In this bold theoretical work, Bruce Lincoln explores the ways in which myth, ritual, and classification hold human societies together--and how, in times of crisis, they can be used to take a society apart and reconstruct it. Without overlooking the role of coercive force in the maintenance (or overthrow) of social structures, Lincoln argues his thesis with compelling illustrations drawn from such diverse areas as Platonic philosophy, the Upanishads of India, ancient Celtic banquets, professional wrestling, and the Spanish Civil War. This wide-ranging interdisciplinary study--which draws on works in history, semiotics, anthropology, sociology, classics, and indology--offers challenging new insights into the complex dynamics of social cohesion and change.
This Companion, designed primarily as a students' reference work (although it is organised so that it can also be read from cover to cover), will deepen and extend the enjoyment and understanding of Joyce for the new reader. The eleven essays, by an international team of leading Joyce scholars and teachers, explore the most important aspects of Joyce's life and art. The topics covered include his debt to Irish and European writers and traditions, his life in Paris, and the relation of his work to the 'modern' spirit of sceptical relativism. One essay describes Joyce's developing achievement in his earlier works (Stephen Hero, Dubliners, and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man), while another tackles his best-known text, asking the basic question 'What is Ulysses about, and how can it be read?' The issue of 'difficulty' raised by Finnegans Wake is directly addressed, and the reader is taken through questions of theme, language, structure and meaning, as well as the book's composition and the history of Wake criticism. A leading Joyce editor discusses the production of the Joycean text; another contribution introduces the shorter writings (poems, epiphanies, Giacomo Joyce, and Exiles), and an essay on Joyce and feminism considers the vexed question of the place of women in Joyce's work and creative life. There is also an extensive section on 'Further Reading'.
* 600 Terms, Concepts, and Critical Theories. Are all defined, explained, and illustrated in clear, easy-to-understand language. * Comprehensive. Providing students with all the literary and critical terms commonly encountered in the study of literature, from the basic to the complex and avante garde. * Numerous Examples. Allow students to clarify the terms and ideas in each entry. * Cross-References. Further help study by linking related terms and concepts and technical terms with their more common counterparts.
" "Mythologies"] illustrates the beautiful generosity of Barthes's progressive interest in the meaning (his word is signification) of practically everything around him, not only the books and paintings of high art, but also the slogans, trivia, toys, food, and popular rituals (cruises, striptease, eating, wrestling matches) of contemporary life . . . For Barthes, words and objects have in common the organized capacity to say something; at the same time, since they are signs, words and objects have the bad faith always to appear natural to their consumer, as if what they say is eternal, true, necessary, instead of arbitrary, made, contingent. "Mythologies" finds Barthes revealing the fashioned systems of ideas that make it possible, for example, for 'Einstein's brain' to stand for, be the myth of, 'a genius so lacking in magic that one speaks about his thought as a functional labor analogous to the mechanical making of sausages.' Each of the little essays in this book wrenches a definition out of a common but constructed object, making the object speak its hidden, but ever-so-present, reservoir of manufactured sense."--Edward W. Said
Brilliantly uniting the personal and the critical, French Lessons is a powerful autobiographical experiment. It tells the story of an American woman escaping into the French language and of a scholar and teacher coming to grips with her history of learning. Kaplan begins with a distinctly American quest for an imaginary France of the intelligence. But soon her infatuation with all things French comes up against the dark, unimagined recesses of French political and cultural life.The daughter of a Jewish lawyer who prosecuted Nazi war criminals at Nuremburg, Kaplan grew up in the 1960s in the Midwest. After her father's death when she was seven, French became her way of "leaving home" and finding herself in another language and culture. In spare, midwestern prose, by turns intimate and wry, Kaplan describes how, as a student in a Swiss boarding school and later in a junior year abroad in Bordeaux, she passionately sought the French "r," attentively honed her accent, and learned the idioms of her French lover. When, as a graduate student, her passion for French culture turned to the elegance and sophistication of its intellectual life, she found herself drawn to the language and style of the novelist Louis-Ferdinand Celine. At the same time she was repulsed by his anti-Semitism. At Yale in the late 70s, during the heyday of deconstruction she chose to transgress its apolitical purity and work on a subject "that made history impossible to ignore: " French fascist intellectuals. Kaplan's discussion of the "de Man affair" -- the discovery that her brilliant and charismatic Yale professor had written compromising articles for the pro-Nazi Belgian press--and her personal account of the paradoxes of deconstruction are among the most compelling available on this subject. French Lessons belongs in the company of Sartre's Words and the memoirs of Nathalie Sarraute, Annie Ernaux, and Eva Hoffman. No book so engrossingly conveys both the excitement of learning and the moral dilemmas of the intellectual life.
Mexico's leading poet, essayist, and cultural critic writes of a Mexican poet of another time and another world, the world of seventeenth-century New Spain. His subject is Sor Juana In s de la Cruz, the most striking figure in all of Spanish-American colonial literature and one of the great poets of her age.
Her life reads like a novel. A spirited and precocious girl, one of six illegitimate children, is sent to live with relatives in the capital city. She becomes known for her beauty, wit, and amazing erudition, and is taken into the court as the Vicereine's prot g e. For five years she enjoys the pleasures of life at court--then abruptly, at twenty, enters a convent for life. Yet, no recluse, she transforms the convent locutory into a literary and intellectual salon; she amasses an impressive library and collects scientific instruments, reads insatiably, composes poems, and corresponds with literati in Spain. To the consternation of the prelates of the Church, she persists in circulating her poems, redolent more of the court than the cloister. Her plays are performed, volumes of her poetry are published abroad, and her genius begins to be recognized throughout the Hispanic world. Suddenly she surrenders her books, forswears all literary pursuits, and signs in blood a renunciation of secular learning. The rest is silence. She dies two years later, at forty-six.
Octavio Paz has long been intrigued by the enigmas of Sor Juana's personality and career. Why did she become a nun? How could she renounce her lifelong passion for writing and learning? Such questions can be answered only in the context of the world in which she lived. Paz gives a masterly portrayal of the life and culture of New Spain and the political and ideological forces at work in that autocratic, theocratic, male-dominated society, in which the subjugation of women was absolute.
Just as Paz illuminates Sor Juana's life by placing it in its historical setting, so he situates her work in relation to the traditions that nurtured it. With critical authority he singles out the qualities that distinguish her work and mark her uniqueness as a poet. To Paz her writings, like her life, epitomize the struggle of the individual, and in particular the individual woman, for creative fulfillment and self-expression.
For more than thirty years, Fredric Jameson has been one of the most productive, wide-ranging, and distinctive literary theorists in the United States and the Anglophone world. Marxism and Form provided a pioneering account of the work of the major European Marxist theorists--T. W. Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Herbert Marcuse, Ernst Bloch, Georg Luk cs, and Jean-Paul Sartre--work that was, at the time, largely neglected in the English-speaking world. Through penetrating readings of each theorist, Jameson developed a critical mode of engagement that has had tremendous in.uence. He provided a framework for analyzing the connection between art and the historical circumstances of its making--in particular, how cultural artifacts distort, repress, or transform their circumstances through the abstractions of aesthetic form.
Jameson's presentation of the critical thought of this Hegelian Marxism provided a stark alternative to the Anglo-American tradition of empiricism and humanism. It would later provide a compelling alternative to poststructuralism and deconstruction as they became dominant methodologies in aesthetic criticism.
One year after Marxism and Form, Princeton published Jameson's The Prison-House of Language (1972), which provided a thorough historical and philosophical description of formalism and structuralism. Both books remain central to Jameson's main intellectual legacy: describing and extending a tradition of Western Marxism in cultural theory and literary interpretation.
"Rather than painting a picture of Indian life, Linda Hogan resurrects its symbols and uses them in new ways. The power of the scorpion or the elk in Hogan's work comes...form her orchestrating of these images. This book is startling."--Hungry Mind Review