One of the Ancient Near East’s most important inscriptions is the Bisotun inscription of the Achaemenid king Darius I (6th century BCE), which reports on a suspicious fratricide and coup. Shayegan shows how the Bisotun’s narrative influenced the Iranian epic, epigraphic, and historiographical traditions into the Sasanian and early Islamic periods.
THE DEATH OF THE GODDESS is an epic, narrative poem that is a moving account of affection, personal loss, and grief. Inspired by Buddhism, Indic thought and Hogan's reading of the BHAGAVAD GITA, the central figures of THE DEATH OF THE GODDESS is two lovers who refuse to accept unjust social hierarchies and suffer separation and death for that choice. In this groundbreaking narrative, Patrick Colm Hogan sets out to re-synthesize ancient Indian philosophy and myth, with a beauty and literary feeling (called rasa in Sanskrit) that are the central aspects of this poem. THE DEATH OF THE GODDESS is an excellent literary achievement to be read by serious poetry lovers and students of mythology or epic literature alike.
Among the epic romances of post–Barbarian Europe, such as Roland and El Cid, Digenis Akritas has been the least known in the West—outside Greece. It is the story of a half-breed prince who guarded the eastern border of the Roman Empire of Byzantium on the Euphrates in the tenth century. His name and cognomen, Basil, the Two–Blood Border Lord, sum up the curious richness of his heritage: Roman by politics, Arab and Cappadocian by birth, Greek in language, and orthodox by faith.
On an incursion into Byzantine territory, an Arab Emir captures a Christian woman. Her relatives, in raiding to rescue her, convert the Emir and his people to Christianity and bring them back to the empire. Basil is born of this union. A prodigy of valor, his miraculous strength in hunting and in battle win him an Arab bride and the loyalty of her family. He settles in a splendid garden palace by the Euphrates, pacifies the Border, fights dragons and bandits only to die young at the same instant as his wife.
The poem in English verse translation is full of humor, fairytale, and a moving religious devotion. It recaptures an urbane vanished civilization.
The translator has collated all the known texts and supports the translation with commentary, a bibliography, and a map.
The antifascist exile beginning in 1933 led to a cooling among the émigrés of the artistic and literary modernist experiments of the Weimar Republic and to a return to realism and the traditional novel form. Epic and Exile examines the Popular Front– oriented cultural initiatives of the 1930s less in terms of their political strategy than in their function as a cultural and literary program for the exiles, implying a specific relationship to questions of artistic form, historical conceptions, and indeed the political as such. A popular front aesthetics is, Bivens argues, realist and modernist at once, and, in its focus on the opacities and contradictions of everyday life as a historical formation, it is particularly concerned with problems of the epic form.
Originally published between 1910 and 1917, and collected in book form in 1923, The Epic of Damarudhar story cycle occupies an important and unique position in the history of Bengali literature. Tackling cosmology and mythology, class and caste abuse, nativist demagoguery and the harsh reality of rural poverty, all by means of unrelentingly fierce black comedy, Trailokyanath Mukhopadhyay’s cycle of seven stories featuring the raconteur Damarudhar remains prescient social commentary to this day.
With its generic fusion of tall tales, science, myth, politics, and the absurd, the work also announces the emergence of the genre of modern fantasy in Bengal. A detailed introduction, bibliography, and extensive annotation bring to life the context for these stories, highlighting key intertexts, political nuances, and important mythological references. This volume also contains the first translation of a rare biographical piece on the author, which includes long autobiographical parts written by Trailokyanath himself. Carefully translated and thoroughly researched, this volume will introduce a trenchant Indian voice to the English-language readership.
In Epic of the Dispossessed, Robert D. Hamner offers an insightful, well-researched analysis of Omeros, the masterful epic poem by 1992 Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott. Rich and various, Omeros is an innovative extension of the epic tradition. Despite Walcott's insistence that he violates the formulaþhe notes his autobiographical presence in the poem and the absence of classical heroic figures and epic battlesþthe poem incorporates fragments of all the definitive characteristics of the genre. Hamner establishes that through its self-reflexive textuality, Omeros complements the time-honored tradition of the epic by giving voice to the marginalized peoples of the New World.
Hamner briefly explains his perception of the epic tradition and its viability in contemporary literature. He examines Walcott's writing career and traces his development of devices, themes, techniques, and a narrative style essential to epic poetry. Although Walcott could not have fully anticipated Omeros, a retrospective view of his writing reveals the consistent accumulation of the skills and broad scope required for such an undertaking. Hamner attempts also to show that Walcott has incorporated into his personal style not only the more obvious aspects of his formal education but also uniquely West Indian cultural material and forms of expression.
Hamner describes Omeros as an epic of the dispossessed because each of its protagonists is a castaway in one sense or another. Regardless of whether their ancestry is traced to the classical Mediterranean, Europe, Africa, or confined to the Americas, they are transplanted individuals whose separate quests all center on the fundamental human need to strike roots in a place where one belongs.
Walcott's vivid, lyrical verse is visually compelling and aurally appealing. He is, however, a richly complex, allusive writer dealing with a wide range of profound human problems. Given the exciting climate of postcolonial and postmodern criticism, Walcott offers students and scholars unparalleled opportunities for challenging, creatively interpretive insights. Epic of the Dispossessed will be a valuable companion to the work that may prove to be Walcott's crowning achievement. The fresh and original Omeros stands on its own merits; nevertheless, it deserves to be examined in light of both Western tradition and its Caribbean context.
If we were all brave enough to resurrect the voices lost from our humanity, what would they say? Award-winning poet Quincy Troupe, spokesman for the humanizing forces of poetry, music, and art, parts the Atlantic and rattles the ground built on slavery with Ghost Voices: A Poem in Prayer.
we are crossing, / we are / crossing, / we are crossing in big salt water, // we are crossing, // crossing under a sky of no guilt / we have left home // though we know we will go back / someday, / see our people / as we knew them . . .
Troupe re-creates the history of lost voices between the waters of Africa, Cuba, and the United States. His daring poetics drenched in new forms-notably the seven-elevens-clench transformative narratives spurred on by a relentless, rhythmic language that mimics the foaming waves of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. His personae speak quantum litanies within one epic, sermonic-gospel to articulate our most ancient ways of storytelling and survival.
Edward Dorn Duke University Press, 1968 Library of Congress PS3507.O73277G8 2018
Fiftieth Anniversary Edition
"Gunslinger is a fundamental American masterpiece."---Thomas McGuane
This fiftieth anniversary edition commemorates Edward Dorn’s masterpiece, Gunslinger, a comic, anti-epic critique of American capitalism that still resonates today. Set in the American West, the Gunslinger, his talking horse Claude Lévi-Strauss, a saloon madam named Lil, and the narrator called “I” set out in search of the billionaire Howard Hughes. As they travel along the Rio Grande to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, and finally on to Colorado, they are joined by a whole host of colorful characters: Dr. Jean Flamboyant, Kool Everything, and Taco Desoxin and his partner Tonto Pronto. During their adventures and hijinks, as captured in Dorn’s multilayered, absurd, and postmodern voice, they joke and smoke their way through debates about the meaning of existence. Put simply, Gunslinger is an American classic.
In a new foreword Marjorie Perloff discusses Gunslinger's continued relevance to contemporary politics. This new edition also includes a critical essay by Michael Davidson and Charles Olson’s idiosyncratic “Bibliography on America for Ed Dorn,” which he wrote to provide guidance for Dorn's study of, and writing about, the American West.
Roman poets of the Augustan period reinvented monsters from Greek myth, such as Harpies, Furies, and the warring Centaurs and Giants. These monsters represented the attractions and dangers of novelty in various contexts, ranging from social values to artistic innovation. Rome’s two great epics of the early principate, Vergil’s Aeneid and Ovid’s Metamorphoses, are both filled with mythical monsters. Like the culture that produced them, these poets were fascinated by unfamiliar forms despite their potential to disturb and disrupt.
Monsters and Monstrosity in Augustan Poetry is the first full-length study of monsters in Augustan poetry, and the first metapoetic reading of monstrosity in classical antiquity. Dunstan Lowe takes a fresh approach to the canonical works of Vergil, Ovid, and their contemporaries, contributing to a very recent turn toward marvels, monsters, and deformity in classical studies.
Monsters provided a fantastical means to explore attitudes toward human nature, especially in its relationship with sex. They also symbolized deformations of poetic form. Such gestures were doomed to replay the defeat of hypermasculine monsters yet, paradoxically, they legitimized poetic innovation. Lowe proposes that monstrosity was acutely topical during the birth of the principate, having featured in aesthetic debates of the Hellenistic age, while also serving as an established, if controversial, means for public figures to amaze the population and display their power.
Monsters and Monstrosity in Augustan Poetry will appeal to scholars and students of classical Latin literature and of interdisciplinary monster studies.
The first in-depth analysis of some of the most important epic poems of the Spanish Golden Age, Myth and Identity in the Epic of Imperial Spain breathes new life into five of these long- neglected texts. Elizabeth Davis demonstrates that the epic must not be overlooked, for doing so creates a significant gap in one's ability to appraise not only the cultural practice of the imperial age, but also the purest expression of its ideology.
Davis's study focuses on heroic poetry written from 1569 to 1611, including Alonso de Ercilla's La Araucana, undeniably the most significant epic poem of its time. Also included are Diego de Hojeda's La Christiada, Juan Rufo's La Austriada,. Lope de Vega's Jerusalén Conquistada, and Cristóbal de Virués's Historia del Monserrate.
Examining these epics as the major site for the construction of cultural identities and Renaissance nationalist myths, Davis analyzes the means by which the epic constructs a Spanish sense of self. Because this sense of identity is not easily susceptible to direct representation, it is often derived in opposition to an "other," which serves to reaffirm Spanish cultural superiority. The Spanish Christian caballeros are almost always pitted against Amerindians, Muslims, Jews, or other adversaries portrayed as backward or heathen for their cultural and ethnic differences.
The pro-Castilian elite of sixteenth-century Spain faced the daunting task of constructing unity at home in the process of expansion and conquest abroad, yet ethnic and regional differences in the Iberian Peninsula made the creation of an imperial identity particularly difficult. The epic, as Davis shows, strains to convey the overriding image of a Spain that appears more unified than the Spanish empire ever truly was.
An important reexamination of the Golden Age canon, Myth and Identity in the Epic of Imperial Spain brings a new twist to the study of canon formation. While Davis does not ignore more traditional approaches to the literary text, she does apply recent theories, such as deconstruction and feminist criticism, to these poems, resulting in an innovative examination of the material.
Confronting such issues as canonicity, gender, the relationship between literature and Golden Age culture, and that between art and power, this publication offers scholars a new perspective for assessing Golden Age and Transatlantic studies.
Reveries of Community reconsiders the role of epic poetry during the French Wars of Religion, the series of wars between Catholics and Protestants that dominated France between 1562 and 1598. Critics have often viewed French epic poetry as a casualty of these wars, arguing that the few epics France produced during this conflict failed in power and influence compared to those of France’s neighbors, such as Italy’s Orlando Furioso, England’s Faerie Queene, and Portugal’s Os Lusíadas. Katherine S. Maynard argues instead that the wars did not hinder epic poetry, but rather French poets responded to the crisis by using epic poetry to reimagine France’s present and future.
Traditionally united by une foi, une loi, un roi (one faith, one law, one king), France under Henri IV was cleaved into warring factions of Catholics and Huguenots. The country suffered episodes of bloodshed such as the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, even as attempts were made to attenuate the violence through frequent edicts, including those of St. Germain (1570) and Nantes (1598). Maynard examines the rich and often dismissed body work written during these bloody decades: Pierre de Ronsard’s Franciade, Guillaume Salluste Du Bartas’s La Judit and La Sepmaine, Sébastian Garnier’s La Henriade, Agrippa d’Aubigné’s Les Tragiques, and others. She traces how French poets, taking classics such as Virgil’s Aeneid and Homer’s Iliad as their models, reimagined possibilities for French reconciliation and unity.
The classic tale of adventure, romance, and chivalry--now a major motion picture starring Dev Patel!
The adventures and challenges of Sir Gawain, King Arthur’s nephew and a knight at the Round Table, including his duel with the mysterious Green Knight, are among the oldest and best known of Arthurian stories. Here the distinguished author and poet John Gardner has captured the humor, elegance, and richness of the original Middle English in flowing modern verse translations of this literary masterpiece. Besides the tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, this edition includes two allegorical poems, “Purity” and “Patience”; the beautiful dream allegory “Pearl”; and the miracle story “Saint Erkenwald,” all attributed to the same anonymous poet, a contemporary of Chaucer and an artist of the first rank.
“Mr. Gardner has translated into modern English and edited a text of these five poems that could hardly be improved. . . . The entire work is preceded by a very fine and complete general introduction and a critical commentary on each poem.”—Library Journal
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.
Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth
Edited by Catherine McIlwaine Bodleian Library Publishing, 2018 Library of Congress PR6039.O32Z6956 2018 | Dewey Decimal 002.09
The range of J. R. R. Tolkien’s talents is remarkable. Not only was he an accomplished linguist and philologist, as well as a scholar of Anglo-Saxon and medieval literature and Norse folklore, but also a skillful illustrator and storyteller. Drawing on these talents, he created a universe which is for many readers as real as the physical world they inhabit daily.
Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth explores the huge creative endeavor behind Tolkien’s enduring popularity. Lavishly illustrated with three hundred images of his manuscripts, drawings, maps, and letters, the book traces the creative process behind his most famous literary works—The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion—and reproduces personal photographs and private papers, many of which have never been seen before in print.
Six essays introduce the reader to the person of J. R. R. Tolkien and to main themes in his life and work, including the influence of northern languages and legends on the creation of his own legendarium; his concept of “Faërie” as an enchanted literary realm; the central importance of his invented languages in his fantasy writing; his visual imagination and its emergence in his artwork; and the encouragement he derived from his close friend C. S. Lewis and their literary group the Inklings.
The book brings together the largest collection of original Tolkien material ever assembled in a single volume. Drawing on the extensive archives of the Tolkien collections at the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford, which stretch to more than five hundred boxes, and Marquette University, Milwaukee, as well as private collections, this hugely ambitious and exquisitely produced book draws together the worlds of J. R. R. Tolkien – scholarly, literary, creative, and domestic—offering a rich and detailed understanding and appreciation of this extraordinary author.
This landmark publication, produced on the occasion of a major exhibition at the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford in 2018 and at the Morgan Library in New York in 2019, is set to become a standard work in the literature on J. R. R. Tolkien.
The 105-day war between Finland and the Soviet Union in the winter of 1939-1940 has been overshadowed by the larger conflicts of the Second World War, which followed closely after it. The courageous resistence of the only neighbor of Stalin's Russia, which fought the Red Army and survived as a free and independent nation merits this closer look. Although the diplomatic background of the Winter War has been covered before, this is the first substantial English-language study of its dramatic military encounters.
Women, Epic, and Transition in British Romanticism argues that early nineteenth-century women poets contributed some of the most daring work in modernizing the epic genre. The book examines several long poems to provide perspective on women poets working with and against men in related efforts, contributing together to a Romantic movement of large-scale genre revision. Women poets challenged longstanding categorical approaches to gender and nation in the epic tradition, and they raised politically charged questions about women’s importance in moments of historical crisis.
While Romantic epics did not all engage in radical questioning or undermining of authority, this study calls attention to some of the more provocative poems in their approach to gender, culture, and history. This study prioritizes long poems written by and about women during the Romantic era, and does so in context with influential epics by male contemporaries. The book takes its cue from a dramatic increase in the publication of epics in the early nineteenth-century. At their most innovative, Romantic epics provoked questions about the construction of ideological meaning and historical memory, and they centralized women’s experiences in entirely new ways to reflect on defeat, loss, and inevitable transition. For the first time the epic became an attractive genre for ambitious women poets.
The book offers a timely response to recent groundbreaking scholarship on nineteenth-century epic by Herbert Tucker and Simon Dentith, and should be of interest to Romanticists and scholars of 18th- and 19th-century literature and history, gender and genre, and women’s studies.
Published by University of Delaware Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.