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A radical look at Jane Austen As you've never seen her - as a lover of farce, comic theatre and juvenilia. The Genius of Jane Austen celebrates Britain's favourite novelist 200 years after her death and explores why her books make such awesome movies, time after time. Jane Austen loved the theatre. She learned much of her art from a long tradition of English comic drama and took joyous participation in amateur theatricals. Her juvenilia, then Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Emma were shaped by the arts of theatrical comedy. Her admiration for drama's dialogue, characterisation, plotting, exits and entrances is why she has been dramatised so successfully on screen in the last twenty years - and these versions are at the centre of her continuing fame, culminating in her celebration on GBP10 note. Austen expert and author of The Real Jane Austen, Paula Byrne looks at stage adaptations of Austen's novels (including one called Miss Elizabeth Bennet by A. A. Milne) to modern classics, including the BBC Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion, Emma Thompson's Sense and Sensibility, and the phenomenally brilliant and successful Clueless, The Genius of Jane Austen presents an Austen not of prim manners and genteel calm, but filled with wild comedy and outrageous behaviour.
Flannery O'Connor spent most of her life in Georgia. Most of O'Connor's fiction is also set in the state, in locales rich in symbolism and the ambience of southern rural and small-town life. Filled with contemporary and historical photos, this guide introduces O'Connor's readers to the places where the great writer lived and worked--places whose features and details sometimes found their way into her fiction.
The guide describes such places as O'Connor's childhood home in Savannah; the Governor's Mansion, Cline House, and Central State Hospital in Milledgeville; and the family farm, Andalusia. Numerous facts about O'Connor and the people closest to her are woven into the site descriptions, as are critical observations about her Catholicism, her acute sense of character and place, and her fierce sense of humor.
Features include: More than fifty full-color contemporary photographs and numerous black-and-white historical imagesAn overview and chronology of O'Connor's life and legacyMaps to sites in Savannah, Milledgeville, and the house and grounds at AndalusiaDiscussions of O'Connor's life and writingsListing of O'Connor's works and suggestions for further reading
All author royalties from sales of the guide will be donated to the Flannery O'Connor-Andalusia Foundation.
*BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week* Benjamin Zephaniah, who has travelled the world for his art and his humanitarianism, now tells the one story that encompasses it all: the story of his life. In the early 1980s when punks and Rastas were on the streets protesting about unemployment, homelessness and the National Front, Benjamin's poetry could be heard at demonstrations, outside police stations and on the dance floor. His mission was to take poetry everywhere, and to popularise it by reaching people who didn't read books. His poetry was political, musical, radical and relevant. By the early 1990s, Benjamin had performed on every continent in the world (a feat which he achieved in only one year) and he hasn't stopped performing and touring since. Nelson Mandela, after hearing Benjamin's tribute to him while he was in prison, requested an introduction to the poet that grew into a lifelong relationship, inspiring Benjamin's work with children in South Africa. Benjamin would also go on to be the first artist to record with The Wailers after the death of Bob Marley in a musical tribute to Nelson Mandela. The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah is a truly extraordinary life story which celebrates the power of poetry and the importance of pushing boundaries with the arts.
J.M. Coetzee is one of the world's most intriguing authors. Compelling, razor-sharp, erudite: the adjectives pile up but the heart of the fiction remains elusive. Now, in J.M. Coetzee and the Life of Writing, David Attwell explores the extraordinary creative processes behind Coetzee's novels from Dusklands to The Childhood of Jesus. Using Coetzee's manuscripts, notebooks, and research papers-recently deposited at the Harry Ransom Center of the University of Texas at Austin-Attwell produces a fascinating story. He shows convincingly that Coetzee's work is strongly autobiographical, the memoirs being continuous with the fictions, and that his writing proceeds with never-ending self-reflection. Having worked closely with him on Doubling the Point: Essays and Interviews and given early access to Coetzee's archive, David Attwell is an engaging, authoritative source. J. M. Coetzee and the Life of Writing is a fresh, fascinating take on one of the most important and opaque literary figures of our time. This moving account will change the way Coetzee is read, by teachers, critics, and general readers.
Although isolated and detailed analyses of individual texts and paintings form the basis of our scholarly engagement with literature and painting, the simultaneous consideration of text and image yields a richer appreciation of the multi-facetted work of writer and painter, Breyten Breytenbach. This book argues that writing and painting form two manifestations of one and the same creative force, and should be read as such. His imaginary world finds expression in the sister arts, linked in western culture since antiquity: Ut pictura poesis, poetry is like painting. And, by extension, painting is like poetry. Yet, internationally, the substantial body of academic analyses of Breyten Breytenbach’s oeuvre pays scant attention to his painting, limiting our knowledge. If the lines “the hospitals of Paris are crammed with pasty people/standing at the windows making threatening gestures/like the angels in the furnace” will be immediately recognised by any Breytenbach scholar, a major work like L’attrape-pigeon, painted in prison in spite of the formal prohibition on painting, is unknown and would be recognised as a work by Breytenbach by very few (and the story of how the painting got to be made in prison, also remains to be told). The Breytenbach scholar’s musee imaginaire, the museum of works of art that can be called up by the mind’s eye, is regrettably poor. It is my conviction that, in engaging with Breytenbach’s oeuvre, his poems, works of fiction or essays are not more important than his paintings. This would imply that, in spite of the presence of his poetry and prose in school and university syllabi, in spite of the numerous theses on university library bookshelves and in spite of the growing body of literary criticism, his oeuvre has been only partially read, precisely because his painterly oeuvre is not taken into account.
First published in 2001, Achille Mbembe's landmark book, On the postcolony, continues to renew our understanding of power and subjectivity in Africa. This edition has been updated with a foreword by professor of African literature, Isabel Hofmeyr, and a preface by the author. In a series of provocative essays, Mbembe contests die hard Africanist and nativist perspectives as well as some of the key assumptions of postcolonial theory. Through his provocation, the `banality of power', Mbembe reinterprets the meanings of death, utopia and the divine libido as part of the new theoretical perspectives he offers on the constitution of power in Africa. He works with the complex registers of bodily subjectivity - violence, wonder and laughter - to contest categories of oppression and resistance, autonomy and subjection, and state and civil society that marked the social theory of the late twentieth century. On the postcolony, like Frantz Fanon's Black skins, white masks, will remain a text of profound importance in the discourse of anticolonial and anti-imperial struggles.
A dazzling account of the development of American cultural hegemony from one of the world's leading literary theorists. Franco Moretti, acclaimed author of Graphs, Maps, Trees and Distant Reading, distils a lifetime of teaching and research to present `the university, in the form of an essay'. Ranging from poetry and the novel to theatre and the visual arts, Far Country juxtaposes canonical figures in American art and letters with European counterparts-Whitman and Baudelaire, Hemingway and Joyce, Miller and Brecht, Hopper and Vermeer-charting ruptures in the medium of form that have transformed the cultural landscape on either side of the Atlantic over the past century or more, as the `how', `why' and `what for' of literature react to the discord of social life.
A working father whose life no longer feels like his own discovers the transforming powers of great (and downright terrible) literature in this laugh-out-loud memoir. Andy Miller had a job he quite liked, a family he loved and no time at all for reading. Or so he kept telling himself. But, no matter how busy or tired he was, something kept niggling at him. Books. Books he'd always wanted to read. Books he'd said he'd read, when he hadn't. Books that whispered the promise of escape from the 6.44 to London. And so, with the turn of a page, began a year of reading that was to transform Andy's life completely. This book is Andy's inspirational and very funny account of his expedition through literature: classic, cult and everything in-between. Crack the spine of your unread `Middlemarch', discover what `The Da Vinci Code' and `Moby-Dick' have in common (everything, surprisingly) and knock yourself out with a new-found enthusiasm for Tolstoy, Douglas Adams and `The Epic of Gilgamesh'. `The Year of Reading Dangerously' is a reader's odyssey and it begins with opening this book...
"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." Hemingway's memories of his life as an unknown writer living in Paris in the 1920's are deeply personal, warmly affectionate and full of wit. Looking back not only at his own much younger self, but also at the other writers who shared Paris with him - literary 'stars' like James Joyce, Wyndham Lewis, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein - he recalls the time when, poor, happy and writing in cafes, he discovered his vocation. A Moveable Feast was written during the last years of Hemingway's life, and is a lively and powerful reflection of his genius that scintillates with the romance of the city.
This richly illustrated book explores the huge creative endeavour behind Tolkien's enduring popularity. Lavishly illustrated with over 300 images of his manuscripts, drawings, maps and letters, the book traces the creative process behind his most famous literary works - 'The Hobbit', 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'The Silmarillion' and reproduces personal photographs and private papers,some of which have never been seen before in print. Tolkien drew on his deep knowledge of medieval literature and language to inform his literary imagination. Six introductory essays cover some of the main themes in Tolkien's life and work including the influence of northern languages and legends on the creation of his own legendarium; his concept of `Faerie' as a literary construct; the central importance of his invented languages in his fantasy writing; his visual imagination and its emergence in his artwork; and the encouragement he derived from the literary group known as the Inklings. This book brings together the largest collection of original Tolkien material ever assembled in a single volume. Drawing on the archives of the Tolkien collections at the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford, and Marquette University, Milwaukee, as well as private collections, this exquisitely produced catalogue draws together the worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien - scholarly, literary, creative and domestic - offering a rich and detailed understanding and appreciation of this extraordinary author.
Published to celebrate Faber's 90th anniversary, this is the story of one of the world's greatest publishing houses - a delight for all readers who are curious about the business of writing.
'The creation story of Faber is a striking drama ... Celebrating its 90th birthday this year, Faber boasts a phenomenal roster of successes ... What stays in the mind are some brilliant vignettes.' Sunday Times
The names of T. S. Eliot, William Golding, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath and Seamus Heaney are synonymous with the publishing house Faber & Faber, founded in Bloomsbury in 1929. But behind these stellar literary talents was a tiny firm that had to battle the Great Depression, wartime paper shortages and dramatic financial crises to retain its independence. This intimate history of Faber & Faber weaves together the most entertaining, moving and surprising letters, diaries and materials from the archive to reveal the untold stories behind some of the greatest literature of the twentieth century.
Highlights include Eliot's magnificent reading reports, Samuel Beckett on swearing and censorship, the publication of Finnegans Wake, the rejection of George Orwell's Animal Farm, P. D. James on tasting her first avocado, the first reader's response to Heaney's Death of a Naturalist, Philip Larkin's reluctance to attend poetry readings ('people's imaginary picture of you is always so much more flattering than the reality') and the discovery of Kazuo Ishiguro. The result is both a vibrant history and a hymn to the role of literature in all our lives.
'I admire the freshness and attack of her writing, the passion and curiosity that light up the page. The book does something very important - it makes you impatient to see or re-read the plays at once' Hilary Mantel A genius and prophet whose timeless works encapsulate the human condition like no others. A writer who surpassed his contemporaries in vision, originality and literary mastery. Who wrote like an angel, putting it all so much better than anyone else. Is this Shakespeare? Well, sort of. But it doesn't really tell us the whole truth. So much of what we say about Shakespeare is either not true, or just not relevant, deflecting us from investigating the challenges of his inconsistencies and flaws. This electrifying new book thrives on revealing, not resolving, the ambiguities of Shakespeare's plays and their changing topicality. It introduces an intellectually, theatrically and ethically exciting writer who engages with intersectionality as much as with Ovid, with economics as much as poetry: who writes in strikingly modern ways about individual agency, privacy, politics, celebrity and sex. It takes us into a world of politicking and copy-catting, as we watch him emulating the blockbusters of Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Kyd, the Spielberg and Tarantino of their day; flirting with and skirting round the cut-throat issues of succession politics, religious upheaval and technological change. The Shakespeare in this book poses awkward questions rather than offering bland answers, always implicating us in working out what it might mean. This is Shakespeare. And he needs your attention.
One day in the summer of 2016, Michael Harding's wife brought an unusual gift home from Warsaw. All of a sudden, he found himself falling back into the old religious devotions of an earlier time. The meaning he had found through years of engagement with therapy began to dissolve. Here, in On Tuesdays I'm a Buddhist, Harding examines the search for meaning in life which keeps him fastened to the idea of god. After many therapy sessions focused on an effort to uncover personal truth, and long solitary months on the road with a one man show, Harding is finally led to an artists' retreat in the shadow of Skellig Michael. Mixing stories from the road with dispatches from his Irish Times columns, On Tuesdays I'm a Buddhist is a spell-binding and powerful book about the human condition, the narratives we weave around the self, and the ultimate bliss of living in the present moment. 'What happens between one story and the next? That's the really interesting part. That's the space where we find bliss; where we float sometimes, suspended, and only for a brief moment. Perhaps only for a few scarce moments in an entire life.'
This textbook is endorsed by OCR and supports the specifications for AS and A-Level Classical Civilisation (first teaching September 2017). It covers all three options for Component 11: World of the Hero (Homer's Iliad, Homer's Odyssey and Virgil's Aeneid). Why does the Trojan War continue to fascinate us? What makes Odysseus a hero? What links can be drawn between the Aeneid and today's global politics? This book guides AS and A-Level students to a greater understanding of the epics of Homer and Virgil, setting the poems in their cultural context and drawing on the scholarship of leading academics to explore the poetry, characters and underlying philosophies. The colour illustrations, from the Cyclops on a Greek pot to a photograph of protesting Yadizi women, reflect the universal impact and continuing relevance of these classical epics. The ideal preparation for the final examinations, all content is presented by an expert and experienced teacher in a clear and accessible narrative. Ancient literary sources are described and analysed. Helpful student features include study questions, quotations from contemporary scholars, further reading, and boxes focusing in on key people, events and terms. Practice questions and exam guidance prepare students for assessment. A Companion Website is available at www.bloomsbury.com/class-civ-as-a-level.
Dylan Thomas's letters bring the fascinating and tempestuous poet and his times to life in a way that no biography can. The letters begin in the poet's schooldays and end just before his death in New York at the age of 39. In between, he loved, wrote, drank, begged and borrowed his way through a flamboyant life. He was an enthusiastic critic of other writers' work and the letters are full of his thoughts on the work of his contemporaries, from T.S. Eliot and W.H. Auden to Stephen Spender and Cecil Day-Lewis. A lifetime of letters tell a remarkable story, each taking the reader a little further along the path of the poet's self-destruction, but written with such verve and lyricism that somehow the reader's sympathies never quite abandon him.
Worlds in one country is a compact, inclusive history of writing in South Africa from the nineteenth century to 1994 that crosses boundaries of language and colour, including prose, poetry and theatre. It is an accessible story rather than a theoretical analysis, relating the evolution of writing to the history of the country. Worlds in one country is punctuated with significant and often well-known quotes taken from novels, short stories, poems and plays as well as from statements by writers themselves. At the same time there is precise referencing to works cited, an extensive bibliography and comprehensive index. This story takes the reader from the colonial period and early white exploration, through references to black mythology and affirmations of black and then Afrikaner identity, to writing in the city before and after 1948, through the watersheds of Sharpeville in 1960, Soweto in 1976 and the troubles preceding 1994. Readers will gain an overview of South African writing, beyond the differences of language and colour of what has been a highly fragmented society.
Investigating the literary culture of the early interaction between European countries and East Africa, Edward Wilson-Lee uncovers an extraordinary sequence of stories in which explorers, railway labourers, decadent emigres, freedom fighters, and pioneering African leaders made Shakespeare their own in this alien land. Exploring the unexpected history of Shakespeare's global legacy, Shakespeare in Swahililand is a breathtaking combination of travel, history, biography and satire. It traces Shakespeare's influence in Zanzibar, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya - where Cambridge lecturer Edward Wilson-Lee was raised. From Victorian expeditions in which the Bard's works were the sole reading material, Wilson-Lee shows how Shakespeare's works have been a vital touchstone throughout the region. The Plays were printed by liberated slaves as one of the first texts in Swahili, performed by Indian labourers while they built the Uganda Railway, used to argue for native rights, and translated by intellectuals, revolutionaries and independence leaders. Revealing how great works can provide a key insight into modern history, these stories investigate the astonishing poignancy of beauty out of place.
'I find it impossible to imagine anyone better read than White . Wisdom and a certain kind of tenderness are to be found on every page' Observer
Edmund White made his name as a writer, but he remembers his life through the books he read. For White, each momentous occasion came with books to match: Proust's Remembrance of Things Past, which opened up the seemingly closed world of homosexuality; the Ezra Pound poems adored by a lover he followed to New York; the biography of Stephen Crane that inspired one of White's novels.
White's larger-than-life presence on the literary scene lends itself to fascinating, intimate insights into the lives of some of the world's best-loved cultural figures. Blending memoir and literary criticism, The Unpunished Vice is a sensitive, smart account of a life in literature.
Hailed as 'the indispensable critic' by The New York Review of Books, Harold Bloom has for decades been sharing with readers and students his genius and passion for understanding literature and explaining why it matters. In The Daemon Knows, he turns his attention to the writers of his own national literature in a book that is one of his most incisive and profoundly personal to date. Pairing Walt Whitman with Herman Melville, Ralph Waldo Emerson with Emily Dickinson, Nathaniel Hawthorne with Henry James, Mark Twain with Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens with T. S. Eliot, and William Faulkner with Hart Crane, Bloom places these writers' works in conversation with one another, exploring their relationship to the 'daemon'-the spark of genius or Orphic muse-in their creation, and helping us understand their writing with new immediacy and relevance. It is above all the intensity of their preoccupation with the sublime, Bloom suggests, that distinguishes these American writers from their European predecessors. A product of five years of writing and a lifetime of reading and scholarship, The Daemon Knows may be Bloom's most masterly book yet.
According to Rodger Kamenetz, Allen Afterman's Kabbalah and Consciousness makes the major traditions of Jewish mysticism more clear and profoundly revealing than any other work on the subject. Elie Wiesel says, "Poetry and mysticism are magnificently reconciled in Allen Afterman's book on Kabbalah's secret imagery and silent invocations." Here also is Afterman's poetry, described by Yehuda Amichai as "an almost private religious poetry for our post-religious age." The book includes an important interview with the author.
Joseph Heller takes us on a fascinating journey back to his upbringing in a poor Jewish neighbourhood in Coney Island, through his World War II experiences as a bombardier in the American Air Force, to his life as an internationally acclaimed author. He tells of his tough upbringing during the Depression, and of the affection he retained for the kitsch, ragged, down market Coney Island of his youth. He describes, in intimate detail, his first love Luciana, and writes about the people and events, both tragic and hilarious, he was to translate into such memorable characters as Milo Minderbinder, The Chaplain, Major Major Major Major and the unforgettable Yossarian. In NOW AND THEN we are afforded a privileged insight into the mind of one of the twentieth century's greatest literary talents.
*BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week* 'The Life and Rhymes has a performative quality reminiscent of Zephaniah's poetry - honest, unshowy and ultimately unthreatening. It matches the man.' The Guardian Benjamin Zephaniah, who has travelled the world for his art and his humanitarianism, now tells the one story that encompasses it all: the story of his life. In the early 1980s when punks and Rastas were on the streets protesting about unemployment, homelessness and the National Front, Benjamin's poetry could be heard at demonstrations, outside police stations and on the dance floor. His mission was to take poetry everywhere, and to popularise it by reaching people who didn't read books. His poetry was political, musical, radical and relevant. By the early 1990s, Benjamin had performed on every continent in the world (a feat which he achieved in only one year) and he hasn't stopped performing and touring since. Nelson Mandela, after hearing Benjamin's tribute to him while he was in prison, requested an introduction to the poet that grew into a lifelong relationship, inspiring Benjamin's work with children in South Africa. Benjamin would also go on to be the first artist to record with The Wailers after the death of Bob Marley in a musical tribute to Nelson Mandela. The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah is a truly extraordinary life story which celebrates the power of poetry and the importance of pushing boundaries with the arts.
The definitive edition of Dylan Thomas's five published volumes of poems: 18 POEMS, TWENTY-FIVE POEMS, THE MAP OF LOVE, DEATHS AND ENTRANCES and IN COUNTRY SLEEP. Dylan Thomas wrote passionately about life in all its moods and moments: from the first thrilling moments of childbirth to the darker moments of death and loss. COLLECTED POEMS is introduced by the poet himself with a passionate seashore 'Prologue', in which the self-styled Noah of poetry builds his ark against ruin. This edition includes his last, unfinished poem 'Elegy', and the opening of 'In Country Heaven' - an ambitious project conceived after the dropping of the atom bomb.
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