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This newly commissioned volume presents a focused overview of Dante's masterpiece, the Commedia, offering readers of today wide-ranging insights into the poem and its core features. Leading scholars discuss matters of structure, narrative, language and style, characterization, doctrine, and politics, in chapters that make their own contributions to Dante criticism by raising problems and questions that call for renewed attention, while investigating contextual concerns as well as the current state of criticism about the poem. The Commedia is also placed in a variety of cultural and historical contexts through accounts of the poem's transmission and reception that explore both its contemporary influence and its continuing legacy today. With its accessible approach, its unstinting focus on the poem and its attention to matters that have not always received adequate critical assessment, this volume will be of value to all students and scholars of Dante's great poem.
'A serious work of theory.' The Guardian `Jonathan Allan has come up with a whole theory of the arsehole.' Dazed and Confused In a resolute deviation from the governing totality of the phallus, Reading from Behind offers a radical reorientation of the anus and its role in the collective imaginary. It exposes what is deeply hidden in our cultural production, and challenges the authority of paranoid, critical thought. A beautiful work that invites us beyond the rejection of phallocentricism, to a new way of being and thinking about sex, culture and identity.
Ovid is now firmly established as a central figure in the Latin poetic canon, and his Fasti is his most complex elegy. Drafted alongside the Metamorphoses before the poet's exile, it was only published after the death of Augustus, and involves a wide range of myth, Roman history, religion, astronomy and explication of the calendar. In its aetiology and conversations with gods, it is a Latin equivalent of Callimachus' Aetia. This invaluable new commentary on a central book of the poem explores Ovid's playful inversion of genre, his witty but challenging style of Latin, his use of the elegiac couplet, intertextuality and much more. With a comprehensive introduction providing key background for students and instructors, this guide to Book 3, the first in English for nearly a century, makes use of the latest scholarly research to illuminate Ovid's wide-ranging and amusing account of Roman life.
In this groundbreaking study, Kathaleen E. Amende considers the works and lives of late-twentieth-century southern women writers to explore how conservative Christian ideals of femininity shaped notions of religion, sexuality, and power in the South. Drawing from the work of authors like Rosemary Daniell and Connie May Fowler, whose characters like the authors themselves grow up believing that Jesus should be a girl s first boyfriend, Amende demonstrates many ways in which these writers commingled the sexual and the sacred. Amende also looks at the writings of Lee Smith, Sheri Reynolds, Dorothy Allison, and Valerie Martin and discusses how southern women authors and their characters grappled with opposing cultural expectations. Often in their work, characters mingle spiritual devotion and carnal love, allowing for salvation despite rejecting traditional roles or behaviors. In Martin s A Recent Martyr, novitiate Claire disavows southern norms of femininity courtship, marriage, and motherhood but submits to Jesus as she would to a husband. In Reynolds s Rapture of Canaan, teenage protagonist Ninah Huff imagines that her out-of-wedlock child is the offspring of Christ because of her conviction that Jesus was present during the sexual act that produced him. This tie between sexuality and religion afforded women movement between the two, but any attempt to separate them into compartmentalized spaces, as Amende shows, produces negative consequences from pain and mental illness to an inability to connect with others. Ultimately, women have to find a way to unite the realms of the body and of faith in order to achieve spiritual and romantic fulfillment. As in Dorothy Allison s Bastard Out of Carolina, where, for the protagonist, gospel music includes both the intensity of violent fantasies along with a spiritual yearning, it is only when the erotic and the spiritual coexist that women achieve full self-realization. Grounded in southern cultural and gender studies and informed by historical, religious, and devotional literature, Amende s timely and accessible book offers one the first studies to view the intersection of sexuality and Christianity in southern contexts.
Arthurian romance in Renaissance France has long been treated by modern critics as marginal - although manuscripts and printed volumes, adaptations and rewritings, show just how much writers, and especially publishers, saw its potential attractions for readers. This book is the first full-length study of what happens to Arthur at the beginning of the age of print. It explores the fascinations of Arthurian romance in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, from the magnificent presentation volumes offered by Antoine Verard or Galliot du Pre in the early years of the century to the perfunctory abbreviated Lancelot published by Benoit Rigaud in Lyon in 1591; from Pierre Sala's dutiful "translation" of Yvain to Jean Maugin's exuberant rewriting of the prose Tristan; from attempts at "new" romance like the little-known Giglan to the runaway best-seller Amadis de Gaule. The book's primary focus is the techniques and stratagems employed by publishers and their workshops to renew Arthurian romance for a new readership: the ways in which the publishers, the translators and the adapters of the Renaissance tailor romance to fit new cultural contexts. Their story - which is the story of the rise and fall of one of the great genres of the Middle Ages - allows privileged insights into socio-cultural and ideological attitudes in the France of the Renaissance, and into issues of literary taste, particular patterns of choice and preference. Jane H.M. Taylor is Emeritus Professor of French at Durham University.
The question of the relationship between humanity and the non-human world may seem a modern phenomenon; but in fact, even in the early medieval period people actively reflected on their own engagement with the non-human world, with such reflections profoundly shaping their literature. This book reveals how the Anglo-Saxons themselves conceptualised the relationship, using the Saints Lives of Cuthbert and Guthlac as a prism. Each saint is fundamentally linked to a specific and recognisable location in the English landscape: Lindisfarne and Farne for Cuthbert, and the East Anglian fens and the island of Crowland for Guthlac. These landscapes of the mind were defined by the theological and philosophical perspectives of their authors and audiences. The world in all its wonder was Creation, shaped by God. When humanity fell in Eden, its relationship to this world was transformed: cold now bites, fire burns, and wolves attack. In these Lives, however, saints, the holy epitome of humanity, are shown to restore the human relationship with Creation, as in the sea-otters warming Cuthbert's frozen feet, or birds and fish gathering to Guthlac like sheep to their shepherd. BRITTON ELLIOTT BROOKS is Project Assistant Professor at the University of Tokyo, Centre for Global Communication Strategies.
The ancient Greeks hard†‘wired a tragic sensibility into their culture. By looking disaster squarely in the face, by understanding just how badly things could spiral out of control, they sought to create a communal sense of responsibility and courage—to spur citizens and their leaders to take the difficult actions necessary to avert such a fate. Today, after more than seventy years of great-power peace and a quarter-century of unrivaled global leadership, Americans have lost their sense of tragedy. They have forgotten that the descent into violence and war has been all too common throughout human history. This amnesia has become most pronounced just as Americans and the global order they created are coming under graver threat than at any time in decades.
In a forceful argument that brims with historical sensibility and policy insights, two distinguished historians argue that a tragic sensibility is necessary if America and its allies are to address the dangers that menace the international order today. Tragedy may be commonplace, Brands and Edel argue, but it is not inevitable—so long as we regain an appreciation of the world’s tragic nature before it is too late.
Did Shakespeare write Shakespeare? The authorship question has been much treated in works of fiction, film and television, provoking interest all over the world. Sceptics have proposed many candidates as the author of Shakespeare's works, including Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe and Edward De Vere, the seventeenth Earl of Oxford. But why and how did the authorship question arise and what does surviving evidence offer in answer to it? This authoritative, accessible and frequently entertaining book sets the debate in its historical context and provides an account of its main protagonists and their theories. Presenting the authorship of Shakespeare's works in relation to historiography, psychology and literary theory, twenty-three distinguished scholars reposition and develop the discussion. The book explores the issues in the light of biographical, textual and bibliographical evidence to bring fresh perspectives to an intriguing cultural phenomenon.
In 1929 Robert Graves went to live abroad permanently, vowing 'never to make England my home again'. This is his superb account of his life up until that 'bitter leave-taking': from his childhood and desperately unhappy school days at Charterhouse, to his time serving as a young officer in the First World War that was to haunt him throughout his life.
It also contains memorable encounters with fellow writers and poets, including Siegfried Sassoon and Thomas Hardy, and covers his increasingly unhappy marriage to Nancy Nicholson. Goodbye to All That, with its vivid, harrowing descriptions of the Western Front, is a classic war document, and also has immense value as one of the most candid self-portraits of an artist ever written.
The much-anticipated follow-up to the acclaimed and resoundingly fascinating Daily Rituals.
Filled with the innovative, inspiring and wonderfully prolific accounts of some of the world's best female creators, Daily Rituals: Women at Work is the powerful and championing sequel to Mason Currey's first book, Daily Rituals.
Barbara Hepworth sculpted outdoors and Janet Frame wore earmuffs as she worked to block out noise. Kate Chopin wrote with her six children ‘swarming around her’ whereas the artist Rosa Bonheur filled her bedroom with the sixty birds that inspired her work. Louisa May Alcott wrote so vigorously – skipping sleep and meals – that she had to learn to write with her left hand to give her cramped right hand a break.
Filled with details of the large and small choices these women made, Daily Rituals: Women at Work is about the day-to-day lives of some of the world’s most extraordinary creative minds who, whether Virginia Woolf, Charlotte Brontė, Nina Simone or Jane Campion, found the time and got to work.
'An admirably succinct portrait of some distinctly uncommon lives' Meryle Secrest
Angela Thirlwell explores the fictitious life and the many after-lives of Rosalind, Shakespeare's progressive new heroine, and her perennial influence on drama, fiction and art. The book ranges widely across Tudor history, theatre history, sexual politics, autobiography, art history and filmography. This highly original 'biography' of Rosalind - Shakespeare's greatest female creation - contains exclusive new interviews with Juliet Rylance, Sally Scott, Janet Suzman, Juliet Stevenson, Michelle Terry, award-winning director Blanche McIntyre, as well as insights from Michael Attenborough, Kenneth Branagh, Greg Doran, Rebecca Hall, Adrian Lester, Pippa Nixon, Vanessa Redgrave and Fiona Shaw.
The uncontested center of the black pulp fiction universe for more than four decades was the Los Angeles publisher Holloway House. From the late 1960s until it closed in 2008, Holloway House specialized in cheap paperbacks with page-turning narratives featuring black protagonists in crime stories, conspiracy thrillers, prison novels, and Westerns. From Iceberg Slim's Pimp to Donald Goines's Never Die Alone, the thread that tied all of these books together--and made them distinct from the majority of American pulp--was an unfailing veneration of black masculinity. Zeroing in on Holloway House, Street Players explores how this world of black pulp fiction was produced, received, and recreated over time and across different communities of readers. Kinohi Nishikawa contends that black pulp fiction was built on white readers' fears of the feminization of society--and the appeal of black masculinity as a way to counter it. In essence, it was the original form of blaxploitation: a strategy of mass-marketing race to suit the reactionary fantasies of a white audience. But while chauvinism and misogyny remained troubling yet constitutive aspects of this literature, from 1973 onward, Holloway House moved away from publishing sleaze for a white audience to publishing solely for black readers. The standard account of this literary phenomenon is based almost entirely on where this literature ended up: in the hands of black, male, working-class readers. When it closed, Holloway House was synonymous with genre fiction written by black authors for black readers--a field of cultural production that Nishikawa terms the black literary underground. But as Street Players demonstrates, this cultural authenticity had to be created, promoted, and in some cases made up, and there is a story of exploitation at the heart of black pulp fiction's origins that cannot be ignored.
A BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week 'This is such a great idea for a book, and Michelle Dean carries it off, showing us the complexities of her fascinating, extraordinary subjects, in print and out in the world. Dean writes with vigor, depth, knowledge and absorption, and as a result Sharp is a real achievement' Meg Wolitzer, New York Times Dorothy Parker, Hannah Arendt, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Joan Didion, Nora Ephron and Janet Malcolm are just some of the women whose lives intertwined as they cut through twentieth-century cultural and intellectual life in the United States, arguing as fervently with each other as they did with the men who so often belittled their work as journalists, novelists, critics and poets. These women are united by their 'sharpness': an accuracy and precision of thought and wit, a claiming of power through their writing. Sharp is a rich and lively portrait of these women and their world, where Manhattan cocktail parties, fuelled by lethal quantities of both alcohol and gossip, could lead to high-stakes slanging matches in the Partisan Review or the New York Review of Books. It is fascinating and revealing on how these women came to be so influential in a climate in which they were routinely met with condescension and derision by their male counterparts. Michelle Dean mixes biography, criticism and cultural and social history to create an enthralling exploration of how a group of brilliant women became central figures in the world of letters, staked out territory for themselves and began to change the world.
Written around 1381 by Bernat Metge, the most important Catalan writer of the fourteenth century, the Llibre de Fortuna i Prudencia is a fantasy in verse, drawing on learned sources, principally The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius. Early one morning, Bernat, the protagonist and narrator, decides to alleviate his sorrows by strolling around the harbour of Barcelona. He meets an old man, apparently a beggar, who tricks him into getting into a boat which, despite the absence of sails and oars, conveys him to an island where the goddess Fortuna appears to him. In a heated discussion, Bernat blames her for all his misfortunes. His next meeting is with Prudencia who is accompanied by seven maidens representing the liberal arts. Prudencia is able to lessen his despair, and exhorts him to trust in providence and renounce material possessions. When she considers him cured, she and the maidens send him sailing back to Barcelona, where he quickly goes home to avoid gossiping townsfolk. Published in association with Editorial Barcino, Barcelona. DAVID BARNETT, whose doctorate is from Queen Mary, University of London, continues to be involved in research on medieval Catalan literature.
In The Angelic Mother and the Predatory Seductress, Ashley Craig Lancaster examines how converging political and cultural movements helped to create dualistic images of southern poor white female characters in Depression-era literature. While other studies address the familial and labor issues that challenged female literary characters during the 1930s, Lancaster focuses on how the evolving eugenics movement reinforced the dichotomy of altruistic maternal figures and destructive sexual deviants.
According to Lancaster, these binary stereotypes became a new analogy for hope and despair in America's future and were well utilized by Depression-era politicians and authors to stabilize the country's economic decline. As a result, the complexity of women's lives was often overlooked in favor of stock characters incapable of individuality.
Lancaster studies a variety of works, including those by male authors William Faulkner, Erskine Caldwell, and John Steinbeck, as well as female novelists Mary Heaton Vorse, Myra Page, Grace Lumpkin, and Olive Tilford Dargan. She identifies female stereotypes in classics such as To Kill a Mockingbird and in the work of later writers Dorothy Allison and Rick Bragg, who embrace and share in a poor white background.
The Angelic Mother and the Predatory Seductress reveals that these literary stereotypes continue to influence not only society's perception of poor white southern women but also women's perception of themselves.
Flappers and Philosophers was F. Scott Fitzgerald's initial encore - his first collection of short fiction, published in 1920 to capitalize on the success of This Side of Paradise, the novel that had made him famous at the age of twenty-three. Some of his best early stories are included here: 'The Offshore Pirate', 'Bernice Bobs Her Hair', 'The Ice Palace' and 'Benediction'. In these narratives Fitzgerald presented his prototypical Jazz-Age heroines, beautiful and wilful young women who later became trademarks of his fiction. Part of the authoritative Cambridge Edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald, this volume now appears in paperback for the first time. It offers detailed explanatory notes, a record of variants and appendices tracing the composition and publication history of the stories.
A captivating journey through the hidden libraries of Jerusalem, where some of the world's most enduring ideas were put into words In this enthralling book, Merav Mack and Benjamin Balint explore Jerusalem's libraries to tell the story of this city as a place where some of the world's most enduring ideas were put into words. The writers of Jerusalem, although renowned the world over, are not usually thought of as a distinct school; their stories as Jerusalemites have never before been woven into a single narrative. Nor have the stories of the custodians, past and present, who safeguard Jerusalem's literary legacies. By showing how Jerusalem has been imagined by its writers and shelved by its librarians, Mack and Balint tell the untold history of how the peoples of the book have populated the city with texts. In their hands, Jerusalem itself-perched between East and West, antiquity and modernity, violence and piety-comes alive as a kind of labyrinthine library.
This book springs from two premises. The first is that, with a nod toward Marianne Moore, America is - has always been - an imaginary place with real people living in it. The second is that slavery and its legacies explain how and why this is the case. The second premise assumes that slavery - and, after that fell, white supremacy generally - have been necessary adjuncts to American capitalism. Mark Richardson registers these two premises at the level of style and rhetoric - in the texture as much as in the "arguments" of the books he engages. His book is written to appeal to a general reader. It begins with Frederick Douglass, continues with W. E. B. Du Bois, Charles Chesnutt, and Richard Wright, and treats works by writers not often discussed in books concerning race in American literature - for example, Stephen Crane and Jack Kerouac. It brings to bear on such books as Douglass's My Bondage and My Freedom, Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk, and Crane's The Red Badge of Courage a degree and quality of attention one usually associates with the study of lyric poetry. The book offers a general framework within which to read African-American (and American) literature. Mark Richardson is Professor of English at Doshisha University, Japan. He is co-editor of The Letters of Robert Frost (Harvard University Press).
For more than two thousand years. Aristotle's "Art of Rhetoric" has shaped thought on the theory and practice of rhetoric, the art of persuasive speech. In three sections, Aristotle discusses what rhetoric is, as well as the three kinds of rhetoric (deliberative, judicial, and epideictic), the three rhetorical modes of persuasion, and the diction, style, and necessary parts of a successful speech. Throughout, Aristotle defends rhetoric as an art and a crucial tool for deliberative politics while also recognizing its capacity to be misused by unscrupulous politicians to mislead or illegitimately persuade others. Here Robert C. Bartlett offers a literal, yet easily readable, new translation of Aristotle's "Art of Rhetoric," one that takes into account important alternatives in the manuscript and is fully annotated to explain historical, literary, and other allusions. Bartlett's translation is also accompanied by an outline of the argument of each book; copious indexes, including subjects, proper names, and literary citations; a glossary of key terms; and a substantial interpretive essay.
The Changeling by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley is a luridly sensual dramatic work which was highly regarded in its day, but then largely forgotten until its revival three hundred years later. This timely Handbook: * offers a detailed theatrical commentary which tracks the motivations of the capricious characters and explores performance possibilities * examines the cultural conditions that gave rise to the play, juxtaposing them with the conditions of the twentieth century * analyses early performances as well as later stage and film productions * presents key critical debates and assessments of The Changeling.
An engaging invitation to rediscover Henry Miller "and to learn how his anarchist sensibility can help us escape oethe air-conditioned nightmare of the modern world The American writer Henry Miller's critical reputation--if not his popular readership "has been in eclipse at least since Kate Millett's blistering critique in Sexual Politics, her landmark 1970 study of misogyny in literature and art. Even a Miller fan like the acclaimed Scottish writer John Burnside finds Miller's "sex books" "including The Rosy Crucifixion, Tropic of Cancer, and Tropic of Capricorn ""boring and embarrassing." But Burnside says that Miller's notorious image as a "pornographer and woman hater" has hidden his vital, true importance "his anarchist sensibility and the way it shows us how, by fleeing from conformity of all kinds, we may be able to save ourselves from the "air-conditioned nightmare" of the modern world. Miller wrote that "there is no salvation in becoming adapted to a world which is crazy," and in this short, engaging, and personal book, Burnside shows how Miller teaches us to become less adapted to the world, to resist a life sentence to the prison of social, intellectual, emotional, and material conditioning. Exploring the full range of Miller's work, and giving special attention to The Air-Conditioned Nightmare and The Colossus of Maroussi, Burnside shows how, with humor and wisdom, Miller illuminates the misunderstood tradition of anarchist thought. Along the way, Burnside reflects on Rimbaud's enormous influence on Miller, as well as on how Rimbaud and Miller have influenced his own writing. An unconventional and appealing account of an unjustly neglected writer, On Henry Miller restores to us a figure whose searing criticism of the modern world has never been more relevant.
In their celebration of `little matters' - the regular round of visiting, dining out, drinking tea, of reading and walking to the shops and sending to the post - Jane Austen's letters and novels have many similarities. The thirteen letters collected by Jane Austen's House Museum, in Chawton, Hampshire and reproduced in this book give us intimate glimpses into her life in Bath and Chawton and on visits to London, many of their details finding echoes in her fiction. 'Jane Austen: The Chawton Letters' traces a lively story beginning in 1801, when, aged twenty-five, Jane Austen left Steventon in Hampshire to move to Bath. Later letters relish the shops, theatres and sights of London, but are interspersed from 1809 with the quieter routines of village life in Chawton, Hampshire, which was to be her home for the remainder of her short life. We learn here of her anxieties for the reception of Pride and Prejudice, her care in planning Mansfield Park and the hilarious negotiations over the publication of Emma. These letters, each accompanied by reproductions from the original manuscripts in Jane Austen's hand, testify to Jane's deep emotional bond with her sister: the most moving letter of all is that written by Cassandra only days after Jane's death in Winchester in July 1817. Brought together in this little book, these artefacts make a delightful modern-day keepsake of correspondence from one of the world's best-loved writers.
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