And Never Said a Word
Heinrich Boll Northwestern University Press, 1994 Library of Congress PT2603.O394U513 1994 | Dewey Decimal 833.914
"First published in 1953, And Never Said a Word is one of Heinrich BÃ¶ll's richest works, a novel that explores marriage with depth and compassion. BÃ¶ll evokes an entire emotional world in the space of a day and a half as a husband and wife alternately relate a story of love and isolation, poverty and injustice. Weakness, as well as strength, provides the subtle emotional threads that form the bonds of their love; and they discover married life takes a far greater toll on those who love than on those whose hearts are empty.
""BÃ¶ll is a master storyteller."" --New York Times
""BÃ¶ll has a talent with fiction that is not hindered by translation--a low-key grace of style and a depth of human understanding."" --Publishers' Weekly"
Archaeopoetics explores “archaeological poetry,” ground-breaking and experimental writing by innovative poets whose work opens up broad new avenues by which contemporary readers may approach the past, illuminating the dense web of interconnections often lost in traditional historiography.
Critic Mandy Bloomfield traces the emergence of a significant historicist orientation in recent poetry, exemplified by the work of five writers: American poet Susan Howe, Korean-American artist Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, British poet Maggie O’Sullivan, and diasporic African Caribbean writers Kamau Brathwaite and M. NourbeSe Philip. Bloomfield sets the work of these five authors within a vigorous tradition, including earlier work by Ezra Pound and Walter Benjamin, and then shows how these five poets create poems that engender new encounters with pivotal episodes in history, such as the English regicide or Korea’s traumatized twentieth century.
Exploring our shared but imperfectly understood history as well as omissions and blind spots in historiography, Bloomfield outlines the tension between the irretrievability of effaced historical evidence and the hope that poetry may reconstitute such unrecoverable histories. She posits that this tension is fertile, engendering a form of aesthetically enacted epistemological enquiry.
Fascinating and seminal, Archaeopoetics pays special attention to the sensuous materiality of texts and most especially to the visual manifestations of poetry. The poems in this volume employ the visual imagery of the word itself or incorporate imagery into the poetry to propose persuasive alternatives to narrative or discursive frameworks of historical knowledge.
What does it mean to say that a painting has been “invaded” by language? Art, Word and Image answers this question by exploring how visual images and writing can work in dialogue in an artwork. Whether the picture frame is encroached upon by doodlings, as with Adolf Wolfli’s seemingly irrational scribbles, or a plea to spirituality is blazoned across a vast canvas, as in the moving images of Colin McCahon, we can be sure that words here have a special meaning, one beyond everyday communication.
Art, Word and Image, one of the first books to examine the use of language in art, is constructed around three major chronological essays by renowned scholars John Dixon Hunt, David Lomas, and Michael Corris. Their essays chart the use and significance of words in art—from Classical Greece through the Middle Ages and Renaissance to modern digital media.
In Carrying the Word: The Concheros Dance in Mexico City, the first full length study of the Concheros dancers, Susanna Rostas explores the experience of this unique group, whose use of dance links rural religious practices with urban post-modern innovation in distinctive ways even within Mexican culture, which is rife with ritual dances.
The Concheros blend Catholic and indigenous traditions in their performances, but are not governed by a predetermined set of beliefs; rather they are bound together by long standing interpersonal connections framed by the discipline of their tradition. The Concheros manifest their spirituality by means of the dance. Rostas traces how they construct their identity and beliefs, both individual and communal, by its means. The book offers new insights into the experience of dancing as a Conchero while also exploring their history, organization and practices.
Carrying the Word provides a new way for audiences to understand the Conchero's dance tradition, and will be of interest to students and scholars of contemporary Mesoamerica. Those studying identity, religion, and tradition will find this social-anthropological work particularly enlightening.
A Publishers Weekly Best Religion Book of the Year
A Choice Outstanding Academic Title
For many Americans, being Christian is central to their political outlook. Political Christianity is most often associated with the Religious Right, but the Christian faith has actually been a source of deep disagreement about what American society and government should look like. While some identify Christianity with Western civilization and unfettered individualism, others have maintained that Christian principles call for racial equality, international cooperation, and social justice. At once incisive and timely, Christian delves into the intersection of faith and political identity and offers an essential reconsideration of what it means to be Christian in America today.
“Bowman is fast establishing a reputation as a significant commentator on the culture and politics of the United States.”
“Bowman looks to tease out how religious groups in American history have defined, used, and even wielded the word Christian as a means of understanding themselves and pressing for their own idiosyncratic visions of genuine faith and healthy democracy.”
“A fascinating examination of the twists and turns in American Christianity, showing that the current state of political/religious alignment was not necessarily inevitable, nor even probable.”
Communicating the Word is a record of the 2008 Building Bridges seminar, an annual dialogue between leading Christian and Muslim scholars convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Featuring the insights of internationally known Christian and Muslim scholars, the essays collected here focus attention on key scriptural texts but also engage with both classical and contemporary Islamic and Christian thought. Issues addressed include, among others, the different ways in which Christians and Muslims think of their scriptures as the “Word of God,” the possibilities and challenges of translating scripture, and the methods—and conflicts—involved in interpreting scripture in the past and today.
In his concluding reflections, Archbishop Rowan Williams draws attention to a fundamental point emerging from these fascinating contributions: “Islam and Christianity alike give a high valuation to the conviction that God speaks to us. Grasping what that does and does not mean . . . is challenging theological work.”
Difficult Rhythm examines E. M. Forster's irrepressible interest in music, providing plentiful examples of how the eminent British author's fiction resonates with music. Musicologist Michelle Fillion analyzes his critical writings, short stories, and novels, including A Room with a View, which alludes to Beethoven, Wagner, and Schumann, and Howards End, which explicitly alerts readers how fiction can adopt musical forms and ideas. This volume also includes, for the first time in print, Forster's notes on Beethoven's piano sonatas. Documenting his knowledge of music, his musical favorites and friends, and his attitudes toward various composers, performances, and competing musical theories, this engaging book traces the musical influences of luminaries such as Wagner, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Britten on Forster's life and work.
Adapting a verse from the Epistle of James —"doers of the word"— nineteenth-century black women activists Sojourner Truth, Jarena Lee, and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, among others, travelled throughout the Northeastern, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwestern regions of the United States. They preached, lectured, and wrote on issues of religious evangelicism, abolition, racial uplift, moral reform, temperance, and women's rights, thereby defining themselves as public intellectuals.
In situating these women within the emerging African-American urban communities of the free North, Doers of the Word provides an important counterweight to the vast scholarship on Southern slavery and argues that black "Civil Rights movements" cannot be seen as a purely modern phenomenon. In particular, the book examines the ways in which this Northern black population, despite its heterogeneity, came together and established social organizations that would facilitate community empowerment; yet Peterson's analysis also acknowledges, and seeks to explain, the highly complex relationship of black women to these institutions, a relationship that rendered their stance as public intellectuals all the more bold and defiant.
Peterson begins her study in the 1830s, when a substantial body of oratory and writing by black women first emerged, and traces the development of this writing through the shifting political climate up to the end of Reconstruction. She builds her analyses upon Foucault's interdisciplinary model of discourse with an explicitly feminist approach, drawing upon sermons, spiritual autobiographies, travel and slave narratives, journalism, essays, poetry, speeches, and fiction. From these, Peterson is able to answer several key questions. First, what empowered these women to act, to speak out, and to write? Why, and in what ways, were they marginalized within both the African-American and larger American communities? Where did they act, speak, and write from?
Few words are as ideologically charged as “ghetto,” a term that has described legally segregated Jewish quarters, dense immigrant enclaves, Nazi holding pens, and black neighborhoods in the United States. Daniel B. Schwartz reveals how the history of ghettos is tied up with struggle and argument over the slippery meaning of a word.
Through photographs and translations of Friedrich Nietzsche's evocative writings on his work sites, David Farrell Krell and Donald L. Bates explore the cities and landscapes in which Nietzsche lived and worked.
"A brilliant juxtaposition of life and thought. . . . The sympathy of this pictorial biography is rivaled by few books on Nietzsche."—Charles M. Stang, Boston Book Review
"[A] distinguished addition to the Nietzsche-friendly corpus."—Alain de Botton, Los Angeles Times Book Review
"An odd and oddly endearing record of Nietzsche's travels."—John Banville, New York Review of Books
Jack Kerouac, a "ragged priest of the word" according to Ben Giamo, embarked on a spiritual quest "for the ultimate meaning of existence and suffering, and the celebration of joy in the meantime." For Kerouac, the quest was a sustained and creative experiment in literary form. Intuitive and innovative, Kerouac created prose styles that reflected his search for personal meaning and spiritual intensity. These styles varied from an exuberant brand of conventional narrative (On the Road, The Dharma Bums, and Desolation Angels) to spontaneous bop prosody (Visions of Cody.Doctor Sax, and The Subterraneans). Giamo’s primary purpose is to chronicle and clarify Kerouac’s various spiritual quests through close examinations of the novels. Kerouac began his quest with On the Road, which also is Giamo’s real starting point. To establish early themes, spiritual struggles, and stylistic shifts, however, Giamo begins with the first novel, Town and Country, and ends with Big Sur, the final turning point in Kerouac’s quest.
Kerouac was primarily a religious writer bent on testing and celebrating the profane depths and transcendent heights of experience and reporting both truly. Baptized and buried a Catholic, he was also heavily influenced by Buddhism, especially from 1954 until 1957 when he integrated traditional Eastern belief into several novels. Catholicism remained an essential force in his writing, but his study of Buddhism was serious and not solely in the service of his literary art. As he wrote to Malcolm Cowley in 1954, "Since I saw you I took up the study of Buddhism and for me it’s the word and the way I was looking for."
Giamo also seeks IT—"a vital force in the experience of living that takes one by surprise, suspending for the moment belief in the ‘real’ concrete grey everyday of facts of self and selfhood . . . its various meanings, paths, and oscillations: from romantic lyricism to ‘the ragged and ecstatic joy of pure being and from the void-pit of the Great World Snake to the joyous pain of amorous love, and, finally, from Catholic/Buddhist serenity to the onset of penitential martyrhood."
Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) was one of the preeminent figures of the Italian Renaissance. He was also one of the most paradoxical. He spent an incredible amount of time writing notebooks, perhaps even more time than he ever held a brush, yet at the same time Leonardo was Renaissance culture’s most fanatical critic of the word. When Leonardo criticized writing he criticized it as an expert on words; when he was painting, writing remained in the back of his brilliant mind.
In this book, Joost Keizer argues that the comparison between word and image fueled Leonardo’s thought. The paradoxes at the heart of Leonardo’s ideas and practice also defined some of Renaissance culture’s central assumptions about culture and nature: that there is a look to script, that painting offered a path out of culture and back to nature, that the meaning of images emerged in comparison with words, and that the difference between image-making and writing also amounted to a difference in the experience of time.
2018 AATSEEL Prize for Best Book in Literary Scholarship
Scholars of modernism have long addressed how literature, painting, and music reflected the radical reconceptualization of space and time in the early twentieth century—a veritable revolution in both physics and philosophy that has been characterized as precipitating an “epistemic trauma” around the world. In this wide-ranging study, Benjamin Paloff contends that writers in Central and Eastern Europe felt this impact quite distinctly from their counterparts in Western Europe. For the latter, the destabilization of traditional notions of space and time inspired works that saw in it a new kind of freedom. However, for many Central and Eastern European authors, who were writing from within public discourses about how to construct new social realities, the need for escape met the realization that there was both nowhere to escape to and no stable delineation of what to escape from. In reading the prose and poetry of Czech, Polish, and Russian writers, Paloff imbues the term “Kafkaesque” with a complexity so far missing from our understanding of this moment in literary history.
Mutha’ is Half a Word: Intersections of Folklore, Vernacular, Myth, and Queerness in Black Female Culture explores the importance of sexual desire in the formation of radical Black females’ subjectivities in Black women’s culture through the trope of the indefinable trickster figure. L. H. Stallings offers distinct close readings of understudied African American women’s texts through a critical engagement with folklore and queer theory. To date, most studies on the trickster figure have rarely reflected the boldness and daring of the figure itself. Emblematic of change and transgression, the trickster has inappropriately become the methodological tool for conservative cultural studies analysis. Mutha’ is Half a Word strives to break that convention.
This book provides a much-needed analysis of trickster tradition in regard to gender, sexuality, and Black female sexual desire. It is the only study to focus specifically on trickster figures and African American female culture. In addition, it contributes to conversations regarding the cultural representation of Black female desire in ways that are not strategically invested in heteronormative binaries of male/female and heterosexual/homosexual. The study is distinctly different because it explores folklore, vernacular, and trickster strategies of queerness alongside theories of queer studies to create new readings of desire in literary texts, hip-hop and neo-soul music, and comedic performances by Black females.
Much literary scholarship has been devoted to the flowering of Native American fiction and poetry in the mid-twentieth century. Yet, Robert Warrior argues, nonfiction has been the primary form used by American Indians in developing a relationship with the written word, one that reaches back much further in Native history and culture.
Focusing on autobiographical writings and critical essays, as well as communally authored and political documents, The People and the Word explores how the Native tradition of nonfiction has both encompassed and dissected Native experiences. Warrior begins by tracing a history of American Indian writing from the eighteenth century to the late twentieth century, then considers four particular moments: Pequot intellectual William Apess’s autobiographical writings from the 1820s and 1830s; the Osage Constitution of 1881; narratives from American Indian student experiences, including accounts of boarding school in the late 1880s; and modern Kiowa writer N. Scott Momaday’s essay “The Man Made of Words,” penned during the politically charged 1970s. Warrior’s discussion of Apess’s work looks unflinchingly at his unconventional life and death; he recognizes resistance to assimilation in the products of the student print shop at the Santee Normal Training School; and in the Osage Constitution, as well as in Momaday’s writing, Warrior sees reflections of their turbulent times as well as guidance for our own.
Taking a cue from Momaday’s essay, which gives voice to an imaginary female ancestor, Ko-Sahn, Warrior applies both critical skills and literary imagination to the texts. In doing so, The People and the Word provides a rich foundation for Native intellectuals’ critical work, deeply entwined with their unique experiences.
Robert Warrior is professor of English and Native American studies at the University of Oklahoma. He is author of Tribal Secrets: Recovering American Indian Intellectual Traditions (Minnesota, 1994) and coauthor, with Paul Chaat Smith, of Like a Hurricane: The Indian Movement from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee.
One of the besetting problems of the present age is the conflict between criticism and commitment. Those who hold strong convictions fear that rational criticism may corrode the moral and religious foundations of society. Advocates of rational critique tend to perceive people with strong convictions as fanatics. The Middles Ages was likewise a time when people were both deeply committed and relentlessly rational. In Peregrinations of the Word, Louis Mackey examines the way important medieval thinkers dealt with the relation of faith and reason, in the hope that their example may assist contemporary society in harmonizing belief and critical vigilance.
Peregrinations of the Word consists of essays on five medieval philosophers: Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Bonaventure, and Duns Scotus. An essay on the tension between autobiography and theology in Augustine's Confessions is followed by a commentary on the dialogue of faith and reason in his On the Teacher. A third essay shows how Anselm's Proslogion both constructs and deconstructs the ontological proof of God's existence. There is a discussion of Bonaventure's staging of the opposition between Aristotle and the scriptures in terms of the respective languages. Finally there is an examination of the ways Duns Scotus's distinctive positions on the Incarnation, the Immaculate Conception, and the Eucharist shape his philosophical views.
Though each of these essays is an independent study, they have as a common theme the relation between faith and reason as understood in the Middle Ages; e.g., the conflict between the hermeneutic of reason and that of revelation in the construction of self; the dialectic of philosophical demonstration and devotional submission required of all discourse about God; and the resources available to medieval theology for resolving the conflict of nominalism and realism. Mackey maintains that medieval philosophy can only be understood in its theological and scriptural milieu. He has argued this point by showing how that milieu enabled these five thinkers to deal with a variety of philosophical issues. He concludes persuasively that religious beliefs and exegetical concerns did not shackle the medieval mind but rather liberated it and empowered it.
Louis Mackey is Professor of Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin.
Performing the Word offers readers of African American poetry a way of understanding and appreciating body of work that has received little critical attention. While African American literary tradition begins with eighteenth-century poets like Lucy Terry, Jupiter Hammon, and Phillis Wheatley, critical discussions of African American Poetry have been sparse. Aside from a few studies of "major" poets, such as Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Hayden, Rita Dove, or period histories of phenomena such as the Harlem Renaissance, there has been little sustained critical inquiry into African American poetry as a body of literature- until now.
Fahamista Patricia Brown examines elements of African American expressive culture- its language practices, both fold and popular. Her book is an excellent introduction to a diverse group of poets and the common basis of their work in language practices and performativity, in the expressive culture of a people. Performing the Word is an important contribution to the understanding of African American culture and American poetry as a whole.
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 Hyakunin Isshu, or One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each collection, is a sequence of one hundred Japanese poems in the tanka form, selected by the famous poet and scholar Fujiwara no Teika (1162-1241) and arranged, in part, to represent the history of Japanese poetry from the seventh century down to Teika's own day. The anthology is, without doubt, the most popular and widely known collection of poetry in Japan - a distinction it has maintained for hundreds of years. In this study, Joshua Mostow challenges the idea of a final or authoritative reading of the Hyakunin Isshu and presents a refreshing, persuasive case for a reception history of this seminal work.
In addition to providing a new translation of this classic text and biographical information on each poet, Mostow examines issues relating to text and image that are central to the Japanese arts from the Heian into the early modern period. By using Edo-period woodblock illustrations as pictorializations of the poems - as "pictures of the heart," or meaning, of the poems - text and image are pieced together in a holistic approach that will stand as a model for further research in the interrelationship between Japanese visual and verbal art. [A/GB]
In nineteenth-century America, many black women left their homes, their husbands, and their children to spread the Word of God. Descendants of slaves or former “slave girls” themselves, they traveled all over the country, even abroad, preaching to audiences composed of various races, denominations, sexes, and classes, offering their own interpretations of the Bible. When they were denied the pulpit because of their sex, they preached in tents, bush clearings, meeting halls, private homes, and other spaces. They dealt with domestic ideologies that positioned them as subservient in the home, and with racist ideologies that positioned them as naturally inferior to whites. They also faced legalities restricting blacks socially and physically and the socioeconomic reality of often being part of a large body of unskilled laborers.
Jarena Lee, Julia Foote, Maria Stewart, and Frances Gaudet were four women preachers who endured such hardships because of their religious convictions. Often quoting from the scripture, they insisted that they were indeed prophesying daughters whom God called upon to preach. Significantly, many of these women preachers wrote autobiographies in which they present images of assertive, progressive, pious women—steadfast and unmovable in their religious beliefs and bold in voicing their concerns about the moral standing of their race and society at large.
Chanta M. Haywood examines these autobiographies to provide new insight into the nature of prophesying, offering an alternative approach to literature with strong religious imagery. She analyzes how these four women employed rhetorical and political devices in their narratives, using religious discourse to deconstruct race, class, and gender issues of the nineteenth century.
By exploring how religious beliefs become an avenue for creating alternative ideologies, Prophesying Daughters will appeal to students and scholars of African American literature, women’s studies, and religious studies.
With fresh insight and contemporary relevance, Radium of the Word argues that a study of the form of language yields meanings otherwise inaccessible through ordinary reading strategies. Attending to the forms of words rather than to their denotations, Craig Dworkin traces hidden networks across the surface of texts, examining how typography, and even individual letters and marks of punctuation, can reveal patterns that are significant without being symbolic—fully meaningful without communicating any preordained message.
Radium of the Word takes its title from Mina Loy’s poem for Gertrude Stein, which hails her as the Madame “Curie / of the laboratory / of vocabulary.” In this spirit, Dworkin considers prose as a dynamic literary form, characterized by experimentation. Dworkin draws on examples from writers as diverse as Lyn Hejinian, William Faulkner, and Joseph Roth. He takes up the status of the proper name in Modernism, with examples from Stein, Loy, and Guillaume Apollinaire, and he offers in-depth analyses of individual authors from the counter-canon of the avant-garde, including P. Inman, Russell Atkins, N. H. Pritchard, and Andy Warhol. The result is an inspiring intervention in contemporary poetics.
That literature is a form of social action has been an implicit assumption of feminist literary criticism since its emergence in academia some twenty-five years ago. This assumption has served not only to heighten the awareness of gender construction and response in literature, but also to redefine the process and goals of literary criticism itself.
Three powerful interviews with writers of different nationalities (Audre Lorde, Simone de Beauvoir, and Carmen Naranjo) introduce topics echoed in the essays that follow: the interplay between women's writing and feminist theory, the politics of writing, and the roles of race, class, and sexual orientation in artistic production. These issues are engaged on a theoretical level by three essays that represent today's most prominent areas of concern for feminist literary criticism. The theoretical perspectives advanced in this anthology provide models for reading the traditional expressions of women worldwide including oratory and performance as well as literature in the more conventional sense.
Contributors include Jane Flax on "Postmodernism and Gender Relations in Feminist Theory," Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham on "African-American Women's History and the Metalanguage of Race," Paula Bennett on "Female Sexual Imagery and Feminist Psychoanalytic Theory," Leslie Rabine on "Social Gender and Symbolic Gender in the Writings of Maxine Hong Kingston," Joyce Zonana on "Feminist Orientalism and the Structure of Jane Eyre," Jane Desmond on "Cultural Imperialism and Ruth St. Denis's 'Radha' of 1906," Terri Brint Joseph on "Poetry as a Strategy of Power: The Case of Riffian Berber Women," Chikwenye Ogunyemi on "The Contemporary Black Female Novel in English," and Sandra Zagarell on "Narrative of Community."
This collection is especially appropriate for scholars and students of feminist literary criticism, women's studies, English, and ethnic studies.
Essays were originally published in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society.
Throughout its modern history, Russia has seen a succession of highly performative social acts that play out prominently in the public sphere. This innovative volume brings the fields of performance studies and Russian studies into dialog for the first time and shows that performance is a vital means for understanding Russia's culture from the reign of Peter the Great to the era of Putin. These twenty-seven essays encompass a diverse range of topics, from dance and classical music to live poetry and from viral video to public jubilees and political protest. As a whole they comprise an integrated, compelling intervention in Russian studies.
Challenging the primacy of the written word in this field, the volume fosters a larger intellectual community informed by theories and practices of performance from anthropology, art history, dance studies, film studies, cultural and social history, literary studies, musicology, political science, theater studies, and sociology.
In 1985 poet Ross Talarico began a grassroots program in creative expression in Rochester, New York. As the program came together, so did the community—young and old, poor and privileged, even those who could not read or write but wanted to tell their stories. This book is a testimony to the poetry that experience produced. An exhilarating account of a successful experiment in promoting community self-expression, Spreading the Word interweaves the participants’ stories with Talarico’s own life, his struggle as a poet, and the drama of his workshops. The book will be both a resource and an inspiration for teachers of writing, writers, and those who simply wish to learn to write. Drawing on his workshops in Rochester, Talarico describes a unique approach for eliciting poetry from people of many ages and backgrounds—particularly underpriviledged urban kids and the elderly. The process—from dialogue to self-expression to publication to public event—illuminates the urgency and meaning of releasing the spirit captured in each man and woman and child’s experience. "Some people say that Ross Talarico has done the impossible," the Today Show remarked of his success in Rochester; and with this book Talarico offers the same opportunity to others. Teachers, community leaders, parents, and children will be able to follow his practical, hands-on approach to encouraging self-expression in diverse, even unlikely, settings. They will see here how poetry is indeed relevant, ever more crucial to our identity as the culture evolves—how it is, finally, the place where the inarticulate can come to speak for themselves.
Stanzas is a fascinating blend of philology, medieval physics and psychology, the psychoanalysis of toys, and contemporary linguistics and philosophy. In this unique work, Giorgio Agamben attempts to reconfigure the epistemological foundation of Western culture. He rereads Freud and Saussure to discover the impossibility of metalanguage and of synthesis that could be reflected in the transparency of signs. There is no "superior language" that can read the obscure scenes of the unconscious, and the "symbol" is always the return of the repressed in an improper signifier.
This impossibility leads Agamben to the problem of representation. He argues that because language is the locus of the production and storage of phantasms, all real objects are fractured by phantasmic itineraries that in turn divide poetry and philosophy, joy and knowledge.
Giorgio Agamben teaches philosophy at the CollÃ¨ge International de Philosophie in Paris and at the University of Macerata in Italy. He is the author of Language and Death (1991), The Coming Community (1993), and Means without End (2000).
Tsvetaeva’s Orphic Journeys in the Worlds of the Word explores the rich theme of the myth of Orpheus as master narrative for poetic inspiration and creative survival in the life and work of Marina Tsvetaeva. Olga Peters Hasty establishes the basic themes of the Orphic Complex—the poet’s longing to mediate between the embodied physical world and an “elsewhere,” the poet’s inability to do so, the primacy of the voice over the visual world, the insistence on concrete imagery, the costs of the poet’s gift—and orders her arguments in the tragic shape of the Orpheus myth as it worked itself out organically in Tsvetaeva’s own life. Hasty delineates the connections between the Orpheus myth and other key mythological and literary figures in the poet’s life—including Alexander Blok, Anna Akhmatova, Alexander Pushkin, and Rainer Maria Rilke—to make an important and original critical contribution.
Visionary of the Word brings together the latest scholarship on Herman Melville’s treatment of religion across his long career as a writer of fiction and poetry. The volume suggests the broad range of Melville’s religious concerns, including his engagement with the denominational divisions of American Christianity, his dialogue with transatlantic currents in nineteenth-century religious thought, his consideration of theological and philosophical questions related to the problem of evil and determinism versus free will, and his representation of the global contact among differing faiths and cultures. These essays constitute a capacious response to the many avenues through which Melville interacted with religious faith, doubt, and secularization throughout his career, advancing our understanding of Melville as a visionary interpreter of religious experience who remains resonant in our own religiously complex era.
“What would Jesus do?” is now a rhetorical fixture, but the phrase was first popularized in the nineteenth century’s best-selling novel In His Steps. Charles Sheldon’s book is part of the vast, but mostly overlooked, history of evangelical culture that began during the Great Awakening. In this groundbreaking study, Gregory S. Jackson reveals the full impact of this tradition by exploring the development of religious media in America.
Jackson shows how the homiletic tradition in Protestant sermons provided a foundation for the development of visual and literary realism. Evangelical preachers and writers used vivid language grounded in everyday life to translate abstract concepts like hell into concrete reality—a key influence on realist authors that brought about the more secular forms of the movement we know today. This emphasis on the sensuous also paved the way for Protestantism’s embrace of new media, evident in the photographs of Jacob Riis as well as the video game Left Behind: Eternal Forces.
With its remarkable scope and timely insights into the interplay between religion, secularism, and politics, The Word and Its Witness will transform the way we understand American realism and American religion.
In search of the origins of some of the most fundamental problems that have beset philosophers in English-speaking countries in the past century, Claire Ortiz Hill maintains that philosophers are treating symptoms of ills whose causes lie buried in history. Substantial linguistic hurdles have blocked access to Gottlob Frege's thought and even to Bertrand Russell's work to remedy the problems he found in it. Misleading translations of key concepts like intention, content, presentation, idea, meaning, concept, etc., severed analytic philosophy from its roots.
Hill argues that once linguistic and historical barriers are removed, Edmund Husserl's critical study of Frege's logic in his 1891 Philosophy of Arithmetic provides important insights into issues in philosophy now.
She supports her conclusions with analyses of Frege's, Husserl's, and Russell's works, including Principia Mathematica, and with linguistic analyses of the principal concepts of analytic philosophy. She re-establishes links that existed between English and Continental thought to show Husserl's expertise as a philosopher of mathematics and logic who had been Weierstrass's assistant and had long maintained ties with Cantor, Hilbert, and Zermelo.
The Word and the Law
Milner S. Ball University of Chicago Press, 1993 Library of Congress BT96.2.B35 1993 | Dewey Decimal 261.5
Milner Ball takes an experimental journey into the inner life of law and the careers of men and women who use it to help disadvantaged people and to strengthen the fabric of the communities in which they live. At the center of this book are portraits of seven contemporary legal practitioners—lawyers, judges, and advocates—who have devoted their lives to an unconventional vision of the law. In their work, in areas from New York City housing court to the Warm Springs reservation in Oregon, the law exemplifies fundamental human values, manifestations of what Ball calls the "Word," the presence of God in life. To develop this concept of the Word, Ball explores its workings in familiar literary and biblical texts, primarily William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, Toni Morrison's Beloved, the Book of Isaiah, and the Gospel of Mark.
This remarkably ambitious work relates changes in scientific and medical thought during the Scientific Revolution (circa 1500–1700) to the emergence of new principles and practices for interpreting language, texts, and nature. An invaluable history of ideas about the nature of language during this period, The Word of God and the Languages of Man also explores the wider cultural origins and impact of these ideas. Its broad and deeply complex picture of a profound sociocultural and intellectual transformation will alter our definition of the scientific revolution.
James J. Bono shows how the new interpretive principles and scientific practices of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries evolved in response to new views of the relationship between the “Word of God” and the “Languages of Man” fostered by Renaissance Humanism, Neoplatonism, magic, and both the reformed and radical branches of Protestantism. He traces the cultural consequences of these ideas in the thought and work of major and minor actors in the scientific revolution—from Ficino and Paracelsus to Francis Bacon and Descartes. By considering these natural philosophers in light of their own intellectual, religious, philosophical, cultural, linguistic, and especially narrative frameworks, Bono suggests a new way of viewing the sociocultural dynamics of scientific change in the pre–modern period—and ultimately, a new way of understanding the nature and history of scientific thought. The narrative configuration he proposes provides a powerful alternative to the longstanding “revolutionary” metaphor of the history of the scientific revolution.
Taking us deep into King's backstage discussions with colleagues, his preaching to black congregations, his exhortations in mass meetings, and his crossover addresses to whites, Rieder tells a powerful story about the tangle of race, talk, and identity in the life of one of America's greatest moral and political leaders.
Just beyond Las Vegas’s neon and fantasy live thousands of homeless people, most of them men. To the millions of visitors who come to Las Vegas each year to enjoy its gambling and entertainment, the city’s homeless people are largely invisible, segregated from tourist areas because it’s “good business.” Now, through candid discussions with homeless men, analysis of news reports, and years of fieldwork, Kurt Borchard reveals the lives and desperation of men without shelter in Las Vegas.
Borchard’s account offers a graphic, disturbing, and profoundly moving picture of life on Las Vegas’s streets, depicting the strategies that homeless men employ in order to survive, from the search for a safe place to sleep at night to the challenges of finding food, maintaining personal hygiene, and finding an acceptable place to rest during a long day on the street.
That such misery and desperation exist in the midst of Las Vegas’s hedonistic tourist economy and booming urban development is a cruel irony, according to the author, and it threatens the city’s future as a prime tourist destination. The book will be of interest to social workers, sociologists, anthropologists, politicians, and all those concerned about changing the misery on the street.
"The Word On the Street invites humanities scholars to move beyond the classroom and the monograph to share the pleasures of art in ways that engage the intelligence of the common reader, cultivating the critical imagination so vital to American cultural democracy. Lively and thought-provoking, Teres lays out contemporary debates and wades into them with gusto."
---Nancy Cantor, Syracuse University
"At a moment when questions about the literary, 'bookishness,' and the future of print are being urgently raised, with incessant national attention to the perceived crises of literacy and reading, Teres' thoughtful, broadly democratic, but also tough-minded examination of both 'common readers' and academic readers makes a real contribution to the debate."
---Julie Ellison, University of Michigan
Despite significant changes since the mid-twentieth century in American critical culture---the culture emanating from the serious review of books, ideas, and the arts---it attracts only a small and declining minority of Americans. However productive this culture has been, American society has not approached the realization of Emerson's or Dewey's vision of a highly participatory American cultural democracy. Such a culture requires critics who are read by the average citizen, but the migration of critics and intellectuals from the public to the academy has resulted in fewer efforts to engage with ordinary citizens. The Word on the Street investigates this disjunction between the study of literature in the academy and the interests of the common reader and society at large, arguing the vital importance of publicly engaged scholarship in the humanities. Teres chronicles how the once central function of the humanities professorate---to teach students to appreciate and be inspired by literature---has increasingly been lost to literary and cultural studies in the last thirty years.
The Word on the Street argues for a return to an earlier model of the public intellectual and a literary and cultural criticism that is accessible to ordinary citizens. Along the way, Teres offers an illuminating account of the current problem and potential solutions, with the goal of prompting a future vision of publicly engaged scholarship that resonates with the common reader and promotes an informed citizenry.
Harvey Teres is Associate Professor of English at Syracuse University.
Cover image: Ruth Fremson/The New York Times/Redux