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Jarosław Wiliński and Joanna Stolarek

This book explores norm and anomaly in various contemporary Anglophone linguistic, didactic, literary and cultural studies. The authors provide an international forum for the discussion and exchange of ideas. They analyze, among others, humour in comics and sitcom discourse, riddles and their linguistic properties, idiomaticity in language teaching. They also set their focus on issues like the uses of antipassive-like and extraposed constructions, as well as problems related to order and chaos, expression and repression, autonomy and oppression, harmony and discord in modern and contemporary British and US literature and culture.

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At the Edge

The Writings of Ronnie Govender

Rajendra Chetty

Ronnie Govender’s works are significant in the construction of a South African national identity. The purpose of this book is to engage critically with race, class and resistance through a collection of essays on Govender’s oeuvre. His writings are re-invigorated by close reading within the context of postcolonial and critical theory. Govender recalls the resilience of the multiracial community of Cato Manor whose democratic coexistence and mutual respect comprise a model for the new nation. As a memory work, his texts recollect private and community identity in the wounded spaces of colonial and apartheid oppression. Events of the past should be interpreted in a creative and imaginative way and literature enlightens it best.

Govender’s unique performative prose reconstructs and resurrects the lives of the residents of Cato Manor, their vitality and humour, pain and humiliation: a vibrant, racially integrated community destroyed by the South African apartheid regime’s notorious Group Areas Act. The book seeks to redress that marginalisation and awaken readers to the bravery and creativity of a small, defiant community in the face of forced removals and social injustice. This book reveals Govender’s central concern for human dignity—his innate sensitivity to the unspoken pain of oppressed people.

The book invites the reader to connect and contrast Govender with a range of contexts and intertextualities—from post-colonial to African continental, from the diasporic to the politically analogous. Govender’s radical shift from colonial obeisance theatre to a revelation of raw existence and authentic living is reflected by questioning, dis-comforting and aggrieving.

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American Realist Fictions of Marriage

From Kate Chopin, Edith Wharton to Frances Harper, Pauline Hopkins

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Kelli V. Randall

American Realist Fictions of Marriage: From Kate Chopin, Edith Wharton to Frances Harper, Pauline Hopkins intervenes in the field of American literary realism by arguing that selected marriage fiction of Kate Chopin, Frances Harper, Pauline Hopkins, Williams Dean Howells, Emma Dunham-Kelly, and Edith Wharton interrogates the possibility of harmonious societies based on racial, gender, and social equality. Megda (1891), An Imperative Duty (1891), Iola Leroy (1892), The Awakening (1899), Contending Forces (1900), and The House of Mirth (1905) express suspicion about marriage and its potential consequences. These six novels use marriage as a forum to explore the problem of the “color line,” sexism, and class difference that promoted social boundaries. These novels demonstrate how choices about marriage made by female protagonists are metaphorical representations of social equality while simultaneously revealing threats to that ideal vision. In a wider context, American Realist Fictions of Marriage aims to widen the conventional narrow focus on canonical realist writers by highlighting intellectual exchanges that were taking place between traditional and non-traditional writers about marriage.

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Die Sprachlernklasse(n) im Fokus

Deutsch als Zweitsprache und Englischunterricht

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Gabriele Blell, Gabriela Fellmann and Stefanie Fuchs

Fremdsprachendidaktiker*innen, Fachdidaktiker*innen, Lehrer*innen und Studierende haben über einen Zeitraum von einem Schuljahr aus ganz verschiedenen Perspektiven Unterricht in einer Sprachlernklasse kollaborativ begleitet, beobachtet und analysiert, um gemeinsam nach Wegen zur Steigerung (reflektierter) professioneller Kompetenz beim Sprach(en)lehren zu suchen. Der Band fasst die Ergebnisse zusammen und greift folgende fremdsprachendidaktische Themenkomplexe in seinen Teilkapiteln auf: 1. Sprachlernklassen in Niedersachsen (Status quo), 2. Sprachbildung und Bildungssprache(n) Deutsch und Englisch, 3. Diversitätssensibler und differenzierender Unterricht, 4. Interkulturelle Sensibilisierung, 5. Mehrsprachigkeitsdidaktik, 6. Lehrer*innenhandlungskompetenz und Lehrer*innenbildung.

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Óscar Xavier Altamirano

Despite the attention lavished on Edgar Allan Poe, his long-standing status as a «critical orphan» endures. He is known as much for a poem, a story and a biographical myth as for his extraordinary body of work, often written off as second rate. He is a writer obscurely cherished by lovers of the macabre, oversimplified and entangled in sophisticated theoretical analyses and judgements that fail to consider the esoteric doctrines central to his work. In other words, lost between the initiated and the profane, Poe has become a gigantic puzzle and one that needs reassembling. His writings remain elusive, while his role in the literary history of our age defies canonicity.

An intellectual history that fills this crucial gap by restoring Poe to his turbulent historical context, this book recovers the philosophical and esoteric complexity of a riddler, a satirist and a biting social critic in his struggle to make sense of the cardinal malaises and dominant ideas of a revolutionary age, confronted with a new and shattering conception of man, nature and the universe. It reconsiders the way we read, study and present Poe to future generations, decoding with exceptional clarity the enigmas of a monumental writer – a cult figure – who is inseparable from the historical consciousness of the modern world.

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Vladimir Nabokov and the Ideological Aesthetic

A Study of his Novels and Plays, 1926–1939

Udith Dematagoda

This book argues that ideology is a prism through which the work of Vladimir Nabokov needs to be considered. It is thus the first attempt to foreground questions of ideology and politics within a field that has historically been resistant to such readings.

The perception of Nabokov as an apolitical writer is one which the author encouraged throughout the latter part of his career in his non-fictional writings and in the small number of well-rehearsed interviews that he gave. When questions of ideology and politics have arisen in scholarship, they have only been featured in passing or have merely re-confirmed the author’s self-designation as an «old-fashioned liberal». When we consider that Nabokov lived through some of the most traumatic historical ruptures of the past century then this lack of reference to ideology in the critical literature appears quite revealing.

Through the analysis of works which have previously received little attention as well as new perspectives on better known works, this book demonstrates how ideology and politics were ever-present and had an indelible effect on Nabokov's literary aesthetics.

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Xavier Kalck

Few poets have been as adamant about the uselessness of their art in the face of history as American poet George Oppen (1908–1984), and yet, few poets have been as viscerally convinced of the important role of the poem in restoring meaning to our words. Oppen came to maturity between two world wars, at the time of the Depression, and gave up poetry just when he had embraced it. In the 1960s and 1970s, however, his new work seemed to many poets and critics to represent the epitome of poetic virtue in dark times. Whereas Oppen wrote of the lost sense of the commonplace, his readers found in his poetry the means to reclaim the poet’s role within the community.
George Oppen’s Poetics of the Commonplace offers the first survey of the critical consensus which has now built up around the poetry of George Oppen, after over two decades of substantial interest in his work. It proposes a comprehensive perspective on Oppen and the criticism devoted to Oppen, from the Objectivist strain in American poetry to the thinkers, such as Heidegger, Levinas, Marx and Adorno, which critics have brought to bear on Oppen’s poetry, to pave the way for the consideration and exemplification of a new methodology which sheds a critical light on the ideas and practices in contemporary poetics, through well-researched close readings.
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Andrzej Slawomir Kowalczyk

This book is a cognitive-poetic study of the seven novels of Charles Williams (1886–1945), a British author of spiritual fiction and non-fiction, a poet, playwright and a literary critic. It approaches his multidimensional narratives with reference to cognitive phenomena and mechanisms such as the figure-ground organization, conceptual metaphors, conceptual blending, image schemata, scripts, cognitive narrative frames, narrative spaces, cognitive deixis, and empathy. The methodology not only stresses the role of the reader’s conceptual and emotional involvement in the building of the story-worlds, but also reveals the novels’ polyphonic character.

"This book is a convincing and thought-provoking study of Charles Williams’s fiction, which uncovers the unique, ambiguous senses of his works."

Prof. Grzegorz Maziarczyk,

The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland

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Towards a Cultura Franca

Contemporary American Civil and Human Rights Drama in the Foreign Language Classroom

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Jeannette U. Böttcher

This book is mapping the fields of modern output-oriented teaching, intercultural learning, and drama methods in the foreign language class. It explains that drama-based language learning transcends the usual learning scopes in its practical relevance and its far-reaching contextual implications. By including (inter-)cultural aspects, as well as human and civil rights issues, modern teaching can provide students with new frames of references and shifts their attention from an individualistic worldview towards a more tolerant perception of «the other.» The term of «cultura franca» hints at a liberation of cultural restraints and this is exactly what is indispensable in order to educate students to become the interculturally adept speakers our modern time needs.

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Tadeusz Pióro

This book is a comprehensive approach to interpreting Frank O’Hara’s highly influential work. Frank O’Hara’s poetry, initially inspired by the Modernist avant-garde, underwent a radical change around 1960. This change parallels the decline of Abstract Expressionism and the rise of Pop Art. The book includes historical contextualization as well as practical criticism. The author analyzes how Frank O’Hara could be regarded. As a Modernist poet, or as one who realizes that the aesthetic of High Modernism is on the wane, and is preparing himself for a paradigmatic change. Earlier poems are best seen as Modernist/avant-gardist, while the later ones as no less vanguard forays into uncharted territory. While the book takes up issues such as mimeticism, realism and abstraction in both poetry and painting, the boredom of the new as seen by Walter Benjamin, and the representational potential of the camp aesthetic, the main emphasis is on practical criticism, modes of reading O’Hara’s œuvre.