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Memory and history in African literatures
Author: Tim Woods

This book provides a combination of critical argument about those central debates within African literary studies, alongside a focus on individual texts and writers that are central to the study of African literatures. It investigates how certain versions of the past get to be remembered, which memories are privileged and what the loci are for memory within the context of African literatures. The book establishes the main debates about African writing in relation to modernism and traditionalism, history and the present, trauma and the ethics of historical representation, and theories of memory as a challenge to the discourses of historiography and ethnography. In these respects, the book first focuses upon memory as a discourse in African writing, emerging as a product of discourse in the ways it operates in private and public life. It then explores how memory is socially and historically constituted within differing African contexts. The book also interrogates the invocation of memory within a number of other discourses (political, historical, ethical, autobiographical, gender, ethnic), enquiring how memory is called upon to legitimate identity, construct or reconstruct it. It further explores how memory is narratively organized, and the ways in which narrative is related to other cultural forms of remembering.

Troilus and Criseyde and Troilus and Cressida

For the last three decades or so, literary studies, especially those dealing with premodern texts, have been dominated by the New Historicist paradigm. This book is a collection of essays explores medieval and early modern Troilus-texts from Chaucer to Shakespeare. The contributions show how medieval and early modern fictions of Troy use love and other emotions as a means of approaching the problem of tradition. The book argues that by emphasizing Troilus's and Cressida's hopes and fears, Shakespeare sets in motion a triangle of narrative, emotion and temporality. It is a spectacle of which tells something about the play but also about the relation between anticipatory emotion and temporality. The sense of multiple literary futures is shaped by Shakespeare's Chaucer, and in particular by Troilus and Criseyde. The book argues that the play's attempted violence upon a prototypical form of historical time is in part an attack on the literary narratives. Criseyde's beauty is described many times. The characters' predilection for sententiousness unfolds gradually. Through Criseyde, Chaucer's Poet displaces authorial humility as arrogance. The Troilus and Criseyde/Cressida saga begins with Boccaccio, who isolates and expands the love affair between Troiolo and Criseida to vent his sexual frustration. The poem appears to be linking an awareness of history and its continuing influence and impact on the present to hermeneutical acts conspicuously gendered female. The main late medieval Troy tradition does two things: it represents ferocious military combat, and also practises ferocious literary combat against other, competing traditions of Troy.

Rhetoric, poetics, aesthetics
Author: Mark Robson

This book draws together three areas from which sense is made: rhetoric, poetics and aesthetics. Coming to terms with rhetoric, poetics and aesthetics is essential for understanding not only early modern writing but also a certain influential narrative of modernity. This notion of modernity is not a purely literary one, and the author's discussion has nothing to say about artistic ideas of modernism. The book demonstrates the necessity of reading, but of a reading that is always local, located, limited - always aware, that is, of its limitations. To claim to have read a few texts is not as small a claim as it might at first appear. In the current historicist climate, reading has, like rhetoric, become somehow unfashionable except as a topic for excavation. The first part of the book elaborates the connections between rhetoric, aesthetics and literature. Frequent recourse is made to rhetorical treatises, but equally frequently there are discussions of material that comes from periods other than the early modern, both earlier and later. The second part of the book focuses on either an aspect of the body related to the sense of reading or on the deliberate disavowal of the body and its senses.

A round of cheap diversions?
Author: Robert James

This book examines the relationship between class and culture in 1930s Britain. Focusing on the reading and cinema-going tastes of the working classes, it combines historical analysis with a close textual reading of visual and written sources to appraise the role of popular leisure in this decade. Drawing on original research, the book adds to our knowledge of working-class leisure pursuits in this contentious period.

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Green reading
Gillian Rudd

much they may seem to be at odds in the abstract. The result is a sense of unease, which, once noticed, is hard to allay, but which itself is a rich response, albeit one that makes it impossible to arrive at a single, unambiguous and uncompromised reaction to places such as this. All of this is pertinent to ecocritical literary study. The questions raised and the contradictions foregrounded by considering the existence and effects of such places as St Winifred’s Well are the same as those found when analysing texts in the light of current green concerns. Not all the

in Greenery
The deconstruction of institutional politics
Simon Wortham

of a close analysis of the complex history of literary study in the modern university, reflecting on the problem of (the) institution by locating literary studies as a ‘division’ of the university - that is, as part of an institution that in important ways it partitions or describes. Here the institution of literature, set up ‘through a decision within writing in general

in Rethinking the university
Peter Barry

himself as beginning the process of repairing aspects of criticism which theory had damaged, and restoring them to their proper places within literary studies, rather like someone starting to tidy up after a flood or a hurricane. There have been other ‘restorative’ books, some with a more localised brief, such as David Scott Kastan's Shakespeare After Theory (Routledge, 1999). In this book ‘after theory’ is understood to mean, not the period after the passing away of theory, but the period during which theory has ceased to be news. Theory is no longer news-worthy, it

in Beginning theory (fourth edition)
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Peter Barry

with an account of the ‘liberal humanism’ against which all these newer critical approaches, broadly speaking, define themselves. There is a problem concerning how to label the older ways of doing literary studies that were challenged in the 1970s and 1980s by the arrival on the scene of the theoretical developments described in this book. One solution is to use a generalised phrase like ‘older approaches to literary study’, or ‘traditional ways of discussing literature’. But the vagueness of descriptors like these is troubling, and it is never safe to assume that

in Beginning theory (fourth edition)
Michael G. Cronin

relationship between literature and history. Perhaps the most significant innovation was less the new answers this formation provided than the new ways of asking questions it provoked, and most notably its reformulation of the problem of Ireland as another way of confronting the problem of modernity. Irish studies and Irish difference Let us consider, for instance, how Irish literary studies might respond to the question, ‘Are the Irish different?’ The indispensable value of the human sciences is its capacity to empirically test such a question, formulating a comparative

in Are the Irish different?
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Glyn White

vocabulary for the literary study of graphic textual phenomena. I am not, however, proposing to offer a history of typographic devices, noting development and lineages of influence (a difficult but worthy task for a bibliographer). My intention is to examine such devices within a very particular context: that of the interpretation of prose fiction. This should not be read as an attempt to establish these

in Reading the graphic surface