The most important woman in the history of southern California never lived. The eponymous heroine of Helen Hunt Jackson's popular 1884 novel Ramona, a half-Indian beauty raised on a wealthy Mexican rancho, nonetheless left an indelible imprint on southern California's landscape. Within a year of its publication, landmarks identified with Ramona's fictional life - her birthplace, her home, the site of her wedding, and her grave - became important, even canonical parts of a visit to southern California. One could take the Ramona freeway to town, cook like Ramona, and smell like Ramona. The novel's romanticized version of California's Hispanic past also inspired films, songs, musical instruments, jewelry, clothes, beer, wine, canned goods, collectibles, and a play that still draws thirty thousand people annually. Although historians and other writers have acknowledged Ramona's importance in the shaping of southern California's regional identity, there has never been an in-depth study of the origins and evolution of the "Ramona Myth" itself - until now. In Ramona Memories, Dydia DeLyser traces the myth's emergence within the context of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century tourist industry. DeLyser explores the establishment of tourist attractions by fans of the novel. She details the stories of individual Ramona enthusiasts who, guided by numerous travel books and articles, wove the text of the novel and its lavishly described locations into their own lives, from pilgrimages to either of the two ranchos acclaimed as Ramona's home to Ramona-themed luncheons and hopeful honeymoon visits to the Wishing Well at her marriage place. Based on more than a decade of meticulous research, Ramona Memories reveals how a fiction - and the real places and products that it inspired - helped to make an idealized past visible, permeating southern California's social memory.
A person who reads a book for self-improvement rather than aesthetic pleasure is “reading up.” Reading Up is Amy Blair's engaging study of popular literary critics who promoted reading generally and specific books as vehicles for acquiring cultural competence and economic mobility. Combining methodologies from the history of the book and the history of reading, to mass-cultural studies, reader-response criticism, reception studies, and formalist literary analysis, Blair shows how such critics influenced the choices of striving readers and popularized some elite writers.
Framed by an analysis of Hamilton Wright Mabie's role promoting the concept of “reading up” during his ten-year stint as the cultivator of literary taste for the highly popular Ladies' Home Journal, Reading Up reveals how readers flocked to literary works that they would be expected to dislike. Blair shows that while readers could be led to certain books by a trusted adviser, they frequently followed their own path in interpreting them in unexpected ways.
The Remembered Film
Victor Burgin Reaktion Books, 2004 Library of Congress PN1995.B855 2004 | Dewey Decimal 791.43019
Most books about cinema, whether popular or academic, concentrate on what we might call the "inside" of the film: from star performances to narrative structures. The relatively few books about the "outside" of films speak mainly of such aspects of production and reception as the organization of the film industry and the sociology of audiences: the Hollywood studio system, for example, or fan clubs. The Remembered Film is unique in addressing a previously overlooked aspect of cinema: the isolated fragments of films, iconic images or scenes, that fleetingly cross our perceptions and thoughts in the course of everyday life.
Victor Burgin examines a kaleidoscope of film fragments drawn from a variety of media, the internet, memory and fantasy. Among these are sequences of such brevity they might almost be stills. Such "sequence-images", as Burgin calls them, are neither strictly "image" nor "image sequence" and have not been considered before by either film or photography theory. He also considers some typical individual experiences "sampled" from mainstream cinema. He reflects on such disparate occurrences as the association in memory of fragments from otherwise unrelated films, of the relation of a recollected film image to an architectural setting, or of a feeling "marked" by an image remembered from a film.
The Remembered Film provides a radical new way of thinking about film outside conventional cinema, and in relation to our everyday lives. It will appeal to a wide audience interested in film and media.
In Re-reading Poets, Paul Kameen offers a deep reflection on the importance of poets and poetry to the reader. Through his historical, philosophical, scholarly, and personal commentary on select poems, Kameen reveals how these works have helped him form a personal connection to each individual poet. He relates their profound impact not only on his own life spent reading, teaching, and writing poetry, but also their potential to influence the lives of readers at every level.
In an examination of works by William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Walt Whitman, and others, Kameen seeks to sense each author’s way of seeing, so that author and reader may meet in a middle ground outside of their own entities where life and art merge in deeply intimate ways. Kameen counters ideologies such as New Criticism and poststructuralism that marginalize the author, and instead focuses on the author as a vital presence in the interpretive process. He analyzes how readers look to the past via “tradition,” conceptualizing history in ways that pre-process texts and make it difficult to connect directly to authors. In this vein, Kameen employs examples from T. S. Eliot, Martin Heidegger, and Mikhail Bakhtin.
Kameen examines how people become poets and how that relates to the process of actually writing poems. He tells of his own evolution as a poet and argues for poetry as a means to an end beyond the poetic, rather than an end in itself. In Re-reading Poets, Kameen’s goal is not to create a new dictum for teaching poetry, but rather to extend poetry’s appeal to an audience far beyond academic walls.
"This book is the first study of the dynamics and individual character of the Russian reception of Rousseau. An earlier version of the manuscript was reviewed by the Harriman Institute in 1994, and was subseuqently revised and resubmitted.
""Although much has been written about Rousseau in Russia, there is nothing as comprehensive nor as sophisticated as Barran's book."" --Gitta Hammarberg, Macalester College