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Wolfgang Mieder

There was a time when the word "modern" would not have appeared in folklore scholarship in general and in proverb studies in particular. After all, folklorists and cultural historians were primarily interested in traditional materials with some consideration also being given to their innovative adaptations. While this interplay of tradition and innovation informed many studies that exemplified a certain constancy in change, little attention was paid to new or modern folklore items. But there has been a revolutionary change during the past few decades in that scholars have looked at the creation of new folklore. This change of emphasis has also influenced paremiographers (proverb collectors) and paremiologists (proverb scholars). In fact, the Dictionary of Modern Proverbs (2012) edited by Charles Clay Doyle, Wolfgang Mieder, and Fred R. Shapiro has become solid proof that there is such a phenomenon as modern proverbs.

This is the first study of authentic modern American proverbs without including proverbs of British origin. The first of nine chapters discusses the origin, nature, and meaning of modern American proverbs based on about 1500 texts. The next large chapter contains a general overview of their forward-looking message that includes the American spirit of mobility with its emphasis toward a successful and exciting future. The third chapter treats proverbial emotions about modern life, with the fourth chapter considering the modern wisdom about age and aging. The next two chapters cover somatic aspects of these proverbs and also the preoccupation with time. This is followed by a discussion about pecuniary proverbs that reflect the attitudes of a capitalistic society. The next chapter shows that modern proverbs continue to include references to animals as has been the case with older proverbs. Finally, there is the ninth chapter about sexuality and scatology in modern proverbs, indicating that these topics play a considerable role in this modern wisdom. Such proverbs were often excluded form proverb collections. With the much greater openness about love, sex, and various taboos, proverbs have become much more open literally or figuratively about these matters that are an obsession of sorts throughout the society. Altogether these nine chapters with their many modern American proverbs present a fascinating metaphorical picture of a general of composite American worldview.

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Saving Endangered Heirs and Estates

Studies in European Literature

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Hugo G. Walter

This book is a collection of great and insightful essays which discuss heroic endeavors to save endangered heirs and estates by searching devotedly for the truth in various criminal and civil situations. This book focuses especially on important works by Arthur Conan Doyle, Theodor Storm, Frances Hodgson Burnett, and Agatha Christie, while also discussing works by other important European authors. In each of these literary masterpieces the landowner or heir is emotionally and physically endangered and his or her house and estate imperiled by one or more individuals from within his or her own family or from within the sphere of influence of the family. In these works by Arthur Conan Doyle, Theodor Storm, Frances Hodgson Burnett, and Agatha Christie there is a valiant attempt by such individuals as Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, Mary Lennox, Hercule Poirot, and others to save the landowners and heirs who are endangered and the estates which are threatened by thoroughly investigating their situations and by searching meticulously for the truth. These protagonists share and exemplify the "passion for getting at the truth" which Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie’s Murder in Three Acts declares is the primary motivating force and inspiration for his criminal investigations.

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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.