Fourteen enactments of radical undoing by the acclaimed author of Leonardo's Horse and Plane Geometry and Other Affairs of the Heart. Reviews of unwritten novels, prefaces to fraudulent books, narratives of dictionary entries, and one interminable sentence, all written in a style as strewn with landmines as everyday speech. In "Samuel Beckett's Middlemarch" a scholar undertakes to reconstruct the deceased author's reputation after the discovery of a thousand page realist novel among Beckett's posthumous papers. The novel, about an idealistic young Englishwoman in a nineteenth-century village, is heralded by some as Beckett's broadest parody, decried by others as Beckett's dementia, but in the imaginary interval between modernity and tradition the scholar locates another Beckett of whom only Middlemarch can make an end. The spirit of Wittgenstein hovers low over these literary pratfalls where materiality proves the most artificial of abstractions and what goes without saying always leaves somebody up in the air. In "Knott Unbound" an office worker suspected of murder recalls feeling a pain but can't otherwise account for his time. "That the missing time should be missing from his life seemed, if you thought about it, the merest of accidents, like bad genes or rich parents, and the thought that Knott's well-being rested on nothing surer, nothing but the likelihood that his every second would follow the preceding with no break, all this struck him as fantastically irrational. How did humans abide it? But the world was a slave to such prejudices." In these fabrications reminiscent of Stein, Borges, and Sorrentino, Berry unsettles the grounds of narrating. In "Mimesis" a semi-literate surveyor struggles against metaphysical abandonment in a Florida swamp; in "Torture!" an anthropologist leaves his lifelong study of cruelty mysteriously unwritten; and in "A Theory of Fiction" a ruined man finds revenge in misrepresenting every injustice he's ever suffered. Nothing seems the matter. Everything appears to be wrong. From first word to last, these are fictions of impossible everydayness, where the telling of what's happening proves the unlikeliest feat of all.
In a tone at once comic, gothic, and deceptively pastoral, the stories in this collection continue the tradition of Hawthorne, Poe, and James—Americans pursuing a dialectic with Europe—but in a late 20th century context. Constance Pierce's character's, with their fetishes for food and property, hide their eyes with daydreams, hallucinations, and enormous feats of rationale in their longing to return to the happy normal state they tell themselves they once enjoys but which likely never existed at all. Subtly questioning their characters' illusions and nostalgia, these stories, set in such territory as World War II Germany, the French countryside, and Long Island Sound, address the often nebulous relationships between private and public life, old and new ideas, fantasy and reality.
Steve Tomasula's work exists at the cutting edges of scientific knowledge and literary techniques. As such, it demands consideration from multiple perspectives and from critics who can guide the reader through the formal innovations and multimedia involutions while providing critical scientific, aesthetic, historical, and technical contexts. This book, the first of its kind, provides this framework, showing readers the richness and relevance of the worlds Tomasula constructs. Steve Tomasula's work is redefining the form of the novel, reinventing the practice of reading, and wrestling with the most urgent questions raised by massive transformations of media and biotechnologies. His work not only charts these changes, it formulates the problems that we have making meaning in our radically changing technological contexts. Vast in scope, inventive in form, and intimate in voice, his novels, short stories, and essays are read and taught by a surprisingly diverse array of scholars in fields ranging from contemporary experimental writing and literary criticism to the history of science, biotechnology and bioart, book studies, and digital humanities.
In these postmodernist episodes of high comedy, Don Webb turns Ovid's classic work, The Metamorphosis, on its head. Awarded the 1988 Illinois State University/Fiction Collective Prize through a nationwide fiction competition, Webb's first book of fiction, Uncle Ovid's Exercise Book, explores the theme of change in hitherto unimagined manifestations—from the everyday to the mysterious to the miraculous. These eight dozen "metamorphoses" are widely funny, profound, and—ike change itself—always surprising. With rare originality and breadth, Webb draws upon Egyptian mythology, molecular biology, classical poetry, contemporary pop culture, literary theory, Eastern mysticism, and science fiction, composing them into an offbeat fugue on the theme of transformation. "Metamorphosis No. 39" resurrects the ancient Egyptian gods, Set, Toth, and Osiris, who return to America to mastermind a plot to alter contemporary consciousness. Their scheme includes the broadcast of subliminal archetypal images during returns of "I Love Lucy." In a later metamorphosis, another ancient god—Dionysius—returns to modern day Atlantic City to recruit winos for a new band of satyrs. Ancient gods are not the only agents of change. Metamorphosis also spreads to the White House in an episode describing the clandestine life of the president's drug supplier—who risks death to satisfy the chief executive's taste for organic hallucinogens. A hilarious New Age western saga unfolds in "Metamorphosis No.5" W.B. Porter, the "Last of the Singing Cowboys"— a hero with a degree in chemical engineering and a proficiency on the sitar—foils the Uzi-toting Mendoza gang—"tough hombres schooled in the Fourteen Mysteries of Toltec Sorcery"—in their attempt to pull a heist on a condo construction project. This theme of transformation extends even to the farming narrative of UOEB itself, which at one point unexpectedly becomes the diary of an Englishwoman who is held captive in a potting shed by a maniacal pastor. These variations on a theme are sometimes hilarious, sometimes cryptic, sometimes curiously moving—and always disturbingly provocative. With his hat off to Ovid, Don Webb pulls together high-spirited wit, eclecticism, and sheer inventiveness to make Uncle Ovid's Exercise Book a richly comic, absorbing, and singular work of a new order.
"Beauty invited the Beast for a stroll on a crystal path strewn with hollow silver hearts that were being stirred up by stiff gusts of wind like clouds of dust: and so everything began." And so begins F/32, Eurudice's award-winning first novel about Ela (a pseudonym meaning orgasm). The sight of Ela stops all hearts. Ela is an expert in love. No matter how many people love her, she daily inspires more. She spends half her life avoiding the people who love her, and the other half making them love her. She is mind blowing. A mock-quest for self-understanding and unification, F/32 lures the reader into a landscape of sexual alienation, continually interrupted by gags, dreams, mirror reflections, flashbacks, and scenes from Manhattan street life. It is a wild, eccentric, Rabelaisian romp through most forms of amorous excess. But it is also a troubling tale orbiting around a public sexual assault on the streets of Manhattan. Between the poles of desire and butchery the novel and Ela sail, the awed reader going along for one of the most dazzling rides in recent American fiction.
Dark, disturbing scenarios abound. Beverly Brown's allegorical "Gardener" conjures up a threatened and threatening paradise where the menacing overlord, obsessed with his goal of "parasite control," brutalizes plants and subordinates rather than nurturing them. Constance Pierce's "In the Garden of the Sunbelt Arts Preserve" depicts an artists' colony that is a home where no one belongs, certainly not the narrator, who filches a beer with someone else's name on it. Art overruns life in Conger Beasley Jr.'s "Japan Invades America"; he also contributes the weird "Head of a Traveler". Gerald Vizenor, Edward Kleinschmidt, David Wong Louie and Martha Baer are among the contributors.
It’s not what you know, but who you know. It’s not what you do, but where you do it. Underlying such facile assertions, there lies at least a little truth—and, for academics, a complex web of relationships. Academic affiliations confer value and identity on individuals, disciplines, and institutions. They have a formative and formidable role in determining the status and self-image of academics and institutions. The subtleties and implications of such a system—in personal and professional terms—are the subject of this timely and thought-provoking volume. Here writers from all walks of academic life interweave personal experiences and critical insights to reveal the inner workings of affiliation in contemporary academic culture. These essays take up topics ranging from scholars’ attitudes toward their affiliated institutions to publishing in academic journals, from the phenomenon of the academic star system to activism among tenured professors, from the perils of crossing disciplinary boundaries to the merits of mentoring through affiliation. Together they offer a frank, firsthand view of the ways and means and the uses and abuses of affiliation in higher education today—a view that is sure to provoke discussion throughout academia.
A man and a woman in Southern California's San Fernando Valley wrangle with relationship concerns in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Alarm is a stripped-down novel (and accompanying audio artifact) of confusion, alienation, and rediscovery in the post-9/11 era that reads like a love letter to a friend and a promise to the future.
In response to the escalating need for up-to-date information on writers, Contemporary Authors® New Revision Series brings researchers the most recent data on the world's most-popular authors. These exciting and unique author profiles are essential to your holdings because sketches are entirely revised and up-to-date, and completely replace the original Contemporary Authors® entries. For your convenience, a soft-cover cumulative index is sent biannually.While Gale strives to replicate print content, some content may not be available due to rights restrictions.Call your Sales Rep for details.
Arguably no other living philosopher has done as much as Stanley Cavell to show the common cause shared by literature and philosophy. Stanley Cavell and Literary Studies is not only timely but, indeed, long past due. As the discipline of literary studies struggles to move beyond the suspicious skepticisms and anti-humanisms that have dominated the field, but without lapsing into sentimentality and naïveté, Cavell's writings and ideas will only become more pertinent.
This anthology examines Love's Labours Lost from a variety of perspectives and through a wide range of materials. Selections discuss the play in terms of historical context, dating, and sources; character analysis; comic elements and verbal conceits; evidence of authorship; performance analysis; and feminist interpretations. Alongside theater reviews, production photographs, and critical commentary, the volume also includes essays written by practicing theater artists who have worked on the play. An index by name, literary work, and concept rounds out this valuable resource.
Adult books are categorized by genre (i.e., fiction, mystery, science fiction, nonfiction). Along with bibliographic information, the expected date of publication and the names of literary agents for individual titles are provided. Starred reviews serve several functions: In the adult section, they mark potential bestsellers, major promotions, book club selections, and just very good books; in the children's section, they denote books of very high quality. The unsigned reviews manage to be discerning and sometimes quite critical.
Fiction. THE BROOKLYN RAIL FICTION ANTHOLOGY, edited by Donald Breckenridge, features 420 pages of groundbreaking fiction from Brooklyn's lively monthly. Includes work by Albert Mobilio, Sharon Mesmer, John Yau, Diane Williams, Jonathan Baumbach, Lewis Warsh, Leslie Scalopino, Johannah Rodgers, Marie Carter, and many more.
On the left-hand pages unfolds in numerous forms the story of graduate students in love. On the right-hand pages is an essay explaining the forms used in composing the story, involving cognitive science, structuralist narratology, and literary criticism.