Literary Criticism
Featured Items
Studs Lonigan: A Trilogy Comprising Young Lonigan, the Young Manhood of Studs Lonigan, and Judgement Day
Studs Lonigan
A Trilogy Comprising Young Lonigan, the Young Manhood of Studs Lonigan, and Judgement Day
Paperback      ISBN: 0252062825

A classic story of an Irish-American youth growing to adulthood in Chicago. Widely regarded as one of the finest American novels from the first half of the twentieth century.

Much Ado About Nothing
Much Ado About Nothing
Paperback      ISBN: 0521426103

This edition of Much Ado About Nothing, one of Shakespeare's most delightful and theatrically successful comedies, offers, along with a freshly edited text, an exceptionally helpful and critically aware Introduction and commentary. Paying particular attention in his Introduction to analysis of the play's minor characters, Sheldon P. Zitner discusses Shakespeare's social transformation of his source material, rethinking the attitudes to gender relations that underlie the comedy and determine its ruefully optimistic view of marriage. Interpretations are advanced less because they are arguable than because they are actable. Allowing for the play's openness to re-interpretation by successive generations of readers and performers, the editor provides a socially analytic stage history. Full notes and commentary continue previous editors' work of clarifying textual and performance problems of interest to both readers and actors.

Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War
Wartime
Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War
Paperback      ISBN: 0195065778

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.
Sexual Personae: Art & Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson
Sexual Personae
Art & Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson
Paperback      ISBN: 0679735798

Here is the fiery, provocative, and unparalleled work of feminist art criticism that launched Camille Paglia's exceptional career as one of our most important public intellectuals. Is Emily Dickinson "the female Sade"? Is Donatello's David a bit of pedophile pornography? What is the secret kinship between Byron and Elvis Presley, between Medusa and Madonna? How do liberals and feminists--as well as conservatives--fatally misread human nature? This audacious and omnivorously learned work of guerrilla scholarship offers nothing less than a unified-field theory of Western culture, high and low, since Egyptians invented beauty--making a persuasive case for all art as a pagan battleground between male and female, form and chaos, civilization and daemonic nature.

47 photographs.
The Metamorphosis: Translation Backgrounds and Contexts Criticism
The Metamorphosis
Translation Backgrounds and Contexts Criticism
Paperback      ISBN: 0393967972

This Norton Critical Edition contains the 1915 edition of Kafka's The Metamorphosis. Translated by Stanley Corngold, the novella is fully annotated and is accompanied by selected textual variants.

Beckett in the Theatre: The Author As Practical Playwright and Director
Beckett in the Theatre
The Author As Practical Playwright and Director
Paperback      ISBN: 0714541516
The Cambridge Companion to James Joyce
The Cambridge Companion to James Joyce
Paperback      ISBN: 0521376734

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'.

The Pleasure of the Text
The Pleasure of the Text
Paperback      ISBN: 0374521603

What is it that we do when we enjoy a text? What is the pleasure of reading? The French critic and theorist Roland Barthes's answers to these questions constitute perhaps for the first time in the history of criticism . . . not only a poetics of reading . . . but a much more difficult achievement, an erotics of reading . . . . Like filings which gather to form a figure in a magnetic field, the parts and pieces here do come together, determined to affirm the pleasure we must take in our reading as against the indifference of (mere) knowledge. --Richard Howard

Hemingway
Hemingway
Paperback      ISBN: 0674387325

Ernest Hemingway was a mythic figure of overt masculinity and vibrant literary genius. He lived life on an epic scale, presenting to the world a character as compelling as the fiction he created. But behind it all lurked an insecure, troubled man. In this immensely powerful and revealing study, Kenneth S. Lynn explores the many tragic facets that both nurtured Hemingway's work and eroded his life. Masterfully written, Hemingway brings to life the writer whose desperate struggle to exorcise his demons produced some of the greatest American fiction of this century.

Languages of the Unsayable: The Play of Negativity in Literature and Literary Theory
Languages of the Unsayable
The Play of Negativity in Literature and Literary Theory
Paperback      ISBN: 0804724830

This volume brings together fifteen outstanding literary theorists and philosophers to examine ways to make the unsayable-that which has been excluded by what is sayable-tangible.