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Pursuing Happiness: Reading American Romance as Political Fiction By Laura Vivanco
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The dominance of popular romance in the US fiction market suggests that its trends and themes may reflect the politics of a significant proportion of the US population. Pursuing Happiness explores... More > some of the choices, beliefs and assumptions which shape the politics of US romance novels. In particular, it focuses on what romances reveal about American attitudes towards work, the West, race, gender, community cohesion, ancestral “roots” and a historical connection (or lack of it) to the land. "Pursuing Happiness explores the ways that popular American romance novels engage such matters as US gender roles, attitudes toward disability, the myth of the frontier, individualism and community, and racial violence and discrimination. A thoughtful study with a refreshingly topical focus.” — Professor William Gleason, Princeton University. "An insightful and entertaining look at the inherent, often invisible, politics that underlie America’s most popular genre of fiction.”— Isobel Carr, romance author< Less
Metaethics Explored By Paul Davis
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The book begins with an overview of metaethics and a rejection of the metaethics/normative ethics distinction, and discusses the strengths and limitations of the popular idea that morality is a set... More > of rules for how we treat one another. It then explains subjectivist, intersubjectivist, and objectivist accounts of the truth conditions of moral statements,. It considers Divine Command Theory and Kant's categorical imperatives, in his Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals, along with David Hume’s arguments in A Treatise of Human Nature and Enquiry Concerning the Principals of Morals, and A. J. Ayer's ‘emotivism’. The Final chapter sketches a naturalist objectivism and suggests that the obstacles to its acceptance are typically grounded on spurious asymmetries between ethics and other disciplines. The author is tutor in philosophy at the University of Edinburgh.< Less
Reading Shakespeare's Hamlet By John Lennard
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This book approaches Shakespeare as utterly a man of the theatre, a professional actor before he was a playwright and a resident dramatist who knew intimately the actors for whom he wrote. It... More > continues by ‘Approaching Hamlet’ in that light, and as a revenge tragedy deliberately overloaded with complications. The middle chapters look in detail at the ‘Actors and Players’ of the drama, starting with the Ghost and ending with ‘the best actors in the world’, and at Shakespeare’s favourite ‘Acts and Devices’ as deployed within it. A final chapter considers Hamlet and Twelfth Night, written and premiered in close succession, as an unexpectedly resonant pair, a surprisingly funny revenge tragedy and a surprisingly bleak revenge comedy that for the first audiences would have complemented one another. The annotated Bibliography includes the current major editions of Hamlet, the major film-adaptations, and a selection of both the best criticism and the most useful websites.< Less
Of Sex and Faerie: further essays on Genre Fiction By John Lennard
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Taking up where Of Modern Dragons (2007) left off, these essays continue Lennard’s investigation of the praxis of serial reading and the best genre fiction of recent decades, including work by... More > Bill James, Walter Mosley, Lois Mcmaster Bujold, and Ursula K. Le Guin. There are groundbreaking studies of contemporary paranormal romance, and of Hornblower’s transition to space, while the final essay deals with the phenomenon and explosive growth of fanfiction, and with the increasingly empowered status of the reader in a digital world. There is an extensive bibliography of genre and critical work, with eight illustrations. John Lennard is Director of Studies at Hughes Hall, Cambridge and has also taught for the Universities of London, Notre Dame, and for the Open University, and was Professor of British & American Literature at the University of the West Indies—Mona, 2004–09. Of Modern Dragons and other essays on genre fiction (2007), is also available from Lulu.< Less
Of Modern Dragons; and other essays on Genre Fiction: By John Lennard
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This volume of essays explores some of the best crime fiction, science fiction and writing for children, in the last 40 years, including work by Reginald Hill, Thomas Harris, Dorothy L. Sayers, Nora... More > Roberts, J. D. Robb, J. R. R. Tolkien, Ursula Le Guin, Anne McCaffrey, Ian McDonald, Octavia E. Butler, and Tamora Pierce. A companion volume entitled Of Sex and Faerie; Further Essays on Genre Fiction is also available from Lulu. John Lennard took his B.A. and D.Phil. at Oxford University, and his M.A. at Washington University in St Louis. He has taught for the Universities of London, Cambridge, and Notre Dame, and for the Open University, and was Professor of British & American Literature at the University of the West Indies—Mona, 2004–09. His publications include But I Digress: The Exploitation of Parentheses in English Printed Verse (Clarendon Press, 1991), The Poetry Handbook (1996; 2/e, OUP, 2005), and with Mary Luckhurst The Drama Handbook (OUP, 2002).< Less
The Philosophy of Humour By Paul McDonald
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Comic novelist and critic Paul McDonald explores the philosophy of humour in a book that will appeal to philosophers and creative writers alike. One aim of this book is to assess theories of humour... More > and laughter. It concentrates mainly on philosophical approaches to humour— including those of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Descartes, Hobbes, Bergson, Kant, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Freud and Bakhtin, but also explores such fields as cultural studies, literary theory, religion, psychoanalysis, and psychology; this broad focus makes for a richer account of humour, its relationship with philosophical thought, and its bearing on the human condition. Readers are invited to engage in creative writing exercises designed to exploit this crucial facet of humour, and to help them explore relevant issues imaginatively. In this way they will deepen their understanding of those issues, whilst at the same time cultivating their own creative skills.< Less
Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Study of Selected Poems By John Gilroy
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the book offers a detailed commentary on the poetry of Hopkins, exploring the significance of contemporary cultural issues and the poet's life as Catholic convert and Jesuit priest. Part 1 traces... More > Hopkins's life from his early schooldays, his undergraduate years at Oxford and conversion to Catholicism, to his work as a Jesuit scholar and poet-priest. Part 2, explains the core principles of Hopkins's innovative and challenging poetry, including sections on inscape, instress and sprung rhythm. Part 3, provides a detailed critical commentary on most of the major poems, including The Wreck of the Deutschland, God's Grandeur, The Windhover, Pied Beauty, The Caged Skylark, Hurrahing in Harvest, Felix Randal, Spring and Fall, Inversnaid, the six 'Terrible Sonnets', and That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire. Part 4, explores the history of Hopkins criticism from that of his own contemporaries to twentieth century and current critical approaches. John Gilroy is also the author of Reading Philip Larkin: Selected Poms< Less
D H Lawrence: Poet By Keith Sagar
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D. H. Lawrence wrote over a thousand poems. Though much has been written about Lawrence's poetry, there have been few full length studies. This book deals with the whole range of his poetry from his... More > earliest poems, such as 'To Campions' and 'To Guelder Roses', to the mature achievement, in free verse forms inspired by Walt Whitman, of Birds, Beasts and Flowers, Pansies and Last Poems. There are new interpretations of his most memorable poems, such as 'The Wild Common', 'Piano', 'Song of a Man Who Has Come Through', Tortoises, 'Peach', 'Pomegranate', 'Snake', 'Bavarian Gentians' and 'The Ship of Death'. "D. H. Lawrence: Poet, the fruit of forty years' reflection, is the most accessible introduction to Lawrence's poetry currently available. Supplemented by an extensive checklist of decades of critical writing, this highly entertaining book is a valuable resource, and makes fascinating reading for anyone interested in the development of modem poetry." Karl Orend, Times Literary Supplement< Less
William Wordsworth: Lyrical Ballads (1798) By Richard Gravil
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This book places Wordsworth's revolutionary poetic practice, in Lyrical Ballads, in the context of a revolutionary age. It considers Wordsworth's provocative theories of how poetry should work, and... More > includes a treatment of the famous 'Preface' to Lyrical Ballads, one of the great poetic manifestos. The main part of the book offers illuminating commentary and questions on the poems, designed to encourage readers to accept Wordsworth's invitation to 'wrestle' with the author. A final section discusses contemporary, Victorian and recent critical approaches to Wordsworth and includes an annotated guide to further reading. Richard Gravil's books include Romantic Dialogues: Anglo-American Continuities, 1776-1862 (Palgrave 2000), Wordsworth’s Bardic Vocation, 1787-1842 (Palgrave 2003) And Wordsworth and Helen Maria Williams; or, the Perils of Sensibility (2010), all now available from Lulu. He is also co-editor of the monumental Oxford Handbook of William Wordsworth (2015).< Less
Reading Ted Hughes: New Selected Poems By Neil Roberts
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A brilliant new study of one of the great English poets of the 20th Century, by a distinguished critic and scholar.This book opens with a section on Hughes’s life, including the relationship... More > with Sylvia Plath and the effect of her suicide on his poetry and reputation, followed by a review of Hughes’s artistic strategies, his poetic language, and influences on his work. including the poets of Eastern Europe. The body of the book offers an approach to reading New Selected Poems (1995), taking in turn each of the remarkable and remarkably varied works from which the poems were selected - The Hawk in the Rain, Lupercal, Wodwo, Crow, Cave Birds, Season Songs, Gaudete, Remains of Elmet, Moortown Diary, River and Wolfwatching. It concludes with a review of Hughes’s reception, and a six-page bibliography. Professor Roberts’s books include Ted Hughes: A Critical Study (with Terry Gifford, Faber, 1981), D. H. Lawrence, Travel and Cultural Difference (Palgrave, 2004), and Ted Hughes: A Literary Life (Palgrave, 2006.< Less