From Ulysses to Finnegans Wake, James Joyce’s writings rank among the most intimidating works of literature. Unfortunately, many of the books that purport to explain Joyce are equally difficult. The Critical Lives series comes to the rescue with this concise yet deep examination of Joyce’s life and literary accomplishments, an examination that centers on Joyce’s mythical and actual Ireland as the true nucleus of his work.
Andrew Gibson argues here that the most important elements in Joyce’s novels are historically material and specific to Ireland—not, as is assumed, broadly modernist. Taking Joyce “local,” Gibson highlights the historical and political traditions within Joyce’s family and upbringing and then makes the case that Ireland must play a primary role in the study of Joyce. The fall of Charles Stewart Parnell, the collapse of political hope after the Irish nationalist upheavals, the early twentieth-century shift by Irish public activists from political to cultural concerns—all are crucial to Joyce’s literary evolution. Even the author’s move to mainland Europe, asserts Gibson, was actually the continuation of a centuries-old Irish legacy of emigration rather than an abandonment of his native land.
In the thousands, perhaps millions, of words written about Joyce, Ireland often takes a back seat to his formal experimentalism and the modernist project as a whole. Yet here Gibson challenges this conventional portrait of Joyce, demonstrating that the tightest focus—Joyce as an Irishman—yields the clearest picture.
James Joyce and the Philosophers at Finnegans Wake explores how Joyce used the philosophers Nicholas Cusanus, Giordano Bruno, and Giambattista Vico as the basis upon which to write Finnegans Wake. Very few Joyce critics know enough about these philosophers and therefore often miss their influence on Joyce's great work. Joyce embraces these philosophic companions to lead him through the underworld of history with all its repetitions and resurrections, oppositions and recombinations. We as philosophical readers of the Wake go along with them to meet everybody and in so doing are bound "to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy" of our souls the "uncreated conscience" of humankind. Verene builds his study on the basis of years of teaching Finnegans Wake side by side with Cusanus, Bruno, and Vico, and his book will serve as a guide to readers of Joyce's novel.
Jane Austen and Comedy
Erin Goss Bucknell University Press, 2019 Library of Congress PR4037.J314 2019 | Dewey Decimal 823.7
Jane Austen and Comedy takes for granted two related notions. First, Jane Austen’s books are funny; they induce laughter, and that laughter is worth attending to for a variety of reasons. Second, Jane Austen’s books are comedies, understandable both through the generic form that ends in marriage after the potential hilarity of romantic adversity and through a more general promise of wish fulfillment. In bringing together Austen and comedy, which are both often dismissed as superfluous or irrelevant to a contemporary world, this collection of essays directs attention to the ways we laugh, the ways that Austen may make us do so, and the ways that our laughter is conditioned by the form in which Austen writes: comedy. Jane Austen and Comedy invites reflection not only on her inclusion of laughter and humor, the comic, jokes, wit, and all the other topics that can so readily be grouped under the broad umbrella that is comedy, but also on the idea or form of comedy itself, and on the way that this form may govern our thinking about many things outside the realm of Austen’s work.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
"The best (and the best written) book about Austen that has appeared in the last three decades."—Nina Auerbach, Journal of English and Germanic Philology
"By looking at the ways in which Austen domesticates the gothic in Northanger Abbey, examines the conventions of male inheritance and its negative impact on attempts to define the family as a site of care and generosity in Sense and Sensibility, makes claims for the desirability of 'personal happiness as a liberating moral category' in Pride and Prejudice, validates the rights of female authority in Emma, and stresses the benefits of female independence in Persuasion, Johnson offers an original and persuasive reassessment of Jane Austen's thought."—Kate Fullbrook, Times Higher Education Supplement
Jane Austen completed only six novels, but enduring passion for the author and her works has driven fans to read these books repeatedly, in book clubs or solo, while also inspiring countless film adaptations, sequels, and even spoofs involving zombies and sea monsters. Austen’s lasting appeal to both popular and elite audiences has lifted her to legendary status. In Jane Austen’s Cults and Cultures, Claudia L. Johnson shows how Jane Austen became “Jane Austen,” a figure intensely—sometimes even wildly—venerated, and often for markedly different reasons.
Johnson begins by exploring the most important monuments and portraits of Austen, considering how these artifacts point to an author who is invisible and yet whose image is inseparable from the characters and fictional worlds she created. She then passes through the four critical phases of Austen’s reception—the Victorian era, the First and Second World Wars, and the establishment of the Austen House and Museum in 1949—and ponders what the adoration of Austen has meant to readers over the past two centuries. For her fans, the very concept of “Jane Austen” encapsulates powerful ideas and feelings about history, class, manners, intimacy, language, and the everyday. By respecting the intelligence of past commentary about Austen, Johnson shows, we are able to revisit her work and unearth fresh insights and new critical possibilities.
An insightful look at how and why readers have cherished one of our most beloved authors, Jane Austen’s Cults and Cultures will be a valuable addition to the library of any fan of the divine Jane.
In Jane Austen’s works, a name is never just a name. In fact, the names Austen gives her characters and places are as rich in subtle meaning as her prose itself. Wiltshire, for example, the home county of Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey, is a clue that this heroine is not as stupid as she seems: according to legend, cunning Wiltshire residents caught hiding contraband in a pond capitalized on a reputation for ignorance by claiming they were digging up a “big cheese”—the moon’s reflection on the water’s surface. It worked.
In Jane Austen’s Names, Margaret Doody offers a fascinating and comprehensive study of all the names of people and places—real and imaginary—in Austen’s fiction. Austen’s creative choice of names reveals not only her virtuosic talent for riddles and puns. Her names also pick up deep stories from English history, especially the various civil wars, and the blood-tinged differences that played out in the reign of Henry VIII, a period to which she often returns. Considering the major novels alongside unfinished works and juvenilia, Doody shows how Austen’s names signal class tensions as well as regional, ethnic, and religious differences. We gain a new understanding of Austen’s technique of creative anachronism, which plays with and against her skillfully deployed realism—in her books, the conflicts of the past swirl into the tensions of the present, transporting readers beyond the Regency.
Full of insight and surprises for even the most devoted Janeite, Jane Austen’s Names will revolutionize how we read Austen’s fiction.
Among the avant-garde of the early twentieth century, the German movement remains one of the least understood in the current avant-garde and modernism debates. Rainer Rumold fills this gap with the first large-scale reassessment of the heyday and afterlife of German expressionist and Dada productions as a prolonged crisis of literary culture.
An engaging and challenging introduction to Jean Genet, this concise biography of the French writer and his work cuts directly to the intersection of thought and life that was essential to Genet's creativity. Arguing that Genet's life was an extraordinary spectacle in which the themes of his most revolutionary works were played out, Stephen Barber gives both the work and its singular inspiration in Genet's life their full due.
Abandoned, arrested, and repeatedly incarcerated, Genet, who died in 1986, led a life that could best be described as a tour of the underworld of the twentieth century.
Similarly, Genet's work is recognized by its nearly obsessive and often savage treatment of certain recurring themes. Sex, desire, death, oppression, domination-these ideas, central to Genet's artistic project, can be seen as preoccupations that arose directly from the artist's travels, imprisonments, sexual and emotional relationships, and political engagements and protests. This trenchant volume focuses directly on the moments in Genet's life in which those preoccupations are vividly projected in his novels, theater works, and film projects.
Genet's works have been hugely influential for a vast array of writers, filmmakers, choreographers, and directors, especially at moments of social crisis; thus Genet's life is not only at the root of his own work but also that of many important artists of the twentieth century. With its frank and illuminating introduction by Edmund White, Jean Genet gives readers access to this brilliant and brutal mind.
Jean Starobinski, one of Europe's foremost literary critics, examines the life that led Rousseau, who so passionately sought open, transparent communication with others, to accept and even foster obstacles that permitted him to withdraw into himself. First published in France in 1958, Jean-Jacques Rousseau remains Starobinski's most important achievement and, arguably, the most comprehensive book ever written on Rousseau. The text has been extensively revised for this edition and is published here along with seven essays on Rousseau that appeared between 1962 and 1970.
“What I have just written is false. True. Neither true nor false, like everything one writes about madmen, about men.” With these sentences, Jean-Paul Sartre undermines the truthfulness of his own autobiography, Les Mots. Undeterred by such circumlocutions, Andrew Leak here cuts through Sartre’s own disavowals to unearth the man behind the literary and philosophical giant.
This biographical study integrates Sartre’s works into his personal life, revealing the intimate contexts in which his philosophy developed. From Sartre’s beginnings as a bright and precocious student, Leak explores how he struggled against the repressive strictures of bourgeois expectations, endured cruelty at the hands of schoolmates, and forged his conflicted personality within a fragmented family life. The book probes his particularly influential relationships with a range of people—from Simone de Beauvoir to Gaston Gallimard—and how Sartre was transformed by historical events, in particular his service in World War II.
Telling anecdotes, personal correspondence, and archival photographs expose how Sartre’s own challenges emerged as predominant themes in his works—such as the often blurred delineation between the real and imaginary, and his preoccupation with definitions of “madness” in the individual. Leak’s astute and provocative examination of Sartre himself challenges the philosopher’s assertion about the limits of knowledge of the other.
These eight comedies comprise the most extensive collection of Ludvig Holberg plays ever offered in the English language.
The translators’ general introductions establish a cultural context for the comedies and break new ground in understanding the importance of Holberg’s comic aesthetic. Argetsinger’s extensive experience in theatre and Rossel’s preeminence as a Scandinavian Studies scholar assure that the translations are not only accurate but stage-worthy.
The collection opens with The Political Tinker, the first Danish play to be produced in the new Danish Theatre, and ends with The Burial of Danish Comedy, literally the funeral service for the bankrupt theatre. Three more of Holberg’s renowned character comedies follow, Jean de France, Jeppe of the Hill, and Erasmus Montanus, along with his literary satire Ulysses von Ithacia. The final two plays demonstrate his ability to write shorter comic works, The Christmas Party, a scathing comedy of manners, and Pernille’s Brief Experience as a Lady, a situation comedy that satirizes the practice of baby-switching.
John Donne, Body and Soul
Ramie Targoff University of Chicago Press, 2008 Library of Congress PR2248.T37 2008 | Dewey Decimal 821.3
For centuries readers have struggled to fuse the seemingly scattered pieces of Donne’s works into a complete image of the poet and priest. In John Donne, Body and Soul, Ramie Targoff offers a way to read Donne as a writer who returned again and again to a single great subject, one that connected to his deepest intellectual and emotional concerns.
Reappraising Donne’s oeuvre in pursuit of the struggles and commitments that connect his most disparate works, Targoff convincingly shows that Donne believed throughout his life in the mutual necessity of body and soul. In chapters that range from his earliest letters to his final sermon, Targoff reveals that Donne’s obsessive imagining of both the natural union and the inevitable division between body and soul is the most continuous and abiding subject of his writing.
“Ramie Targoff achieves the rare feat of taking early modern theology seriously, and of explaining why it matters. Her book transforms how we think about Donne.”—Helen Cooper, University of Cambridge
John Donne’s poetry is often difficult and perplexing, even more so because it undergoes a shift away from secular topics after he converts and begins to lead a religious life. Robert S. Jackson’s John Donne’s Christian Vocation is one of the first studies that takes seriously the ways that Donne’s Christian vocation permeates all of Donne’s writings, not just those after his conversion, but even those prior to it. Jackson’s study remains significant today because the religion and literature movement has focused renewed attention on Donne and his writing, and numerous critics and scholars use John Donne’s Christian Vocation as a model for their own scholarship on Donne.
John Donne's Lyrics was first published in 1962. 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.
Combining modern insight with historical perspective, Professor Stein offers a fresh interpretation of Donne's lyric poems. His method is cumulative; it includes cross references to the religious writing, analysis of individual poems, and their relationship to larger patterns which reflect Donne's poetic mind. Among the specific problems he deals with are those which concern metaphor, symbol, myth, wit, "fictions." "negative theology," consciousness-and-simplicity, "binary" and "ternary" form in poetry, meter and meaning, rationalism and affective language, the visual and the auditory.
Professor Stein demonstrates that to gain insight into the integrity of Donne's poetic mind it is necessary to take seriously two propositions: that Donne is a poetic logician endowed with a talent and love for the unity of imaginative form; and that Donne's poetry, though it is not simple, nevertheless deeply and persistently engages important problems which concern "simplicity." In one of his sermons, Donne wrote: "The eloquence of inferiours is in words, the eloquence of superiours is in action." Professor Stein maintains that in his best poems Donne aspires to the eloquence of action and never to the eloquence of words.
Although the study is focused on Donne's lyrics, the interpretation is based on a long study of all the poems and the prose and on background and foreground materials. In a postscript the author discusses Donne's "modern career."
Working in Germany between the two world wars, John Heartfield (born Helmut Herzfeld, 1891–1968) developed an innovative method of appropriating and reusing photographs to powerful political effect. As a pioneer of modern photomontage, he sliced up mass media photos with his iconic scissors and then reassembled the fragments into compositions that utterly transformed the meaning of the originals. In John Heartfield and the Agitated Image, Andrés Mario Zervigón explores this crucial period in the life and work of a brilliant, radical artist whose desire to disclose the truth obscured by the mainstream press and imperial propaganda made him a de facto prosecutor of Germany’s visual culture.
Zervigón charts the evolution of Heartfield’s photomontage from an act of antiwar resistance into a formalized and widely disseminated political art in the Weimar Republic. Appearing on everything from campaign posters to book covers, the photomonteur’s notorious pictures challenged well-worn assumption and correspondingly walked a dangerous tightrope over the political, social, and cultural cauldron that was interwar Germany. Zervigón explains how Heartfield’s engagement with montage arose from a broadly-shared dissatisfaction with photography’s capacity to represent the modern world. The result was likely the most important combination of avant-garde art and politics in the twentieth century.
A rare look at Heartfield’s early and middle years as an artist and designer, this book provides a new understanding of photography’s role at this critical juncture in history.
This is an analysis of the first 10 post—Cold Warnovels of one of the most significant ethicists in contemporary fiction.
This book challenges distinctions between “popular” and “serious” literature by recognizing le Carré as one of the most significant ethicists in contemporary fiction, contributing to an overdue reassessment of his literary stature. Le Carré’s ten post–Cold War novels constitute a distinctive subset of his espionage fiction in their response to the momentous changes in geopolitics that began in the 1990s. Through a close reading of these novels, Snyder traces how—amid the “War on Terror” and transnationalism—le Carré weighs what is at stake in this conflict of deeply invested ideologies.
Johnsonian Studies, 1887-1950 was first published in 1951. 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.
Alan C. Dessen's Johnson's Moral Comedy asks the question about the character of Ben Jonson’s comedies: were they sentimental or were they didactic and moralistic comedies? Dessen’s groundbreaking text remains significant for its contribution to early conversations about Jonsonian comedy, as well as its contribution to the practice of ethical criticism of literature. In his close readings of Jonson’s plays, he offers a model of engaging in such critical practice.
For all of the scholarship done on postcolonial literatures, little has been applied to Scandinavian writing. Yet, beginning with the onset of tourism beyond Scandinavia in the 1840s, a compelling body of prose works documents Scandinavian attitudes toward foreign countries and further shows how these Scandinavian travelers sought to portray themselves to uncharted cultures.
Focusing on Danish and Norwegian travelogues, Elisabeth Oxfeldt traces the evolution of Scandinavian travel writing over two centuries using pivotal texts from each era, including works by Hans Christian Andersen, Knut Hamsun, and Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen). Oxfeldt situates each one in its historical and geopolitical context, and her close readings delineate how each travelogue reflects Scandinavia’s ongoing confrontation between Self and the non-European cultural Other.
A long-overdue examination of travel literature produced by some of Denmark and Norway’s greatest writers, Journeys from Scandinavia unpacks the unstable constructions of Scandinavian cultural and national identity and, in doing so, complicates the common assumption of a homogeneous, hegemonic Scandinavia.
Literary studies of James Joyce, perhaps more so than those of any other author, have been enriched by important developments in literary theory in the last twenty-five years. Noting a curious gap in this scholarship, M. Keith Booker brings the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, unquestionably one of the most important literary theorists of this century, to bear on Joyce's relationship to six of his literary predecessors. In clear and readable prose, Booker explores Joyce's dialogues not only with Homer, Dante, and Shakespeare, his three most obvious predecessors, but with Rabelais, Goethe, and Dostoevsky, three literary figures important in Bakhtin's theoretical work.
These six writers provide the opportunity to examine Joyce's work with regard to several of Bakhtin's most important concepts. If Homer represents the authority of epic, Rabelais represents for Bakhtin the subversive multivocal energies of carnivalesque genres. As opposed to his description of Dante's attempts to escape from historicity, Bakhtin figures Goethe as the epitome of engagement with the temporality of everyday history. And Bakhtin's generic denial of polyphony in the works of Shakespeare contrasts with Bakhtin's identification of Dostoevsky as the most polyphonic writer in all the world of literature.
Together, Booker's comparative readings suggest a Joyce whose works are politically committed, historically engaged, and socially relevant. In short, they suggest a Joyce whose work differs radically from conventional notions of modernist literature as culturally elitist, historically detached, and more interested in individual psychology than in social reality.
M. Keith Booker is Professor of English, University of Arkansas.
Joyce, Chaos, and Complexity
Thomas Jackson Rice University of Illinois Press, 1997 Library of Congress PR6019.O9Z78455 1997 | Dewey Decimal 823.912
Thomas Rice compellingly argues that James Joyce's work resists postmodernist approaches of ambiguity: Joyce never abandoned his conviction that reality exists, regardless of the human ability to represent it.
Placing Joyce in his cultural context, Rice first traces the influence of Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries on Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. He then demonstrates that, when later innovations in science transformed entire worldviews, Joyce recognized conventional literary modes of representation as offering only arbitrary constructions of this reality. Joyce responded in Ulysses by experimenting with perspective, embedding design, and affirming the existence of reality. Rice contends that Ulysses presages the multiple tensions of chaos theory; likewise, chaos theory can serve as a model for understanding Ulysses. In Finnegans Wake Joyce consummates his vision and anticipates the theories of complexity science through a dynamic approximation of reality.
Sheds new light on James Joyce's use of sexual motifs as cultural raw material for Ulysses and other works
Joyce/Foucault: Sexual Confessions examines instances of sexual confession in works of James Joyce, with a special emphasis on Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses. Using Michel Foucault's historical analysis of Western sexuality as its theoretical underpinning, the book foregrounds the role of the Jesuit order in the spread of a confessional force, and finds this influence inscribed into Joyce's major texts. Wolfgang Streit goes on to argue that the tension between the texts' erotic passages and Joyce's criticism of even his own sexual writing energizes Joyce's narratives-and enables Joyce to develop the radical skepticism of power revealed in his work.
Wolfgang Streit is Lecturer, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich.
For James Joyce, perhaps the most crucial of all human faculties was memory. It represented both the central thread of identity and a looking glass into the past. It served as an avenue into other minds, an essential part of the process of literary composition and narration, and the connective tissue of cultural tradition. In Joyce’s Book of Memory John S. Rickard demonstrates how Joyce’s body of work—Ulysses in particular—operates as a “mnemotechnic,” a technique for preserving and remembering personal, social, and cultural pasts. Offering a detailed reading of Joyce and his methods of writing, Rickard investigates the uses of memory in Ulysses and analyzes its role in the formation of personal identity. The importance of forgetting and repression, and the deadliness of nostalgia and habit in Joyce’s paralyzed Dublin are also revealed. Noting the power of spontaneous, involuntary recollection, Rickard locates Joyce’s mnemotechnic within its historical and philosophical contexts. As he examines how Joyce responded to competing intellectual paradigms, Rickard explores Ulysses’ connection to medieval, modern, and (what would become) postmodern worldviews, as well as its display of tensions between notions of subjective and universal memory. Finally, Joyce’s Book of Memory illustrates how Joyce distilled subjectivity, history, and cultural identity into a text that offers a panoramic view of the modern period. This book will interest students and scholars of Joyce, as well as others engaged in the study of modern and postmodern literature.
“Joyce’s Book of the Dark gives us such a blend of exciting intelligence and impressive erudition that it will surely become established as one of the most fascinating and readable Finnegans Wake studies now available.”—Margot Norris, James Joyce Literary Supplement
In 1914, James Joyce published Dubliners, a collection of short stories depicting life in Dublin at the turn of the century. One hundred years later, readers and critics alike continue to return to this book, Joyce's first major work. One of these critics is Jack Morgan, whose study Joyce’s Cityoffers refreshing readings on the occasion of the Dubliners centennial.
Joyce’s City examines these now classic stories, a number of which are regarded as without equal in English literature, in terms of their historical and political contexts and often from markedly original perspectives. Morgan demonstrates, for example, the influence of American literature on “The Dead”--notably Washington Irving’s influence—and also traces the rich vein of Gothicism prevalent in Joyce’s work from Dubliners through Ulysses.
While evidencing copious research and extensive literary knowledge, Joyce’s City is set forth with a clarity that makes it as pleasurable to read as it is informative.
For decades, James Joyce’s modernism has overshadowed his Irishness, as his self-imposed exile and association with the high modernism of Europe’s urban centers has led critics to see him almost exclusively as a cosmopolitan figure.
In Joyce’s Ghosts, Luke Gibbons mounts a powerful argument that this view is mistaken: Joyce’s Irishness is intrinsic to his modernism, informing his most distinctive literary experiments. Ireland, Gibbons shows, is not just a source of subject matter or content for Joyce, but of form itself. Joyce’s stylistic innovations can be traced at least as much to the tragedies of Irish history as to the shock of European modernity, as he explores the incomplete project of inner life under colonialism. Joyce’s language, Gibbons reveals, is haunted by ghosts, less concerned with the stream of consciousness than with a vernacular interior dialogue, the “shout in the street,” that gives room to outside voices and shadowy presences, the disruptions of a late colonial culture in crisis.
Showing us how memory under modernism breaks free of the nightmare of history, and how in doing so it gives birth to new forms, Gibbons forces us to think anew about Joyce’s achievement and its foundations.
Juanita la Larga: a Novel
Juan Valera Catholic University of America Press, 2006 Library of Congress PQ6573.J7213 2006 | Dewey Decimal 863.5
Juanita la Larga (1896), the third of Juan Valera's eponymous novels with a female protagonist, unfolds in a small town in nineteenth-century Spain and tells the story of a young girl's romance with a wealthy widower many years her senior.
An elegant translation of one of the most popular novels of its time. Rousseau's great epistolary novel, Julie, or the New Heloise, has been virtually unavailable in English since 1810. In it, Rousseau reconceptualized the relationship of the individual to the collective and articulated a new moral paradigm. The story follows the fates and smoldering passions of Julie d'Etange and St. Preux, a one-time lover who re-enters Julie's life at the invitation of her unsuspecting husband, M. de Wolmar. The complex tones of this work made it a commercial success and a continental sensation when it first appeared in 1761, and its embodiment of Rousseau's system of thought, in which feelings and intellect are intertwined, redefined the function and form of fiction for decades. As the characters negotiate a complex maze of passion and virtue, their purity of soul and honest morality reveal, as Rousseau writes in his preface, "the subtleties of heart of which this work is full." A comprehensive introduction and careful annotations make this novel accessible to contemporary readers, both as an embodiment of Rousseau's philosophy and as a portrayal of the tension and power inherent in domestic life.
Jurek Becker, the author of the first comic novel on the Holocaust, Jacob the Liar, and other highly acclaimed works, was one of West Germany's most famous exiles from the GDR. A survivor of the Shoah-his mother died in a Nazi death camp-and witness to the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe, Becker endured most of the trials that Jews experienced in Europe from the onset of World War II to the end of the Cold War.
In the first biography of this fascinating figure, Sander Gilman tells the story of Becker's life in five worlds: the Polish-Jewish middle-class neighborhood where Becker was born; the Warsaw ghetto and the concentration camps where Becker spent his childhood; the socialist order of the GDR, which Becker idealized, resisted, and finally was forced to leave; the isolated world of West Berlin, where he settled down to continue his writing; and the new, reunified Germany, for which Becker served as both conscience and inspiration.
Gilman was close friends with Becker for nearly thirty years, and his biography is based on unprecedented access to both the man and his papers. As Gilman reveals, Becker's story encapsulates the fractured experience of life in twentieth-century Europe, a time and place in which political systems and national borders were constantly in flux. The life of Becker, we learn, was one of great literary achievement and notoriety, but it was also one of profound cultural dislocation. An important theme in the book is Becker's struggle with his Jewishness, an identity he repressed in socialist East Germany, but embraced after reunification, when he found himself at the center of Jewish culture and literature.
Sander Gilman's story of Jurek Becker is biography of the highest order, a portrait of an extraordinarily gifted artist whose hope and courage are manifested in his legacy as one of the greatest German writers of the past century.
The first scholar to investigate the subject of women’s anger in early modern England, Gwynne Kennedy analyzes portrayals of and attitudes toward women’s anger in printed texts by or purporting to be written by women during the period.
Kennedy draws from recent critical work on emotions by historians, literary scholars, philosophers, and psychologists as well as comparative studies of the emotions by cultural anthropologists. Kennedy also examines a number of male-authored works, including sermons, conduct literature, philosophy, rhetoric, and medicine. The focus of her work, however, is on representations of women’s anger in printed works signed with women’s names in late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century England. She addresses the ways these writings conform to, conflict with, or appear to reconfigure prevailing beliefs about women’s anger.
Kennedy looks at such literary texts as Mary Wroth’s romance, The Countess of Montgomery’s Urania, the first fiction by an English woman; Elizabeth Cary’s play, The Tragedy of Mariam, the earliest extant play in English by a woman; and Aemilia Lanyer’s verse collection, Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum. She also discusses religious writings by Protestant martyr Anne Askew and Elizabeth Cary’s history of Edward II. Kennedy considers as well defenses of women’s nature authored by women (Rachel Speght and Aemilia Lanyer) or published under female pseudonyms (“Jane Anger,” “Ester Sowernam,” and “Constantia Munda”).
Kennedy demonstrates the importance of class and race as factors affecting anger’s legitimacy and its forms of expression. She shows how early modern assumptions about women’s anger can help to create or exaggerate other differences among women. Her close scrutiny of anger against female inferiority emphasizes the crucial role of emotions in the construction of self-worth and identity.
Just Assassins is an engrossing collection of fourteen original essays that illuminate terrorism as it has occurred in Russian culture past and present. The broad range of writers and scholars have contributed work that examines Russian literature, film, and theater; historical narrative; and even amateur memoir, songs, and poetry posted on the Internet. Along with editor Anthony Anemone’s introduction, these essays chart the evolution of modern political terrorism in Russia, from the Decembrist uprising to the horrific school siege in Beslan in 2004.
As terrorism and the fear of terrorism continues to animate, shape, and deform public policy and international relations across the globe, Just Assassins brings into focus how Russia’s cultural engagement with its legacy of terrorism offers instructive lessons and insights for anyone concerned about political terror.