Simplify, simplify! Brevity, Plainness and Their Complications in American Literature and Culture

Festschrift for Bernd Engler on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday

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Edited by Isabell Klaiber, Oliver Scheiding and Jan Stievermann

This volume explores the varieties of the short form in American literature, art and culture, as well as different ideas and aesthetics of simplicity, plainness, and brevity from the 19th century to the present.
The contributors discuss how these ideas were translated into widely diverging practices, serving an equally broad spectrum of cultural and political functions. The essays survey a range of media and genres, including short fiction, plays, songs, photography, film, and twitter. Here, brevity and simplicity serve a wide spectrum of cultural and political functions.

Field Guide to the Birds of Suriname

Revised and Updated Second Edition

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Arie L. Spaans, Otte H. Ottema and Jan Hein J.M. Ribot

Suriname, located on the Atlantic coast of northeastern South America, is a relatively small country compared to most other South American countries. It nevertheless has a rich avifauna. By the end of 2017, 751 species (including 765 subspecies) were known to occur in Suriname. Most of the land area of Suriname is still covered with tropical rainforest and the country should be a must-visit for birdwatchers. Suriname is even mentioned as being the best country to spot certain neotropical species. Surprisingly, few birders visit Suriname. The main reason given is the lack of a handy pocket guide that can easily be carried in a backpack. This (revised and updated) edition of the Field Guide to the Birds of Suriname (with its 109 color plates) tries to fill this gap. In addition to species accounts, data on topography, climate, geology, geomorphology, biogeography, avifauna composition, conservation, and hotspots for bird watching are given. So, why delay your trip to this beautiful and friendly country any longer? Suriname with its rich avifauna awaits you!

(Extra)Ordinary?

The Concept of Authenticity in Celebrity and Fan Studies

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Edited by Jade Alexander and Katarzyna Bronk

Questioning what “makes” a celebrity and how celebrity is controlled, dispersed and received are aspects branching out of (Extra)Ordinary’s debate over celebrities as ordinary/extraordinary. Jade Alexander and Katarzyna Bronk, together with the authors whose chapters make up this inter-disciplinary discussion, not only utilise the existing research on celebrity and fandom, but they also go beyond the often-quoted theorists to engage in multidirectional analyses of what it means to be a celebrity, and what influence they have on the consuming public. The present book provides an avenue for exploring not just what celebrity is as a discursive construction, but also how this involves a complex interplay between celebrities, the media and the audience.

Poetic Revolutionaries

Intertextuality & Subversion

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Marion May Campbell

Poetic Revolutionaries is an exploration of the relationship between radical textual practice, social critique and subversion. From an introduction considering recent debates regarding the cultural politics of intertextuality allied to avant-garde practice, the study proceeds to an exploration of texts by a range of writers for whom formal and poetic experimentation is allied to a subversive politics: Jean Genet, Monique Wittig, Angela Carter, Kathy Acker, Kathleen Mary Fallon, Kim Scott and Brian Castro. Drawing on theories of avant-garde practice, intertextuality, parody, representation, and performance such as those of Mikhaïl Bakhtin, Julia Kristeva, Gérard Genette, Margaret A. Rose, Linda Hutcheon, Fredric Jameson, Ross Chambers and Judith Butler, these readings explore how a confluence of writing strategies – covering the structural, narratological, stylistic and scenographic – can work to boost a text’s subversive power.

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Andrew Keller Estes

In Cormac McCarthy and the Writing of American Spaces Andrew Estes examines ideas about the land as they emerge in the later fiction of this important contemporary author. McCarthy's texts are shown to be part of larger narratives about American environments. Against the backdrop of the emerging discipline of environmental criticism, Estes investigates the way space has been constructed in U.S. American writing. Cormac McCarthy is found to be heir to diametrically opposed concepts of space: as something Americans embraced as either overwhelmingly positive and reinvigorating or as rather negative and threatening. McCarthy's texts both replicate this binary thinking about American environments and challenge readers to reconceive traditional ways of seeing space. Breaking new ground as to how literary landscapes and spaces are critically assessed this study seeks to examine the many detailed descriptions of the physical world in McCarthy on their own terms. Adding to so-called 'second wave' environmental criticism, it reaches beyond an earlier, limited understanding of the environment as 'nature' to consider both natural landscapes and built environments. Chapter one discusses the field of environmental criticism in reference to McCarthy while chapter two offers a brief narrative of conceptions of space in the U.S. Chapter three highlights trends in McCarthy criticism. Chapters four through eight provide close readings of McCarthy's later novels, from Blood Meridian to The Road.

East of Eden

New and Recent Essays

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Edited by Michael J. Meyer and Henry Veggian

This volume includes one dozen new and recent essays on John Steinbeck’s East of Eden (1952). First commissioned by the late Professor Michael J. Meyer, a renowned Steinbeck scholar, the volume was originally designed to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the novel’s publication. The collection contains critical writings from a variety of literary fields. These include the biographical essay, travel essay, essays on varied themes in Steinbeck’s works, writings on critical approaches to Steinbeck and also a new essay on Elia Kazan’s film adaptation of the novel. This volume is of interest for the Steinbeck scholar, the literary critic and also the casual reader seeking new ways to understand Steinbeck’s novel.

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James Aitchison

New Guide to Poetry and Poetics opens with analyses of the elemental forces of creativity: the creative impulse, the creative imagination and the sacred impulse. The book then describes in detail how a poet’s voice and vision are formed and sometimes reformed in the course of a career, and it establishes the real nature of rhythm and music in poetry. Problematic areas – inspiration, meaning, reality, myth and mystery in poetry – are fully explored in discourses that identify the true properties of poetry, dispel several misconceptions and expose inadequacies in current literary theory.
The author examines concepts of poetry from Plato to the twenty-first century. The book includes detailed studies of the principles of poetry expressed by Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley and Keats at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and of the widely contrasting principles of Arnold and Emerson in the second half of that century. There are radical re-assessments of the concepts – in effect, the philosophies – of major poet-critics of the twentieth century: W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, W. H. Auden, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams and Stephen Spender. The poetic principles of Seamus Heaney and Robert Nye form a bridge from the last century to the present.
By focusing on the creative process and applying the findings of linguistics and neuroscience, the book shows ways in which the poet’s mind functions in the making of poems. On questions of brain and mind the book considers the findings, and the conjectures, of Daniel Dennett, Antonio Damasio, Oliver Sacks, Michael Persinger and the remarkably durable work of William James. On questions of language it considers the works of Ludwig Wittgenstein and recent work by Noam Chomsky, David Crystal and Steven Pinker; the author also draws on his own knowledge of the properties of language.

Paroles de salauds

Max Aue et cie

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Edited by Luc Rasson

La publication des Bienveillantes de Jonathan Littell (2006) a projeté sur l’avant-plan la figure inquiétante du « salaud » (ou du « monstre », ou du « bourreau ») prenant la parole. Cette figure n’est pas inédite. Au début des années cinquante, Robert Merle avait déjà octroyé le monopole narratif au monstre par excellence que fut Rudolf Höss, le commandant d’Auschwitz. Même un Jean-Paul Sartre, dans une nouvelle célèbre parue en 1939, avait fait parler l’infâme. D’autres écrivains, à diverses époques et issus d’aires linguistiques différentes, n’ont pas hésité à mettre en place des dispositifs énonciatifs comparables, tels Jorge-Luis Borges, Alberto Moravia, Edgar Hilsenrath, Harry Mulisch ou Roberto Bolaño, parmi d’autres. Le présent volume s’interroge sur les stratégies d’interprétation que le lecteur peut mettre en œuvre face à ces prises de paroles dérangeantes. Qu’est-ce que l’abjection et comment lutter contre elle?

Visibility beyond the Visible

The Poetic Discourse of American Transcendentalism

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Albena Bakratcheva

Visibility beyond the Visible. The Poetic Discourse of American Transcendentalism is the first study to entirely deal with the poetics of American Transcendentalism. The author takes it for granted that the major New England transcendentalists were writers of utmost literary significance and so focuses thoroughly on their extremely rich and many-sided poetic discourse. The book’s inevitable European perspective only enhances its preoccupation with the Americanness of the New England Transcendentalists, thus making it emphasize, in all the aspects of its concern, the uniqueness of the interrelation between place-sense and artistry which the transcendentalists’ writings offer. Because most of these writings hold iconic stature as American masterpieces, both scholars and lay readers will welcome Visibility beyond the Visible. The Poetic Discourse of American Transcendentalism as opening novel horizons for greater insights, deeper understandings, and further exploration of the poetic complexities of Emerson’s, Thoreau’s, M. Fuller’s, and their co-thinkers’ work.

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Etienne Terblanche

By employing the modernist devices of fragmentation, recombination, and accentuated blank space, E. E. Cummings engages singularly with being on earth. This ecological achievement was largely ignored by the New Critics, and the subsequent semiotic spirit which has been holding that the sign hardly has to do with concrete existence on earth ironically perpetuated the neglect. In this book Etienne Terblanche shows that Cummings’s ecology relocates his oeuvre and status in contemporary discourse. For, the poet follows, mimes, and connects with the unfolding changes of earthly existence and growth—what he views as the ‘Tao’ of being—in his lyricism, sex poems, satire, and visual-verbal poems. This is true especially of the elusive manner or ‘how’ of his poetry overall. Careful ecocritical reading of this active culture-nature integrity in his poetry brings about an imperative new understanding and placement of his project. It further serves to show that, in their different ways, T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound engage with nature in a similar way, thus again accentuating the importance of Cummings’s poetic project to the neglected and vital ecocritical perception of modernism in poetry.