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American Bards by Edward WhitleyWalt Whitman has long been regarded as the quintessential American bard, the poet who best represents all that is distinctive about life in the United States. Whitman himself encouraged this view, but he was also quick to remind his readers that he was an unlikely candidate for the office of national poet, and that his working-class upbringing and radical take on human sexuality often put him at odds with American culture. While American literary history has tended to credit Whitman with having invented the persona of the national outsider as the national bard, Edward Whitley recovers three of Whitman's contemporaries who adopted similar personae: James M. Whitfield, an African American separatist and abolitionist; Eliza R. Snow, a Mormon pioneer and women's leader; and John Rollin Ridge, a Cherokee journalist and Native-rights advocate. These three poets not only provide a counterpoint to the Whitmanian persona of the outsider bard, but they also reframe the criteria by which generations of scholars have characterized Whitman as America's poet. This effort to resituate Whitman's place in American literary history provides an innovative perspective on the most familiar poet of the United States and the culture from which he emerged.
Publication Date: 2010-10-11
Anton Chekhov by Mikhail Chekhov; Eugene Alper (Translator); Mikhail Pavlovich ChekhovIn a style reminiscent of Anton Chekhov himself--realistic, intimate, and dynamic--Mikhail Chekhov shares unparalleled memories and insights, transporting readers into the world of the Chekhov family. He visits the places where his brother lived and worked and introduces the people he knew and loved, Leo Tolstoy and Piotr Tchaikovsky among them. As a unique eyewitness to the beloved writer's formative years and his artistic maturity, Mikhail Chekhov shows here first-hand the events that inspired the plots for The Seagull, The Black Monk, and The Steppe, among other enduring works. Captivating, surprising, and a joy to read, this memoir reveals the remarkable life of one the most masterful storytellers of our time.
Publication Date: 2009-12-22
Becoming Modern Women by Michiko SuzukiPresenting a fresh examination of women writers and prewar ideology, this book breaks new ground in its investigation of love as a critical aspect of Japanese culture during the early to mid-twentieth century. As a literary and cultural history of love and female identity, Becoming Modern Women focuses on same-sex love, love marriage, and maternal love--new terms at that time; in doing so, it shows how the idea of "woman," within the context of a vibrant print culture, was constructed through the modern experience of love. Author Michiko Suzuki's work complements current scholarship on female identities such as "Modern Girl" and "New Woman," and interprets women's fiction in conjunction with nonfiction from a range of media--early feminist writing, sexology books, newspapers, bestselling love treatises, native ethnology, and historiography. While illuminating the ways in which women used and challenged ideas about love, Suzuki explores the historical and ideological shifts of the period, underscoring the broader connections between gender, modernity, and nationhood.
Publication Date: 2009-11-10
Dante's Commedia by Vittorio Montemaggi (Editor); Matthew Treherne (Editor)In Dante's Commedia: Theology as Poetry, an international group of theologians and Dante scholars provide a uniquely rich set of perspectives focused on the relationship between theology and poetry in the Commedia. Examining Dante's treatment of questions of language, personhood, and the body; his engagement with the theological tradition he inherited; and the implications of his work for contemporary theology, the contributors argue for the close intersection of theology and poetry in the text as well as the importance of theology for Dante studies. Through discussion of issues ranging from Dante's use of imagery of the Church to the significance of the smile for his poetic project, the essayists offer convincing evidence that his theology is not what underlies his narrative poem, nor what is contained within it: it is instead fully integrated with its poetic and narrative texture.
Publication Date: 2010-01-01
From Continuity to Contiguity by Dan MironDan Miron--widely recognized as one of the world's leading experts on modern Jewish literatures--begins this study by surveying and critiquing previous attempts to define a common denominator unifying the various modern Jewish literatures. He argues that these prior efforts have all been trapped by the need to see these literatures as a continuum. Miron seeks to break through this impasse by acknowledging discontinuity as the staple characteristic of modern Jewish writing. These literatures instead form a complex of independent, yet touching, components related through contiguity. From Continuity to Contiguity offers original insights into modern Hebrew, Yiddish, and other Jewish literatures, including a new interpretation of Franz Kafka's place within them and discussions of Sholem Aleichem, Sh. Y. Abramovitsh, Akhad ha'am, M. Y. Berditshevsky, Kh. N. Bialik, and Y. L. Peretz.
Publication Date: 2010-07-01
From Modernist Entombment to Postmodernist Exhumation by Lisa K. PerdigaoHow fictional representations of dead bodies develop over the twentieth century is the central concern of Lisa K. Perdigao's study of American writers. Perdigao considers works by writers from William Faulkner and Richard Wright to Toni Morrison and Jeffrey Eugenides, arguing that the crisis of bodily representation can be traced from modernist entombment to postmodernist exhumation, complementary drives that speak to the tension between the desire to bury the dead and the need to remember.
Publication Date: 2010-06-28
From the Modernist Annex by Karin Roffman In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the majority of women were forced to seek their education outside the walls of American universities. Many turned to museums and libraries, for their own enlightenment, for formal education, and also for their careers. In Roffman's close readings of four modernist writers--Edith Wharton, Nella Larsen, Marianne Moore, and Ruth Benedict--she studied the that modernist women writers were simultaneously critical of and shaped by these institutions. From the Modernist Annex offers new and critically significant ways of understanding these writers and their texts, the distribution of knowledge, and the complicated place of women in modernist institutions.
Publication Date: 2010-05-13
Gabriel García Márquez by Ilan StavansThis long-awaited biography provides a fascinating and comprehensive picture of Garc#65533;a M#65533;rquez's life up to the publication of his classic 100 Years of Solitude. Based on nearly a decade of research, this biographical study sheds new light on the life and works of the Nobel Laureate, father of magical realism, and bestselling author in the history of the Spanish language. As Garc#65533;a M#65533;rquez's impact endures on well into his ninth decade, Stavans's keen insights constitute the definitive re-appraisal of the literary giant's life and corpus. The later part of his life will be covered in a second book.
Publication Date: 2010-01-05
The Oxford Handbook of Percy Bysshe Shelley by Michael O'Neill (Editor); Anthony Howe (Editor); Madeleine CallaghanThe Oxford Handbook of Percy Bysshe Shelley takes stock of current developments in the study of a major Romantic poet and prose-writer, and seeks to advance Shelley studies beyond the current state of scholarship. It consists of forty-two chapters written by a prestigious internationalcast of established and emerging scholar-critics, and offers the most wide-ranging single-volume body of writings on Shelley. The volume builds on the textual revolution in Shelley studies, which has transformed understanding of the poet, as critics are able to focus on what Shelley actually wrote. This Handbook is divided into five thematic sections: Biography and Relationships; Prose; Poetry; Cultures, Traditions, Influences; and Afterlives. The first section reappraises Shelley's life and relationships, including those with his publishers through whom he sought to reach an audience for the'Ashes and sparks' of his thought, and with women, creative collaborators as well as muse-figures; the second section gives his under-investigated prose works detailed attention, bringing multiple perspectives to bear on his shifting and complex conceptual positions, and demonstrating the range ofhis achievement in prose works from novels to political and poetic treatises; the third section explores Shelley's creativity and gift as a poet, emphasizing his capacity to excel in many different poetic genres; the fourth section looks at Shelley's response to past and contemporary literarycultures, both English and international, and at his immersion in science, music, theatre, the visual arts, and tourism and travel; the fifth section concludes the volume by analysing Shelley's literary and cultural afterlife, from his influence on Victorians and Moderns, to his status as theexemplary poet for Deconstruction. The Oxford Handbook of Percy Bysshe Shelley brings out the relevance to Shelley's own work of his dictum that 'All high poetry is infinite' and shows how he continues to generate original critical responses.
Publication Date: 2013-03-01
The Oxford Handbook of the History of English by Terttu Nevalainen (Editor); Elizabeth Closs Traugott (Editor)The availability of large electronic corpora has caused major shifts in linguistic research, including the ability to analyze much more data than ever before, and to perform micro-analyses of linguistic structures across languages. This has historical linguists to rethink many standardassumptions about language history, and methods and approaches that are relevant to the study of it. The field is now interested in, and attracts, specialists whose fields range from statistical modeling to acoustic phonetics. These changes have even transformed linguists' perceptions of the veryprocesses of language change, particularly in English, the most studied language in historical linguistics due to the size of available data and its status as a global language.The Oxford Handbook of the History of English takes stock of recent advances in the study of the history of English, broadening and deepening the understanding of the field. It seeks to suggest ways to rethink the relationship of English's past with its present, and make transparent the variety ofconditions and processes that have been instrumental in shaping that history. Setting a new standard of cross-disciplinary collaboration, it covers the field in an innovative way, providing diachronic accounts of major influences such as language contact, and typological processes that have shapedEnglish and its varieties, as well as highlighting recent and ongoing developments of Englishes - celebrating the vitality of language change over the centuries and the many contexts and processes through which language change occurs.
Publication Date: 2012-10-10
Pen of Iron by Robert AlterThe simple yet grand language of the King James Bible has pervaded American culture from the beginning--and its powerful eloquence continues to be felt even today. In this book, acclaimed biblical translator and literary critic Robert Alter traces some of the fascinating ways that American novelists--from Melville, Hemingway, and Faulkner to Bellow, Marilynne Robinson, and Cormac McCarthy--have drawn on the rich stylistic resources of the canonical English Bible to fashion their own strongly resonant styles and distinctive visions of reality. Showing the radically different manners in which the words, idioms, syntax, and cadences of this Bible are woven into Moby-Dick, Absalom, Absalom!, The Sun Also Rises, Seize the Day, Gilead, and The Road, Alter reveals the wide variety of stylistic and imaginative possibilities that American novelists have found in Scripture. At the same time, Alter demonstrates the importance of looking closely at the style of literary works, making the case that style is not merely an aesthetic phenomenon but is the very medium through which writers conceive their worlds.