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Jeremy Tambling

’The Purloined Letter’ How do literature and psychoanalysis relate? The first produces the second; the second interprets the first, the first interrogates the second. Psychoanalysis, as an instance of critical theory, associates with Marx and Nietzsche in analysing modernity, while Marxism and Nietzschean philosophy both question psychoanalysis

in Literature and psychoanalysis
An anthology
Editors: and

Royal successions will prompt observers of all kinds to look back at the reign that has passed, and also forward to that which is dawning. This book represents both the breadth and the quality of succession literature across the Stuart era (1603-1714). It includes at least one example of each significant kind of writing: a proclamation announcing a change of reign, diary entries, sermons, a newspaper report, two speeches by incoming monarchs and so forth. But there is also a consistent focus on poetry. Proclamations of Lord King James to the Crown (1603), his speech delivered in the Parliament (1604), the poems of Sir John Davies (1603) are among those featured in the first part of the book. Part II includes an anonymously authored news report details the royal marriage of King Charles and Lady Henrietta Maria (1625). Following this, the book presents the newsbook, Mercurius Politicus (December 1653), which provides an account of Oliver's inauguration as Protector and offers a wealth of detail about ceremonial proceedings. Part IV has a diary entry of Samuel Pepys recounting the return of Stuart brothers and describing the ceremonies that greeted Charles at Dover, and providing details arising from Pepys's proximity to unfolding events. The fifth part includes a coronation sermon (April 1685), presenting extracts from Francis Turner's discussion of Solomon's title and his consideration of the relationship between Solomon and the nation of Israel. The Observator's response on William's death (April 1702), penned by John Tutchin, is also featured in the book.

Sanctity as literature in late medieval Britain explores how sanctity and questions of literariness are intertwined across a range of medieval genres. “Sanctity” as a theme and concept figures as a prominent indicator of the developments in the period, in which authors began to challenge the predominant medieval dichotomy of either relying on the authority of previous authors when writing, or on experience. These developments are marked also by a rethinking of the intended and perceived effects of writings. Instead of looking for clues in religious practices in order to explain these changes, the literary practices themselves need to be scrutinised in detail, which provide evidence for a reinterpretation of both the writers’ and their topics’ traditional roles and purposes. The essays in the collection are based on a representative choice of texts from the fourteenth to the early sixteenth centuries, covering penitential literature, hagiographical compilations and individual legends as well as romance, debates, and mystical literature from medieval and early modern England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. For researchers and advanced students of medieval literature and culture, the collection offers new insights into one of the central concepts of the late medieval period by considering sanctity first and foremost from the perspective of its literariness and literary potential.

The politics of enchantment

American literature and Irish culture, 1910–1955: the politics of enchantment discusses how and why American modernist writers turned to Ireland at various stages during their careers. By placing events such as the Celtic Revival and the Easter Rising at the centre of the discussion, it shows how Irishness became a cultural determinant in the work of American modernists. Each chapter deals with a different source of influence, considering the impact of family, the Celtic Revival, rural mythmaking, nationalist politics and the work of W. B. Yeats on American modernists’ writings. It is the first study to extend the analysis of Irish influence on American literature beyond racial, ethnic or national frameworks.

Through close readings, a sustained focus on individual writers, and in-depth archival research, American literature and Irish culture, 1910–1955 provides a balanced and structured approach to the study of the complexities of American modernist writers’ responses to Ireland. Offering new readings of familiar literary figures – including Fitzgerald, Moore, O’Neill, Steinbeck and Stevens – it makes for essential reading for students and academics working on twentieth-century American and Irish literature and culture, and transatlantic studies.

Writing about the past in England, 1660–1740

For Restoration and early-eighteenth-century writers, history proper was only one of a wide range of forms that could be used to represent the past. Accordingly, while some sought to record historical phenomena using large-scale formal narrative, others chose to depict the past as satire, secret history, scandal chronicle, biography, journal, letter, and memoir. A poem like John Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel, for example, could claim to be fulfilling neoclassical history's moral purpose of warning readers against vice, but it could present historical phenomena with an undisguised political bias. Equally, Daniel Defoe's Secret History of the White-Staff could address the same public events as a formal historical narrative, but recount them through the eyes of a politically opposed narrator. Writing for a broader audience, memoirists, scandal chroniclers, historians, and satirists were naturally prompted to depict historical phenomena in ways that differed from the neoclassical ideal. The increased attention to topical events and individual characters likely helped to attract new groups of readers to historical literature, but it was not without its critics. The genres of memoirs, satires, and secret histories, often painted portraits using far more than the 'two or three Colours' recommended by artes historicae. By mid 1750, the perceived 'ebb' in English historiography had ended - but also had the sense that history could be authoritatively defined as 'a continued narration of things true, great, and publick'. The full-length narratives of John Oldmixon, and other 'hack' historians had by mid-century been hastily consigned to the library or the dustbin.

Reading the Life of Aḥīqar
Daniel L. Selden

For Sharon Kinoshita A scribe who knows no Sumerian, what kind of scribe is he? – Akkadian Proverb What role does distributed authorship play – or, more accurately, what role should it play – in the emergent field of ‘world literature’? 1 Roy Ascott, Britain's ‘visionary

in Bestsellers and masterpieces
Karla Mallette

What is wisdom? The Oxford English Dictionary defines the English word wisdom as ‘Capacity of judging rightly in matters relating to life and conduct; soundness of judgement in the choice of means and ends; sometimes, less strictly, sound sense, esp. in practical affairs’. 1 It dates the earliest appearance of the word to the one-manuscript masterpiece typically identified as the point of origin of English literature, Beowulf . The word has clear ancestors – conceptual if not etymological

in Bestsellers and masterpieces
Andrew Hadfield

tradesmen or shopkeepers. These are, however, relatively inconsequential distinctions: the point is that both writers are eager to provide a useful classification of social types and classes with Puttenham believing that such divisions will illuminate ways of reading and writing literature. Puttenham's reflections take place before the rise of the public stage, a development that might have changed his understanding of literary styles: ‘all hymns and histories and tragedies were written in the high style, all comedies and interludes and other common

in Literature and class

French literature on screen is a multi-author volume whose eleven chapters plus an introduction offer case histories of the screen versions of major literary works by such authors as Victor Hugo, Marcel Proust, Françoise Sagan, and George Simenon. Written by leading experts in the field, the various chapters in this volume offer insightful investigations of the artistic, cultural, and industrial processes that have made screen versions of French literary classics a central element of the national cinema.

French literature on screen breaks new scholarly ground by offering the first trans-national account of this important cultural development. These film adaptations have been important in both the American and British cinemas as well. English language screen adaptations of French literature evince the complexity of the relationship between the two texts, the two media, as well as opening up new avenues to explore studio decisions to contract and distribute this particular type of ‘foreign’ cinema to American and British audiences. In many respects, the ‘foreign’ quality of master works of the French literary canon remain their appeal over the decades from the silent era to the present.

The essays in this volume also address theoretical concerns about the interdependent relationship between literary and film texts; the status of the ‘author’, and the process of interpretation will be addressed in these essays, as will dialogical, intertextual, and transtextual approaches to adaptation.


This book generates a critical framework through which to interrogate the way in which religious feminists have employed women's literature in their texts. This is in order that both the way we read literature and the literature we read might be subject to scrutiny, and that new reading practices be developed. Having both the critical and constructive agenda, this is a book in two parts. The first part locates the study of the use of women's writing by religious feminists in a much wider frame than has previously been attempted. In the past individual religious feminists have been criticised, often publicly and loudly, for the use they have made of particular literary texts. Having critically surveyed previously unacknowledged constraints under which religious feminists read women's literature, the second part of the book explores how the work of women poststructuralist thinkers and theorists can enrich the reading practices. It offers alternative models for an engagement between literature and theology. Julia Kristeva is best known within the academy for her unorthodox application of Lacanian theory to contemporary culture. Her work challenges religious feminists to reassess the utilitarian approaches to literary texts and enquire into whether these might have a more powerful political role when their status as literature is recognised and affirmed. The book elucidates Luce Irigaray's thinking on sexual difference and also demonstrates its significance for feminist religious readers.