I think it's helpful to have a sticky with links people think are particularly helpful for understanding some of the assorted lit critters and movements we're discussing. I'll start with these. Please chime in with others.
  1. Paul de Man. His reputation suffered when some anti-semitic things he wrote during WWII came to light after his death, but he's still one of the biggies.
  2. Jacques Derrida. The godfather of deconstruction. Major post-structuralist
  3. Jacques Lacan. The guy who made Freud legit again.
  4. Stanley Fish. The big name in reader-response theory.
  5. Michel Foucault. Particularly known for his examinations of prisons, madness, and sexuality. Major post-structuralist
  6. Ferdinand de Saussure. Often said to be the father of modern linguistic studies and semiotics (the study of signs).
  7. Claude Levi-Strauss. Actually an anthropologist, his structuralist analysis became popular with critters.
  8. Roland Barthes . Major structuralist.
  9. New Criticism. A point of view emphasizing the text in isolation.
  10. New Historicism. The inevitable reaction to New Criticism.