front cover of Imagining Adoption
Imagining Adoption
Essays on Literature and Culture
Marianne Novy, Editor
University of Michigan Press, 2003
Imagining Adoption looks at representations of adoption in an array of literary genres by diverse authors including George Eliot, Edward Albee, and Barbara Kingsolver as well as ordinary adoptive mothers and adoptee activists, exploring what these writings share and what they debate.
Marianne Novy is Professor of English and Women's Studies, University of Pittsburgh.

front cover of In Quest of the Ordinary
In Quest of the Ordinary
Lines of Skepticism and Romanticism
Stanley Cavell
University of Chicago Press, 1994
These lectures by one of the most influential and original philosophers of the twentieth century constitute a sustained argument for the philosophical basis of romanticism, particularly in its American rendering. Through his examination of such authors as Emerson, Thoreau, Poe, Wordsworth, and Coleridge, Stanley Cavell shows that romanticism and American transcendentalism represent a serious philosophical response to the challenge of skepticism that underlies the writings of Wittgenstein and Austin on ordinary language.

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In Search of the Paper Tiger
A Sociological Perspective of Myth, Formula, and the Mystery Genre in the Entertainment Print Mass Medium
Gary Hoppenstand
University of Wisconsin Press, 1987
The author examines the process of social life and the relationship of myth, popular formula, and the mystery genre to social psychology. The book presents social construction of reality theory as a methodology upon which the structure of mass-mediated popular fiction can be examined, postulating definitions of myth and formula and advancing a new language of literary analysis that acknowledges the socially defining, democratizing experience of popular fiction. Social-psychological analysis is focused on the mystery genre and examines its taxonomy, including the supernatural, fiction noir, gangster, thief, thriller, and detective formulas.

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In the Beginning
First Novels in Mystery Series
Mary Jean Demarr
University of Wisconsin Press, 1995

This volume contains fourteen essays by authoritative academics studying the field of mystery and detective fiction. The essays all concentrate on the first novels in established series, analyzing ways in which the opening books of the series do or do not create patterns followed in succeeding novels.


front cover of Influence and Intertextuality in Literary History
Influence and Intertextuality in Literary History
John B. Clayton
University of Wisconsin Press, 1991

This important collection explores and clarifies two of the most contested ideas in literary theory today, influence and intertextuality.  The study of influence tends to center on major authors and canonical works, identifying prior documents as “sources” or “contexts” for a given author.  Intertextuality, on the other hand, is a concept unconcerned with authors as individuals; it treats all texts as part of a network of discourse that includes culture, history, and social practices as well as other literary works.  In thirteen essays drawing on the entire spectrum of English and American literary history, this volume considers the relationship between these two terms—their rivalry, their kinship, their range of uses.
    Debates about these two concepts have been crucial to the “new historicism” and the resurgence of interest in literary history.  The essays in this volume employ a refreshing array of examples from that history—poetry of the Renaissance and the twentieth century, novels of the eighteenth through twentieth centuries, Old English texts, and postmodernist productions that have served as recurrent “intertexts” for contemporary theory.  The contributors treat such currently vital questions as the role of the author, canon formation, gender, causality, and the social dimension of texts.  They illuminate old assumptions and new ideas about agency that lie behind notions of influence, and they examine models of an anonymous textual field that lie behind notions of intertextuality.
    The volume takes much of its character from its own intertextual origin as a group project of the English faculty at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.  Though diverse in their academic interests, concerns, and experience, the contributors particpated in an ongoing intellectual exchange that is a model of how new scholarship can arise from dialogue.


front cover of Inscribing the Daily
Inscribing the Daily
Critical Essays on Women's Diaries
Suzanne L. Bunkers
University of Massachusetts Press, 1996
These fifteen essays explore the rich texture of women's diaries written in America and Europe over the past two centuries. The authors use a variety of critical methodologies to examine the diary as a text, as a form of women's self-inscription, as a window to the diarists' historical and contemporary lives, and as a theoretical tool that allows us to question longstanding assumptions.

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Interwar Itineraries
Authenticity in Anglophone and French Travel Writing
Emily O. Wittman
Amherst College Press, 2022
How people traveled, and how people wrote about travel, changed in the interwar years. Novel technologies eased travel conditions, breeding new iterations of the colonizing gaze. The sense that another war was coming lent urgency and anxiety to the search for new places and “authentic” experiences. In Interwar Itineraries: Authenticity in Anglophone and French Travel Writing, Emily O. Wittman identifies a diverse group of writers from two languages who embarked on such quests. For these writers, authenticity was achieved through rugged adventure abroad to economically poorer destinations. Using translation theory and new approaches in travel studies and global modernisms, Wittman links and complicates the symbolic and rhetorical strategies of writers including André Gide, Ernest Hemingway, Michel Leiris, Isak Dinesen, Beryl Markham, among others, that offer insight into the high ethical stakes of travel and allow us to see in new ways how models of the authentic self are built and maintained through asymmetries of encounter.

“This book offers a valuable account of literary activity in a genre still inadequately covered in literary-critical history. Emily Witt- man organizes her material through pairings and contextualizing that are instructive and illuminating and often exciting . . . This is comparative literature at its best.” —Vincent Sherry, Washington University

front cover of The Intimate Critique
The Intimate Critique
Autobiographical Literary Criticism
Diane P. Freedman, Olivia Frey, and Frances Murphy Zauhar, eds.
Duke University Press, 1993
For a long time now, readers and scholars have strained against the limits of traditional literary criticism, whose precepts—above all, "objectivity"—seem to have so little to do with the highly personal and deeply felt experience of literature. The Intimate Critique marks a movement away from this tradition. With their rich spectrum of personal and passionate voices, these essays challenge and ultimately breach the boundaries between criticism and narrative, experience and expression, literature and life.
Grounded in feminism and connected to the race, class, and gender paradigms in cultural studies, the twenty-six contributors to this volume—including Jane Tompkins, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Shirley Nelson Garner, and Shirley Goek-Lin Lim—respond in new, refreshing ways to literary subjects ranging from Homer to Freud, Middlemarch to The Woman Warrior, Shiva Naipaul to Frederick Douglass. Revealing the beliefs and formative life experiences that inform their essays, these writers characteristically recount the process by which their opinions took shape--a process as conducive to self-discovery as it is to critical insight. The result—which has been referred to as "personal writing," "experimental critical writing," or "intellectual autobiography"—maps a dramatic change in the direction of literary criticism.

Contributors. Julia Balen, Dana Beckelman, Ellen Brown, Sandra M. Brown, Rosanne Kanhai-Brunton, Suzanne Bunkers, Peter Carlton, Brenda Daly, Victoria Ekanger, Diane P. Freedman, Olivia Frey, Shirley Nelson Garner, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Melody Graulich, Gail Griffin, Dolan Hubbard, Kendall, Susan Koppelman, Shirley Geok-Lin Lim, Linda Robertson, Carol Taylor, Jane Tompkins, Cheryl Torsney, Trace Yamamoto, Frances Murphy Zauhar


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