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Bread and Circuses
Theories of Mass Culture As Social Decay
Patrick Brantlinger
Brantlinger shows how the belief in the historical inevitability of social decay—a belief today perpetuated by the mass media themselves—has become the dominant view of mass culture in our time.


"Bread and Circuses is a joy to read. Brantlinger is learned, witty, and, best of all, inviting of conversation."—Voice Literary Supplement



Scenes of Sympathy
Identity and Representation in Victorian Fiction
Audrey Jaffe
In Scenes of Sympathy, Audrey Jaffe argues that representations of sympathy in Victorian fiction both reveal and unsettle Victorian ideologies of identity. Situating these representations within the context of Victorian visual culture, and offering new readings of key works by Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Ellen Wood, George Eliot, Oscar...



Stanley’s Girl
Poems
Susan Eisenberg
The fiercely lyrical poetry of Stanley’s Girl is rooted in Susan Eisenberg’s experience as one of the first women to enter the construction industry and from her decades gathering accounts of others to give scaffolding to that history. Eisenberg charts her own induction into the construction workplace culture and how tradeswomen from across the...



History Is a Contemporary Literature
Manifesto for the Social Sciences
Ivan Jablonka
Ivan Jablonka’s History Is a Contemporary Literature offers highly innovative perspectives on the writing of history, the relationship between literature and the social sciences, and the way that both social-scientific inquiry and literary explorations contribute to our understanding of the world. Jablonka argues that the act and art of...



Spirit Matters
Occult Beliefs, Alternative Religions, and the Crisis of Faith in Victorian Britain
J. Jeffrey Franklin
Spirit Matters explores the heterodox and unorthodox religions and spiritualities that arose in Victorian Britain as a result of the faltering of Christian faith in the face of modernity, the rise of the truth-telling authority of science, and the first full exposure of the West to non-Christian religions. J. Jeffrey Franklin investigates the...



Populating the Novel
Literary Form and the Politics of Surplus Life
Emily Steinlight
From the teeming streets of Dickens’s London to the households of domestic fiction, nineteenth-century British writers constructed worlds crammed beyond capacity with human life. In Populating the Novel, Emily Steinlight contends that rather than simply reflecting demographic growth, such pervasive literary crowding contributed to a seismic...



Next Line, Please
Prompts to Inspire Poets and Writers
In this book, David Lehman, the longtime series editor of the Best American Poetry, offers a masterclass in writing in form and collaborative composition. An inspired compilation of his weekly column on the American Scholar website, Next Line, Please makes the case for poetry open to all. Next Line, Please gathers in one place the popular...



Language as Hermeneutic
A Primer on the Word and Digitization
Walter J. Ong
Language in all its modes—oral, written, print, electronic—claims the central role in Walter J. Ong’s acclaimed speculations on human culture. After his death, his archives were found to contain unpublished drafts of a final book manuscript that Ong envisioned as a distillation of his life’s work. This first publication of Language as...



Woolf’s Ambiguities
Tonal Modernism, Narrative Strategy, Feminist Precursors
Molly Hite
In a book that comparesVirginia Woolf's writing with that of the novelist, actress, and feminist activist Elizabeth Robins (1862–1952), Molly Hite explores the fascinating connections between Woolf's aversion to women's "pleading a cause" in fiction and her narrative technique of complicating, minimizing, or omitting tonal cues. Hite shows how...



Spaces of Feeling
Affect and Awareness in Modernist Literature
Marta Figlerowicz
Can other people notice our affects more easily than we do? In Spaces of Feeling, Marta Figlerowicz examines modernist novels and poems that treat this possibility as electrifying, but also deeply disturbing. Their characters and lyric speakers are undone, Figlerowicz posits, by the realization that they depend on others to solve their inward...



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