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Gerald Gillespie

This book examines how a long line of imaginative writers, starting from Rabelais and continuing over Cervantes and Sterne down to such modernists as Proust, Mann, Joyce, and Barth, has reaffirmed the picture of an enduring Western civilization despite repeated crises and transformations. The humanist capacity to recapture a sense of European greatness as exhibited in Antiquity was paralleled by and continued in the guise of newer vernacular works, achievements regarded as vital forms of a shared cultural rebirth. This was amplified most notably in the tradition of the ironic encyclopedic novel which surveyed the state of successive phases of culture. The evolving heritage and revitalization of the arts constituted main subject matters in the series of major self-conscious epochal movements, the Enlightenment, Romanticism, and Modernism, which Postmodernism reflexively now struggles to supersede.

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A Critical Gaze from the Old World

Transatlantic Perspectives on American Studies

Edited by Isabel Durán G.-Rico, Rebeca Gualberto, Eusebio De Lorenzo, Carmen Méndez and Eduardo Valls

This volume is the product of a joint effort to bring together critical views "from the Old World" on the field of American Studies. The contributors are leading Americanists working in Spanish academia who believe in the importance of working on American Studies from a multidisciplinary, inclusive perspective. The volume constitutes a testimony to the current state of research on American Studies in Spain, which occupies a key position in the transatlantic appreciation of the field. Ranging from Romanticism to Postmodernism, form the human to the post-human, from the Salem witchcraft trials to the Holocaust, from the Other to the Zombie, from fiction to history, from African-American slavery to Native-American reservations, from Spanish Unamunian philosophy to Whitmanesque poetry—to name just a few of the themes discussed in these pages—this entire volume is grounded on a transatlantic vision and dialogue, which has taken on great importance after the so-called "transatlantic turn." All in all, this book provides the critical gaze of the "expert outsider" who is able to offer a somewhat different but complementary point of view, which can only enrich the general appreciation of American Studies.

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Poetry and Authority

Chaucer, Vernacular Fable and the Role of Readers in Fifteenth-Century England


David Nisters

This study argues that the vernacular fable constituted a productive site for negotiating scholastic poetics in late medieval England. On the basis of a close reading of Chaucer’s Nun’s Priest’s Tale and Manciple’s Tale, the book analyses how the concept of textual authority came to be both challenged and vindicated in the face of the growing importance of an empowered vernacular readership. Thus, the fables of John Lydgate and the presentation of Chaucer’s texts in some of the earliest printed editions of the Canterbury Tales indicate the development of a Chaucerian poetics that was grounded in Chaucer’s own critical reflection on the scholastic account of poetic fiction.

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Dee Horne

Mary Oliver’s Grass Roots Poetry examines the poetry and essays of Pulitzer Prize winner Mary Oliver. Her writing offers an environmental ethics that is relevant to readers interested not only in poetry but also environmental writing. She neither replicates hierarchical relationships nor romanticizes nature. In situating all as kin while also respecting differences, Oliver creates a grassroots poetics and an environmental ethics that invite readers to rethink our responsibilities and how we interact with others, human and nonhuman, animate and inanimate. Respectful coexistence with differences is necessary for the survival of all.

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Dostoevsky and the Realists

Dickens, Flaubert, Tolstoy

Slobodanka M. Vladiv-Glover

Dostoevsky and the Realists: Dickens, Flaubert, Tolstoy​ offers a radical redefinition of Realism as a historical phenomenon, grounded in the literary manifestoes of the 1840s in three national literary canons (English, French and Russian) which issue a call to writers to record the manners and mores of their societies for posterity and thus to become "local historians." The sketch of manners becomes the instituting genre of Realism but is transformed in the major novels of the Realists into history as genealogy and into a phenomenology of modern subjectivity. Dickens, Flaubert and Tolstoy are brought into relation with Dostoevsky via a shared poetics as well as through a deconstructive and/or psychoanalytic analysis of their respective novels, which are interpreted in the context of various doctrines of Beauty, including Dostoevsky’s own artistic credo of 1860. In this broad context of European aesthetics and the European literary canon, Dostoevsky’s own view of history is illuminated in a new perspective, in which his concept of the "soil" is stripped of its conservative mask behind which emerges a (post-exile) Dostoevsky with socialist, pan-European views. The portrait of Dostoevsky which thus emerges from the present study is that of a European writer with a radically modern aesthetics and with a progressivist political orientation which is in consonance with his pre-exile affiliation with utopian socialism.

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Irmengard Rauch and Gerald F. Carr

Selected Writings of Irmengard Rauch represents that portion of Irmengard Rauch’s articles which center on contemporary and historical Germanic linguistic phenomena. They thus speak to the principal North, East, and West Germanic dialects. Her authored books The Old High German Diphthongization: A Description of a Phonemic Change (1967); The Old Saxon Language: Grammar, Epic Narrative, Linguistic Interference (1992); Semiotic Insights: The Data Do the Talking (1998); The Gothic Language: Grammar, Genetic Provenance and Typology, Readings (2003, 2011); The Phonology/Paraphonology Interface and the Sounds of German Across Time (2008) stand on their own. Her contributions to linguistic fieldwork are documented in BAG—Bay Area German Linguistic Fieldwork Project (2015).

Rauch’s writings spanning half a century, from the early sixties to the present, encompass an array of subjects from the state of the art, to multiple language components, that is, segmental and prosodic phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic topics informing Germanic languages, as well as to literature and to nonverbal communication. Linguistic and interdisciplinary methods imbue all of her writings. At the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where Generative Grammar made early inroads, she was trained as an American structuralist, reaping the benefits of the functionalist Prague School, preceded by Saussure, the Neogrammarians, Darwin, Rask, Grimm (all 19th-century instigators of linguistics as a science), and of the founding of the LSA. Since the early seventies she opened her methods of analysis to the semiotic approach of Locke, Saussure, and Peirce. Consequently, Rauch’s writings exploit the combined approaches of linguistics and semiotics. These are the inextricable work-horses, which in combination, enhance her arguments detailing given linguistic problems that define the field of General and Germanic Linguistics and thus feed the multi-disciplinary research interests of both seasoned researchers and neophytes.

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Edited by Maria Eisenmann and Christian Ludwig

Gender diversity and the fact that gender is subject to perpetual renegotiations have become part of teachers’ and students’ lives. This volume tackles this issue by showing particularly innovative ways of teaching gender in the EFL classroom. Thus, the contributions include a broad variety of gender realities, such as trans* and cisgender, a cornucopia of texts and other media, a variety of literary genres, graphic novels, films and TV shows. The authors also illustrate cutting-edge approaches to teaching both literature and gender in the contemporary student-centered EFL classroom with different age groups.

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Richard III as a Romantic Icon

Textual, Cultural and Theatrical Appropriations


Nicoletta Caputo

This valuable volume adopts a multi-perspective approach to the historical and dramatic figure of Richard III during the "long" Romantic period. It takes into consideration his controversial reputation among historians of the time, as well as his changing place within the critical literature. It likewise examines nineteenth-century adaptations of Shakespeare's play. Above all, Nicoletta Caputo’s innovative book discusses contrasting stage interpretations of Richard as dramatis persona, in the performances of such iconic players as David Garrick, George Frederick Cooke and Edmund Kean. The vivid overall picture that emerges of Richard III is that of a figure who exerts an almost inexhaustible fascination on the Romantics. Nicoletta Caputo persuasively illustrates ̶ on the basis of abundant documentary evidence ̶ the surprising degree to which Richard is to be found at the very centre of the literary, theatrical, ideological and ethical debates, over a period of several decades. Such extraordinary centrality in turn sheds light on Romantic culture at large, and in particular on its understanding of Shakespeare, grounded above all in character analysis, often of a moral and political nature. The Romantics tended to reify Shakespeare's villainous king, extrapolating him from his dramatic context, and turning him into an autonomous, virtually living person.

(Keir Elam, University of Bologna)

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The Verse Novel in English

Origins, Growth and Expansion

Adrian Kempton

The second of two studies devoted to the interrelations of poetry and prose fiction, this volume examines the origins, development and flowering of the verse novel as a literary hybrid. While the first study was concerned with the different ways in which novelists have incorporated poetry into their fictions, what is analysed here is the manner in which poets have adopted novelistic genres and techniques and adapted these to the prosodic requirements of rhyming, blank and free verse in order to produce original literary blends. The novel may thus acquire a fresh dimension by being re-immersed in its original verse narrative sources and poetry be rendered more accessible to a wider reading public.

Beginning with Pushkin, who was the first to coin the term «verse novel» to describe his masterpiece Eugene Onegin, the first section of this study considers a number of nineteenth-century Romantic and Victorian verse narratives, as well as some mid-twentieth-century experimental works, which can be seen to have contributed to the rise of the verse novel. The second, much longer, section concentrates on the period 1980-2010, which witnessed the full fruition of the verse novel as a multicultural fictional genre. A selection of some two dozen verse novels from this period, notably those by Anthony Burgess, Anne Carson, Glyn Maxwell, Les Murray, Vikram Seth and Derek Walcott, are discussed in terms of both their novelistic and their prosodic merits.

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No! In Whispers

The Rhetoric of Dissent in American Writing


Edited by Michele Bottalico

No! In Whispers is based on the assumption that dissent, particularly in literary writing, is not necessarily shouted. Rather, it is conveyed by means of persuasion strategies, through subtle transversal allusions and an undercurrent of moral analysis and protest, through what can metaphorically be defined as ‘whispers’ that penetrate the readers’ conscience and are meant to promote change. The essays in this book explore the rhetoric of dissent in a range of texts that include letters, novels, poems and nonfiction, mostly focusing on selected works by such authors as Abigail Adams, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mary Ovington, Toni Morrison, Adrienne Rich, Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo. The last two chapters, devoted to nonfiction, consider Edward Said’s memoir and the debate about the New Musicology. The authors come from four different countries and have largely distinct cultural backgrounds and scientific interests; thus they analyze the statements of dissent from various angles utilizing different methodological approaches. They concur in outlining the image of a country that has been historically torn by the tension between what it is and what it was meant to be.