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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).
This sexy literary event is the definitive anthology of African-American women's writing in this genre. It is a dramatic, touching, tragic, tender, fierce, bawdy, heartfelt, and utterly surprising assembly of voices, a unique gem of African American fiction and memoir. Includes Gloria Naylor, Jamaica Kincaid, Alice Walker, Nikky Finney, Rita Dove, bell hooks, Edwidge Danticat, to name a few. Packaged to look as seductive as the writing it celebrates, THE BLUELIGHT CORNER will command all the attention it richly deserves.
'One hates an author that's all author.' Lord Byron With quips, quotes and insults from beloved literary figures such as William Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf and Ernest Hemingway to modern literati including Zadie Smith and Will Self, this charming book reveals your favourite authors' opinions on subjects from families, food and friendship to writing masterpieces, being married and silencing dim-witted critics. Literary Wit and Wisdom will ensure that you're never at a loss for the perfect witticism.
The Gallic War, published on the eve of the civil war which led to the end of the Roman Republic, is an autobiographical account written by one of the most famous figures of European history. On one level a straightforward narrative of the campaigns Caesar fought against the Gauls, Germans and Britons, it also serves a deeper political purpose, revealing him as a commander of breathtaking flair, courage and persistence - a man of the people, a man without rival. This new translation reflects the purity of Caesar's Latin while preserving the pace and flow of his momentous narrative of the conquest of Gaul and the first Roman invasions of Britain and Germany. The introduction includes a survey of Caesar's role and reputation in later thought, while detailed notes, maps, a table of dates, and glossary make this the most useful edition available. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
In Pluralist Desires, Philipp Loeffler explores the contemporary historical novel in conjunction with three cultural shifts that have crucially affected political and intellectual life in the United States during the 1990s and 2000s: the end of the Cold War, the decline of postmodernism, and the re-emergence of cultural pluralism. Contemporary historical fiction -- from Don DeLillo's Underworld and Philip Roth's American trilogy to Richard Powers's Plowing the Dark and Toni Morrison's A Mercy -- relates and authorizes these developments by imagining the writing of history as a powerful form of world-making. Rather than asking whether history can ever be true, contemporary historical fiction investigates the uses of history for our individual lives. How can we use history to make our individual lives meaningful and worthy in the face of an unknown future? Pluralist Desires approaches these issues by excavating the origins of 19th-century pluralism and its revival in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, revealing how major American novelists have appropriated the genre of the historical novel in the pursuit of selfhood rather than truth. Loeffler complements standard accounts of the end of history with a selection of careful close readings that fundamentally reposition the form and the function of the historical novel in contemporary American culture. Philipp Loeffler is Assistant Professor of American Literature at the University of Heidelberg, Germany.
Anyone who has read J.D. Salinger's New Yorker stories ? particularly A Perfect Day for Bananafish, Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut, The Laughing Man, and For Esme ? With Love and Squalor, will not be surprised by the fact that his first novel is fully of children. The hero-narrator of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it. There are many voices in this novel: children's voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden's voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.
By the time of his death in 2003, Edward Said was one of the most famous literary critics of the twentieth century. Said's work has been hugely influential far beyond academia. As a prominent advocate for the Palestinian cause and noted cultural critic, Said redefined the role of the public intellectual. This volume explores the problems and opportunities afforded by Said's work: its productive and generative capacities as well as its in-built limitations. After Said captures the essence of Said's intellectual and political contribution and his extensive impact on postcolonial studies. It examines his legacy by critically elaborating his core concepts and arguments. Among the issues it tackles are humanism, Orientalism, culture and imperialism, exile and the contrapuntal, realism and postcolonial modernism, world literature, Islamophobia, and capitalism and the political economy of empire. It is an excellent resource for students, graduates and instructors studying postcolonial literary theory and the works of Said.
First published in 1572, The Lusiads is one of the greatest epic poems of the Renaissance, immortalizing Portugal's voyages of discovery with an unrivalled freshness of observation. At the centre of The Lusiads is Vasco da Gama's pioneer voyage via southern Africa to India in 1497-98. The first European artist to cross the equator, Camoes's narrative reflects the novelty and fascination of that original encounter with Africa, India and the Far East. The poem's twin symbols are the Cross and the Astrolabe, and its celebration of a turning point in mankind's knowledge of the world unites the old map of the heavens with the newly discovered terrain on earth. Yet it speaks powerfully, too, of the precariousness of power, and of the rise and decline of nationhood, threatened not only from without by enemies, but from within by loss of integrity and vision. The first translation of The Lusiads for almost half a century, this new edition is complemented by an illuminating introduction and extensive notes. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
In A Global History of Literature and the Environment, an international group of scholars illustrate the immense riches of environmental writing from the earliest literary periods down to the present. It addresses ancient writings about human/animal/plant relations from India, classical Greece, Chinese and Japanese literature, the Maya Popol Vuh, Islamic texts, medieval European works, eighteenth-century and Romantic ecologies, colonial/postcolonial environmental interrelations, responses to industrialization, and the emerging literatures of the world in the present Anthropocene moment. Essays range from Trinidad to New Zealand, Estonia to Brazil. Discussion of these texts indicates a variety of ways environmental criticism can fruitfully engage literary works and cultures from every continent and every historical period. This is a uniquely varied and rich international history of environmental writing from ancient Mesopotamian and Asian works to the present. It provides a compelling account of a topic that is crucial to twenty-first-century global literary studies.
Virginia Woolf's many novels, notably Night and Day (1919), Jacob's Room (1922), Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927) and The Waves (1931), transformed ideas about structure, plot and characterisation. The third child of Leslie and Julia Stephen, and sister of Vanessa (later Bell), Woolf was a central figure in the Bloomsbury Group: that union of friends who revolutionised British culture with their innovative approach to art, design and society in the early years of the twentieth century. Portraiture figured greatly in Woolf's life. Portraits by G.F. Watts and photographs made by her aunt, Julia Margaret Cameron, furnished rooms in which she lived. Written portraits were produced in the family home; her father, Leslie Stephen, published short biographies of Samuel Johnson, Pope, Swift, George Eliot and Thomas Hobbes, while editing the first twenty-six volumes of the Dictionary of National Biography. Throughout her life, Woolf, a sharp observer and a brilliant wordsmith, composed memorable vignettes-in-words of people she knew or encountered, and was herself portrayed by artists and photographers on many occasions. Illustrated with over a hundred works from public and private collections, documentary photographs and extracts from her writings, this book catches Woolf's appearance and that of the world around her. It also points to her pursuit of the hidden, the fleeting and the obscure, in her desire to understand better the place and moment in time and in history in which she lived. In charting some of the milestones in Woolf's life, author Frances Spalding acknowledges the seen and unseen aspects of her subject; the outer and the inner, the recognisable and the concealed.
This magnificent compendium is the fourth in a series of catalogues describing selections of rare books and other material in the Oak Spring Garden Library, a collection assembled by Mrs. Rachel "Bunny" Lambert Mellon. Herbaria describes sixty-three books and manuscripts about herbs and includes exquisite illustrations selected from the works themselves. Spanning the fourteenth to nineteenth centuries, and featuring works by Brunfels, Culpeper, Monardes, and Linnaeus, among others, this authoritative catalogue will prove fascinating to botanists, bibliophiles, garden historians, and herbalists alike.
'It is I think the most radical Book that has been written in these late centuries . . . and will give pleasure and displeasure, one may expect, to almost all classes of persons.' Carlyle Thomas Carlyle's history of the French Revolution opens with the death of Louis XV in 1774 and ends with Napoleon suppressing the insurrection of the 13th Vendemaire. Both in Its form and content, the work was intended as a revolt against history writing itself, with Carlyle exploding the eighteenth-century conventions of dignified gentlemanly discourse. Immersing himself in his French sources with unprecedented imaginative and intellectual engagement, he recreates the upheaval in a language that evokes the chaotic atmosphere of the events. In the French Revolution Carlyle achieves the most vivid historical reconstruction of the crisis of his, or any other, age. This new edition offers an authoritative text, a comprehensive record of Carlyle's French, English, and German sources, a select bibliography of editions, related writings, and critical studies, chronologies of both Thomas Carlyle and the French Revolution, and a new and full index. In addition, Carlyle's work is placed in the context of both British and European history and writing, and linked to a variety of major figures, including Edward Gibbon, Friedrich Nietzsche, George Eliot, John Stuart Mill, Hegel, and R. G. Collingwood.
Writings that shed new light on one of the most gifted, if reclusive, poets of thefin-de-siecle. A lost poet of the decadent era, Lionel Johnson is the shadow man of the 1890s, an enigma "pale as wasted golden hair." History has all but forgotten Johnson, except as a footnote to the lives of more celebrated characters like W. B. Yeats and Oscar Wilde. Johnson should have been one of the great poets of the age but was already drinking eau-de-cologne for kicks while a teenager at Winchester College. His attraction to absinthe damaged his fragile health and cast him forever into a waking dream of haunted rooms and spectral poetry. A habitual insomniac, he haunted medieval burial grounds after dark, jotting down the epitaphs of the gone-too-young, as if anticipating his own early demise at the age of 35-falling from a bar stool in a Fleet Street pub. It was rumored that Johnson performed "strange religious rites" in his rooms at Oxford and experimented with hashish in the company of fellow poet Ernest Dowson. Moving to London, he fell in with Simeon Solomon, Oscar Wilde, and Aubrey Beardsley, and would contribute to the leading decadent publications of the day, including The Chameleon, The Yellow Book, and The Savoy. Like a glimmering of a votive candle in one of Johnson's dream churches, Incurable sheds new light on one of the most gifted, if reclusive, poets of thefin-de-siecle. Containing a detailed biography, illustrations, rare and unusual material including previously unseen letters, poetry, and essays, Incurable pays tribute to this enchanting and eccentric poet while providing fresh insight into an era that continues to fascinate.
Social-injustice dilemmas such as poverty, unemployment, and racism are subjects of continuing debate in European societies and in Germany in particular, as solutions are difficult and progress often comes slowly. Such discussions are not limited to opposing newspaper editorials, position papers, or legislative forums, however; creative works expound on these topics as well, but their contributions to the debate are often marginalized. This collection of new essays explores how contemporary German-language literary, dramatic, filmic, musical, and street artists are grappling with social-justice issues that affect Germany and the wider world, surveying more than a decade's worth of works of German literature and art in light of the recent paradigm shift in cultural criticism called the "ethical turn." Central themes include the legacy of the politically engaged 1968 generation, eastern Germany and the process of unification, widening economic disparity as a result of political policies and recession, and problems of integration and inclusivity for ethnic and religious minorities as migration to Germany has increased. Contributors: Monika Albrecht, Olaf Berwald, Robert Blankenship, Laurel Cohen-Pfister, Jack Davis, Bastian Heinsohn, Axel Hildebrandt, Deborah Janson, Karolin Machtans, Ralf Remshardt, Alexandra Simon-Lopez, Patricia Anne Simpson, Maria Stehle, Jill E. Twark. Jill E. Twark is Associate Professor of German at East Carolina University. Axel Hildebrandt is Associate Professor of German at Moravian College.
'She sees, coming up a second time, Earth from the ocean, eternally green; the waterfalls plunge, an eagle soars above them, over the mountain hunting fish.' After the terrible conflagration of Ragnarok, the earth rises serenely again from the ocean, and life is renewed. The Poetic Edda begins with The Seeress's Prophecy which recounts the creation of the world, and looks forward to its destruction and rebirth. In this great collection of Norse-Icelandic mythological and heroic poetry, the exploits of gods and humans are related. The one-eyed Odin, red-bearded Thor, Loki the trickster, the lovely goddesses and the giants who are their enemies walk beside the heroic Helgi, Sigurd the Dragon-Slayer, Brynhild the shield-maiden, and the implacable Gudrun. New in this revised translation are the quest-poem The Lay of Svipdag and The Waking of Angantyr, in which a girl faces down her dead father to retrieve his sword. Comic, tragic, instructive, grandiose, witty and profound, the poems of the Edda have influenced artists from Wagner to Tolkien and a new generation of video-game and film makers. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
This revelatory volume brings together significant works in translations from nearly fifty Chinese writers. It includes poems, essays, fiction, songs and speeches written in an astonishing array of moods and styles, from sublime lyricism to witty surrealism, poignant documentary to the ironic, the absurd, the transgressive and the defiant. Yunte Huang provides essential context in an opening essay and in headnotes, timelines and brief introductions to the Republican, Revolutionary and Post-Mao eras. Both personal and authoritative, his selections make for a joyously informative read. From belles lettres to literary propaganda, from poetic revolution to pulp fiction, The Big Red Book is an eye-opening portrait of China in the tumultuous twentieth century.
The four romances in this collection have been unjustly neglected. Indeed, Florimond, King Orphius and Sir Colling were entirely unknown to modern audiences - despite some late-medieval references to the first two - until fragmentary copies were unearthed in the National Archives of Scotland in the 1970s: all three are researched and fully edited for the first time here. King Orphius, closely and significantly related to the famous Middle English romance Sir Orfeo, is supplemented here with the Laing fragment discovered by the present editor in 2010. Roswall and Lillian survives in later prints and was a favourite text of Sir Walter Scott's - he owned at least three copies of it - but it has not been edited since the nineteenth century. Each text is supplied with comprehensive explanatory notes and an introduction, including full discussion of extant witnesses and circulation history; linguistic and other evidence for date and provenance; literary context; analogues and influences. There is a combined glossary, and an Appendix presents the text of the English Percy Folio ballad "Sir Cawline" as derived from the Scots Sir Colling. Dr Rhiannon Purdie is Senior Lecturer in Medieval English, University of St Andrews.
Homer's mythological tales of war and homecoming,the Iliad and the Odyssey, are widely considered to be two of the most influential works in the history of western literature. Yet their author, 'the greatest poet that ever lived' is something of a mystery. By the 6th century BCE, Homer had already become a mythical figure, and today debate continues as to whether he ever existed. In this Very Short Introduction Barbara Graziosi considers Homer's famous works, and their impact on readers throughout the centuries. She shows how the Iliad and the Odyssey benefit from a tradition of reading that spans well over two millennia, stemming from ancient scholars at the library of Alexandria, in the third and second centuries BCE, who wrote some of the first commentaries on the Homeric epics. Summaries of these scholars' notes made their way into the margins of Byzantine manuscripts; from Byzantium the annotated manuscripts travelled to Italy; and the ancient notes finally appeared in the first printed editions of Homer, eventually influencing our interpretation of Homer's work today. Along the way, Homer's works have inspired artists, writers, philosophers, musicians, playwrights, and film-makers. Exploring the main literary, historical, cultural, and archaeological issues at the heart of Homer's narratives, Graziosi analyses the enduring appeal of Homer and his iconic works. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable. This book was previously published in hardback as Homer.
In this new translation of Hesiod, Barry B. Powell gives an accessible, modern verse rendering of these vibrant texts, essential to an understanding of early Greek myth and society. With stunning color images that help bring to life the contents of the poems and notes that explicate complex passages, Powell's fresh renditions provide an exciting introduction to the culture of the ancient Greeks. This is the definitive translation and guide for students and readers looking to experience the poetry of Hesiod, who ranks alongside Homer as an influential poet of Greek antiquity.
‘One of the most liberating books of our time'
When diagnosed with breast cancer Susan Sontag discovered the extent to which we have developed a mythology to cope with disease, which can often distort the truth about illness and isolate the patient. In Illness as Metaphor she strips away the myths and presents the true significance of disease as it has affected cultures throughout the centuries. AIDS and Its Metaphors extends her critique to examine the metaphors surrounding AIDS and to expose the truth, free of guilt, shame and fear.
‘Whatever Sontag writes is passionate … hers is the satirist’s pity for our ignorance and folly’
‘An exemplary demonstration of the power of the intellect in the face of the lethal metaphors of fear’
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD SHORTLISTED FOR THE CUNDILL HISTORY PRIZE 'Just as gripping as the original novels . . . As pacy and vivid as one of Wilder's own narratives, this surprising biography is immensely revealing both about Wilder and about America's founding myths' Sunday Times '"Little House" devotees will appreciate the extraordinary care and energy Fraser devotes to uncovering the details of a life that has been expertly veiled by myth' New York Times Book Review Millions of readers of the 'Little House' books believe they know Laura Ingalls Wilder - the pioneer girl who survived blizzards and near-starvation on the Great Plains as her family chased their American dream. But the true story of her life has never been fully told. Drawing on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries and public records, Caroline Fraser masterfully fills in the gaps in Wilder's biography, uncovering the grown-up story behind the best-loved childhood epic of pioneer life. Set against nearly a century of unimaginable change, from the Homestead Act and the Indian Wars to the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, Wilder's life was full of drama and adversity. Settling on the frontier amid land-rush speculation, her family endured Biblical tribulations of locusts and drought, poverty and want, before she left at the age of eighteen to marry Almanzo. This is where the books end, but there is so much more to tell; deep in debt after a series of personal tragedies, Laura and Almanzo uprooted themselves once again, crisscrossing the country, taking menial jobs to support the family. In middle age, she began writing a farm advice column, prodded by her journalist daughter Rose. And at the age of sixty, fearing the loss of almost everything in the Depression, she turned to children's books, recasting her extraordinarily difficult childhood as a triumphal vision of homesteading - achieving fame and fortune in the process. Laura Ingalls Wilder's life is one of the most astonishing rags-to-riches stories in American letters. Offering fresh insight and new discoveries, Prairie Fires reveals the complex woman who defined the American pioneer character, and whose artful blend of fact and fiction grips us to this day.
This fourth and final volume, which completes the Cambridge edition of The Letters of Samuel Beckett, covers the final twenty-four years of what was, as Beckett saw it, a surprisingly long life. During these years he produced many of his finest and most concentrated works for theatre, plays that included Not I, Ohio Impromptu, and Catastrophe; for television he wrote Eh Joe and Ghost Trio; while in prose, he produced the late 'trilogy' that comprises Company, Ill Seen Ill Said, and Worstward Ho. In 1969, Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, and the letters from this period show him struggling to cope with the pressures created by his ever-growing international fame. The letters reveal how, later, he turned his mind to his legacy, as seen through his interactions with biographers and archivists. This volume also provides chronologies, explanatory notes, translations, and profiles of Beckett's chief correspondents.
A masterpiece of eighteenth-century Japanese puppet theater, Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees is an action-packed play set in the aftermath of the twelfth-century Genji-Heike wars. It follows the adventures of the military commander, Yoshitsune, as he tries to avoid capture by his jealous older brother and loyal henchmen. The drama, written by a trio of playwrights, popularizes Japan's martial past for urban Edo audiences. It was banned only once in its long history, for a period after World War II, because occupying American forces feared its nationalizing power. In this expert translation by Stanleigh H. Jones Jr., readers learn why Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees became one of the most influential plays in the repertoires of both kabuki and bunraku puppet theater. He opens with an introduction detailing the historical background, production history, and major features of the bunraku genre, and then pairs his translation of the play with helpful resources for students and scholars. Emphasizing text and performance, Jones's translation underlines not only the play's skillful appropriation of traditional forms but also its brilliant development of dramatic technique.
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.
A History of English Literature has received exceptional reviews.
Tracing the development of one of the world's richest literatures
from the Old English period through to the present day, the
narrative discusses a wide range of key authors but never loses its
clarity or verve.
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