Description : The American West of myth and legend has always exerted a strong hold on the popular imagination, and Reading the West examines the bases of that fascination. These critical essays by writers, independent scholars, and critics on the literature of the American West showcase new ways of reading and understanding western writing. This volume helps enrich our understanding of a distinguished body of literary work that has sometimes been unjustly ignored. It deals not only with literature but also with the changing conception of the West in the American imagination.
Description : Although the origins of the western are as old as colonial westward expansion, it was Owen Wister?s novel The Virginian, published in 1902, that established most of the now-familiar conventions of the genre. On the heels of the classic western?s centennial, this collection of essays both re-examines the text of The Virginian and uses Wister?s novel as a lens for studying what the next century of western writing and reading will bring. The contributors address Wister?s life and travels, the novel?s influence on and handling of gender and race issues, and its illustrations and various retellings on stage, film, and television as points of departure for speculations about the ?new West??as indeed Wister himself does at the end of the novel. ø The contributors reconsider the novel?s textual complexity and investigate The Virginian's role in American literary and cultural history. Together their essays represent a new western literary studies, comparable to the new western history.
Description : Books and other texts have not always been read in the way that we read them today. The modern practice of reading--privately, silently, with the eyes alone--is only one way of reading, which for many centuries existed alongside other forms. In the ancient world, in the Middle Ages, and as late as the seventeenth century, many texts were written for the voice. They were addressed to the ear as much as the eye, and they used forms that were oriented toward the demands of oral performance. This is one of the themes explored in this landmark volume. Written by a distinguished group of international contributors, it analyzes the transformations of reading methods and materials over the ages, showing that revolutions of reading have generally preceded revolutions of the book. The authors examine not only the technical innovations that changed physical aspects of books and other texts, but also the evolving forms of reading and the growth and transformation of the reading public. The volume will be invaluable to students of cultural history and to all those who want a fresh perspective on the history of books and their uses.
Description : From deserts to ghost towns, from national forests to California bungalows, many of the features of the western American landscape are well known to residents and travelers alike. But in How to Read the American West, William Wyckoff introduces readers anew to these familiar landscapes. A geographer and an accomplished photographer, Wyckoff offers a fresh perspective on the natural and human history of the American West and encourages readers to discover that history has shaped the places where people live, work, and visit. This innovative field guide includes stories, photographs, maps, and diagrams on a hundred landscape features across the American West. Features are grouped according to type, such as natural landscapes, farms and ranches, places of special cultural identity, and cities and suburbs. Unlike the geographic organization of a traditional guidebook, Wyckoff's field guide draws attention to the connections and the differences between and among places. Emphasizing features that recur from one part of the region to another, the guide takes readers on an exploration of the eleven western states with trips into their natural and cultural character. How to Read the American West is an ideal traveling companion on the main roads and byways in the West, providing unexpected insights into the landscapes you see out your car window. It is also a wonderful source for armchair travelers and people who live in the West who want to learn more about the modern West, how it came to be, and how it may change in the years to come. Showcasing the everyday alongside the exceptional, Wyckoff demonstrates how asking new questions about the landscapes of the West can let us see our surroundings more clearly, helping us make informed and thoughtful decisions about their stewardship in the twenty-first century. Watch the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYSmp5gZ4-I
Description : In unrelenting flow of choices confronts us at nearly every moment of our lives, and yet our culture offers us no clear way to choose. This predicament seems inevitable, but in fact it’s quite new. In medieval Europe, God’s calling was a grounding force. In ancient Greece, a whole pantheon of shining gods stood ready to draw an appropriate action out of you. Like an athlete in “the zone,” you were called to a harmonious attunement with the world, so absorbed in it that you couldn’t make a “wrong” choice. If our culture no longer takes for granted a belief in God, can we nevertheless get in touch with the Homeric moods of wonder and gratitude, and be guided by the meanings they reveal? All Things Shining says we can. Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly illuminate some of the greatest works of the West to reveal how we have lost our passionate engagement with and responsiveness to the world. Their journey takes us from the wonder and openness of Homer’s polytheism to the monotheism of Dante; from the autonomy of Kant to the multiple worlds of Melville; and, finally, to the spiritual difficulties evoked by modern authors such as David Foster Wallace and Elizabeth Gilbert. Dreyfus, a philosopher at the University of California, Berkeley, for forty years, is an original thinker who finds in the classic texts of our culture a new relevance for people’s everyday lives. His lively, thought-provoking lectures have earned him a podcast audience that often reaches the iTunesU Top 40. Kelly, chair of the philosophy department at Harvard University, is an eloquent new voice whose sensitivity to the sadness of the culture—and to what remains of the wonder and gratitude that could chase it away—captures a generation adrift. Re-envisioning modern spiritual life through their examination of literature, philosophy, and religious testimony, Dreyfus and Kelly unearth ancient sources of meaning, and teach us how to rediscover the sacred, shining things that surround us every day. This book will change the way we understand our culture, our history, our sacred practices, and ourselves. It offers a new—and very old—way to celebrate and be grateful for our existence in the modern world.
Description : Intended for intermediate players, these three books complete a twelve-book series that takes the reader through the most important aspects of card-play technique at bridge. Each book is short and full of practical examples, and end-of-chapter quizzes reinforce the concepts. The series will appeal to beginners who are anxious to improve in stages, and to more experienced players who want to improve their knowledge of a specific aspect of card play.
Description : Reading the Reverse Façade of Reims Cathedral bestows long overdue scholarly attention on the magnificent sculptural program of the reverse façade at Reims Cathedral, the coronation cathedral of French kings. Donna Sadler reveals how the imagery on the reverse façade not only conforms to a system of memory and mode of medieval narratology, but also articulates a dominant ideological position regarding the interdependence of ecclesiastical and royal powers.