A study of the philosophical, intellectual, and political influences on the artistic creations of Fitzgerald and key early American modernist writers
F. Scott Fitzgerald and the American Scene continues Ronald Berman’s lifelong study of the philosophical, intellectual, and political influences on the artistic creations of key early American modernist writers. Each chapter in this volume elaborates on a crucial aspect of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s depiction of American society, specifically through the lens of the social sciences that most influenced his writing and thinking.
Berman addresses, among other subjects, Fitzgerald’s use of philosophy, cultural analyses, and sociology—all enriched by the insights of his own experience living an American life. He was especially interested in how life had changed from 1910 to 1920. Many Americans were unable to navigate between the 1920s and their own memories of a very different world before the Great War; especially Daisy Buchanan who evolves from girlhood (as typified in sentimental novels of the time) to wifehood (as actually experienced in the new decade). There is a profound similarity between what happens to Fitzgerald’s characters and what happened to the nation.
Berman revisits classics like The Great Gatsby but also looks carefully at Fitzgerald’s shorter fictions, analyzing a stimulating spectrum of scholars from more contemporary critics like Thomas Piketty to George Santayana, John Maynard Keynes, John Dewey, and Walter Lippmann. This fascinating addition to F. Scott Fitzgerald scholarship, although broad in its content, is accessible to a wide audience. Scholars and students of Fitzgerald and twentieth-century American literature, as well as dedicated Fitzgerald readers, will enjoy Berman’s take on a long-debated and celebrated author.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby occupies a preeminent place in American letters. Scholars have argued that Jay Gatsby is, in fact, the embodiment of American cultural and social aspiration. Though The Great Gatsby has been studied in detail since its publication, both readers and scholars have continued to speculate about Fitzgerald’s sources of inspiration.
The essays in F. Scott Fitzgerald at Work examine fresh facts that illuminate the experiences and source materials upon which Fitzgerald based this quintessentially American masterpiece. They confirm author Horst Kruse’s view that Fitzgerald’s flights of fancy, even at their most spectacular, are firmly grounded in biographical experience as well as in the social, literary, and philosophical circumstances of his era.
In the first essay, Kruse reconstructs the life story of the individual who allegedly inspired the character of Jay Gatsby: Max von Gerlach. Kruse recounts his journeys to various archives and libraries in the United States as well as in Germany to unearth new facts about the genesis of the Gatsby characters. In another journey, readers travel with Kruse to Long Island to explore its physical and moral geography in relation to Fitzgerald, specifically the role of certain elite Long Island families in the advancement of the “science of eugenics” movement. The final two essays take Kruse across the globe to various destinations to consider the broader place of The Great Gatsby in American and international intellectual history.
Replete with fascinating discoveries and insights, F. Scott Fitzgerald at Work both corrects previous assumptions about The Great Gatsby and deepens our appreciation and understanding of Fitzgerald‘s imagination.
This thought-provoking collection explores significant new facets of an American author of lasting international stature.
As the author of some of the most compelling short stories ever written, two of the central novels in American literature, and some of the most beautiful prose ever penned, F. Scott Fitzgerald is read and studied all over the world. Sixty-two years after his death, his works—protean, provocative, multilayered, and rich—continue to elicit spirited responses. This collection grew out of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Conference that convened in Princeton at the centennial of this author's birth. Bringing together dozens of the world's leading scholars and commentators, the conference and the book celebrate the ever-growing legacy of Fitzgerald's art.
The subjects of these 19 essays reflect the contributors' wish to shine new light on less-frequently discussed aspects of Fitzgerald's work. Topics include Fitzgerald's Princeton influences and his expression of Catholic romanticism; his treatments of youth culture, the devil, and waste; parallels in the work of Mencken, Cather, and Murakami; and the ways gender, pastoral mode, humor, and the Civil War are variously presented in his work. One illustrated summary examines Fitzgerald's effect on popular culture through his appearance in the comics. Two broad overviews—one on Fitzgerald's career and another on the final developments in the author's style—round out the collection.
The international scope of the contributors to this volume reflects Fitzgerald's worldwide reputation and appeal. With extensive treatments of This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, The Last Tycoon, and the Pat Hobby stories, this collection makes an unusual and significant contribution to the field of Fitzgerald studies.
From the acclaimed author of Winter (Mirror) and Rehearsal in Black, Fables of Representation is a powerful collection of essays on the state of contemporary poetry, free from the stultifying theoretical jargon of recent literary history.
With its title essay, "Fables of Representation," one of the most cogent studies ever written of the New York School of poets (a group that includes the influential poet John Ashbery), this book is required reading for anyone who seeks to understand the poetry and culture of the postmodern period.
Author Paul Hoover's wide-ranging subjects include African-American interdisciplinary studies; the position of poetry in the electronic age; the notion of doubleness in the work of Harryette Mullen and others; the lyricism of the New York School poets; and the role of reality in American poetry. Hoover also introduces two provocative essays sure to generate attention and discussion: "The Postmodern Era: A Final Exam" and "The New Millennium: Fifty Statements on Literature and Culture."
Paul Hoover is the editor of the anthology Postmodern American Poetry and author of nine poetry collections, including Totem and Shadow: New and Selected Poems and Viridian. His poetry has appeared in American Poetry Review, The New Republic, and The Paris Review, among others. He is Poet-in-Residence at Columbia College, Chicago.
Joy Katz Southern Illinois University Press, 2002 Library of Congress PS3611.A79F33 2002 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
In Fabulae, Joy Katz interrogates the physical world, constructing a sensual and striking autobiography. She turns to the familiarity and strangeness of the female body, its surfaces and inner workings, often, although her subjects range from Thomas Jefferson to an Adam and Eve plagued with obsessive-compulsive disorder to the streets of New York’s diamond district. The poems, by turns funny and philosophical, point to how we suffer from desire: the danger, she writes, is that we might love the world “like heaven and be lost.” But they come back to delight in a flawed world especially the palpable beauty of words, and even the erotic shapes of the letterforms that make them up.
The rise of fascism in Europe created a body of works by authors for whom the choice of exile became the defining event in their lives, autobiographers who recounted terrifying stories of incarceration, flight, survival, and integration into a new culture. In The Face of Exile, Judith Melton offers a powerful and empathetic analysis of the autobiographies written by these unwilling participants in the social upheaval created by Hitler's war on Europe.
In The Face of Exile, Judith Melton first focuses on the disrupted lives revealed in early memoirs by such self-defined witnesses of history as Lion Feuchtwanger, Georg Grosz, and Yehuda Nir, emphasizing that their personal stories provide the modern reader with insight into the subjective responses to the crisis of going into exile. Given the traumatic nature of the experiences involved, Melton preserves an admirable balance between critical objectivity and sympathy in analyzing the lives of these suffering writers.
In the second and longer part, Melton situates exile autobiography within the appropriate critical theories before concentrating on the consistent themes of exile autobiography: loss, disruption, and reintegration; she examines psychological expressions of exile—often written years later—that seek to reconstitute a self fractured by the psychic and physical shocks of exile. Drawing on an amazingly diverse body of works, she shows how nostalgia for childhood (Vladimir Nabokov and Eva Hoffman), intellectual responses (Czeslaw Milosz and Thomas Mann), and spiritual meditations (Mircea Eliade) become major influences on exile autobiography.
The Face of Exile is a significant and validating examination of the cultural, psychological, and historical dimensions of exile autobiography. Clearly and compellingly, Judith Melton reveals the voices and concepts behind this important twentieth-century literature that has become a metaphor for alienation in our time.
For a generation or more, literary theorists have used the metaphor of "the death of the author" in considering the observation that to write is to abdicate control over the meanings one's text is capable of generating. But in the case of AIDS diaries, the metaphor can be literal. Facing It examines the genre not in classificatory terms but pragmatically, as the site of a social interaction. Through a detailed study of three such diaries, originating respectively in France, the United States, and Australia, Ross Chambers demonstrates that issues concerning the politics of AIDS writing and the ethics of reading are linked by a common concern with the problematics of survivorhood. Two of the diaries chosen for special attention in this light are video diaries: La Pudeur ou l'impudeur by Hervé Guibert (author of To the Friend Who Did Not Save My Life), and Silverlake Life, by the American videomaker Tom Joslin (aided by his lover and friends, notably Peter Friedman). The third is a defiant but anxious text, Unbecoming, by an American anthropologist, Eric Michaels, who died in Brisbane, Australia, in 1988. Other authors more briefly examined include Pascal de Duve, Bertrand Duquénelle, Alain Emmanuel Dreuilhe, David Wojnarowicz, Gary Fisher, and the filmmaker (not a diarist) Laurie Lynd. Finally, Facing It takes on the issue of its own relevance, asking what contributions literary criticism can make in the midst of an epidemic.
"Groundbreaking in its approach and potentially wide in its appeal. . . . The rigor of the ideas, their dramatic nature, and the political drive of the rhetoric all should win Facing It a large readership that could extend far beyond students of narrative or queer theory." --David Bergman, Towson University, editor of Camp Grounds: Style and Homosexuality
Ross Chambers is Distinguished University Professor of French and Comparative Literature, University of Michigan, and author of Room for Maneuver: Reading (the) Oppositional (in) Narrative and Story and Situation: Narrative Seduction and the Power of Fiction.
This selection of fiction by many of America's best writers, each coupled with a distinguished critic's response, is designed to defy the chronological secondariness of critical interpretation. During the creation of this book the majority of the contributions, chosen by the writers themselves, were as yet unpublished, providing an unmediated encounter between author and critic. Every reader extends what editors, authors, and critics have begun by adding to the imaginary space in which all texts may be woven together. This process serves as metaphor for the changing nature of any latter-day encounter with one's own literary tradition. The interfacing of texts not only illuminates the fiction, and the relationship of fiction to critics, but also informs our conceptions of text, criticism, and fiction itself.
For more than two hundred years, book reviewers have influenced American readers, setting our literary agenda by helping us determine not only what we read but also what we think about what we read. And for nearly as long, critics of these critics have lambasted book reviews for their overpraise, hostility, banality, and bias.
Faint Praise takes a hard and long-overdue look at the institution of book reviewing. Gail Pool, herself an accomplished reviewer and review editor, analyzes the inner workings of this troubled trade to show how it works—and why it so often fails to work well. She reveals why bad reviewing happens despite good intentions and how it is that so many intelligent people who love books can say so many unintelligent things on their behalf.
Reviewers have the power to award prestige to authors, give prominence to topics, and shape opinion and taste; yet most readers have little knowledge of why certain books are selected for review, why certain reviewers are selected to review them, and why they so often praise books that aren’t all that good. Pool takes readers behind the scenes to describe how editors choose books for review and assign them to reviewers, and she examines the additional roles played by publishers, authors, and readers. In describing the context of reviewing, she reveals a culture with little interest in literature, much antipathy to criticism, and a decided weakness for praise. In dissecting the language of reviews, Pool demonstrates how it often boils down to unbelievable hype.
Pool explores the multifaceted world of book reviewing today, contrasting traditional methods of reviewing with alternative book coverage, from Amazon.com to Oprah, and suggesting how the more established practices could be revised. She also explores the divide between service journalism practiced by reviewers versus the alleged high art served up by literary critics—and what this fuzzy boundary between reviewing and criticism really means.
This is the first book to analyze the field in depth, weighing the inherent difficulties of reviewing against the unacceptable practices that undermine the very reasons we read—and need—reviews. Faint Praise is a book not just for those who create and review books but also for everyone who loves books. By demystifying this hidden process, Pool helps everyone understand how to read reviews—and better decide what to read.
Rebecca Hazelton The Ohio State University Press, 2012 Library of Congress PS3608.A9884F35 2012 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Fair Copy, byRebecca Hazelton, is a meditation on the difficulties of distinguishing the real from the false, the copy from the original. It is in part an exploration of the disparity between our conception of love as either true or false and the messy reality that it can sometimes be both. If “true” love is not to be found, is an approximation a “fair” substitute? These poems repeatedly question the veracity of memory—sometimes toying with the seductiveness of nostalgia while at other times pleading for the real story. Here, the fairy tale and the everyday nervously coexist, the bride is an uneasy molecule, and happiness comes in the form of a pill. Composed of acrostics from lines by Emily Dickinson, the collection retains a direct and recurrent tie to Dickinson’s work, even while Hazelton deftly branches off into new sonic, rhythmic, and conceptual territories.
Ray Gonzalez University of Arizona Press, 2009 Library of Congress PS3557.O476F34 2009 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Faith Run offers the most recent work by the well-known poet Ray Gonzalez. The poetry here is—at once—perhaps his most personal and most universal. At the heart of these lyrical, sometimes ethereal, poems is a deep sense of the mystery and even the divinity of our human lives. Although Gonzalez invokes the names of many poets who have come before him, including Walt Whitman, Pablo Neruda, Robert Frost, Charles Wright, Allen Ginsberg, and Federico García Lorca, he writes in his own singular voice, one sculpted by the scorched and windblown landscapes of the American Southwest, by the complications of life in a borderland, by the voices of ancestors. With the confident touch of a master craftsman, he creates a new world out of the world we think we know. In his poems, the personal suddenly becomes the cosmic, the mundane unexpectedly becomes the sublime.
For Gonzalez, it seems, we humans can transcend the ordinary—just as these poems transcend genre and create a poetic realm of their own—but we never actually leave behind our rooted, earthbound lives. Although our landscape may be invisible to us, we never escape its powerful magnetism. Nor do we ever abandon our ancestors. No matter how fast or far we run, we can never outrun them. Like gravity, their influence is inexorable.
These poems enchant with their language, which often leaps unexpectedly from worldly to otherworldly in the same stanza, but they cling and linger in our memories—not unlike the voices of friends and relatives.
Roman Catholic writers in colonial America played only a minority role in debates about religion, politics, morality, national identity, and literary culture. However, the commercial print revolution of the nineteenth century, combined with the arrival of many European Catholic immigrants, provided a vibrant evangelical nexus in which Roman Catholic print discourse would thrive among a tightly knit circle of American writers and readers. James Emmett Ryan’s pathbreaking study follows the careers of important nineteenth-century religionists including Orestes Brownson, Isaac Hecker, Anna Hanson Dorsey, and Cardinal James Gibbons, tracing the distinctive literature that they created during the years that non-Catholic writers like Herman Melville and Emily Dickinson were producing iconic works of American literature. Faithful Passages also reveals new dimensions in American religious literary culture by moving beyond the antebellum period to consider how the first important cohort of Catholic writers shaped their message for subsequent generations of readers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Perhaps most strikingly, Ryan shows that by the early twentieth century, Roman Catholic themes and traditions in American literature would be advanced in complex ways by mainstream, non-Catholic modernist writers like Kate Chopin and Willa Cather.
Catholic literary culture in the United States took shape in a myriad of ways and at the hands of diverse participants. The process by which Roman Catholic ideas, themes, and moralities were shared and adapted by writers with highly differentiated beliefs, Ryan contends, illuminates a surprising fluidity of religious commitment and expression in early U.S. literary culture.
Falling Brick Kills Local Man is a daring and inventive collection of narrative poems rich with thoughtful and precise language. Mark Kraushaar writes about what moves him, whether that is the war in Iraq, the notion of synchronicity, the retelling of children’s stories, or a problem of recollection. Often inspired by newspaper stories or witnessed scenes, these poems are a refreshingly honest exploration of our interconnected and multifaceted world.
The Falling Hour
David Wojahn University of Pittsburgh Press, 1997 Library of Congress PS3573.O44F35 1997 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
The Falling Hour is the fifth collection of poetry by David Wojahn, one of the most highly regarded poets of his generation. It is a fiercly elegiac and even apocalyptic book, culminating in a series of blistering elegies written after the sudden death of Wojahn’s wife, the poet Linda Hull. In these poems, the process of mourning and lamentation is examined in all of its intricacy, rage, and sorrowful ambivalence.
From Herman Melville’s claim that “failure is the true test of greatness” to Henry Adams’s self-identification with the “mortifying failure in [his] long education” and William Faulkner’s eagerness to be judged by his “splendid failure to do the impossible,” the rhetoric of failure has served as a master trope of modernist American literary expression. David Ball’s magisterial study addresses the fundamental questions of language, meaning, and authority that run counter to well-rehearsed claims of American innocence and positivity, beginning with the American Renaissance and extending into modernist and contemporary literature. The rhetoric of failure was used at various times to engage artistic ambition, the arrival of advanced capitalism, and a rapidly changing culture, not to mention sheer exhaustion. False Starts locates a lively narrative running through American literature that consequently queries assumptions about the development of modernism in the United States.
Fanny Fern is a name that is unfamiliar to most contemporary readers. In this first modern biography, Warren revives the reputation of a once-popular 19th-century newspaper columnist and novelist. Fern, the pseudonym for Sara Payson Willis Parton, was born in 1811 and grew up in a society with strictly defined gender roles. From her rebellious childhood to her adult years as a newspaper columnist, Fern challenged society's definition of women's place with her life and her words. Fern wrote a weekly newspaper column for 21 years and, using colorful language and satirical style, advocated women's rights and called for social reform. Warren blends Fern's life story with an analysis of the social and literary world of 19th-century America.
In our current era of helicopter parenting and stranger danger, an unaccompanied child wandering through the city might commonly be viewed as a victim of abuse and neglect. However, from the early twentieth century to the present day, countless books and films have portrayed the solitary exploration of urban spaces as a source of empowerment and delight for children.
Fantasies of Neglect explains how this trope of the self-sufficient, mobile urban child originated and considers why it persists, even as it goes against the grain of social reality. Drawing from a wide range of films, children’s books, adult novels, and sociological texts, Pamela Robertson Wojcik investigates how cities have simultaneously been demonized as dangerous spaces unfit for children and romanticized as wondrous playgrounds that foster a kid’s independence and imagination. Charting the development of free-range urban child characters from Little Orphan Annie to Harriet the Spy to Hugo Cabret, and from Shirley Temple to the Dead End Kids, she considers the ongoing dialogue between these fictional representations and shifting discourses on the freedom and neglect of children.
While tracking the general concerns Americans have expressed regarding the abstract figure of the child, the book also examines the varied attitudes toward specific types of urban children—girls and boys, blacks and whites, rich kids and poor ones, loners and neighborhood gangs. Through this diverse selection of sources, Fantasies of Neglect presents a nuanced chronicle of how notions of American urbanism and American childhood have grown up together.
In sharp contrast to the “melting pot” reputation of the United States, the American South—with its history of slavery, Jim Crow, and the civil rights movement—has been perceived in stark and simplistic demographic terms. In Far East, Down South, editors Raymond A. Mohl, John E. Van Sant, and Chizuru Saeki provide a collection of essential essays that restores and explores an overlooked part of the South’s story—that of Asian immigration to the region.
These essays form a comprehensive overview of key episodes and issues in the history of Asian immigrants to the South. During Reconstruction, southern entrepreneurs experimented with the replacement of slave labor with Chinese workers. As in the West, Chinese laborers played a role in the development of railroads. Japanese farmers also played a more widespread role than is usually believed. Filipino sailors recruited by the US Navy in the early decades of the twentieth century often settled with their families in the vicinity of naval ports such as Corpus Christi, Biloxi, and Pensacola. Internment camps brought Japanese Americans to Arkansas. Marriages between American servicemen and Japanese, Korean, Filipina, Vietnamese, and nationals in other theaters of war created many thousands of blended families in the South. In recent decades, the South is the destination of internal immigration as Asian Americans spread out from immigrant enclaves in West Coast and Northeast urban areas.
Taken together, the book’s essays document numerous fascinating themes: the historic presence of Asians in the South dating back to the mid-nineteenth century; the sources of numerous waves of contemporary Asian immigration to the South; and the steady spread of Asians out from the coastal port cities. Far East, Down South adds a vital new dimension to popular understanding of southern history.
When a small-town cafe in Osseo, Wisconsin, was praised for "some of the world’s best pies" in the best-selling guidebook Roadfood, Helen Myhre and the Norske Nook became famous! The same home-cooking tips Helen shared on "Late Night with David Letterman" she now shares with you. From breads to gravies, meats to jellies, and of course, that celebrated sour cream raisin pie, Myhre shows you how to bring a rich, thick slice of Midwest cooking into your kitchen.
If baseball is the sport of nostalgic prose, basketball’s movement, myths, and culture are truly at home in verse. In this extraordinary collection of essays, poets meditate on what basketball means to them: how it has changed their perspective on the craft of poetry; how it informs their sense of language, the body, and human connectedness; how their love of the sport made a difference in the creation of their poems and in the lives they live beyond the margins. Walt Whitman saw the origins of poetry as communal, oral myth making. The same could be said of basketball, which is the beating heart of so many neighborhoods and communities in this country and around the world. On the court and on the page, this “poetry in motion” can be a force of change and inspiration, leaving devoted fans wonderstruck.
Fat Art, Thin Art
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Duke University Press, 1994 Library of Congress PS3569.E316F37 1994 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick is best known as a cultural and literary critic, as one of the primary forces behind the development of queer and gay/lesbian studies, and as author of several influential books: Tendencies, Epistemology of the Closet, and Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire. The publication of Fat Art, Thin Art, Sedgwick’s first volume of poetry, opens up another dimension of her continuing project of crossing and re-crossing the electrified boundaries between theory, lyric, and narrative. Embodying a decades-long adventure, the poems collected here offer the most accessible and definitive formulations to appear anywhere in Sedgwick’s writing on some characteristic subjects and some new ones: passionate attachments within and across genders; queer childhoods of many kinds; the performativity of a long, unconventional marriage; depressiveness, hilarity, and bliss; grave illness; despised and magnetic bodies and bodily parts. In two long fictional poems, a rich narrative momentum engages readers in the mysterious places—including Victorian novels—where characters, sexualities, and fates are unmade and made. Sedgwick’s poetry opens an unfamiliar, intimate, daring space that steadily refigures not only what a critic may be, but what a poem can do.
Fata Morgana: Poems
Reginald Shepherd University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007 Library of Congress PS3569.H3967F38 2007 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Fata Morgana mingles personal experience, history, mythology, politics, and natural science to explore the relationships of conception and perception, the self finding its way through a physical and social world not of its own making, but changing the world by its presence.
"Poetry," wrote Wordsworth, "is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge; it is the impassioned expression which is the countenance of all Science." Robert Pack's new book is a heady mixture of the finer spirit.
A selection from his last five books, along with a collection of new poems, Fathering the Map takes us from the personal reflections distilled in the lyrics of Waking to My Name (1980) to the worldly reckonings of Inheritance (1992) and back again. In the dramatic monologues of Faces in a Single Tree (1984), in the narrative of a wayward life from womb to double ending in Clayfield Rejoices, Clayfield Laments (1987), in a cosmic tour conducted by the physicist Heinz Pagels with Before It Vanishes (1990), Pack has fashioned poems of intimate experience, scientific meditations, philosophical wonder, poems that breathe the knowledge of man and woman, young and old, artist and human animal.
Pack's work has won the acclaim of writers, critics, and readers from Robert Penn Warren to Cynthia Ozick to Stephen Jay Gould, who comments that the "precious contacts of science and poetry are now sadly rare, but Bob Pack revitalizes the ancient union with incisive poems that sing with lyricism or bite with insight—but always seem to add wisdom to the scientist's epigram."
"The poet improves his style and spirit as he extends his reach," Howard Nemerov has written, and in his new work Pack reaches back to some of his earliest memories, and so forward to a personal mythology that circles from the primal instant to the present ecological crisis. "Robert Pack's poetry is deeply rooted in his won family life," Richard Wilbur has remarked, "and yet his imagination has always included us all."
And Cynthia Ozick has said of Pack's poetry: "We rejoice as we read."
The impact of absent fathers on sons in the black community has been a subject for cultural critics and sociologists who often deal in anonymous data. Yet many of those sons have themselves addressed the issue in autobiographical works that form the core of African American literature.
A Fatherless Child examines the impact of fatherlessness on racial and gender identity formation as seen in black men’s autobiographies and in other constructions of black fatherhood in fiction. Through these works, Tara T. Green investigates what comes of abandonment by a father and loss of a role model by probing a son’s understanding of his father’s struggles to define himself and the role of community in forming the son’s quest for self-definition in his father’s absence.
Closely examining four works—Langston Hughes’s The Big Sea, Richard Wright’s Black Boy, Malcolm X’s The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father—Green portrays the intersecting experiences of generations of black men during the twentieth century both before and after the Civil Rights movement. These four men recall feeling the pressure and responsibility of caring for their mothers, resisting public displays of care, and desiring a loving, noncontentious relationship with their fathers. Feeling vulnerable to forces they may have identified as detrimental to their status as black men, they use autobiography as a tool for healing, a way to confront that vulnerability and to claim a lost power associated with their lost fathers.
Through her analysis, Green emphasizes the role of community as a father-substitute in producing successful black men, the impact of fatherlessness on self-perceptions and relationships with women, and black men’s engagement with healing the pain of abandonment. She also looks at why these four men visited Africa to reclaim a cultural history and identity, showing how each developed a clearer understanding of himself as an American man of African descent.
A Fatherless Child conveys important lessons relevant to current debates regarding the status of African American families in the twenty-first century. By showing us four black men of different eras, Green asks readers to consider how much any child can heal from fatherlessness to construct a positive self-image—and shows that, contrary to popular perceptions, fatherlessness need not lead to certain failure.
Fathers, Preachers, Rebels, Men: Black Masculinity in U.S. History and Literature, 1820–1945,edited by Timothy R. Buckner and Peter Caster, brings together scholars of history and literature focused on the lives and writing of black men during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in the United States. The interdisciplinary study demonstrates the masculine character of cultural practices developed from slavery through segregation. Black masculinity embodies a set of contradictions, including an often mistaken threat of violence, the belief in its legitimacy, and the rhetorical union of truth and fiction surrounding slavery, segregation, resistance, and self-determination. The attention to history and literature is necessary because so many historical depictions of black men are rooted in fiction. The essays of this collection balance historical and literary accounts, and they join new descriptions of familiar figures such as Charles W. Chesnutt and W. E. B. Du Bois with the less familiar but critically important William Johnson and Nat Love.
The 2008 election of Barack Obama is a tremendously significant event in the vexed matter of race in the United States. However, the racial subtext of recent radical political movements and the 2009 arrest of scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., demonstrate that the perceived threat posed by black masculinity to the nation’s unity and vitality remains an alarming one in the cultural imagination.
In the first book of its kind, Joseph Fruscione examines the contentious relationship of two titans of American modernism—William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway. At times, each voiced a shared literary and professional respect; at other times, each thought himself the superior craftsman and spoke of the other disparagingly. Their rivalry was rich, nuanced, and vexed, embodying various attitudes—one-upmanship, respect, criticism, and praise. Their intertextual contest—what we might call their modernist dialectic—was manifested textually through their fiction, nonfiction, letters, Nobel Prize addresses, and spoken remarks.
Their intertextual relationship was highly significant for both authors: it was unusual for the reclusive Faulkner to engage so directly and so often with a contemporary, and for the hypercompetitive Hemingway to admit respect for—and possible inferiority to—a rival writer. Their joint awareness spawned an influential, allusive, and sparring intertext in which each had a psychocompetitive hold on the other. Faulkner and Hemingway: Biography of a Literary Rivalry—part analytical study, part literary biography—illustrates how their artistic paths and performed masculinities clashed frequently, as the authors measured themselves against each other and engendered a mutual psychological influence.
Although previous scholarship has noted particular flare-ups and textual similarities, most of it has tended to be more implicit in outlining the broader narrative of Faulkner and Hemingway as longtime rivals. Building on such scholarship, Faulkner and Hemingway offers a more overt study of how these authors’ published and archival work traces a sequence of psychological influence, cross-textual reference, and gender performance over some three decades.
Fear Icons: Essays
Kisha Lewellyn Schlegel The Ohio State University Press, 2018 Library of Congress PS3619.C4235A6 2018 | Dewey Decimal 814.6
“Who are we to each other when we’re afraid?” Kisha Lewellyn Schlegel asks in Fear Icons, her moving and original debut essay collection. Her answer is a lyric examination of the icons that summon and soothe our fears. From Donald Trump to the Virgin Mary, Darth Vader to the Dalai Lama, Schlegel turns cultural criticism personal with bracing intelligence and vulnerability as she explores what it means to be human, a woman, an artist, and, in particular, a parent: what it means to love a child beyond measure, someone so vulnerable, familiar, and strange. Schlegel looks at fear and faith—the ways the two are more similar than we realize—and the many shapes our faith takes, from nationalism to friendship, from art to religious dogma. Each essay is woven through with other voices—Baldwin, Ashbery, Du Bois, Cixous—positioning Schlegel’s arguments and meditations within a diverse and dynamic literary lineage. Fear Icons is a vital and timely inquiry into the complex relationship between love and fear—and the ways that each intensifies the other.
Collected here for the first time, these writings demonstrate the range and precision of Philip Rieff's sociology of culture. Rieff addresses the rise of psychoanalytic and other spiritual disciplines that have reshaped contemporary culture.
The Female Complaint is part of Lauren Berlant’s groundbreaking “national sentimentality” project charting the emergence of the U.S. political sphere as an affective space of attachment and identification. In this book, Berlant chronicles the origins and conventions of the first mass-cultural “intimate public” in the United States, a “women’s culture” distinguished by a view that women inevitably have something in common and are in need of a conversation that feels intimate and revelatory. As Berlant explains, “women’s” books, films, and television shows enact a fantasy that a woman’s life is not just her own, but an experience understood by other women, no matter how dissimilar they are. The commodified genres of intimacy, such as “chick lit,” circulate among strangers, enabling insider self-help talk to flourish in an intimate public. Sentimentality and complaint are central to this commercial convention of critique; their relation to the political realm is ambivalent, as politics seems both to threaten sentimental values and to provide certain opportunities for their extension.
Pairing literary criticism and historical analysis, Berlant explores the territory of this intimate public sphere through close readings of U.S. women’s literary works and their stage and film adaptations. Her interpretation of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and its literary descendants reaches from Harriet Beecher Stowe to Toni Morrison’s Beloved, touching on Shirley Temple, James Baldwin, and The Bridges of Madison County along the way. Berlant illuminates different permutations of the women’s intimate public through her readings of Edna Ferber’s Show Boat; Fannie Hurst’s Imitation of Life; Olive Higgins Prouty’s feminist melodrama Now, Voyager; Dorothy Parker’s poetry, prose, and Academy Award–winning screenplay for A Star Is Born; the Fay Weldon novel and Roseanne Barr film The Life and Loves of a She-Devil; and the queer, avant-garde film Showboat 1988–The Remake. The Female Complaint is a major contribution from a leading Americanist.
Female Piety and the Invention of American Puritanism reconsiders the standard critical view that women’s religious experiences were either silent consent or hostile response to mainstream Puritan institutions. In this groundbreaking new approach to American Puritanism, Bryce Traister asks how gendered understandings of authentic religious experience contributed to the development of seventeenth-century religious culture and to the “post-religious” historiography of Puritanism in secular modernity. He argues that women were neither marginal nor hostile to the theological and cultural ambitions of seventeenth-century New England religious culture and, indeed, that radicalized female piety was in certain key respects the driving force of New England Puritan culture.
Uncovering the feminine interiority of New England Protestantism, Female Piety and the Invention of American Puritanism positions itself against prevalent historical arguments about the rise of secularism in the modern West. Traister demonstrates that female spirituality became a principal vehicle through which Puritan identity became both absorbed within and foundational for pre-national secular culture. Engaging broadly with debates about religion and secularization, national origins and transnational unsettlements, and gender and cultural authority, this is a foundational reconsideration both of American Puritanism itself and of “American Puritanism” as it has been understood in relation to secular modernity.
Cuts a feminist swath through orthodox readings of southern literature. "Distinguished. . . . These
essays reclaim women's traditions which have been neglected by critics who ought to have known
better." -- Kathryn Lee Seidel, author of The Southern Belle in the American Novel
A Festering Sweetness is a new approach for the renowned child psychiatrist and writer Robert Coles. His works have always portrayed children in their own social fabric and language, but in this book he has arranged the words and intent of the children and their parents into verse forms. These skillfully constructed poems capture the hopes, fears, assumptions, and expectations of these people.
The sense of life and suffering among the poor of the South, the northern ghettos, and the West conveyed in A Festering Sweetness could not be expressed in any form other than poetry. And only Robery Coles, who has lived and worked among these people, could have revealed with such sympathy and insight the minds and emotions of the deprived in America. He is a superb stylist, with an extraordinary sensitivity of ear and eye, as well as a fine and humane psychiatrist—indeed, a man in the doctor-writer tradition of William Carlos Williams.
Dream worlds, real worlds: this book ushers in an extraordinary collection of new work by nearly forty poets currently living and writing in Arizona. From campuses and coffee houses, prisons and pueblos, classrooms and kitchen tables comes the work of both well-known and emerging writers drawn to the state's blazing days and starry nights in search of place, time, idea, and self.Brief introductions for each poet reveal that socially, geographically, and emotionally, they come from anywhere and everywhere. Here and together, however, their energy and synergy are shaping a literary landscape unlike any other. They write of jazz, serotonin levels and talk shows, homelessness, convenience stores and gunplay, Tiananmen Square and Bosnia. Their poems, like these lines by Alberto Ríos, are as clear as the desert air: "The birds, they make this happen. / In the sky with nothing else to do, a Saturday, / The slow knee-bend of an afternoon, out there. / I have seen them myself / The birds caw down a rain, tease it / To a hard ground of grass and flat and edge."For the anthology, well-known contributors—Ríos, Richard Shelton, Steve Orlen, Alison Deming, and others—were asked to surprise the editors with their ideas for the best less-known artists to include in the volume. Like a kaleidoscope, then, each page brings a shift in tone and color from the one before, from mainstream, "language," and experimental poetry, to that shaped by rural or traditional cultures.In English, Spanish, and Native languages, voices here reach out to those readers whose home—or whose heart—is in Arizona, and to many others who will never travel here. "Each distinct and other," says Forché of the words in Fever Dreams, make of poetry "what it could not be without this place, translating into poetry its timelessness and awe."Contributors:
Jeanne E. Clark
Jane Candia Coleman
Alison Hawthorne Deming
Beckian Fritz Goldberg
Rex Lee Jim
William Pitt Root
Virginia Chase Sutton
One of the earliest, and still one of the most perceptive analyses of Katherine Anne Porter, it gives careful interpretation of the style and intent of Porter’s work from 1935 through the publication and critical reception of Ship of Fools.
Fiction Beyond Secularism
Justin Neuman Northwestern University Press, 2014 Library of Congress PR888.R5N48 2014 | Dewey Decimal 820.9382
Modernist thinkers once presumed a progressive secularity, with the novel replacing religious texts as society’s moral epics. Yet religion—beginning with the Iranian revolution of 1979, through the collapse of communism, and culminating in the singular rupture of September 11, 2001—has not retreated quietly out of sight.
In Fiction Beyond Secularism, Justin Neuman argues that contemporary novelists who are most commonly identified as antireligious—among them Orhan Pamuk, Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan, Margaret Atwood, Nadine Gordimer, Haruki Murakami, and J. M. Coetzee—have defied assumptions and have instead written some of the most trenchant critiques of secular ideologies, as well as the most exciting and rigorous inquiries into the legacies of the religious imagination. As a result, many readers (or nonreaders) on either side of the religious divide neglect the insights of works like The Satanic Verses, Disgrace, and Snow. Fiction Beyond Secularism serves as a timely corrective.
The Fiction of Gloria Naylor is one of the very first critical studies of this acclaimed writer. Including an insightful interview with Naylor and focusing on her first four novels, the book situates various acts of insurgency throughout her work within a larger framework of African American opposition to hegemonic authority. But what truly distinguishes this volume is its engagement with African American vernacular forms and twentieth-century political movements.
In her provocative analysis, Maxine Lavon Montgomery argues that Naylor constantly attempts to reconfigure the home and homespace to be more conducive to black self-actualization, thus providing a stark contrast to a dominant white patriarchy evident in a broader public sphere. Employing a postcolonial and feminist theoretical framework to analyze Naylor’s evolving body of work, Montgomery pays particular attention to black slave historiography, tales of conjure, trickster lore, and oral devices involving masking, word play, and code-switching—the vernacular strategies that have catapulted Naylor to the vanguard of contemporary African American letters.
Montgomery argues for the existence of home as a place that is not exclusively architectural or geographic in nature. She posits that in Naylor’s writings home exists as an intermediate space embedded in cultural memory and encoded in the vernacular. Home closely resembles a highly symbolic, signifying system bound with vexed issues of racial sovereignty as well as literary authority. Through a re-inscription of the subversive, frequently clandestine acts of resistance on the part of the border subject—those outside the dominant culture—Naylor recasts space in such a way as to undermine reader expectation and destabilize established models of dominance, influence, and control.
Thoroughly researched and sophisticated in its approach, The Fiction of Gloria Naylor will be essential reading for scholars and students of African American, American, and Africana Literary and Cultural studies.
Maxine Lavon Montgomery is the author of The Apocalypse in African-American Fiction and the editor of Conversations with Gloria Naylor. Her articles have appeared in African-American Review, College Language Association Journal, and The Literary Griot. She is an associate professor in the English department at Florida State University in Tallahassee.
In what can only be called a genuine intellectual adventure, Russell Berman raises fundamental questions long ignored by literary scholars; Why does literature command our attention at all? Why would society want to cultivate a sphere of activity devoted to the careful study of literary fiction? Written as a tonic to what he calls the debilitating cultural relativism of contemporary literary studies, Fiction Sets You Free advances the innovative argument that literature and capitalism, rather than representing merely commercialization, actually belie a long and positive association: literary autonomy is a central part of modern Western culture, thoroughly intertwined with political democracy and free market capitalism.
A Field Guide to the Heavens
Frank X. Gaspar University of Wisconsin Press, 1999 Library of Congress PS3557.A8448F54 1999 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Frank X. Gaspar’s collection of poems is haunted by the presence of mystics and visionaries: Mohammed, Buddha, St. Paul, Augustine, George Herbert, Emily Dickinson, Blake, Milton, Rilke. A Field Guide to the Heavens is punctuated with designs of science, the wondering and rapt observations of the sky made at the eyepiece of a backyard telescope. We come to know Gaspar’s city streets, the neighbors and strangers that walk them, the wreckage of past lives, the ocean, the gardens, the orchards and alleys and parking lots, all spread out under the vast sky.
Established in 1965, the Children's Theatre Company (CTC) of Minneapolis earned its reputation as the flagship theater for young people in this country by staging plays that both entertained and challenged children and their families. Around the age of twelve, however, young people tended to stop coming to CTC, perceiving that they had outgrown what the theater could offer them.
In an effort to reach out to and engage these young people, the CTC began to commission and produce plays aimed at a twelve- to eighteen-year-old audience, focusing on the complexities, idiosyncrasies, and epic dilemmas in the lives of young people. Fierce and True collects four of these critically acclaimed plays: Anon(ymous) by Naomi Iizuka, The Lost Boys of Sudan by Lonnie Carter, Five Fingers of Funk by Will Power, and Prom by Whit MacLaughlin and New Paradise Laboratories.
Professional, full-length works not about teens so much as they are written for them. Ambitious, surprising, and complex, these plays speak directly to teens without pandering to them; they engage, challenge, and respect teenage minds. Diverse and utterly unique, these playwrights are bound together by the excellence of their craft and the power of their storytelling. Fierce and True both redefines the field of theater for young people and provides an invaluable resource for theater professionals, educators, and the teens they serve.
Every craft beer has a story, and part of the fun is learning where the liquid gold in your glass comes from. In Fifty Must-Try Craft Beers of Ohio, veteran beer writer Rick Armon picks the can’t-miss brews in a roundup that will handily guide everyone from the newest beer aficionado to those with the most seasoned palates. Some are crowd pleasers, some are award winners, some are just plain unusual—the knockout beers included here are a tiny sample of what Ohio has to offer.
In the midst of the ongoing nationwide renaissance in local beer culture, Ohio has become a major center for the creation of quality craft brews, and Armon goes behind the scenes to figure out what accounts for the state’s beer alchemy. He asked the brewers themselves about the great idea or the happy accident that made each beer what it is. The book includes brewer profiles, quintessentially Ohio food pairings (sauerkraut balls and Cincinnati chili!), and more.
Fighting Words offers an entirely new understanding of what literary naturalism is and why it matters.
Ira Wells, countering the standard narrative of literary naturalism’s much-touted concern with environmental and philosophical determinism, draws attention to the polemical essence of the genre and demonstrates how literary naturalists engaged instead with explosive political and cultural issues that remain fervently debated today. Naturalist writers, Wells argues in Fighting Words, are united less by a coherent philosophy than by an attitude, a posture of aggressive controversy, which happens to cluster loosely around particular social issues. To an extent not yet appreciated, literary naturalists took controversial—and frequently contrarian—positions on a wide range of literary, political, and social issues.
Frank Norris, for instance, famously declared the innate inferiority of female novelists and frequently wrote about literature in tones suggestive of racial warfare. Theodore Dreiser once advocated, with deadly earnestness, a program of state-run infanticide for disabled or unwanted children. Richard Wright praised the Stalin-Hitler agreement of 1939 as “a great step toward peace.” While many of their arguments were irascible, attention-seeking, and self-consciously inflammatory, the combative spirit that fueled these outbursts remains central to the canonical texts of the movement.
Wells considers Frank Norris’s The Octopus in light of the emerging discourses of environmentalism and ecological despoliation, and examines the issue of abortion in Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy. A chapter on Richard Wright’s Native Son takes issue with traditional humanistic readings of its protagonist by analyzing the disturbing relationship between terrorism and lynching as a crime and punishment that resists formal incorporation into the law.
By highlighting the contentious rhetoric that infuses the canonical texts of literary naturalism, Fighting Words opens up a wide-ranging and interdisciplinary interrogation of racial, sexual, and environmental polemics in American culture.
At the heart of Joshua Weiner’s new book is an extended poem with a bold political dimension and great intellectual ambition. It fuses the poet’s point of view with Walt Whitman’s to narrate a decentered time-traveling collage about Rock Creek, a tributary of the Potomac that runs through Washington, DC. For Weiner, Rock Creek is the location of myriad kinds of movement, streaming, and joining: personal enterprise and financial capital; national politics, murder, sex, and homelessness; the Civil War and collective history; music, spiritual awakening, personal memory, and pastoral vision. The questions that arise from the opening foundational poem inform the others in the collection, which range widely from the dramatic arrival of an uncanny charismatic totem that titles the volume to intimate reflections on family, illness, and dream visions. The virtues of Weiner’s earlier books—discursive intelligence, formal control, an eccentric and intriguing ear, and a wide-ranging curiosity matched to variety of feeling—are all present here. But in The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish, Weiner has discovered a new poetic idiom, one that is stripped down, rhythmically jagged, and comprehensively philosophical about human limits.
Figures in a Landscape
Gail Mazur University of Chicago Press, 2011 Library of Congress PS3563.A987F54 2011 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
A new inclusiveness, a heady freedom, grounded in the facts of mortality, inform Gail Mazur’s recent poems, as if making them has served as both a bunker and a promontory, a way to survive, and to be exposed to, the profound underlying subject of this book: a husband’s approaching death. The intimate particulars of a shared life are seen from a great height—and then there’s the underlife of the bunker: endurance, holding on, life as uncompromising reality. This new work, possessed by the unique devil-may-care intensity of someone writing at the end of her nerves, makes Figures in a Landscape feel radiant, visionary, and exhilarating, rather than elegiac. Mazur’s masterly fusion of abstraction with the facts of a life creates a coming to terms with what Yeats called “the aboriginal ice.”
In Olivia Maciel's Filigree of Light, one enters a lyric of solitude and light, water and wind. Maciel is a poet who has the power to reveal and surprise, bringing one close to things. She approaches the unknown, searching with riddles and reverie.
In the silent era, American cinema was defined by two separate and parallel industries, with white and black companies producing films for their respective, segregated audiences. Jane Gaines's highly anticipated new book reconsiders the race films of this era with an ambitious historical and theoretical agenda.
Fire and Desire offers a penetrating look at the black independent film movement during the silent period. Gaines traces the profound influence that D. W. Griffith's racist epic The Birth of a Nation exerted on black filmmakers such as Oscar Micheaux, the director of the newly recovered Within Our Gates. Beginning with What Happened in the Tunnel, a movie that played with race and sex taboos by featuring the first interracial kiss in film, Gaines also explores the cinematic constitution of self and other through surprise encounters: James Baldwin sees himself in the face of Bette Davis, family resemblance is read in Richard S. Robert's portrait of an interracial family, and black film pioneer George P. Johnson looks back on Micheaux.
Given the impossibility of purity and the co-implication of white and black, Fire and Desire ultimately questions the category of "race movies" itself.
Sacred chants are Ada Franklin’s power and her medicine. By saying them, she can remove warts, stanch bleeding, and draw the fire from burns. At age twenty, her reputation as a faith healer defines her in her rural Pennsylvania community. But on the day in 1953 that her family’s barn is consumed by flame, her identity as a healer is upended. The heat, the roar of the blaze, and the bellows of the trapped cows change Ada. For the first time, she fears death and—for the first time—she doubts God. With her belief goes her power to heal. Then Ada meets an agnostic named Will Burk and his pet raven, Cicero.
Fire Is Your Water is acclaimed memoirist Jim Minick’s first novel. Built on magical realism and social observation in equal measure, it never gives way to sentimentality and provides an insider’s glimpse into the culture of Appalachia. A jealous raven, a Greek chorus of one, punctuates the story with its judgments on the characters and their actions, until a tragic accident brings Ada and Will together in a deeper connection.
The Fire Landscape: Poems
Gary Fincke University of Arkansas Press, 2008 Library of Congress PS3556.I457F57 2008 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
The Fire Landscape is a series of poem sequences that chronicle a wide variety of coming-of-age moments from childhood in the 1950s through the beginning of the 21st century. These deeply layered, complex narrative poems are connected by close personal observation of place and time but also by the politics of the Cold War and its aftermath, including a sequence driven by the May 4, 1970, shooting of students by the National Guard at Kent State where Gary Fincke was a student at the time.
Lenora Warren tells a new story about the troubled history of abolition and slave violence by examining representations of shipboard mutiny and insurrection in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Anglo-American and American literature. Fire on the Water centers on five black sailors, whose experiences of slavery and insurrection either inspired or found resonance within fiction: Olaudah Equiano, Denmark Vesey, Joseph Cinqué, Madison Washington, and Washington Goode. These stories of sailors, both real and fictional, reveal how the history of mutiny and insurrection is both shaped by, and resistant to, the prevailing abolitionist rhetoric surrounding the efficacy of armed rebellion as a response to slavery. Pairing well-known texts with lesser-known figures (Billy Budd and Washington Goode) and well-known figures with lesser-known texts (Denmark Vesey and the work of John Howison), this book reveals the richness of literary engagement with the politics of slave violence.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
This case study in cultural mythmaking shows how antebellum Alabama created itself out of its own printed texts, from treatises on law and history to satire, poetry, and domestic novels.
Early 19th-century Alabama was a society still in the making. Now Philip Beidler tells how the first books written and published in the state influenced the formation of Alabama's literary and political culture. As Beidler shows, virtually overnight early Alabama found itself in possession of the social, political, and economic conditions required to jump start a traditional literary culture in the old Anglo-European model: property-based class relationships, large concentrations of personal wealth, and professional and merchant classes of similar social, political, educational, and literary views.
Beidler examines the work of well-known writers such as humorist Johnson J. Hooper and novelist Caroline Lee Hentz, and takes on other classic pieces like Albert J. Pickett's History of Alabama and Alexander Beaufort Meek's epic poem The Red Eagle. Beidler also considers lesser-known works like Lewis B. Sewall's verse satire The Adventures of Sir John Falstaff the II, Henry Hitchcock's groundbreaking legal volume Alabama Justice of the Peace, and Octavia Walton Levert's Souvenirs of Travel. Most of these works were written by and for society's elite, and although many celebrate the establishment of an ordered way of life, they also preserve the biases of authors who refused to write about slavery yet continually focused on the extermination of Native Americans.
First Books returns us to the world of early Alabama that these texts not only recorded but helped create. Written with flair and a strong individual voice, it will appeal not only to scholars of Alabama history and literature but also to anyone interested in the antebellum South.
First Course In Turbulence
Dean Young University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999 Library of Congress PS3575.O782F57 1999 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Finalist for ForeWord Magazine 1999 Poetry Book of the Year
With rapid shifts between subject and tone, sometimes within single poems, Dean Young’s latest book explores the kaleidoscopic welter of art and life. Here parody does not exclude the cri de coeur any more than seriousness excludes the joke. With surrealist volatility, these poems are the result of experiments that continue for the reader during each reading. Young moves from reworkings of creation myths, the index of the Norton Anthology of Poetry, pseudo reports and memos, collaged biographies, talking clouds, and worms, to memory, mourning, sexual playfulness, and deep sadness in the course of this turbulent book.
Writing was the central passion of Emerson’s life. While his thoughts on the craft are well developed in “The Poet,” “The American Scholar,” Nature, “Goethe,” and “Persian Poetry,” less well known are the many pages in his private journals devoted to the relationship between writing and reading. Here, for the first time, is the Concord Sage’s energetic, exuberant, and unconventional advice on the idea of writing, focused and distilled by the preeminent Emerson biographer at work today.
Emerson advised that “the way to write is to throw your body at the mark when your arrows are spent.” First We Read, Then We Write contains numerous such surprises—from “every word we speak is million-faced” to “talent alone cannot make a writer”—but it is no mere collection of aphorisms and exhortations. Instead, in Robert Richardson’s hands, the biographical and historical context in which Emerson worked becomes clear. Emerson’s advice grew from his personal experience; in practically every moment of his adult life he was either preparing to write, trying to write, or writing. Richardson shows us an Emerson who is no granite bust but instead is a fully fleshed, creative person disarmingly willing to confront his own failures. Emerson urges his readers to try anything—strategies, tricks, makeshifts—speaking not only of the nuts and bolts of writing but also of the grain and sinew of his determination. Whether a writer by trade or a novice, every reader will find something to treasure in this volume. Fearlessly wrestling with “the birthing stage of art,” Emerson’s counsel on being a reader and writer will be read and reread for years to come.
A noted scholar offers fresh ways of looking at two legendary American authors.
Both F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway came into their own in the 1920s and did some of their best writing during that decade. In a series of interrelated essays, Ronald Berman considers an array of novels and short stories by both authors within the context of the decade's popular culture, philosophy, and intellectual history. As Berman shows, the thought of Fitzgerald and Hemingway went considerably past the limits of such labels as the Jazz Age or the Lost Generation.
Both Fitzgerald and Hemingway were avid readers, alive to the intellectual currents of their day, especially the contradictions and clashes of ideas and ideologies. Both writers, for example, were very much concerned with the problem of untenable belief—and also with the need to believe. In this light, Berman offers fresh readings of such works as Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, "Bernice Bobs Her Hair," and "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz" and Hemingway's "The Killers," A Farewell to Arms, and The Sun Also Rises. Berman invokes the thinking of a wide range of writers in his considerations of these texts, including William James, Alfred North Whitehead, Walter Lippman, and Edmund Wilson.
Berman's essays are driven and connected by a focused line of inquiry into Fitzgerald's and Hemingway's concerns with dogma both religious and secular, with new and old ideas of selfhood,and, particularly in the case of Hemingway, with the way we understand, explain, and transmit experience.
Fitzgerald’s Mentors is a fresh and compelling study of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s intellectual friendship with Edmund Wilson, H. L. Mencken, and Gerald Murphy.
Fitzgerald was shaped through his engagements with key literary and artistic figures in the 1920s. This book is about their influence— and also about the ways that Fitzgerald defended his own ideas about writing. Influence was always secondary to independence.
Fitzgerald’s education began at Princeton with Edmund Wilson. There Wilson imparted to Fitzgerald many ideas about education and literary values, among them respect for the classics and an acute awareness of literary tradition.
In New York H. L. Mencken impressed upon Fitzgerald his belief in the stifling effect of public morality on writers. Furthermore, Mencken’s The American Language changed Fitzgerald’s thinking about the power of everyday language.
After moving to France in 1924, Fitzgerald’s intellectual life took a very different turn. Gerald Murphy exposed him to the visual arts— including the work of Fernand Leger, Pablo Picasso, and Man Ray—and to people deeply interested in the perception of art in daily life. Equally important, Fitzgerald had many discussions about artistic values with both Gerald and Sara Murphy.
In this study, Ronald Berman examines the work of the critic/novelist Edmund Wilson and the art of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway as they wrestled with the problems of language, experience, perception and reality in the "age of jazz." By focusing specifically on aesthetics—the ways these writers translated everyday reality into language—Berman challenges and redefines many routinely accepted ideas concerning the legacy of these authors.
Fitzgerald is generally thought of as a romantic, but Berman shows that we need to expand the idea of Romanticism to include its philosophy. Hemingway, widely viewed as a stylist who captured experience by simplifying language, is revealed as consciously demonstrating reality's resistance to language. Between these two renowned writers stands Wilson, who is critically influenced by Alfred North Whitehead, as well as Dewey, James, Santayana, and Freud.
By patiently mapping the correctness of these philosophers, historians, literary critics and writers, Berman aims to open a gateway into the era. This work should be of interest to scholars of American literature, philosophy and aesthetics; to academic libraries; to students of intellectual history; and to general readers interested in Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Wilson.
“Duality” is at the center of Flamenco Hips and Red Mud Feet, a striking collection of poems both intimate and grand. The poet, Dixie Salazar, has spent a lifetime forging her own identity out of two cultures: “On one side was my father’s world: Spanish speaking from las montañas. On the other side was my mother’s world: a deep Southern drawl wafting from the magnolia and chinaberry trees.” As her poems reveal, she is a product of both cultures but not completely at home in either one.
In the two sections of the book—“Inside” and “Outside”—parallelism and symmetry interact with themes both public and private. Flamenco Hips and Red Mud Feet presents thirty-nine poems in free verse and traditional poetic forms, especially the sonnet and adaptations of the sonnet. The sonnet—usually consisting of the octet (eight lines) that sets up the main idea of the poem and the sestet (six lines) that resolves, answers or completes the poem—is a natural form for a poet whose identity is divided. Double sonnets and “double-linked sonnets doubled” reflect the duality the poet feels inside her skin. And the poems written to and for a “lost sister” reinforce the theme.
Throughout this provocative book, Salazar navigates the alienation of her cultural in-between-ness. By the end, she appears to become more comfortable with her status of “outsider,” deciding that she doesn’t need to give in to pressures to pick a side or to accept others’ ideas of where her own “borders” begin or end.
With his mastery of modernist technique and his depictions of characters obsessed with the past, Nobel laureate William Faulkner raised the bar for southern fiction writers. But the work of two later authors shows that the aesthetic of memory is not enough: Confederate thunder fades as they turn to an explicitly religious source of meaning.
According to John Sykes, the fiction of Flannery O’Connor and Walker Percy provides occasions for divine revelation. He traces their work from its common roots in midcentury southern and Catholic intellectual life to show how the two adopted different theological emphases and rhetorical strategies—O’Connor building to climactic images, Percy striving for dialogue with the reader—as a means of uncovering the sacramental foundation of the created order.
Sykes sets O’Connor and Percy against the background of the Southern Renaissance from which they emerged, showing not only how they shared a distinctly Christian notion of art that led them to see fiction as revelatory but also how their methods of revelation took them in different directions. Yet, despite their differences in strategy and emphasis, he argues that the two are united in their conception of the artist as “God’s sharp-eyed witness,” and he connects them with the philosophers and critics, both Christian and non-Christian, who had a meaningful influence on their work.
Through sustained readings of key texts—particularly such O’Connor stories as “The Artificial Nigger” and “The Geranium” and Percy’s novels Love in the Ruins and The Second Coming—Sykes focuses on the intertwined themes of revelation, sacrament, and community. He views their work in relation to the theological difficulties that they were not able to overcome concerning community. For both writers, the question of community is further complicated by the changing nature of the South as the Lost Cause and segregation lose their holds and a new form of prosperity arises.
By disclosing how O’Connor and Percy made aesthetic choices based on their Catholicism and their belief that fiction by its very nature is revelatory, Sykes demonstrates that their work cannot be seen as merely a continuation of the historical aesthetic that dominated southern literature for so long. Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, and the Aesthetic of Revelation is theoretically sophisticated without being esoteric and is accessible to any reader with a serious interest in these writers, brimming with fresh insights about both that clarify their approaches to art and enrich our understanding of their work.
The Wisconsin Historical Society published Harva Hachten's The Flavor of Wisconsin in 1981. It immediately became an invaluable resource on Wisconsin foods and foodways. This updated and expanded edition explores the multitude of changes in the food culture since the 1980s. It will find new audiences while continuing to delight the book’s many fans. And it will stand as a legacy to author Harva Hachten, who was at work on the revised edition at the time of her death in April 2006.
While in many ways the first edition of The Flavor of Wisconsin has stood the test of time very well, food-related culture and business have changed immensely in the twenty-five years since its publication. Well-known regional food expert and author Terese Allen examines aspects of food, cooking, and eating that have changed or emerged since the first edition, including the explosion of farmers' markets; organic farming and sustainability; the "slow food" movement; artisanal breads, dairy, herb growers, and the like; and how relatively recent immigrants have contributed to Wisconsin's remarkably rich food scene.
James Longenbach University of Chicago Press, 2003 Library of Congress PS3562.O4967F56 2003 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Fleet River traces the journey of two travelers through landscapes earthly and otherworldly, following the river as it turns, dips underground, then reemerges unexpectedly as they fall in love with the world, as though for the first time. Mimicking the river's shifting course, the poems revise themselves as the book moves forward, turning against their own best discoveries, proving that the pilgrims' journey is less the discovery of love than the re-creation, poem by poem, of love's possibilities.
"Vanquishes once and for all the notion that the prose poem is somehow inherently 'not a real poem.' Exhibits a sustained level of innate lyricism and imagism rarely seen even in conventional lyric free verse. Unfailingly, the little prose jewels in 'The Floating Bridge' exhibit the most fundamental property of fine poems: each whole is many times greater than the sum of its parts."
--Cider Press Review
"Shumate's collection consists of over 50 gems...each one loaded with the living essence that hovers just beyond rationality's gate. [He] is a master of this forthright form. His book is a key to the room where dreams are stored."
"I was deeply taken by David Shumate's The Floating Bridge. There is none better working now at this very difficult genre, the prose poem."
A Floating Chinaman
Hua Hsu Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress E183.8.C5H74 2016 | Dewey Decimal 951.05
Who gets to speak for China? During the interwar years, when American condescension toward China yielded to fascination with all things Chinese, a circle of writers sparked an unprecedented conversation over U.S.-Chinese relations. Hua Hsu tells how they became ensnared in bitter rivalries over who could claim the title of leading China expert.
Theorists, scholars, and critics usually consider literary works to be fixed objects, assuming that any variations in the text of a work should be stabilized, reduced, eliminated. John Bryant urges that these variations create valuable records of the interactions between the artist and society. Preprint revisions, revised editions, adaptations for film, and expurgations for children are among the many forms of flux that shape literary works and position them relative to their audiences. Fully understanding the life of a literary work in its cultural situation requires recognizing the fluidity of text, and the present work makes the first coherent theoretical, critical, and editorial approach to the study of revision.
The author develops his theory and its critical application drawing upon the example of Melville's Typee, using its various versions to present protocols for fluid text analysis. He shows how the mountain of scholarly material comprising the fluid text can be presented by a partnership of book and computer screen, in ways that offer new opportunities, insights,and pleasures for scholars and readers.
The Fluid Text: A Theory of Revision and Editing for Book and Screen is written in a clear and accessible style and will appeal to scholars and students in editorial theory, literary criticism and analysis, and anyone concerned with the information architecture of complex literary works in digital media.
John Bryant is Professor of English, Hofstra University. His most recent book is an edition of Melville's Tales, Poems, and Other Writings.
“PURGE the world of dead art, imitation, artificial art. . . . Promote living art, anti-art, promote NON ART REALITY to be grasped by all peoples,” writes artist George Maciunas in his Fluxus manifesto of 1963. Reacting against an elitist art world enthralled by modernist aesthetics, Fluxus encouraged playfulness, chance, irreverence, and viewer participation. The diverse collective—including George Brecht, Robert Filliou, Dick Higgins, Alison Knowles, George Maciunas, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, Benjamin Patterson, Takako Saito, Mieko Shiomi, Ben Vautier, and Robert Watts—embraced humble objects and everyday gestures as critical means of finding freedom and excitement beyond traditional forms of art-making.
While today the Fluxus collective is recognized for its radical neo-avant-garde works of performance, publishing, and relational art and its experimental, interdisciplinary approach, it was not taken seriously in its own time. With Fluxus Forms, Natilee Harren captures the magnetic energy of Fluxus activities and collaborations that emerged at the intersections of art, music, performance, and literature. The book offers insight into the nature of art in the 1960s as it traces the international development of the collective’s unique intermedia works—including event scores and Fluxbox multiples—that irreversibly expanded the boundaries of contemporary art.
Named U.S. Poet Laureate for 2004-2006, Ted Kooser is one of America's masters of the short metaphorical poem. Dana Gioia has remarked that Kooser has written more perfect poems than any poet of his generation.
In Flying at Night: Poems 1965-1985, Kooser has selected poems from two of his earlier works, Sure Signs and One World at a Time (1985). Taken together or read one at a time, these poems clearly show why William Cole, writing in the Saturday Review, called Ted Kooser "a wonderful poet," and why Peter Stitt, writing in the Georgia Review, proclaimed him "a skilled and cunning writer. . . . An authentic 'poet of the American people.'"
Winner of the 1996 Western States Book Award for poetry, Flying Over Sonny Liston explores with courage, compassion, and bone-deep wisdom the complicated and sometimes heartbreaking task of being human in the modern West. Whether he writes about the tortuous interior landscape of the family or the abused terrain of the Nevada desert, Gary Short is unfailingly honest, tender, and gifted with a vision for the all-revealing detail, the larger, wrenching truth. Although many of the poems are about death or express a deep and painful anger, the book is about survival. We often find in these poems a movement from the dark into a blazing light of realization that acts as a counter to sorrow, from comprehension to forgiveness, and an awareness that the daunting challenge of being human is won not in loud victories but through the delicate graces of mercy, trust, and hope.
Corn, squash, and beans from the Native Americans; barbecue sauces from the Spanish; potatoes and sausages from the Germans: Missouri's foods include a bountiful variety of ingredients. In Food in Missouri: A Cultural Stew, Madeline Matson takes readers on an enticing journey through the history of this state's food, from the hunting and farming methods of the area's earliest inhabitants, through the contributions of the state's substantial African American population, to the fast-food purveyors of the microwave age.
Tracing the history of food preparation, preservation, and marketing, while highlighting the cultural traditions that engendered each change, Matson shows how advances in farming methods, the invention of the electric range, the development of cookbooks, and three waves of immigration have profoundly influenced what Missourians eat today. Along the way, she highlights some of the key people, places, and institutions in Missouri's food history: Irma S. Rombauer, author of Joy of Cooking; Stark Bro's Nurseries and Orchards in Louisiana, Missouri, the largest family-owned fruit-tree nursery in the world and the home of Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Gala apples; St. Louis's Soulard Market, established in 1779 and said to be the oldest public market west of the Mississippi; and Stone Hill Winery, a leader in Hermann's nationally recognized wine- making industry.
By bringing to life the traditions behind the foods we eat every day, Food in Missouri provides a unique perspective on the people who explored and settled the state, showing that Missouri's rich heritage truly is a cultural stew.
From the hearty meals being devoured by peasants on a Bruegel canvas to the lush and lifelike fruits of a trompe l'oeil, food has enjoyed a central place in painting for centuries. These two great sensory pleasures come together in the sumptuously illustrated Food in Painting. Here Kenneth Bendiner journeys from the Renaissance to the present day—through the works of artists from Rembrandt to Manet to Warhol—to make the case that, though understudied, paintings of food are so important that they should be considered a separate classification of art, a genre unto themselves.
Bendiner outlines the history of these paintings, charting changes in both meaning and presentation since the early Renaissance. The sixteenth century saw great innovations in food subjects, but, as Bendiner reveals, it was Dutch food painting of the seventeenth century that created the visual vocabulary still operative today. Alongside paintings that feature food as the central subject, he also considers topics ranging from Renaissance menus to aphrodisiacs to bottled water to the portrayal of dogs at the table—always with an eye towards how the meaning of food imagery is determined by such factors as myth, religion, and social privilege. Bendiner also treats purely symbolic portrayals of food, both as marginal elements in allegorical paintings and as multi-layered sexual references in Surrealist works.
Packed full of images of markets, kitchens, pantries, picnics, and tables groaning under the weight of glorious feasts, Food in Painting serves up a delicious helping of luxuriously painted meals certain to win a spot on the shelves of art lovers and gastronomes alike.
Winner of the Society for Economic Botany’s Mary W. Klinger Book Award
The seemingly inhospitable Sonoran Desert has provided sustenance to indigenous peoples for centuries. Although it is to all appearances a land bereft of useful plants, fully one-fifth of the desert's flora are edible.
This volume presents information on nearly 540 edible plants used by people of more than fifty traditional cultures of the Sonoran Desert and peripheral areas. Drawing on thirty years of research, Wendy C. Hodgson has synthesized the widely scattered literature and added her own experiences to create an exhaustive catalog of desert plants and their many and varied uses.
Food Plants of the Sonoran Desert includes not only plants such as gourds and legumes but also unexpected food sources such as palms, lilies, and cattails, all of which provided nutrition to desert peoples. Each species entry lists recorded names and describes indigenous uses, which often include nonfood therapeutic and commodity applications. The agave, for example, is cited for its use as food and for alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, syrup, fiber, cordage, clothing, sandals, nets, blankets, lances, fire hearths, musical instruments, hedgerows, soap, and medicine, and for ceremonial purposes. The agave entry includes information on harvesting, roasting, and consumption—and on distinguishing between edible and inedible varieties.
No other source provides such a vast amount of information on traditional plant uses for this region. Accessible to general readers, this book is an invaluable compendium for anyone interested in the desert’s hidden bounty.
For a Limited Time Only
Ronald Wallace University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008 Library of Congress PS3573.A4314F67 2008 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
For a Limited TIme Only, Ronald Wallace's eighth collection of poems, is perhaps his darkest and most meditative to date, focusing his experiences with illness, old age, and mortality; his father-in-law's death after a long bout with Alzheimer's; his step-father's death after a painful struggle with esophageal cancer, his own bout with prostate cancer. These personal experiences form the core of the first three sections of the book, but are mediated by theological and philosophical speculations that find further voice in the character of a “Mr. Grim,” whose angry, self-pitying, gruff, comic, self-depreciating, nostalgic, defeated, and hopeful riffs on the human condition provide a bridge to the affirmative, often comic, close. In the final two sections, in poems in praise of his dentist, his barber, his wife, his grandparents, the morpheme, Mr. Malaprop, Pluto, tattoos, hamburger heaven, sex talk, and poetry itself, Wallace once again proves the resilience of hope and humor in what is, for him, finally a world of wonders.
For Dear Life
Ronald Wallace University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015 Library of Congress PS3573.A4314A6 2015 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
In For Dear Life, with accessibility, wit, and humor, Ronald Wallace evokes a wide variety of subjects that range from the traditional themes of lyric poetry—love, death, sex, the natural world, marriage, birth, childhood, music, religion, art—to the most unexpected and quirky narratives—an ode to excrement, a catalogue of comic one-liners, a celebratory testimonial to his teeth.
For Dust Thou Art
Timothy Liu Southern Illinois University Press, 2005 Library of Congress PS3562.I799F67 2005 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Running the gamut from traditional to radical forms, Timothy Liu’s sixth collection of poems, For Dust Thou Art, continues the trajectory of his previous books but extends his lyrical range. The centerpiece of the volume’s tripartite structure is a meditation on the events surrounding 9/11 and its aftermath. In his poems, Liu explores what a twenty-first century American “poetry of witness” might look like and protests the charge that the poetic generation to which Liu belongs is stymied by a kind of jaded amorality. Whether taking on public spectacle or contemplating the fallout of a private life, these meditations move forward and backward through time, seeking spiritual consolation within a material world.
For the Scribe, the ninth collection by award-winning poet David Wojahn, continues his explorations of the interstices between the public and the private, the historical and the personal. Poems of recollection and elegy commingle and conjoin with poems which address larger matters of historical and ecological import. The subjects of extinction and apocalypse figure prominently and obsessively in these pages, both in short lyrics and in several lengthy sequences. The poems also evidence the mastery of technique for which Wojahn is renowned, whether he is writing in fixed forms or in free verse. For the Scribe is the most ambitious and searching collection thus far from a poet who has been a named finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry, winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets, the O. B. Hardison Award from the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the William Carlos Williams Book Award.
Gail Mazur University of Chicago Press, 2016 Library of Congress PS3563.A987F67 2016 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
from “Mount Fuji”
A draughtsman’s draughtsman, Hokusai at 70
thought he’d begun to grasp the structures
of birds and beasts, insects and fish, of the way
plants grow, hoped that by 90 he’d have penetrated to their essential nature.
And more, by 100, I will have reached the stage where every dot, every mark I make will be alive. You always loved that resolve, you’d repeat
joyfully—Hokusai’s utterance of faith
in work’s possibilities, its reward, that,
at 130, he’d perhaps have learned to draw.
Gail Mazur’s poems in Forbidden City build an engaging meditative structure upon the elements of mortality and art, eloquently contemplating the relationship of art and life—and the dynamic possibilities of each in combination. At the collection’s heart is the poet’s long marriage to the artist Michael Mazur (1935–2009). A fascinating range of tone infuses the book—grieving, but clear-eyed rather than lugubrious, sometimes whimsical, even comical, and often exuberant. The note of pleasure, as in an old tradition enriched by transience, runs through the work, even in the final poem, “Grief,” where “our ravenous hold on the world” is a powerful central element.
The Julius Rosenwald Fund has been largely ignored in the literature of both art history and African American studies, despite its unique focus, intensity, and commitment. Spertus Museum in Chicago has organized an exhibition, guest curated by Daniel Schulman, that presents and explores the work of funded artists as well as the history of the Fund. Through it, and this accompanying collection of essays, illustrations, and color plates, we see the Fund’s groundbreaking initiative to address issues relating to the unequal treatment of blacks in American life. The book constitutes a veritable Who’s Who of African American artists and intellectuals of the first half of the twentieth century, as well as a roll call of modern contributors who represent the leading scholars in their fields, including Peter M. Ascoli, grandson and biographer of Julius Rosenwald, and Kinshasha Holman Conwill, deputy director of the National Museum of African American Art and Culture. With far-reaching influence even today, the Julius Rosenwald Fund stands alongside the Rockefeller and Carnegie funds as a major force in American cultural history.
Susan Stewart University of Chicago Press, 1995 Library of Congress PS3569.T474F67 1995 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Susan Stewart plumbs human history in an attempt to articulate the way language, memory, and art join in evoking consciousness. The Forest is about violence and memory: the violence we do to our surroundings and to ourselves; and the propensity of the human mind to exploit and rationalize in its longing for truth.
Forest Primeval: Poems
Vievee Francis Northwestern University Press, 2015 Library of Congress PS3606.R3653F67 2015 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Winner, 2017 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award
Winner, 2016 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in the Poetry category
Finalist, 2015 Balcones Poetry Prize
Shortlist finalist, 2015 PEN Open Book Award for an exceptional book by an author of color
"Another Anti-Pastoral," the opening poem of Forest Primeval, confesses that sometimes "words fail." With a "bleat in [her] throat," the poet identifies with the voiceless and wild things in the composed, imposed peace of the Romantic poets with whom she is in dialogue. Vievee Francis’s poems engage many of the same concerns as her poetic predecessors—faith in a secular age, the city and nature, aging, and beauty. Words certainly do not fail as Francis sets off into the wild world promised in the title. The wild here is not chaotic but rather free and finely attuned to its surroundings. The reader who joins her will emerge sensitized and changed by the enduring power of her work.
Over the past decade the popularity of black writers including E. Lynn Harris and Terry McMillan has been hailed as an indication that an active African American reading public has come into being. Yet this is not a new trend; there is a vibrant history of African American literacy, literary associations, and book clubs. Forgotten Readers reveals that neglected past, looking at the reading practices of free blacks in the antebellum north and among African Americans following the Civil War. It places the black upper and middle classes within American literary history, illustrating how they used reading and literary conversation as a means to assert their civic identities and intervene in the political and literary cultures of the United States from which they were otherwise excluded.
Forgotten Readers expands our definition of literacy and urges us to think of literature as broadly as it was conceived of in the nineteenth century. Elizabeth McHenry delves into archival sources, including the records of past literary societies and the unpublished writings of their members. She examines particular literary associations, including the Saturday Nighters of Washington, D.C., whose members included Jean Toomer and Georgia Douglas Johnson. She shows how black literary societies developed, their relationship to the black press, and the ways that African American women’s clubs—which flourished during the 1890s—encouraged literary activity. In an epilogue, McHenry connects this rich tradition of African American interest in books, reading, and literary conversation to contemporary literary phenomena such as Oprah Winfrey’s book club.
By any measure—international reputation, influence upon fellow writers and later generations, number of books published, scholarly and critical attention—Robert Creeley (1926–2005) is a literary giant, an outstanding, irreplaceable poet. For many decades readers have remarked upon the almost harrowing emotional nakedness of Creeley’s writing. In the years since his death, it may be that the disappearance of the writer allows that nakedness to be observed more readily and without embarrassment.
Written by the foremost critics of his poetry, Form, Power, and Person in Robert Creeley’s Life and Work is the first book to treat Creeley’s career as a whole. Masterfully edited by Stephen Fredman and Steve McCaffery, the essays in this collection have been gathered into three parts. Those in “Form” consider a variety of characteristic formal qualities that differentiate Creeley from his contemporaries. In “Power,” writers reflect on the pressure exerted by emotions, gender issues, and politics in Creeley’s life and work. In “Person,” Creeley’s unique artistic and psychological project of constructing a person—reflected in his correspondence, teaching, interviews, collaborations, and meditations on the concept of experience—is excavated. While engaging these three major topics, the authors remain, as Creeley does, intent upon the ways such issues appear in language, for Creeley’s nakedness is most conspicuously displayed in his intimate relationship with words.
A key way to view Latina plays today is through the foundational frame of playwright and teacher Maria Irene Fornes, who has trained a generation of theatre artists and transformed the field of American theatre. Fornes, author of Fefu and Her Friends and Sarita and a nine-time Obie Award winner, is known for her plays that traverse cultural, spiritual, and aesthetic borders.
In The Fornes Frame: Contemporary Latina Playwrights and the Legacy of Maria Irene Fornes, Anne García-Romero considers the work of five award-winning Latina playwrights in the early twenty-first century, offering her unique perspective as a theatre studies scholar who is also a professional playwright.
The playwrights in this book include Pulitzer Prize–winner Quiara Alegría Hudes; Obie Award–winner Caridad Svich; Karen Zacarías, resident playwright at Arena Stage in Washington, DC; Elaine Romero, member of the Goodman Theatre Playwrights Unit in Chicago, Illinois; and Cusi Cram, company member of the LAByrinth Theater Company in New York City.
Using four key concepts—cultural multiplicity, supernatural intervention, Latina identity, and theatrical experimentation—García-Romero shows how these playwrights expand past a consideration of a single culture toward broader, simultaneous connections to diverse cultures. The playwrights also experiment with the theatrical form as they redefine what a Latina play can be. Following Fornes’s legacy, these playwrights continue to contest and complicate Latina theatre.
The work of Maria Irene Fornes, author of such acclaimed plays as Fefu and Her Friends, Mud, and The Conduct of Life, has for over three decades earned the attention of theater-goers, scholars and critics. She has won eight Obie awards, has provoked considerable controversy, and has consistently challenged and delighted the reader and spectator with her idiosyncratic voice and her serious and yet profoundly playful approach to the theater and to the issues of humanity, gender politics, and art.
Diane Lynn Moroff focuses on Fornes's major plays, providing illuminating readings of her unique and irreverent body of work. The book traces the career of this influential playwright, director, and teacher, including the reception of her plays, the range of critical responses (particularly those of feminist critics), and an introduction to Fornes's theatrical philosophies. It looks at such critical issues in Fornes's work as the representation of female subjectivity, theater as metaphor and context, art as ritual, and the role of the spectator. In a final chapter, Fornes's plays including Abingdon Square and her most recent work, What of the Night? are examined in the context of the sexualization of character, an ongoing theme for Fornes.
Fornes: Theater in the Present Tense will appeal to scholars and students in theater studies and women's studies and to anyone interested or engaged in contemporary theater.
Diane Lynn Moroff is Assistant Professor of English, Oglethorpe University.
The Forsaken Son engages the provocative coincidence of the vocabularies of infanticide and Christianity, specifically atonement theology, in six modern American novels: Flannery O’Connor’s The Violent Bear It Away, the first two installments of John Updike’s Rabbit tetralogy, Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Joyce Carol Oates’s My Sister, My Love, and Cormac McCarthy’s Outer Dark.
Christian atonement theology explains why God lets His son be crucified. Yet in recent years, as an increasing number of scholars have come to reject that explanation, the cross reverts from saving grace to trauma—or even crime. More bluntly, without atonement, the cross may be a filicide, in which God forces his son to die for no apparent reason. Pederson argues that the novels about child murder mentioned above likewise give voice to modern skepticism about traditional atonement theology.
David Gewanter University of Chicago Press, 2018 Library of Congress PS3557.E897F678 2018 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Who are the lords of labor? The owners, or the working bodies? In this smart, ambitious, and powerful book, David Gewanter reads the body as creator and destroyer—ultimately, as the broken mold of its own work.
Haunted by his father’s autopsy of a workman he witnessed as a child, Gewanter forges intensely personal poems that explore the fate of our laboring bodies, from the Carnegie era’s industrial violence and convict labor to our present day of broken trust, profiteering, and the Koch brothers. Guided by a moral vision to document human experience, this unique collection takes raw historical materials—newspaper articles, autobiography and letters, court testimony, a convict ledger, and even a menu—and shapes them into sonnets, ballads, free verse, and prose poems. The title poem weaves a startling lyric sequence from direct testimony by steelworkers and coal-miners, strikers and members of prison chain-gangs, owners and anarchists, revealing an American empire that feeds not just on oil and metal, but also on human energy, impulse, and flesh. Alongside Gewanter’s family are hapless souls who dream of fortune, but cannot make their fates, confronting instead the dark outcomes of love, loyalty, fantasy, and betrayal.
It is in the spirit of the LZ that the essayists in Fourteen Landing Zones approach the writings of the Vietnam War. These fourteen diverse and powerful works by some of today's leading critics in Vietnam studies begin to answer the question of how we will filter the writings of the Vietnam War—including fiction, poetry, drama, and memoirs. What will survive the process of critical acclaim and societal affirmation—and why? Included is an incisive introduction by Jason that provides an overview of the burgeoning body of Vietnam War literature and its peculiar life in the literary and academic marketplace. This strong, often emotional volume will be of particular importance to all those interested in the literature of the Vietnam War, contemporary literature, and contemporary culture and history.
Merging psychoanalytic and queer theory perspectives, The Fragility of Manhood: Hawthorne, Freud, and the Politics of Gender reframes Nathaniel Hawthorne’s work as a critique of the normative construction of American male identity. Revising Freudian and Lacanian literary theory and establishing the concepts of narcissism and the gaze as central, David Greven argues that Hawthorne represents normative masculinity as fundamentally dependent on the image. In ways that provocatively intersect with psychoanalytic theory, Hawthorne depicts subjectivity as identification with an illusory and deceptive image of wholeness and unity. As Hawthorne limns it, male narcissism both defines and decenters male heterosexual authority. Moreover, in Greven’s view, Hawthorne critiques hegemonic manhood’s recourse to domination as a symptom of the traumatic instabilities at the core of traditional models of male identity. Hawthorne’s representation of masculinity as psychically fragile has powerful implications for his depictions of female and queer subjectivity in works such as the tales “Rappaccini’s Daughter” and “The Gentle Boy,” the novel The Blithedale Romance, and Hawthorne’s critically neglected late, unfinished writings, such as Septimius Felton. Rereading Freud from a queer theory perspective, Greven reframes Freudian theory as a radical critique of traditional models of gender subjectivity that has fascinating overlaps with Hawthorne’s work. In the chapter “Visual Identity,” Greven also discusses the agonistic relationship between Hawthorne and Herman Melville and the intersection of queer themes, Hellenism, and classical art in their travel writings, The Marble Faun, and Billy Budd.
Hugely successful in her own time for adult novels and plays, Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924) would be astounded to find out she is remembered for a handful of books for children, but most of all for the enormously popular Secret Garden. This fascinating biography-the first to have the full cooperation of Burnett's descendants and relatives-examines her life with lively intelligence, sensitivity, and fascinating new, never-before-published material.
Burnett's life was full of those reversals of fortune that mark her work. Following modest beginnings in mid-Victorian Manchester, she arrived in post-Civil War Tennessee at the age of fifteen with her widowed mother and two sisters. Burnett was the breadwinner of the family from the age of seventeen, eventually publishing a total of fifty-two books and writing and producing thirteen plays. She made and spent a fortune in her lifetime, was generous and profligate, yet anxious about money and obsessively hardworking.
Constantly restless and inventive, Burnett's personal life was as complex as her professional one. Her first marriage to a southern doctor disintegrated as a result of her notorious flirtations and a scandalous affair, and her subsequent marriage to an English doctor turned actor suffered a similar fate. She understood the intensity and loneliness of the thoughtful child, but was herself a largely absent mother of two sons-overwhelmed by guilt when tragedy struck one of them; the other one never got over being the model for Little Lord Fauntleroy.
A woman of contrasts and paradoxes, this quintessentially British writer was equally at home in the United States, which honored her with a memorial in Central Park. Frances Hodgson Burnett reinvented for herself and for generations to come in both countries the magic and the mystery of the childhood she never had.
This first biographical and literary assessment of Frances Newman highlights one of the most experimental writers of the Southern Renaissance.
Novelist, translator, critic, and acerbic book reviewer Frances Newman (1883-1928) was praised by Virginia novelist James Branch Cabell and critic H. L. Mencken. Her experimental novels The Hard-Boiled Virgin (1926) and Dead Lovers Are Faithful Lovers (1928), have recently begun to receive serious critical attention, but this is the first book-length study to focus both on Newman's life and on her fiction.
Frances Newman was born into a prominent Atlanta family and was educated at private schools in the South and the Northeast. Her first novel, The Hard-Boiled Virgin, was hailed by James Branch Cabell as "the most brilliant, the most candid, the most civilized, and the most profound yet written by any American woman." Cabell and H. L. Mencken became Newman's literary mentors and loyally supported her satire of southern culture, which revealed the racism, class prejudice, and religious intolerance that reinforced the idealized image of the white southern lady. Writing within a nearly forgotten feminist tradition of southern women's fiction, Newman portrayed the widely acclaimed social change in the early part of the century in the South as superficial rather than substantial, with its continued restrictive roles for women in courtship and marriage and limited educational and career opportunities.
Barbara Wade explores Newman's place in the feminist literary tradition by comparing her novels with those of her contemporaries Ellen Glasgow, Mary Johnston, and Isa Glenn. Wade draws from Newman's personal correspondence and newspaper articles to reveal a vibrant, independent woman who simultaneously defied and was influenced by the traditional southern society she satirized in her writing.
An iconic figure in American culture, Frank Lloyd Wright is famous throughout the world. Although his achievements in architecture are stunning, it is his importance in cultural history, Jerome Klinkowitz contends, that makes Wright the object of such avid and continuing interest. Designing more than just buildings, Wright offered a concept for living that still influences how people conduct their lives today. Wright's innovations in architecture have been widely studied, but this is the most comprehensive and sustained treatment of his thought.
Klinkowitz presents a critical biography driven by the architect's own work and intellectual growth, focusing on the evolution of Wright's thinking and writings from his first public addresses in 1894 to his last essay in 1959. Did Wright reject all of Victorian thinking about the home, or do his attentions to a minister's sermon on "the house beautiful" deserve closer attention? Was Wright echoing the Transcendentalism of Ralph Waldo Emerson, or was he more in step with the philosophy of William James? Did he reject the Arts and Crafts movement, or repurpose its beliefs and practices for new times? And, what can be said of his deep dissatisfaction with architectural concepts of his own era, the dominant modernism that became the International Style? Even the strongest advocates of Frank Lloyd Wright have been puzzled by his objections to so much that characterized the twentieth century, from ideas for building to styles of living.
In Frank Lloyd Wright andHis Manner of Thought, Klinkowitz, a widely published authority on twentieth-century literature, thought, and culture, examines the full extent of Wright's books, essays, and lectures to show how he emerged from the nineteenth century to anticipate the twenty-first.
Outstanding Book, selected by the American Association of School Librarians
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the Public Library Reviewers
Frank Norris Remembered
Edited by Jesse S. Crisler and Joseph R. McElrath Jr. University of Alabama Press, 2013 Library of Congress PS2473.F67 2013 | Dewey Decimal 813.4
Frank Norris Remembered is a collection of reminiscences by Norris’s contemporaries, friends, and family that illuminate the life of one of America’s most popular novelists.
Considering his undergraduate education spent studying art at Académie Julian in Paris and creative writing at Harvard and his journalism career reporting from the far reaches of South Africa and Cuba, it is difficult to fathom how Frank Norris also found time to compose seven novels during the course of his brief life. But despite his adventures abroad, Norris turned out novels at a dizzying pace. He published Moran of the Lady Letty in 1898, McTeague early in 1899, Blix later that year, A Man’s Woman in February 1900, and The Octopus, the first in his ultimately unfinished “Epic of the Wheat” trilogy, in 1901. By informing his novels with his own experiences abroad, Norris composed works that were politically charged and culturally relevant and that made considerable contributions to the character of American literature in the twentieth century.
Frank Norris died at the age of thirty-two in 1902 from peritonitis resulting from a burst appendix, leaving behind a wife, a daughter, and an unfinished series of novels (two of which, The Pit and Vandover and the Brute, were published posthumously). The aim of Frank Norris Remembered, edited by Jesse S. Crisler and Joseph R. McElrath Jr., is to re-create the short, spectacular life of this American author through the eyes of those who knew him best. The fifty reminiscences included in this book feature the voices of Frank N. Doubleday; William Dean Howells; Hamlin Garland; Norris’s wife, Jeannette; and many others who were lucky enough to form a relationship with this vital twentieth-century American author, artist, and adventurer.
In this stimulating and innovative synthesis of New York's artistic and literary worlds, Lytle Shaw uses the social and philosophical problems involved in “reading” a coterie to propose a new language for understanding the poet, art critic, and Museum of Modern Art curator Frank O'Hara (1926-1966).
O'Hara's poems are famously filled with proper names---from those of his immediate friends and colleagues in the New York writing and art worlds (John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, Grace Hartigan, Willem de Kooning, and many musicians, dancers, and filmmakers) to a broad range of popular cultural and literary heroes (Apollinaire to Jackie O). But rather than understand O'Hara's most commonly referenced names as a fixed and insular audience, Shaw argues that he uses the ambiguities of reference associated with the names to invent a fluid and shifting kinship structure---one that opened up radical possibilities for a gay writer operating outside the structure of the family.
As Shaw demonstrates, this commitment to an experimental model of association also guides O'Hara's art writing. Like his poetry, O'Hara's art writing too has been condemned as insular, coterie writing. In fact, though, he was alone among 1950s critics in his willingness to consider abstract expressionism not only within the dominant languages of existentialism and formalism but also within the cold war political and popular cultural frameworks that anticipate many of the concerns of contemporary art historians. Situating O'Hara within a range of debates about art's possible relations to its audience, Shaw demonstrates that his interest in coterie is less a symptomatic offshoot of his biography than a radical literary and artistic invention.
“In addition to his accomplishments as a talented novelist, a thorough historian, and an excellent essayist, Frank Waters is that rare breed of man who has merged heart and mind early in his life and moved forward to confront ultimate questions. This dilemma of faith and heritage, religion and identity, and commitment and comfort has never been resolved intellectually. Even with profound faith and rigorous discipline of self, mystics have found it difficult to resolve through action and prayer. … I look at the life and writing of Frank Waters … and find … a remarkable journey of inquiry spanning nearly a century and illuminating questions which I did not think possible to formulate.”
—Vine Deloria, Jr., editor
Contributors to this volume are Alvin M. Josephy, Jr., Bobby Bridger, Steven Wall, Will Wright, William Eastlake, Larry Evers, David Jongeward, Max Evans, Win Blevins, Barbara Waters, Rudolfo Anaya, Thomas J. Lyon, Joe Gordon, Robert Kostka, Charles Adams, Father Peter J. Powell, Quay Grigg, Alexander Blackburn, and T. N. Luther.
As science penetrates the secrets of nature, with each discovery generating new questions, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein will sound its note of warning. Many scientific developments have provoked references to Frankenstein, a story that, for nearly two centuries, has gripped our imaginations and haunted our nightmares. How can society balance the benefits of medical discoveries against the ethical or spiritual questions posed?
Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature accompanies a traveling exhibit of the same name. This lavishly illustrated volume begins by highlighting Shelley's novel and the context in which she conceived it. It next focuses on the redefinition of the Frankenstein myth in popular culture. Here, the fate of the monster becomes a moral lesson illustrating the punishment for ambitious scientists who seek to usurp the place of God by creating life. The final section examines the continuing power of the Frankenstein story to articulate present-day concerns raised by new developments in biomedicine such as cloning and xenografting (the use of animal organs in human bodies), and the role scientists and citizens play in determining acceptable limits of scientific and medical advances.
The figure of the freak as perceived by the Western gaze has always been a part of the Latin American imaginary, from the letters that Columbus wrote about his encounters with dog-faced people to Shakespeare's Caliban. The freak acquires greater significance in a globalized, neoliberal world that defines the "abnormal" as one who does not conform mentally, physically, or emotionally and is unable or unwilling to follow the economic and cultural norms of the institutions in power. Freak Performances examines the continuing effects of colonialism on modern Latin American identities, with a particular focus on the way it has constructed the body of the other through performance. Theater questions the representations of these bodies, as it enables the empowerment of the silenced other; the freak as a spectacle of otherness finds in performance an opportunity for re-appropriation by artists resisting the dominant authority. Through an analysis of experimental theater, dance theater, performance art, and gallery-based installation art across eight countries, Analola Santana explores the theoretical issues shaped by the encounters and negotiations between different bodies in the current Latin American landscape.
The Freedom to Remember examines contemporary literary revisions of slavery in the United States by black women writers. The narratives at the center of this book include: Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred, Sherley Anne Williams’s Dessa Rose, Toni Morrison’s Beloved, J. California Cooper’s Family, and Lorene Cary’s The Price of a Child.
Recent studies have investigated these works only from the standpoint of victimization. Angelyn Mitchell changes the conceptualization of these narratives, focusing on the theme of freedom, not slavery, defining these works as “liberatory narratives.” These works create a space to problematize the slavery/freedom dichotomy from which contemporary black women writers have the “safe” vantage point to reveal aspects of enslavement that their ancestors could not examine. The nineteenth-century female emancipatory narrative, by contrast, was written to aid the cause of abolition by revealing the unspeakable realitiesof slavery. Mitchell shows how the liberatory narrative functions to emancipate its readers from the legacies of slavery in American society: by facilitating a deeper discussion of the issues and by making them new through illumination and interrogation.
In this pathbreaking work of scholarship, Laura Doyle reveals the central, formative role of race in the development of a transnational, English-language literature over three centuries. Identifying a recurring freedom plot organized around an Atlantic Ocean crossing, Doyle shows how this plot structures the texts of both African-Atlantic and Anglo-Atlantic writers and how it takes shape by way of submerged intertextual exchanges between the two traditions. For Anglo-Atlantic writers, Doyle locates the origins of this narrative in the seventeenth century. She argues that members of Parliament, religious refugees, and new Atlantic merchants together generated a racial rhetoric by which the English fashioned themselves as a “native,” “freedom-loving,” “Anglo-Saxon” people struggling against a tyrannical foreign king. Stories of a near ruinous yet triumphant Atlantic passage to freedom came to provide the narrative expression of this heroic Anglo-Saxon identity—in novels, memoirs, pamphlets, and national histories. At the same time, as Doyle traces through figures such as Friday in Robinson Crusoe, and through gothic and seduction narratives of ruin and captivity, these texts covertly register, distort, or appropriate the black Atlantic experience. African-Atlantic authors seize back the freedom plot, placing their agency at the origin of both their own and whites’ survival on the Atlantic. They also shrewdly expose the ways that their narratives have been “framed” by the Anglo-Atlantic tradition, even though their labor has provided the enabling condition for that tradition.
Doyle brings together authors often separated by nation, race, and period, including Aphra Behn, Eliza Haywood, Olaudah Equiano, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Wilson, Pauline Hopkins, George Eliot, and Nella Larsen. In so doing, she reassesses the strategies of early women novelists, reinterprets the significance of rape and incest in the novel, and measures the power of race in the modern English-language imagination.
Albert Coryer, the grandson of a fur trade voyageur-turned-farmer, had a gift for storytelling. Born in 1877, he grew up in Prairie du Chien hearing tales of days gone by from his parents, grandparents, and neighbors who lived in the Frenchtown area. Throughout his life, Albert soaked up the local oral traditions, including narratives about early residents, local landmarks, interesting and funny events, ethnic customs, myths, and folklore.
Late in life, this lively man who had worked as a farm laborer and janitor drew a detailed illustrated map of the Prairie du Chien area and began to write his stories out longhand, in addition to sharing them in an interview with a local historian and folklore scholar. The map, stories, and interview transcript provide a colorful account of Prairie du Chien in the late nineteenth century, when it was undergoing significant demographic, social, and economic change. With sharp historical context provided by editors Lucy Eldersveld Murphy and Mary Elise Antoine, Coryer’s tales offer an unparalleled window into the ethnic community comprised of the old fur trade families, Native Americans, French Canadian farmers, and their descendants.
This thought-provoking cultural history explores how psychoanalytic theories shaped the works of important African American literary figures. Badia Sahar Ahad details how Nella Larsen, Richard Wright, Jean Toomer, Ralph Ellison, Adrienne Kennedy, and Danzy Senna employed psychoanalytic terms and conceptual models to challenge notions of race and racism in twentieth-century America.
Freud Upside Down explores the relationship between these authors and intellectuals and the psychoanalytic movement emerging in the United States over the course of the twentieth century. Examining how psychoanalysis has functioned as a cultural phenomenon within African American literary intellectual communities since the 1920s, Ahad lays out the historiography of the intersections between African American literature and psychoanalysis and considers the creative approaches of African American writers to psychological thought in their work and their personal lives.
A Frieze of Girls speaks with a fresh voice from an American era long past. This is more than Allan Seager's story of what happened; it is also about how "the feel of truth is very like the feel of fiction, especially when either is at all strange."
Seager gives us his coming-of-age story, from a high-school summer as a sometime cowboy in the Big Horn mountains to a first job at seventeen managing an antiquated factory in Memphis to a hard-drinking scholarship year in Oxford, cut short by tuberculosis. At once funny with an undercurrent of pain, the stories in A Frieze of Girls remind us of the realities we create to face the world and the past, and in turn of the realities of the world we must inevitably also confront. "Time makes fiction out of our memories," writes Seager. "We all have to have a self we can live with and the operation of memory is artistic---selecting, suppressing, bending, touching up, turning our actions inside out so that we can have not necessarily a likable, merely a plausible identity." A Frieze of Girls is Allan Seager at the top of his form, and a reminder that great writing always transcends mere fashion.
Allan Seager was Professor of English at the University of Michigan and author of many highly praised short stories and novels, including Amos Berry. He died in Tecumseh, Michigan, in 1968. Novelist Charles Baxter is the author of Saul and Patsy.