"Literature," the latest volume in the highly successful "New Critical Idiom" series, is at once a compact mine of information about the development and more recent discrediting of the concept of "literature," and a reflection on the contemporary nature, place and function of what the literary might mean for us today. Comprehensive in scope, it offers a concise history of the consitution of a canonic concept of "literature" from its earliest origins to the orthodoxies that occurred through the later nineteenth-century to the middle of the twentieth. It also traces its dismantling from the late-60s onward. Finally, the book attemps to recuperate a notion of "the literary" by way of a series of readings of diverse texts. It is an excellent primer for anyone who loves the written word.