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
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.
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.
For more than half a century, James D. Hart's The Oxford Companion to American Literature has been an unparalleled guide to America's literary culture, providing one of the finest resources to this country's rich history of great writers. Now this acclaimed work has been completely revised and updated to reflect current developments in the world of American letters.For the sixth edition, editors James D. Hart and Phillip Leininger have updated the Companion in light of what has happened in American literature since 1982. To this end, they have revised the entries on such established authors as Saul Bellow, Norman Mailer, and Joyce Carol Oates, and they have added more than 180 new entries on novelists (T. Coraghessan Boyle, Tim O'Brien, Louise Erdrich, Don De Lillo), poets (Rita Dove, Weldon Kees), playwrights (Wendy Wasserstein, August Wilson), popular writers (Stephen King, Louis L'Amour), historians (James M. McPherson, David Herbert Donald, William Manchester), naturalists (Aldo Leopold, Edward Abbey), and literary critics (Camille Paglia, Richard Ellmann). In addition, the Companion boasts more women's, African-American, and ethnic voices, with new entries on such luminaries as Charlotte Perkins Gilman, M.F.K. Fisher, William Least Heat-Moon, Ursula Le Guin, and Oscar Hijuelos, among many others. These additions represent only some of the revisions for the new edition. Of course, the basic qualities of the Companion that readers have grown to know and love over the years are as superb as ever. With over 5,000 total entries, The Oxford Companion to American Literature reflects a dynamic balance between past and contemporary literature, surveying virtually every aspect of our national literature, from the Pulitzer Prize to pulp fiction, and from Walt Whitman to William F. Buckley, Jr. There are over 2,000 biographical profiles of important American authors (with information regarding their styles, subjects, and major works) and influential foreign writers as well as other figures who have been important in the nation's social and cultural history. There are more than 1,100 full summaries of important American novels, stories, essays, poems (with verse form noted), plays, biographies and autobiographies, tracts, narratives, and histories. The new edition provides historical background and astute commentary on literary schools and movements, literary awards, magazines, newspapers, and a wide variety of other matters directly related to writing in America. Finally, the book is thoroughly cross-referenced and features an extensive and fully updated index of literary and social history. Ranging from Captain John Smith to John Updike, and from Anne Bradstreet to Anne Rice, the sixth edition of The Oxford Companion to American Literature is up to date, accurate, and comprehensive, a delight for both the casual browser and the serious student.
"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
Through an early poem-written just after he became acquainted with the work of the Marquis de Sade-and two later essays, Nobel Prize laureate Paz admirably questions and explores the meaning of a figure who will not leave us alone (Kirkus Reviews). Written with Paz s usual authority blended with irreverence, this book is as provocative as its subject. Translated by Eliot Weinberger.
Begun soon after 1386 and written during several years that followed, Geoffrey Chaucer's great narrative poem The Canterbury Tales presents a richly detailed, highly entertaining, and sometimes bawdy picture of English society in the fourteenth century. Rich with humorous insights into the many foibles of humanity, this poem is considered by most literary critics and scholars to be the first great example of literary art written in vernacular English. Its narrative opens as a party of 30 men and women from various walks of life gather at the Tabard Inn in London, from where they set out on a holy pilgrimage to Canterbury and its shrine dedicated to Thomas Becket. As they travel, each person has a story to tell.The most famous and beloved of Chaucer's stories are presented in interlinear form this intensely readable volume. Alternating each of Chaucer's original lines with its translation into modern English, this book encourages readers to savor the genius of Chaucer's original poetry while following each line with an easy-to-understand modern translation of his Southeast Midlands dialect of Middle English. This scholarly yet truly approachable translation of Chaucer's original poem is the work of Vincent F. Hopper, a longtime professor of English literature at New York University. He opens with the famous Prologue-- Whan that Aprille with his shoures sote
When April with his showers sweet
The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote,
The drought of March has pierced to the root --and then goes on to present
This fine volume also includes an enlightening introductory essay on Chaucer's art, with Professor Hopper's commentary on England as it existed in the fourteenth century. He concludes with a short list of recommended reading on Chaucer's time and his art.
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.
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.