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Imagination in Ian McEwan's Fiction

A Literary and Cognitive Science Approach

Cécile Leupolt

The imagination is a distinctive cognitive feature of the human brain which enables us to navigate both the real world and fictional story worlds. Drawing from literary and cognitive science approaches, this book investigates contemporary British author Ian McEwan’s differentiated portrayal of the imagination as a cognitive process, a result derived from that process or a vital social strategy that individuals use to daydream, mind-read, (self)deceive or manipulate. The book shows that McEwan’s novels reveal the complex positive and negative potential of the imagination and engage, tease and push to its tentative limits our mind-reading capacity on a range of narrative levels.

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Edited by Adina Ciugureanu, Eduard Vlad and Nicoleta Stanca

The essays in this volume examine aspects of the ever-changing American imaginary over the last two centuries from the cultural perspectives of the present age, in which transnational approaches have vigorously challenged American exceptionalist narratives. It is a time in which uncertainties and reappraisals of group and national identity, both within the US and abroad, are part of the framework of a comprehensive field of research for scholars in American Studies, in the social sciences and the humanities alike. While situated in the current tumultuous century, the contributors to this volume focus on specific issues of the US defining and redefining itself from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.

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Edited by Celia M. Wallhead

Further to the first book, Writers of the Spanish Civil War: The Testimony of Their Auto/Biographies (2011), which featured the writings on the war (1936–39) of six key British and American authors: Gerald Brenan, Robert Graves, Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell, Stephen Spender and Laurie Lee, this new work studies the actions in the war of those physically involved and writings focused on the war, either at the time or later, by eight more foreign authors: Virginia Woolf, John Dos Passos, Franz Borkenau, V. S. Pritchett, André Malraux, Arthur Koestler, Martha Gellhorn and Peter Kemp. In addition to comparing their autobiographies with what their biographers said, in order to show up any discrepancies, as had been done in the first book, here, the texts are scrutinized to detect use of stereotypes or adaptation of the material to other purposes in the writing. New perspectives are introduced now in that two of the authors are women, one writing from a distance but deeply affected by the war (Virginia Woolf) and one active in journalism on the spot (Martha Gellhorn), and our final author, Peter Kemp, went to Spain to fight on the side of the Nationalists under Franco as opposed to the Republicans.

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History of English Literature, Volume 1

Medieval and Renaissance Literature to 1625

Franco Marucci

History of English Literature is a comprehensive, eight-volume survey of English literature from the Middle Ages to the early twenty-first century. This reference work provides insightful and often revisionary readings of core texts in the English literary canon. Richly informative analyses are framed by the biographical, historical and intellectual context for each author.

Volume 1 begins by discussing Anglo-Saxon literature before focusing on the three major Middle English poets of the late fourteenth century: Gower, Langland and Chaucer. It then engages with the sixteenth-century prose romances of Sidney, the epic and lyrical poetry of Spenser, and Donne’s love and religious poems. Full coverage is devoted to the legendary fifty-year blossoming of the Elizabethan theatre (excluding Shakespeare, the object of Volume 2), from Kyd and Marlowe up to Jonson, Webster, Middleton, Ford and Shirley. The final part addresses the sixteenth-century prose works of Lyly, Greene and Nashe, homiletics by Hooker and others, and Elizabethan travel literature and historiography.

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Indigenous Cultural Capital

Postcolonial Narratives in Australian Children’s Literature

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Daozhi Xu

Winner of the Biennial Australian Studies in China Book Prize 2018 for an Original Work of Scholarship (in English)

This book explores how Australian Indigenous people’s histories and cultures are deployed, represented and transmitted in post-Mabo children’s literature authored by Indigenous and non-Indigenous writers. Postcolonial narratives in Australian children’s books enable readers access to Indigenous cultures, knowledge and history, which bring with them the possibility of acculturation. This process of acquisition emerges as an embodiment of cultural capital, as theorised by Pierre Bourdieu, but carries an alternative, anti-colonial force. This book argues that by affirming Indigenous cultural value and re-orienting the instituting power of recognition, the operation of «Indigenous cultural capital» enacts a tactic of resistance and functions with transformative potential to change the way in which cultural relations are reproduced in settler society. Through examining the representation, formative processes, modes of transmission, and ethical deployment of Indigenous cultural capital, this book provides a fresh perspective on postcolonial readings of children’s literature. In doing so, it makes original contributions to literary criticism and significant theoretical advances to postcolonial scholarship.

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Giving Shape to the Moment

The Art of Mary O'Donnell: Poet, Novelist and Short Story Writer

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Edited by Maria Elena Jaime de Pablos

This is the first book to provide a critical assessment of the work of the Irish author Mary O’Donnell. The essays collected here engage with O’Donnell’s writing across multiple genres and explore the themes and preoccupations that have characterized her oeuvre. Alongside her creative work, O’Donnell’s has been a steady and continuing voice for many years within the world of theatre criticism, book reviewing, essay writing, radio broadcasts and cultural commentary.

As a writer, O’Donnell’s principal themes include contemporary Irish society, the position of women in Ireland and the role of the artist. Throughout her career, her approach has been unconventional and her work has sometimes presented a challenge to the status quo. The contributors to this volume illuminate O’Donnell’s role as a humanist writer searching for truth at all costs, through the fictive lives of her often unusual characters, and through the emotional range and depth of her poetry.

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A Language School as a Complex System

Complex Systems Theory in English Language Teaching

Achilleas Ioannis Kostoulas

This book uses a complex systems perspective to describe how a language school in Greece evolved, and at times resisted change. Starting with an accessible introduction to complex systems theory (CST), it uses a complexity perspective to interpret data generated during a year of fieldwork. The author outlines the linguistic, pedagogical and political influences that shape teaching and learning at the school. He shows how teaching and learning emerged from the interaction of top-down constraints, available resources, and purposes of instruction. This produces a nuanced understanding English Language Teaching against the backdrop of globalisation. Additionally, the author exemplifies how CST can provide a theoretically powerful frame for researching English Language Teaching.

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Alice McDermott's Fiction

Voice, Memory, Trauma, and Lies

Edited by Gail Shanley Corso

In Alice McDermott’s Fiction, contributors explore the emotional pain, the uncertainty about identity, and the faulty relationships within families and communities of characters in the writer’s work. In the Foreword, Monica McGoldrick identifies how complications such characters as in McDermott’s fiction experience often relate to "reverberations of the pain and shame of their Irish ancestors that have been silenced over time." The aftermath of lies, self-deception, and trauma are analyzed, and McDermott’s themes, stylistics, and aesthetics are identified: familial relationships in second- and third-generation Irish-American families; trauma that characters experience when living their lives of repressed feelings or conflicted self-identity—or forgotten cultural identity; silence in families and inauthentic relationships between mothers and daughters; propensity for characters to lie to show care and concern for another and to cling to mythical images of a patriarchal hero; allusions to Catholic ritual and belief; conflict of female characters as they grapple with choice and autonomy; wit and farce as social commentary; craft with spontaneity and recursion in her narrative structures; emblematic use of peak moments as significant to memory; use of stealth narrators; use of allusions wryly to provide for an astute reader the intertextuality of her stories; repetitive metaphoric use of language to indirectly reveal truth; and, finally, focus on art or telling the story to compensate for sorrow from loss and death. As McDermott’s characters grapple with their trauma and loss, the redemptive quality of the arts is identified.

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Marie-France Burgain

Vingt ans après la sortie du premier tome, l’univers des Harry Potter est toujours présent en librairie, au cinéma et sur Internet mais également, depuis l’été 2017, sur une scène de théâtre londonienne. Cet ouvrage analyse les processus d’écriture et de réécriture à l’oeuvre à l’intérieur et autour de cet univers de fiction. En effet, les choix stylistiques et littéraires de l’auteure encouragent une lecture à la fois captive et distanciée qui peut expliquer, en grande partie, la projection des lecteurs dans ce monde et leur envie de le retrouver et de le prolonger à travers de multiples médias.

Ce livre porte premièrement sur les formes d’écrit présentes dans l’oeuvre et les jeux mis en place autour de l’écrit dans les intrigues, ceux-ci étant classés selon les genres littéraires dans lesquels s’inscrit le texte de Rowling.

Il aborde ensuite la question des jeux proposés par la romancière à ses lecteurs, développe une analyse de son écriture, qualifiée de ludique, visuelle, réflexive et manipulatrice, et explique en quoi cette oeuvre transgénérationnelle propose plusieurs niveaux de lecture. En s’appuyant sur les théories de la réception, cette étude s’intéresse particulièrement aux façons de solliciter la mémoire, l’esprit de déduction et la culture des lecteurs.

Enfin, ce livre traite des réécritures des romans de J.-K. Rowling dans les médias ou sous forme de traductions, de parodies ou de copies publiées. Il présente également les pratiques transfictionnelles et transmédiatiques qu’a inspirées et inspire toujours l’heptalogie. Ces dernières se déclinent en livres, films, jeux vidéo, fanfictions ou encore en productions théâtrales mais proposent aussi d’autres formes de réappropriation de l’oeuvre dont le tatouage féérique est un exemple significatif.

C’est en analysant de plus près tous ces phénomènes que cet ouvrage permet de mieux comprendre en quoi Harry Potter est un phénomène culturel sans équivalent.

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Abdur Raheem Kidwai

Images of the Prophet Muhammad in English Literature seeks to promote a better understanding between the Muslim world and the West against the backdrop of the Danish cartoons and the deplorable tragedy of 9/11, which has evoked a general interest in things Islamic. This book recounts and analyzes the image of Prophet Muhammad, as reflected in English literary texts from the twelfth to nineteenth centuries. It will be of much interest to students of English literary history, cultural studies, Islamic studies, and literary Orientalism.