George MacDonald is generally remembered as a benevolent preacher who wrote fairy-tales books for children. Closer reading, however, reveals one of the most startlingly inventive, slyly subversive Scottish writers of the nineteenth century. His writings for children emerged from his own long struggle with faith and doubt in the face of multiple bereavements, chronic illness, and the persistent threat of early death.
Haunted Childhoods in George MacDonald reconsiders death and divine love in MacDonald’s writings for children. It examines his private letters and public sermons, obscure early writings, and most beloved stories. Setting his work alongside texts by James Hogg and Andrew Lang, it argues MacDonald appropriated traditional Scottish-folk narratives to help child readers apprehend his mystically-inclined understanding of mortality.
The Poetics and Politics of Hospitality in U.S. Literature and Culture explores hospitality in a range of cultural expressions from a variety of approaches. The authors analyze and discuss forms of hospitality in canonical literature, ethnic literatures, language or movies. These span from the classical to the contemporary and include a focus on language, power, hybridism, and sociology. The common theme in these contributions is that of American identity. By looking at a diversity of representations of American culture, using a multiplicity of approaches, the authors convey the richness of American hospitality as a vital aspect of its culture.
The essays in
Retranslating Joyce for the 21st Century straddle the disciplines of Joyce studies, translation studies, and translation theory. The newest scholarly developments in these fields are well reflected in recent retranslations of Joyce’s works into Italian, Portuguese, French, Hungarian, Dutch, Turkish, German, South Slavic, and many other languages. Joyce critics and Joyce translators offer multi-angled critical attention to the issues of translation and retranslation, enhanced by their diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds and innovative methodologies. Because retranslations of Joyce have also exerted significant influence on target language cultures, students and readers of Joyce and, more broadly, of modernist and world literature, will find this book highly relevant to their appreciation of literature in translation.
T. S. Eliot’s Ascetic Ideal, Joshua Richards charts an intellectual history of T. S. Eliot’s interaction with asceticism. This history is drawn from Eliot’s own education in the topic with the texts he read integrated into detailed textual analysis. Eliot’s early encounters with the ascetic ideal began a lifetime of interplay and reflection upon self-denial, purgation, and self-surrender. In 1909, he began a study of mysticism, likely, in George Santayana’s seminar, and thereafter showed the influence of this education. Yet, his interaction with the ascetic ideal and his background in mysticism was not a simple thing; still, his early cynicism was slowly transformed to an embrace.
This collection emphasizes a cross-disciplinary approach to the relevance of borders and bordering as a spatial paradigm in Anglophone studies. It sets out to provide a critical counter-narrative to the 1990s globalization argument of a “borderless” world by insisting on the significant roles borders play. The essays range in subject matter from geography, history, British and American literature to painting and Reggae music and map out different conceptualisations of the border: place, line, process, contact zones, etc. The volume’s cross-border “narrative” serves as a point of communication between the local and the global, between Europe and America, between different literary and artistic genres, thus challenging the divides of geography and literature, between “real” territorial borders and their “fictional” counterparts.
Sydney Goodsir Smith, Poet: Essays on His Life and Work offers the first substantial work to assess his life and writings since his premature death in 1975. Considered a major figure in the second wave of Hugh MacDiarmid’s ‘Scottish Literary Renaissance’, Smith’s unique body of work has largely fallen from critical discussion of post-war Scottish literature.
This book remedies this by showing how his work may have fallen out of favour, and then by reappraising his distinctive and varied achievements in poetry, drama, art and art criticism, the novel and translations. Early career and established academics explore the many strands of his work as the best way of giving this multifaceted literary figure renewed attention.
Paul Muldoon and the Language of Poetry is the first book in years that attends to the entire
oeuvre of the Irish-American poet, critic, lyricist, dramatist and Princeton professor from his debut with
New Weather in 1973 up to his very recent publications. Ruben Moi’s book explores, in correspondence with language philosophy and critical debate, how Muldoon’s ingenious language and inventive form give shape and significance to his poetry, and how his linguistic panache and technical verve keep language forever surprising, new and alive.
Contemporary Fairy-Tale Magic, edited by Lydia Brugué and Auba Llompart, studies the impact of fairy tales on contemporary cultures from an interdisciplinary perspective, with special emphasis on how literature and film are retelling classic fairy tales for modern audiences. We are currently witnessing a resurgence of fairy tales and fairy-tale characters and motifs in art and popular culture, as well as an increasing and renewed interest in reinventing and subverting these narratives to adapt them to the expectations and needs of the contemporary public. The collected essays also observe how the influence of academic disciplines like Gender Studies and current literary and cinematic trends play an important part in the revision of fairy-tale plots, characters and themes.
Green Matters offers a fascinating insight into the regenerative function of literature with regard to environmental concerns. Based on recent developments in ecocriticism, the book demonstrates how the aesthetic dimension of literary texts makes them a vital force in the struggle for sustainable futures. Applying this understanding to individual works from a number of different thematic fields, cultural contexts and literary genres,
Green Matters presents novel approaches to the manifold ways in which literature can make a difference. While the first sections of the book highlight the transnational, the focus on Canada in the last section allows a more specific exploration of how themes, genres and literary forms develop their own manifestations within a national context. Through its unifying ecocultural focus and its variegated approaches, the volume is an essential contribution to contemporary environmental humanities.
out of the ordinary? This volume focuses on that which has been regarded as ordinary, self-evident and formulaic in literary and cultural phenomena such as diasporic cuisine, pet adoption narratives, Prairie writing, romance between stepsiblings, the program of a political party, and everyday shopping in poetry. The book argues that by engaging with that which is perceived as ordinary we also gain understanding of how otherness becomes defined and constituted. The volume seeks new ways to access that which might lie in-between or beyond the opposition between exploitation and emancipation, and contests the hegemonic logic of revealing oppression and rebuilding liberation in contemporary critical theory to create new ways of knowing which grow out of the ordinary.