Description : The circus has been both one of the most influential forms of international popular entertainment and yet at the same time remains almost entirely absent from academic studies of popular theatrical forms. This book offers readers an introduction to the cultural history of the circus and gives an account of the dominant characteristics of the circus's aesthetic practices and relates these to the sometimes precarious developments, changes and variations in its economic organization, architecture and social status. The book goes on to outline the particular challenges that this essentially live, dangerous and body-centred form presents to literary and film representation and does so through the particular examples of works by Charles Dickens, Federico Fellini and Wim Wenders. This wide-ranging and accessible book offers ways of thinking about the meaning and significance of the circus as a specifically modern form of art and entertainment.
Description : In medieval culture, the consideration of language is deeply connected to other aspects of the system of knowledge. One interesting connection takes place between theories of language and theories of larger concepts such as love and desire. The Syntax of Desire is an interdisciplinary examination of the interlacing operation of syntax and desire in three medieval 'grammars:' theological, linguistic, and poetic. Exploring three representative aspects of medieval language theory, Elena Lombardi uncovers the ways in which syntax and desire were interrelated in the Middle Ages. She suggests that, in Augustine's theology, the creative act of God in the universe emerges as a syntax that the human individual must interpret by means of desire; in the linguistic theory of the Modistae, she sees the syntax of language as parallel to a syntax of reality, one organized by the desiring interplay of matter and form; in Dante's poetry, she argues that the language of the fallen human is bound together by the syntax of poetry, an act of desire that restores language to its primitive innocence. In addition to detailed analyses of medieval texts, The Syntax of Desire examines some aspects of the same relationship in light of contemporary linguistics, philosophy of language, and psychoanalysis.
Description : Award-winning play with songs by Caridad Svich that examines grief, loss and the power of love. A young woman loses her husband in a recent war. A community rallies round to save her.
Description : The Lord of the Rings is intended to be applicable to the real world of relationships, religion, pleasure, pain, and politics. Tolkien himself said that his grand tale of wizards, orcs, hobbits, and elves was aimed at truth and good morals in the actual world. Analysis of the popular appeal of The Lord of the Rings (on websites and elsewhere) shows that Tolkien fans are hungry for discussion of the urgent moral and cosmological issues arising out of this fantastic epic story. Can political power be wielded for good, or must it always corrupt? Does technology destroy the truly human? Is it morally wrong to give up hope? Can we find meaning in chance events? In The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy, seventeen young philosophy professors, all of them ardent Tolkien fans and most of them contributors to the four earlier volumes in the Popular Culture and Philosophy series, address some of these important issues and show how clues to their solutions may be found in the imaginary world of Middle-earth. The book is divided into five sections, concerned with Power and the Ring, the Quest for Happiness, Good and Evil in Middle-earth, Time and Mortality, and the Relevance
Description : Traces the author's endeavors to restore and recreate her suburban garden after the collapse of a retaining wall, an effort during which she combated pests, neighborhood ecological limitations, and other elements while discovering the numerous joys of organic gardening. Reprint. 12,500 first printing.
Description : This book is an intimate study of the three giants in Irish literary history: Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats, and James Joyce. In addition to constructing a narrative of Irelands political and literary past, Vicki Mahaffey interweaves the lives and writing of the authors into a portrait of national imagination, shaped not only by a vast cultural and mythic heritage, but also by the hard fact of English political domination. States of Desire argues that what people desire is fundamentally connected to how they write and read. Not only do language and narrative shape desire (and vice versa), but because these processes are socially conditioned, some political circumstances, such as those present in Ireland at the turn of the century, foster experimental desire more successfully than others. Mahaffey's contribution to the critical discourse on literary modernism is to assign a political motive to the art of modernist wordplay; in doing so, she offers a more compelling and socially driven version of the oft-told tale of literary modernism. Irish writers, she argues, sought to disrupt the rigidity of political thinking and social control by turning language into a weapon; by opening up infinite new possibilities of meaning and association, linguistic play makes it impossible for thought to be monopolized by the state or any other institutional power. In this light, the text becomes a prism of political, cultural, and erotic desires: a fountain of conscious and unconscious linguistic suggestion. Defying semantic control and refuting societal repression, Wilde, Yeats, and Joyce literally fought, in their lives and in their work, for a freedom of expression which--as was painfully evidenced in the case of Wilde--was not to be had for the asking.
Description : The beloved characters of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s bestselling novel Sister of My Heart are reunited in this powerful narrative that challenges the emotional bond between two lifelong friends, as the husband of one becomes dangerously attracted to the other. Anju and Sudha formed an astounding, almost psychic connection during their childhood in India. When Anju invites Sudha, a single mother in Calcutta, to come live with her and her husband, Sunil, in California, Sudha foolishly accepts, knowing full well that Sunil has long desired her. As Sunil’s attraction rises to the surface, the trio must struggle to make sense of the freedoms of America–and of the ties that bind them to India and to one another. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Description : Critics of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings often examine the novel in terms of biography, mythology, and linguistics. When they investigate the novel in terms of characters, including studies of gender and sexuality, the two characters who receive the most attention are Sam and Frodo. These two characters are clearly central to the storyline, and some critics have already begun investigating their relationship in terms of queer theory, looking at the male homosocial bond between Sam and Frodo and even arguing that Sam and Frodo have a distinctly homoerotic bond. However, this dissertation argues that their bond is predicated on the presence of Gollum/Smeagol. Using the word of Rene Girard and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, I argue that Tolkien creates an erotic triangle between these three central characters, with Gollum acting as both a hindrance and a help to the development of Frodo and Sam's romantic relationship. Using Tolkien's own concept of "applicability," which he outlines in the Foreword to the Second Edition of The Lord of the Rings, I initially examine his life as a guide to understanding and applying the importance of male homosocial desire in his work. In the second chapter, I examine first his friendships from his school days' at St. Edwards, focusing on the three friends who became the Tea Club, Barrovian Society (TCBS), and then on how those friendships were materially altered by World War I. In the next chapter, I discuss the friend who had the most profound effect on his life, that of C.S. (Jack) Lewis. In both of these chapters, I make the argument that Tolkien's life has profound implications for his characterization of the hobbits, particularly the relationship between Sam and Frodo. The fourth chapter examines in depth the homosocial bond between Sam and Frodo, making the argument that their relationship is both idealized and homoerotic. The fifth chapter makes the central argument of this dissertation, that Gollum/Smeagol, because of his dualities and complicated nature, acts as both a chaperone of Frodo and Sam, preventing them from engaging in physically overt homosexual acts, as well as a goad that pushed Frodo and Sam together. Moreover, Tolkien creates situations where Gollum has a romantic relationship with both Frodo and Sam individually, thus forming a classic erotic triangle. I conclude by comparing the death of Gollum with the departure of Frodo to the Grey Havens. Without Gollum's presence, Sam and Frodo can no longer enjoy their idealized relationship, and thus Frodo leaves-Middle-earth and Sam.
Description : Considered the most popular books of the 20th century, The Lord of the Rings trilogy is more than a great story. It's a much-needed reminder that Christians are all on an epic quest. In examining the Christian themes in the trilogy, authors Kurt Bruner and Jim Ware find that truth and fiction are not as far apart as they seem. When read in the light of Scripture, Tolkien's trilogy reveals a rich tapestry of redemption, values, and faith against all odds. Insightful reflection notes end each chapter. A great book for personal study, devotional time, or group discussion!
Description : David Webster explores the notion of desire as found in the Buddhist Pali Canon. Beginning by addressing the idea of a 'paradox of desire', whereby we must desire to end desire, the varieties of desire that are articulated in the Pali texts are examined. A range of views of desire, as found in Western thought, are presented as well as Hindu and Jain approaches. An exploration of the concept of ditthi(view or opinion) is also provided, exploring the way in which 'holding views' can be seen as analogous to the process of desiring. Other subjects investigated include the mind-body relationship, the range of Pali terms for desire, and desire's positive spiritual value. A comparative exploration of the various approaches completes the work.