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Phantasmatic Shakespeare
Imagination in the Age of Early Modern Science
Suparna Roychoudhury
Representations of the mind have a central place in Shakespeare’s artistic imagination, as we see in Bottom struggling to articulate his dream, Macbeth reaching for a dagger that is not there, and Prospero humbling his enemies with spectacular illusions. Phantasmatic Shakespeare examines the intersection between early modern literature and...



Phantom Formations
Aesthetic Ideology and the "Bildungsroman"
Marc Redfield
Marc Redfield maintains that the literary genre of the Bildungsroman brings into sharp focus the contradictions of aesthetics, and also that aesthetics exemplifies what is called ideology. He combines a wide-ranging account of the history and theory of aesthetics with close readings of novels by Goethe, George Eliot, and Gustave Flaubert. For...



Photographic Literacy
Cameras in the Hands of Russian Authors
Katherine M. H. Reischl
Photography, introduced to Russia in 1839, was nothing short of a sensation. Its rapid proliferation challenged the other arts, including painting and literature, as well as the very integrity of the self. If Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky greeted the camera with skepticism in the nineteenth century, numerous twentieth-century authors...



Poetry in Speech
Orality and Homeric Discourse
Egbert J. Bakker
Applying linguistic theory to the study of Homeric style, Egbert J. Bakker offers a highly innovative approach to oral poetry, particularly the poetry of Homer. By situating formulas and other features of oral style within the wider contexts of spoken language and communication, he moves the study of oral poetry beyond the landmark work of...



The Poetry of Everyday Life
Storytelling and the Art of Awareness
Steve Zeitlin
Part memoir, part essay, and partly a guide to maximizing your capacity for fulfillment and expression, The Poetry of Everyday Life taps into the artistic side of what we often take for...



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...



Quick Cattle and Dying Wishes
People and Their Animals in Early Modern England
Erica Fudge
What was the life of a cow in early modern England like? What would it be like to milk that same cow, day-in, day-out, for over a decade? How did people feel about and toward the animals that they worked with, tended, and often killed? With these questions, Erica Fudge begins her investigation into a lost aspect of early modern life: the...



Raja Yudhisthira
Kingship in Epic Mahabharata
Kevin McGrath
In Raja Yudhisthira, Kevin McGrath brings his comprehensive literary, ethnographic, and analytical knowledge of the epic Mahabharata to bear on the representation of kingship in the...



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...



Signature Pieces
On the Institution of Authorship
Peggy Kamuf
Some contemporary approaches to literature still accept the separation of historical, biographical, external concerns from formal, internal ones. On the borderline that lends this division between inside and outside its apparent coherence is signature. In Peggy Kamuf’s view, studying signature will help us to rediscover some of the stakes of...



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