Using the literature of Shakespeare, Spenser and Jonson, Mary Ellen Lamb investigates the social narratives of several social groups – an urban, middling group; an elite at the court of James; and an aristocratic faction from the countryside. She states that under the pressure of increasing economic stratification, these social fractions created cultural identities to distinguish themselves from each other – particularly from lower status groups. Focusing on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream and Merry Wives of Windsor, Spenser's Faerie Queene, and Jonson's Masque of Oberon, she explores the ways in which early modern literature formed a particularly productive site of contest for deep social changes, and how these changes in turn, played a large role in shaping some of the most well-known works of the period.
A German Jew, Auerbach was forced out of his professorship at the University of Marburg in 1935. He left for Turkey, where he taught at the state university in Istanbul. There he wrote Mimesis, publishing it in German after the end of the war. Displaced as he was, Auerbach produced a work of great erudition that contains no footnotes, basing his arguments instead on searching, illuminating readings of key passages from his primary texts. His aim was to show how from antiquity to the twentieth century literature progressed toward ever more naturalistic and democratic forms of representation. This essentially optimistic view of European history now appears as a defensive--and impassioned--response to the inhumanity he saw in the Third Reich. Ranging over works in Greek, Latin, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and English, Auerbach used his remarkable skills in philology and comparative literature to refute any narrow form of nationalism or chauvinism, in his own day and ours.
For many readers, both inside and outside the academy, Mimesis is among the finest works of literary criticism ever written. This Princeton Classics edition includes a substantial introduction by Edward Said as well as an essay in which Auerbach responds to his critics.
At the turn of the century, Vienna was the cultural capital of Europe. Artists and scientists met in glittering salons, where they freely exchanged ideas that led to revolutionary breakthroughs in psychology, brain science, literature, and art. Kandel takes us into the world of Vienna to trace, in rich and rewarding detail, the ideas and advances made then, and their enduring influence today.
The Vienna School of Medicine led the way with its realization that truth lies hidden beneath the surface. That principle infused Viennese culture and strongly influenced the other pioneers of Vienna 1900. Sigmund Freud shocked the world with his insights into how our everyday unconscious aggressive and erotic desires are repressed and disguised in symbols, dreams, and behavior. Arthur Schnitzler revealed women’s unconscious sexuality in his novels through his innovative use of the interior monologue. Gustav Klimt, Oscar Kokoschka, and Egon Schiele created startlingly evocative and honest portraits that expressed unconscious lust, desire, anxiety, and the fear of death.
Kandel tells the story of how these pioneers—Freud, Schnitzler, Klimt, Kokoschka, and Schiele—inspired by the Vienna School of Medicine, in turn influenced the founders of the Vienna School of Art History to ask pivotal questions such as What does the viewer bring to a work of art? How does the beholder respond to it? These questions prompted new and ongoing discoveries in psychology and brain biology, leading to revelations about how we see and perceive, how we think and feel, and how we respond to and create works of art. Kandel, one of the leading scientific thinkers of our time, places these five innovators in the context of today’s cutting-edge science and gives us a new understanding of the modernist art of Klimt, Kokoschka, and Schiele, as well as the school of thought of Freud and Schnitzler. Reinvigorating the intellectual enquiry that began in Vienna 1900, The Age of Insight is a wonderfully written, superbly researched, and beautifully illustrated book that also provides a foundation for future work in neuroscience and the humanities. It is an extraordinary book from an international leader in neuroscience and intellectual history.
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Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner: the very names sound intimidating. Yet as Weinstein argues with wit and passion, the works of these authors, and of their contemporary heir Toni Morrison, are in fact shimmering mirrors of our own inner world and most intimate thoughts. Novels such as Remembrance of Things Past, Ulysses, Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, The Sound and the Fury, Absalom, Absalom!, and Beloved allow us to explore the inner worlds of human feeling and bring us face-to-face with our own deepest selves and desires. Weinstein decodes these great novels, and he shows how to read them to understand human beings–the way our minds and hearts actually work. This is what Weinstein means by “recovering your story.”
Weinstein illuminates the complex pleasures woven into these peerless narratives. Beneath the slow, sensual cadences of Proust he finds an edgy erotic tension as well as a remarkably crisp depiction of the timeless world inside the self. Joyce’s Ulysses, in Weinstein’s brilliantly original reading, is a protean linguistic experiment that forces us to view both our bodies and our minds in a radically new–and hilariously funny–light. His analysis of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse circles back again and again on Woolf’s depiction of the importance of relationships in knowing the self. Faulkner, argues Weinstein, is at once our greatest tragedian and our darkest comedian, a novelist who captures both the agony and absurdity of consciousness in a time of social and moral disintegration. Finally, in Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Weinstein explores the legacy of modernism in a contemporary novel, as Morrison brings the body into the literary picture, confronting how the body affects not only our fundamental concept of self, but also consciousness itself.
In this magnificent work of literary appreciation and exploration, Weinstein makes the astonishing discovery of the self as a part of the joy of reading great modernist fiction, even as he makes these powerful works understandable, accessible, indeed imperative for all adventurous readers.
From the Hardcover edition.
This is an encyclopedic dictionary of close to 400 important philosophical, literary, and political terms and concepts that defy easy--or any--translation from one language and culture to another. Drawn from more than a dozen languages, terms such as Dasein (German), pravda (Russian), saudade (Portuguese), and stato (Italian) are thoroughly examined in all their cross-linguistic and cross-cultural complexities. Spanning the classical, medieval, early modern, modern, and contemporary periods, these are terms that influence thinking across the humanities. The entries, written by more than 150 distinguished scholars, describe the origins and meanings of each term, the history and context of its usage, its translations into other languages, and its use in notable texts. The dictionary also includes essays on the special characteristics of particular languages--English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
Originally published in French, this one-of-a-kind reference work is now available in English for the first time, with new contributions from Judith Butler, Daniel Heller-Roazen, Ben Kafka, Kevin McLaughlin, Kenneth Reinhard, Stella Sandford, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Jane Tylus, Anthony Vidler, Susan Wolfson, Robert J. C. Young, and many more.The result is an invaluable reference for students, scholars, and general readers interested in the multilingual lives of some of our most influential words and ideas.Covers close to 400 important philosophical, literary, and political terms that defy easy translation between languages and cultures Includes terms from more than a dozen languages Entries written by more than 150 distinguished thinkers Available in English for the first time, with new contributions by Judith Butler, Daniel Heller-Roazen, Ben Kafka, Kevin McLaughlin, Kenneth Reinhard, Stella Sandford, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Jane Tylus, Anthony Vidler, Susan Wolfson, Robert J. C. Young, and many more Contains extensive cross-references and bibliographies An invaluable resource for students and scholars across the humanities
This broad yet incisive survey of Japanese literarily genres and themes is more than a comparative study of literature, however; it is an attempt to grasp the core of Japanese culture by setting it against world culture. From this born a complex of new ideas and problems, and author is able to probe the extent of Western influence on Japanese fiction, poetry, and essays in the past hundred years.
The authors will focus on and analyze how Dan Brown has repurposed Inferno in his newest book--noting what he gets right and what errors are made when he does not. Of course, Dan Brown is not the first author to base his work on Dante. The Comedy has elicited many adaptations from major canonical writers such as Milton and Keats to popular adaptations like David Fincher's Se7en and Tim Burton's Beetlejuice-- all of which will be discussed in detail within Inferno Revealed.
In this volume, Ngugi wa Thiong’o summarizes and develops a cross-section of the issues he has grappled with in his work, which deploys a strategy of imagery, language, folklore, and character to "decolonize the mind." Ngugi confronts the politics of language in African writing; the problem of linguistic imperialism and literature's ability to resist it; the difficult balance between orality, or "orature," and writing, or "literature"; the tension between national and world literature; and the role of the literary curriculum in both reaffirming and undermining the dominance of the Western canon. Throughout, he engages a range of philosophers and theorists writing on power and postcolonial creativity, including Hegel, Marx, Lévi-Strauss, and Aimé Césaire. Yet his explorations remain grounded in his own experiences with literature (and orature) and reworks the difficult dialectics of theory into richly evocative prose.
By offering a re-reading of seminal works of the Russian literary canon that thematize translation, alongside studies of the circulation and reception of specific translated texts, Translation and the Making of Modern Russian Literature models the long overdue integration of translation into literary and cultural studies.
Written in response to the sudden death of one of his students, who died tragically in an automobile accident on her way to Salwak’s office to talk over her career plans, Teaching Life is an effort to impart lessons to the next generation of teachers: “It was the suddenness of her death, I think, along with the utter loss of so much potential, which struck me forcibly, and I found myself wondering if anything I had said in class had made a difference in her too-short life or, for that matter, in the lives of any of my students.”
By turns analytical, reflective, and exhortatory, Teaching Life unselfconsciously captures the fascination, enlightenment, and sheer joy that literary studies can offer professors and students. It also implicitly speaks to society's prevailing—and disturbing—prejudice against the profession.
Combining analysis of popular texts such as Sister Souljah's The Coldest Winter Ever with more canonical novels such as Jonathan Lethem's The Fortress of Solitude, this study draws on the work of a variety of theorists on community and globalization and uses Brooklyn as a case study for an exploration of the complex relationship between romantic ideals of community and global economic forces. With cites often depicted as sites of conflict and fear, this is a crucial contribution to our understanding of the contemporary urban community and the ethical issues involved in conceptualizing and portraying it in literature.
Aparicio analyzes literary representations of and meditations on the current conditions as well as the recent pasts of Central American homelands. Additionally, the book highlights aesthetic renditions of home at the same time that it engages with and is grounded in contemporary Central American cultures, politics, and societies. In effect, this book contests hegemonic and apparently commonsense views that assert that globalization produces global citizenship and globalized experiences. Instead it argues that a palpable desire for home and belonging survives and thrives in rapidly globalizing Central American homelands.
Hailed as “the indispensable critic” by The New York Review of Books, Harold Bloom—New York Times bestselling writer and Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University—has for decades been sharing with readers and students his genius and passion for understanding literature and explaining why it matters. Now he turns at long last to his beloved writers of our national literature in an expansive and mesmerizing book that is one of his most incisive and profoundly personal to date. 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.
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 the intensity of their preoccupation with the sublime, Bloom proposes, that distinguishes these American writers from their European predecessors.
As he reflects on a lifetime lived among the works explored in this book, Bloom has himself, in this magnificent achievement, created a work touched by the daemon.
Praise for The Daemon Knows
“Enrapturing . . . radiant . . . intoxicating . . . Harold Bloom, who bestrides our literary world like a willfully idiosyncratic colossus, belongs to the party of rapture.”—Cynthia Ozick, The New York Times Book Review
“The capstone to a lifetime of thinking, writing and teaching . . . The primary strength of The Daemon Knows is the brilliance and penetration of the connections Bloom makes among the great writers of the past, the shrewd sketching of intellectual feuds or oppositions that he calls agons. . . . Bloom’s books are like a splendid map of literature, a majestic aerial view that clarifies what we cannot see from the ground.”—The Washington Post
“Audacious . . . The Yale literary scholar has added another remarkable treatise to his voluminous body of work.”—The Huffington Post
“The sublime The Daemon Knows is a veritable feast for the general reader (me) as well as the advanced (I assume) one.”—John Ashbery
“Mesmerizing.”—New York Journal of Books
“Bloom is a formidable critic, an extravagant intellect.”—Chicago Tribune
“As always, Bloom conveys the intimate, urgent, compelling sense of why it matters that we read these canonical authors.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Few people write criticism as nakedly confident as Bloom’s any more.”—The Guardian (U.K.)
From the Hardcover edition.
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Moving across literary ecologies of varying sizes, from small societies to the planet as a whole, the environments in which literary texts are produced and circulated, An Ecology of World Literature places in dialogue scholarly perspectives on ancient and modern, western and non-western texts, navigating literary study into new and uncharted territory.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Each chapter focuses on a specific visual, acoustic, or haptic dimension of media, while also calling attention to the relationships among the three. Famous works such as Wordsworth's "I wandered lonely as a cloud" and Shelley's Frankenstein are discussed alongside a range of lesser-known literary, scientific, and pornographic writings. Topics include the development of a print culture for the visually impaired; the relationship between photography and narrative; the kaleidoscope and modern urban experience; Christmas gift books; poetry, painting and music as remediated forms; the interface among the piano, telegraph, and typewriter; Ernst Heinrich Weber's model of rationalized tactility; and how the shift from visual to auditory telegraphic instruments amplified anxieties about the place of women in nineteenth-century information networks. Full of surprising insights and connections, the collection offers new impetus for stimulating historical conversations and debates about nineteenth-century media, while also contributing fresh perspectives on new media and (re)mediation today.
"What is the nature of intimacy, of what happens in the space between us? And how do we, as writers, catch or reflect it on the page?" Stacey D'Erasmo's insightful and illuminating study examines the craft and the contradictions of creating relationships not only between two lovers but also between friends, family members, acquaintances, and enemies in fiction. She argues for a more honest, more complex portrait of the true nature of the connections and missed connections among characters and, fascinatingly, between the writer and the reader. D'Erasmo takes us deep into the structure and grammar of these intimacies as they have been portrayed by such writers as Joan Didion, Toni Morrison, D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, and William Maxwell, and also by visual artists and filmmakers. She asks whether writing about intimacy is like staring straight into the sun, but it is her own brilliance that dazzles in the piercing and original book, The Art of Intimacy.
This book analyses works by not only Shakespeare but also his contemporaries to argue that many of the plays of Shakespeare's central period, from the second tetralogy to Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, and Othello, engage with the idea of England's borders. But borders, it claims, are not only of geopolitical significance: in Shakespeare's imagination and indeed in that of his culture, eschatological overtones also accrue to the idea of the border. This is because the countries of the Celtic fringe were often discussed in terms of the supernatural and fairy lore and, in particular, the rivers which were often used as boundary markers were invested with heavily mythologized personae.
Thus Hopkins shows that the idea of the border becomes a potent metaphor for exploring the spiritual uncertainties of the period, and for speculating on what happens in 'the undiscovered country, from whose bourn no traveller returns'. At the same time, the idea that a thing can only really be defined in terms of what lies beyond it provides a sharply interrogating charge for Shakespeare's use of metatheatre and for his suggestions of a world beyond the confines of his plays.
Welge’s wide-ranging comparative study focuses on the novels of the late nineteenth century, but it also includes detailed analyses of the pre-Victorian origin of the genealogical-historical novel and the evolution of similar themes in twentieth-century literature. Moving through time, he uncovers often-unsuspected novelistic continuities and international transformations and echoes, from Maria Edgeworth’s Castle Rackrent, published in 1800, to G. Tomasi di Lampedusa’s 1958 book Il Gattopardo.
By revealing the "family resemblance" of novels from Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Brazil, this volume shows how genealogical narratives take on special significance in contexts of cultural periphery. Welge links private and public histories, while simultaneously integrating detailed accounts of various literary fields across the globe. In combining theories of the novel, recent discussions of cultural geography, and new approaches to genealogical narratives, Genealogical Fictions addresses a significant part of European and Latin American literary history in which texts from different national cultures illuminate each other in unsuspected ways and reveal the repetition, as well as the variation, among them. This book should be of interest to students and scholars of comparative literature, world literature, and the history and theory of the modern novel.-- William Egginton, Johns Hopkins University
Investigating Helen’s status in ancient Greek sources, Edmunds argues that if Helen was just one trope of the abducted wife, the quest for Helen’s origin in Spartan cult can be abandoned, as can the quest for an Indo-European goddess who grew into the Helen myth. He explains that Helen was not a divine essence but a narrative figure that could replicate itself as needed, at various times or places in ancient Greece. Edmunds recovers some of these narrative Helens, such as those of the Pythagoreans and of Simon Magus, which then inspired the Helens of the Faust legend and Goethe.
Stealing Helen offers a detailed critique of prevailing views behind the "real" Helen and presents an eye-opening exploration of the many sources for this international mythical and literary icon.
“You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte. “That in itself is a tremendous thing.”
—from Charlotte's Web by E. B. White
Friendship encompasses a wide range of social bonds, from playground companionship and wartime camaraderie to modern marriages and Facebook links. For many, friendship is more meaningful than familial ties. And yet it is our least codified relationship, with no legal standing or bureaucratic definition. In A Tremendous Thing, Gregory Jusdanis explores the complex, sometimes contradictory nature of friendship, reclaiming its importance in both society and the humanities today. Ranging widely in his discussion, he looks at the art of friendship and friendship in art, finding a compelling link between our need for friends and our engagement with fiction. Both, he contends, necessitate the possibility of entering invented worlds, of reading the minds of others, and of learning to live with people.
Investigating the ethics, aesthetics, and politics of friendship, Jusdanis draws from the earliest writings to the present, from the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Iliad to Charlotte's Web and “Brokeback Mountain,” as well as from philosophy, sociology, evolutionary biology, psychology, and political theory. He asks: What makes friends stay together? Why do we associate friendship with mourning? Does friendship contribute to the formation of political communities? Can friends desire each other? The history of friendship demonstrates that human beings are a mutually supportive species with an innate aptitude to envision and create ties with others. At a time when we are confronted by war, economic inequality, and climate change, Jusdanis suggests that we reclaim friendship to harness our capacity for cooperation and empathy.
The run-up to Victoria's coronation witnessed a series of controversial liberal reforms. While many early Victorians considered the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts (1828), the granting of civil rights to Roman Catholics (1829), and the extension of the franchise (1832) significant advances, for others these three acts signaled a shift in English culture by which authority in matters spiritual and political was increasingly ceded to individuals. Victorians from a variety of religious perspectives appropriated the lives of Roman Catholic saints to create narratives of English identity that resisted the recent cultural shift towards private judgment. Paradoxically, conservative Victorians' handling of the saints and the saints' lives in their sheer variety represented an assertion of individual authority that ultimately led to a synthesis of liberalism and conservatism and was a key feature of an emergent secular state characterized not by disbelief but by a range of possible beliefs.
Scholars have long recognized the direct influence of Rousseau on Goethe's first novel, Werther, but have believed that Goethe's enthusiasm waned thereafter. Hammer, in contrast, finds the affinity revealed even more strongly in Goethe's later works.