In American literature, a traumatic scene of racial and sexual awakening - frequently involving photographs, mirrors, or acts of witnessing - often precipitates a character's "discovery" of racial identity. Similarly, in the annals of psychoanalysis, notions of self and sexual identity often arise from visual trauma such as the mirror stage and primal scene. Noting this parallel between specular births of racial and sexual subjectivity, Gwen Bergner uses a comparative analysis of psychoanalytic theory and American literature to develop a theory of racialization - the process through which individuals assume an identity as black or white. Examining the primal scenes of double consciousness in works by Frederick Douglass, William Faulkner, and Toni Morrison, among others, alongside the formative visual traumas of psychoanalytic theory of Lacan and Freud, Taboo Subjects reveals how literature disrupts psychoanalysis's conventional models of race and gender identification, forcing a reconfiguration of many foundational psychoanalytic texts. And from psychoanalysis Bergner derives a critical vocabulary for theorizing racialization as it intersects with sex and gender, for both black and white Americans.
Tactics of the Human returns to American fiction published during the 1990s, formative years for digital cultures, to reconsider these narratives’ comparative literary print methods of critically engaging with digital technologies and their now ubiquitous computation-based modes of circulation, scenes of writing, and social spaces. It finds that fiction by John Barth, Shelley Jackson, Leslie Marmon Silko, Ruth L. Ozeki, and Jeffrey Eugenides, by creatively transposing digital writing, material formats, and spatiotemporal orientations into print, registers shifting relations to technologies at multiple sites and scales. Grappling with the digital practices catalyzed by post–World War II biological, information, and systems theory, these literary narratives tactically enlist, and enable speculative diagnoses of, emerging relations to digital technologies. Their experimental technics comparatively retrace emerging relations to the digital as these impact American nationalisms and their transnational economic networks; processes of gendering and racialization that remain crucial to differential discourses of the human; and as they enter, unnoticed, into micropractices of everyday life and lived space.
In the midst of expanding technoscientific processes of digital de- and re-materialization that render multiple, charged boundaries of the human increasingly plastic, Tactics of the Human illustrates why it is ever more crucial to query and assess the divergent (re)understandings of the human now categorized, quite loosely, as posthumanisms with particular attention to women’s, subalterns’, and other knowledges already considered liminal to the human. It identifies here and pursues strains of systems thinking, informed by feminist, new materialist, queer, and subaltern understandings of material practices, revealing why these are so pivotal to ongoing efforts to assess current limits to digital technics and expand upon their biological, cultural, social, and poetic potentialities.
Tahrir Suite: Poems
Matthew Shenoda Northwestern University Press, 2014 Library of Congress PS3619.H4538T34 2014 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Winner, Arab American National Museum's 2015 George Ellenbogen Poetry Award
Tahrir Suite is a book-length poem that contemplates immigration, homeland, and diaspora in the twenty-first century. The poem, inspired by recent events in Egypt, cycles through the journey of two Egyptians moving across borders, languages, cultures, landscapes, and political systems while their life in the U.S. diaspora evolves and their home country undergoes revolutionary change.
Written from a perspective and about a place that is virtually unexplored in contemporary American poetry, Tahrir Suite works to capture the complicated essence of what it means to be from a specific place that is experiencing such radical change and how our understandings of “home” and “place” constantly evolve. Tahrir Suite is a musical meditation on what it means to be a global citizen in contemporary times.
Take Nothing With You
Sarah V. Schweig University of Iowa Press, 2016 Library of Congress PS3619.C4927A6 2016 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
There are worlds we can imagine, but we live in this one: contingent and absurd. In her first full-length collection, Sarah V. Schweig aims to capture something essential and universal about this faulted inheritance.
These poems operate on the notion that the lyric can be discovered in scattered headlines, office-wide emails, road signs—the detritus of the everyday. But a poem doesn’t stop at found fragments; it creates something from them. These poems question and re-question what can be truthfully said, rediscovering the lyric in the very process of thinking, revising, and re-envisioning.
Taken In Faith: Poems
Helen Pinkerton Ohio University Press, 2002 Library of Congress PS3531.I714T35 2002 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
In 1967, Yvor Winters wrote of Helen Pinkerton, “she is a master of poetic style and of her material. No poet in English writes with more authority.” Unfortunately, in 1967 mastery of poetic style was not, by and large, considered a virtue, and Pinkerton's finely crafted poems were neglected in favor of more improvisational and flashier talents. Though her work won the attention and praise of serious readers, who tracked her poems as they appeared in such journals as The Paris Review, The Sewanee Review, and The Southern Review, her verse has never been available in a trade book. Taken in Faith remedies that situation, bringing Pinkerton's remarkable poems to a general audience for the first time.
Even her very earliest works embody a rare depth and seriousness. Primarily lyrical and devotional, they always touch on larger issues of human struggle and conduct. More recent poems, concerned in part with history, exhibit a stylistic as well as a thematic shift, moving away from the rhymed forms of her devotional works into a blank verse marked by a quiet flexibility and contemplative grace.
Like Virginia Adair, another poet who waited long for proper recognition, Pinkerton speaks as a woman who has lived fully and observed acutely and who has set the life and observations down in memorable verse. Taken in Faith represents a half-century of her poetic efforts.
Taken Somehow By Surprise
David Clewell University of Wisconsin Press, 2011 Library of Congress PS3553.L42T34 2011 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
David Clewell’s spirited poems cut through the noise we too often accommodate in our daily lives. Breath by surprising breath, this poet takes us into chambers of the heart that have never been mapped quite this way before. By turns raucous and strangely soothing, narrative and lyrical, Clewell traffics in unlikely and compelling details of our mostly discernible world: a school custodian’s role in the burgeoning Space Race, the vastness of abandoned missile silos, the first lawn flamingos, and the living fossil still using a typewriter.
Franklin Publications, or Franklin Book Programs, was started in 1952 as a form of cultural diplomacy. Until it folded in the 1970s, Franklin translated, printed, and distributed American books around the world, with offices in Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Although it was a private firm, Franklin received funding from the United States Information Agency. This was an ambitious and idealistic postwar effort that ultimately became the victim of shifting politics.
In Taking Books to the World, Amanda Laugesen tells the story of this purposeful enterprise, demonstrating the mix of goodwill and political drive behind its efforts to create modern book industries in developing countries. Examining the project through a clarifying lens, she reveals the ways Franklin's work aligned with cultural currents, exposing the imperial beliefs, charitable hopes, and intellectual reasoning behind this global experiment.
Taking Care of Time
Cortney Davis Michigan State University Press, 2018 Library of Congress PS3554.A93342A6 2018 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
For poet and nurse practitioner Cortney Davis, the truth revealed through poetry is similar to what she has experienced in the heightened and urgent dramas that occur in health care—those suspended moments in which a dying heart might be revived or unbearable suffering relieved. We are vulnerable, her poems say, and we are dependent on one another—on the ways in which we care or fail to care for one another, in how we love or fail to love. In poems that are sensual, emotionally searing, and yet unfailingly tender, Davis shines a caregiver’s light on the most intimate details of the human body and the spirit within—how the flesh might betray, how it endures, and how ultimately it triumphs.
Central Americans are one of the largest Latino population groups in the United States. Yet, Arturo Arias argues, the cultural production of Central Americans remains little known to North Americans.
In Taking Their Word, Arias complicates notions of the cultural production of Central America, from Mexico in the North to Panama in the South. He charts the literature of Central America’s liberation struggles of the 1970s and 1980s, its transformation after peace treaties were signed, the emergence of a new Maya literature that decenters Latin American literature written in Spanish, and the rise and fall of testimonio. Arias demonstrates that Central America and its literature are marked by an indigenousness that has never before been fully theorized or critically grasped. Never one to avoid controversy, Arias proffers his views of how the immigration of Central Americans to North America has changed the cultural topography of both zones.
With this groundbreaking work, Arias establishes the importance of Central American literature and provides a frame for future studies of the region’s culture.
Arturo Arias is director of Latin American studies at the University of Redlands. He is the author of six novels in Spanish and editor of The Rigoberta Menchú Controversy (Minnesota, 2001).
Esteemed as a literary critic and poet, Edgar Allan Poe was most highly acclaimed for his tales and sketches. He transformed the short story from anecdote to art, virtually created the detective story, and perfected the psychological thriller. This volume is the first of two, edited by the consummate Poe scholar Thomas Ollive Mabbott, collecting all the tales of this master of the uncanny, the unnerving, and the terrifying.
Poe's stories reflect his professed method of "writing as if the author were firmly impressed with the truth, yet astonished at the immensity of the wonders he related." Marrying grotesque inventiveness with superb plot construction, Poe's strikingly original tales often use only one main character and one main incident. In many of them, horror and suspense, revenge and torture, are laced with hilarious satire. Each volume is enriched with Mabbott's detailed and authoritative notes on sources, the history and collation of all known texts authorized by Poe, and variants of Poe's "final" version.
Volume 1 includes Poe's earliest parodies, beginning in 1831, and gathers his gothic tales written through 1842. The stories collected in this volume include "Ms. Found in a Bottle," the horrific "Berenice," "Ligeia" (which Poe considered his finest tale), "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," and one of his most famous stories, "The Fall of the House of Usher."
Promising spine-tingling delights and sleepless nights, this annotated edition of Tales and Sketches is a treasure trove for scholars and general readers alike, confirming Poe's status as one of literary art's "most brilliant but erratic stars."
Esteemed as a literary critic and poet, Edgar Allan Poe was most highly acclaimed for his tales and sketches. He transformed the short story from anecdote to art, virtually created the detective story, and perfected the psychological thriller. This volume is the second of two, edited by the consummate Poe scholar Thomas Ollive Mabbott, collecting all the tales of this master of the uncanny, the unnerving, and the terrifying.
Poe's stories reflect his professed method of "writing as if the author were firmly impressed with the truth, yet astonished at the immensity of the wonders he related." Marrying grotesque inventiveness with superb plot construction, Poe's strikingly original tales often use only one main character and one main incident. In many of them, horror and suspense, revenge and torture, are laced with hilarious satire. Each volume is enriched with Mabbott's detailed and authoritative notes on sources, the history and collation of all known texts authorized by Poe, and variants of Poe's "final" version.
Volume 2 contains stories written between 1843 and Poe's death, including "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Purloined Letter," and "The Cask of Amontillado."
Promising spine-tingling delights and sleepless nights, this annotated edition of Tales and Sketches is a treasure trove for scholars and general readers alike, confirming Poe's status as one of literary art's "most brilliant but erratic stars."
First published in 1938, this lively collection of over 150 tales and songs runs the gamut from joy to woe, from horror to humor. In forming the collection, Charles Neely required only that the tales and songs—whether home grown or transplanted from the great body of world lore— had taken root somehow in the area of southern Illinois known as Egypt.
Notable tales include "Bones in the Well," "A Visit from Jesse James," "The Flight of the Naked Teamsters," "The Dug Hill Boger," and "How Death Came to Ireland"; among the songs and ballads are "Barbara Allen," "Hog and Hominy," "The Drunkard’s Lone Child," "The Belleville Convent Fire," "Shawneetown Flood," and "The Death of Charlie Burger."
In the Latinx comics community, there is much to celebrate today, with more Latinx comic book artists than ever before. The resplendent visual-verbal storyworlds of these artists reach into and radically transform so many visual and storytelling genres. Tales from la Vida celebrates this space by bringing together more than eighty contributions by extraordinary Latinx creators. Their short visual-verbal narratives spring from autobiographical experience as situated within the language, culture, and history that inform Latinx identity and life. Tales from la Vida showcases the huge variety of styles and worldviews of today’s Latinx comic book and visual creators.
Whether it’s detailing the complexities of growing up—mono- or multilingual, bicultural, straight, queer, or feminist Latinx—or focusing on aspects of pop culture, these graphic vignettes demonstrate the expansive complexity of Latinx identities. Taken individually and together, these creators—including such legendary artists as Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, Roberta Gregory, and Kat Fajardo, to name a few—and their works show the world that when it comes to Latinx comics, there are no limits to matters of content and form. As we travel from one story to the next and experience the unique ways that each creator chooses to craft his or her story, our hearts and minds wake to the complex ways that Latinxs live within and actively transform the world.
Since the publication of Robert Creeley’s first book of poems, Le Fou, more than forty years ago, he has emerged as one of the most important and original voices in contemporary poetry. Tales Out of School selects five extended interviews that point to Creeley’s artistic influences and reveal the subjects that have preoccupied the poet’s imagination. The interviews cover a range of themes, including Creeley’s childhood and early writing, the influence of jazz on his work, the history of the Black Mountain School, the relationship of geography to the creative process, and the influences and friendship of other poets, including Pound, Williams, Ginsberg, Levertov, Duncan, and Olson. Taken together, the interviews provide an active context for and complement an understanding of this significant and prolific poet’s achievement.
Talking All Morning
Robert Bly University of Michigan Press, 1980 Library of Congress PS3552.L9Z58 1980 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Robert Bly is the author of many books, including Jumping Out of Bed, The Man in the Black Coat Turns, and Iron John: A Book About Men. He has translated Neruda, Vallejo, and Lorca and received the National Book Award for his collection The Light Around the Body. His most recent book is The Maiden King: The Reunion of Masculine and Feminine, with Marion Woodman.
Angela Ball University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017 Library of Congress PS3552.A45433A6 2017 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Talking Pillow celebrates love as amazement, sustenance, and the progenitor of scarce-believable loss. The book centers around the sudden death of the author’s long-time partner and travels outward to events in the world at large. Imagining themselves into multiple times, places, and lives, the poems comically explore the possibilities of attachment between people and the absurdity of death’s sudden intrusion. Antic and often funny, these poems converse with all that we care about, fear, and fail to understand.
Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy, and Activism in the Americas is the first publication to bring together scholarship, critical essays, and documentation of collaborative community-based art making by researchers from across the American hemisphere. The comprehensive volume is a compendium of texts, analysis, and research documents from the Talking to Action research and exhibition platform, part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles. While the field of social practice has had an increasingly high profile within contemporary art discourse, this book documents artists who have been under-recognized because they do not show in traditional gallery or museum contexts and are often studied by specialists in other disciplines, particularly within the Latin American context. Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy, and Activism in the Americas addresses the absence of a publication documenting scholarly exchange between research sites throughout the hemisphere and is intended for those interested in community-based practices operating within the intersection of art, activism, and the social sciences.
Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy, and Activism in the Americas is the first publication to bring together scholarship, critical essays, and documentation of collaborative community-based art making by researchers from across the American hemisphere. The comprehensive volume is a compendium of texts, analysis, and research documents from the Talking to Action research and exhibition platform, part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles. While the field of Social Practice has had an increasingly high profile within contemporary art discourse, this book documents artists who have been under-recognized because they do not show in traditional gallery or museum contexts and are often studied by specialists in other disciplines, particularly within the Latin American context. Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy, and Activism in the Americas, addresses the absence of a publication documenting scholarly exchange between research sites throughout the hemisphere and is intended for those interested in community-based practices operating within the intersection of art, activism, and the social sciences.
Talking to Strangers
Patricia Dobler University of Wisconsin Press, 1986 Library of Congress PS3554.O177T3 1986 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
In her first book of poems, Patricia Dobler records her memories of the Ohio mill town where she grew up in the 1950s. but the poems range over time and the memories of others, as well: her immigrant Hungarian grandparents, her parent's tensions during hard times (”Years spilled on the kitchen table, / picked over like beans or old bills”), the dangers, losses, and occasional triumphs of hard-working men and women.
"Johnny Appleseed, Davy Crockett, Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyan and John Henry have all become heroes of American folklore. Some of them, like Crokett, were real, but all have become the subject of tall tales. This is a folksy history of the United States, told as if the characters were all real. This panoramic (if completely untrue) history begins with Columbus. . . . En route to its end in the 1940s (where traditional American heroes are enlisted to fight in World War II), it covers the great and small events of our national history, including the overlooked, but important ones, such as the invention of the prairie dog."—Washington Post Book World
The Tallgrass Prairie Reader
John T. Price University of Iowa Press, 2014 Library of Congress QH104.5.M47T35 2014 | Dewey Decimal 577.440977
The tallgrass prairie of the early 1800s, a beautiful and seemingly endless landscape of wildflowers and grasses, is now a tiny remnant of its former expanse. As a literary landscape, with much of the American environmental imagination focused on a mainstream notion of more spectacular examples of wild beauty, tallgrass is even more neglected. Prairie author and advocate John T. Price wondered what it would take to restore tallgrass prairie to its rightful place at the center of our collective identity.
The answer to that question is his Tallgrass Prairie Reader, a first-of-its-kind collection of literature from and about the tallgrass bioregion. Focusing on autobiographical nonfiction in a wide variety of forms, voices, and approaches—including adventure narrative, spiritual reflection, childhood memoir, Native American perspectives, literary natural history, humor, travel writing and reportage—he honors the ecological diversity of tallgrass itself and provides a range of models for nature writers and students.
The chronological arrangement allows readers to experience tallgrass through the eyes and imaginations of forty-two authors from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Writings by very early explorers are followed by works of nineteenth-century authors that reflect the fear, awe, reverence, and thrill of adventure rampant at the time. After 1900, following the destruction of the majority of tallgrass, much of the writing became nostalgic, elegiac, and mythic. A new environmental consciousness asserted itself midcentury, as personal responses to tallgrass were increasingly influenced by larger ecological perspectives. Preservation and restoration—informed by hard science—emerged as major themes. Early twenty-first-century writings demonstrate an awareness of tallgrass environmental history and the need for citizens, including writers, to remember and to help save our once magnificent prairies.
The Tangled Fire of William Faulkner was first published in 1953. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Out of the tangled fire that is the genius of William Faulkner's fiction, this critical study draws as coherent and highly original view of the writer's achievement. By placing Faulkner in his Mississippi background and analyzing his novels and short stories in chronological sequence, O'Conner demonstrates a major thesis that sets this apart from other studies. It is his interpretation that Faulkner's fiction is not all of a piece, does not merely develop the conviction of the legend of the Old South, but is, rather, marked by diversity of theme.
Contemporaries were shocked when author Mary Noailles Murfree revealed she was a woman, but modern readers may be more surprised by her cogent discussion of community responses to unwanted development. Effie Waller Smith, an African American woman writing of her love for the Appalachian mountains, wove discussions of women's rights, racial tension, and cultural difference into her Appalachian poetry. Grace MacGowan Cooke participated in avant-garde writers' colonies with the era's literary lights and applied their progressive ideals to her fiction about the Appalachia of her youth. Emma Bell Miles, witness to poverty, industrialization, and violence against women, wrote poignant and insightful critiques of her Appalachian home.
In The Tangled Roots of Feminism, Environmentalism, and Appalachian Literature Elizabeth Engelhardt finds in all four women's writings the origins of what we recognize today as ecological feminism—a wide-reaching philosophy that values the connections between humans and nonhumans and works for social and environmental justice.
People and the land in Appalachia were also the subject of women authors with radically different approaches to mountains and their residents. Authors with progressive ideas about women's rights did not always respect the Appalachian places they were writing about or apply their ideas to all of the women in those places—but they did create hundreds of short stories, novels, letters, diaries, photographs, sketches, and poems about the mountains.
While The Tangled Roots of Feminism, Environmentalism, and Appalachian Literature ascribes much that is noble to the beginnings of the ecological feminism movement as it developed in Appalachia, it is also unyielding in its assessment of the literatures of the voyeur, tourist, and social crusader who supported status quo systems of oppression in Appalachia.
The relentless motions and blinding colors of lucha libre, the high-flying wrestling sport, are the arresting backdrop to Nandi Comer’s collection Tapping Out. Mexican freestyle wrestling becomes the poet’s lyrical motif, uncovering what is behind the intricate masks we wear in society and our search for place within our personal histories. Comer’s poetic narratives include explorations of violence, trauma, and identity. The exquisite complications of the black experience in settled and unsettled spaces propel her linear explorations, which challenge the idea of metaphor and cadence.
The harsh realities of being migrant and immigrant, being birthright and oppressed, are as hard-pressed as the plancha move to the body. Each poem in Tapping Out is a “freestyle movement” of language and complexity put on full display, under the bright lights and roars of survival. Comer’s splendid and barbed, Detroit style of language melts the masks with searing words.
TARTESSOS AND OTHER CITIES is Claire Millikin's second book of poetry with 2Leaf Press that continues to explore homelessness. In this collection, Millikin uses the sensitivity of poetry to express some of the emotions surrounded by homelessness and loss. Named for Tartessos, a lost city on the Guadalquivir, a river in Andalusia, Spain that was likely buried by a devastating tidal wave in BC, the poems in TARTESSSOS gather lost cities and places that were not myths, but were once real. Throughout the collection, Millikin addresses questions such as, What happened to home and Where do I come from? that examines American geographies of loss, with the poems serving as archeological elements that persist against these losses. From New York City to Muscogee Country, Georgia, from New Haven, to the Haw River, TARTESSOS charts a map of disappearances and resistances to vanishing that make up part of the ghostly American landscape. In the end, Millikin leads readers to discover that home is not just the place where you happen to live, it is the place where you become yourself.
Shelton says of his work: "I consider myself a regionalist and a surrealist. I have lived in the desert for ten years and hope that my work reflects that fact." In the forty-seven poems in this collection the poet moves backward and forward through time but always in the same landscape, the desert-mountains of southern Arizona, which foster his surrealistic view of his interior conflict. He is followed by peculiarly insistent voices from the past.
Through these essays—which deal with Bowles’s published as well as her unpublished work—Skerl seeks to generate serious critical attention for an important but neglected female experimental writer of the mid-twentieth century and to celebrate her originality, power, and craft.
Based in disciplines and theoretical approaches that range from feminist criticism to Middle Eastern studies, from postmodernism to queer theory, and from Victorianism to the Beat Generation, the essayists naturally approach Bowles’s fiction and drama from a wide variety of critical perspectives. All of these essays are unpublished and written for this volume.
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by Himself (1789) is one of the most frequently and heatedly discussed texts in the canon of eighteenth-century transatlantic literature written in English. Equiano’s Narrative contains an engrossing account of the author’s experiences in Africa, the Americas, and Europe as he sought freedom from bondage and became a leading figure in the abolitionist movement. While scholars have approached this sophisticated work from diverse critical and historical/biographical perspectives, there has been, until now, little written about the ways in which it can be successfully taught in the twenty-first-century classroom.
In this collection of essays, most of them never before published, sixteen teacher-scholars focus explicitly on the various classroom contexts in which the Narrative can be assigned and various pedagogical strategies that can be used to help students understand the text and its complex cultural, intellectual, literary, and historical implications. The contributors explore topics ranging from the religious dimensions of Equiano’s rhetoric and controversies about his origins, specifically whether he was actually born in Africa and endured the Middle Passage, to considerations of the Narrative’s place in American Literature survey courses and how it can be productively compared to other texts, including captivity narratives and modern works of fiction. They not only suggest an array of innovative teaching models but also offer new readings of the work that have been overlooked in Equiano studies and Slavery studies. With these two dimensions, this volume will help ensure that conversations over Equiano’s eighteenth-century autobiography remain relevant and engaging to today’s students.
ERIC D. LAMORE is an assistant professor of English at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. A contributor to The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poets and Poetry, he is also the coeditor, with John C. Shields, of New Essays on Phillis Wheatley.
Popular American fiction has now secured a routine position in the higher education classroom despite its historic status as culturally suspect. This newfound respect and inclusion have almost certainly changed the pedagogical landscape, and Teaching Tainted Lit explores that altered terrain. If the academy has historically ignored, or even sneered at, the popular, then its new accommodation within the framework of college English is noteworthy: surely the popular introduces both pleasures and problems that did not exist when faculty exclusively taught literature from an established “high” canon. How, then, does the assumption that the popular matters affect teaching strategies, classroom climates, and both personal and institutional notions about what it means to study literature?
The essays in this collection presume that the popular is here to stay and that its instructive implications are not merely noteworthy, but richly nuanced and deeply compelling. They address a broad variety of issues concerning canonicity, literature, genre, and the classroom, as its contributors teach everything from Stephen King and Lady Gaga to nineteenth-century dime novels and the 1852 best-seller Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
It is no secret that teaching popular texts fuels controversies about the value of cultural studies, the alleged relaxation of aesthetic standards, and the possible “dumbing down” of Americans. By implicitly and explicitly addressing such contentious issues, these essays invite a broader conversation about the place of the popular not only in higher education but in the reading lives of all Americans.
William Olsen Northwestern University Press, 2017 Library of Congress PS3565.L822T43 2017 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
William Olsen's TechnoRage is a meditative ode to nature. Its intensely lyrical poems remind us of our humanity, spinning free-ranging poetic conversations that question the ways of the world. In the age of the wide but often shallow lens of our new technology, Olsen takes a nod from Robert Frost and Gary Snyder, laying bare our need to return to the roots of things, where these poems find their voice. Olsen revels in language that is an intensely authentic rumination on our human isolation.
Aracelis Girmay Northwestern University Press, 2007 Library of Congress PS3607.I47T44 2007 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Winner, 2015 Whiting Award for Poetry
Stunning, highly original poems that celebrate the richness of the author's multicultural tradition, Teeth explores loves, wars, wild hope, defiance, and the spirit of creativity in a daring use of language and syntax. Behind this language one senses a powerful, inventive woman who is not afraid to tackle any subject, including rape, genocide, and love, always sustained by an optimistic voice, assuring us that in the end justice will triumph and love will persevere.
LOVE, you be the reason why
we swagger & jive, lift the guitar, & pick up the axe. when it is i tilt my hat to the side, wearing colors & perfumes, it's cause, love, you did it to me. oh, you do sure turn my tongue to fiddle, & make the salt taste sweet. man, i don't need a rooster, or peacock even, to help me spend my time, nope, just you, love, right & solid as
Teeth Never Sleep: Poems
Ángel García University of Arkansas Press, 2018 Library of Congress PS3607.A69A6 2018 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Finalist, 2019 PEN Open Book Award
Winner, 2019 American Book Award, Before Columbus Foundation
Drawing on folklore and fantasy, childhood memory and hallucination, and marked by a tone of piercing divulgence, Teeth Never Sleep nimbly negotiates the split consciousness a culture of dominance requires of men (especially men of color), highlighting the fissures in selfhood created by the pressure to seek submission over intimacy while still wanting desperately to be loved, and tracing the contorted route by which emotional pain finds expression in violence. “The night my girlfriend tells my mother I beat her, / I feel betrayed. This was a secret we kept between us. / That night, I was no longer my mother’s loving son,” the speaker in one poem confesses, and later “I never wanted to be this kind of animal.”
And yet, through the lens of Ángel García’s sharp imagining, men frequently appear as beasts (sometimes literally)—as hybrid beings both tender and brutal—that he steadfastly refuses to let off the hook as he obsessively catalogs the origins of toxic masculinity (the first time I made my mother cry, the first time I pitied my father, the first time I saw a girl bleed) and its quiet, lasting effects: “Still a part of me believes a / man shouldn’t cry in front of a woman, even in the dark.”
In a culture of weaponized masculinity, the poems in Teeth Never Sleep make a doorway of a wound, inviting readers to walk through and sit down inside the raw pain they harbor to meditate on two central, urgent questions: what it means to be a man and how, as a man, to love.
“Tell Me a Riddle” renders an unforgettable portrait of a working class couple when the gender determined differences in their experiences of poverty and familial life give rise to bitter conflict after almost four decades of marriage. As she dies from cancer, Eva, the protagonist, recollects a revolutionary past that both critiques and offers hope for the present. Deborah Rosenfelt’s introduction and the essays in this volume survey the critical reception of this highly acclaimed story, analyze its biographical and historical contexts, examine the text’s language, structure, spiritual and moral significance, and illuminate Olsen’s relationship to the American midwest, the American left, and the Jewish enlightenment tradition.
This casebook includes an introduction by the editor, a chronology of Olsen’s life, an authoritative text of “Tell Me a Riddle,” relevant essays by Olsen, seven critical essays, and a bibliography.
The contributors are: Joanne Trautmann Banks, Constance Coiner, Rachel Blau Duplessis, Mara Faulkner, Elaine Orr, Linda Ray Pratt, and Deborah Silverton Rosenfelt.
Tell This Silence by Patti Duncan explores multiple meanings of speech and silence in Asian American women's writings in order to explore relationships among race, gender, sexuality, and national identity. Duncan argues that contemporary definitions of U.S. feminism must be expanded to recognize the ways in which Asian American women have resisted and continue to challenge the various forms of oppression in their lives. There has not yet been adequate discussion of the multiple meanings of silence and speech, especially in relation to activism and social-justice movements in the U.S. In particular, the very notion of silence continues to invoke assumptions of passivity, submissiveness, and avoidance, while speech is equated with action and empowerment.
However, as the writers discussed in Tell This Silence suggest, silence too has multiple meanings especially in contexts like the U.S., where speech has never been a guaranteed right for all citizens. Duncan argues that writers such as Maxine Hong Kingston, Mitsuye Yamada, Joy Kogawa, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Nora Okja Keller, and Anchee Min deploy silence as a means of resistance. Juxtaposing their “unofficial narratives” against other histories—official U.S. histories that have excluded them and American feminist narratives that have stereotyped them or distorted their participation—they argue for recognition of their cultural participation and offer analyses of the intersections among gender, race, nation, and sexuality.
Tell This Silence offers innovative ways to consider Asian American gender politics, feminism, and issues of immigration and language. This exciting new study will be of interest to literary theorists and scholars in women's, American, and Asian American studies.
In the last decade, women's accounts of father-daughter incest have prompted much public debate. Are these accounts true? Are they false? Telling Incest, however, asks a different question: what does a believable incest story sound like and why?
Examining the work of writers from Gertrude Stein to Toni Morrison and Dorothy Allison, Telling Incest argues that an incest story's plausibility depends upon a shifting set of narrative conventions and cultural expectations. As contexts for telling incest stories have changed, so too have the tasks of those who tell and those who listen. The authors analyze both fictional and nonfiction narratives about father-daughter incest, beginning by scrutinizing the shadowy accounts found in nineteenth-century case records, letters, and narratives.
Telling Incest next explores African American stories that shift the blame for incest from the black family to the predations of a paternalistic white culture. Janice Doane and Devon Hodges demonstrate that writers drew upon this reworked incest narrative in the 1970s and early 1980s in order to relate a feminist story about incest, a story that criticizes patriarchal power. This feminist form of the story, increasingly emphasizing trauma and recovery, can be found in such popular books as Alice Walker's The Color Purple and Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres. Doane and Hodges then examine recent memoirs and novels such as Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina and Sapphire's Push, narratives that again rework the incest story in an effort to "tell" about women's complex experiences of subjugation and hope.
Telling Incest will be of particular interest to readers who have enjoyed the popular and culturally significant work of writers such as Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Jane Smiley, and Dorothy Allison and to students of women's studies, feminist theory, and cultural studies.
Janice Doane is Professor of English, St. Mary's College of California. Devon Hodges is Professor of English, George Mason University. They have also coauthored From Klein to Kristeva: Psychoanalytic Feminism and the Search for the "Good Enough" Mother and Nostalgia and Sexual Difference: The Resistance to Contemporary Feminism.
The finest essays from the newest generation of critics and poet-critics are gathered together in this volume documenting the growth in readership and awareness of avant-garde poetries.
This collection demonstrates the breadth and openness of the field of avant-garde poetry by introducing a wide range of work in poetics, theory, and criticism from emerging writers. Examining the directions innovative poetry has taken since the emergence and success of the Language movement, the essays discuss new forms and the reorientation of older forms of poetry in order to embody present and ongoing involvements. The essays center around four themes: the relation between poetics and contemporary cultural issues; new directions for avant-garde practices; in-depth explorations of current poets and their predecessors; and innovative approaches to the essay form or individual poetics.
Diverging from the traditional, linear argumentative style of academic criticism, many of the essays in this collection instead find critical forms more subtly related to poetry. Viewed as a whole, the essays return to a number of shared issues, namely poetic form and the production of present-day poetry. While focusing on North American poetry, the collection does reference the larger world of contemporary poetics, including potential biases and omissions based on race and ethnicity.
This is cutting-edge criticism at its finest, essential reading for students and scholars of avant-garde poetry, of interest to anyone interested in contemporary American literature and poetry.
In an era when poetry as a cultural force in the West appears to be waning, Telling Rhythm presents a hopeful and invigorating new approach to reading and interpreting poetry. At the same time, the book reviews a tradition of theorizing about poetry and suggests some innovations in literary theory itself that point to new ways of thinking about poetic texts.
Beth Bachmann University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009 Library of Congress PS3602.A3446T46 2009 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Temper is at once violent and controlled, unflinching and unforgiving in temperament. The poems are mercilessly recursive, placing pressure on the lyric as a mode of both the elegiac and the ecstatic. The result is an enforced silence, urgent with grief.
For a half century Arthur Miller has been more than a dramatist. He has been a chronicler of American culture, which he has both celebrated and criticized. The Temptation of Innocence in the Dramas of Arthur Miller examines all of Miller’s plays, from his unpublished undergraduate dramas written at the University of Michigan to Mr. Peters’ Connections, his last performed play. Terry Otten offers a broad critical review and assessment of Miller’s plays in light of the major revival of Miller’s work in the past decade and a growing critical reassessment of his work by the scholarly community.
Focusing on the temptation of innocence, a recurrent theme in Miller’s work, Otten explores the conflict between innocence and personal responsibility, from such widely acclaimed early plays as Death of a Salesman, which forges a “tragedy of the common man,” to his later, near postmodern texts, which treat memory in very different ways. Still locating the presentness of the past as a center of meaning in characters who follow Willy Loman, Miller continues to investigate the role innocence plays in the lives of his more modern characters.
Otten contends that, for over a half century, Miller examined the relationship between self and society in remarkably consistent terms while adapting his art to contemporary changes in concepts of reality. Fully documented and thoroughly researched, this book will prove a valuable source for later studies of Miller and a standard reference for examining the entire range of the plays. Otten avoids critical jargon, making this book an appealing choice for a general audience interested in literature and American culture.
In Ten Is the Age of Darkness, Geta LeSeur explores how black authors of the United States and English- speaking Caribbean have taken a European literary tradition and adapted it to fit their own needs for self-expression. LeSeur begins by defining the structure and models of the European genre of the bildungsroman, then proceeds to show how the circumstances of colonialism, oppression, race, class, and gender make the maturing experiences of selected young black protagonists different from those of their white counterparts.
Examining the parallels and differences in attitudes toward childhood in the West Indies and the United States, as well as the writers' individual perspectives in each work of fiction, LeSeur reaches intriguing conclusions about family life, community participation in the nurturing of children, the timing and severity of the youngsters' confrontation of adult society, and the role played by race in the journey toward adulthood.
LeSeur's readings of African American novels provide new insights into the work of Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Paule Marshall, and Richard Wright, among others. When read as examples of the bildungsroman rather than simply as chronicles of black experiences, these works reveal an even deeper significance and have a more powerful impact. LeSeur convincingly demonstrates that such African American novels as Baldwin's Go Tell It on the Mountain, Wright's Black Boy, and Morrison's The Bluest Eye concentrate to a large extent on protest, while such African West Indian works as George Lamming's In the Castle of My Skin, Austin Clarke's Amongst Thistles and Thorns, Jamaica Kincaid's Annie John, and Erna Brodber's Jane and Louisa Will Soon Come Home reflect a more naive, healthy re-creation of what childhood can and should be, despite economic and physical impoverishment. She also gives a special space within the genre to Paule Marshall's BrownGirl, Brownstones and Ntozake Shange's Betsey Brown and the importance of "woman time," "woman voice," and mothers.
While enlarging our understanding of both the similarities and the differences in the black experiences of the Carribean and American youngsters coming of age, Ten Is the Age of Darkness also suggests that children of color in similar spheres share many common experiences. LeSeur concludes that the bildungsromane by black writers provide uniquely revealing contributions to the Afro-World literary canon and point the way for others to examine literary pieces in Third World communities of color.
Winner of the 2019 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize
The Tenant of Fire is about Queens, NY—its history, public and personal, real and imagined. Many of the people who populate this book—Irish Catholics, Italian-Americans—were once considered ethnic but now fall wholly under the banner of white. And from their anxieties a man like Donald Trump emerges. Born and raised in Queens, Trump is both the product and purveyor of a localized nativist politic.
The young white speaker of these poems works to record his parents’ and neighbors’, both white and of color, and his own attempts at navigating a shifting landscape. In poems on the homecoming of Vietnam vets, or the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, or the firebombing of Malcolm X’s house, The Tenant of Fire explores how and why the plurality of a place like Queens, where now nearly two hundred languages are spoken, is viewed as a threat to national security.
Toi Derricotte University of Pittsburgh Press, 1997 Library of Congress PS3554.E73T46 1997 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Toi Derricotte’s fourth collection of poetry. Tender probes sexuality, spirituality, emotion, child abuse, mother hatred, and the physical and psychological ravages of violence. These poems are raw and upsetting in subject matter, yet extremely readable.
In this fascinating study, Chris Messenger posits F. Scott Fitzgerald as a great master of sentiment in modern American fiction. Sentimental forms both attracted and repelled Fitzgerald while defining his deepest impulses as a prose writer. Messenger demonstrates that the sentimental identities, refractions, and influences Fitzgerald explores in Tender Is the Night define key components in his affective life, which evolved into a powerful aesthetic that informed his vocation as a modernist writer.
In “Tender Is the Night” and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Sentimental Identities, Messenger traces the roots of Fitzgerald’s writing career to the deaths of his two infant sisters a few months before his own birth. It was their loss, Fitzgerald wrote, that made him a writer. Messenger highlights how the loss of Fitzgerald’s siblings powerfully molded his relation to maternal nurturing and sympathy in Tender Is the Night as well as how it shaped the homosocial intimations of its care-giving protagonist, psychiatrist Dick Diver. A concomitant grief and mourning was fueled by Fitzgerald’s intimate and intense creative rivalry with his often-institutionalized wife, Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald.
While sentiment is a discredited strain in high modernism, Fitzgerald nevertheless embraced it in Tender Is the Night to fashion this most poignant and beautiful successor to The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald’s aesthetic and emotional preoccupations came most vividly to life in this major novel. Messenger describes how Fitzgerald, creating his character Nicole Warren Diver as a victim of paternal incest, finally found the sentimental key to finishing his novel and uniting his vision of the two narratives of “saving” the two sisters and reimagining the agony of his wife and their marriage.
Fitzgerald’s productive quarrel with and through sentiment defines his career, and Messenger convincingly argues that Tender Is the Night should be placed alongside TheGreat Gatsby as a classic exemplar of the modern novel.
Terminal Diagrams: Poems
Garrick Davis Ohio University Press, 2011 Library of Congress PS3604.A95696T47 2010 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Garrick Davis’s Terminal Diagrams may have been inspired by the illustrated maps in airport lounges, or perhaps they are the blueprints of the Apocalypse, with their subjects and objects representing the bitter fruits of either some future nightmare or the present world. Regardless, their vision is so bleak and unsparing, only a few will be able to savor them. Here, the art of poetry has been mechanized just as the world has been mechanized. Whether his subject is a car accident on the freeways of Los Angeles or the Book of Revelation transmitted by television, Davis’s stanzas conjure a kind of futuristic noir. In poem after poem, he examines the artistic possibilities of the machine, and its alterations of human experience, with a modern spirit that—as Baudelaire defined it—has embraced “the sublimity and monstrousness of something new.”
More than two centuries after his birth and almost a century and a half after his death, the legendary life and legacy of John Brown go marching on. Variously deemed martyr, madman, monster, terrorist, and saint, he remains one of the most controversial figures in America’s history. Brown’s actions in Kansas and in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, were major catalysts for the American Civil War, and continue today to evoke praise or condemnation.
Through the prisms of history, literature, psychology, criminal justice, oral history, African American studies, political science, film studies, and anthropology, Terrible Swift Sword offers insights not only into John Brown’s controversial character and motives but also into the nature of a troubled society before, during, and after the Civil War. The contributors discuss reasons why Brown’s contemporaries supported him, analyze Brown’s behavior and his depiction in literature, and examine the iconography and mythology surrounding him.
The interdisciplinary focus brought by editors Peggy A. Russo and Paul Finkelman makes this collection unique. Terrible Swift Sword: The Legacy of John Brown will appeal to a broad audience of readers interested in this turbulent moment in American history.
Nadia Ellis attends to African diasporic belonging as it comes into being through black expressive culture. Living in the diaspora, Ellis asserts, means existing between claims to land and imaginative flights unmoored from the earth—that is, to live within the territories of the soul. Drawing on the work of Jose Muñoz, Ellis connects queerness' utopian potential with diasporic aesthetics. Occupying the territory of the soul, being neither here nor there, creates in diasporic subjects feelings of loss, desire, and a sensation of a pull from elsewhere. Ellis locates these phenomena in the works of C.L.R. James, the testy encounter between George Lamming and James Baldwin at the 1956 Congress of Negro Artists and Writers in Paris, the elusiveness of the queer diasporic subject in Andrew Salkey's novel Escape to an Autumn Pavement, and the trope of spirit possession in Nathaniel Mackey's writing and Burning Spear's reggae. Ellis' use of queer and affect theory shows how geographies claim diasporic subjects in ways that nationalist or masculinist tropes can never fully capture. Diaspora, Ellis concludes, is best understood as a mode of feeling and belonging, one fundamentally shaped by the experience of loss.
Polish émigrés have written poignantly about the pain of exile in letters, diaries, and essays; others, more recently, have recreated Polish-American communities in works of fiction. But it is Danuta Mostwin’s fiction, until now unavailable in English translation, that bridges the divide between Poland and America, exile and emigration.
Mostwin and her husband survived the ravages of World War II, traveled to Britain, and then emigrated to the United States. Mostwin devoted her scholarly career to the study of immigrants trapped between cultural worlds. Winner of international awards for her fiction, Danuta Mostwin here offers two novellas, translated by the late Marta Erdman, which are the first of her works published in English in the United States.
Deeply melancholic and moving in its unsentimental depiction of ordinary people trying to make sense of their uprooted lives, Testaments presents two powerful vignettes of life in immigrant America, The Last Will of Blaise Twardowski and Jocasta. This timely publication provides an introduction to Mostwin’s work that will ensure that she is recognized as the creator of one of the most nuanced and deeply moving pictures of emigration and exile in Polish-American literature.
Texans love to eat, and one dish they can’t get enough of is chili—so much so that chili con carne is Texas’s state meal. This seemingly simple staple of Texan identity proves to be anything but, however. Beans or no beans? Beef, pork, or turkey? From a can or from scratch? Texas Is Chili Country is a brief look at the favored fare—its colorful history, its many incarnations, and the ways it has spread both across the country and the world. The history includes chuckwagon chili, the chili queens of San Antonio, the first attempts at canned chili, the development of chili societies and the subsequent rivalries between them, and the rise of chili cook-offs.
And what would a book about chili be without recipes? There are no-fat recipes, vegan recipes, and recipes from Mexican-American cooks who have adapted this purely American food. Some have been tried, but many are taken on faith. Recipes are included from state celebrities such as Ladybird Johnson, Governor Ma Ferguson, and chili king Frank Tolbert.
Tim Hunt’s The Textuality of Soulwork: Jack Kerouac’s Quest for Spontaneous Proseexamines Kerouac’s work from a new critical perspective with a focus on the author’s unique methods of creating and working with text. Additionally, The Textuality of Soulwork delineates Kerouac’s development of “Spontaneous Prose” to differentiate the preliminary experiment of On the Road from the more radical experiment of Visions of Cody, and to demonstrate Kerouac’s transition from working within the textual paradigm of modern print to the textual paradigm of secondary orality. From these perspectives, Tim Hunt crafts a new critical approach to Beat poetics and textual theory, marking an important contribution to the current revival of Kerouac and Beat studies underway at universities in the U.S. and abroad, as reflected by a growing number of conferences, courses, and a renewal in scholarship.
Thaddeus “Thad” Mosley is a self-taught African American sculptor. Earning a living throughout his adult life as a postal worker in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, so that he could support his family by day and work as a sculptor by night, he has evolved an individual and powerful African American voice. He worked alone, patiently developing a sculptural language absolutely his own, yet traceable to his primary sources of inspiration, the vitality of African art and American jazz on the one hand, and on the other, two twentieth-century artists, the Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi and the Asian American sculptor Isamu Noguchi.
From the beginning Thad Mosley has been a carver. His materials have always been those “at hand,” logs from the trees of his native Western Pennsylvania, stones from the sites of demolished buildings in Pittsburgh, and metals from local scrapyards. Finding within each log or block of stone an essential vitality, his carvings invariably bear a syncopation of chisel marks evoking the rhythms and surging freedoms of jazz. Mosley’s perseverence and his pride in who he is offer an inspiring example of the unquenchable spirit of a true artists.
This short book introduces the life and work of this remarkable man. Davis Lewis, architect, writer, and painter, has been a friend of the artist for twenty-five years. His narrative is distilled from hours of taped interviews with Thad Mosley, as well as from a deep understanding of his art and influences. Lonnie Graham is a nationally known African-American photographer.
That Kind of Happy
Maggie Dietz University of Chicago Press, 2016 Library of Congress PS3604.I375T47 2016 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
If I slept too long, forgive me.
A north wind quickened the window frames
so the room pitched like a moving train
and the pillow’s whiff of hickory
and shaving soap conjured your body
beside me. So I slept in the berth
as the train chuffed on, unburdened
by waking’s cold water, ignorant
of pain, estrangement, hunger and
the crucial fuel the boiler burned
to keep the minutes’ pistons churning
while I slept. Forgive me.
That Kind of Happy, the long-awaited second collection by award-winning poet Maggie Dietz, explores the sharp, profound tension between a disquieted inner life and quotidian experience. Central to the book are poems that take up two major life events: becoming a mother and losing a father within a short stretch of time. Here, at the intersection of joy and grief, of persistence and attrition, Dietz wrestles with the questions posed by such conflicting experiences, revealing a mind suspicious of quick fixes and dissatisfied with easy answers. The result is a book as anguished as it is distinguished.
More than a gathering of essays, That Self-Forgetful Perfectly Useless Concentration is part memoir, part literary criticism, and an artful fusion of the two. It is an intimate portrait of a life in poetry that only Alan Shapiro could have written.
In this book, Shapiro brings his characteristic warmth, humor, and many years as both poet and teacher to bear on questions surrounding two preoccupations: the role of conventions—of literary and social norms—in how we fashion our identities on and off the page, and how suffering both requires and resists self-expression. He sketches affectionate portraits of his early teachers, revisits the deaths of his brother and sister, and examines poems that have helped him navigate troubled times. Integrating storytelling and literary analysis so seamlessly that art and life become extensions of each other, Shapiro embodies in his lively prose the very qualities he celebrates in the poems he loves.
Brimming with wit and insight, this is a book for poets, students and scholars of poetry, teachers of literature, and everyone who cares about the literary arts and how they illuminate our personal and public lives.
The early settlers in America had a special relationship to the theater. Though largely without a theater of their own, they developed an ideology of theater that expressed their sense of history, as well as their version of life in the New World. Theater Enough provides an innovative analysis of early American culture by examining the rhetorical shaping of the experience of settlement in the new land through the metaphor of theater. The rhetoric, or discourse, of early American theater emerged out of the figures of speech that permeated the colonists’ lives and literary productions. Jeffrey H. Richards examines a variety of texts—histories, diaries, letters, journals, poems, sermons, political tracts, trial transcripts, orations, and plays—and looks at the writings of such authors as John Winthrop and Mercy Otis Warren. Richards places the American usage of theatrum mundi—the world depicted as a stage—in the context of classical and Renaissance traditions, but shows how the trope functions in American rhetoric as a register for religious, political, and historical attitudes.
In the mid-1800s, a utopian movement to rehabilitate the insane resulted in a wave of publicly funded asylums—many of which became unexpected centers of cultural activity. Housed in magnificent structures with lush grounds, patients participated in theatrical programs, debating societies, literary journals, schools, and religious services. Theaters of Madness explores both the culture these rich offerings fomented and the asylum’s place in the fabric of nineteenth-century life, reanimating a time when the treatment of the insane was a central topic in debates over democracy, freedom, and modernity.
Benjamin Reiss explores the creative lives of patients and the cultural demands of their doctors. Their frequently clashing views turned practically all of American culture—from blackface minstrel shows to the works of William Shakespeare—into a battlefield in the war on insanity. Reiss also shows how asylums touched the lives and shaped the writing of key figures, such as Emerson and Poe, who viewed the system alternately as the fulfillment of a democratic ideal and as a kind of medical enslavement. Without neglecting this troubling contradiction, Theaters of Madness prompts us to reflect on what our society can learn from a generation that urgently and creatively tried to solve the problem of mental illness.
Theaters of the Everyday: Aesthetic Democracy on the American Stage reveals a vital but little-recognized current in American theatrical history: the dramatic representation of the quotidian and mundane. Jacob Gallagher-Ross shows how twentieth-century American theater became a space for negotiating the demands of innovative form and democratic availability.
Offering both fresh reappraisals of canonical figures and movements and new examinations of theatrical innovators, Theaters of the Everyday reveals surprising affinities between artists often considered poles apart, such as John Cage and Lee Strasberg, and Thornton Wilder and the New York experimentalist Nature Theater of Oklahoma. Gallagher-Ross persuasively shows how these creators eschew conventional definitions of dramatic action and focus attention on smaller but no less profound dramas of perception, consciousness, and day-to-day life.
Gallagher-Ross traces some of the intellectual roots of the theater of the everyday to American transcendentalism, with its pragmatic process philosophy as well as its sense of ordinary experience as the wellspring of aesthetic awareness.
Theatre History Studies, currently edited by Rhona Justice-Malloy, is a peer-reviewed journal of theatre history and scholarship published annually since 1981 by the Mid-American Theatre Conference (MATC), a regional body devoted to theatre scholarship and practice. The conference encompasses the states of Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. The purpose of the conference is to unite persons and organizations within the region with an interest in theatre and to promote the growth and development of all forms of theatre.
Penny Farfan / Victor Holtcamp / Lisa Jackson-Schebetta / Richard
L. Poole / Bill Rauch / Thomas Robson / Marlis Schweitzer / Virginia
Scott / Christine Woodworth
Omi Osun Joni L. Jones provides the first full-length study of an artistic form, the theatrical jazz aesthetic, that draws on the jazz principles of ensemble—the break, the bridge, and the blue note. Theatrical Jazz: Performance, À??, and the Power of the Present Moment is a study of the use of jazz aesthetics in theatre as created by major practitioners of the form, giving particular attention to three innovative artists: Laurie Carlos, Daniel Alexander Jones, and Sharon Bridgforth.
Theatrical Jazz examines how artists are made and how artists make art. In charting their overlapping artistic genealogies, the book also discusses the work of veteran artists Aishah Rahman, Robbie McCauley, Sekou Sundiata, Ntozake Shange, and Erik Ehn, as well as the next generation of theatrical jazz innovators, Grisha Coleman, Walter Kitundu, Florinda Bryant, and Zell Miller III. Using autocritography as a primary methodology, the author draws on her role as performer, collaborator, audience/witness, and dramaturg in theatrical jazz, and her experiences with Yoruba spiritual traditions, to excavate the layers and nuances of this performance form. Jones’s use of performative writing, a blend of intellectual, artistic, and sensory experiences, allows scholars and students not only to read but also to “hear” the principles of theatrical jazz on the page.
Then and Now: Poems
James Cummins Ohio University Press, 2004 Library of Congress PS3553.U455T48 2004 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
James Cummins’s first book of poems, The Whole Truth, became known throughout much of the poetry world as the “Perry Mason sestinas.” His second book, Portrait in a Spoon, was chosen by Richard Howard for the James Dickey Prize Contemporary Poetry Series.
His latest and most accomplished work is collected in Then & Now, which reflects the same inventiveness and wit evident in his earlier books, with a deepening of tone and spirit. The result is a collection of poems filled with feeling and with Cummins's signature anguished humor.
If the language of poetry is a way into a hall of mirrors of the self, it can be a way out, too. The voice that emerges in Then & Now is sane, imaginative, bemused, and sly, not only taking responsibility for the character of the writer put fully on display, but ironically and affectionately exploring how this process occurs.
Lynn Emanuel University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999 Library of Congress PS3555.M34T48 1999 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Finalist for ForeWord Magazine’s 1999 Poetry Book of the Year
A reader and a writer don their respective roles and embark on the journey of a book. This is their story--ultimately a love story--darkly funny, mournful, testy. It is about a reader who at times presides over the page like a god, and at others follows the leash of the author's voice through the dark streets of the book like a dog, and it is about a writer of determined slipperiness. As we read, we think that each of us is The Reader, the one who knows the Real Story. But the more we think we understand, the more the story moves away from us—all is not what it seems.
This eagerly awaited third volume by the poet whose work The New York Times described as "at once charmed and frightening" is a book of high-spirited subversiveness, a work of argument, seduction, and a relentless devotion to language. Then, Suddenly— bristles with the sound of the author's voice--insistent, vital, hilarious, and iconoclastic--tearing away at the confinement of the page and at the distance between the page and the reader. Emanuel's images are dazzling. She creates a performance that is fearsome and funny in its portrayal of the argument between the work of the text and the world of the body. The Gettsyburg Review has called her a writer of "exquisite craftsmanship" who can "strike from language . . . images chiseled clean as bas-relief." Then, Suddenly— is a book of spectacle and verve, part elegy, part vaudeville.
Of all the many biographies of Theodore Roosevelt, none has presented the twenty-sixth president as he saw himself: as a man of letters. This fascinating account traces Roosevelt’s lifelong engagement with books and discusses his writings from childhood journals to his final editorial, finished just hours before his death. His most famous book, The Rough Riders—part memoir, part war adventure—barely begins to suggest the dynamism of his literary output. Roosevelt read widely and deeply, and worked tirelessly on his writing. Along with speeches, essays, reviews, and letters, he wrote history, autobiography, and tales of exploration and discovery. In this thoroughly original biography, Roosevelt is revealed at his most vulnerable—and his most human.
Scott Dill’s A Theology of Sense: John Updike, Embodiment, and Late Twentieth-Century American Literature brings together theology, aesthetics, and the body, arguing that Updike, a central figure in post-1945 American literature, deeply embeds in his work questions of the body and the senses with questions of theology. Dill offers new understandings not only of the work of Updike—which is importantly being revisited since the author’s death in 2009—but also new understandings of the relationship between aesthetics, religion, and physical experience.
Dill explores Updike’s unique literary legacy in order to argue for a genuinely postsecular theory of aesthetic experience. Each chapter takes up one of the five senses and its relation to broader theoretical concerns: affect, subjectivity, ontology, ethics, and theology. While placing Updike’s work in relation to other late twentieth-century American writers, Dill explains their notions of embodiment and uses them to render a new account of postsecular aesthetics. No other novelist has portrayed mere sense experience as carefully, as extensively, or as theologically—repeatedly turning to the doctrine of creation as his stylistic justification. Across this examination of his many stories, novels, poems, and essays, Dill proves that Updike forces us to reconsider the power of literature to revitalize sense experience as a theological question.
Rowe examines James from the perspectives of the psychology of literary influence, feminism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, literary phenomenology and impressionism, and reader-response criticism, transforming a literary monument into the telling point of intersection for modern critical theories.
In his first book devoted exclusively to naturalism, Donald Pizer brings together thirteen essays and four reviews written over a thirty-year period that in their entirety constitute a full-scale interpretation of the basic character and historical shape of naturalism in America.
The essays fall into three groups. Some deal with the full range of American naturalism, from the 1590s to the late twentieth century, and some are confined either to the 1890s or to the twentieth century. In addition to the essays, an introduction in which Pizer recounts the development of his interest in American naturalism, reviews of recent studies of naturalism, and a selected bibliography contribute to an understanding of Pizer’s interpretation of the movement.
One of the recurrent themes in the essays is that the interpretation of American naturalism has been hindered by the common view that the movement is characterized by a commitment to Emile Zola’s deterministic beliefs and that naturalistic novels are thus inevitably crude and simplistic both in theme and method. Rather than accept this notion, Pizer insists that naturalistic novels be read closely not for their success or failure in rendering obvious deterministic beliefs but rather for what actually does occur within the dynamic play of theme and form within the work.
Adopting this method, Pizer finds that naturalistic fiction often reveals a complex and suggestive mix of older humanistic faiths and more recent doubts about human volition, and that it renders this vital thematic ambivalence in increasingly sophisticated forms as the movement matures. In addition, Pizer demonstrates that American naturalism cannot be viewed monolithically as a school with a common body of belief and value. Rather, each generation of American naturalists, as well as major figures within each generation, has responded to threads within the naturalistic impulse in strikingly distinctive ways. And it is indeed this absence of a rigid doctrinal core and the openness of the movement to individual variation that are responsible for the remarkable vitality and longevity of the movement.
Because the essays have their origin in efforts to describe the general characteristics of American naturalism rather than in a desire to cover the field fully, some authors and works are discussed several times (though from different angles) and some referred to only briefly or notat all. But the essays as a collection are "complete" in the sense that they comprise an interpretation of American naturalism both in its various phases and as a whole. Those authors whose works receive substantial discussion include Stephen Crane, Frank Norris, Theodore Dreiser, Edith Wharton, James T. Farrell, Norman Mailer, Joyce Carol Oates, and William Kennedy. Of special interest is Pizer’s essay on Ironweed, which appears here for the first time.
In this series of new poems Gail Mazur takes stock-of the complexity of relationships between parents and children, the desires of the body as well as its frailties, the distinctions between memory and history, and the hope of art to capture these seemingly inscrutable realities. By turns mordant and passionate, narrative and meditative, Mazur's poems imply that life, with all of its losses, triumphs, and abrasive intimacies, is far richer and more elaborately metaphorical than poetry can aspire to be-and yet her poems do affectingly recreate this reality. These illuminating poems are the work of an acclaimed poet at the top of her form.
Peter Jay Shippy University of Iowa Press, 2003 Library of Congress PS3619.H58T48 2003 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
“Ah, writ happens.” Like the con men who rely on thieves' Latin to ply their trade, the poems in Peter Jay Shippy's award-winning collection don't play well with other poems. They are difficult. They rave. They are unsettling and blunt. They crash cars and ride tsunamis and hitch rides on tugs. They also provide a contemporary, ironic, and tender view of America, all the while layering wordplay, cleverness, and sentiment.
Past Praise for Mother Quiet:
"The aim of poetry (and the higher kind of thriller) is to be unexpected and memorable. So a poem about death might treat it in a way that combines the bizarre and the banal: the Other Side as some kind of institution—a creepy hospital, an officious hotel or retirement home. Martha Rhodes takes such an approach in 'Ambassadors to the Dead,' from her abrupt, unsettling, artfully distorted, indelible new book Mother Quiet. Blending the matter-of-fact with the surreal, as a way of comprehending the stunning, final reality, Rhodes is an inheritor of Emily Dickinson's many poems on the same subject."
—Robert Pinsky, Washington Post
Things That Burn
Jacqueline Berger University of Utah Press, 2005 Library of Congress PS3602.E7538T48 2005 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
The Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry was inaugurated in 2003 to honor the late poet, a nationally recognized author of numerous collections of poetry and a former professor at the University of Utah. Things That Burn by Jacqueline Berger is the 2004 prizewinning volume selected by this year’s judge, former U.S. Poet Laureate Mark Strand. In this evocative collection Berger dissects in ardent language and rich imagery the ways that hunger and longing propel us through our lives, offering the reader a postmortem of passion and desire.
Thinking en español captures conversations with leading Chicana and Chicano literary critics. This unique book consists of interviews with founding members of Chicano criticism conducted by the author, Jesús Rosales, who, through his conversations with leaders such as Luis Leal, María Herrera-Sobek, Tey Diana Rebolledo, and Juan Rodríguez, shows the path of criticism from 1848 to the present.
The twelve critics interviewed for this project share certain characteristics. For each one, Mexico plays an essential role in his or her personal and academic background, and each is bilingual and bicultural, having received formal literary education in Spanish graduate programs. As products of the working class, each scholar here shares a sense of social consciousness and commitment that lends an urgency to their desire to promote Chicano literature and culture at the local, regional, national, and international levels. They serve as a source of inspiration and commitment for future generations of scholars of Chicano literature and leave a lasting legacy of their own.
Thinking en español legitimizes Chicana/o criticism as an established discipline, and documents the works of some of the most important critics of Chicano literature at the turn of the twentieth and into the twenty-first century. This timely book immortalizes literary historical figures and documents the trajectory of Chicano criticism.
Thinking in Henry James
Sharon Cameron University of Chicago Press, 1989 Library of Congress PS2127.T53C3 1989 | Dewey Decimal 813.4
Thinking in Henry James identifies what is genuinely strange and radical about James's concept of consciousness—first, the idea that it may not always be situated within this or that person but rather exists outside or "between," in some transpersonal place; and second, the idea that consciousness may have power over things and people outside the person who thinks. Examining these and other counterintuitive representations of consciousness, Cameron asks, "How do we make sense of these conceptions of thinking?"
The essayist and cultural commentator Ilan Stavans and the analytic philosopher Jorge J. E. Gracia share long-standing interests in the intersection of art and ideas. Here they take thirteen pieces of Latino art, each reproduced in color, as occasions for thematic discussions. Whether the work at the center of a particular conversation is a triptych created by the brothers Einar and Jamex de la Torre, Andres Serrano's controversial Piss Christ, a mural by the graffiti artist BEAR_TCK, or Above All Things, a photograph by María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Stavans and Gracia's exchanges inevitably open out to literature, history, ethics, politics, religion, and visual culture more broadly. Autobiographical details pepper Stavans and Gracia's conversations, as one or the other tells what he finds meaningful in a given work. Sparkling with insight, their exchanges allow the reader to eavesdrop on two celebrated intellectuals—worldly, erudite, and unafraid to disagree—as they reflect on the pleasures of seeing.
This Clumsy Living
Bob Hicok University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006 Library of Congress PS3558.I28T48 2007 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Winner of the 2008 Bobbit National Poetry Prize.
“Few others in contemporary poetry are so brilliantly able to combine wit and weight, to charge the language so it virtually glows in the dark. Hicok's poems just plain rock. They rock because they are gorgeous. They rock because they are sad and turn on the radio. They dance our 'clumsy living' with our shadows and our isolations to a music that always, always remembers the original delight in which 'the feel of things, if [we] cherish, helps [us] live / more like a minute than a clock.'”--Beckian Fritz Goldberg
This Country of Mothers
Julianna Baggott Southern Illinois University Press, 2001 Library of Congress PS3552.A339T48 2001 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
A mosaic of memories, the poems of This Country of Mothers recollect Julianna Baggott’s experiences as both mother and daughter. With wit, compassion, aggression, and anxiety, Baggott examines her maternal history. She recalls moments of creation and destruction in her life, times of elation and of desperation that mold her as both a woman and a poet. This affecting study of motherhood is framed in issues of Catholicism and of poetry itself, challenging and espousing the roles of both. Throughout her poems, Baggott’s personal experiences embrace universal themes to birth poems in a language and style that is both powerfully feminine and accessibly human.
In the first book-length study of Vietnamese American literature, Isabelle Thuy Pelaud probes the complexities of Vietnamese American identity and politics. She provides an analytical introduction to the literature, showing how generational differences play out in genre and text. In addition, she asks, can the term Vietnamese American be disassociated from representations of the war without erasing its legacy?
Pelaud delineates the historical, social, and cultural terrains of the writing as well as the critical receptions and responses to them. She moves beyond the common focus on the Vietnam war to develop an interpretive framework that integrates post-colonialism with the multi-generational refugee, immigrant, and transnational experiences at the center of Vietnamese American narratives.
Her readings of key works, such as Andrew Pham's Catfish and Mandala and Lan Cao's Monkey Bridge show how trauma, racism, class and gender play a role in shaping the identities of Vietnamese American characters and narrators.
Writings on film from an award-winning filmmaker and poet.
As the writer, director, producer, and cinematographer of almost all her 30 films, videos, and shorts, Abigail Child has been recognized as a major and influential practitioner of experimental cinema since the early 1970s. Hallmarks of her style are the appropriation and reassembly of found footage and fragments from disparate visual sources, ranging from industrial films and documentaries to home movies, vacation photography, and snippets of old B movies.
The resulting collages and montages are cinematic narratives that have been consistently praised for their beauty and sense of wonder and delight in the purely visual. At the same time, Child's films are noted for their incisive political commentary on issues such as gender and sexuality, class, voyeurism, poverty, and the subversive nature of propaganda.
In the essays of This Is Called Moving, Child draws on her long career as a practicing poet as well as a filmmaker to explore how these two language systems inform and cross-fertilize her work. For Child, poetry and film are both potent means of representation, and by examining the parallels between them—words and frames, lines and shots, stanzas and scenes—she discovers how the two art forms re-construct and re-present social meaning, both private and collective.
This is the first book exclusively devoted to the Civil War writings of Walt Whitman and Herman Melville, arguably the most important poets of the war. The essays brought together in this volume add significantly to recent critical appreciation of the skill and sophistication of these poets; growing recognition of the complexity of their views of the war; and heightened appreciation for the anxieties they harbored about its aftermath. Both in the ways they come together and seem mutually influenced, and in the ways they disagree, Whitman and Melville grapple with the casualties, complications, and anxieties of the war while highlighting its irresolution. This collection makes clear that rather than simply and straightforwardly memorializing the events of the war, the poetry of Whitman and Melville weighs carefully all sorts of vexing questions and considerations, even as it engages a cultural politics that is never pat.
Contributors: Kyle Barton, Peter Bellis, Adam Bradford, Jonathan A. Cook, Ian Faith, Ed Folsom, Timothy Marr, Cody Marrs, Christopher Ohge, Vanessa Steinroetter, Sarah L. Thwaites, Brian Yothers
This One Will Hurt You
Paul Crenshaw The Ohio State University Press, 2019 Library of Congress PS3603.R458A6 2019 | Dewey Decimal 814.6
The powerful essays in Paul Crenshaw’s This One Will Hurt You range in subject matter from the fierce tornadoes that crop up in Tornado Alley every spring and summer to a supposedly haunted one-hundred-year-old tuberculosis sanatorium that he lived on the grounds of as a child. They ruminate on the effects of crystal meth on small southern towns, Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, and the ongoing struggle of being a parent in an increasingly disturbing world. They surprise, whether discovering a loved one’s secret, an opossum’s motivation, or the unexpected decision four beer-guzzling, college-aged men must make. They tell stories of family and the past, the histories of small things such as walls and weather, and the faith it takes to hold together in the face of death.
With eloquence, subtle humor, and an urgent poignancy, Crenshaw delivers a powerful and moving collection of nonfiction essays, tied together by place and the violence of the world in which we live.
Often featuring lighthouses, bridges, or quaint country homes, Thomas Kinkade’s soft-focus landscapes have permeated American visual culture during the past twenty years, appearing on everything from Bibles to bedsheets to credit cards. Kinkade sells his work through his shopping-mall galleries, QVC, the Internet, and Christian stores. He is quite possibly the most collected artist in the United States. While many art-world and academic critics have dismissed him as a passing fad or marketing phenomenon, the contributors to this collection do not. Instead, they explore his work and its impact on contemporary art as part of the broader history of American visual culture. They consider Kinkade’s imagery and career in relation to nineteenth-century Currier and Ives prints and Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ, the collectibles market and the fine-art market, the Thomas Kinkade Museum and Cultural Center, and “The Village at Hiddenbrooke,” a California housing development inspired by Kinkade’s paintings. The conceptual artist Jeffrey Vallance, the curator of the first major museum exhibition of Kinkade’s art and collectibles, recounts his experiences organizing that show. All of the contributors draw on art history, visual culture, and cultural studies as they seek to understand Kinkade’s significance for both art and audiences. Along the way, they delve into questions about beauty, class, kitsch, religion, and taste in contemporary art.
Contributors. Julia Alderson, Alexis L. Boylan , Anna Brzyski, Seth Feman, Monica Kjellman-Chapin, Micki McElya, Karal Ann Marling, David Morgan, Christopher Pearson, Andrea Wolk Rager, Jeffrey Vallance
Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was a Roman Catholic priest, a Trappist monk, a social activist, and a poet. Author of the celebrated autobiography The Seven Storey Mountain, Merton has been described as the most important American religious writer of the past hundred years. One of the notable characteristics of Merton's writing, both in poetry and in prose, was his seamless intermingling of religious and Romantic elements, an intermingling that, because of his gifts as a writer and because of his enormous influence, has had the effect of making widespread a distinctive form of religious thought and expression. In Thomas Merton and the Inclusive Imagination, Ross Labrie reveals the breadth of Merton's intellectual reach by taking an original and systematic look at Merton's thought, which is generally regarded as eclectic and unsystematic.
What captured Merton's attention about Romanticism and mysticism and what held his attention virtually all his life was his consciousness of the ontological significance of unity and wholeness. Even though he was far from being a systematic thinker, Merton's writings form a coherent whole when considered from the point of view of his emphasis on unity and wholeness. Labrie skillfully examines Merton's letters, journals, and individual works to show the full expanse of his contribution. By using insights from the Romantic literary tradition and from the mystical tradition, the author is able to make sense of Merton's writings from all periods of his life. Although Labrie covers such sweeping topics as consciousness, self, being, nature, time, myth, culture, and individuation, remaining focused on Merton's specific, unique contributions in each area.
This thought-provoking work, which takes into account material from the recent full publication of Merton's journals and from his Columbia University notebooks on Romanticism, not only shows Merton's intellectual growth but provides a look at his expansive interests as well. Thomas Merton and the Inclusive Imagination will make a significant contribution to Merton studies.
Thomas Wolfe Remembered
Edited by Mark Canada and Nami Montgomery University of Alabama Press, 2018 Library of Congress PS3545.O337Z8636 2018 | Dewey Decimal 813.52
A collection of reminiscencescaptures the private life of a great American writer.
Thomas Wolfe’s life may seem to be an open book. A life that, after all, was the source for his best-known works, including the novels Look Homeward, Angel and Of Time and the River, as well as his numerous short stories and dramas. Since his death in 1938, scholars and admirers of Wolfe have relied largely on these texts to understand the man himself.
Thomas Wolfe Remembered provides something new: a rich, multifaceted portrait painted by those who knew him (casually or intimately), loved him (or didn’t), and saw, heard, and experienced the literary (and literal) giant. This volume gathers in one place for the first time dozens of reminiscences by friends, family members, colleagues, and casual acquaintances, adding color and fine details to the self-portrait the author created in his novels.
Wolfe found plenty to challenge and frustrate him throughout his life, from his boyhood in Asheville, North Carolina, to his education at the University of North Carolina and Harvard University, through his time in New York and Europe, his travels through the American West, and his death in Baltimore. He experienced two distracted parents in a loveless marriage, the premature death of a beloved brother, a minor stutter, and the difficulties of controlling a mercurial temper. Yet Wolfe’s exuberance, perceptiveness, memory, and compulsion to record virtually all that he experienced made for an extravagance of material that sometimes angered the people whose lives he used as source material.
Editors Mark Canada and Nami Montgomery have collected dozens of remembrances, many unpublished or long forgotten, including pieces from Julia Wolfe, Margaret Roberts, Frederick Koch, Maxwell Perkins, Elizabeth Nowell, Edward Aswell, and Martha Dodd. Some are endearing, others are disturbing, and many are comical. All provide glimpses into the vibrant, haunted, boyish, paranoid, disheveled, courteous, captivating, infuriating, and altogether fascinating giant who was Thomas Wolfe.
“No other Wolfe scholar has collected and presented this depth of
information about his last years, whether the subject is health, finances,
associates, location, movement, or work.” —James W. Clark Jr., North
Carolina State University
In 1937, after years of living alone in New York City, a manic-depressive Thomas Wolfe returned to his family and his native Asheville, North Carolina, a city he had both ridiculed and brought notoriety to through his novel, Look Homeward, Angel, eight years earlier. Concerned about lingering resentment from the community over the literary work and his tenuous relationship with his family members, Wolfe returned to his hometown with caution, but also with the need to both rejuvenate and compile material for his next novel. It is this visit that sparks Wolfe's trademark conclusion, “You can't go home again.” During 1937 and 1938, Thomas Wolfe experienced extreme highs and lows as he labored furiously to produce his next work. Joanne Marshall Mauldin provides an in-depth look at those final two years in the life of the brilliant, yet troubled writer in Thomas Wolfe: When Do the Atrocities Begin?
By adding new information and insight, Mauldin challenges much of the existing biographical material on the writer and offers a fresh view on the final years of his life. Through the utilization of primary and secondary sources including letters, interviews, recordings, and newspaper clippings, Mauldin offers a candid account of the life of Thomas Wolfe from the time of his visit to North Carolina in 1937 until his untimely death in 1938. Mauldin chronicles details of Wolfe's shocking change in publishers and his complex relationships with his editors, family, friends, and his mistress. This examination goes beyond Wolfe's life and extends into the period after his death, revealing details about the reaction of family and friends to the passing of this literary legend, as well as the cavalier publishing practices of his posthumous editors.
Mauldin's narrative is unique from other biographical accounts of Thomas Wolfe in that it focuses solely on the final years in the life of the author. Her unbiased approach enables the reader to draw his or her own conclusions about Wolfe and his actions and state of mind during these last two years of his life.
Joanne Marshall Mauldin is an independent scholar. Her articles have appeared in Southern Exposure, The Thomas Wolfe Review, and Pembroke Magazine. She is the owner of Levelheaded Editing Services.
Thomas Wolfe's Civil War
Thomas Wolfe University of Alabama Press, 2004 Library of Congress PS3545.O337A6 2004 | Dewey Decimal 813.52
An anthology of Thomas Wolfe’s short stories, novel excerpts, and plays illuminating the Civil War.
This collection of Thomas Wolfe’s writings demonstrates the centrality of the Civil War to Wolfe’s literary concerns and identity. From Look Homeward, Angel to The Hill Beyond and The Web and the Rock, Wolfe perpetually returned to the themes of loss, dissolution, sorrow, and romance engendered in the minds of many southerners by the Civil War and its lingering aftermath. His characters reflect time and again on Civil War heroes and dwell on ghostlike memories handed down by their mothers, fathers, and grandfathers. Wolfe and his protagonists compare their contemporary southern landscape to visions they have conjured of its appearance before and during the war, thereby merging the past with the present in an intense way. Ultimately, Wolfe’s prose style—incantatory and rhapsodic—is designed to evoke the national tragedy on an emotional level.
Selections of Wolfe’s writings in this collection include short stories ("Chickamauga," "Four Lost Men," "The Plumed Knight"), excerpts from his novels (O Lost, the restored version of Look Homeward, Angel, The Hills Beyond, and Of Time and the River) and a play, Mannerhouse, edited and introduced by David Madden. Madden, who makes the provocative claim that everything a southern writer writes derives from the Civil War experience, also highlights many issues essential to understanding Wolfe’s absorption with the Civil War.
Best known for his two-year sojourn at Walden Pond in Massachusetts, Henry David Thoreau is often considered a recluse who emerged from solitude only occasionally to take a stand on the issues of his day. In Thoreau’s Democratic Withdrawal, Shannon L. Mariotti explores Thoreau’s nature writings to offer a new way of understanding the unique politics of the so-called hermit of Walden Pond. Drawing imaginatively from the twentieth-century German social theorist Theodor W. Adorno, she shows how withdrawal from the public sphere can paradoxically be a valuable part of democratic politics.
Separated by time, space, and context, Thoreau and Adorno share a common belief that critical inquiry is essential to democracy but threatened by modern society. While walking, huckleberrying, and picking wild apples, Thoreau tries to recover the capacities for independent perception and thought that are blunted by “Main Street,” conventional society, and the rapidly industrializing world that surrounded him. Adorno’s thoughts on particularity and the microscopic gaze he employs to work against the alienated experience of modernity help us better understand the value of Thoreau’s excursions into nature. Reading Thoreau with Adorno, we see how periodic withdrawals from public spaces are not necessarily apolitical or apathetic but can revitalize our capacity for the critical thought that truly defines democracy.
In graceful, readable prose, Mariotti reintroduces us to a celebrated American thinker, offers new insights on Adorno, and highlights the striking common ground they share. Their provocative and challenging ideas, she shows, still hold lessons on how we can be responsible citizens in a society that often discourages original, critical analysis of public issues.
Thornton Wilder and the Puritan Narrative Tradition is the first reading of Wilder’s life, fiction, drama, and criticism as a product of American culture. Early American studies by Sacvan Bercovitch, Mason Lowance Jr., Emory Elliott, and others have identified aspects of the American literary tradition stemming from New England Puritan writers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Lincoln Konkle extends the argument for continuity into both the twentieth century and the profane space of the theater.
Konkle shows that Thornton Wilder, as a literary descendant of Edward Taylor, inherited the best of the Puritans’ worldview and drew upon those attributes of the Puritan tradition within American literature that would strike a fundamental chord with his American audience. By providing close readings of Wilder’s texts against seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Puritan culture and literature, Konkle demonstrates that Wilder’s aesthetic was not just generically allegorical but also typically American and his religious sensibility was not just generally Christian, but specifically Calvinist. He alsoemphasizes aspects of Puritan theology, ideology, and aesthetics that have been suppressed or repressed into our cultural unconscious but are manifested in Wilder’s texts in response to various historical or personal stimuli.
Konkle makes an original contribution to Wilder scholarship by providing the first in-depth readings of the full-length play The Trumpet Shall Sound and of the film Shadow of a Doubt (as a major work of Wilder). Also included are readings of little-known and seldom-discussed dramatic pieces, including Proserpina and the Devil, And the Sea Shall Give Up Its Dead, and Our Century. With its emphasis on the continuities of thought and form found in American literature from the seventeenth century to the twentieth, this analysis of Wilder’s drama and fiction will reclaim him as an intrinsically American writer, deserving to be read within the context of American literary and cultural traditions.
The essays in Thornton Wilder: New Perspectives constitute a comprehensive critical reassessment at a time of renewed interest in the writer. Wilder is best known for Our Town and The Bridge of San Luis Rey, both winners of a Pulitzer Prize, making Wilder still the only writer to be so honored for both drama and fiction. His other fiction, in particular, is far less familiar to a wider readership. The authors of these essays aim to contextualize Wilder’s work historically and to show that Wilder’s handling of questions of religion, American identity, gender, and ethics should vault him into the ranks of major American novelists. Specifically, this anthologyincludes groundbreaking work on the application of queer theory to Our Town; on Wilder’s screenplay for the Alfred Hitchcock film Shadow of a Doubt; and on Wilder’s adaptations of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, Farquhar’sThe Beaux’ Stratagem, and his own The Long Christmas Dinner.
Broadway, the main street that runs through Robert Pinsky’s home town of Long Branch, New Jersey, was once like thousands of other main streets in small towns across the country. But for Pinsky, one of America’s most admired poets and its former Poet Laureate, this Broadway is the point of departure for a lively journey through the small towns of the American imagination. Thousands of Broadways explores the dreams and nightmares of such small towns—their welcoming yet suffocating, warm yet prejudicial character during their heyday, from the early nineteenth century through World War II.
The citizens of quintessential small towns know one another extensively and even intimately, but fail to recognize the geniuses and criminal minds in their midst. Bringing the works of such figures as Mark Twain, William Faulkner, Alfred Hitchcock, Thornton Wilder, Willa Cather, and Preston Sturges to bear on this paradox, as well as reflections on his own time growing up in a small town, Pinsky explores how such imperfect knowledge shields communities from the anonymity and alienation of modern life. Along the way, he also considers how small towns can be small minded—in some cases viciously judgmental and oppressively provincial. Ultimately, Pinsky examines the uneasy regard that creative talents like him often have toward the small towns that either nurtured or thwarted their artistic impulses.
Of living in a small town, Sherwood Anderson once wrote that "the sensation is one never to be forgotten. On all sides are ghosts, not of the dead, but of living people." Passionate, lyrical, and intensely moving, Thousands of Broadways is a rich exploration of this crucial theme in American literature by one of its most distinguished figures.
Bringing together the rich characters and wry humor of a celebrated Texas scribe, this book collects three of Foote's most recognized plays. In these works, Foote deftly combines the claustrophobia of the Southern families from Tennessee Williams, the physical and psychological dysfunctions of Eugene O'Neill's families, and the humor and pathos of small town Southern life portrayed by Flannery O'Connor.
In the dark comedy Dividing the Estate, matriarch Stella Gordon is dead set against the parceling out of her clan's land despite the financial woes brought on by the oil bust of the 1980s. In the course of the play, the power of petty self-interest and long-held resentments makes even painful compromise an elusive goal. Widely acclaimed in a 2007 production at Primary Stages, the play will open on Broadway in November 2008.
In The Trip to Bountiful, Carrie Watts is determined to escape a cramped, unpleasant life in a small Houston apartment with her son and avaricious daughter-in-law. Her burning desire is to return to the now desolate town of her childhood, against the inexorability of change and the refuge of memory. Foote earned an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1985 for his work on Bountiful.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning The Young Man from Atlanta tells the story of a couple living in Houston in 1950, suffering the aftershocks of the mysterious death of their son. Will and Lily Dale Kidder try to hold onto their beliefs about their son's life and death and the possibilities for their own lives, but both are dealt a shattering blow by the young man of the title, a friend of their son's who never appears in the play.
Foote's pitch-perfect characters and sensitive eye for interpersonal relationships continue to place him at the top of playwrights working today. This new collection brings his best to new audiences.
Three Spiritualist Novels
Elizabeth Stuart Phelps University of Illinois Press, 2000 Library of Congress PS3142.A6 2000 | Dewey Decimal 813.4
This volume brings together for the first time three novels that illustrate the distinguished American writer Elizabeth Stuart Phelps's enduring interest in the afterlife. The daughter of a Calvinist minister, Phelps could not reconcile herself to the idea of a heaven full of spirits who had cut their ties to those left behind on Earth. Rather, she became convinced of the viability of the Spiritualist view that a vital link to earthly life continues in the hereafter.
Articulating an alternative to conservative church doctrine, Phelps assured her readers--many of them women bereft of their loved ones by the Civil War--that Spiritualist ideas about the afterlife were not fundamentally at odds with Scripture. Like the protagonist of The Gates Ajar, these readers wanted to believe "something actual, something pleasant" about the world to come, not "glittering generalities" about a "dreadful Heaven" where their loved ones were too busy singing and worshiping to have any thought of those left behind.
All three of the novels collected here--The Gates Ajar (1868), Beyond the Gates (1883), and The Gates Between (1887)--describe heaven as a perfected version of earthly life and the afterlife as a chance to make up for opportunities squandered on Earth. A grieving sister finds consolation in the Spiritualist idea of a continued connection with her beloved brother; a dying woman finds her soulmate in the afterlife; an erring husband makes amends across the line between the living and the dead.
Tremendously popular in Phelps's lifetime, these novels offer a way of reconciling human beings to earthly loss and sorrow, assuring readers of an afterlife both restorative and compensatory. They also provide an intriguing look at a phenomenon that preoccupied nineteenth-century America and continues to fascinate us in the twenty-first century.
Three Trios: Poems
Judith Hall Northwestern University Press, 2007 Library of Congress PS3558.A3695T49 2007 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Three Trios brings together, for the first time, translations of two ancient texts. The Apocryphal Book of Judith may be the more familiar one--the tale of a widow as warrior-savior. Less familiar may be the possibility that hidden within this narrative is another older sequence, a pagan one. The ritual that initiated a woman into the Dionysian also licensed her to leave her community. That ceremony, for all the running and blood-letting, helped the cultivated woman cultivate her individuation out of a morass of femininity. The "Mysteries" were widely practiced, and yet to preserve their secrecy, any documentary evidence was surely hidden, coded, or bowdlerized. It is possible that the Book of Judith was such a disguised book of common pagan prayer. Three Trios is composed out of this audacious possibility.
Mark Halliday University of Chicago Press, 2013 Library of Congress PS3558.A386T47 2013 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
In his sixth collection, Mark Halliday continues to seek ways of using the smart playfulness of such poets as Frank O’Hara and Kenneth Koch to explore life’s emotional mysteries—both dire and hilarious—from the perpetual dissolving of our past to the perpetual frustration of our cravings for ego-triumph, for sublime connection with an erotically idealized Other, and for peace of spirit. Animated by belief in the possible truths to be reached in interpersonal speech, Halliday’s voice-driven poetry wants to find insight—or at least a stay against confusion—through personality without being trapped in personality. History will leave much of what we are on the threshing floor, Halliday notes, but in the meantime we do what we can; let posterity (if any!) say we rambled truly.
Forward Prizes for Poetry: Highly Commended for 'Classic Blunder' and 'Lois in the Sunny Tree'
Jennifer Richter Southern Illinois University Press, 2010 Library of Congress PS3618.I364T47 2010 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Jennifer Richter presents a series of poems that explore the many facets of the term "threshold." Throughout the collection, the narrator experiences several acts of threshing, or separating—from birth and the small yet profound distances that part a mother and child, to the separation caused by illness and its toll on relationships. At the same time, she is progressively gathering, piecing together the remnants of her life, collecting her children into her arms, and welcoming a future without pain. Pain is often present in these poems, as the narrator frequently confronts her own threshold for enduring a ravaging illness. Her harrowing struggle through recovery is chronicled by a poem at the end of each section, tracing her powerful journey from deep suffering to a fragile yet steadfast sense of hope.
These gripping lyric and prose poems explore duality in its many forms: the private, contemplative world versus a world of action; the mirror sides of health and sickness; the warmth of a June sun and the deep, long nights of winter; mother and child; collecting and letting go. From the comfort of a morning bed at home to the desperate streets of Hanoi, Threshold is a searing portrait of healing, the courage it takes to bridge the gulfs that divide, and the wonder of the ties that bind.
James Longenbach University of Chicago Press, 1998 Library of Congress PS3562.O4967T48 1998 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Threshold is an extraordinary first collection that explores the shifting spaces between differing states of human experience. James Longenbach's poems dwell on metaphoric gates, doorways, and end points past which our everyday world seems luminous and strange. Technically superb and quietly moving, Threshold resonates with a fresh poetic voice.
The highlands of Chiapas are smoldering with death.
In the winter of 1997, paramilitary agents ambushed and killed many Mayan villagers in Acteal, Chiapas. Gifted writer Juan Felipe Herrera has composed a stirring poem sequence—published in a bilingual format—written in response and homage to those who died, as well as to all those who call for peace and justice in the Mexican highlands and throughout the Americas.
The sections are written in the voices of four women from a family in Chiapas: Xunka, a lost twelve-year-old girl; Pascuala, the mother; grandmother Maruch; and Makal, an older daughter who is pregnant. Each voice weaves into the others and speaks for still other members of the larger Mayan and Native American family.
Thunderweavers is a story of violent displacements in the lives of the most impoverished residents of southern Mexico.Through these words, readers will learn the meaning of transcendence and continuity in the midst of chaos, suffering, and war.
An exciting analysis of the myriad literary effects of Tiananmen, Belinda Kong's Tiananmen Fictions Outside the Square is the first full-length study of fictions related to the 1989 movement and massacre. More than any other episode in recent world history, Tiananmen has brought a distinctly politicized Chinese literary diaspora into stark relief.
Kong redefines Tiananmen's meaning from an event that ended in local political failure to one that succeeded in producing a vital dimension of contemporary transnational writing today. She spotlights key writers-Gao Xingjian, Ha Jin, Annie Wang, and Ma Jian-who have written and published about the massacre from abroad. Their outsider/distanced perspectives inform their work, and reveal how diaspora writers continually reimagine Tiananmen's relevance to the post-1989 world at large.
Compelling us to think about how Chinese culture, identity, and politics are being defined in the diaspora, Tiananmen Fictions Outside the Square candidly addresses issues of political exile, historical trauma, global capital, and state biopower.
Robin Becker University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014
Appearance and disguise—in a Costa Rican rainforest, a West Village repair shop, or an intimate relationship—reveal the turbulence that undergirds daily life, as families and places undergo change. In "Elegy for the Norther Flying Squirrel" and "Divers," Becker takes up the science of climate change and habitat loss. "Language that is by turns virtuosic and quiet, astonishing and accurate," writes a reviewer of Becker's 2006 collection, Domain of Perfect Affection for Jewish Book World Magazine. The challenge of "aligning loss with love" exerts a potent tension in Tiger Heron, as age comprises mortal bodies and intimacies end. A self-mocking wit propels characters "to find and lose and find each other again"—in the imagination and in the stories these poems tell. The final line of "The Sounds of Yiddish"—"Spare us what we can learn to endure"—closes a playful send-up, dramatizing language, culture, and power. Writing in The Washington Post, former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky praises Becker's "comic timing." Longtime readers of Becker's work will delight in poems cast in a variety of stanzas and experimental forms. Their occasions are diverse—an animal shelter, a failed trip to Venice, a hospice bedside—but Becker ultimately yokes a language of praise to our stumbling, humble, human efforts.
Gish Jen Harvard University Press, 2013 Library of Congress PS3560.E474Z46 2013 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
For author Gish Jen, the daughter of Chinese immigrant parents, books were once an Outsiders’ Guide to the Universe. But they were something more, too. Through her eclectic childhood reading, Jen stumbled onto a cultural phenomenon that would fuel her writing for decades to come: the profound difference in self-narration that underlies the gap often perceived between East and West.
Drawing on a rich array of sources, from paintings to behavioral studies to her father’s striking account of his childhood in China, this accessible book not only illuminates Jen’s own development and celebrated work but also explores the aesthetic and psychic roots of the independent and interdependent self—each mode of selfhood yielding a distinct way of observing, remembering, and narrating the world. The novel, Jen writes, is fundamentally a Western form that values originality, authenticity, and the truth of individual experience. By contrast, Eastern narrative emphasizes morality, cultural continuity, the everyday, the recurrent. In its progress from a moving evocation of one writer’s life to a convincing delineation of the forces that have shaped our experience for millennia, Tiger Writing radically shifts the way we understand ourselves and our art-making.
A comprehensive look at a controversy that continues to fuel debates about the role of public art in America.
Since its installation at and subsequent removal from New York City's Federal Plaza, noted sculptor Richard Serra's Tilted Arc has been a touchstone for debates over the role of public art. Installed in 1981, the 10-foot-high, 120-foot-long curved wall of Cor-Ten self-rusting steel instantly became a magnet for criticism. Art critics in the New York Times and the Village Voice labeled it the city's worst public sculpture, and many denounced it as an example of the elitism associated with art and as an obstacle to the use and enjoyment of the plaza.
Harriet F. Senie explores the history of Tilted Arc, including its 1979 commission and the heated public hearings that eventually led to its removal in 1989 (it was dismantled and is currently stored in a government warehouse in Maryland). Analyzing the archive of popular opinion, Senie shows how the sculpture was caught in an avalanche of shifting local and national discussions about public funding for the arts. She examines the tactics of those opposed to the sculpture and the media's superficial and sensational coverage of the controversy, reframing the dialogue in terms of public art, public space, and public policy instead of the question of whether the removal of Tilted Arc was poetic justice or a dangerous precedent. Senie provides an enlightening history and analysis of a controversy that will continue to inform our discussions about public art for years to come.
Harriet F. Senie is director of museum studies and professor of art history at the City University of New York's City College and professor of art history at CUNY's Graduate Center.
$21.95 Paper ISBN 0-8166-3786-5
224 pages | 53 halftones | 7 x 10 | 2001
"Weaver's life studies and lyrics are imbued with a vivid sense of language, a vivid sense of the world, a vivid sense of their inseparability. And his tonal range—from unabashed passion to the subtlest velleity—is impressive indeed. This is a singular talent."—Henry Louis Gates, Jr.