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Literary Criticism

APHORISMS OF FRANZ KAFKA

APHORISMS OF FRANZ KAFKA

By: Kafka, Franz
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A splendid new translation of an extraordinary work of modern literature--featuring facing-page commentary by Kafka's acclaimed biographer

In 1917 and 1918, Franz Kafka wrote a set of more than 100 aphorisms, known as the Zürau aphorisms, after the Bohemian village in which he composed them. Among the most mysterious of Kafka's writings, they explore philosophical questions about truth, good and evil, and the spiritual and sensory world. This is the first annotated, bilingual volume of these extraordinary writings, which provide great insight into Kafka's mind. Edited, introduced, and with commentaries by preeminent Kafka biographer and authority Reiner Stach, and freshly translated by Shelley Frisch, this beautiful volume presents each aphorism on its own page in English and the original German, with accessible and enlightening notes on facing pages.

The most complex of Kafka's writings, the aphorisms merge literary and analytical thinking and are radical in their ideas, original in their images and metaphors, and exceptionally condensed in their language. Offering up Kafka's characteristically unsettling charms, the aphorisms at times put readers in unfamiliar, even inhospitable territory, which can then turn luminous: "I have never been in this place before: breathing works differently, and a star shines next to the sun, more dazzlingly still."

Above all, this volume reveals that these multifaceted gems aren't far removed from Kafka's novels and stories but are instead situated squarely within his cosmos--arguably at its very core. Long neglected by Kafka readers and scholars, his aphorisms have finally been given their full due here.

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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United States 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 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.

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.
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.

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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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.

MY TRADE IS MYSTERY

MY TRADE IS MYSTERY

By: Phillips, Carl
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An invaluable companion for any writer seeking to make the writing life a more complex and cooperative venture

In these intimate and eloquent meditations, the award-winning poet Carl Phillips shares lessons he has learned about the writing life, an "apprenticeship to what can never fully be mastered." Drawing on forty years of teaching and mentoring emerging writers, he weaves his experiences as a poet with the necessary survival skills, including ambition, stamina, silence, politics, practice, audience, and community.

In the tradition of Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird, Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet, and Marcus Aurelius's Meditations, this is an invaluable companion for writers at every stage of their journey. Phillips's book serves as a partner in speculation and an invitation to embrace mystery.

NEW SHORT STORY THEORIES

NEW SHORT STORY THEORIES

By: May, Charles E
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The first edition of May's Short Story Theories (1976) opened with an essay entitled, "The Short Story: An Underrated Art." Almost two decades later, the short story suffers no such slight. Publishers and critics have become increasingly interested in the form, which has enjoyed a renaissance led by such writers as Raymond Carver, Tobias Wolff, Ann Beattie, Bobbie Ann Mason, and Mary Robison. An important part of this revival of interest, Short Story Theories has continued to attract a strong and loyal audience among students and teachers. The New Short Story Theories includes a few basic pieces from the earlier volume - Poe's Hawthorne review, Brander Matthew's extension and formalization of Poe's theories, and essays by Randall Jarrell, Elizabeth Bowen, and Nadine Gordimer - but most of the essays are new to the collection.
ON MODERN POETRY

ON MODERN POETRY

By: Mazzoni, Guido
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An incisive, unified account of modern poetry in the Western tradition, arguing that the emergence of the lyric as a dominant verse style is emblematic of the age of the individual.

Between the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, poetry in the West was transformed. The now-common idea that poetry mostly corresponds with the lyric in the modern sense--a genre in which a first-person speaker talks self-referentially--was foreign to ancient, medieval, and Renaissance poetics. Yet in a relatively short time, age-old habits gave way. Poets acquired unprecedented freedom to write obscurely about private experiences, break rules of meter and syntax, use new vocabulary, and entangle first-person speakers with their own real-life identities. Poetry thus became the most subjective genre of modern literature.

On Modern Poetry reconstructs this metamorphosis, combining theoretical reflections with literary history and close readings of poets from Giacomo Leopardi to Louise Glück. Guido Mazzoni shows that the evolution of modern poetry involved significant changes in the way poetry was perceived, encouraged the construction of first-person poetic personas, and dramatically altered verse style. He interprets these developments as symptoms of profound historical and cultural shifts in the modern period: the crisis of tradition, the rise of individualism, the privileging of self-expression and its paradoxes. Mazzoni also reflects on the place of poetry in mass culture today, when its role has been largely assumed by popular music.

The result is a rich history of literary modernity and a bold new account of poetry's transformations across centuries and national traditions.

ON PSYCHOLOGICAL PROSE

ON PSYCHOLOGICAL PROSE

By: Ginzburg, Lydia
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Comparable in importance to Mikhail Bakhtin, Lydia Ginzburg distinguished herself among Soviet literary critics through her investigation of the social and historical elements that relate verbal art to life in a particular culture. Her work speaks directly to those Western critics who may find that deconstructionist and psychoanalytical strategies by themselves are incapable of addressing the full meaning of literature. Here, in her first book to be translated into English, Ginzburg examines the reciprocal relationship between literature and life by exploring the development of the image of personality as both an aesthetic and social phenomenon. Showing that the boundary between traditional literary genres and other kinds of writing is a historically variable one, Ginzburg discusses a wide range of Western texts from the eighteenth century onward--including familiar letters and other historical and social documents, autobiographies such as the Memoires of Saint-Simon, Rousseau's Confessions, and Herzen's My Past and Thoughts, and the novels of Stendhal, Flaubert, Turgenev, and Tolstoi. A major portion of the study is devoted to Tolstoi's contribution to the literary investigation of personality, especially in his epic panorama of Russian life, War and Peace, and in Anna Karenina.
ON THE INCONVENIENCE OF OTHER PEOPLE

ON THE INCONVENIENCE OF OTHER PEOPLE

By: Berlant, Lauren
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In On the Inconvenience of Other People Lauren Berlant continues to explore our affective engagement with the world. Berlant focuses on the encounter with and the desire for the bother of other people and objects, showing that to be driven toward attachment is to desire to be inconvenienced. Drawing on a range of sources, including Last Tango in Paris, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Claudia Rankine, Christopher Isherwood, Bhanu Kapil, the Occupy movement, and resistance to anti-Black state violence, Berlant poses inconvenience as an affective relation and considers how we might loosen our attachments in ways that allow us to build new forms of life. Collecting strategies for breaking apart a world in need of disturbing, the book's experiments in thought and writing cement Berlant's status as one of the most inventive and influential thinkers of our time.
ORWELL'S ROSES

ORWELL'S ROSES

By: Solnit, Rebecca
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Longlisted for the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography

"An exhilarating romp through Orwell's life and times and also through the life and times of roses." --Margaret Atwood

"A captivating account of Orwell as gardener, lover, parent, and endlessly curious thinker." --Claire Messud, Harper's

"Nobody who reads it will ever think of Nineteen Eighty-Four in quite the same way."--Vogue

A lush exploration of roses, pleasure, and politics, and a fresh take on George Orwell as an avid gardener whose political writing was grounded in his passion for the natural world

"In the year 1936 a writer planted roses." So begins Rebecca Solnit's new book, a reflection on George Orwell's passionate gardening and the way that his involvement with plants, particularly flowers, and the natural world illuminates his other commitments as a writer and antifascist, and the intertwined politics of nature and power.

Sparked by her unexpected encounter with the surviving roses he planted in 1936, Solnit's account of this understudied aspect of Orwell's life explores his writing and his actions--from going deep into the coal mines of England, fighting in the Spanish Civil War, critiquing Stalin when much of the international left still supported him (and then critiquing that left), to his analysis of the relationship between lies and authoritarianism. Through Solnit's celebrated ability to draw unexpected connections, readers encounter the photographer Tina Modotti's roses and her Stalinism, Stalin's obsession with forcing lemons to grow in impossibly cold conditions, Orwell's slave-owning ancestors in Jamaica, Jamaica Kincaid's critique of colonialism and imperialism in the flower garden, and the brutal rose industry in Colombia that supplies the American market. The book draws to a close with a rereading of Nineteen Eighty-Four that completes her portrait of a more hopeful Orwell, as well as a reflection on pleasure, beauty, and joy as acts of resistance.

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POLITICS AND THE NOVEL

By: Howe, Irving, Comp
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Politics and the Novel clarifies the role of revolutionary ideas in fiction, establishing the role of the political novel, and tracing the growth of this novel into the 20th century. Examples are drawn from such classics as Stendhal's The Red and the Black, Dostoevsky's The Possessed, Conrad's The Secret Agent and Turgenev's Fathers and Sons.
PREEXISTING CONDITIONS

PREEXISTING CONDITIONS

By: Weber, Samuel
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A stunning philosophical and literary account of canonical plague tales

Many are the losses suffered and lives lost during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Since 2020, writers around the globe have penned essays and books that make sense of this medical and public health catastrophe. But few have addressed a pressing question that precedes and is the foundation of their writings: How does the very act of narrating the pandemic offer strategies to confront and contend with the pandemic's present dangers? What narratives have been offered during past plague and pandemic times to ease suffering and loss and protect individuals and communities from a life lived under the most precarious of conditions? The philosopher and literary and cultural critic Samuel Weber returns to past narratives of plagues and pandemics to reproduce the myriad ways individual and collective, historical and actual, intentional and unintentional forces converge to reveal how cultures and societies deal with their vulnerability and mortality. The "preexisting conditions"--a phrase taken from the American healthcare industry--of these very cultures converge and collide with the urgent situations of individuals confronting the plague. Texts drawn from the Bible, Sophocles, Thucydides, Boccaccio, Luther, Defoe, Kleist, Hölderlin, Artaud, and Camus demonstrate how in the process of narration individuals come to reconsider their relationship to others, to themselves, and to the collectives to which they belong and on which they depend.

PRINCIPLE AND PROPENSITY: Experience and Religion in the Nineteenth-Century British American Bildungsroman

PRINCIPLE AND PROPENSITY: Experience and Religion in the Nineteenth-Century British American Bildungsroman

By: Bennett, Kelsey L
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Scholars have traditionally relied upon the assumption that the nineteenth-century bildungsroman in the Goethean tradition is an intrinsically secular genre exclusive to Europe, incompatible with the literature of a democratically based culture. By combining intellectual history with genre criticism, Principle and Propensity provides a critical reassessment of the bildungsroman, beginning with its largely overlooked theological premises: bildung as formation of the self in the image of God. Kelsey L. Bennett examines the dynamic differences, tensions, and possibilities that arise as interest in spiritual growth, or self-formation, collides with the democratic and quasi-democratic culture in the nineteenth-century British and American bildungsroman.

Beginning with the idea that interest in an individual's moral and psychological growth, or bildung, originated as a religious exercise in the context of Protestant theological traditions, Bennett shows how these traditions found ways into the bildungsroman, the literary genre most closely concerned with the relationship between individual experience and self-formation.

Part 1 of Principle and Propensity examines the attributes of parallel national traditions of spiritual self-formation as they convened under the auspices of the international revival movements: the Evangelical Revival, the Great Awakening, and the renewal of Pietism in Germany, led respectively by John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, and Count Nikolaus Ludwig Zinzendorf. Further it reveals the ways in which spiritual self-formation and the international revival movements coalesce in the bildungsroman prototype, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre (Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship). Part 2 in turn explores the ways these traditions manifest themselves in the nineteenth-century bildungsroman in England and the United States through Jane Eyre, David Copperfield, Pierre, and Portrait of a Lady.

Though Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre was a library staple for most serious writers in nineteenth-century England and in the United States, Bennett shows how writers such as Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, Herman Melville, and Henry James also drew on their own religious traditions of self-formation, adding richness and distinction to the received genre.

PROMISE AND PERIL OF THINGS

PROMISE AND PERIL OF THINGS

By: Li, Wai-Yee
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Our relationship with things abounds with paradoxes. People assign value to objects in ways that are often deeply personal or idiosyncratic yet at the same time rooted in specific cultural and historical contexts. How do things become meaningful? How do our connections with the world of things define us? In Ming and Qing China, inquiry into things and their contradictions flourished, and its depth and complexity belie the notion that material culture simply reflects status anxiety or class conflict.


Wai-yee Li traces notions of the pleasures and dangers of things in the literature and thought of late imperial China. She explores how aesthetic claims and political power intersect, probes the objective and subjective dimensions of value, and questions what determines authenticity and aesthetic appeal. Li considers core oppositions-people and things, elegance and vulgarity, real and fake, lost and found-to tease out the ambiguities of material culture. With examples spanning the late sixteenth to the mid-eighteenth centuries, she shows how relations with things can both encode and resist social change, political crisis, and personal loss.


The Promise and Peril of Things reconsiders major works such as The Plum in the Golden Vase, The Story of the Stone, Li Yu's writings, and Wu Weiye's poetry and drama, as well as a host of less familiar texts. It offers new insights into Ming and Qing literary and aesthetic sensibilities, as well as the intersections of material culture with literature, intellectual history, and art history.

RACIAL UNFAMILIAR

RACIAL UNFAMILIAR

By: Brooks, John
$35.00
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The works of African American authors and artists are too often interpreted through the lens of authenticity. They are scrutinized for "positive" or "negative" representations of Black people and Black culture or are assumed to communicate some truth about Black identity or the "Black experience." However, many contemporary Black artists are creating works that cannot be slotted into such categories. Their art resists interpretation in terms of conventional racial discourse; instead, they embrace opacity, uncertainty, and illegibility.


John Brooks examines a range of abstractionist, experimental, and genre-defying works by Black writers and artists that challenge how audiences perceive and imagine race. He argues that literature and visual art that exceed the confines of familiar conceptions of Black identity can upend received ideas about race and difference. Considering photography by Roy DeCarava, installation art by Kara Walker, novels by Percival Everett and Paul Beatty, drama by Suzan-Lori Parks, and poetry by Robin Coste Lewis, Brooks pinpoints a shared aesthetic sensibility. In their works, the devices that typically make race feel familiar are instead used to estrange cultural assumptions about race. Brooks contends that when artists confound expectations about racial representation, the resulting disorientation reveals the incoherence of racial ideologies. By showing how contemporary literature and art ask audiences to question what they think they know about race, The Racial Unfamiliar offers a new way to understand African American cultural production.

READING VOICES: Literature and the Phonotext

READING VOICES: Literature and the Phonotext

By: Stewart, Garrett
$16.95
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"At last, a scrupulous and sustained--'earsighted'--study of that shadowy yet vital intersection of sound and sense without which literary reading remains a disembodied exercise. . . . Stewart immerses us brilliantly in the poststructural method of a 'phonemic' analysis."--Geoffrey H. Hartman, author of Saving the Text "Stunningly articulate. . . . Alongside brilliant exegeses of passsages from the major English poets, Stewart offers new and dazzling interpretations of the 'poetics of prose' in such novelists as Dickens, Lawrence, Joyce, and Woolf. The book is a tour de force, no doubt about it. In my opinion, Reading Voices will have not only a wide but a lasting reception."--Hayden White, author of Metahistory "This is exciting, virtuoso work in a playfully imaginative hermeneutic mode. Stewart's ear hears fascinating and compelling things, things which have a delightfully rich and thematically complex bearing on much larger textual issues."--Paul Fry, author of The Reach of Criticism "A truly original book. . . . The first work in years to bring together linguistically informed criticism with more philosophically oriented literary theory. The resulting vision of literature is odd, personal, passionate, even outlandish. Not only is Stewart himself and extraordinary stylist, but his work suggests a breakthrough in stylistic criticism so radical as to revitalize the entire field."--Jay Clayton, author of Romantic Vision and the Novel