Renewed arguments over the definition of Romanticism warrant a new look at the narrative poetry of Sir Walter Scott. Nancy Moore Goslee’s study, the first full treatment of Scott's poems in many years, will do for his poetry what Judith Wilt's book has done for his novels. Already a subtle reader of the high Romantics and their celebrations of the visionary imagination, Goslee draws upon several recent critical developments for this study of Scott: a growing tendency among critics of his novels to see romance as a positive strength, the broader development of narrative theory, and feminist theory.
Like Thomas ...Read More
Samuel Beckett’s work harbors an inevitable complicity with traditional modes and values. His idealist and even nihilist inclinations, for example, are closely related to the abstracting and systematizing tendencies that have predominated in Western thinking. His drama and fiction, in reproducing these tendencies, also help to reinforce and legitimate them. Beckett’s work can thus be said to encourage an attitude of stoic resignation or life-denying withdrawal.
Sylvie Debevec Henning’s study reveals an important countertendency. In examining Beckett’s art and literary criticism, his novel Murphy, plays Krapp’s Last Tape and Endgame, his only film venture, and the late story "The Lost ...Read More
The hero of the story is a demonic lover—dark, handsome, mysterious, and dangerously seductive. The heroine—beautiful, and innocent—willingly becomes his victim and is destroyed by him. This story of demon-lover and victim, always charged with passion, has been told over and over, from Greek mythology through contemporary fiction and films.
Demon-Lovers and Their Victims in British Fiction is the first historical and structural exploration of the demon-lover motif, with emphasis on major works of British fiction from the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries; it will interest those concerned with gender role conflicts in literature and with the mutual influence of ...Read More
Curiosity about the human mind—what it is and how it functions—began long before modern psychology. But because the mind and its processes are so elusive, they could be described only by means of metaphor. Michael Kearns, in this prize-winning study, examines the development of metaphors of the mind in psychological writings from Hobbes through William James and in fiction from Defoe through Henry James.
Throughout the eighteenth century and even into the early nineteenth, metaphors of the mind as a relatively simple entity, either mechanical or biological, dominated both those engaged in psychological theorizing and novelists ranging from Richardson and ...Read More
Scott, Chaucer, and Medieval Romance: A Study in Sir Walter Scott's Indebtedness to the Literature of the Middle Ages
While the influence of Shakespeare on Sir Walter Scott has long been recognized, the importance of medieval literature in shaping his creative imagination has never before been examined in depth. Jerome Mitchell's new book fills this significant gap through a wide-ranging study of Scott's indebtedness to Chaucer and to medieval romance, especially the Middle English romances, for story-patterns, motifs, character types, style and structure, and detail.
Mitchell establishes more completely and accurately than any previous critic the extent of Scott's knowledge of medieval literature. His examination of Scott's poetry, especially the long narrative poems, demonstrates their debt to Chaucer and ...Read More
Biography was Samuel Johnson's favorite among literary genres, and his Lives of the Poets is often regarded as the capstone of his career. The central place of biography in his oeuvre is explored in this collection of nine original essays by leading Johnson scholars. Varied in their focus and approach, the essays range from a philosophical overview of Johnson's notion of the relation between life and art, to a detailed reading of the Life of Milton, to a speculation on the value of the Lives in the classroom.
Emerging clearly in the essays are the dual concerns—artistic and intellectual—that can ...Read More
In this eminently readable book, G. Douglas Atkins continues the efforts undertaken in Reading Deconstruction/Deconstructive Reading to open eighteenth-century texts to the insights of recent critical theory. Through close readings of most of Pope’s major poems, Atkins demonstrates how the powerful theoretical movement known as deconstruction enriches, challenges, and significantly modifies our understanding of the work of the greatest poet of the eighteenth century. The first full-scale deconstructive study of Augustan poetry, Quests of Difference at once offers a fresh and compelling reading of Pope and makes an important contribution to constructive criticism.
Though it will be of particular interest ...Read More
In this book, Paula Backscheider considers Daniel Defoe's entire canon as related, developing, and in close dynamic relationship to the literature of its time. In so doing, she revises our conception of the contexts of Defoe's work and reassesses his achievement and contribution as a writer.
By restoring a literary context for modern criticism, Backscheider argues the intensity and integrity of Defoe's artistic ambitions, demonstrating that everything he wrote rests solidly upon extensive reading of books published in England, his understanding of the reading tastes of his contemporaries, and his engagement with the issues and events of his time. Defoe, ...Read More
Shakespeare was clearly fascinated by the relationship between fathers and daughters, for this primal bond of domination and defiance structures twenty-one of his comedies, tragedies, and romances. In a conflict that is at once social and interpersonal, Shakespeare's fathers demand hierarchical obedience while their daughters affirm the new, more personal values upheld by Renaissance humanists and Puritans.
In her penetrating analysis of this compelling relationship, Diane Dreher examines the underlying psychological tensions as well as the changing concepts of marriage and the family during Shakespeare's time. She points to the pain and conflict caused by sex role polarization. Shakespeare's possessive ...Read More
Colley Cibber changed the course of the English-speaking theater. One of the most complete theater men in the history of the stage, he fostered the change from drama as the handmaiden of literature to theater as an independent and lively art. In the process, Cibber became one of London's brightest stars, one of its most popular playwrights and, for thirty years, manager of the most important theater in England, Drury Lane.
Yet above all, Cibber was an actor, and this fact governed his life and career. In his plays, he demonstrated a remarkable awareness of the audience in the playhouse, ...Read More
Printing is not supported at the primary Gallery Thumbnail page. Please first navigate to a specific Image before printing.