The Neo-Buddhist Writings of Lafcadio Hearn: Light from the East by Antony Goedhals offers radical rereadings of a misunderstood and undervalued Victorian writer. It reveals that at the metaphysical core of Lafcadio Hearn’s writings is a Buddhist vision as yet unappreciated by his critics and biographers. Beginning with the American writings and ending with the essay- and story-meditations of the Japanese period, the book demonstrates Hearn’s deeply personal and transcendently beautiful evocations of a Buddhist universe, and shows how these deconstruct and dissolve the categories of Western discourse and thinking about reality – to create a new language, a poetry of vastness, emptiness, and oneness that had not been heard before in English, or, indeed, in the West.
The Excommunication of Elizabeth I, Aislinn Muller examines the excommunication and deposition of Queen Elizabeth I of England by the Roman Catholic Church, and its political afterlife during her reign. Muller shows that Elizabeth’s excommunication was a crucial turning point for both Catholics and Protestants, one that irrevocably changed attitudes towards the queen, widened political participation and resistance, and posed a destabilising threat to her regime. The Excommunication of Elizabeth I demonstrates how this event exacerbated religious tensions in England’s foreign and domestic politics, and how Elizabeth’s conflict with the papacy shaped the development of anti-Catholicism in post-Reformation England.
American History in Transition, Yoshinari Yamaguchi provides fresh insights into early efforts in American history writing, ranging from Jeremy Belknap’s Massachusetts Historical Society to Emma Willard’s geographic history and Francis Parkman’s history of deep time to Henry Adams’s thermodynamic history. Although not a well-organized set of professional researchers, these historians shared the same concern: the problems of temporalization and secularization in history writing.
As the time-honored framework of sacred history was gradually outdated, American historians at that time turned to individual facts as possible evidence for a new generalization, and tried different “scientific” theories to give coherency to their writings. History writing was in its transitional phase, shifting from religion to science, deduction to induction, and static to dynamic worldview.
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.
How are well-known female characters from the Bible represented in late 20th-century novels? In
Biblical Women in Contemporary Novels in English, Ingrid Bertrand presents a detailed analysis of biblical rewritings by Roberts, Atwood, Tennant, Diamant and Diski focusing on six different women (Eve, Noah’s wife, Sarah, Bilhah, Dinah and Mary Magdalene). She shows how these heroines give themselves a voice that rests not only on words but also on silences. Exploring the many forms that silence can take, she presents an innovative typology that sheds new light on this profoundly meaningful phenomenon.
Empirical Form and Religious Function provides a fresh perspective on the rise of empirical apparition narratives in the Anglophone world of the Early Enlightenment era.
Drawing on both well-established and previously unknown sources, Michael Dopffel here offers a fundamental reappraisal of one of the defining narrative genres of the 17th and 18th centuries. Intricately connected to evolving discourses of natural philosophy, Protestant religion and popular literature, the apparition narratives portrayed in this work constitute a hybrid genre whose interpretations and literary functions retained the ambiguity of their subject matter. Simultaneously an empirically approachable phenomena and a religious experience, witnesses and writers translated the spiritual characteristics of apparitions into distinct literary forms, thereby shaping conceptions of ghosts, whether factual or fictional, to this day.
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.
The Brand of Print offers a comprehensive analysis of the ways printers, publishers, stationers, and booksellers designed paratexts to market printed books as cultural commodities. This study traces envoys to the reader, visual design in title pages and tables of contents, and patron dedications, illustrating how the agents of print branded their markets by crafting relationships with readers and articulating the value of their labor in an increasingly competitive trade. Applying terms from contemporary marketing theory to the study of early modern paratexts, Andie Silva encourages a consideration of how print agents' labor and agency, made visible through paratextual design, continues to influence how we read, study, and digitize early modern texts.