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The Beautiful and the Doomed: Essays on Literary Value

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Miroslawa Buchholtz

The book addresses the problem of literary value in North American literature, children’s literature, film and poetry. Chapter One: The Ennob(e)led focuses on institutions which are instrumental in attributing value to literature: literary critics (e.g. D.H. Lawrence) and award givers (e.g. the Swedish Academy). It explores W.B. Yeats’s, T.S. Eliot’s, Czesław Miłosz’s and William Golding’s lives with the Nobel Prize. In Chapter Two: The Forgotten homage is paid to four authors who lost popularity, or never enjoyed it: Lorenza Stevens Berbineau, Frank Stockton, Charles Chesnutt and Conrad Aiken. Chapter Three: From Margin to Mainstream compares various Chinese, Japanese, First Nations’ and other ethnic voices in Canadian children’s literature. Chapter Four: From Mainstream to Margin juxtaposes scholarly pursuits with cinematic praxis, and cinematic praxis with political activity.

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Introduction: On Literary Value ...................................................................................................... 7 Chapter One: The Ennob(e)led ...................................................................................................... 15 1.1. How D.H. Lawrence Studied Classic American Literature ............................ 15 1.1.1. The Symbolic Meaning and Studies in Classic American Literature ........ 16 1.1.2. English versus American ...................................................................... 18 1.1.3. Childhood and Adulthood ..................................................................... 19 1.1.4. Whitman as the Great Divide ................................................................ 22 1.2. “And the Winner Is…”: American Literature and the Nobel Prize ................ 25 1.2.1. In through a Peephole ........................................................................... 26 1.2.2. Out with Hidden Agendas ..................................................................... 29 1.3. W.B. Yeats: Poet and Senator among School Children .................................. 38 1.3.1. Line by Line: Continuity and Rupture .................................................. 39 1.3.2. Teaching Reveries ................................................................................. 52 1.4. T.S. Eliot: The Impact Factor .......................................................................... 57 1.5. Czesław Miłosz in Translation: Public and Private Speech ............................ 62 1.6. William Golding: Auto/Biographical Trans/Actions ...................................... 72 Chapter Two: The Forgotten .......................................................................................................... 81 2.1. From Travail to Travel: An American Working Woman Abroad .................. 81 2.2. Frank Stockton’s Fairy Tales: Aesthetics of Subversion and Advertisement . 89 2.2.1. Kings, Queens, and Company: The (R)Evolutionary Scenario ............ 91 2.2.2. Parody and Fable ................................................................................... 99 2.3. Charles W. Chesnutt’s Tales of the Old and New South .............................. 104 2.3.1. Magic Empowerment and Magic Enslavement .................................. 105 2.3.2. Local Color in Black and White ......................................................... 109 2.4. Conrad Aiken’s Poetry for Children: Mild and Mental Animals .................. 118 6 The Beautiful and the Doomed: Essays on Literary Value Chapter Three: From Margin to Mainstream ................................................................................. 125 3.1. Chinese Voices: Paul Yee and Sui Sin Far ................................................... 125 3.2. Images of Ethnic Discrimination: Shizuye Takashima and Joy Kogawa ..... 136 3.3. Native Boy’s Bluest Eye: Drew Hayden Taylor and Jordan Wheeler .......... 145...

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