In this narrative account of the life and work of Charles Olson, Ralph Maud focuses on what the poet read as a basis for understanding the work he produced.
To an extraordinary degree, Olson’s reading and life were coextensive, according to Maud, who notes that Olson saw his written output over his lifetime as a total cosmology. An individual who rarely traveled, this major American poet explored the world and its history as well as the furthest reaches of the thought of his day through books.
Maud builds upon George Butterick’s annotated listing of Olson’s library, bought by the University of Connecticut after the poet’s death in 1970. The present volume, however, adds categories of books Butterick deliberately omitted: Olson’s childhood books and poetry by his own contemporaries.
Linking Olson’s books to his intellectual and poetic development at each stage of his career, Maud reveals such little-known but important connections as the contracted book project "Operation Red, White and Black" and Olson’s plan for the long poem "West"—two unrealized projects much later shaped into The Maximus Poems.
Maud also outlines the surprisingly multiple role of the painter Corrado Cagli, who brought home to Olson the significance of the Holocaust and introduced him both to the Tarot and to the theories of non-Euclidean geometry that Olson variously incorporated into his poems and essays. In discussing Olson’s relationship to Ezra Pound, Maud defines in some detail what Olson gained from Pound and what he repudiated.
Maud refutes the notion that Olson’s intellectual and creative powers declined during the last years of his life, demonstrating that during these years Olson developed his Jungian interest, his attention to early Greek thought, and a new concern for Northern mythology.
This chronicle of Olson’s reading from childhood to deathbed constitutes a critical biography of the larger-than-life author of Call Me Ishmael and The Maximus Poems. No modern poet is more revealed in his sources than Olson. Maud’s comprehensive and complete study provides a basis for new and fresh modes of thinking about Olson’s great achievement.
Children’s series fiction comprises tales incorporating innocence and hard reality along with romance, wit, and character. Heavy streaks of morality diminished as the entertainment element increased. Heroes performed in a wide range of adventures, but restrictions often kept heroines close to home. Series fiction peaked, then waned, but such writers as Beverly Cleary and Madeleine L’Engle carried on the style.
Between 1933 and 1945, National Socialists enacted a focused effort to propagandize children’s literature by distorting existing German values and traditions with the aim of creating a homogenous “folk community.” A vast censorship committee in Berlin oversaw the publication, revision, and distribution of books and textbooks for young readers, exercising its control over library and bookstore content as well as over new manuscripts, so as to redirect the cultural consumption of the nation’s children. In particular, the Nazis emphasized Nordic myths and legends with a focus on the fighting spirit of the saga heroes, their community loyalty, and a fierce spirit of revenge—elements that were then applied to the concepts of loyalty to and sacrifice for the Führer and the fatherland. They also tolerated select popular series, even though these were meant to be replaced by modern Hitler Youth camping stories.
In this important book, first published in 1984 and now back in print, Christa Kamenetsky demonstrates how Nazis used children’s literature to selectively shape a “Nordic Germanic” worldview that was intended to strengthen the German folk community, the Führer, and the fatherland by imposing a racial perspective on mankind. Their efforts corroded the last remnants of the Weimar Republic’s liberal education, while promoting an enthusiastic following for Hitler.
The Iberian chivalric romance has long been thought of as an archaic, masculine genre and its popularity as an aberration in European literary history. Chivalry, Reading, and Women’s Culture in Early Modern Spain contests this view, arguing that the surprisingly egalitarian gender politics of Spain’s most famous romance of chivalry has guaranteed it a long afterlife. Amadís de Gaula had a notorious appeal for female audiences, and the early modern authors who borrowed from it varied in their reactions to its large cast of literate female characters. Don Quixote and other works that situate women as readers carry the influence of Amadís forward into the modern novel. When early modern authors read chivalric romance, they also read gender, harnessing the female characters of the source text to a variety of political and aesthetic purposes.
If you have ever stood in the children's section of a bookstore or library wondering how to go about matching a book to the age, abilities, and interests of a particular child, Choosing Children's Books is for you. Renowned children's librarian and children's book review editor Betsy Hearne offers practical guidance on sorting through the bewildering array of picture books, pop-up books, books for beginning readers, young adult titles, classics, poetry, folktales, and factual books. Each chapter includes an annotated list of recommended titles.
A gold mine of commonsense, sound advice, this newly revised and completely updated edition of Betsy Hearne's classic guide is an indispensable tool for choosing books for children of all ages.
Newly available in paperback, this revised and updated third edition of Betsy Hearne's classic guide stands as the lodestar for navigating through the bewildering array of books for young readers. Hearne surveys everything from picture books, pop-up books, classics, and books for beginning readers to young adult titles, poetry, folktales, and factual books, with an annotated list of recommended titles accompanying each chapter. A gold mine of common sense and sound advice, her guide remains an indispensable tool for choosing books for children of all ages.
Near the dawn of the twentieth century, more than a million Americans had subscriptions to popular magazines, and many who did not subscribe read the periodicals. Far more men and women were learning advanced literacy through reading these magazines than by attending college. Yet this form of popular literacy has been relatively ignored by scholars, who have focused mainly on academic institutions and formal educational experiences. In Circulating Literacy: Writing Instruction in American Periodicals, 1880–1910, author Alicia Brazeau concentrates on the format, circulation, and function of popular and influential periodicals published between 1880 and 1910, including the farming magazines Michigan Farmer, Ohio Farmer, and Maine Farmer, which catered to rural residents, and two women’s magazines, Harper’s Bazar and the Ladies’ Home Journal, that catered to very different populations of women.
Brazeau establishes how these magazines shared a common strategy in the construction of literacy identities by connecting a specific identity with a particular set of reading and writing practices. She explores how farm journals were preoccupied with the value of literacy as a tool for shaping community; considers how the Journal and the Bazar deployed distinctly different illustrations of literacy values for women; shows how the Journal and editor Edward Bok cast women as consumers and sellers of literacy; and looks at the ways in which Bazar editors urged readers to adopt habits of reading and writing that emphasized communal relationships among women. In Circulating Literacy, Brazeau speaks to, and connects, the important topics of rural studies, gender, professionalization, and literacy sponsorship and identity, arguing for the value of the study of periodicals as literacy education tools.
Close Reading: The Reader
Frank Lentricchia and Andrew DuBois, eds. Duke University Press, 2003 Library of Congress PR21.C58 2003 | Dewey Decimal 820.9
An anthology of exemplary readings by some of the twentieth century’s foremost literary critics, Close Reading presents a wide range of responses to the question at the heart of literary criticism: how best to read a text to understand its meaning. The lively introduction and the selected essays provide an overview of close reading from New Criticism through poststructuralism, including works of feminist criticism, postcolonial theory, queer theory, new historicism, and more.
From a 1938 essay by John Crowe Ransom through the work of contemporary scholars, Close Reading highlights the interplay between critics—the ways they respond to and are influenced by others’ works. To facilitate comparisons of methodology, the collection includes discussions of the same primary texts by scholars using different critical approaches. The essays focus on Hamlet, “Lycidas,” “The Rape of the Lock,” Ulysses, Invisible Man, Beloved, Jane Austen, John Keats, and Wallace Stevens and reveal not only what the contributors are reading, but also how they are reading.
Frank Lentricchia and Andrew DuBois’s collection is an essential tool for teaching the history and practice of close reading.
Contributors. Houston A. Baker Jr., Roland Barthes, Homi Bhabha, R. P. Blackmur, Cleanth Brooks, Kenneth Burke, Paul de Man, Andrew DuBois, Stanley Fish, Catherine Gallagher, Sandra Gilbert, Stephen Greenblatt, Susan Gubar, Fredric Jameson, Murray Krieger, Frank Lentricchia, Franco Moretti, John Crowe Ransom, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Helen Vendler
The style of reading in Renaissance Europe, as seen in the margins of books and in the texts of Renaissance intellectuals themselves, is deftly charted in this welcome volume from Anthony Grafton. Growing out of the Thomas Spencer Jerome Lectures that Anthony Grafton gave at the University of Michigan in 1992, this book describes the interaction between books and readers in the Renaissance, as seen in four major case studies.
Humanists Alberti, Pico, Budé, and Kepler, all major figures of their time and now major figures in intellectual history, are examined in the light of their distinctive ways of reading. Investigating a period of two centuries, Grafton vividly portrays the ways in which book/scholar interactions--and the established traditions that were reflected in these interactions--were part of and helped shape the subjects' Humanistic philosophy. The book also indicates how these traditions have implications for the modern literary scene.
Commerce with the Classics: Ancient Books and Renaissance Readers illustrates the immense variety of the humanist readers of the Renaissance. Grafton describes life in the Renaissance library, how the act of reading was shaped by the physical environment, and various styles of reading during the time. A strong sense of what skilled reading was like in the past is built up through anecdotes, philological analysis, and documents from a wide variety of sources, many of them unpublished.
This volume will be of special interest to Renaissance and intellectual historians, students of Renaissance literature, and classicists who concern themselves with the afterlife of their texts.
Anthony Grafton is Henry Putnam University Professor of History, Princeton University.
The Gothic novel emerged out of the romantic mist alongside a new conception of the home as a separate sphere for women. Looking at novels from Horace Walpole's Castle of Otranto to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Kate Ferguson Ellis investigates the relationship between these two phenomena of middle-class culture--the idealization of the home and the popularity of the Gothic--and explores how both male and female authors used the Gothic novel to challenge the false claim of home as a safe, protected place. Linking terror -- the most important ingredient of the Gothic novel -- to acts of transgression, Ellis shows how houses in Gothic fiction imprison those inside them, while those locked outside wander the earth plotting their return and their revenge.
Elements of popular culture, such as literature and films, are major industries. If scholars are to fully understand how popular culture evolves and functions, techniques for dealing with the impact of business need to be factored into the analysis.
Using the history of the cowboy story from 1820 to 1970 as an extended example, Alf H. Walle combines popular culture scholarship with marketing theory to provide a hybrid analysis. Wall examines major authors and genres of Western American literature and film; he also explores why certain respected authors were unable to significantly impact the cowboy story even though their innovations were embraced by later generations. Finally Wall provides a hybrid analysis combining business and popular culture theory in an overarching analysis.
In the past two decades the city of Madrid has been marked by pride, feminism, and globalization—but also by the vestiges of the machismo nurtured during the long years of the Franco dictatorship. Crossing through Chueca examines how lesbian literary culture fares in this mix from the end of the countercultural movement la movida madrileña in 1988 until the gay marriage march in 2005.
Jill Robbins traverses the various literary spaces of the city associated with queer culture, in particular the gay barrio of Chueca, revealing how it is a product of interrelations—a site crisscrossed by a multiplicity of subjects who constitute it as a queer space through the negotiation of their sexual, racial, gender, and class identities. Robbins recognizes Chueca as a political space as well, a refuge from homophobia. She also shows how the spatial and literary practices of Chueca relate to economic issues.
In examining how women’s sexual identities have become visible in and through the Chueca phenomenon, this work is a revealing example of transnational queer studies within the broader Western discussion on gender and sexuality.
Using a variety of historical sources, Richard H. Brodhead reconstructs the institutionalized literary worlds that coexisted in nineteenth-century America: the middle-class domestic culture of letters, the culture of mass-produced cheap reading, the militantly hierarchical high culture of post-emancipation black education. He describes how these socially structured worlds of writing shaped the terms of literary practice for writers like Stowe, Hawthorne, Fanny Fern, Louisa May Alcott, Sarah Orne Jewett, and Charles Chesnutt.