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A Letter to China

Challenging Mao in the Age of Postmodernity

Alberto Castelli

This edited collection brings together a range of essays that examine the maze of Chinese postmodernity. The essays explore the global expansion of capital as a structural crisis represented in art and literature. It ultimately acknowledges the ambiguity of Chinese postmodernity, the overlapping cultural paradigms of Confucian ethics and a capitalist economy, residual of Maoism, socialist relations, and individualist philosophy.

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Naji B. Oueijan

Ever since his childhood and adolescence and before he became a legendary poet, George Gordon Noel, sixth Baron Byron, felt the sense of escaping from the anxieties of his traumatic present to the glorious worlds of Eastern history and mythology. In Eastern mythology, which he read and loved, Byron approached his own utopia and dystopia without distancing himself from current world affairs. He heard the voice of mythology in various forms: in Nature and its animate and inanimate elements, in nightingales, eagles, roses, trees, bushes, mountains, plains, oceans, stones, and rocks, and in ancient relics, among others. Nature and the ruins of the past spoke to him more truth about God, Man, and Nature than religion and history books. His immediate impressions while being on-the-spot, his mobility, his standing on the borderlines of fact and fiction, and his extensive references to Eastern mythology in his works, created a Byronic myth and enhanced the mythical quality of his works, especially Don Juan, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Cantos I and II, and his Oriental Tales—The Giaour, The Bride of Abydos, The Corsair, and The Siege of Corinth. Lord Byron became an archetype of a legendary celebrity, and his works and some of his characters, especially his Byronic Heroes and Heroines, became universal mythical characters. Among several questions, the book answers two major ones: First, how does Byron use Eastern mythology, including Greek, Persian, and Arabian in the above-mentioned works to render his own poetry mythological? And second, how do his personal affairs and mythological works contribute to the generation of the still living Byronic myth?

 

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Kurt Vonnegut

Myth and Science in the Postmodern World

Gilbert McInnis

Kurt Vonnegut: Myth and Science in the Postmodern World attempts to understand, in Vonnegut’s novels, how Darwin’s theory of evolution functions as a cosmogonic myth that is widely accepted in order to explain why the world is as it is and why things happen as they do, to provide a rationale for social customs and observances, and to establish the sanctions for the rules by which Vonnegut’s characters conduct their lives. Moreover, this study deals with how and why Kurt Vonnegut’s fiction represents the changing human image resulting from Darwinism. The book's theoretical approach is based primarily on ideas from myth criticism and complemented by treatises on evolution.

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Dongjing Han

The primary aim of this book is to enhance English as a foreign language (EFL) learners’ listening proficient and provide pedagogical implications for vocabulary and listening teaching practice. This book arouses particular attention to mastery of aural vocabulary knowledge to enhancement of listening performance in Chinese context. It provides a comprehensive picture of the role of vocabulary acquisition approaches and strategy practice in listening performance.

This book evaluates the relationship between vocabulary knowledge and listening comprehension in English as a foreign language (EFL), which has not been sufficiently investigated empirically. In particular, it has an added focus on the use of aural vocabulary knowledge tests in detecting the role of vocabulary knowledge in listening comprehension. It highlights the role of vocabulary knowledge in determining listening success. Specifically, it draws scholars’ attention to the contributions of aural vocabulary knowledge to listening comprehension. The study also confirms the previous hypotheses of higher correlations between aural vocabulary size knowledge and listening comprehension. Pedagogically, it confirms the significance and necessity of improving both aural and written forms of vocabulary knowledge and focusing on strategy-embedded listening activities in EFL listening education. In this book, each chapter is dedicated to a specific theme in EFL learning and acquisition, providing a China case study dedicated to further development of EFL education.

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Tomasz Fisiak

Although Gothicism remains a popular subject of scholarly investigation, little attention has been paid to the figure of the Gothic female tyrant. This book attempts to prove that despotic women in Gothic fiction are more than mere female equivalents of male tyrants or negatives to angelic damsels in distress. Rather, they are multidimensional characters who are punished for their independence, power and the free expression of their erotic needs. The author observes how their portrayal has evolved, his research embracing a selection of texts written between 1764 and 2003, as well as a few cinematic adaptations of the analyzed works. The study views Gothic anti-heroines in their historical, social, class and cultural contexts, paying particular attention to the notion of desire and its fulfillment. The analysis, accompanied by the relevant theoretical framework, aims to help the eponymous “she-devils” reclaim their space and voice.

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Alberto Castelli

The Modernity of Chinese Postmodern Literature is an unprecedented comparative study of postmodern Chinese literature and continental European modernism. This book deconstructs and reconstructs central works of post-1976 Chinese literature and the main texts of European modernism to uncover a striking conceptual similarity between these two literary corpuses. Scholars and postgraduate students in the humanities comprise this work’s primary audience. However, all those interested in contemporary China will find in it an accessible key to decode China’s present and past.

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Edited by Rodrigo Pérez Lorido, Carlos Prado Alonso and Paula Rodríguez-Puente

This book provides new insights on different aspects of Old and Middle Eng-lish language and literature, presenting state-of-the-art analyses of linguistic phenomena and literary developments in those periods and opening up new directions for future work in the field. The volume tackles aspects of English diachronic linguistics such as the development of binominals and collective nouns in Old and Middle English, the early history of the intensifiers ‘deadly’ and ‘mortally’, the articulatory-acoustic characteristics of approximants in English, Old English metrics, some aspects of the methodology of corpus research with paleography in focus, studies of the interplay language-register, and a chapter discussing the periodology of Older Scots. The last section of the book ad-dresses literary and translatorial issues such as the impact of Latin ‘quis’ on the Middle English interrogative ‘who of’, the problems that may arise when trans-lating Beowulf into Galician, a reinterpretation of Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale, and a discussion of the structure of medieval manuscripts containing miscellanea.