A detailed and comprehensive title, this reissue will be of particular value to undergraduate literature students with an interest in literary genres and the centrality of literature to the creative imagination.
Kathryn Hume's purpose in writing this book is to offer a new account of the poem, one based on a systematic attempt to assess the validity and usefulness of various possible approaches to the work. She shows saneness, balance, and humour both in her criticism of previous interpretations and in her own conclusions. We need, she insists, to understand the nature of the poem before we erect elaborate theories about its meaning.
The contradictoriness of the relevant avian traditions, the birds' complete incompetence as debaters, the poem's curiously indeterminate ending, and the critics' inability to agree even on the subject of the controversy, she argues, makes it difficult to see the work as a serious debate about anything. Attempts to find an extrinsic or allegorical meaning have proven radically contradictory and have all neglected large portions of the poem. But since no serious issue is present in the bird's dialogue, the meaning of the poem must indeed be sought elsewhere.
Analysis of The Owl and the Nightingale's sequential impact and its manipulation of audience response emphasize the debate's lack of direction, its bitterness, and also – from the reader's point of view – its humour. Kathryn Hume argues that a great deal is clarified and made comprehensible if we regard the poem as a burlesque-satire on human contentiousness. The birds' illogic, the wandering arguments, the unsystematic introduction of various human concerns, and the inconclusive ending are all consistent with the idea that the poem was written as a witty caricature of petty but vicious human quarrelling.
Both for its sane reinterpretation of what is widely considered one of the masterpieces of Middle English literature and for the interpretative methodology it employs, The Owl and the Nightingle: The Poem and Its Critics should be of lasting value to medievalists.
Over the course of fifteen books and millions of words, the world that Jordan created grew in depth and complexity. However, only a fraction of what Jordan imagined ended up on the page, the rest going into his personal files.
Now The Wheel of Time Companion sheds light on some of the most intriguing aspects of the world, including biographies and motivations of many characters that never made it into the books, but helped bring Jordan's world to life.
Included in the volume in an A-to-Z format are:
An entry for each named character
An inclusive dictionary of the Old Tongue
New maps of the Last Battle
New portraits of many characters
Histories and customs of the nations of the world
The strength level of many channelers
Descriptions of the flora and fauna unique to the world
And much more!
The Wheel of Time Companion will be required reading for The Wheel of Time's millions of fans.
The Wheel of Time®
New Spring: The Novel
#1 The Eye of the World
#2 The Great Hunt
#3 The Dragon Reborn
#4 The Shadow Rising
#5 The Fires of Heaven
#6 Lord of Chaos
#7 A Crown of Swords
#8 The Path of Daggers
#9 Winter's Heart
#10 Crossroads of Twilight
#11 Knife of Dreams
By Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
#12 The Gathering Storm
#13 Towers of Midnight
#14 A Memory of Light
By Robert Jordan and Teresa Patterson
The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time
By Robert Jordan, Harriet McDougal, Alan Romanczuk, and Maria Simons
The Wheel of Time Companion
By Robert Jordan and Amy Romanczuk
Patterns of the Wheel: Coloring Art Based on Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
In her reliable and sympathetic guide, Hume considers roughly forty works of recent American fiction, including books by William Burroughs, Kathy Acker, Chuck Palahniuk, and Cormac McCarthy. Hume gathers "attacks" on the reader into categories based on narrative structure and content. Writers of some aggressive fictions may wish to frustrate easy interpretation or criticism. Others may try to induce certain responses in readers. Extreme content deployed as a tactic for distancing and alienating can actually produce a contradictory effect: for readers who learn to relax and go with the flow, the result may well be exhilaration rather than revulsion.