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2015 marks the four hundredth anniversary of the publication of the complete Don Quixote of La Mancha-an ageless masterpiece that is unusually fertile and endlessly adaptable. Flaubert was inspired to turn Emma Bovary into "a knight in skirts". Freud studied Quixote's psyche. Twain was fascinated by it, as were Kafka, Picasso, Nabokov, Borges and Welles. The novel has spawned ballets and operas, poems and plays, films and video games, and even shapes the identities of nations. In Quixote, Ilan Stavans, one of today's pre-eminent cultural commentators, explores these many manifestations. Training his eye on the tumultuous struggle between logic and dreams, he reveals the ways in which a work of literature is a living thing that influences and is influenced by the world around it.
Elephants are in dire straits – again. They were virtually extirpated from much of Africa by European hunters in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but their numbers resurged for a while in the heyday of late-colonial conservation efforts in the twentieth. Now, according to one estimate, an elephant is being killed every fifteen minutes. This is at the same time that the reasons for being especially compassionate and protective towards elephants are now so well-known that they have become almost a cliche: their high intelligence, rich emotional lives including a capacity for mourning, caring matriarchal societal structures, that strangely charismatic grace. Saving elephants is one of the iconic conservation struggles of our time. As a society we must aspire to understand how and why people develop compassion – or fail to do so – and what stories we tell ourselves about animals that reveal the relationship between ourselves and animals. This book is the first study to probe the primary features, and possible effects, of some major literary genres as they pertain to elephants south of the Zambezi over three centuries: indigenous forms, early European travelogues, hunting accounts, novels, game ranger memoirs, scientists’ accounts, and poems. It examines what these literatures imply about the various and diverse attitudes towards elephants, about who shows compassion towards them, in what ways and why. It is the story of a developing contestation between death and compassion, between those who kill and those who love and protect.
T. S. Eliot once spoke of a lifetime burning in every moment. He had the mind to conceive a perfect life, and he also had the honesty to admit he could not meet it. 'He was a man of extremes whose deep flaws and high virtues were interfused,' writes Lyndall Gordon in this perceptive and innovative biography of the great poet. She brilliantly explores his poetry, drama and essays in relationship to the four quite different women in his life and to his time in America and England. The Imperfect Life of T.S. Eliot follows the trials of a searcher whose flaws and doubts speak to all of us whose lives are imperfect.
From its birth in 1925 to the early days of the Cold War, The New Yorker slowly but surely took hold as America's most prestigious, entertaining and informative general-interest periodical. In Cast of Characters, Thomas Vinciguerra paints a portrait of the magazine's cadre of charming, driven, troubled brilliant writers and editors. Many of these characters became legends in their own right but Vinciguerra also shows how, as a group, The New Yorker's inner circle brought forth a profound transformation in how life was perceived, interpreted, written about and published in America. Cast of Characters is the most revealing and entertaining book yet about the personalities who built what Ross called not a magazine but a "movement".
For avid readers and the uninitiated alike, this is a chance to reengage with classic literature and to stay inspired and entertained. The concept of the magazine is simple: the first half is a long-form interview with a notable book fanatic and the second half explores one classic work of literature from an array of surprising and invigorating angles.
The Life of Christ (Vita Christi), written by the abbess Isabel de Villena, is the only literary work to have been preserved in Catalan and to bear the signature of a woman during the Middle Ages. It was composed to provide spiritual direction for the nuns within the community of Poor Clares which Sor (i.e. Sister) Isabel oversaw at the Convent of the Holy Trinity in Valencia. The work was only able to emerge from obscurity by accident. In 1497 Queen Isabel of Castile, the wife of Ferdinand of Catalonia-Aragon, who had heard news of the book's existence, asked Sor Isabel's successor for a copy. The new Abbess, Sor Aldonca, responded by bringing the work to press. Queen Isabel's interest in Sor Isabel's book was understandable. The former abbess had been the daughter of the refined and restless Marquess of Villena, and was herself educated at Court, a milieu with which she maintained very positive relations throughout her life. As an abbess, what's more, she carried out important reforms at the convent and became a valued and respected figure within the dynamic cultural world of the Valencia of her day. Isabel de Villena's Vita Christi has often been interpreted as a response, delivered from the serenity of the cloister, to the misogyny and satire against the female gender emanating from certain books written at that time. Sor Isabel's work is a re-evaluation of the role women played in the life of Jesus Christ, a role at variance with the subsidiary one ascribed to them by the majority of commentators. Published in association with Editorial Barcino, Barcelona.
"This edited volume will make a major contribution to our appreciation of the importance of classical literature and learning in medieval Ireland, and particularly to our understanding of its role in shaping the content, structure and transmission of medieval Irish narrative." Dr Kevin Murray, Department of Early and Medieval Irish, University College Cork. From the tenth century onwards, Irish scholars adapted Latin epics and legendary histories into the Irish language, including the Imtheachta Aeniasa, the earliest known adaptation of Virgil's Aeneid into any European vernacular; Togail Troi, a grand epic reworking of the decidedly prosaic history of the fall of Troy attributed to Dares Phrygius; and, at the other extreme, the remarkable Merugud Uilixis meic Leirtis, a fable-like retelling of Ulysses's homecoming boiled down to a few hundred lines of lapidary prose. Both the Latin originals and their Irish adaptations had a profound impact on the ways in which Irish authors wrote narratives about their own legendary past, notably the great saga Tain Bo Cuailnge (The Cattle-Raid of Cooley). The essays in this book explore the ways in which these Latin texts and techniques were used. The chapters of this book are unified by a conviction that classical learning and literature were central to the culture of medieval Irish storytelling, but precisely how this relationship played out is a matter of ongoing debate. As a result, they engage in dialogue with each other, using methods drawn from a wide range of disciplines (philology, classical studies, comparative literature, translation studies, and folkloristics). Ralph O'Connor is Professor in the Literature and Culture of Britain, Ireland and Iceland at the University of Aberdeen. Contributors: Erich Poppe, Helen Fulton, Robert Crampton, Barbara Hillers, Michael Clarke, Maire Ni Mhaonaigh, Ralph O'Connor, Abigail Burnyeat
From Jonathan Swift to Washington Irving, those looking to propose and justify exceptions to social and political norms turned to Cervantes's notoriously mad comic hero as a model. A World of Disorderly Notions examines the literary and political effects of Don Quixote, arguing that what makes this iconic character so influential across oceans and cultures is not his madness but his logic. Aaron Hanlon contends that the logic of quixotism is in fact exceptionalism-the strategy of rendering oneself an exception to everyone else's rules. As British and American societies of the Enlightenment developed the need to question the acceptance of various forms of imperialism and social contract theory-and to explain both the virtues and limitations of revolutions past and ongoing-it was Quixote's exceptionalism, not his madness, that captured the imaginations of so many writers and statesmen. As a consequence, the eighteenth century witnessed an explosion of imitations of Quixote in fiction and polemical writing, by writers such as Jonathan Swift, Charlotte Lennox, Henry Fielding, and Washington Irving, among others. Combining literary history and political theory, Hanlon clarifies an ongoing and immediately relevant history of exceptionalism, of how states from Golden Age Spain to imperial Britain to the formative United States rendered themselves exceptions so they could act with impunity. In so doing, he tells the story of how Quixote became exceptional.
Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" is arguably the most important written document of the civil rights protest era and a widely read modern literary classic. Personally addressed to eight white Birmingham clergymen who sought to avoid violence by publicly discouraging King's civil rights demonstrations in Birmingham, the nationally published "Letter" captured the essence of the struggle for racial equality and provided a blistering critique of the gradualist approach to racial justice. It soon became part of American folklore, and the image of King penning his epistle from a prison cell remains among the most moving of the era. Yet as S. Jonathan Bass explains in the first comprehensive history of King's "Letter," this image and the piece's literary appeal conceal a much more complex tale.
A scintillating novel about acerbic, ninety-year-old Anna who in death is refreshingly freed from the chains of mortal life.
"Once her dying got underway, Anna could not really complain about the way the process moved along." So begins this deftly amusing, wryly perceptive look at the passing of a feisty, funny woman. During the four-day limbo that bridges her death and burial, Anna, who is "infinitely present, never dead, never stupid, and never done with it all, " gets to investigate the preparations for her own funeral, the true nature of her sister's suicide attempt, and the revelations of her own sexual abuse by her half-brother.
She contemplates her parents -- her impoverished Polish Jewish mother, her father who was obsessed with his digestive system -- and she longs to remember her beloved husband, who is all but buried by time. She considers the origins of her bigotry and her reluctant capitulation to romantic and physical love.
In her final moments of consciousness, Anna has the last word on her own secrets and crimes before stepping into eternity.
This work covers the life of a remarkable Adirondack woman (model, journalist, and poet) and provides readers with an insider's view into art and literature during the birth of the Age of Modernism.
The selected plays show the extraordinary variety of Irish drama today as well as the brilliance of Irish playwrights, both seasoned veterans and those beginning to build reputations on the stages of the world's premier national theatre, The Abbey. The first play by award-winning playwright Michael Harding, ""Sour Grapes"", explores the taboos of seminary life including paedophilia and homosexuality. Thomas Kilroy's ""The Secret Fall of Constance Wilde"" tells the historical drama of the marriage of Constance to Oscar Wilde and recounts the tragedy that was her marriage and life. Interlocking lives of a varied group of eight morally adrift young Dublin women and men, Alex Johnston's dramatic comedy ""Melonfarmer"" illuminates the difficulty of human communication in a fast-paced urban society. ""By the Bog of Cats"" by Marina Carr completes the volume in an intense, poetic tragedy of brutal Irish rural-Midlands life in which money and land outweigh all other values.
A century of Asian American writing has generated a forceful cascade of "bold words." This anthology covers writings by Asian Americans in all genres, from the early twentieth century to the present. Some sixty authors of Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, South Asian, and Southeast Asian American origin are represented, with an equal split between male and female writers. The collection is divided into four sections-memoir, fiction, poetry, and drama-prefaced by an introductory essay from a well-known practitioner of that genre: Meena Alexander on memoir, Gary Pak on fiction, Eileen Tabios on poetry, and Roberta Uno on drama. The selections depict the complex realities and wide range of experiences of Asians in the United States. They illuminate the writers' creative responses to issues as diverse as resistance, aesthetics, biculturalism, sexuality, gender relations, racism, war, diaspora, and family. Rajini Srikanth teaches at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She is the coeditor of the award-winning anthology Contours of the Heart: South Asians Map North America and the collection A Part, Yet Apart: South Asians in Asian America. Esther Y. Iwanaga teaches Asian American literature and literature-based writing courses at Wellesley College and the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
A collection of political tales "first published in British workers (TM) magazines "selected and introduced by acclaimed critic and author Michael Rosen In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, unique tales inspired by traditional literary forms appeared frequently in socialist-leaning British periodicals, such as the Clarion, Labour Leader, and Social Democrat. Based on familiar genres "the fairy tale, fable, allegory, parable, and moral tale "and penned by a range of lesser-known and celebrated authors, including Schalom Asch, Charles Allen Clarke, Frederick James Gould, and William Morris, these stories were meant to entertain readers of all ages "and some challenged the conventional values promoted in children (TM)s literature for the middle class. In Workers (TM) Tales, acclaimed critic and author Michael Rosen brings together more than forty of the best and most enduring examples of these stories in one beautiful volume. Throughout, the tales in this collection exemplify themes and ideas related to work and the class system, sometimes in wish-fulfilling ways. In oeTom Hickathrift, a little, poor person gets the better of a gigantic, wealthy one. In oeThe Man Without a Heart, a man learns about the value of basic labor after testing out more privileged lives. And in oeThe Political Economist and the Flowers, two contrasting gardeners highlight the cold heart of Darwinian competition. Rosen (TM)s informative introduction describes how such tales advocated for contemporary progressive causes and countered the dominant celebration of Britain (TM)s imperial values. The book includes archival illustrations, biographical notes about the writers, and details about the periodicals where the tales first appeared. Provocative and enlightening, Workers (TM) Tales presents voices of resistance that are more relevant than ever before.
This collection of essays offers an intimate history of Austen's art and life told through objects associated with her personally and with the era in which she lived. Her teenage notebooks, music albums, pelisse-coat, letters, the homemade booklets in which she composed her novels and the portraits made of her during her life all feature in this lavishly illustrated collection. By interpreting the outrageous literary jokes in her early notebooks we can glimpse the shared reading activities of Jane and her family, together with the love of satire and home entertainment which can be traced in the subtler humour of her mature work. It is well known that Austen played the piano but her music books reveal how music was used to create networks far more intricate than the simple pleasures of home recital. Examination of Austen's pelisse-coat tells us something about her physique and, with the lively letters to her sister Cassandra, gives an insight into her views on fashion. The exploration of yet more objects - the Regency novel, newspaper articles, naval logbooks, and contemporary political cartoons - reveals Austen's filiations with wider social and political worlds. These `things' map the threads connecting her (from India to Bath and from North America to Chawton) to those on the international stage during the wars with France that raged through much of her short life. Finally, this book charts her reputation over the two hundred years since her death, offering fresh interpretations of Jane Austen's changing place in the world.
J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and The Silmarillion are some of the greatest tales of good versus evil ever told. From the creation of Arda to the War of the Ring, Tolkien's Middle-earth has seen war and rebellion, devastation and loss, in which the powers of darkness emerged. Here in his latest book, best-selling author and Tolkien expert David Day explores Tolkien's portrayal of evil, and the sources that inspired his work: from myth, literature and history. This work is unofficial and is not authorized by the Tolkien Estate or HarperCollins Publishers.
"Although feminists have studied the social construction of the female body for many decades, few have focused on black women. In Recovering the Black Female Body, the editors present a pioneering collection of original writings by academics and artists on 'how African-American women, from slavery to the present, have represented their physical selves in opposition to the distorted vision of the dominant culture.'"-Publishers Weekly "A collection of essays that examine the complex workings of race, gender and the body. Editors Bennett and Dickerson explain that it seeks to 'amplify' African American women writers' attempts to 'take back their selves and reappropriate and reconstitute a body that has often been hyperoticized or exoticized and made a site of impropriety and crime.'"-The Women's Review of Books "By examining African American women writers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the book not only makes a significant contribution to a body of scholarly work but also attempts to 'recover' a more accurate representation of the African American female body."-DePauw Magazine "A highly original and very informative collection of essays that theorizes the complicated intersection of the black female body and its Western symbolic meanings. The collection is essential for anyone interested in the tensions between post-structuralist and humanist understandings of subject formation, social agency, and performative identity."-Claudia Tate, Princeton University Despite the recent flood of scholarly work investigating race, gender, and representation, little has been written about black women's depictions of their own bodies. Both past and present-day American cultural discourse has attempted to either hypereroticize the black female body or make it a site of impropriety and crime. The essays in this volume focus on how African American women, from the nineteenth century to the present, have represented their physical selves in opposition to the distorted vision of others. Contributors attempt to "recover" the black female body in two ways: they explore how dominant historical images have mediated black female identity, and they analyze how black women have resisted often demeaning popular cultural perceptions in favor of more diverse, subtle presentations of self. The pieces in this book-all of them published here for the first time-address a wide range of topics, from antebellum American poetry to nineteenth-century African American actors and twentieth-century pulp fiction. Recovering the Black Female Body recognizes the pressing need to highlight the vibrant energy of African American women's attempts to wrest control of the physical and symbolic construction of their bodies away from the distortions of others. Michael Bennett is an associate professor of English at Long Island University and coeditor of The Nature of Cities: Ecocriticism and Urban Environments. Vanessa D. Dickerson is an associate professor of English at DePauw University. She is the author of Victorian Ghosts in the Noontide: Women Writers and the Supernatural, and editor of Keeping the Victorian House.
In 1989, the Caribbean writer Edouard Glissant visited Rowan Oak,
William Faulkner's home in Oxford, Mississippi. His visit spurred
him to write a revelatory book about the work of one of our
greatest but still least-understood American writers.
This deeply informed and lavishly illustrated book is a comprehensive introduction to the modern study of Middle English manuscripts. It is intended for students and scholars who are familiar with some of the major Middle English literary works, such as The Canterbury Tales, Gawain and the Green Knight, Piers Plowman, and the romances, mystical works or cycle plays, but who may not know much about the surviving manuscripts. The book approaches these texts in a way that takes into account the whole manuscript or codex its textual and visual contents, physical state, readership, and cultural history. Opening Up Middle English Manuscripts also explores the function of illustrations in fashioning audience response to particular authors and their texts over the course of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
Kathryn Kerby-Fulton, Linda Olson, and Maidie Hilmo scholars at the forefront of the modern study of Middle English manuscripts focus on the writers most often taught in Middle English courses, including Geoffrey Chaucer, William Langland, the Gawain Poet, Thomas Hoccleve, Julian of Norwich, and Margery Kempe, highlighting the specific issues that shaped literary production in late medieval England. Among the topics they address are the rise of the English language, literacy, social conditions of authorship, early instances of the "Alliterative Revival," women and book production, nuns' libraries, patronage, household books, religious and political trends, and attempts at revisionism and censorship. Inspired by the highly successful study of Latin manuscripts by Raymond Clemens and Timothy Graham, Introduction to Manuscript Studies (also published by Cornell), this book demonstrates how the field of Middle English manuscript studies, with its own unique literary and artistic environment, is changing modern approaches to the culture of the book."
'A great galloping joy of a book - funny, lyrical, fast paced, heart-warming - a delicious celebration of love and life' Rebecca Stott, author of In the Days of Rain In 1857, after two years of writing The Life of Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell fled England for Rome on the eve of publication. The project had become so fraught with criticism, with different truths and different lies, that Mrs Gaskell couldn't stand it any more. She threw her book out into the world and disappeared to Italy with her two eldest daughters. In Rome she found excitement, inspiration, and love: a group of artists and writers who would become lifelong friends, and a man - Charles Norton - who would become the love of Mrs Gaskell's life, though they would never be together. In 2013, Nell Stevens is embarking on her Ph.D. - about the community of artists and writers living in Rome in the mid-nineteenth century - and falling drastically in love with a man who lives in another city. As Nell chases her heart around the world, and as Mrs Gaskell forms the greatest connection of her life, these two women, though centuries apart, are drawn together. Mrs Gaskell and Me is about unrequited love and the romance of friendship, it is about forming a way of life outside the conventions of your time, and it offers Nell the opportunity - even as her own relationship falls apart - to give Mrs Gaskell the ending she deserved.
In this authoritative and accessible account of French literature, sixteen essays by leading specialists offer provocative insights into French literary culture, its genres, movements, themes, and historic turning points, including the cultural and linguistic challenges of today's multi-ethnic France. The French have, over the centuries, invented and reinvented writing, from the Arthurian romances of Chretien de Troyes to Montaigne's Essays, which gave the world a new literary form and a new standard for writing about personal thought and experience; from the highly polished tragedies of French classicism to the satirical novels of the Enlightenment; from Proust's explorations of social and sexual mores to the 'New Novel' of the late twentieth century; and from Baudelaire's urban poetry to today's poetic experiments with sound and typography. The broad scope of this Companion, which goes beyond individual authors or periods, enables a deeper appreciation for the distinctive literature of France.
A dissection of the five memoirs of James Herriot, beginning with ""All Creatures Great and Small"". It provides a comprehensive catalogue of the plots and themes, along with observations. It examines why Herriot was so successful and seeks to be enlightening and encouraging for budding writers struggling to get published. Sternlicht is not writing from across the water with no knowledge of Yorkshire or its people: he was appointed Leverhulme Visiting Fellow at the University of York in 1965.
Samuel V. Kennedy offers the first definitive work on the magazine muckraker who became a biographer, novelist, historian, and master storyteller -- Samuel Hopkins Adams (1871-1958).
An upstate New Yorker who graduated from Hamilton College, Adams began his writing career at the legendary New York Sun. He then moved to magazines where he was a medical writer. As a muckraker, he exposed the inefficacy of patent medicines for which Americans spent tens of millions of dollars seeking remedies for everything from the common cold to cancer.
His muckraking and personal lobbying helped gain passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 which earned him honorary membership in the American Medical Association. His success led him to an independent life as a writer for the next half-century.
The book traces the prolific and eclectic writing career of Adams who wrote more than fifty books and wrote the scripts for the films, It Happened One Night (1934) and the 1920's sensation, Flaming Youth. Kennedy offers insight into Adams's relationships with fellow writers, agents, magazine editors, book publishers, and reviewers, which he maintained throughout an illustrious career. Noted for his upstate New York novels and stories, Adams's ability to adapt to changing times while continuing to attack sham and hypocrisy mark his successful career.
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