To this tantalizing nonfiction collection Martin Amis brings the same megawatt wit, wickedly acute perception, and ebullient wordplay that characterize his novels. He encompasses the full range of contemporary politics and culture (high and low) while also traveling to China for soccer with Elton John and to London's darts-crazy pubs in search of the perfect throw. Throughout, he offers razor-sharp takes on such subjects as:American politics: "If history is a nightmare from which we are trying to awake, then the Reagan era can be seen as an eight-year blackout. Numb, pale, unhealthily dreamless: eight years of Do Not Disturb." Chess: "Nowhere in sport, perhaps in human activity, is the gap between the tryer and the expert so astronomical.... My chances of a chess brilliancy are the 'chances' of a lab chimp and a type writer producing King Lear."
Winner of both the National Book Award for Arts and Letters and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism, Paul Fussell's The Great War and Modern Memory was one of the most original and gripping volumes ever written about the First World War. Frank Kermode, in The New York Times Book Review, hailed it as "an important contribution to our understanding of how we came to make World War I part of our minds," and Lionel Trilling called it simply "one of the most deeply moving books I have read in a long time." In its panaramic scope and poetic intensity, it illuminated a war that changed a generation and revolutionized the way we see the world.Now, in Wartime, Fussell turns to the Second World War, the conflict he himself fought in, to weave a narrative that is both more intensely personal and more wide-ranging. Whereas his former book focused primarily on literary figures, on the image of the Great War in literature, here Fussell examines the immediate impact of the war on common soldiers and civilians. He describes the psychological and emotional atmosphere of World War II. He analyzes the euphemisms people needed to deal with unacceptable reality (the early belief, for instance, that the war could be won by "precision bombing," that is, by long distance); he describes the abnormally intense frustration of desire and some of the means by which desire was satisfied; and, most important, he emphasizes the damage the war did to intellect, discrimination, honesty, individuality, complexity, ambiguity and wit. Of course, no Fussell book would be complete without some serious discussion of the literature of the time. He examines, for instance, how the great privations of wartime (when oranges would be raffled off as valued prizes) resulted in roccoco prose styles that dwelt longingly on lavish dinners, and how the "high-mindedness" of the era and the almost pathological need to "accentuate the positive" led to the downfall of the acerbic H.L. Mencken and the ascent of E.B. White. He also offers astute commentary on Edmund Wilson's argument with Archibald MacLeish, Cyril Connolly's Horizon magazine, the war poetry of Randall Jarrell and Louis Simpson, and many other aspects of the wartime literary world. Fussell conveys the essence of that wartime as no other writer before him. For the past fifty years, the Allied War has been sanitized and romanticized almost beyond recognition by "the sentimental, the loony patriotic, the ignorant, and the bloodthirsty." Americans, he says, have never understood what the Second World War was really like. In this stunning volume, he offers such an understanding.
From Modernist/Postmodernist perspective, leading critics Richard Ruland (American) and Malcolm Bradbury (British) address questions of literary and cultural nationalism. They demonstrate that since the seventeenth century, American writing has reflected the political and historical climate of its time and helped define America's cultural and social parameters. Above all, they argue that American literature has always been essentially modern, illustrating this with a broad range of texts: from Poe and Melville to Fitzgerald and Pound, to Wallace Stevens, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Thomas Pynchon.
From Puritanism to Postmodernism pays homage to the luxuriance of American writing by tracing the creation of a national literature that retained its deep roots in European culture while striving to achieve cultural independence.
Written when he was forty, Safe Conduct puzzled many readers in Russia and when it appeared in English, because its isolated sharp impressions and juxtapositions seem to deny chronology, but at least one critic recognized it as "the most original of autobiographies, employing a new technique of great important."
Also included is a group of remarkable short stories, translated by Robert Payne, dealing with the mysteries of life and art, and a selection of the poems that have made Pasternak known, to the few at last, as the "outstanding Russian poet of the century." these are translated by the British Critic and poet C. M. Bowra, and by Miss Deutsch.
This classic work is designed to cover all of the major movements in literary studies during this century. Noted for its clear, engaging style and unpretentious treatment, Literary Theory has become the introduction of choice for anyone interested in learning about the world of contemporary literary thought. The second edition contains a major new survey chapter that addresses developments in cultural theory since the book's original publication in 1983, including feminist theory, postmodernism, and poststructuralism.
Before the notion of "political correctness" encroached on the ways people spoke, wrote, and conducted themselves in public and private, some of America's best writers embraced unsafe sex, excessive alcohol, and a good cigar. From the classically libidinous Henry Miller to the hilariously contemporary Fran Lebowitz, "Drinking, Smoking and Screwing" includes novel excerpts, essays, poems, and short stories in a bawdy and thoroughly entertaining anthology with no warnings -- and no apologies.
A series of interlinked considerations of the connection between storymaking and identity.
"In our tradition, people do not simply speak the world into being. What we say is intricately intertwined with what we are and can be. To the Cherokee people, all things in the world have a voice -- and that voice carries life. Storying gives shape to meaning"
In this groundbreaking work of creative nonfiction, American Book Award winner Diane Glancy juxtaposes personal essays, Cherokee myths, and imaginative sketches to explore her experiences as a Native American mixed-blood coming to terms with the fragmentary nature of her life.
The West Pole is a book about storymaking; in it, Glancy explores the ways the structure of Native American storytelling reflects and shapes her own sense of identity. Through words, she creates and re-creates herself, her world, the traditions of the Cherokee people from whom she is descended.
What is the West Pole? Something not there unless you believe it is -- destinations taken on faith. "The country growing older. The century. Myself. The browning of America. Multiculturalism.... The instability of the economy. The End of the Trail. All of it". These are among the places she takes us by way of "storying", the Cherokee way of recording their struggle across the moving landscape of their lives.
Glancy herself has moved, circling back on her history, the history of the Cherokee people, and our history as a storied nation. Genealogy, school, Native American novels, Minnesota Public Radio, television, exercise bikes, Christmas gifts, autumn leaves, snow, a painting by Pissarro, a flight to Chicago, movies and photo albums: These are some of the occasionsand objects that trigger Glancy's meditations, that become milestones on her journey.