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Old Challenges and New Horizons in English and American Studies

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Edited By Anna Walczuk and Wladyslaw Witalisz

The volume is a collection of essays representative of the wide focus of research encouraged and coordinated by the Polish Association for the Study of English (member of ESSE). Articles selected for the volume deal with works of poetry, drama and prose written in English and invite the reader to view them in the context of intercultural and intertextual discourse. Authors discussed in the articles include: John Redford, William Shakespeare, John Dryden, James Macpherson, John Clare, Anna Radcliffe, Horace Walpole, George Gordon Byron, Charles Dickens, G.K. Chesterton, T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, T.F. Powys, Patrick White, Brian Friel, Brendan Behan, Philip Roth, Alice Walker, Chaim Potok, Ian McEwan, Kiran Desai, and Sarah Kane. In many of the essays the reader will notice a meta-discursive argument on the interplay between tradition and innovation in English studies.
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Understanding and Explaining the Literary Text: A Return to Interpretation

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Marcus Walsh

University of Liverpool

I would like to take the opportunity of our present theme, ‘Old Challenges / New Horizons’, not to report on any very particular aspect of my own research, but to offer some thoughts on issues which seem to me important for the nature and future of English literature as a discipline, on the basis of my experience as a scholar and teacher of English literature in the English university environment. Some of my observations and concerns no doubt relate specifically to the United Kingdom, and they might at least satisfy some of the curiosities you may have about the odd ways in which we British do things. Some of my observations however may have larger and European resonances. I speak as one who professes the discipline of English literature, but I shall be exploring areas where language studies have much to offer, and where the cooperation of literary and language expertise might well, it seems to me, be profitably explored. I am a scholar of the long eighteenth century, and both a practising and a theorising textual editor, and many of my examples, but not all, come from that period and that field.

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