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Literary Criticism

BLACK AVATAR

BLACK AVATAR

By: Majmudar, Amit
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The first nonfiction collection by internationally acclaimed writer and translator Amit Majmudar, Black Avatar combines elements of memoir, biography, history, and literary criticism.

The eight pieces in this deeply engaging volume reflect author Amit Majmudar's comprehensive studies of American, European, and Indian traditions, as well as his experiences in both suburban Ohio and the western Indian state of Gujarat. The volume begins with the title piece, a fifteen-part examination of "How Colorism Came to India." Tracing the evolution of India's bias in favor of light skin, Majmudar reflects on the effects of colonialism, drawing upon sources ranging from early Sanskrit texts to contemporary film and television.

Other essays illuminate subjects both timely and timeless. "The Ramayana and the Birth of Poetry" discusses how suffering is portrayed in art and literature ("The spectrum of suffering: slapstick on one end, scripture on the other, with fiction and poetry . . . in the vastness between them"), while in "Five Famous Asian War Photographs"--a 2018 Best American Essays selection--Majmudar analyzes why these iconic images of atrocity have such emotional resonance. In "Nature/Worship," another multi-part piece, the author turns his attention to climate change, linking notions of environmentalism to his ancestral tradition of finding divinity within the natural world, connections that form the basis of religious belief.

Perhaps the greatest achievement of these wide-ranging essays is the prose itself--learned yet lively, erudite yet accessible--nimbly revealing the workings of a wonderfully original mind.

BLEMISHED KINGS

BLEMISHED KINGS

By: Kouklanakis, Andrea
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Each of the suitors in the Odyssey is eager to become the king of Ithaca by marrying Penelope and disqualifying Telemachus from his rightful royal inheritance. Their words are contentious, censorious, and intent on marking Odysseus' son as unfit for kingship. However, in keeping with other reversals in the Odyssey, it is the suitors who are shown to be unfit to rule.

In Blemished Kings, Andrea Kouklanakis interprets the language of the suitors--their fighting words--as Homeric expressions of reproach and critique against unsuitable kings. She suggests that the suitors' disparaging expressions, and the refutations they provoke from Telemachus and from Odysseus himself, rest on the ideology whereby a blemished king cannot rule. Therefore, the suitors vehemently reject Telemachus' suggestion that they are to be blamed. She shows that in the Odyssey there is linguistic and semantic evidence for the concept that blame poetry can physically blemish, hence disqualify, rulers. In her comparative approach, Kouklanakis looks towards the regulatory role of satire in early Irish law and myth, particularly the taboo against a blemished-face king, offering thereby a socio-poetic context for the suitors' struggles for kingship.

BREATHING AESTHETICS

BREATHING AESTHETICS

By: Tremblay, Jean-Thomas
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In Breathing Aesthetics Jean-Thomas Tremblay argues that difficult breathing indexes the uneven distribution of risk in a contemporary era marked by the increasing contamination, weaponization, and monetization of air. Tremblay shows how biopolitical and necropolitical forces tied to the continuation of extractive capitalism, imperialism, and structural racism are embodied and experienced through respiration. They identify responses to the crisis in breathing in aesthetic practices ranging from the film work of Cuban American artist Ana Mendieta to the disability diaries of Bob Flanagan, to the Black queer speculative fiction of Renee Gladman. In readings of these and other minoritarian works of experimental film, endurance performance, ecopoetics, and cinema-vérité, Tremblay contends that articulations of survival now depend on the management and dispersal of respiratory hazards. In so doing, they reveal how an aesthetic attention to breathing generates historically, culturally, and environmentally situated tactics and strategies for living under precarity.
CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO THE CLASSIC RUSSIAN NOVEL

CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO THE CLASSIC RUSSIAN NOVEL

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The Cambridge Companion to the Classic Russian Novel offers a thematic account of a tradition that produced some of the most influential novels of the Western world. In newly-commissioned essays by prominent scholars, the work of Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Turgenev, Bulgakov, Nabokov, Pasternak, Solzhenitsyn and many others is described and discussed. There is a chronology and guide to further reading, and all quotations are in English. The volume will be invaluable for students, scholars and anyone interested in the Russian novel.
CANDOR & PERVERSION: Literature, Education, and the Arts

CANDOR & PERVERSION: Literature, Education, and the Arts

By: Shattuck, Roger
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With incisive analysis, he elucidates the nature of intellectual craftsmanship, defends art's undeniable moral component, and, faced with an academic world shattered by theory, laments how extra-literary politics have grown increasingly dominant, now attempting to eliminate the very category of literature. Whether commenting on Foucault, Pulp Fiction, Georgia O'Keeffe, V.S. Naipaul, or the survival of a core tradition in the humanities, Shattuck presents a stirring synthesis of the principles and values by which we can live together as a nation finally at peace with its diversity. A Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year and a TLS Notable Book of 1999.
CATCHING THE LIGHT

CATCHING THE LIGHT

By: Harjo, Joy
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U.S. Poet Laureate and winner of the 2022 Academy of American Poets Leadership Award Joy Harjo examines the power of words and how poetry summons us toward justice and healing

"Her enduring message--that writing can be redemptive--resonates: 'To write is to make a mark in the world, to assert "I am."' The result is a rousing testament to the power of storytelling."--Publishers Weekly

"Harjo writes as if the creative journey has been the destination all along."--Kirkus Reviews

In this lyrical meditation about the why of writing poetry, Joy Harjo reflects on significant points of illumination, experience, and questioning from her fifty years as a poet. Composed of intimate vignettes that take us through the author's life journey as a youth in the late 1960s, a single mother, and a champion of Native nations, this book offers a fresh understanding of how poetry functions as an expression of purpose, spirit, community, and memory--in both the private, individual journey and as a vehicle for prophetic, public witness.

Harjo insists that the most meaningful poetry is birthed through cracks in history from what is broken and unseen. At the crossroads of this brokenness, she calls us to watch and listen for the songs of justice for all those America has denied. This is an homage to the power of words to defy erasure--to inscribe the story, again and again, of who we have been, who we are, and who we can be.

CHALLENGE OF COMPARATIVE LITERATURE

By: Guillen, Claudio
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In this work, Claudio Guillen meditates on the elusive field of comparative literature and its vicissitudes since the early 19th century.
CRITICAL REVOLUTIONARIES

CRITICAL REVOLUTIONARIES

By: Eagleton, Terry
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Terry Eagleton looks back across sixty years to an extraordinary critical milieu that transformed the study of literature

Before the First World War, traditional literary scholarship was isolated from society at large. In the years following, a younger generation of critics came to the fore. Their work represented a reaction to the impoverishment of language in a commercial, utilitarian society increasingly under the sway of film, advertising, and the popular press. For them, literary criticism was a way of diagnosing social ills and had a vital moral function to perform.

Terry Eagleton reflects on the lives and work of T. S. Eliot, I. A. Richards, William Empson, F. R. Leavis, and Raymond Williams, and explores a vital tradition of literary criticism that today is in danger of being neglected. These five critics rank among the most original and influential of modern times and represent one of the most remarkable intellectual formations in twentieth-century Britain. This was the heyday of literary modernism, a period of change and experimentation--the bravura of which spurred on developments in critical theory.

CULTURAL CRITICISM, LITERARY THEORY, POSTSTRUCTURALISM

CULTURAL CRITICISM, LITERARY THEORY, POSTSTRUCTURALISM

By: Leitch, Vincent B
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Leitch argues for the use of poststructural theory in cultural criticism. He maintains that deconstruction remains crucial for a truly critical approach to cultural studies.
CULTURE OF LOVE: Victorians to Moderns

CULTURE OF LOVE: Victorians to Moderns

By: Kern, Stephen
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The Culture of Love interprets the sweeping change in loving that spanned a period when scientific discoveries reduced the terrors and dangers of sex, when new laws gave married women control over their earnings and their bodies, when bold novelists and artists shook off the prudishness and hypocrisy that so paralyzed the Victorians. As public opinion, family pressure, and religious conviction loosened, men and women took charge of their love. Stephen Kern argues that, in contrast to modern sex, Victorian sex was anatomically constricted, spatially confined, morally suspect, deadly serious, and abruptly over.

Kern divides love into its elements and traces profound changes in each: from waiting for love to ending it. Most revealing are the daring ways moderns began to talk about their current lovemaking as well as past lovers. While Victorians viewed jealousy as a "foreign devil," moderns began to acknowledge responsibility for it. Desire lost its close tie with mortal sin and became the engine of artistic creation; women's response to the marriage proposal shifted from mere consent to active choice. There were even new possibilities of kissing, beyond the sudden, blind, disembodied, and censored Victorian meeting of lips.

Kern's evidence is mainly literature and art, including classic novels by the Brontës, Flaubert, Hugo, Eliot, Hardy, Forster, Colette, Proust, Mann, Joyce, Woolf, Lawrence, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Musil as well as the paintings and sculptures of Millais, Courbet, Gérôme, Rodin, Munch, Klimt, Schiele, Valadon, Chagall, Kandinsky, Kokoschka, Picasso, Matisse, and Brancusi. The book's conceptual foundation comes from Heidegger's existential philosophy, in particular his authentic-inauthentic distinction, which Kern adapts to make his overall interpretation and concluding affirmation of the value of authenticity: "The moderns may have lost some of the Victorians' delicacy and poignancy, perhaps even some of their heroism, but in exchange became more reflective of what it means to be a human being in love and hence better able to make that loving more their very own."

DEATH OF A DISCIPLINE

DEATH OF A DISCIPLINE

By: Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty
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Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is among the foremost figures in the study of world literature and its cultural consequences of the past half-century. In this book, originally published in 2003, she declares the death of comparative literature as we know it and sounds an urgent call for a "new comparative literature," in which the discipline is reborn--one that is not appropriated and determined by the market.

Spivak examines how comparative literature and world literature in translation have fared in the era of globalization and considers how to protect the multiplicity of languages and literatures at the university. She demonstrates why critics interested in social justice should pay close attention to literary form and offers insightful interpretations of classics such as Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own. Through readings of texts not only in English, French, and German but also in Arabic and Bengali, Spivak practices what she preaches.

This anniversary edition features a new preface in which Spivak reflects on the fortunes of comparative literature in the intervening years and its tasks today.

DEATH OF TRAGEDY

DEATH OF TRAGEDY

By: Steiner, George
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""This book is important--and portentous--for if it is true that tragedy is dead, we face a vital cultural loss. . . . The book is bound to start controversy. . . . The very passion and insight with which he writes about the tragedies that have moved him prove that the vision still lives and that words can still enlighten and reveal.""-R.B. Sewall, New York Times Book Review
DIALOGUE OF VOICES: Feminist Literary Theory and Bakhtin

DIALOGUE OF VOICES: Feminist Literary Theory and Bakhtin

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A Dialogue of Voices was first published in 1994. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

The work of the Russian theorist Mikhail Bakhtin, particularly his notions of dialogics and genre, has had a substantial impact on contemporary critical practices. Until now, however, little attention has been paid to the possibilities and challenges Bakhtin presents to feminist theory, the task taken up in A Dialogue of Voices. The original essays in this book combine feminism and Bakhtin in unique ways and, by interpreting texts through these two lenses, arrive at new theoretical approaches. Together, these essays point to a new direction for feminist theory that originates in Bakhtin-one that would lead to a feminine être rather than a feminine écriture.

Focusing on feminist theorists such as Hélène Cixous, Teresa de Lauretis, Julia Kristeva, and Monique Wittig in conjunction with Bakhtin's concepts of dialogism, heteroglossia, and chronotope, the authors offer close readings of texts from a wide range of multicultural genres, including nature writing, sermon composition, nineteenth-century British women's fiction, the contemporary romance novel, Irish and French lyric poetry, and Latin American film. The result is a unique dialogue in which authors of both sexes, from several countries and different eras, speak against, for, and with one another in ways that reveal their works anew as well as the critical matrices surrounding them.

Karen Hohne is an independent scholar and artist living in Moorhead, Minnesota. Helen Wussow is an assistant professor of English at Memphis State University.

DINNER WITH JOSEPH JOHNSON

DINNER WITH JOSEPH JOHNSON

By: Hay, Daisy
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A fascinating portrait of a radical age through the writers associated with a London publisher and bookseller--from William Wordsworth and Mary Wollstonecraft to Benjamin Franklin

Once a week, in late eighteenth-century London, writers of contrasting politics and personalities gathered around a dining table. The veal and boiled vegetables may have been unappetising but the company was convivial and the conversation brilliant and unpredictable. The host was Joseph Johnson, publisher and bookseller: a man at the heart of literary life. In this book, Daisy Hay paints a remarkable portrait of a revolutionary age through the connected stories of the men and women who wrote it into being, and whose ideas still influence us today.

Johnson's years as a publisher, 1760 to 1809, witnessed profound political, social, cultural and religious changes--from the American and French revolutions to birth of the Romantic age--and many of his dinner guests and authors were at the center of events. The shifting constellation of extraordinary people at Johnson's table included William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Benjamin Franklin, the scientist Joseph Priestly and the Swiss artist Henry Fuseli, as well as a group of extraordinary women--Mary Wollstonecraft, the novelist Maria Edgeworth, and the poet Anna Barbauld. These figures pioneered revolutions in science and medicine, proclaimed the rights of women and children and charted the evolution of Britain's relationship with America and Europe. As external forces conspired to silence their voices, Johnson made them heard by continuing to publish them, just as his table gave them refuge.

A rich work of biography and cultural history, Dinner with Joseph Johnson is an entertaining and enlightening story of a group of people who left an indelible mark on the modern age.

FALLEN ANGEL

FALLEN ANGEL

By: Morgan, Robert
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Over 170 years after his death, Edgar Allan Poe remains a figure of enduring fascination and speculation for readers, scholars, and devotees of the weird and macabre. In Fallen Angel, acclaimed novelist and poet Robert Morgan offers a new biography of this gifted, complicated author.

Focusing on Poe's personal relationships, Morgan chronicles how several women influenced his life and art. Eliza Poe, his mother, died before he turned three, but she haunted him ever after. The loss of Elmira Royster Shelton, his first and last love, devastated him and inspired much of his poetry. Morgan shows that Poe, known for his gothic and supernatural writing, was also a poet of the natural world who helped invent the detective story, science fiction, analytical criticism, and symbolist aesthetics. Though he died at age forty, Poe left behind works of great originality and vision that Fallen Angel explores with depth and feeling.

FAMILY IDIOT

FAMILY IDIOT

By: Sartre, Jean-Paul
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An approachable abridgment of Sartre's important analysis of Flaubert.

From 1981 to 1994, the University of Chicago Press published a five-volume translation of Jean-Paul Sartre's The Family Idiot: Gustave Flaubert, 1821-1857, a sprawling masterwork by one of the greatest intellects of the twentieth century. This new volume delivers a compact abridgment of the original by renowned Sartre scholar, Joseph Catalano.

Sartre claimed that his existential approach to psychoanalysis required a new Freud, and in his study of Gustave Flaubert, Sartre becomes that Freud. The work summarizes Sartre's overarching aim to reveal that human life is a meaningful adventure of freedom. In discussing Flaubert's work, particularly his classic novel Madame Bovary, Sartre unleashes a fierce critique of modernity as nihilistic and demeaning of human dignity.

FAULKNERISTA

FAULKNERISTA

By: Kodat, Catherine G
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Faulknerista collects more than twenty years of critically influential scholarship by Catherine Gunther Kodat on the writings of one of the most important American authors of the twentieth century, William Faulkner. Initially composed as freestanding essays and now updated and revised, the book's nine chapters place Faulkner's work in the context of current debates concerning the politics of white authors who write about race, queer sexualities, and the use of the N-word in literature and popular culture. The Faulknerista of the title is a critic who tackles these debates without fear or favor, balancing admiration with skepticism in a manner that establishes a new model for single-author scholarship that is both historically grounded (for women have been writing about Faulkner, and talking back to him, since the beginning of his career) and urgently contemporary.

Beginning with an introduction that argues for the critical importance of women's engagement with Faulkner's fiction, through comparative discussions pairing it with works by Toni Morrison, Jean-Luc Godard, Quentin Tarantino, and David Simon, Faulknerista offers a valuable resource for students, scholars, and general readers, written in an accessible style and aimed at stimulating discussions of Faulkner's work and the rich interpretive challenges it continues to present.

FAULTLINES: Cultural Materialism and the Politics of Dissident Reading

FAULTLINES: Cultural Materialism and the Politics of Dissident Reading

By: Sinfield, Alan
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If we come to consciousness within a language that is complicit with the social order, how can we conceive, let alone organize, resistance to that social order? This key question in the politics of reading and subcultural practice informs Alan Sinfield's book on writing in early-modern England.

New historicism has often shown people trapped in a web of language and culture. In lively discussions of writings by Shakespeare, Marlowe, Sidney, and Donne, Sinfield reassesses the scope of dissidence and control. The early-modern state, Christianity, and the cultural apparatus, despite an ideology of unity and explicit violence, could not but allow space to challenging voices. Sinfield shows that disruptions in concepts of hierarchy, nationality, gender, and sexuality force their way into literary texts.

Sinfield is often provocative. He "rewrites" Julius Caesar to produce a different politics, compares Sidney's idea of poetry to Leonid Brezhnev's, and reinstates the concept of character in the face of post-structuralist theory. He keeps the current politics of literary study in view, especially in a substantial chapter on Shakespeare in the U.S. Sinfield subjects interactions between class, ethnicity, sexuality, and the professional structures of the humanities to a detailed and hard-hitting critique, and argues for new commitments to collectivities and subcultures.
FEAR OF SEEING

FEAR OF SEEING

By: Song, Mingwei
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A new wave of cutting-edge, risk-taking science fiction has energized twenty-first-century Chinese literature. These works capture the anticipation and anxieties of China's new era, speaking to a future filled with uncertainties. Deeply entangled with the politics and culture of a changing China, contemporary science fiction has also attracted a growing global readership.

Fear of Seeing traces the new wave's origin and development over the past three decades, exploring the core concerns and literary strategies that make it so distinctive and vital. Mingwei Song argues that recent Chinese science fiction is united by a capacity to illuminate what had been invisible--what society had chosen not to see; what conventional literature had failed to represent. Its poetics of the invisible opens up new literary possibilities and inspires new ways of telling stories about China and the world. Reading the works of major writers such as Liu Cixin and Han Song as well as lesser-known figures, Song explores how science fiction has spurred larger changes in contemporary literature and culture. He analyzes key topics: variations of utopia and dystopia, cyborgs and the posthuman, and nonbinary perspectives on gender and genre, among many more. A compelling and authoritative account of the politics and poetics of contemporary Chinese science fiction, Fear of Seeing is an important book for all readers interested in the genre's significance for twenty-first-century literature.

HOMER

HOMER

By: Porter, James I
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The story of our ongoing fascination with Homer, the man and the myth.

Homer, the great poet of the Iliad and the Odyssey, is revered as a cultural icon of antiquity and a figure of lasting influence. But his identity is shrouded in questions about who he was, when he lived, and whether he was an actual person, a myth, or merely a shared idea. Rather than attempting to solve the mystery of this character, James I. Porter explores the sources of Homer's mystique and their impact since the first recorded mentions of Homer in ancient Greece.

Homer: The Very Idea considers Homer not as a man, but as a cultural invention nearly as distinctive and important as the poems attributed to him, following the cultural history of an idea and of the obsession that is reborn every time Homer is imagined. Offering novel readings of texts and objects, the book follows the very idea of Homer from his earliest mentions to his most recent imaginings in literature, criticism, philosophy, visual art, and classical archaeology.

IN SEARCH OF A BEAUTIFUL FREEDOM

IN SEARCH OF A BEAUTIFUL FREEDOM

By: Griffin, Farah Jasmine
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In Search of a Beautiful Freedom brings together the best work from Farah Jasmine Griffin's rich forays on music, Black feminism, literature, the crises of Hurricane Katrina and COVID-19, and the Black artists she esteems. She moves from evoking the haunting strength of Odetta and the rise of soprano popular singers in the 1970s to the forging of a Black women's literary renaissance and the politics of Malcolm X through the lens of Black feminism. She reflects on pivotal moments in recent American history--including the banning of Toni Morrison's Beloved--and celebrates the intellectuals, artists, and personal relationships that have shaped her identity and her work.

Featuring new and unpublished essays along with ones first appearing in outlets such as the New York Times and NPR, In Search of a Beautiful Freedom is a captivating collection that celebrates the work of "one of the few great intellectuals in our time" (Cornel West).

INK IN THE GROOVES

INK IN THE GROOVES

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Drop the record needle on any vinyl album in your collection, then read the first pages of that novel you've been meaning to pick up--the reverberations between them will be impossible to miss. Since Dylan went electric, listening to rock 'n' roll has often been a surprisingly literary experience, and contemporary literature is curiously attuned to the history and beat of popular music. In The Ink in the Grooves, Florence Dore brings together a remarkable array of acclaimed novelists, musicians, and music writers to explore the provocatively creative relationship between musical and literary inspiration: the vitality that writers draw from a three-minute blast of guitars and the poetic insights that musicians find in literary works from Shakespeare to Southern Gothic. Together, the essays and interviews in The Ink in the Grooves provide a backstage pass to the creative processes behind some of the most exciting and influential albums and novels of our time.

Contributors: Laura Cantrell, Michael Chabon, Roddy Doyle, Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, William Ferris, Dom Flemons, Rhiannon Giddens, Dave Grohl, Peter Guralnick, Amy Helm, Randall Kenan, Jonathan Lethem, Greil Marcus, Rick Moody, Lorrie Moore, the John Prine band (Dave Jacques, Fats Kaplin, Pat McLaughlin, Jason Wilber), Dana Spiotta, John Jeremiah Sullivan, Richard Thompson, Scott Timberg, Daniel Wallace, Colson Whitehead, Lucinda Williams, Warren Zanes.

JAMES JOYCE AND THE IRISH REVOLUTION

JAMES JOYCE AND THE IRISH REVOLUTION

By: Gibbons, Luke
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A provocative history of Ulysses and the Easter Rising as harbingers of decolonization.

When revolutionaries seized Dublin during the 1916 Easter Rising, they looked back to unrequited pasts to point the way toward radical futures--transforming the Celtic Twilight into the electric light of modern Dublin in James Joyce's Ulysses. For Luke Gibbons, the short-lived rebellion converted the Irish renaissance into the beginning of a global decolonial movement. James Joyce and the Irish Revolution maps connections between modernists and radicals, tracing not only Joyce's projection of Ireland onto the world stage, but also how revolutionary leaders like Ernie O'Malley turned to Ulysses to make sense of their shattered worlds. Coinciding with the centenary of both Ulysses and Irish independence, this book challenges received narratives about the rebellion and the novel that left Ireland changed, changed utterly.

JAMES JOYCE REMEMBERED, EDITION 2022

JAMES JOYCE REMEMBERED, EDITION 2022

By: Curran, C P
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In time for the 100th anniversary of Ulysses comes a new edition of a classic remembrance of its author, penned by one of his lifelong friends and supporters.

C.P. Curran first met James Joyce in a University College Dublin lecture hall in 1899, and the two quickly struck up an intense lifelong friendship. Curran was a model for the character Gabriel in Joyce's "The Dead" and was also one of the first people to reject a piece of Joyce's writing--the 1904 poem "The Holy Office," which Curran, as editor of St. Stephen's, lightheartedly deemed "an unholy thing." Curran even is mentioned by name in Ulysses, where Stephen Dedalus recalls that he owes him ten guineas. In 1968, Curran summed up his views of the seminal Modernist author in James Joyce Remembered. This year--the centennial anniversary of Ulysses' publication--University College Dublin Press is pleased to bring forth a new edition of this classic remembrance, edited by Curran's granddaughter and featuring sparkling new essays from a host of Joyce scholars, literary critics, architects, and historians.

This group of University College Dubliners takes a new look at Curran's work, delving into the Curran-Laird collection at the James Joyce Library to offer a singular portrait of the author and his inventive cohort of friends. The world of Joyce and Curran opens up, revealing little-known writing and episodes in political activism, during the Irish wars that flared up again in 1922 as Ulysses first began circulating, and the struggles against fascism that came to engulf Joyce's Paris. This highly illustrated tribute to a literary figurehead is perfect reading for Joyce neophytes, Bloomsday aficionados, and anyone interested in examining this watershed period of Irish history through an international lens.

LINER NOTES FOR THE REVOLUTION

LINER NOTES FOR THE REVOLUTION

By: Brooks, Daphne A
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Winner of the Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Winner of the American Book Award, Before Columbus Foundation
Winner of the PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Award
Winner of the MAAH Stone Book Award
A Pitchfork Best Music Book of the Year
A Rolling Stone Best Music Book of the Year
A Boston Globe Summer Read

"Brooks traces all kinds of lines...inviting voices to talk to one another, seeing what different perspectives can offer, opening up new ways of looking and listening."
--New York Times

"A wide-ranging study of Black female artists, from elders like Bessie Smith and Ethel Waters to Beyoncé and Janelle Monáe...Connecting the sonic worlds of Black female mythmakers and truth-tellers."
--Rolling Stone

"A gloriously polyphonic book."
--Margo Jefferson, author of Negroland

How is it possible that iconic artists like Aretha Franklin and Beyoncé can be both at the center and on the fringe of the culture industry? Daphne Brooks explores more than a century of music archives to bring to life the critics, collectors, and listeners who have shaped our perceptions of Black women both on stage and in the recording studio.

Liner Notes for the Revolution offers a startling new perspective, informed by the overlooked contributions of other Black women artists. We discover Zora Neale Hurston as a sound archivist and performer, Lorraine Hansberry as a queer feminist critic of modern culture, and Pauline Hopkins as America's first Black female cultural commentator. Brooks tackles the complicated racial politics of blues music recording, song collecting, and rock and roll criticism in this long overdue celebration of Black women musicians as radical intellectuals.

LIVES OF THE SOPHISTS. LIVES OF PHILOSOPHERS AND SOPHISTS

LIVES OF THE SOPHISTS. LIVES OF PHILOSOPHERS AND SOPHISTS

By: Eunapius
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Two sophists on the history of sophistry.

Flavius Philostratus, known as "the Elder" or "the Athenian," was born to a distinguished family with close ties to Lesbos in the later second century, and died around the middle of the third. A sophist who studied at Athens and later lived in Rome, Philostratus provides in Lives of the Sophists a treasury of information about notable practitioners. His sketches of sophists in action paint a fascinating picture of their predominant influence in the educational, social, and political life of the Empire in his time. He is almost certainly the author also of the Life of Apollonius of Tyana (LCL 16, 17, 458) and Heroicus and Gymnasticus (LCL 521).

Eunapius (ca. 345-415) was born in Sardis but studied and spent much of his life in Athens as a sophist and historian. His Lives of Philosophers and Sophists covers figures of personal or intellectual significance to him in the period from Plotinus (ca. 250) to Chrystanthus (ca. 380), including one remarkable woman, Sosipatra, and then focuses on Iamblichus and his students. The work's underlying rationale combines personal devotion to teachers and colleagues with a broader attempt to rehabilitate Hellenic cultural icons against the rise of Christianity and the influence of its representatives.

This edition of Philostratus and Eunapius thoroughly revises the original edition by Wilmer C. Wright (1921) in light of modern scholarship.

LIVING TRANSLATION

LIVING TRANSLATION

By: Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty
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A collection that brings together Spivak's wide-ranging writings on translation for the first time.

Living Translation offers a powerful perspective on the work of distinguished thinker and writer Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, revealing how, throughout her long career, she has made translation a central concern of the comparative humanities.

Starting with her landmark "Translator's Preface" to Jacques Derrida's Of Grammatology in 1976, and continuing with her foreword to Mahasweta Devi's Draupadi and afterword to Devi's Chotti MundaandHis Arrow, Spivak has tackled questions of translatability. She has been interested in interrogating the act of translation from the ground up and at the political limit. She sees at play at border checkpoints, at sites of colonial pedagogy, in acts of resistance to monolingual regimes of national language, at the borders of minor literature and schizo-analysis, in the deficits of cultural debt and linguistic expropriation, and, more generally, at theory's edge, which is to say, where practical criticism yields to theorizing in untranslatables. This volume also addresses how Spivak's institution-building as director of comparative literature at the University of Iowa--and in her subsequent places of employment--began at the same time. From this perspective, Spivak takes her place within a distinguished line-up of translator-theorists who have been particularly attuned to the processes of cognizing in languages, all of them alive to the coproductivity of thinking, translating, writing.

MAKING SENSE IN LIFE & LITERATURE

MAKING SENSE IN LIFE & LITERATURE

By: Gumbrecht, Hans Ulrich
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MARVELOUS SOLITUDE

MARVELOUS SOLITUDE

By: Bolzoni, Lina
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A preeminent Renaissance scholar illuminates early modern encounters with books, in which literature became a portal to self-awareness and miraculous communion between author and reader.

The experience of reading is often presented as personal and transformative--a journey of self-discovery and, perhaps, renewal. In A Marvelous Solitude, Lina Bolzoni examines the early modern roots of this attitude toward the readerly act. Between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, European men of letters increasingly came to see books as something more than compendia of knowledge: they could also help readers understand the human condition. As Bolzoni shows, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Machiavelli, Montaigne, and Tasso all presented reading as a private encounter and a dialogue with the author.

For many Renaissance intellectuals, reading was instrumental to the construction of the self, which was enriched by contact with other learned men. These readers imagined the book as a mirror image of its author, with whom they held a secret affinity. In their letters to one another, humanists described the book as a body, reflecting the notion that reading literature placed its author in the room with oneself. Reading the work of a deceased author became akin to a necromantic rite, as the writers of bygone times were resurrected and placed in contemporary conversation. The vogue for hanging portraits of authors in libraries and studios ensured that the image of the creator was never far from his words, cementing bonds of friendship across barriers of time.

These myths--charming, fragile, and powerful--invested the readerly encounter with miraculous properties that lingered in the hearts of the Romantics. And something of those wonders persists today, in the intimate feeling that reading yet provokes.

MODERN MYTHS

MODERN MYTHS

By: Ball, Philip
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With The Modern Myths, brilliant science communicator Philip Ball spins a new yarn. From novels and comic books to B-movies, it is an epic exploration of literature, new media and technology, the nature of storytelling, and the making and meaning of our most important tales.

Myths are usually seen as stories from the depths of time--fun and fantastical, but no longer believed by anyone. Yet, as Philip Ball shows, we are still writing them--and still living them--today. From Robinson Crusoe and Frankenstein to Batman, many stories written in the past few centuries are commonly, perhaps glibly, called "modern myths." But Ball argues that we should take that idea seriously. Our stories of Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Sherlock Holmes are doing the kind of cultural work that the ancient myths once did. Through the medium of narratives that all of us know in their basic outline and which have no clear moral or resolution, these modern myths explore some of our deepest fears, dreams, and anxieties. We keep returning to these tales, reinventing them endlessly for new uses. But what are they really about, and why do we need them? What myths are still taking shape today? And what makes a story become a modern myth?

In The Modern Myths, Ball takes us on a wide-ranging tour of our collective imagination, asking what some of its most popular stories reveal about the nature of being human in the modern age.