Literary Criticism


Women in Wartime

Paula R. Backscheider
A revelatory history of the characters that playwrights and managers created out of the real lives of women in intimate relationships with military men to serve Great Britain's greatest needs during the war-saturated eighteenth century. During the long eighteenth century, Great Britain was almost continuously at war. As the era unfolded, the theatre gradually discovered the potential in having actresses, recently introduced to the stage in the 1660s,...

Apocalypse and Golden Age

Christopher Star
How did the ancient Greeks and Romans envision the end of the world? What is the long-term future of the human race? Will the world always remain as it is or will it undergo a catastrophic change? What role do the gods, human morality, and the forces of nature play in bringing about the end of the world? In Apocalypse and Golden Age, Christopher Star reveals the answers that Greek and Roman authors gave to these questions. The first large-scale...

Occasional Views, Volume 2

Samuel R. Delany
More essays and interviews from one of literature's iconic voices Samuel R. Delany is an acclaimed writer of literary theory, queer literature, and fiction. His works have fundamentally altered the terrain of science fiction (SF) through their formally consummate and materially grounded explorations of difference. This anthology of essays, talks, and interviews addresses topics such as sex and sexuality, race, power, literature and genre, as well as Herman Melville, John...

Material Ambitions

Rebecca Richardson
What the Victorian history of self-help reveals about the myth of individualism. Stories of hardworking characters who lift themselves from rags to riches abound in the Victorian era. From the popularity of such stories, it is clear that the Victorians valorized personal ambition in ways that previous generations had not. In Material Ambitions, Rebecca Richardson explores this phenomenon in light of the under-studied reception history of Samuel Smiles's 1859 publication,...

Behaviorism, Consciousness, and the Literary Mind

Joshua Gang
What might behaviorism, that debunked school of psychology, tell us about literature? If inanimate objects such as novels or poems have no mental properties of their own, then why do we talk about them as if they do? Why do we perceive the minds of characters, narrators, and speakers as if they were comparable to our own? In Behaviorism, Consciousness, and the Literary Mind, Joshua Gang offers a radical new approach to these questions, which are among the most challenging...

Baroque Modernity

Joseph Cermatori
A groundbreaking study on the vital role of baroque theater in shaping modernist philosophy, literature, and performance. Winner, Helen Tartar First Book Subvention Award Baroque style—with its emphasis on ostentation, adornment, and spectacle—might seem incompatible with the dominant forms of art since the Industrial Revolution, but between 1875 and 1935, European and American modernists connected to the theater became fascinated with it. In Baroque Modernity, Joseph Cermatori argues that...

Making Liberalism New

Ian Afflerbach
A revisionist history of American liberalism, from the Great Depression to the Cold War. In Making Liberalism New, Ian Afflerbach traces the rise, revision, and fall of a modern liberalism in the United States, establishing this intellectual culture as distinct from classical predecessors as well as the neoliberalism that came to power by century's end. Drawing on a diverse archive that includes political philosophy,...

The Obsolete Empire

Philip Tsang
Modernist literature at the end of the British empire challenges conventional notions of homeland, heritage, and community. The waning British empire left behind an abundance of material relics and an inventory of feelings not easily relinquished. In The Obsolete Empire, Philip Tsang brings together an unusual constellation of writers—Henry James, James Joyce, Doris Lessing, and V. S. Naipaul—to trace an aesthetics of frustrated attachment that emerged in the...

Approaches to Teaching the Works of Cormac McCarthy

edited by Stacey Peebles, Benjamin West
In the decades since his 1992 breakout novel, All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy has gained a reputation as one of the greatest contemporary American authors. Experimenting with genres such as the crime thriller, the post-apocalyptic novel, and the western, his work also engages with the aesthetics of cinema, and several of his novels have been adapted for the screen. While timely and relevant, his works' idiosyncratic language and intense,...

Life and Deeds of the Famous Gentleman Don Catrín de la Fachenda

José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi, edited by John Ochoa, translated by Bonnie Loder
Don Catrín de la Fachenda, here translated into English for the first time, is a picaresque novel by the Mexican writer José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi (1776-1827), best known as the author of El periquillo sarniento (The Itching Parrot), often called the first Latin American novel. Don Catrín is three things at once: a rakish pícaro in the tradition of the picaresque; a catrín, a dandy...

Vida y hechos del famoso caballero Don Catrín de la Fachenda

José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi, edited by John Ochoa
Don Catrín de la Fachenda is a picaresque novel by the Mexican writer José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi (1776-1827), best known as the author of El periquillo sarniento (The Itching Parrot), often called the first Latin American novel. Don Catrín is three things at once: a rakish pícaro in the tradition of the picaresque; a catrín, a dandy or fop; and a criollo, a person born in the New World and belonging to the same...

Conversations with Kentucky Writers II

edited by Linda Elisabeth LaPinta
In this sequel to Conversations with Kentucky Writers, L. Elisabeth Beattie brings together in-depth interviews with sixteen of the state's premiere wordsmiths. This new volume offers the perspectives of poets, journalists, and scholars as they discuss their views on creativity, the teaching of writing, and the importance of Kentucky in their work. They talk frankly about how and why they do what they do. The writers speak for themselves, and their thoughts come alive...

Hippolyta's View

J. A. Bryant, Jr.
Scholars have already demonstrated that Shakespeare 's language abounds in Biblical allusions and references, but Mr. Bryant now undertakes to show us how such details may bear on the full meaning of the plays. Seeking to interpret Shakespeare's plays as Christian poetry, Mr. Bryant has developed in this significant work a new critical approach which may have far-reaching consequences for future Shakespearean scholarship. In an introductory essay the author shows...

Be Brave to Things

Jack Spicer, edited by Daniel Katz
Indispensable volume of previously unavailable poetry by an American master Be Brave to Things shows legendary San Francisco Renaissance poet Jack Spicer at the top of his form, with his blistering intelligence, painful double-edged wit, and devastating will to truth everywhere on display. Much of the poetry here has never before been published, but the volume also includes much out-of-print or hard to find work, as well as Spicer's three major...

Becoming T. S. Eliot

Jayme Stayer
How did an ordinary, if intelligent, boy who wrote unremarkable poems become—with no help, and in record time—the author of one of the most significant and beloved poems of the twentieth century? T. S. Eliot's juvenilia were written by an adolescent who showed little inclination to question the social, cultural, religious, or domestic values he had inherited. By contrast, the poems of his early maturity were written by a roiling, divided...

Approaches to Teaching the Works of Karen Tei Yamashita

edited by Ruth Y. Hsu, Pamela Thoma
Structurally innovative and culturally expansive, the works of Karen Tei Yamashita invite readers to rethink conventional paradigms of genres and national traditions. Her novels, plays, and other texts refashion forms like the immigrant tale, the postmodern novel, magical realism, apocalyptic literature, and the picaresque and suggest new transnational, hemispheric, and global frameworks for interpreting Asian American literature. Addressing...

La dame à la louve

Renée Vivien, edited by Melanie Hawthorne
Although Renée Vivien led a life of wealth and privilege in belle epoque Paris, she often felt like an outsider because she was attracted to other women. Financially secure, she wrote books to suit her own taste rather than that of the literary market. The Woman with the Wolf (La dame à la louve), from 1904, shows her at the height of her powers. These fierce, surprising stories challenge moral hypocrisy and normative views about gender, beginning with the title work, which offers a coded...

The Woman with the Wolf

Renée Vivien, edited by Melanie Hawthorne, translated by Karla Jay, Yvonne Klein, Yvonne M. Klein
Although Renée Vivien led a life of wealth and privilege in belle epoque Paris, she often felt like an outsider because she was attracted to other women. Financially secure, she wrote books to suit her own taste rather than that of the literary market. The Woman with the Wolf (La dame à la louve), from 1904, shows her at the height of her powers. These fierce, surprising stories challenge moral hypocrisy and normative views about...

Finding the Right Words

Cindy Weinstein
with Bruce L. Miller, MD
The moving story of an English professor studying neurology in order to understand and come to terms with her father's death from Alzheimer's. In 1985, when Cindy Weinstein was a graduate student at UC Berkeley, her beloved father, Jerry, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. He was fifty-eight years old. Twelve years later, at age seventy, he died having lost all of his memories—along with his ability to read, write,...

The Past

Wendy Xu
Elegiac and searching, poems written in the long shadow of immigration The poems in Wendy Xu's third collection, The Past, fantasize uneasily about becoming a palatable lyric record of their namesake, while ultimately working to disrupt this Westernized desire. Born in Shandong, China, in 1987, Wendy Xu immigrated to the United States in 1989, three days ahead of the events of Tian'anmen Square. The Past probes the multi-generational binds of family, displacement, and immigration as an ongoing psychic experience without end. Moving...