Description : Taking his cue from Philadelphia-born novelist Charles Brockden Brown's Annals of Europe and America, which contends that America is shaped most noticeably by the international struggle between Great Britain and France for control of the world trade market, Stephen Shapiro charts the advent, decline, and reinvigoration of the early American novel. That the American novel "sprang so unexpectedly into published existence during the 1790s" may be a symptom of the beginning of the end of Franco-British supremacy and a reflection of the power of a middle class riding the crest of a new world economic system. Shapiro's world-systems approach is a relatively new methodology for literary studies, but it brings two particularly useful features to the table. First, it refines the conceptual frameworks for analyzing cultural and social history, such as the rise in sentimentalism, in relation to a long-wave economic history of global commerce; second, it fosters a new model for a comparative American Studies across time. Rather than relying on contiguous time, a world-systems approach might compare the cultural production of one region to another at the same location within the recurring cycle in an economic reconfiguration. Shapiro offers a new way of thinking about the causes for the emergence of the American novel that suggests a fresh way of rethinking the overall paradigms shaping American Studies.
Description : Broader than a thematic study, however, L?vy's analysis is unique in his use of Lovecraft's work as a model for fantastic writing in general and in his provocative theory as to why Lovecraft wrote the sort of works he did.
Description : First published in 1988, this book aims to provide keys to the study of Gothicism in British and American literature. It gathers together much material that had not been cited in previous works of this kind and secondary works relevant to literary Gothicism — biographies, memoirs and graphic arts. Part one cites items pertaining to significant authors of Gothic works and part two consists of subject headings, offering information about broad topics that evolve from or that have been linked with Gothicism. Three indexes are also provided to expedite searches for the contents of the entries. This book will be of interest to students of literature.
Description : 2007 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Although the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City symbolically mark the start of the gay rights movement, individuals came together long before the modern era to express their same-sex romantic and sexual attraction toward one another, and in a myriad of ways. Some reflected on their desires in quiet solitude, while others endured verbal, physical, and legal harassment for publicly expressing homosexual interest through words or actions. Long Before Stonewall seeks to uncover the many iterations of same-sex desire in colonial America and the early Republic, as well as to expand the scope of how we define and recognize homosocial behavior. Thomas A. Foster has assembled a pathbreaking, interdisciplinary collection of original and classic essays that explore topics ranging from homoerotic imagery of black men to prison reform to the development of sexual orientations. This collection spans a regional and temporal breadth that stretches from the colonial Southwest to Quaker communities in New England. It also includes a challenge to commonly accepted understandings of the Native American berdache. Throughout, connections of race, class, status, and gender are emphasized, exposing the deep foundations on which modern sexual political movements and identities are built.
Description : "What then is the American, this new man?" This question is explored here through the lives and writings of a sequence of imaginative authors each of whom confronted a crucial moment in the evolution of the new nation (from Crevecoeur and the Revolution, through Washington Irving and Jeffersonian Democracy, to James Fenimore Cooper and the Era of Good Feelings). At the centre of these confrontations was a division between those who claimed national perfection had been obtained, and those who, while desperately wanting to believe this, perceived all too clearly that that perfection had not yet come. Rediscovering this neglected literary debate, The Literary Quest for an American National Character illuminates afresh the traumatic birth and development of the new American nation.
Description : It has often been said that the nineteenth century was a relatively stagnant period for Chinese fiction, but preeminent scholar Patrick Hanan shows that the opposite is true: the finest novels of the nineteenth century show a constant experimentation and evolution. In this collection of detailed and insightful essays, Hanan examines Chinese fiction before and during the period in which Chinese writers first came into contact with western fiction. Hanan explores the uses made of fiction by westerners in China; the adaptation and integration of western methods in Chinese fiction; and the continued vitality of the Chinese fictional tradition. Some western missionaries, for example, wrote religious novels in Chinese, almost always with the aid of native assistants who tended to change aspects of the work to "fit" Chinese taste. Later, such works as Washington Irving's "Rip Van Winkle," Jonathan Swift's "A Voyage to Lilliput," the novels of Jules Verne, and French detective stories were translated into Chinese. These interventions and their effects are explored here for virtually the first time.
Description : The depiction of personal and collective suffering in modern Chinese novels differs significantly from standard Communist accounts and many Eastern and Western historical narratives. Writers such as Yu Hua, Su Tong, Wang Anyi, Mo Yan, Han Shaogong, Ge Fei, Li Rui, and Zhang Wei skew and scramble common conceptions of China's modern development, deploying avant-garde narrative techniques from Latin American and Euro-American modernism to project a surprisingly "un-Chinese" dystopian vision and critical view of human culture and ethics. The epic narratives of modern Chinese fiction make rich use of magical realism, surrealism, and unusual treatments of historical time. Also featuring graphic depictions of sex and violence, as well as dark, raunchy comedy, these novels reflect China's recent history re-presenting the overthrow of the monarchy in the early twentieth century and the resulting chaos of revolution and war; the recurring miseries perpetrated by class warfare during the dictatorship of Mao Zedong; and the social dislocations caused by China's industrialization and rise as a global power. This book casts China's highbrow historical novels from the late 1980s to the first decade of the twenty-first century as a distinctively Chinese contribution to the form of the global dystopian novel and, consequently, to global thinking about the interrelations of utopia and dystopia.
Description : German science fiction offers a most interesting contribution to the history and criticism of science fiction. William B. Fischer examines two writers, Kurd Lasswitz and Hans Dominik. He concludes that German science fiction is in distinct contrast to the “normative” tradition of modern Anglo-American science fiction and to many other literary traditions as well. His book demonstrates vividly the social relevance and enduring cultural vitality of science fiction.