49. It also shows ways to heal identity through an analysis of Toni Morrison's Beloved and Rudolfo Anaya's Tortuga.


Effects of Identity, a review by Roxana Patraa in American Book Review, Volume 41, Number 6, September/October 2020

Author Intervew with Joseph Haske of Late Last Night Books 13 Nov 2017
An Interview with Liana Vrajitoru

Liana V. Andreasen demonstrates that theory teaches students of literature to analyze the constructed history of their identities, providing them skills to evaluate the events of their adult lives.
Monica Bilson, Creative Writing Chair at New Hampshire Institute of Art

Andreasen explains that our failure to find completion in our literary archaeology is due to fallenness. Her selection of this term is an ingenious example of retrieval, which is largely what this book is about. She argues that we can reverse theory’s failures, but we may have to make a few sacrifices and amend a few assumptions about what literary criticism is all about.
Ron Cooper, author of Hume’s Fork and Purple Jesus

About the Author

Liana Vrajitoru Andreasen was born in Romania and came to the United States for graduate school, specializing in Literary Theory. She is a Professor at South Texas College in McAllen. She has published many scholarly articles in journals such as Texas Review, Rampike, Alecart, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, The Romanian Journal of Artistic Creativity, Southwestern American Literature, among others.