Written in Blood offers a fundamentally new interpretation of the emergence of modern terrorism, arguing that it formed in the Russian literary imagination well before any shot was fired or bomb exploded. Lynn Ellen Patyk contends that the prototype for the terrorist was the Russian writer, whose seditious word was interpreted as an audacious deed—and a violent assault on autocratic authority. Deftly combining riveting historical narrative with penetrating literary analysis of major and minor works, Patyk’s groundbreaking book reveals the power of the word to spawn deeds and the power of literature to usher new realities into the world.
Written in Blood offers a fundamentally new interpretation of the emergence of modern terrorism, arguing that it formed in the Russian literary imagination well before any shot was fired or bomb exploded. In March 1881, Russia stunned the world when a small band of revolutionaries calling themselves "terrorists" assassinated the Tsar-Liberator, Alexander II. Horrified Russians blamed the influence of European political and social ideas, while shocked Europeans perceived something new and distinctly Russian in a strategy of political violence that became known the world over as "terrorism" or "the Russian method."
Lynn Ellen Patyk contends that the prototype for the terrorist was the Russian writer, whose seditious word was interpreted as an audacious deed—and a violent assault on autocratic authority. The interplay and interchangeability of word and deed, Patyk argues, laid the semiotic groundwork for the symbolic act of violence at the center of revolutionary terrorism. While demonstrating how literary culture fostered the ethos, pathos, and image of the revolutionary terrorist and terrorism, she spotlights Fyodor Dostoevsky and his "terrorism trilogy"—Crime and Punishment (1866), Demons (1870–73), and The Brothers Karamazov (1878–80)—as novels that uniquely illuminate terrorism's methods and trajectory. Deftly combining riveting historical narrative with penetrating literary analysis of major and minor works, Patyk's groundbreaking book reveals the power of the word to spawn deeds and the power of literature to usher new realities into the world.
Is it “Stalinist” for a formerly communist country to tear down a statue of Stalin? Should the Confederate flag be allowed to fly over the South Carolina state capitol? Is it possible for America to honor General Custer and the Sioux Nation, Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln? Indeed, can a liberal, multicultural society memorialize anyone at all, or is it committed to a strict neutrality about the quality of the lives led by its citizens?
In Written in Stone, legal scholar Sanford Levinson considers the tangled responses of ever-changing societies to the monuments and commemorations created by past regimes or outmoded cultural and political systems. Drawing on examples from Albania to Zimbabwe, from Moscow to Managua, and paying particular attention to examples throughout the American South, Levinson looks at social and legal arguments regarding the display, construction, modification, and destruction of public monuments. He asks what kinds of claims the past has on the present, particularly if the present is defined in dramatic opposition to its past values. In addition, he addresses the possibilities for responding to the use and abuse of public spaces and explores how a culture might memorialize its historical figures and events in ways that are beneficial to all its members.
Written in Stone is a meditation on how national cultures have been or may yet be defined through the deployment of public monuments. It adds a thoughtful and crucial voice into debates surrounding historical accuracy and representation, and will be welcomed by the many readers concerned with such issues.
Twentieth Anniversary Edition with a new preface and afterword
From the removal of Confederate monuments in New Orleans in the spring of 2017 to the violent aftermath of the white nationalist march on the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville later that summer, debates and conflicts over the memorialization of Confederate “heroes” have stormed to the forefront of popular American political and cultural discourse. In Written in Stone Sanford Levinson considers the tangled responses to controversial monuments and commemorations while examining how those with political power configure public spaces in ways that shape public memory and politics. Paying particular attention to the American South, though drawing examples as well from elsewhere in the United States and throughout the world, Levinson shows how the social and legal arguments regarding the display, construction, modification, and destruction of public monuments mark the seemingly endless confrontation over the symbolism attached to public space.
This twentieth anniversary edition of Written in Stone includes a new preface and an extensive afterword that takes account of recent events in cities, schools and universities, and public spaces throughout the United States and elsewhere. Twenty years on, Levinson's work is more timely and relevant than ever.
For twenty years, the Poets on Poetry series, under the editorship of Donald Hall, has provided readers with a variety of prose reflections, interviews, essays, and other works by America's leading contemporary poets. With Written in Water, Written in Stone, Martin Lammon celebrates the longevity and literary success of the series by gathering together exemplary selections from many of its volumes. Organized by theme ranging from language and form, politics and poetry, to the literary industry, Written in Water, Written in Stone offers a remarkable survey of the salient issues that concern contemporary poets and their readers.
Included are selections from, among others, Robert Bly, Hayden Carruth, Amy Clampitt, Robert Creeley, Tess Gallagher, Donald Hall, Robert Hayden, Galway Kinnell, Richard Kostelanetz, Maxine Kumin, Philip Levine, Marge Piercy, Anne Sexton, Charles Simic, Louis Simpson, William Stafford, Diane Wakoski, Charles Wright, and James Wright. This diverse collection of popular contemporary poets is sure to appeal to a wide range of readers.
Martin Lammon teaches creative writing at Fairmont State College. He is a poet and editor of the literary magazine Kestrel.
Paleography, which often overlaps with archaeology, deciphers ancient inscriptions and modes of writing to reveal the knowledge and workings of earlier societies. In this now-classic paleographic study of China, Tsuen-Hsuin Tsien traces the development of Chinese writing from the earliest inscriptions to the advent of printing, with specific attention to the tools and media used. This edition includes material that treats the many major documents and ancient Chinese artifacts uncovered over the forty years since the book’s first publication, as well as an afterword by Edward L. Shaughnessy.
Written on Bamboo and Silk has long been considered a landmark in its field. Critical in this regard is the excavation of numerous sites throughout China, where hundreds of thousands of documents written on bamboo and silk—as well as other media—were found, including some of the earliest copies of historical, medical, astronomical, military, and religious texts that are now essential to the study of early Chinese literature, history, and philosophy. Discoveries such as these have made the amount of material evidence on the origins and evolution of communication throughout Chinese history exceedingly broad and rich, and yet Tsien succeeds in tackling it all and building on the earlier classic work that changed