David Lawton approaches later medieval English vernacular culture in terms of voice. As texts and discourses shift in translation and in use from one language to another, antecedent texts are revoiced in ways that recreate them (as 'public interiorities') without effacing their history or future. The approach yields important insights into the voice work of late medieval poets, especially Langland and Chaucer, and also their fifteenth-century successors, who treat their work as they have treated their precursors. It also helps illuminate vernacular religious writing and its aspirations, and it addresses literary and cultural change, such as the effect of censorship and increasing political instability in and beyond the fifteenth century. Lawton also proposes his emphasis on voice as a literary tool of broad application, and his book has a bold and comparative sweep that encompasses the Pauline letters, Augustine's Confessions, the classical precedents of Virgil and Ovid, medieval contemporaries like Machaut and Petrarch, extra-literary artists like Monteverdi, later poets such as Wordsworth, Heaney and Paul Valéry, and moderns such as Jarry and Proust. What justifies such parallels, the author claims, is that late medieval texts constitute the foundation of a literary history of voice that extends to modernity. The book's energy is therefore devoted to the transformative reading of later medieval texts, in order to show their original and ongoing importance as voice work.
Recovering an Asian and Black Literary Heritage within Britain
Author: Pallavi Rastogi
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Category: Literary Criticism
Before Windrush: Recovering an Asian and Black Literary Heritage within Britain is an important intervention in the growing field of Black British literary studies. Composed of essays on non-white writers living in, or writing about, Britain in the period before the post-WW II wave of immigration, the anthology testifies to the existence of a British nation that has been multiracial and multicultural for centuries. Through an analysis of well-known figures such as Mary Prince, Mary Seacole, C. L. R. James, and Mulk Raj Anand as well as forgotten writers such as Helena Wells, Lucy Peacock, Olive Christian Malvery, Bhagvat Singh Jee, T. B. Pandian, and Lao She among others, the essays in Before Windrush shed light on an understudied aspect of Britain: its racial and ethnic complexity during the colonial period. The authors discussed here, whose work originates in and borrows from Romantic, Victorian, and Modernist conventions, challenge the implicit whiteness of English writing by showing the literary legacy of the Asian and black presence in Britain. Before Windrush places this hidden literary history of Asian and black literature within the social and cultural contexts of its British production. Contributors include Julie Codell, Pallavi Rastogi, W. F. Santiago-Valles, Jocelyn Fenton Stitt, Michelle Taylor, Stoyan Tchaprazov, Margaret Trenta, and Anne Witchard.
A Conversational Inquiry into the Teaching of Literature
Author: Piet-Hein van de Ven
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Literary Praxis: A Conversational Inquiry into the Teaching of Literature explores the teaching of literature in secondary schools. It does this from the vantage point of educators in a range of settings around the world, as they engage in dialogue with one another in order to capture the nature of their professional commitment, the knowledge they bring to their work as literature teachers, and the challenges of their professional practice as they interact with their students. The core of the book comprises accounts of their day-to-day teaching by Dutch and Australian educators. These teachers do more than capture the immediacy of the here-and-now of their classrooms; they attempt to understand those classrooms relationally, exploring the ways in which their professional practice is mediated by government policies, national literary traditions and existing traditions of curriculum and pedagogy. They thereby enact a form of literary ‘praxis’ that grapples with major ideological issues, most notably the impact of standards-based reforms on their work. Educators from other countries then comment on the cases written by the Dutch and Australian teachers, thus taking the concept of ‘praxis’ to a new level, as part of a comparative inquiry that acknowledges the richly specific character of the cases and resists viewing teaching around the world as though it lends itself unproblematically to the same standards of measurement (as in the fetish made of PISA). They step back from a judgmental stance, and try to understand what it means to teach literature in other educational settings than their own. The essays in this collection show the complexities of literature teaching as a form of professional praxis, exploring the intensely reflexive learning in which teachers engage, as they induct their students into reading literary texts, and reflect on the socio-cultural contexts of their work.
It appears that literary work possesses eternal temporal validity due to its autonomous aesthetic value, whereas criticism provides points of view having temporary and transitory significance. Despite such claims, the vector of methodology in our series of books, dealing with the history of English literature, relies on Viktor Shklovsky, T. S. Eliot, Mikhail Bakhtin, and especially Yuri Tynyanov, whose main reasoning would be that literature is a system of dominant, central and peripheral, marginalized elements – to us, “tradition” (centre) versus “innovation” (margin) engaged in a “battle” for supremacy, demarginalization, and the right to form a new literary system – and the development or historical advancement of literature is the substitution of systems. Roman Jakobson and French structuralism, on the whole, later Linda Hutcheon, with her “system” and “constant”, and Bran Nicol with the “dominant”, to say nothing about Itamar Even-Zohar and his theory of polysystem, to a certain extent Julia Kristeva, and even Homi Bhabha – as well as our humble contribution, by means of the books in the present series, we would like to believe – maintain Tynyanov’s line of thinking and concepts alive, which have developed and emerged nowadays more like a kind of “neo-formalism”.
An Appraisal of Children's Classics in the Western Tradition
Author: Charles H. Frey
Category: Literary Criticism
In twenty-eight essays, Frey and Griffith, members of the English faculty at the University of Washington, examine many of the traditional and new children's classics. The authors explore the relationship between the writer's lives and the stories they tell. Purposes and literary techniques are also discussed. Each essay provides the reader with the authors' answers to the question: What special qualities make this book a classic? Fairy and folk tales and fantasy; works by Dickens, Craig, Collodi, Alcott, Twain, Kipling, Potter, Wilder; and poetry of Lear and Stevenson are included. Teachers of children's literature will find these essays useful for helping students understand the characteristics of the classic literature of childhood. The book is recommended for college and university libraries and for large and medium-sized public library collections. The Journal of Youth Services in Libraries Seeking to restore our appreciation for the classics of children's literature, the authors of this book offer fresh and lively interpretations of twenty-eight of the most beloved works in the Western tradition. Through individual essays on representative and well-known rhymes, tales, domestic and picaresque novels, romances, talking-animal stories, and semi-autobiographical narratives, the authors help us to understand why such works continue to appeal to both children and adults. Treating each work as a literary production deserving of attention in its own right, the authors explore its emotional significance and enduring themes. They discuss the writer's purposes and literary techniques and investigate the relationship of specific literary works to the lives of their creators. Bibliographic information on texts, collections, and critical literature is supplied.
The revised edition of The Gay and Lesbian Literary Heritage is a reader's companion to this impressive body of work. It provides overviews of gay and lesbian presence in a variety of literatures and historical periods; in-depth critical essays on major gay and lesbian authors in world literature; and briefer treatments of other topics and figures important in appreciating the rich and varied gay and lesbian literary traditions. Included are nearly 400 alphabetically arranged articles by more than 175 scholars from around the world. New articles in this volume feature authors such as Michael Cunningham, Tony Kushner, Anne Lister, Kate Millet, Jan Morris, Terrence McNally, and Sarah Waters; essays on topics such as Comedy of Manners and Autobiography; and overviews of Danish, Norwegian, Philippines, and Swedish literatures; as well as updated and revised articles and bibliographies.
From the Middle Ages to the Late Eighteenth Century
Author: Trevor Ross
Publisher: McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP
Category: Literary Criticism
It is widely accepted among literary scholars that canon-formation began in the eighteenth century when scholarly editions and critical treatments of older works, designed to educate readers about the national literary heritage, appeared for the first time. In The Making of the English Literary Canon Trevor Ross challenges this assumption, arguing that canon-formation was going on well before the eighteenth century but was based on a very different set of literary and cultural values. Covering a period that extends from the Middle Ages to the institutionalisation of literature in the eighteenth century, Ross's comprehensive history traces the evolution of cultural attitudes toward literature in English society, highlighting the diverse interests and assumptions that defined and shaped the literary canon. An indigenous canon of letters, Ross argues, had been both the hope and aim of English authors since the Middle Ages. Early authors believed that promoting the idea of a national literature would help publicise their work and favour literary production in the vernacular. Ross places these early gestures toward canon-making in the context of the highly rhetorical habits of thought that dominated medieval and Renaissance culture, habits that were gradually displaced by an emergent rationalist understanding of literary value. He shows that, beginning in the late seventeenth century, canon-makers became less concerned with how English literature was produced than with how it was read and received. By showing that canon-formation has served different functions in the past, The Making of the English Literary Canon is relevant not only to current debates over the canon but also as an important corrective to prevailing views of early modern English literature and of how it was first evaluated, promoted, and preserved. It is widely accepted among literary scholars that canon-formation began in the eighteenth century when scholarly editions and critical treatments of older works, designed to educate readers about the national literary heritage, appeared for the first time. In The Making of the English Literary Canon Trevor Ross challenges this assumption, arguing that canon- formation was going on well before the eighteenth century but was based on a very different set of literary and cultural values. Covering a period that extends from the Middle Ages to the institutionalisation of literature in the eighteenth century, Ross's comprehensive history traces the evolution of cultural attitudes toward literature in English society, highlighting the diverse interests and assumptions that defined and shaped the literary canon. An indigenous canon of letters, Ross argues, had been both the hope and aim of English authors since the Middle Ages. Early authors believed that promoting the idea of a national literature would help publicise their work and favour literary production in the vernacular. Ross places these early gestures toward canon-making in the context of the highly rhetorical habits of thought that dominated medieval and Renaissance culture, habits that were gradually displaced by an emergent rationalist understanding of literary value. He shows that, beginning in the late seventeenth century, canon-makers became less concerned with how English literature was produced than with how it was read and received. By showing that canon-formation has served different functions in the past, The Making of the English Literary Canon is relevant not only to current debates over the canon but also as an important corrective to prevailing views of early modern English literature and of how it was first evaluated, promoted, and preserved.
Landscapes of Revolution in Transatlantic Romanticism
Author: Lance Newman
Category: Literary Criticism
The Literary Heritage of the Environmental Justice Movement showcases environmental literature from writers who fought for women’s rights, native rights, workers’ power, and the abolition of slavery during the Romantic Era. Many Romantic texts take flight from society and enact solitary white male encounters with a feminine nature. However, the symbolic landscapes of Romanticism were often radicalized by writers like Olaudah Equiano, Frederick Douglass, William Apess, George Copway, Mary Wollstonecraft, Lydia Maria Child, John Clare, and Henry Thoreau. These authors showed how the oppression of human beings and the exploitation of nature are the twin driving forces of capitalism and colonialism. In addition to spotlighting new kinds of environmental literature, this book also reinterprets familiar texts by figures like William Blake, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mary Shelley, William Wordsworth, and Walt Whitman, and it shows how these household figures were writing in conversation with their radical contemporaries.
Encompassing writers from Edith Wharton, Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot to Willa Cather, Theodore Dreiser and Gertrude Stein, American Modernism: Cultural Transactions is a comprehensive and informative companion to the field of American literary modernism. This groundbreaking new book explores the changing patterns of American literary culture in the early years of the 20th century, in the aftermath of the great American Renaissance, when the United States was well on its way to becoming the most economically powerful and culturally influential nation in the world. It brings together some of the most eminent British and European scholars to investigate how the United States’s unique cultural position is in fact the by-product of a range of cultural transactions between the United States and Europe, between the visual and the literary arts, and between the economic and aesthetic worlds. And it presents a stunning re-examination of the social, cultural and artistic contours of American modernism, from the impact of a liberal Scottish speaker on T.S. Eliot’s considerations of Shakespeare to the generic hybridity of Edith Wharton’s writing, from the influence of Oscar Wilde on Hart Crane to the effect of Anglo-European experimentalism on Native American fiction – and much more. Through close textual and archival analysis, backed up with compelling historical insights, these nine new essays explore the nature and limits of American modernism. They address such topical issues as geomodernism, transnationalism and the nature of American identity; they examine the ways writers embraced or rejected the emerging modern world; and they take a fresh look at American literature in the broad context of international modernism.
This review of the critical reception of Old English literature from 1900 to the present moves beyond a focus on individual literary texts so as to survey the different schools, methods, and assumptions that have shaped the discipline. Examines the notable works and authors from the period, including Beowulf, the Venerable Bede, heroic poems, and devotional literature Reinforces key perspectives with excerpts from ten critical studies Addresses questions of medieval literacy, textuality, and orality, as well as style, gender, genre, and theme Embraces the interdisciplinary nature of the field with reference to historical studies, religious studies, anthropology, art history, and more
This book is available as open access through the Bloomsbury Open Access programme and is available on www.bloomsburycollections.com. In the last decade there has been a proliferation of landscape writing in Britain and Ireland, often referred to as 'The New Nature Writing'. Rooted in the work of an older generation of environment-focused authors and activists, this new form is both stylistically innovative and mindful of ecology and conservation practice. The New Nature Writing: Rethinking the Literature of Place connects these two generations to show that the contemporary energy around the cultures of landscape and place is the outcome of a long-standing relationship between environmentalism and the arts. Drawing on original interviews with authors, archival research, and scholarly work in the fields of literary geographies, ecocriticism and archipelagic criticism, the book covers the work of such writers as Robert Macfarlane, Richard Mabey, Tim Robinson and Alice Oswald. Examining the ways in which these authors have engaged with a wide range of different environments, from the edgelands to island spaces, Jos Smith reveals how they recreate a resourceful and dynamic sense of localism in rebellion against the homogenising growth of “clone town Britain.”
From Classroom Conversations to National Imaginings
Author: Brenton Doecke
Publisher: Wakefield Press
Category: Australian literature
This volume brings together teachers, teacher educators, creative writers and literary scholars in a joint inquiry that takes a fresh look at what it means to teach Australian literature. The essays assembled in this volume transcend the divisions that have sometimes marred debates about the place of Australian literature in the school curriculum.
T.S. Eliot and Early Modern Literature, for the first time, considers the full imaginative and moral engagement of one of the most influential poets of the twentieth century, T.S. Eliot, with the Early Modern period of literature in English (1580-1630). This engagement haunted Eliot's poetry and critical writing across his career, and would have a profound impact on subsequent poetry across the world, as well as upon academic literary criticism, and wider cultural perceptions. To this end, the book elucidates and contextualizes several facets of Eliot's thinking and its impact: through establishment of his original and eclectic understanding of the Early Modern period in relation to the literary and critical source materials available to him; through consideration of uncollected and archival materials, which suggest a need to reassess established readings of the poet's career; and through attention to Eliot's resonant formulations about the period in consequent literary, critical and artistic arenas. To the end of his life, Eliot had to fend off the presumption that he had, in some way, 'invented' the Early Modern period for the modern age. Yet the presumption holds some force - it is famously and influentially an implication running through Eliot's essays on that earlier period, and through his many references to its writings in his poetry, that the Early Modern period formed the most exact historical analogy for the apocalyptic events (and consequent social, cultural and literary turmoil) of the first half of the twentieth-century. T.S. Eliot and Early Modern Literature gives a comprehensive sense of the vital engagement of this self-consciously modern poet with the earlier period he always declared to be his favourite.
Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
Category: Literary Criticism
What does it mean to study English Literature? Have can you navigate and get the most from your degree? The English Literature Companion is your comprehensive introduction to, and exploration of, the discipline of English and Literary Studies. It is your advisor on key decisions, and your one-stop reference source throughout the course. It combines: - A wide-ranging introduction to the nature, breadth and key components of the study of English Literature - Essays by experts in the field on key topics, periods and critical approaches - A glossary of critical terms and a chronology of literary history - Guidance about study skills, from using your time effectively to the practical mechanics of writing essays - Extensive signposting to wider reading and further sources of information - Advice on key decisions taken during a degree and on subsequent career direction and further study. Giving you the foundation and resources you need for success in English Literature, this book is essential pre-course reading and will be an invaluable reference resource throughout your degree.