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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.

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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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Monsters

A Companion

Edited by Simon Bacon

What are Monsters?

Monsters are everywhere, from cyberbullies online to vampires onscreen: the twenty-first century is a monstrous age. The root of the word ‘monster’ means ‘omen’ or ‘warning’, and if monsters frighten us, it’s because they are here to warn us about something amiss in ourselves and in our society. Humanity has given birth to these monsters, and they grow and change with us, carrying the scars of their birth with them.

This collection of original and accessible essays looks at a variety of contemporary monsters from literature, film, television, music and the internet within their respective historical and cultural contexts. Beginning with a critical introduction that explores the concept of the monster in the work of Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, Jack Halberstam, Elaine Showalter and more, the book takes a broad approach to the monster, including not only classic slasher films, serial killers (Bates Motel), the living dead (Game of Thrones) and aliens (District 9), but also hyper-contemporary examples like clones (Orphan Black), cyberbullies (Cyberbully), viral outbreaks (The Strain) and celebrities (Lady Gaga). Gender and culture are especially emphasized in the volume, with essays on the role of gender and sexuality in defining the monster (AHS Apocalypse) and global monsters (Cleverman, La Llorona).

This compact guide to the monster in contemporary culture will be useful to teachers, students and fans looking to expand their understanding of this important cultural figure.

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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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Simon Rosenberg

For more than 20 years now, the publishing industry has been highly influenced by innovations in digital technology. This is not the first time that technological changes affect the book trade. Both the printing press and industrialized production methods vitally changed the book industry in their time. With a macroscopic, comparative approach, this book looks at the transitional phases of the book of the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries to locate distinctive patterns in the acceptance of new technologies. Using specific book value categories, which shape the acceptance context of innovations in book production, helps us find continuities and discontinuities of these patterns. It also offers a better understanding of current developments in publishing in the digital age.