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Editor: Kheven LaGrone
Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Color Purple is a tale of personal empowerment which opens with a protagonist Celie who is at the bottom of America's social caste. A poor, black, ugly and uneducated female in the America's Jim Crow South in the first half of the 20th century, she is the victim of constant rape, violence and misogynistic verbal abuse. Celie cannot conceive of an escape from her present condition, and so she learns to be passive and unemotional. But The Color Purple eventually demonstrates how Celie learns to fight back and how she discovers her true sexuality and her unique voice. By the end of the novel, Celie is an empowered, financially-independent entrepreneur/landowner, one who speaks her mind and realizes the desirability of black femaleness while creating a safe space for herself and those she loves. Through a journey of literary criticism, Dialogue: Alice Walker's The Color Purple follows Celie's transformation from victim to hero. Each scholarly essay becomes a step of the journey that paves the way for the development of self and sexual awareness, the beginnings of religious transformation and the creation of nurturing places like home and community.
Author: Brian Duffy
Morality, Identity and Narrative in the Fiction of Richard Ford is only the second monograph on the work of Richard Ford and the only one to deal with all three Frank Bascombe novels. The book offers comprehensive readings of the trilogy and the stories of Women with Men and A Multitude of Sins, thus bringing critical work on Ford up to date. Richard Ford insists that fiction contain a “moral vision”, and this study takes up that challenge by investigating Ford’s characters through the interconnections of morality, identity and narrative. It draws on the moral theories of Alasdair MacIntyre and Charles Taylor, and on the work on narrative and identity of French philosopher Paul Ricoeur. But it also explores in detail the portrait of contemporary American society and culture offered in the trilogy, analysing the individualism, exclusionary independence and laissez-faire principles of Independence Day, and the consumerism, sectionalism, self-absorption, enervation and violence of The Lay of the Land. This study traces the emerging vision in the trilogy of America as an atomized society in a state of disharmony and fear, and as a culture casting around for meaning, identity and spiritual peace. The book also contains an extensive recent interview with Richard Ford.
Idioms of Imagining in American Literary Fiction
Author: A. Robert Lee
Gothic to Multicultural: Idioms of Imagining in American Literary Fiction, twenty-three essays each carefully revised from the past four decades, explores both range and individual register. The collection opens with considerations of gothic as light and dark in Charles Brockden Brown, war and peace in Cooper’s The Spy, Antarctica as world-genesis in Poe’s The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, the link of “The Custom House” and main text in Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, reflexive codings in Melville’s Moby-Dick and The Confidence-Man, Henry James’ Hawthorne as self-mirroring biography, and Stephen Crane’s working of his Civil War episode in The Red Badge of Courage. Two composite lineages address apocalypse in African American fiction and landscape in women’s authorship from Sarah Orne Jewett to Leslie Marmon Silko. There follow culture and anarchy in Henry James’ The Princess Casamassima, text-into-film in Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, modernist stylings in Fitzgerald, Faulkner and Hemingway, and roman noir in Cornell Woolrich. The collection then turns to the limitations of protest categorization for Richard Wright and Chester Himes, autofiction in J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, and the novel of ideas in Robert Penn Warren’s late fiction. Three closing essays take up multicultural genealogy, Harlem, then the Black South, in African American fiction, and the reclamation of voice in Native American fiction.
Presenting the first full-length collection of essays on Eudora Welty’s novel, Delta Wedding (1946), this volume is the fourth book in Rodopi Press’s Dialogue Series. Within these pages, emerging and experienced literary critics engage in an exciting dialogue about Welty’s noted novel, presenting a wide range of scholarship that focuses on feminist concerns, pays tribute to the rhetoric of exclusion and empowerment, examines the role of outsider and boundaries, explores meaning-making, and highlights the novel’s humor and musicality. This volume will no doubt be of interest to Welty aficianados as well as southern studies and feminist scholars and to those who are interested in the craft of writing fiction.
Editor: Joe Moffett
Presenting work from scholars of various ranks and locations—including Canada, Romania, Taiwan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the UK, and the USA—this volume offers critical perspectives on what is often considered the most important poem of literary modernism: T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. The essays explore such topics as Eliot’s use of sources, his poem’s form, his influences, and his alleged misogyny. Building off contemporary work on Eliot and his poem, these essays illustrate the continued importance of The Waste Land in our understanding of the last century. This book should be of interest to students and scholars of modernism and modernist poetry.
Editor: 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?
Cut-Up Narratives from William S. Burroughs to the Present
Shift Linguals traces a history of the cut-up method, the experimental writing practice discovered by Brion Gysin and made famous by Beat author William S. Burroughs. From the groundbreaking works of Dada and Surrealism that paved the way for Burroughs’ breakthrough, through the countercultural explosion of the 1960s, Shift Linguals explores the evolution of the cut-ups within the theoretical frameworks of postmodernism and the avant-garde to arrive at the present and the digital age.
Some 50 years on from the first ‘discovery’ of the cut-ups in 1959, it is only now that we are truly able to observe the method’s impact, not only on literature, but on music and culture in a broader sense. The result of over nine years of research, this study represents the first sustained and detailed analysis of the cut-ups as a narrative form. With explorations of the works of Burroughs, Gysin, Kathy Acker, and John Giorno, it also contains the first critical writing on the works of Claude Pélieu and Carl Weissner in English, as well as the first in-depth discussion of the writing of Stewart Home to date.
Author: 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.
The Post-Postmodern Syndrome in American Fiction at the Turn of the Millennium
Author: Nicoline Timmer
Do You Feel It Too? explores a new sense of self that is becoming manifest in experimental fiction written by a generation of authors who can be considered the ‘heirs’ of the postmodern tradition. It offers a precise, in-depth analysis of a new, post-postmodern direction in fiction writing, and highlights which aspects are most acute in the post-postmodern novel. Most notable is the emphatic expression of feelings and sentiments and a drive toward inter-subjective connection and communication. The self that is presented in these post-postmodern works of fiction can best be characterized as relational. To analyze this new sense of self, a new interpretational method is introduced that offers a sophisticated approach to fictional selves combining the insights of post-classical narratology and what is called ‘narrative psychology’. Close analyses of three contemporary experimental texts – Infinite Jest (1996) by David Foster Wallace, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (2000) by Dave Eggers, and House of Leaves (2000) by Mark Danielewski – provide insight into the typical problems that the self experiences in postmodern cultural contexts. Three such problems or ‘symptoms’ are singled out and analyzed in depth: an inability to choose because of a lack of decision-making tools; a difficulty to situate or appropriate feelings; and a structural need for a ‘we’ (a desire for connectivity and sociality). The critique that can be distilled from these texts, especially on the perceived solipsistic quality of postmodern experience worlds, runs parallel to developments in recent critical theory. These developments, in fiction and theory both, signal, in the wake of poststructural conceptions of subjectivity, a perhaps much awaited ‘turn to the human’ in our culture at large today.
Domestic Politics and the American Novel of World War I
Author: Karsten H. Piep
Embattled Home Fronts is an inquiry into the highly conflicted US American experience of World War I as it plays itself out in the diverse body of novelistic works to which it has given rise and by which it has been, in turn, shaped and commemorated. As such, this book naturally concerns itself with the formal aspects of artistic war representation. But rather than merely endeavoring to illustrate how American writers from various backgrounds chose to depict World War I, the present work seeks to uncover the particular ideologies and political practices that inform these representational choices.
To this end, Embattled Home Fronts examines both canonized and marginalized US American World War I novels within the context of contemporaneous debates over shifting class, gender, and race relations. The book contends that American literary representations of the Great War are shaped less by universal insights into modern society’s self-destructiveness than by concerted efforts to fashion class-, gender-, and race-specific experiences of warfare in ways that stabilize and heighten political group identities. In moving beyond the customary focus on ironic war representations, Embattled Home Fronts illustrates that the representational and ideological battles fought within American World War I literature not only shed light on the emergence of powerful identity-political concepts such as the New Woman and the New Negro, but also speak to the reappearance of utopian, communitarian, and social protest fictions in the early 1930s.
This study Embattled Home Fronts provides a new understanding of the relationship between war literature and home front politics that should be of interest to students and scholars working from a variety of disciplines and perspectives