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Palace of Books
Roger Grenier University of Chicago Press, 2014 Library of Congress PQ2613.R4323P3513 2014 | Dewey Decimal 844.914
For decades, French writer, editor, and publisher Roger Grenier has been enticing readers with compact, erudite books that draw elegant connections between the art of living and the work of art. Under Grenier’s wry gaze, clichés crumble, and offbeat anecdotes build to powerful insights.
With Palace of Books, he invites us to explore the domain of literature, its sweeping vistas and hidden recesses. Engaging such fundamental questions as why people feel the need to write, or what is involved in putting one’s self on the page, or how a writer knows she’s written her last sentence, Grenier marshals apposite passages from his favorite writers: Chekhov, Baudelaire, Proust, James, Kafka, Mansfield and many others. Those writers mingle companionably with tales from Grenier’s half-century as an editor and friend to countless legendary figures, including Albert Camus, Romain Gary, Milan Kundera, and Brassai,.
Grenier offers here a series of observations and quotations that feel as spontaneous as good conversation, yet carry the lasting insights of a lifetime of reading and thinking. Palace of Books is rich with pleasures and surprises, the perfect accompaniment to old literary favorites, and the perfect introduction to new ones.
In its day it was, quite simply, the world’s largest painting.
The Panthéon de la Guerre was a cyclorama the size of a football field, featuring 5,000 full-length portraits of prominent figures from World War I—a painting that blatantly sought to arouse patriotic fervor in its viewers. This book traces that work’s shifting fortunes during its unlikely journey from Great War Paris to cold war Kansas City and examines the continuing journeys of its fragments in the world’s art markets.
Mark Levitch has written the first history and analysis of the Panthéon, capturing its social life in a story full of surprising twists and turns and as epic as the painting itself. Created in Paris as an artist-generated propaganda project while the war raged, the Panthéonwas celebrated there as a solemn and nostalgic work after the war, then was promoted as a circuslike spectacle on a postwar tour of the United States when it was “updated” to appeal to Americans’ more celebratory view of the conflict. Consigned to storage and all but forgotten after World War II, the Panthéon was eventually procured for Kansas City’s Liberty Memorial in 1956, where less than 7 percent of the work was reconfigured into a smaller U.S.-centric mural—some of the unused fragments eventually surfacing in Paris flea markets and on eBay.
Levitch looks at the Panthéon as both painting and artifact, combining cultural history, art history, and material culture studies to trace the changing reception of traditional art in the new age of mechanical media. He assesses the changing values attached to the Panthéon and argues that the panorama’s status and frequent reshaping have both informed and been informed by the experience and memory of the First World War in France and the United States—and also reflects on how it has promoted a politically and culturally conservative agenda.
Brimming with facts and insights that will amaze anyone who has known the painting in any of its incarnations, Levitch’s handsomely illustrated book provides a unique lens through which to view a conflict and its commemoration. And as people continue to place importance on commemorative projects, it is a powerful reminder of how ephemeral such grand undertakings can be.
How do poems and novels create a sense of mind? What does literary criticism say in conversation with other disciplines that addresses problems of consciousness? In Paper Minds, Jonathan Kramnick takes up these vital questions, exploring the relations between mind and environment, the literary forms that uncover such associations, and the various fields of study that work to illuminate them.
Opening with a discussion of how literary scholarship’s particular methods can both complement and remain in tension with corresponding methods particular to the sciences, Paper Minds then turns to a series of sharply defined case studies. Ranging from eighteenth-century poetry and haptic theories of vision, to fiction and contemporary problems of consciousness, to landscapes in which all matter is sentient, to cognitive science and the rise of the novel, Kramnick’s essays are united by a central thematic authority. This unified approach of these essays shows us what distinctive knowledge that literary texts and literary criticism can contribute to discussions of perceptual consciousness, created and natural environments, and skilled engagements with the world.
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, competing scholarly communities sought to define a Spain that was, at least officially, entirely Christian, even if many suspected that newer converts from Islam and Judaism were Christian in name only. Unlike previous books on conversion in early modern Spain, however, Parables of Coercion focuses not on the experience of the converts themselves, but rather on how questions surrounding conversion drove religious reform and scholarly innovation.
In its careful examination of how Spanish authors transformed the history of scholarship through debate about forced religious conversion, Parables of Coercion makes us rethink what we mean by tolerance and intolerance, and shows that debates about forced conversion and assimilation were also disputes over the methods and practices that demarcated one scholarly discipline from another.
The siege of Paris by Prussians in the fall and winter of 1870 and 1871 turned the city upside down, radically altering its appearance, social structure, and mood. As Hollis Clayson demonstrates in Paris in Despair, the siege took an especially heavy toll on the city's artists, forcing them out of the spaces and routines of their insular prewar lives and thrusting them onto the ramparts (as many became soldiers).
But the crisis did not halt artistic production, as some have suggested. In fact, Clayson argues that the siege actually encouraged innovation, fostering changed attitudes and new approaches to representation among a wide variety of artists as they made art out of their individual experiences of adversity and change—art that has not previously been considered within the context of the siege. Clayson focuses especially on Rosa Bonheur, Edgar Degas, Jean-Alexandre-Joseph Falguière, Edouard Manet, and Henri Regnault, but she also covers a host of other artists, including Ernest Barrias, Gustave Courbet, Edouard Detaille, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Albert Robida, and James Tissot. Paris in Despair includes more than two hundred color and black-and-white images of works by these artists and others, many never before published.
Using the visual arts as an interpretive lens, Clayson illuminates the wide range of issues at play during the siege and thereafter, including questions of political and cultural identity, artistic masculinity and femininity, public versus private space, everyday life and modernity, and gender and class roles in military and civilian society. For anyone concerned with these issues, or with nineteenth-century French art in general, Paris in Despair will be a landmark work.
The postwar histories of Paris and Amsterdam have been significantly defined by the notion of the “underground” as both a material and metaphorical space. Examining the underground traffic between the two cities, this book interrogates the countercultural histories of Paris and Amsterdam in the mid to late-twentieth century. Shuttling between Paris and Amsterdam, as well as between postwar avant-gardism and twenty-first century global urbanism, this interdisciplinary book seeks to create a mirroring effect over the notion of the underground as a driving force in the making of the contemporary European city.
Edited by Michael Sheringham Reaktion Books, 1997 Library of Congress DC715.P257 1996 | Dewey Decimal 944.36
Perhaps no world city has so many resonances, on so many levels, as Paris. Cafe society, demi-monde, the intellectual life, film-makers and writers... Paris has fragmented socially, sexually, intellectually and linguistically into many fields. Parisian Fields sets out to investigate some of these.
The writers investigate how Paris has been both seen and shaped by tourist guides; how its topography has been represented and allegorized by film-makers like Godard, Clair, Vigo and Renoir; how the city has responded to "new" Parisians – for example Afro-American musicians and dancers such as Josephine Baker – and to previously marginalized Parisians – gays and women.
Literary analysis, film, social and gender theory, perspectives on urbanism; here are many provocative and innovative views of the open field of Paris, which will appeal to anyone interested in French cultural and literary studies – or just in the City of Light herself.
With essays by Roger Clark, Nicholas Hewitt, Jon Kear, Tom Conley, Michael Sheringham, Alex Hughes, Adrian Rifkin, Belinda Jack, Verena Andermatt Conley and Marc Augé.
When people discuss politics, they often mention the promises politicians make during election campaigns. Promises raise hopes that positive policy changes are possible, but people are generally skeptical of these promises. Party Mandates and Democracy reveals the extent to and conditions under which governments fulfill party promises during election campaigns. Contrary to conventional wisdom a majority of pledges—sometimes a large majority—are acted upon in most countries, most of the time.
The fulfillment of parties’ election pledges is an essential part of the democratic process. This book is the first major, genuinely comparative study of promises across a broad range of countries and elections, including the United States, Canada, nine Western European countries, and Bulgaria. The book thus adds to the body of literature on the variety of outcomes stemming from alternative democratic institutions.
Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922–75) was one of the most important Italian intellectuals of the post–World War II era. An astonishing polymath—poet, novelist, literary critic, political polemicist, screenwriter, and film director—he exerted profound influence on Italian culture up to his untimely death at the age of fifty-three. This revised edition of what the New York Times Book Review has called “the standard Pasolini biography” introduces the artist to a new generation of readers.
Based on extensive interviews with those who knew Pasolini, both friends and enemies, admirers and detractors, Pasolini Requiem chronicles his growth from poet in the provinces to Italy’s leading “civil poet”; his flight to Rome in 1950; the scandalous success of his two novels and political writing; and his transition to film, where he started as a contributor to the golden age of Italian cinema and ended with the shocking Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom. Pasolini’s tragic and still unsolved murder has remained a subject of contentious debate for four decades. The enduring fascination with who committed the crime—and why—reflects his vital stature in Italy’s political and social history.
Updated throughout and with a new afterword covering the efforts to reopen the investigation—and the legal maelstrom surrounding Pasolini’s demise—this edition of Pasolini Requiem is a riveting account of one of the twentieth century’s most controversial, ever-present iconoclasts.
Passing for Spain charts the intersections of identity, nation, and literary representation in early modern Spain. Barbara Fuchs analyzes the trope of passing in Don Quijote and other works by Cervantes, linking the use of disguise to the broader historical and social context of Counter-Reformation Spain and the religious and political dynamics of the Mediterranean Basin.
In five lucid and engaging chapters, Fuchs examines what passes in Cervantes’s fiction: gender and race in Don Quijote and “Las dos doncellas”; religion in “El amante liberal” and La gran sultana; national identity in the Persiles and “La española inglesa.” She argues that Cervantes represents cross-cultural impersonation -- or characters who pass for another gender, nationality, or religion -- as challenges to the state’s attempts to assign identities and categories to proper Spanish subjects.
Fuchs demonstrates the larger implications of this challenge by bringing a wide range of literary and political texts to bear on Cervantes’s representations. Impeccably researched, Passing for Spain examines how the fluidity of individual identity in early modern Spain undermined a national identity based on exclusion and difference.
Passionate Discontent is an erudite study of the relationship between gender and genius in late nineteenth-century French Symbolism. Born in an era of crisis, the Symbolist art movement was characterized by withdrawal to a mystical, antibourgeois world of the mind and spirit. While Symbolists idealized the "poète maudit," a creative, mad genius exhibiting an emotional state of heightened awareness and "passionate discontent," female artists displaying similar symptoms were dismissed as hysterical.
Art historian Patricia Mathews traverses the artistic, social, and scientific discourses of fin-de-siècle France in order to illuminate the Symbolist construction of a feminized aesthetic that nonetheless excluded female artists from its realm. Along the way, Mathews proffers important new readings of the art of such Symbolists as Gauguin, van Gogh and Moreau, as well as that of their female contemporaries Camille Claudel and Suzanne Valadon. Passionate Discontent is an important contribution to art historical and women's studies.
Passionate Fictions was first published in 1994. 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.
"Clarice Lispector is the premiere Latin American woman prose writer of this century," Suzanne Ruta noted in the New York Times Book Review, "but because she is a woman and a Brazilian, she has remained virtually unknown in the United States." Passionate Fictions provides American readers with a critical introduction to this remarkable writer and offers those who already know Lispector's fiction a deeper understanding of its complex workings.
After explaining his new methodology, Bidney identifies and discusses epiphanies in the works of William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Matthew Arnold, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Walter Pater, Thomas Carlyle, Leo Tolstoy, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Taking his cue from the French philosopher Gaston Bachelard, Bidney postulates that any writer’s epiphany pattern usually shows characteristic elements (earth, air, fire, water), patterns of motion (pendular, eruptive, trembling), and/or geometric shapes. Bachelard’s analytic approach involves studying patterns of perceived experience—phenomenology—but unlike most phenomenologists, Bidney does not speculate on internal processes of consciousness. Instead, he concentrates on literary epiphanies as objects on the printed page, as things with structures that can be detected and analyzed for their implications.
Bidney, then, first identifies each author’s paradigm epiphany, finding that both the Romantics and the Victorians often label such a paradigm as a vision or dream, thereby indicating its exceptional intensity, mystery, and expansiveness. Once he identifies the paradigm and shows how it is structured, he traces occurrences of each writer’s epiphany pattern, thus providing an inclusive epiphanic portrait that enables him to identify epiphanies in each writer’s other works. Finally, he explores the implications of his analysis for other literary approaches: psychoanalytical, feminist, influence-oriented or intertextual, and New Historical.
The boundaries between human and beast forged a rugged philosophical landscape across early modern England. Spectators gathered in London's Bear Garden to watch the callous and brutal baiting of animals. A wave of "new" scientists performed vivisections on live animals to learn more about the human body.
In Perceiving Animals, the British scholar Erica Fudge traces the dangers and problems of anthropocentrism in texts written from 1558 to 1649. Meticulous examinations of scientific, legal, political, literary, and religious writings offer unique and fascinating depictions of human perceptions about the natural world.
Views carried over from bestiaries--medieval treatises on animals--
posited animals as nonsentient beings whose merits were measured solely by what provisions they afforded humans: food, medicine, clothing, travel, labor, scientific knowledge. Without consciences or faith, animals were deemed far inferior to humans.
While writings from the period asserted an enormous biological superiority, Fudge contends actual human behavior and logic worked, sometimes accidentally, to close the alleged gap. In the Bear Garden, even a man of the lowest social rank had power over a tortured animal, sinking him, though, below the beasts. The beast fable itself fails to show a true understanding of animals, as it merely attributes human characteristics to beasts in an attempt to teach humanist ideals. Scholars and writers continually turned to the animal world for reflection. Despite this, scientists of the period used animals for empirical and medical knowledge, recognizing biological and spiritual similarities but refusing to renege human superiority.
Including an insightful reexamination of Ben Jonson's Volpone and fascinating looks at works by Francis Bacon, Edward Coke, and Richard Overton, among others, Fudge probes issues of animal ownership and biological and spiritual superiority in early modern England that resonate with philosophical quandaries still relevant in contemporary society.
In this lively, enjoyable look at the best American and British detective fiction, David Lehman investigates the mystery of mysteries: the profound satisfactions we get from evil, disorder, mayhem, and deception--that we know will be put right by the last page.
As Lehman shows, the detective story draws deeply from ancient storytelling traditions. The mystery's conventions--the locked room, the clue "hidden" in plain sight, the diabolical double, the villainous least likely subject--work on us as childhood fairy tales do; they prey upon our darkest fears, taking us to the brink of the unbearable before restoring a comforting sense of order. The myth of Oedipus, for example, contains the essential elements of a whodunit, with the twist that the murderer the detective pursues is himself.
With their wisecracking gumshoe heroes, Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler fashioned an existential romance out of the detective novel. More recent writers such as Ross MacDonald, P. D. James, and Ruth Rendell have raised the genre to a new level of psychological sophistication. Yet the form evolves still, and Lehman guides us to the epistemological riddles of Jorge Luis Borges and Umberto Eco, who challenge the notion of a knowable truth. Originally published in 1989, this new edition features an additional chapter on the mystery novels of the 1990s.
"A lively study of the development and varieties of the detective story since Poe, its relations with other forms high and low, and the latter-day appropriation of its techniques by such writers as Borges and Eco. . . . A thoroughly intelligent and readable book." --Richard Wilbur, Pulitzer-Prize winning poet
David Lehman is the series editor of both the The Best American Poetry, published by Scribner, and the Poets on Poetry series published by the University of Michigan Press. He is a former Guggenheim Fellow in poetry, a vice president of the National Book Critics Circle, and the author of several books of criticism and collections of poems.
Since the moment after the fall of the Berlin Wall, important German theater artists have created plays and productions about unification. Some have challenged how German history is written, while others opposed the very act of storytelling. Performing Unification examines how directors, playwrights, and theater groups including Heiner Müller, Frank Castorf, and Rimini Protokoll have represented and misrepresented the past, confronting their nation’s history and collective identity. Matt Cornish surveys German-language history plays from the Baroque period through the documentary theater movement of the 1960s to show how German identity has always been contested, then turns to performances of unification after 1989. Cornish argues that theater, in its structures and its live gestures, on pages, stages, and streets, helps us to understand the past and its effect on us, our relationships with others in our communities, and our futures. Engaging with theater theory from Aristotle through Bertolt Brecht and Hans-Thies Lehmann’s “postdramatic” theater, and with theories of history from Hegel to Walter Benjamin and Hayden White, Performing Unification demonstrates that historiography and dramaturgy are intertwined.
How did the English Reformation, with its illiberal, intolerant beginnings, lay the groundwork for the Enlightenment—free will, liberty of conscience, religious toleration, constitutionalism, and all the rest? In his provocative rewriting of the history of liberalism, James Simpson uncovers its unexpected debt to Protestant evangelicalism.
Permission to Laugh explores the work of three generations of German artists who, beginning in the 1960s, turned to jokes and wit in an effort to confront complex questions regarding German politics and history. Gregory H. Williams highlights six of them—Martin Kippenberger, Isa Genzken, Rosemarie Trockel, Albert Oehlen, Georg Herold, and Werner Büttner—who came of age in the mid-1970s in the art scenes of West Berlin, Cologne, and Hamburg. Williams argues that each employed a distinctive brand of humor that responded to the period of political apathy that followed a decade of intense political ferment in West Germany.
Situating these artists between the politically motivated art of 1960s West Germany and the trends that followed German unification in 1990, Williams describes how they no longer heeded calls for a brighter future, turning to jokes, anecdotes, and linguistic play in their work instead of overt political messages. He reveals that behind these practices is a profound loss of faith in the belief that art has the force to promulgate political change, and humor enabled artists to register this changed perspective while still supporting isolated instances of critical social commentary. Providing a much-needed examination of the development of postmodernism in Germany, Permission to Laugh will appeal to scholars, curators, and critics invested in modern and contemporary German art, as well as fans of these internationally renowned artists.
This richly illustrated annotated edition brings unmatched vitality to Austen’s most passionate and introspective love story. Commentary alongside the text explains difficult allusions, while the Introduction explicates the novel’s central conflicts as well as its relationship to Austen’s other works and to those of her contemporaries.
Although Francesco Petrarca (1304–74) is best known today for cementing the sonnet’s place in literary history, he was also a philosopher, historian, orator, and one of the foremost classical scholars of his age. Petrarch: A Critical Guide to the Complete Works is the only comprehensive, single-volume source to which anyone—scholar, student, or general reader—can turn for information on each of Petrarch’s works, its place in the poet’s oeuvre, and a critical exposition of its defining features.
A sophisticated but accessible handbook that illuminates Petrarch’s love of classical culture, his devout Christianity, his public celebrity, and his struggle for inner peace, this encyclopedic volume covers both Petrarch’s Italian and Latin writings and the various genres in which he excelled: poem, tract, dialogue, oration, and letter. A biographical introduction and chronology anchor the book, making Petrarch an invaluable resource for specialists in Italian, comparative literature, history, classics, religious studies, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance.
The Phantom of the Ego is the first comparative study that shows how the modernist account of the unconscious anticipates contemporary discoveries about the importance of mimesis in the formation of subjectivity. Rather than beginning with Sigmund Freud as the father of modernism, Nidesh Lawtoo starts with Friedrich Nietzsche’s antimetaphysical diagnostic of the ego, his realization that mimetic reflexes—from sympathy to hypnosis, to contagion, to crowd behavior—move the soul, and his insistence that psychology informs philosophical reflection. Through a transdisciplinary, comparative reading of landmark modernist authors like Nietzsche, Joseph Conrad, D. H. Lawrence, and Georges Bataille, Lawtoo shows that, before being a timely empirical discovery, the “mimetic unconscious” emerged from an untimely current in literary and philosophical modernism. This book traces the psychological, ethical, political, and cultural implications of the realization that the modern ego is born out of the spirit of imitation; it is thus, strictly speaking, not an ego, but what Nietzsche calls, “a phantom of the ego.” The Phantom of the Ego opens up a Nietzschean back door to the unconscious that has mimesis rather than dreams as its via regia, and argues that the modernist account of the “mimetic unconscious” makes our understanding of the psyche new.
The Victorians were image obsessed. The middle decades of the nineteenth century saw an unprecedented growth in the picture industry. Technological advances enabled the Victorians to adorn with images the pages of their books and the walls of their homes. But this was not a wholly visual culture. Pictorial Victorians focuses on two of the most popular mid-nineteenth-century genres—illustration and narrative painting—that blurred the line between the visual and textual.
Illustration negotiated text and image on the printed page, while narrative painting juxtaposed the two media in its formulation of pictorial stories. Author Julia Thomas reassesses mid-nineteenth-century values in the light of this interplay. The dialogue between word and image generates meanings that are intimately related to the Victorians' image of themselves. Illustrations in Victorian publications and the narrative scenes that lined the walls of the Royal Academy reveal the Victorians' ideas about the world in which they lived and their notions of gender, class, and race.
Pictorial Victorians surveys a range of material, from representations of the crinoline, to the illustrations that accompanied Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom's Cabin and Tennyson's poetry, to paintings of adultery. It demonstrates that the space between text and image is one in which values are both constructed and questioned.
The Picture of Dorian Gray altered the way Victorians understood the world they inhabited, heralding the end of a repressive era. Now, more than 120 years after Wilde handed it over to his publisher, Wilde’s uncensored typescript is published here for the first time, in an annotated, extensively illustrated edition.
This study of colonialism and art examines the intersection of visual culture and political power in late-eighteenth-century British painting. Focusing on paintings from British America, the West Indies, and India, Beth Fowkes Tobin investigates the role of art in creating and maintaining imperial ideologies and practices—as well as in resisting and complicating them. Informed by the varied perspectives of postcolonial theory, Tobin explores through close readings of colonial artwork the dynamic middle ground in which cultures meet. Linking specific colonial sites with larger patterns of imperial practice and policy, she examines paintings by William Hogarth, Benjamin West, Gilbert Stuart, Arthur William Devis, and Agostino Brunias, among others. These works include portraits of colonial officials, conversation pieces of British families and their servants, portraits of Native Americans and Anglo-Indians, and botanical illustrations produced by Calcutta artists for officials of the British Botanic Gardens. In addition to examining the strategies that colonizers employed to dominate and define their subjects, Tobin uncovers the tactics of negotiation, accommodation, and resistance that make up the colonized’s response to imperial authority. By focusing on the paintings’ cultural and political engagement with imperialism, she accounts for their ideological power and visual effect while arguing for their significance as agents in the colonial project. Pointing to the complexity, variety, and contradiction within colonial art, Picturing Imperial Power contributes to an understanding of colonialism as a collection of social, economic, political, and epistemological practices that were not monolithic and inevitable, but contradictory and contingent on various historical forces. It will interest students and scholars of colonialism, imperial history, postcolonial history, art history and theory, and cultural studies.
The first full-length study of a once revolutionary visual and linguistic medium
Literature has “died” many times—this book tells the story of its death by postcard. Picturing the Postcard looks to this unlikely source to shed light on our collective, modern-day obsession with new media. The postcard, almost unimaginably now, produced at the end of the nineteenth century the same anxieties and hopes that many people think are unique to twenty-first-century social media such as Facebook or Twitter. It promised a newly connected social world accessible to all and threatened the breakdown of authentic social relations and even of language.
Arguing that “new media” is as much a discursive object as a material one, and that it is always in dialogue with the media that came before it, Monica Cure reconstructs the postcard’s history through journals, legal documents, and sources from popular culture, analyzing the postcard’s representation in fiction by well-known writers such as E. M. Forster and Edith Wharton and by more obscure writers like Anne Sedgwick and Herbert Flowerdew. Writers deployed uproar over the new medium of the postcard by Anglo-American cultural critics to mirror anxieties about the changing nature of the literary marketplace, which included the new role of women in public life, the appeal of celebrity and the loss of privacy, an increasing dependence on new technologies, and the rise of mass media. Literature kept open the postcard’s possibilities and in the process reimagined what literature could be.
Soon after the disparate states of the Italian peninsula unified in the 1860s to create a single nation, the nationalist Massimo D’Azeglio is said to have remarked, “We have made Italy, now we have to make Italians.” The Pinocchio Effect draws on a remarkably broad array of sources to trace this making of a modern national identity in Italy, a subject that remains strikingly understudied in the English-speaking world of Italian studies.
Taking as her guiding metaphor the character of Pinocchio—a national icon made famous in 1881 by the eponymous children’s book—Susan Stewart-Steinberg argues that just like the renowned puppet, modern Italians were caught in a complex interplay between freely chosen submission and submission demanded by an outside force. In doing so, she explores all the ways that identity was constructed through newly formed attachments, voluntary and otherwise, to the young nation. Featuring deft readings of the period’s most important Italian cultural and social thinkers—including the theorist of mass psychology Scipio Sighele, the authors Matilde Serao and Edmondo De Amicis, the criminologist Cesare Lombroso, and the pedagogue Maria Montessori—Stewart-Steinberg’s richly multidisciplinary book will set a new standard in Italian studies.
A New York newspaper column from 1924 proclaimed: "Everybody's caught in the mazes of Pirandellism. . . . He is the great convention-smasher, and he just naturally leaves you face to face with the eternal query, What is truth?"
"Everybody" is still caught in the mazes of Pirandellism. But since the 1940s Eric Bentley has threaded his way through those mazes. The Pirandello Commentaries is the result.
Martha Ward tracks the development and reception of neo-impressionism, revealing how the artists and critics of the French art world of the 1880s and 1890s created painting's first modern vanguard movement.
Paying particular attention to the participation of Camille Pissarro, the only older artist to join the otherwise youthful movement, Ward sets the neo-impressionists' individual achievements in the context of a generational struggle to redefine the purposes of painting. She describes the conditions of display, distribution, and interpretation that the neo-impressionists challenged, and explains how these artists sought to circulate their own work outside of the prevailing system. Paintings, Ward argues, often anticipate and respond to their own conditions of display and use, and in the case of the neo-impressionists, the artists' relations to market forces and exhibition spaces had a decisive impact on their art.
Ward details the changes in art dealing, and chronicles how these and new freedoms for the press made artistic vanguardism possible while at the same time affecting the content of painting. She also provides a nuanced account of the neo-impressionists' engagements with anarchism, and traces the gradual undermining of any strong correlation between artistic allegiance and political direction in the art world of the 1890s.
Throughout, there are sensitive discussions of such artists as Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, as well as Pissarro. Yet the touchstone of the book is Pissarro's intricate relationship to the various factions of the Paris art world.
During the seventeenth century, England was beset by three epidemics of the bubonic plague, each outbreak claiming between a quarter and a third of the population of London and other urban centers. Surveying a wide range of responses to these epidemics—sermons, medical tracts, pious exhortations, satirical pamphlets, and political commentary—Plague Writing in Early Modern England brings to life the many and complex ways Londoners made sense of such unspeakable devastation.
Ernest B. Gilman argues that the plague writing of the period attempted unsuccessfully to rationalize the catastrophic and that its failure to account for the plague as an instrument of divine justice fundamentally threatened the core of Christian belief. Gilman also trains his critical eye on the works of Jonson, Donne, Pepys, and Defoe, which, he posits, can be more fully understood when put into the context of this century-long project to “write out” the plague. Ultimately, Plague Writing in Early Modern England is more than a compendium of artifacts of a bygone era; it holds up a distant mirror to reflect our own condition in the age of AIDS, super viruses, multidrug resistant tuberculosis, and the hovering threat of a global flu pandemic.
Platonic Theology, Volume 1
Marsilio Ficino Harvard University Press, 2001 Library of Congress B785.F433T4813 2001 | Dewey Decimal 186.4
The Platonic Theology is a visionary work and the philosophical masterpiece of Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499), the Florentine scholar-philosopher-magus who was largely responsible for the Renaissance revival of Plato. A student of the Neoplatonic schools of Plotinus and Proclus, he was committed to reconciling Platonism with Christianity, in the hope that such a reconciliation would initiate a spiritual revival and return of the golden age. His Platonic evangelizing was eminently successful and widely influential, and his Platonic Theology, translated into English for the first time in this edition, is one of the keys to understanding the art, thought, culture, and spirituality of the Renaissance.
Table of Contents:
Proem Book I Book II Book III Book IV
Note on the Text and Translation Notes to the Text Notes to the Translation Bibliography Index
Reviews of this book: An aristocratic devotion to our culture continues to manifest itself even today in the most prestigious centers of study and thought. One has merely to look at the very recent (begun in 2001), rigorous and elegant humanistic series of Harvard University, with the original Latin text, English translation, introduction and notes. --Vittore Branca, Il Sole 24 Ore
The editing and translation of Ficino's text has been done superbly well. Allen and Hankins have begun a work of scholarship of the highest calibre, whose continuation is eagerly awaited. --British Journal for the History of Philosophy
The Loeb Classical Library...has been of incalculable benefit to generations of scholars...It seems certain that the I Tatti Renaissance Library will serve a similar purpose for Renaissance Latin texts, and that, in addition to its obvious academic value, it will facilitate a broadening base of participation in Renaissance Studies...These books are to be lauded not only for their principles of inclusivity and accessibility, and for their rigorous scholarship, but also for their look and feel. Everything about them is attractive: the blue of their dust jackets and cloth covers, the restrained and elegant design, the clarity of the typesetting, the quality of the paper, and not least the sensible price. This is a new set of texts well worth collecting. --Kate Lowe, Times Literary Supplement
Playing Dirty is full of dirty jokes. Arguing that the early modern excremental body is in many ways an erotic body, Will Stockton—with humor and dry wit—reads psychoanalytic theory through early modern comedies, claiming that it is helpful, rather than inimical, to the project of historicizing the body.
Noting that psychoanalysis has traditionally operated in a paranoid framework that relentlessly produces evidence of the same “truths,” Stockton turns to a minority practice in psychoanalysis—associated with Jean Laplanche—to develop a more “playful” analytic for literary studies. This analytic brings together different discourses of sexuality and the body and allows individual writings to reform psychoanalytic wisdom about sexuality, waste, and comedy. Through original explorations of works by William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Sir John Harington, Thomas Nashe, and Geoffrey Chaucer, Stockton further encourages the reconciliation of psychoanalysis and queer historicism. He focuses in large part on the less-often-read texts of the early modern English canon, assessing the ways in which these books have been purged from the canon in the name of generic purity.
Playing Dirty builds on recent calls by Renaissance and medieval queer scholars for a method of literary analysis that is less constrained by the boundaries of periodicity and the supposed exigencies of historicism. To take Playing Dirty seriously is to accept its invitation to “play”—to queerly disrupt the modern divide in moving promiscuously between texts past and present.
Plays by French and Francophone Women presents eight recent plays by contemporary French and francophone women writers. The plays vary in style and form from the satirical to the poetic, from the comedic one-woman show to the potential multi-media esoteric production, and have been written by French, Qué becois, Acadian, and Caribbean francophone writers. The editors have provided informative headnotes to introduce each play, then faithful translations rendered with an ear toward production in English. A general introduction to the volume situates each work within the broader context of contemporary French-language theater by women. The volume also includes an annotated bibliography by Cynthia Running-Johnson of thirty-one additional plays by women in French.
Featured plays and playwrights are The Scent of Sulphur by S. Corinna Bille; When Fairies Thirst by Denise Boucher; Island Memories by Ina Césaire; Warmth: A Bloodsong by Chantal Chawaf; The Goddess Lar or Centuries of Women by Andrée Chedid; The Name of Oedipus: Song of the Forbidden Body by Hélène Cixous; The Table: Womenspeak by Michèle Foucher; and The Rabble by Antonine Maillet.
This is the first comprehensive play-by-play analysis of the drama of David Storey, one of the most acclaimed and innovative, sometimes controversial, writers in the British theatre since World War II. Grouping the plays according to theme, Hutchings demonstrates that the central focus in the drama of David Storey is the devaluation of traditional rituals in contemporary life and the disintegration of the family. A playwright attuned to the poetry in the ordinary, to the profundity, subtle eloquence, and dramatic tension in the mundane, Storey explores the ways people cope, or fail to cope, with complexity, with uncertainty, with constant, bewildering flux. He writes about groups—families (In Celebration, The Farm), rugby teams (The Changing Room), and construction crews (The Contractor). In his plays, individuals seek to overcome isolation and integrate themselves into a significant assemblage that transcends the self.
Hutchings notes that Storey frequently deals with working-class parents who cannot "understand their grown children’s anxieties, their discontentedness with life, their unstable marriages, and their inability to enjoy the benefits of the education and advantages they labored so hard for so many years to provide."
Storey understands and sympathizes with parents who have paid to educate their children out of their own spheres. He saw it happen in his own family, knew the disapproval of his father: "What else could my father think when, nearing sixty, he came home each day from the pit exhausted, shattered by fatigue, to find me—a young man ideally physically equipped to do the job which now left him totally prostrated—painting a picture of flowers, or writing a poem about a cloud. There was, and there is, no hope of reconciliation."
Hutchings supplements his thematic analysis of Storey’s plays by interweaving into his text 90 percent of a major interview with the playwright, the only such comprehensive interview in existence. Storey, who believes that readers "ought to be chary of all interviews," discusses alleged literary influences on his work, the current state of British theatre, and his reactions to critics. He also provides insight into various productions and performances in his work.
Much has been written about the workings of communist governments in the USSR and the Soviet bloc, yet there is still a great deal to explore regarding their relationship to the everyday lives of the citizens living under them. This third volume builds on the editors’ Style and Socialism and Socialist Spaces, showing how the rise of consumer culture took a unique form in these countries.
Essays from top scholars address topics ranging from fashion and game shows to smoking and camping. The authors of the essays in this collection investigate the ways in which pleasurable activities, like many other facets of daily life, were both a space in which these communist governments tried to insinuate themselves and thereby further expand the reach of their authority,
and also an opportunity for people to assert their individuality.
In the early 1800s, books were largely unillustrated. By the 1830s and 1840s, however, innovations in wood- and steel-engraving techniques changed how Victorian readers consumed and conceptualized fiction. A new type of novel was born, often published in serial form, one that melded text and image as partners in meaning-making.
These illustrated serial novels offered Victorians a reading experience that was both verbal and visual, based on complex effects of flash-forward and flashback as the placement of illustrations revealed or recalled significant story elements. Victorians’ experience of what are now canonical novels thus differed markedly from that of modern readers, who are accustomed to reading single volumes with minimal illustration. Even if modern editions do reproduce illustrations, these do not appear as originally laid out. Modern readers therefore lose a crucial aspect of how Victorians understood plot—as a story delivered in both words and images, over time, and with illustrations playing a key role.
In The Plot Thickens, Mary Elizabeth Leighton and Lisa Surridge uncover this overlooked narrative role of illustrations within Victorian serial fiction. They reveal the intricacy and richness of the form and push us to reconsider our notions of illustration, visual culture, narration, and reading practices in nineteenth-century Britain.
Michael Marullus Harvard University Press, 2012 Library of Congress PA8547.M554A2 2012 | Dewey Decimal 871.04
Michael Marullus (c. 1453/4–1500), born in Greece, began life as a mercenary soldier but became a prominent Neo-Latin poet and scholar in Italy. Later poets imitated him in vernacular love poetry, especially Ronsard. This edition contains Marullus’ complete Latin poetry. All of these works appear in English translation for the first time.
Poems and Selected Letters
Veronica Franco University of Chicago Press, 1998 Library of Congress PQ4623.F6A613 1998 | Dewey Decimal 851.4
Veronica Franco (whose life is featured in the motion picture Dangerous Beauty) was a sixteenth-century Venetian beauty, poet, and protofeminist. This collection captures the frank eroticism and impressive eloquence that set her apart from the chaste, silent woman prescribed by Renaissance gender ideology.
As an "honored courtesan", Franco made her living by arranging to have sexual relations, for a high fee, with the elite of Venice and the many travelers—merchants, ambassadors, even kings—who passed through the city. Courtesans needed to be beautiful, sophisticated in their dress and manners, and elegant, cultivated conversationalists. Exempt from many of the social and educational restrictions placed on women of the Venetian patrician class, Franco used her position to recast "virtue" as "intellectual integrity," offering wit and refinement in return for patronage and a place in public life.
Franco became a writer by allying herself with distinguished men at the center of her city's culture, particularly in the informal meetings of a literary salon at the home of Domenico Venier, the oldest member of a noble family and a former Venetian senator. Through Venier's protection and her own determination, Franco published work in which she defended her fellow courtesans, speaking out against their mistreatment by men and criticizing the subordination of women in general. Venier also provided literary counsel when she responded to insulting attacks written by the male Venetian poet Maffio Venier.
Franco's insight into the power conflicts between men and women and her awareness of the threat she posed to her male contemporaries make her life and work pertinent today.
The Poems of Aimeric de Peguilhan
Aimeric de Peguilhan, edited and translated with introduction and commentary byWilliam P. Shepard and Frank M. Chambers Northwestern University Press, 1950
Poems of Aimeric de Peguilhan is the first critical, annotated translation in English of the collected work of poet Aimeric de Peguilhan. In it William P. Shepard and Frank M. Chambers provide translations and introductory material to the work of the medieval French troubadour.
San Juan de la Cruz, the great sixteenth-century Spanish mystic, is regarded by many as Spain's finest poet. Passionate, ecstatic, and spiritual, his poems are a blend of exquisite lyricism and profound mystical thought. In The Poems of St. John of the Cross John Frederick Nims presents his superlative translation of the complete poems, re-creating the religious fervor of St. John's art.
This dual-language edition makes available the original Spanish from the Codex of Sanlúcon de Barrameda with facing English translations. The work concludes with two essays—a critique of the poetry and a short piece on the Spanish text that appears alongside the translation—as well as brief notes on the individual poems.
What is the relationship between our isolated and our social selves, between aloneness and interconnection? Constance M. Furey probes this question through a suggestive literary tradition: early Protestant poems in which a single speaker describes a solitary search for God.
As Furey demonstrates, John Donne, George Herbert, Anne Bradstreet, and others describe inner lives that are surprisingly crowded, teeming with human as well as divine companions. The same early modern writers who bequeathed to us the modern distinction between self and society reveal here a different way of thinking about selfhood altogether. For them, she argues, the self is neither alone nor universally connected, but is forever interactive and dynamically constituted by specific relationships. By means of an analysis equally attentive to theological ideas, social conventions, and poetic form, Furey reveals how poets who understand introspection as a relational act, and poetry itself as a form ideally suited to crafting a relational self, offer us new ways of thinking about selfhood today—and a resource for reimagining both secular and religious ways of being in the world.
Drawing on the poetry of four major voices in the Spanish lyric of today, Judith Nantell explores the epistemic works of Luis Muñoz, Abraham Gragera, Josep M. Rodríguez, and Ada Salas, arguing that, for them, the poem is the fundamental means of exploring the nature of both knowledge and poetry. In this first interpretive analysis of the epistemic nature of their poetry, Nantell innovatively engages these poets, each of whom has contributed one of their own poems along with a previously unpublished explication of their chosen poem. Each also provides an original biographical sketch to support Nantell’s development of a poetics of epiphany.
Story, in the largest sense of the term, is arguably the single most important aspect of narrative. But with the proliferation of antimimetic writing, traditional narrative theory has been inadequate for conceptualizing and theorizing a vast body of innovative narratives. In A Poetics of Plot for the Twenty-First Century: Theorizing Unruly Narratives, Brian Richardson proposes a new model for evaluating literature—returning to the basis of narrative theory to illuminate how authors play with and help clarify the boundaries of narrative theory. While he focuses on late modernist, postmodern, and contemporary narratives, the study also includes many earlier works, spanning from Aristophanes and Shakespeare through James Joyce and Virginia Woolf to Salman Rushdie and Angela Carter.
By exploring fundamental questions about narrative, Richardson provides a detailed, nuanced, and comprehensive theory that includes neglected categories of storytelling and significantly enhances our treatment of traditional areas of analysis. Ultimately, this book promises to transform and expand the study of story and plot.
A unique methodology for plot analysis focusing on an important body of English Renaissance dramas.
"Lucid, rich, and consistently thought-provoking This book marks a decisive advance in formal plot analysis." Poetics Today
Poetics of Relation
Édouard Glissant University of Michigan Press, 1997 Library of Congress F2081.8.G5513 1997 | Dewey Decimal 972.982
Édouard Glissant, long recognized in the French and francophone world as one of the greatest writers and thinkers of our times, is increasingly attracting attention from English-speaking readers. Born in Martinique in 1928, Glissant earned a doctorate from the Sorbonne. When he returned to his native land in the mid-sixties, his writing began to focus on the idea of a "relational poetics," which laid the groundwork for the "créolité" movement, fueled by the understanding that Caribbean culture and identity are the positive products of a complex and multiple set of local historical circumstances. Some of the metaphors of local identity Glissant favored--the hinterland (or lack of it), the maroon (or runaway slave), the creole language--proved lasting and influential.
In Poetics of Relation, Glissant turns the concrete particulars of Caribbean reality into a complex, energetic vision of a world in transformation. He sees the Antilles as enduring suffering imposed by history, yet as a place whose unique interactions will one day produce an emerging global consensus. Arguing that the writer alone can tap the unconscious of a people and apprehend its multiform culture to provide forms of memory capable of transcending "nonhistory," Glissant defines his "poetics of relation"--both aesthetic and political--as a transformative mode of history, capable of enunciating and making concrete a French-Caribbean reality with a self-defined past and future. Glissant's notions of identity as constructed in relation and not in isolation are germane not only to discussions of Caribbean creolization but also to our understanding of U.S. multiculturalism. In Glissant's view, we come to see that relation in all its senses--telling, listening, connecting, and the parallel consciousness of self and surroundings--is the key to transforming mentalities and reshaping societies.
This translation of Glissant's work preserves the resonating quality of his prose and makes the richness and ambiguities of his voice accessible to readers in English.
"The most important theoretician from the Caribbean writing today. . . . He is central not only to the burgeoning field of Caribbean studies, but also to the newly flourishing literary scene in the French West Indies." --Judith Graves Miller, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Édouard Glissant is Distinguished Professor of French at City University of New York, Graduate Center. Betsy Wing's recent translations include Lucie Aubrac's Outwitting the Gestapo (with Konrad Bieber), Didier Eribon's Michel Foucault and Hélêne Cixous's The Book of Promethea.
For more than half a century, Chinese-Western comparative literature has been recognized as a formal academic discipline, but critics and scholars in the field have done little to develop a viable, common basis for comparison between these disparate literatures. In this pioneering book, Cecile Chu-chin Sun establishes repetition as the ideal perspective from which to compare the poetry and poetics from these two traditions.
Sun contends that repetition is at the heart of all that defines the lyric as a unique art form and, by closely examining its use in Chinese and Western poetry, she demonstrates howone can identify important points of convergence and divergence. Through a representative sampling of poems from both traditions, she illustrates how the irreducible generic nature of the lyric transcends linguistic and cultural barriers but also reveals the fundamental distinctions between the traditions. Most crucially, she dissects the two radically different conceptualizations of reality—mimesis and xing—that serve as underlying principles for the poetic practices of each tradition.
Skillfully integrating theory and practice, The Poetics of Repetition in English and Chinese Lyric Poetryprovides a much-needed model for future study of Chinese and English poetry as well as lucid, succinct interpretations of individual poems.
Yves Bonnefoy is the most important and influential French poet to have emerged since the Second World War. Poet, art critic, historian, translator (particularly of Shakespeare), specialist in the problem of the relation of poetry to the visual arts and to the history of religions, Bonnefoy is now considered one of the most distinguished men of letters of his generation.
Though Bonnefoy's work is familiar to American scholars, the complexity of his thought and style has created a need for a critical introduction to his work. This first major study of Bonnefoy written in English provides an overview of his entire literary career. Naughton situates Bonnefoy in the context of the existential philosophical tradition that nurtured him and in the poetic and artistic tradition that includes Dante and Shakespeare, Piero and Poussin, Baudelaire and Rimbaud. Bonnefoy's poems appear in both French and English, and all quotations from his prose have been translated.
This book will appeal not only to the growing number of students and scholars of French literature interested in Bonnefoy's work, but also to those who study comparative poetry and the relation of poetry to art and to contemporary religious thought.
For six years of his brief like, Keats studied medicine, first as an apprentice in Edmonton and then as a medical student at Guy’s Hospital in London. His biographers have generally glossed over this period of his life, and critics have ignored it and denied the influence of medical training on his poetry and thought.
In this challenging reappraisal, Goellnicht argues that Keats’ writings reveal a distinct influence of science and medicine. Goellnicht researches Keats’ course work and texts to reconstruct the milieu of the early nineteenth-century medical student. He then explores the scientific resonances in Keats’’ individual works, and convincingly shows the influence of his early medical training.
What would it mean to make a work of art the focal point of one’s life practice? Poetry as a Way of Life goes back to the origins of aesthetics as a philosophical discipline in the early eighteenth century in order to uncover an understanding of the work of art as an exercise of the self. Engaging in close readings of works by both canonical and less well-known eighteenth-century German poets such as Friedrich Holderlin, Novalis, Friedrich von Hagedorn, and Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim, Gabriel Trop illustrates the ways in which these authors tap into the potential of poetic form to redefine the limits of human perception and generate alternative ways of being in the world.
Poetry, Geography, Gender explores how questions of place, identity, and creative practice intersect in the work of some of Wales’s best-known contemporary poets, including Gillian Clarke, Gwyneth Lewis, Ruth Bidgood, and Sheenagh Pugh. Alice Entwistle illustrates how each writer’s relationship with her complex cultural hinterland—its languages, history, and imaginative and political geography—is staged and tested in the kinds of poems that each poet writes, as well as what she writes about. In doing so, Entwistle proposes a new way of reading both poetry and place, arguing that the Wales represented, in and through their choices of form and language, is precisely the kind of dynamic, outward-looking, and culturally confident nation that theorists of devolution and the fin de siècle might have envisioned.
We have become used to looking at art from a stance of detachment. In order to be objective, we create a “mental space” between ourselves and the objects of our investigation, separating internal and external worlds. This detachment dates back to the early modern period, when researchers in a wide variety of fields tried to describe material objects as “things in themselves”—things, that is, without the admixture of imagination. Generations of scholars have heralded this shift as the Renaissance “discovery” of the observable world.
In Poetry in a World of Things, Rachel Eisendrath explores how poetry responded to this new detachment by becoming a repository for a more complex experience of the world. The book focuses on ekphrasis, the elaborate literary description of a thing, as a mode of resistance to this new empirical objectivity. Poets like Petrarch, Spenser, Marlowe, and Shakespeare crafted highly artful descriptions that recovered the threatened subjective experience of the material world. In so doing, these poets reflected on the emergence of objectivity itself as a process that was often darker and more painful than otherwise acknowledged. This highly original book reclaims subjectivity as a decidedly poetic and human way of experiencing the material world and, at the same time, makes a case for understanding art objects as fundamentally unlike any other kind of objects.
Called the "mother of beauty" by Wallace Stevens, death has been perhaps the favorite muse of modern poets. From Langston Hughes's lynch poems to Sylvia Plath's father elegies, modern poetry has tried to find a language of mourning in an age of mass death, religious doubt, and forgotten ritual. For this reason, Jahan Ramazani argues, the elegy, one of the most ancient of poetic genres, has remained one of the most vital to modern poets.
Through subtle readings of elegies, self-elegies, war poems, and the blues, Ramazani greatly enriches our critical understanding of a wide range of poets, including Thomas Hardy, Wilfred Owen, Wallace Stevens, Langston Hughes, W. H. Auden, Sylvia Plath, and Seamus Heaney. He also interprets the signal contributions to the American family elegy of Robert Lowell, Allen Ginsberg, Anne Sexton, John Berryman, Adrienne Rich, Michael Harper, and Amy Clampitt. Finally, he suggests analogies between the elegy and other kinds of contemporary mourning art—in particular, the AIDS Memorial Quilt and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Grounded in genre theory and in the psychoanalysis of mourning, Ramazani's readings also draw on various historical, formal, and feminist critical approaches. This book will be of interest to anyone concerned with the psychology of mourning or the history of modern poetry.
"Consists of full, intelligent and lucid exposition and close reading. . . . Poetry of Mourning is itself a welcome contribution to modern poetry's search for a 'resonant yet credible vocabulary of grief in our time."—Times Literary Supplement
In Poetry, Pictures, and Popular Publishing eminent Rossetti scholar LorraineJanzen Kooistra demonstrates the cultural centrality of a neglected artifact: the Victorian illustrated gift book. Turning a critical lens on “drawing-room books” as both material objects and historical events, Kooistra reveals how the gift book’s visual/verbal form mediated “high” and popular art as well as book and periodical publication.
A composite text produced by many makers, the poetic gift book was designed for domestic space and a female audience; its mode of publication marks a significant moment in the history of authorship, reading, and publishing. With rigorous attention to the gift book’s aesthetic and ideological features, Kooistra analyzes the contributions of poets, artists, engravers, publishers, and readers and shows how its material form moved poetry into popular culture. Drawing on archival and periodical research, she offers new readings of Eliza Cook, Adelaide Procter, and Jean Ingelow and shows the transatlantic reach of their verses. Boldly re-situating Tennyson’s works within the gift-book economy he dominated, Kooistra demonstrates how the conditions of corporate authorship shaped the production and receptionof the laureate’s verses at the peak of his popularity.
Poetry, Pictures, and Popular Publishing changes the map of poetry’s place—in all its senses—in Victorian everyday life and consumer culture.
Poets and Playwrights was first published in 1967. 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.
Poets and Playwrights is a collection of nine essays by the eminent Shakespearean scholar and critic, the late Elmer Edgar Stoll. In this work, which was first published by the University of Minnesota Press in 1930, Professor Stoll presents his maturest consideration of the art of the poets and playwrights of his subtitle—Shakespeare, Jonson, Spenser, and Milton. The most extensive essay, "Shakespeare and the Moderns," includes, in Mr. Stoll's words, "a review of Shakespeare as I conceive him, in order the better to compare him with those who in some respect or other are his peers."
Since the late 1960s, when he introduced Theodor Adorno’s work on literature and cultural critique to an English-speaking public, Samuel Weber has stimulated the discovery of new and unexpected links within a broad spectrum of humanistic disciplines, including critical theory and psychoanalysis, media studies and literary analysis, continental philosophy and theater studies. The international group of scholars who contribute to Points of Departure demonstrate the persistent fecundity of Weber’s work. Centered around his essay on the Ghost of Hamlet, as reflected in the writings of Walter Benjamin and Carl Schmitt, the volume is broadly divided into explorations of the nature of spectrality, on the one hand, and the dynamics of reading, on the other. Each of the twelve essays thus takes its point of departure from “Weber’s singular path between languages, cultures, and traditions”—to quote Jacques Derrida, whose fictive “interview with a passing journalist” is published here for the first time.
In this pathbreaking study of responses to the Holocaust in wartime and postwar Polish literature, Rachel Feldhay Brenner explores seven writers’ compulsive need to share their traumatic experience of witness with the world. The Holocaust put the ideological convictions of Kornel Filipowicz, Józef Mackiewicz, Tadeusz Borowski, Zofia Kossak-Szczucka, Leopold Buczkowski, Jerzy Andrzejewski, and Stefan Otwinowski to the ultimate test. Tragically, witnessing the horror of the Holocaust implied complicity with the perpetrator and produced an existential crisis that these writers, who were all exempted from the genocide thanks to their non-Jewish identities, struggled to resolve in literary form.
Polish Literature and the Holocaust: Eyewitness Testimonies,1942–1947 is a particularly timely book in view of the continuing debate about the attitudes of Poles toward the Jews during the war. The literary voices from the past that Brenner examines posit questions that are as pertinent now as they were then. And so, while this book speaks to readers who are interested in literary responses to the Holocaust, it also illuminates the universal issue of the responsibility of witnesses toward the victims of any atrocity.
Political Appetites: Food in Medieval English Romance is the first book-length examination of the cultural and theoretical resonances of food and cooking in medieval English literature, offering a new assessment of the vexed and critically underappreciated genre of romance. Aaron Hostetter moves beyond the critical assumptions of the food practices of medieval English culture as only reflecting Eucharistic preoccupations. Focusing on the romance literature of England, from tenth-century hagiographic verse to fifteenth-century courtly adventures, he also engages the politics of secular eating. Focus on the edible allows Political Appetites to apply fresh insights from cultural studies and critical theory to these narratives—to adumbrate their unique political perspectives. The analysis of food reveals these stories to be sophisticated responses to the material and political conditions of their day.
If humanity has attempted through its brief history to render the material world edible, then food and food practice not only influence our aspirations but also shift focus to the limits of human existence on this planet. In studying the foodways of the past as a fundamental economic activity, Political Appetites questions contemporary attitudes towards consumption as their proliferation and abuses create social inequities, menace ecosystems, and threaten to bring about the end of the Anthropocene Era.
Many citizens, politicians, and political activists voice concern about the political influence of business in the European Union. But do business interests really pull the strings in Brussels? Contrary to expectations, this book shows that business interests are no more influential than other interests in shaping contemporary EU policies. Andreas Dür, David Marshall, and Patrick Bernhagen present an original argument that stresses the role of public actors in facilitating or impeding interest groups’ lobbying success. Novel data on a large number of legislative proposals on the EU’s agenda and three case studies present strong support for this argument. The Political Influence of Business in the European Union offers new insights into how lobbying success depends on the demand and supply of information, as well as new ideas on how to measure lobbying success. The book advances a fresh perspective on the question of business power and shows why business interests often lose in the policy struggle.
Political theology is a distinctly modern problem, one that takes shape in some of the most important theoretical writings of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. But its origins stem from the early modern period, in medieval iconographies of sacred kinship and the critique of traditional sovereignty mounted by Hobbes and Spinoza. In this book, Graham Hammill and Julia Reinhard Lupton assemble established and emerging scholars in early modern studies to examine the role played by sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature and thought in modern conceptions of political theology.
Political Theology and Early Modernity explores texts by Shakespeare, Machiavelli, Milton, and others that have served as points of departure for such thinkers as Schmitt, Strauss, Benjamin, and Arendt. Written from a spectrum of positions ranging from renewed defenses of secularism to attempts to reconceive the religious character of collective life and literary experience, these essays probe moments of productive conflict, disavowal, and entanglement in politics and religion as they pass between early modern and modern scenes of thought. This stimulating collection is the first to answer not only how Renaissance and baroque literature help explain the persistence of political theology in modernity and postmodernity, but also how the reemergence of political theology as an intellectual and political problem deepens our understanding of the early modern period.
Politics and History in William Golding provides a much needed politicized and historicized reading of William Golding’s novels as a counter to previous, universalizing criticism. Paul Crawford argues that an understanding of fantastic and carnivalesque modes in Golding’s work is vital if we are to appreciate fully his interrogation of twentieth-century life.
Golding’s early satirical novels question English constructions of national identity in opposition to Nazism and the “totalitarian personality.” For Crawford, Golding can and must be studied in the wider European tradition of “literature of atrocity.” His early novels, especially Lord of the Flies, are preoccupied with atrocity, whereas the later work betrays a greater concern for the status of language and literature.
In Golding’s later fiction, such as Darkness Visible, the fantastic and carnivalesque are used in an increasingly nonsatirical manner to complement first modernist and then postmodernist self-consciousness and indeterminacy. Even his critique of class and religious authority, which carries through all of his fiction, gives way to more lighthearted productions—a symptom of which is his crude, absurd attack against the English literary industry in The Paper Men. This reduction of satire marks a decline in Golding’s political commitment and the production of more complex and arguably less satisfying novels.
The fantastic and carnivalesque are foundational to both the satirical and nonsatirical approaches that mark Golding’s early and late fiction. No previous study has analyzed this structure that is so central to his work. Politics and History in William Golding examines this writer’s work more fully than it has been studied within the convoluted context of the last half of the twentieth century. Crawford directly links Golding’s various deployments of the fantastic and carnivalesque to historical, political, and social change.
"Leah Marcus's The Politics of Mirth: Jonson, Herrick, Milton, Marvell, and the Defense of Old Holiday Pastimes is a fascinating study of why James and Charles promoted some types of rural sport and festival and of how certain literary texts participated in promoting or critiquing royal policy. . . . Marcus provocatively links texts not often studied in conjunction with one another, and she provides strong and detailed readings of those texts."—Jean E. Howard
Recognizing that the seventeenth century's volatile debate over apocalyptic interpretation has since become a one-sided discussion, Esther Gilman Richey develops a context that recovers the dynamism so inherent in the writings of the period and provides illuminating details that enhance the prophetic continuum. The Politics of Revelation in the English Renaissance does not ignore the familiar prophetic verse of Spenser and Milton, but it significantly expands the scope of study by examining the interpretations of both men and women who represent a range of ecclesiastical and political perspectives.
Richey rejects Barbara Lewalski's claim that the radical, prophetic writers and metaphysical poets of the seventeenth century drew inspiration from distinct biblical models, the former from the Apocalypse and the latter from the Psalms. Instead she contends that even writers such as Donne and Herbert, whom we have long considered "literary," were in reality using their poetry to participate in the hottest debates of the time.
While the radical writers, such as Spenser and Milton, were immediately responsive to ecclesiastical and political controversies, the conservative, metaphysical poets—Donne, Herbert, and Vaughan—were posing equally politically charged questions: Is the pope Antichrist? Is the Bride of Christ pure? Is the Temple a model of ecclesiastical reform? The writers of the period did not move in divided and distinguished worlds, but in fact constantly responded to one another through poetic and politically charged dialogue.
By drawing from the writings of various individuals, both radical and conformist, male and female, Richey traces the shifting representations of the apocalyptic Bride and Temple over time. Organized chronologically, the chapters of The Politics of Revelation in the English Renaissance reveal the escalating debate among the pacifists, conformists, militants, and feminists. Not only does Richey uncover the prophetic dimension of conformist writers usually described as apolitical and devotional, but she also explores the writings of lesser-known women prophets: Aemilia Lanyer, Mary Cary, Anna Trapnel, and Margaret Fell. In such biblical passages as the apocalyptic "woman clothed with the sun," these early feminists find the authority for their own prophetic speech.
This provocative analysis—at once far-reaching and tightly focused—reveals the complexity of the apocalyptic discourse that transpired among Renaissance writers and poets.
The Pooh Perplex
Frederick Crews University of Chicago Press, 2003 Library of Congress PR6025.I65W65 2003 | Dewey Decimal 823.912
In this devastatingly funny classic, Frederick Crews skewers the ego-inflated pretensions of the schools and practitioners of literary criticism popular in the 1960s, including Freudians, Aristotelians, and New Critics. Modeled on the "casebooks" often used in freshman English classes at the time, The Pooh Perplex contains twelve essays written in different critical voices, complete with ridiculous footnotes, tongue-in-cheek "questions and study projects," and hilarious biographical notes on the contributors. This edition contains a new preface by the author that compares literary theory then and now and identifies some of the real-life critics who were spoofed in certain chapters.
King Lear is perhaps the most fierce and moving play ever written. And yet there is a curious puzzle at its center. The figure to whom Shakespeare gives more lines than anyone except the king—Edgar—has often seemed little more than a blank, ignored and unloved, a belated moralizer who, try as he may, can never truly speak to the play’s savaged heart. He saves his blinded father from suicide, but even this act of care is shadowed by suspicions of evasiveness and bad faith.
In Poor Tom, Simon Palfrey asks us to go beyond any such received understandings—and thus to experience King Lear as never before. He argues that the part of Edgar is Shakespeare’s most radical experiment in characterization, and his most exhaustive model of both human and theatrical possibility. The key to the Edgar character is that he spends most of the play disguised, much of it as “Poor Tom of Bedlam,” and his disguises come to uncanny life. The Edgar role is always more than one person; it animates multitudes, past and present and future, and gives life to states of being beyond the normal reach of the senses—undead, or not-yet, or ghostly, or possible rather than actual. And because the Edgar role both connects and retunes all of the figures and scenes in King Lear, close attention to this particular part can shine stunning new light on how the whole play works.
The ultimate message of Palfrey’s bravura analysis is the same for readers or actors or audiences as it is for the characters in the play: see and listen feelingly; pay attention, especially when it seems as though there is nothing there.
Popular Romance in Iceland
Sheryl McDonald Werronen Amsterdam University Press, 2017 Library of Congress PT7193.R65M36 2016 | Dewey Decimal 839.63
A late medieval Icelandic romance about the maiden-king of France, the Nítíða saga was well received in its day and grew in popularity throughout post-Reformation Iceland. It has not, however, received the comprehensive scholarly analysis it deserves, or that other Icelandic sagas have received. Sheryl McDonald Werronen corrects that here, offering a detailed study of the saga and its presentation of women and the Icelandic worldview, including questions of identity, gender, female solidarity, and the romance genre itself.
Anthropologist Michael Herzfeld first met Greek novelist Andreas Nenedakis in the drafty courtyard of a public library. This encounter led to an enduring intellectual relationship that prompted Herzfeld to reconsider both the contours of fiction and the nature of anthropology. Portrait of a Greek Imagination, part biography and part ethnography, is Herzfeld's contextualization of Nenedakis's life, as it was both lived and fictionalized.
Herzfeld explores how personal vision intersects with national cultures by examining the Greek author's novels and recollections as historical accounts. Bringing together the methods of the novelist and the anthropologist in their common concern with both social and lived experience, Herzfeld shows how different perspectives shape the historical record. Nenedakis has endured persecution, exile, imprisonment, and torture under Greece's military dictatorship, and his novels—excerpted here in English for the first time—offer an individual version of historical events. As one of his characters ask, "For was not his life, and are not the lives of all of us, a novel?"
Vita Sackville-West, novelist, poet, and biographer, is best known as the friend of Virginia Woolf, who transformed her into an androgynous time-traveler in Orlando. The story of Sackville-West's marriage to Harold Nicolson is one of intrigue and bewilderment. In Portrait of a Marriage, their son Nigel combines his mother's memoir with his own explanations and what he learned from their many letters. Even during her various love affairs with women, Vita maintained a loving marriage with Harold. Portrait of a Marriage presents an often misunderstood but always fascinating couple.
"Portrait of a Marriage is as close to a cry from the heart as anybody writing in English in our time has come, and it is a cry that, once heard, is not likely ever to be forgotten. . . . Unexpected and astonishing."—Brendan Gill, New Yorker
"The charm of this book lies in the elegance of its narration, the taste with which their son has managed to convey the real, enduring quality of his parents' love for each other."—Doris Grumbach, New Republic
As women entered the field of cultural production in unprecedented numbers in nineteenth-century France and Britain, they gradually forged a place for themselves, however tenuous, in artistic movements and exhibitions, in academies and salons, and finally in the public imagination. Portraits of the Artist as a Young Woman: Painting and the Novel in France and Britain, 1800–1860 focuses on a decisive period in that process of professional self-invention and maps out the concrete and symbolic roles played by women painters, real and fictional, in the construction of female artistic identity in the aesthetic and the public spheres. Alexandra K. Wettlaufer examines the diverse and complex ways canonical and non-canonical women painters and novelists—including Anne Brontë, Sydney Owenson, Margaret Gillies, Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, George Sand, and Hortense Haudebourt-Lescot—figured and brought forth the radical image of a female subject representing the world.
Wettlaufer brings to light a rich and nearly forgotten culture of women’s artistic production, allowing us to understand the nineteenth-century in more complex and nuanced ways across the borders of gender, genre, and nation. In her close readings of paintings by women and novels about women painting, she charts the political and cultural resonances of this artistic self-representation, tracing its evolution through themes of “The Studio” (Part I), “Cosmopolitan Visions” (Part II), and “The Portrait” (Part III). By pairing painting and literature in a single study that also considers works from two distinct but closely related cultures, Portraits of the Artist as a Young Woman locates the interpretation of these works in the dialogic context in which they were created and consumed, highlighting aesthetic and political intersections between nineteenth-century British and French art, literature, and feminism that are too often elided by the disciplinary boundaries of scholarship.
Despite its modest size, Portugal has played a major part in the development of Europe and the modern world. In Portugal in European and World History Malyn Newitt offers a fresh appraisal of Portuguese history and its role in the world—from early Moorish times to the English Alliance of 1650–1900 and through the country’s liberal revolution in 1974.
Newitt specifically examines episodes where Portugal was a key player or innovator in history. Chapters focus on such topics as Moorish Portugal, describing the cultural impact of contact with the Moors—one of the oldest points of contact between Western Europe and Islam; the opening up of trade with western Africa; and the explorations of Vasco de Gama and the evolution of Portugal as the first commercial empire of modern times. Newitt also examines Portugal’s role in the Counter-reformation, in Spain’s wars in Europe, and in the Anglo-Portuguese alliance. Finally, Newitt analyzes the fall of fascism and the Portuguese decolonization within the context of larger global empires and movements.
This new account of a country with a rich historyshows how Portugal has moved from being the last colonial power to one of the most enthusiastic proponents of the modern European ideal.
You were reading a somewhat retro loveletter, the last in history. But you have not yet received it. Yes, its lack or excess of address prepares it to fall into all hands: a post card, an open letter in which the secret appears, but indecipherably.
What does a post card want to say to you? On what conditions is it possible? Its destination traverses you, you no longer know who you are. At the very instant when from its address it interpellates, you, uniquely you, instead of reaching you it divides you or sets you aside, occasionally overlooks you. And you love and you do not love, it makes of you what you wish, it takes you, it leaves you, it gives you.
On the other side of the card, look, a proposition is made to you, S and p, Socrates and plato. For once the former seems to write, and with his other hand he is even scratching. But what is Plato doing with his outstretched finger in his back? While you occupy yourself with turning it around in every direction, it is the picture that turns you around like a letter, in advance it deciphers you, it preoccupies space, it procures your words and gestures, all the bodies that you believe you invent in order to determine its outline. You find yourself, you, yourself, on its path.
The thick support of the card, a book heavy and light, is also the specter of this scene, the analysis between Socrates and Plato, on the program of several others. Like the soothsayer, a "fortune-telling book" watches over and speculates on that-which-must-happen, on what it indeed might mean to happen, to arrive, to have to happen or arrive, to let or to make happen or arrive, to destine, to address, to send, to legate, to inherit, etc., if it all still signifies, between here and there, the near and the far, da und fort, the one or the other.
You situate the subject of the book: between the posts and the analytic movement, the pleasure principle and the history of telecommunications, the post card and the purloined letter, in a word the transference from Socrates to Freud, and beyond. This satire of epistolary literature had to be farci, stuffed with addresses, postal codes, crypted missives, anonymous letters, all of it confided to so many modes, genres, and tones. In it I also abuse dates, signatures, titles or references, language itself.
"With The Post Card, as with Glas, Derrida appears more as writer than as philosopher. Or we could say that here, in what is in part a mock epistolary novel (the long section is called "Envois," roughly, "dispatches" ), he stages his writing more overtly than in the scholarly works. . . . The Post Card also contains a series of self-reflective essays, largely focused on Freud, in which Derrida is beautifully lucid and direct."—Alexander Gelley, Library Journal
In the global imagination, Paris is the city's glamorous center, ignoring the Muslim residents in its outskirts except in moments of spectacular crisis such as terrorist attacks or riots. But colonial immigrants and their French offspring have been a significant presence in the Parisian landscape since the 1940s. Expanding the narrow script of what and who is Paris, Laila Amine explores the novels, films, and street art of Maghrebis, Franco-Arabs, and African Americans in the City of Light, including fiction by Charef, Chraïbi, Sebbar, Baldwin, Smith, and Wright, and such films as La haine, Made in France, Chouchou, and A Son.
Spanning the decades from the post–World War II era to the present day, Amine demonstrates that the postcolonial other is both peripheral to and intimately entangled with all the ideals so famously evoked by the French capital—romance, modernity, equality, and liberty. In their work, postcolonial writers and artists have juxtaposed these ideals with colonial tropes of intimacy (the interracial couple, the harem, the Arab queer) to expose their hidden violence. Amine highlights the intrusion of race in everyday life in a nation where, officially, it does not exist.
The collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe was supposed to bring about the “end of history” with capitalism and liberal democracy achieving decisive victories. Europe would now integrate and reconcile with its past. However, the aftershocks of the financial crisis of 2008—the rise in right-wing populism, austerity politics, and mass migration—have shown that the ideological divisions which haunted Europe in the twentieth century still remain. It is within this context that Post-Communist Malaise revives discourses of political modernism and revisits debates from Marxism and seventies film theory. Analyzing work of Theo Angelopoulos, Vera Chytilová, Srdjan Dragojevic, Jean-Luc Godard, Miklós Jancsó, Emir Kusturica, Dušan Makavejev, Cristi Puiu, Jan Švankmajer, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Béla Tarr, the book focuses on how select cinemas from Eastern Europe and the Balkans critique the neoliberal integration of Europe whose failures fuel the rise of nationalism and right-wing politics. By politicizing art cinema from the regions, Post-Communist Malaise asks fundamental questions about film, aesthetics, and ideology. It argues for the utopian potential of the materiality of cinematic time to imagine a new political and cultural organization for Europe.
Post-Fascist Fantasies examines the cultural function of the novels of communist authors in East Germany from a psychoanalytic angle. Various critics have argued that these socialist realist fictions were monolithic attempts to translate Communist dogma into the realm of aesthetics. Julia Hell argues to the contrary that they were in fact complex fictions sharing the theme of antifascism, the founding discourse of the German Democratic Republic. Employing an approach informed by Slavoj Zizek’s work on the Communist’s sublime body and by British psychoanalytic feminism’s concern with feminine subjectivity, Hell first examines the antifascist works by exiled authors and authors tied to the resistance movement. She then strives to understand the role of Christa Wolf, the GDR’s most prominent author, in the GDR’s effort to reconstruct symbolic power after the Nazi period. By focusing on the unconscious fantasies about post-fascist body and post-fascist voice that suffuse the texts of Wolf and others, Hell radically reconceptualizes the notion of the author’s subjective authenticity. Since this notion occupies a key position in previous literary-historical accounts of East German culture, Hell’s psychoanalytic approach problematizes the established literary model of an "authentic feminine voice" that gradually liberates itself from the GDR’s dominant ideological narrative. Far from operating solely on a narrowly political level, the novels of Wolf and others were intricate family sagas portraying psychic structures linked in complex ways to the GDR’s social dynamics. Hell traces this link through East German literatrure’s dominant narrative, a paternal narrative organized around the figure of the Communist father as antifascist hero.
For Dante and Petrarch, posthumous love was a powerful conviction. Like many of their contemporaries, both poets envisioned their encounters with their beloved in heaven—Dante with Beatrice, Petrarch with Laura. But as Ramie Targoff reveals in this elegant study, English love poetry of the Renaissance brought a startling reversal of this tradition: human love became definitively mortal. Exploring the boundaries that Renaissance English poets drew between earthly and heavenly existence, Targoff seeks to understand this shift and its consequences for English poetry.
Targoff shows that medieval notions of the somewhat flexible boundaries between love in this world and in the next were hardened by Protestant reformers, who envisioned a total break between the two. Tracing the narrative of this rupture, she focuses on central episodes in poetic history in which poets developed rich and compelling compensations for the lack of posthumous love—from Thomas Wyatt’s translations of Petrarch’s love sonnets and the Elizabethan sonnet series of Shakespeare and Spencer to the carpe diem poems of the seventeenth century. Targoff’s centerpiece is Romeo and Juliet, where she considers how Shakespeare’s reworking of the Italian story stripped away any expectation that the doomed teenagers would reunite in heaven. Casting new light on these familiar works of poetry and drama, this book ultimately demonstrates that the negation of posthumous love brought forth a new mode of poetics that derived its emotional and aesthetic power from its insistence upon love’s mortal limits.
Post-Personal Romanticism: Democratic Terror, Prosthetic Poetics, and the Comedy of Modern Ethical Life by Bo Earle offers a broad recasting of Romantic lyric’s formal innovations in terms of Hegel’s historical ethics. These innovations attempt to come to terms with the Enlightenment’s paradoxical legacy: industrial and consumerist modernity depends on the Enlightenment norm of rationally autonomous individuality even as it makes this norm ever more implausible. In turn, a key insight of the Romantics is that modernity depends most crucially upon the very elusiveness of this norm of autonomous individuality. The Romantics emphasize that modernity is constitutively a culture of fantasy, a culture self-conscious about the impossibility of its own organizing values and goals.
Tracing this insight to Hegel’s suggestion that modern subjectivity is in some sense post-individual or even posthumous, Earle argues that signature Romantic lyrics offer a way forward that avoids postmodernism’s wholesale rejection of autonomous selfhood. With chapters on Wordsworth, Blake, Byron, Shelley, and Keats, Earle traces how Romantic lyrics mine this interminability to recover figurative emblems or masks of selfhood from experiences of its inevitable normative failure. This model is of particularly urgent value today when the costs of modern narcissism, economic exploitation, and political imperialism have come to include the normalization of torture, signature drone strikes, and climate change.
In readings of Walter Benjamin's work, religion often marks a boundary between scholarly camps, but it rarely receives close and sustained scrutiny. Benjamin's most influential writings pertain to modern art and culture, but he frequently used religious language while rejecting both secularism and religious revival. Benjamin was, in today's terms, postsecular. Postsecular Benjamin explicates Benjamin's engagements with religious traditions as resources for contemporary debates on secularism, conflict, and identity. Brian Britt argues that what animates this work on tradition is the question of human agency, which he pursues through lively and sustained experimentation with ways of thinking, reading, and writing.
Focusing on post-Franco Spanish fiction from 1975 to 1989, Robert C. Spires applies the concepts of episteme and discursive field to the ways in which language from multiple sources determines how reality is defined at a given moment and how it influences ideas, attitudes, and feelings. Spires identifies bonds connecting disparate academic disciplines and sociopolitical events by exploring how the world of fiction serves as a register of the nonfictional world.
In 1989 the Soviet bloc, along with other totalitarian regimes in South America and Africa, disappeared from the global geopolitical map. Spain set the precedent for this decentralizing revolution when, in 1975, its longtime dictator, Francisco Franco, died; democratic elections followed two years later. This study records an epistemic shift away from logocentric and totalizing approaches to reality by analyzing the links between the novelistic strategies used by Spanish writers from 1975 to 1989 and recent international events and theoretical trends in science, mathematics, communication studies, and art. Highlighting worldwide processes of fragmentation, decentralization, and pluralism, Spires foregrounds ways in which literary and scientific approaches to and concepts of reality coincide, with fiction serving as one more register of how reality is conceived at a particular point in time.
Post-Totalitarian Spanish Fiction makes a major contribution in the field of Spanish literature and will enhance the esteem that contemporary Spanish literature is beginning to achieve internationally. In addition, this "epistemocritical" project will serve as a model for literary critics who wish to accommodate the increasingly popular approach labeled "cultural studies" without surrendering the primacy of the literary text.
How states cooperate in the absence of a sovereign power is a perennial question in international relations. With Power in Concert, Jennifer Mitzen argues that global governance is more than just the cooperation of states under anarchy: it is the formation and maintenance of collective intentions, or joint commitments among states to address problems together. The key mechanism through which these intentions are sustained is face-to-face diplomacy, which keeps states’ obligations to one another salient and helps them solve problems on a day-to-day basis.
Mitzen argues that the origins of this practice lie in the Concert of Europe, an informal agreement among five European states in the wake of the Napoleonic wars to reduce the possibility of recurrence, which first institutionalized the practice of jointly managing the balance of power. Through the Concert’s many successes, she shows that the words and actions of state leaders in public forums contributed to collective self-restraint and a commitment to problem solving—and at a time when communication was considerably more difficult than it is today. Despite the Concert’s eventual breakdown, the practice it introduced—of face to face diplomacy as a mode of joint problem solving—survived and is the basis of global governance today.
English law underwent rapid transformation in the sixteenth century, in response to the Reformation and also to heightened litigation and legal professionalization. As the common law became more comprehensive and systematic, the principle of jurisdiction came under particular strain. When the common law engaged with other court systems in England, when it encountered territories like Ireland and France, or when it confronted the ocean as a juridical space, the law revealed its qualities of ingenuity and improvisation. In other words, as Bradin Cormack argues, jurisdictional crisis made visible the law’s resemblance to the literary arts.
A Power to Do Justice shows how Renaissance writers engaged the practical and conceptual dynamics of jurisdiction, both as a subject for critical investigation and as a frame for articulating literature’s sense of itself. Reassessing the relation between English literature and law from More to Shakespeare, Cormack argues that where literary texts attend to jurisdiction, they dramatize how boundaries and limits are the very precondition of law’s power, even as they clarify the forms of intensification that make literary space a reality.
Tracking cultural responses to Renaissance jurisdictional thinking and legal centralization, A Power to Do Justice makes theoretical, literary-historical, and methodological contributions that set a new standard for law and the humanities and for the cultural history of early modern law and literature.
Can literature make it possible to represent histories that are otherwise ineffable? Making use of the Deleuzian concept of “the powers of the false,” Doro Wiese offers readings of three novels that deal with the Shoah, with colonialism, and with racialized identities. She argues that Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything Is Illuminated, Richard Flanagan’s Gould’s Book of Fish, and Richard Powers’s The Time of Our Singing are novels in which a space for unvoiced, silent, or silenced difference is created. Seen through the lens of Deleuze and his collaborators’ philosophy, literature is a means for mediating knowledge and affects about historical events. Going beyond any simple dichotomy between true and untrue accounts of what “really” happened in the past, literature’s powers of the false incite readers to long for a narrative space in which painful or shameful stories can be included.
Amid the crowded streets of Chester, guild players portraying biblical characters performed on colorful mobile stages hoping to draw the attention of fellow townspeople. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, these Chester plays employed flamboyant live performance to adapt biblical narratives. But the original format of these fascinating performances remains cloudy, as surviving records of these plays are sparse, and the manuscripts were only written down a generation after they stopped. Revealing a vibrant set of social practices encoded in the Chester plays, Matthew Sergi provides a new methodology for reading them and a transformative look at medieval English drama.
Carefully combing through the plays, Sergi seeks out cues in the dialogues that reveal information about the original staging, design, and acting. These “practical cues,” as he calls them, have gone largely unnoticed by drama scholars, who have focused on the ideology and historical contexts of these plays, rather than the methods, mechanics, and structures of the actual performances. Drawing on his experience as an actor and director, he combines close readings of these texts with fragments of records, revealing a new way to understand how the Chester plays brought biblical narratives to spectators in the noisy streets. For Sergi, plays that once appeared only as dry religious dramas come to life as raucous participatory spectacles filled with humor, camp, and devotion.
Literary scholars often avoid the category of the aesthetic in discussions of ethics, believing that purely aesthetic judgments can vitiate analyses of a literary work’s sociopolitical heft and meaning. In Practicing Literary Theory in the Middle Ages, Eleanor Johnson reveals that aesthetics—the formal aspects of literary language that make it sense-perceptible—are indeed inextricable from ethics in the writing of medieval literature.
Johnson brings a keen formalist eye to bear on the prosimetric form: the mixing of prose with lyrical poetry. This form descends from the writings of the sixth-century Christian philosopher Boethius—specifically his famous prison text, Consolation of Philosophy—to the late medieval English tradition. Johnson argues that Boethius’s text had a broad influence not simply on the thematic and philosophical content of subsequent literary writing, but also on the specific aesthetic construction of several vernacular traditions. She demonstrates the underlying prosimetric structures in a variety of Middle English texts—including Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde and portions of the Canterbury Tales, Thomas Usk’s Testament of Love, John Gower’s Confessio amantis, and Thomas Hoccleve’s autobiographical poetry—and asks how particular formal choices work, how they resonate with medieval literary-theoretical ideas, and how particular poems and prose works mediate the tricky business of modeling ethical transformation for a readership.
This collaborative monograph will commemorate the centenary of the Prague English Studies, officially inaugurated in 1912 by the appointment of Vilém Mathesius. Apart from reassessing the work of major representatives, such as Mathesius, Vladislav Vancura and others, and reviewing important developments in literature-oriented Prague English Studies with respect to Prague Structuralism. Prague English Studies and the Transformation of Philologies will focus on the methodological problems of the discipline related to the transformation of humanistic and modern philologies, searching for the links between two historically distinct interdisciplinary projects: humanist philology and structuralist semiology.
A city of immense literary mystique, Prague has inspired writers across the centuries with its beauty, cosmopolitanism, and tragic history. Envisioning the ancient city in central Europe as a multilayered text, or palimpsest, that has been constantly revised and rewritten—from the medieval and Renaissance chroniclers who legitimized the city’s foundational origins to the modernists of the early twentieth century who established its reputation as the new capital of the avant-garde—Alfred Thomas argues that Prague has become a paradoxical site of inscription and effacement, of memory and forgetting, a utopian link to the prewar and pre-Holocaust European past and a dystopia of totalitarian amnesia.
Considering a wide range of writers, including the city’s most famous son, Franz Kafka, Prague Palimpsest reassesses the work of poets and novelists such as Bohumil Hrabal, Milan Kundera, Gustav Meyrink, Jan Neruda, Vítĕzslav Nezval, and Rainer Maria Rilke and engages with other famous authors who “wrote” Prague, including Guillaume Apollinaire, Ingeborg Bachmann, Albert Camus, Paul Celan, and W. G. Sebald. The result is a comparative, interdisciplinary study that helps to explain why Prague—more than any other major European city—has haunted the cultural and political imagination of the West.
Michael C. Schoenfeldt here offers the first major exploration of the connections between George Herbert's devotional poetry and the social practices and political discourse of his day. Viewing The Temple and The Country Parson as part of the larger "civilizing process" of Western Europe, Schoenfeldt shows how Herbert discovers in the discourses of courtesy and theology a common vocabulary of authority, selfhood, petition, and discipline.
Before entering the priesthood, Herbert nourished contacts in court, was elected University Orator at Cambridge, and served in Parliament. In turning to God, Schoenfeldt argues, Herbert did not simply turn away from the secular world but also turned its language, particularly the language of courtesy, into the medium for his lyric worship of God. The confluence of courtesy and spirituality in Herbert's poetry provides a fascinating insight into a society searching for an appropriate discourse of reverence in a time of baffling change. The first five chapters investigate the manifold ways in which Herbert's life and works exemplify the interdependence of social and religious behavior in the English Renaissance. The sixth and final chapter extends this investigation into the nervous eroticism of Herbert's poems.
Considering The Temple as well as Herbert's letters, speeches, Latin poems, collections of foreign proverbs, translations, The Country Parson, and less familiar lyrics, Schoenfeldt offers a thorough and detailed reading of Herbert's rich and conflicted corpus. Prayer and Power is not only a bold redefinition of the accomplishment of one of the finest poets of the English Renaissance but also the first sustained study to advance a cultural poetics of the religious lyric.
With global debt, labor, and environmental crises on the rise, the precarious position of people in the Global South has become a significant force moving people across countries, continents, and around the world. Through a comparative study of contemporary trans-Atlantic immigrant narratives in French, Spanish, and English, Alexandra Perisic offers an account of a multilingual Atlantic under neoliberalism. More specifically, Precarious Crossings: Immigration, Neoliberalism, and the Atlantic examines how contemporary authors from the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America—including Roberto Bolaño, Giannina Braschi, Maryse Condé, Fatou Diome, Marie Ndiaye, and Caryl Phillips, among others—have reconceptualized the Atlantic from a triangular space into a multipolar one, introducing new destinations for contemporary immigrants and establishing new Atlantic connections.
Perisic argues that in traveling beyond the postcolonial route that connects former colonizer and former colonized, these authors also shift their focus from cultural difference and national belonging to precarity—a condition characterized by a lack of economic and social stability and protection—as a shared characteristic under global neoliberalization. She demonstrates how contemporary Atlantic narratives reveal the contradictions inherent in neoliberalism as an ideology—thereby showing how they further participate in Atlantic literary and cultural dialogues and push against literary conventions of various genre as they explore the complexities of a globalized Atlantic.
From the recent spate of equine deaths on racetracks to protests demanding the removal of mounted Confederate soldier statues to the success and appeal of War Horse, there is no question that horses still play a role in our lives—though fewer and fewer of us actually interact with them. In Precarious Partners, Kari Weil takes readers back to a time in France when horses were an inescapable part of daily life. This was a time when horse ownership became an attainable dream not just for soldiers, but also for middle class children; when natural historians argued about animal intelligence; when the prevalence of horse beatings inspired the first animal protection laws; and when the combined magnificence and abuse of these animals inspired artists, writers, and riders alike.
Weil traces the evolving partnerships established between French citizens and their horses through this era. She considers the newly designed “races” of workhorses who carried men from the battlefield to the hippodrome, lugged heavy loads through the boulevards, or who paraded women riders, “amazones,” in the parks or circus halls—as well as with those unfortunate horses who found their fate on a dinner plate. Moving between literature, painting, natural philosophy, popular cartoons, sport manuals, and tracts of public hygiene, Precarious Partners traces the changing social, political, and emotional relations with these charismatic creatures who straddled conceptions of pet and livestock in nineteenth-century France.
"We do not have too much intellect and too little soul, but too little precision in matters of the soul."—Robert Musil
Best known as author of the novel The Man without Qualities, Robert Musil wrote these essays in Vienna and Berlin between 1911 and 1937. Offering a perspective on modern society and intellectual life, they are concerned with the crisis of modern culture as it manifests itself in science and mathematics, capitalism and nationalism, the changing roles of women and writers, and more. Writing to find his way in a world where moral systems everywhere were seemingly in decay, Musil strives to reconcile the ongoing conflict between functional relativism and the passionate search for ethical values.
Robert Musil was born in 1880 and died in 1942. His first novel, Young Törless, is available in English. A new two-volume translation by Burton Pike and Sophie Wilkins of The Man without Qualities is forthcoming from Alfred A. Knopf.
"Now we have these thirty-one invaluable and entertaining pieces, from an article on 'The Obscene and Pathological in Art' to the equally provocative talk 'On Stupidity,' which, with a new translation of The Man without Qualities forthcoming . . . amount to a literary event for the reader of English comparable to Constance Garnett's massive translation of Chekhov's stories."—Joseph Coates, Chicago Tribune
"Musil is one of the few great moderns, one of the handful who ventured to confront the issues that shape and define our time. . . . He has a range and a striking capacity every bit as great as that of Mann, Joyce, or Beckett."—Boston Review
"These essays are crucial in understanding a writer and critic whose lifelong task was an attempt to resolve the dichotomy between the precision of scientific form and the soul—the matter of life and art."—Choice
The Premodern Condition identifies and explains a surprising affinity for medievalism and medieval studies among the leading figures of critical theory. Drawing on a wide range of philosophical, literary-critical, and sociological works produced within the French nouvelle critique of the 1960s, Holsinger argues for reconceiving these discourses, in part, as a brilliant amalgamation of medievalisms.
Holsinger shows that the preoccupation with medieval cultures and practices among Bataille, Derrida, Lacan, Barthes, Bourdieu, and their cohorts was so wide ranging that it merits recognition as one of the most significant epiphenomena of postwar French thought. Not simply an object of nostalgic longing or an occasional source of literary exempla, the medieval epoch was continually mined by these thinkers for specific philosophical vocabularies, social formations, and systems of thought.
To supplement its master thesis, The Premodern Condition also contains original essays by Bataille and Bourdieu—translated here for the first time into English—that testify in various ways to the strange persistence of medievalisms in French postwar avant-garde writings. What results is an important and original work that will be a touchstone for specialists in medieval studies and critical theory alike.
This useful volume presents the major works of the five leading Pre-Raphaelite poets. Foremost in the collection, and included in their entirety are D. G. Rossetti's The House of Life, C. G. Rossetti's "Monna Innominata," William Morris's "Defence of Guenevere," Swinburne's Atalanta in Calydon, and Meredith's "Modern Love." Complementing these major poems is a fine, generous selection of the poets' shorter pieces that are typical of their work as a whole. For this second edition, Cecil Lang has substituted two early Swinburne poems, "The Leper" and "Anactoria," for Fitzgerald's The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. These poems, which the editor describes as "shocking," show a new aspect of Swinburne not discussed previously.
Lang's Introduction describes briefly the founding of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, discusses each of the Pre-Raphaelite poets, both individually and in relation to the others, and grapples with the questions of definition of Pre-Raphaelitism and the similarities between its painting and poetry. The book is appropriately illustrated with thirty-two works by D. G. Rossetti, John Ruskin, William H. Hunt, and other Pre-Raphaelite artists.
This is the only anthology available that provides a representative selection of the work of these important poets. It will be indispensable to students of Victorian poetry and appreciated by readers interested in the Pre-Raphaelites.
The violence, wonder, and nostalgia of voyaging are nowhere more vivid than in the literature of South Seas exploration. Preserving the Self in the South Seas charts the sensibilities of the lonely figures that encountered the new and exotic in terra incognita. Jonathan Lamb introduces us to the writings of South Seas explorers, and finds in them unexpected and poignant tales of selves alarmed and transformed.
Lamb contends that European exploration of the South Seas was less confident and mindful than we have assumed. It was, instead, conducted in moods of distraction and infatuation that were hard to make sense of and difficult to narrate, and it prompted reactions among indigenous peoples that were equally passionate and irregular. Preserving the Self in the South Seas also examines these common crises of exploration in the context of a metropolitan audience that eagerly consumed narratives of the Pacific while doubting their truth. Lamb considers why these halting and incredible journals were so popular with the reading public, and suggests that they dramatized anxieties and bafflements rankling at the heart of commercial society.
Fairy tales are supposed to be magical, surprising, and exhilarating, an enchanting counterpoint to everyday life that nonetheless helps us understand and deal with the anxieties of that life. Today, however, fairy tales are far from marvelous—in the hands of Hollywood, they have been stripped of their power, offering little but formulaic narratives and tame surprises.
If we want to rediscover the power of fairy tales—as Armando Maggi thinks we should—we need to discover a new mythic lens, a new way of approaching and understanding, and thus re-creating, the transformative potential of these stories. In Preserving the Spell, Maggi argues that the first step is to understand the history of the various traditions of oral and written narrative that together created the fairy tales we know today. He begins his exploration with the ur-text of European fairy tales, Giambattista Basile’s The Tale of Tales, then traces its path through later Italian, French, English, and German traditions, with particular emphasis on the Grimm Brothers’ adaptations of the tales, which are included in the first-ever English translation in an appendix. Carrying his story into the twentieth century, Maggi mounts a powerful argument for freeing fairy tales from their bland contemporary forms, and reinvigorating our belief that we still can find new, powerfully transformative ways of telling these stories.
Around 1800, print culture became a particularly rich source for metaphors about thinking as well as writing, nowhere more so than in the German tradition of Dichter und Denker. Goethe, Jean Paul, and Hegel (among many others) used the preface in order to reflect on the problems of writing itself, and its interpretation. If Sterne teaches us that a material book enables mind games as much as it gives expression to them, the Germans made these games more theoretical still. Weaving in authors from Antiquity to Agamben, Williams shows how European–and, above all, German–Romanticism was a watershed in the history of the preface. The playful, paradoxical strategies that Romantic writers invented are later played out in continental philosophy, and in post-Structuralist literature. The preface is a prompt for playful thinking with texts, as much as it is conventionally the prosaic product of such an exercise.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.