Any discussion of gentry culture in
late medieval England, and of the specific phenomena that accompany the
shaping of gentry cultural identity, necessarily requires an analysis of
the literature read, and sometimes produced, by the gentry. The
emulation of noble culture in gentry circles has been noted by many
critics; 1 in recent
years, however, more emphasis
This book offers a comprehensive account of the absurd in prose fiction. As well as providing a basis for courses on absurdist literature (whether in fiction or in drama), it offers a broadly based philosophical background. Sections covering theoretical approaches and an overview of the historical literary antecedents to the ‘modern’ absurd introduce the largely twentieth-century core chapters. In addition to discussing a variety of literary movements (from Surrealism to the Russian OBERIU), the book offers detailed case studies of four prominent exponents of the absurd: Franz Kafka, Samuel Beckett, Daniil Kharms and Flann O'Brien. There is also wide discussion of other English-language and European contributors to the phenomenon of the absurd.
Gawain in a Middle English
Popular reading in English c. 1400–1600
Fictional literature: Gawain
The purpose of this chapter is to examine the nature of some popular
fictional literature with the intention of understanding more about reading
experience. There is a lot of popular fiction to choose from.2 In order to
provide a focus for the chapter, I am taking the set of surviving stories
centred on one of the knights of King Arthur’s round table: Gawain. I
use the surviving Gawain stories to address a set of issues
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.
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.
This is the first edited collection of essays which focuses on the incest taboo
and its literary and cultural presentation from the 1950s to the present day; it
considers a number of authors rather than a single author from this period. This
study discusses the impact of this change in attitudes on literature and
literary adaptations in the latter half of the twentieth century, and early
years of the twenty-first century. Although primarily concerned with fiction,
the collection includes work on television and film. This collection will
enhance the growing academic interest in trauma narratives and taboo-literature,
offering a useful contribution to a fast-evolving field of artistic criticism
which is concerned with the relationship between social issues and creativity.
Authors discussed include Iain Banks, A.S. Byatt, Angela Carter, Simone de
Beauvoir, Ted Hughes, Doris Lessing, Ian McEwan Iris Murdoch, Vladimir Nabokov,
Andrea Newman and Pier Pasolini and Sylvia Plath.
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 explores the intimate relationship between literature and class in England (and later Britain) from the Peasants’ Revolt at the end of the fourteenth century to the impact of the French Revolution at the end of the eighteenth century and beginning of the nineteenth. It demonstrates how literary texts are determined by class relations and how they represent the interaction of classes in profound and apparently trivial ways. The book argues throughout that class cannot be seen as a modern phenomenon that occurred after the Industrial Revolution but that class divisions and relations have always structured societies and that it makes sense to assume a historical continuity. The book explores a number of themes relating to class: class consciousness; class conflict; commercialization; servitude; the relationship between agrarian and urban society; rebellion; gender relations; and colonization. After outlining the history of class relations in England and, after the union of 1707, Scotland, five chapters explore the ways in which social class consciously and unconsciously influenced a series of writers including Geoffrey Chaucer, William Langland, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, John Taylor, Robert Herrick, Aphra Behn, John Wilmot, earl of Rochester, Daniel Defoe, Stephen Duck, Mary Collier, Frances Burney, Robert Burns, William Blake and William Wordsworth. The book concludes with Percy Bysshe Shelley’s An Address to the Irish People (1812), pointing to the need to explore class relations in the context of the British Isles and Ireland, as well as the British Empire, which a future work will analyse.
Not only did Sigmund Freud know literature intimately, and quote liberally from literatures of several languages, he has also inspired twentieth-century writers and philosophers, and created several schools of criticism, in literary and cultural studies. Freud was not just practising psychotherapy on his patients, helping them in difficult situations, but helping them by studying the unconscious as the basis of their problems. This book deals with Freud and psychoanalysis, and begins by analysing the 'Copernican revolution' which meant that psychoanalysis decentres the conscious mind, the ego. It shows how Freud illuminates literature, as Freud needs attention for what he says about literature. The book presents one of Freud's 'case-histories', where he discussed particular examples of analysis by examining obsessional neurosis, as distinct from hysteria. It analyses Freud on memory, in relation to consciousness, repression and the unconscious. Guilt was one of his central topics of his work, and the book explores it through several critical texts, 'Criminals from a Sense of Guilt', and 'The Ego and the Id'. The book discusses Melanie Klein, a follower of Freud, and object-relations theory, while also making a reference to Julia Kristeva. One of the main strands of thought of Jacques Lacan was the categories of the Imaginary, the Symbolic, and the Real, as well as paranoia and madness, which are linked to literature here. The book finally returns to Freud on hysteria, and examines him on paranoia in Daniel Paul Schreber, and the psychosis of the 'Wolf Man'.