Comparative Literature: a Very Short Introduction

Author: Ben Hutchinson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198807279

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 160

View: 3166

Comparative Literature is both the past and the future of literary studies. Its history is intimately linked to the political upheavals of modernity: from colonial empire-building in the nineteenth century, via the Jewish diaspora of the twentieth century, to the postcolonial culture wars ofthe twenty-first century, attempts at "comparison" have defined the international agenda of literature. But what is comparative literature? Ambitious readers looking to stretch themselves are usually intrigued by the concept, but uncertain of its implications. And rightly so, in many ways: even theprofessionals cannot agree on a single term, calling it comparative in English, compared in French, and comparing in German. The very term itself, when approached comparatively, opens up a Pandora's box of cultural differences. Yet this, in a nutshell, is the whole point of comparative literature. To look at literature comparatively is to realize just how much can be learned by looking over the horizon of one's own culture; it is to discover not only more about other literatures, but also about one's own; and it is toparticipate in the great utopian dream of understanding the way nations and languages interact. In an age that is paradoxically defined by migration and border crossing on the one hand, and by a retreat into monolingualism and monoculturalism on the other, the cross-cultural agenda of comparativeliterature has become increasingly central to the future of the Humanities. We are all, in fact, comparatists, constantly making connections across languages, cultures, and genres as we read. The question is whether we realise it.This Very Short Introduction tells the story of Comparative Literature as an agent of international relations, from the point of view both of scholarship and of cultural history more generally. Outlining the complex history and competing theories of comparative literature, Ben Hutchinson offers anaccessible means of entry into a notoriously slippery subject, and shows how comparative literature can be like a Rorschach test, where people see in it what they want to see. Ultimately, Hutchinson places comparative literature at the very heart of literary criticism, for as George Steiner oncenoted, 'to read is to compare'.ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jonathan Culler

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199691347

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 165

View: 3218

Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction offers insights into theories about the nature of language and meaning, human identity, and the power of language. Fully updated for 2011 and including a new chapter on 'Ethics and aesthetics', it steers a clear and lucid path through an often impenetrable subject.
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Modern Latin American Literature: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199912963

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 152

View: 8817

This Very Short Introduction chronicles the trends and traditions of modern Latin American literature, arguing that Latin American literature developed as a continent-wide phenomenon, not just an assemblage of national literatures, in moments of political crisis. With the Spanish American War came Modernismo, the end of World War I and the Mexican Revolution produced the avant-garde, and the Cuban Revolution sparked a movement in the novel that came to be known as the Boom. Within this narrative, the author covers all of the major writers of Latin American literature, from Andr?s Bello and Jos? Mar?a de Heredia, through Borges and Garc?a M?rquez, to Fernando Vallejo and Roberto Bola?o.
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Decadence: a Very Short Introduction

Author: David Weir

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190610220

Category: Civilization

Page: 160

View: 9549

The history of decadent culture runs from ancient Rome to nineteenth-century Paris, Victorian London, fin de siecle Vienna, Weimar Berlin, and beyond. The decline of Rome provides the pattern for both aesthetic and social decadence, a pattern that artists and writers in the nineteenth century imitated, emulated, parodied, and otherwise manipulated for aesthetic gain. What begins as the moral condemnation of modernity in mid-nineteenth century France on the part of decadent authors such as Charles Baudelaire ends up as the perverse celebration of the pessimism that accompanies imperial decline. This delight in decline informs the rich canon of decadence that runs from Joris-Karl Huysmans's A Rebours to Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, Aubrey Beardsley's drawings, Gustav Klimt's paintings, and numerous other works. In this Very Short Introduction, David Weir explores the conflicting attitudes towards modernity present in decadent culture by examining the difference between aesthetic decadence--the excess of artifice--and social decadence, which involves excess in a variety of forms, whether perversely pleasurable or gratuitously cruel. Such contrariness between aesthetic and social decadence led some of its practitioners to substitute art for life and to stress the importance of taste over morality, a maneuver with far-reaching consequences, especially as decadence enters the realm of popular culture today. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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English Literature: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jonathan Bate

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191614297

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 192

View: 2598

Sweeping across two millennia and every literary genre, acclaimed scholar and biographer Jonathan Bate provides a dazzling introduction to English Literature. The focus is wide, shifting from the birth of the novel and the brilliance of English comedy to the deep Englishness of landscape poetry and the ethnic diversity of Britain's Nobel literature laureates. It goes on to provide a more in-depth analysis, with close readings from an extraordinary scene in King Lear to a war poem by Carol Ann Duffy, and a series of striking examples of how literary texts change as they are transmitted from writer to reader. The narrative embraces not only the major literary movements such as Romanticism and Modernism, together with the most influential authors including Chaucer, Donne, Johnson, Wordsworth, Austen, Dickens and Woolf, but also little-known stories such as the identity of the first English woman poet to be honoured with a collected edition of her works. Written with the flair and passion for which Jonathan Bate has become renowned, this book is the perfect Very Short Introduction for all readers and students of the incomparable literary heritage of these islands. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Chinese Literature: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Sabina Knight

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199913137

Category: History

Page: 160

View: 3758

Perhaps nowhere else has literature been as conscious a collective endeavor as in China, and China's survival over three thousand years may owe more to its literary traditions than to its political history. This Very Short Introduction tells the story of Chinese literature from antiquity to the present, focusing on the key role literary culture played in supporting social and political concerns. Embracing traditional Chinese understandings of literature as encompassing history and philosophy as well as poetry and poetics, storytelling, drama, and the novel, Sabina Knight discusses the philosophical foundations of literary culture as well as literature's power to address historical trauma and cultivate moral and sensual passions. From ancient historical records through the modernization and globalization of Chinese literature, Knight draws on lively examples to underscore the close relationship between ethics and aesthetics, as well as the diversity of Chinese thought. Knight also illuminates the role of elite patronage; the ways literature has served the interests of specific groups; and questions of canonization, language, nationalism, and cross-cultural understanding. The book includes Chinese characters for names, titles, and key terms.
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Theatre

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Marvin Carlson

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199669821

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 131

View: 466

Theatre is one of the longest-standing art forms of modern civilization. Taking a global look at how various forms of theatre - including puppetry, dance, and mime - have been interpreted and enjoyed, this book explores all aspects of the theatre, including its relationship with religion, literature, and its value worldwide
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The Princeton Sourcebook in Comparative Literature

Author: David Damrosch,Natalie Melas,Mbongiseni Buthelezi

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691132852

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 442

View: 3826

As comparative literature reshapes itself in today's globalizing age, it is essential for students and teachers to look deeply into the discipline's history and its present possibilities. The Princeton Sourcebook in Comparative Literature is a wide-ranging anthology of classic essays and important recent statements on the mission and methods of comparative literary studies. This pioneering collection brings together thirty-two pieces, from foundational statements by Herder, Madame de Staël, and Nietzsche to work by a range of the most influential comparatists writing today, including Lawrence Venuti, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, and Franco Moretti. Gathered here are manifestos and counterarguments, essays in definition, and debates on method by scholars and critics from the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America, giving a unique overview of comparative study in the words of some of its most important practitioners. With selections extending from the beginning of comparative study through the years of intensive theoretical inquiry and on to contemporary discussions of the world's literatures, The Princeton Sourcebook in Comparative Literature helps readers navigate a rapidly evolving discipline in a dramatically changing world.
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Comparative Literature in an Age of Globalization

Author: Haun Saussy

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 9780801883804

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 261

View: 9448

Responding to the frequent attacks against contemporary literary studies, Comparative Literature in an Age of Globalization establishes the continuing vitality of the discipline and its rigorous intellectual engagement with the issues facing today's global society.
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A Companion to Comparative Literature

Author: Ali Behdad,Dominic Thomas

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118917359

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 540

View: 8846

A Companion to Comparative Literature presents a collection of more than thirty original essays from established and emerging scholars, which explore the history, current state, and future of comparative literature. Features over thirty original essays from leading international contributors Provides a critical assessment of the status of literary and cross-cultural inquiry Addresses the history, current state, and future of comparative literature Chapters address such topics as the relationship between translation and transnationalism, literary theory and emerging media, the future of national literatures in an era of globalization, gender and cultural formation across time, East-West cultural encounters, postcolonial and diaspora studies, and other experimental approaches to literature and culture
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Tragedy: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Adrian Poole

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192802356

Category: Drama

Page: 147

View: 5428

What has tragedy been made to mean by dramatists, story-tellers, critics, philosophers, politicians, and journalists? This work shows the relevance of tragedy to the modern world, and extends beyond drama and literature into visual art and everyday experience.
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Fairy Tale

Author: Marina Warner

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019953215X

Category: Fiction

Page: 192

View: 2405

From wicked queens, beautiful princesses, elves, monsters, and goblins, to giants, glass slippers, poisoned apples, magic keys, and mirrors, the characters and images of fairy tales have cast a spell over readers and audiences, both adults and children, for centuries. These fantastic stories have traveled across cultural borders, and been passed on from generation to generation, ever-changing, renewed with each re-telling. Few forms of literature have greater power to enchant us and rekindle our imagination than a fairy tale. But what is a fairy tale? Where do they come from and what do they mean? What do they try and communicate to us about morality, sexuality, and society? The range of fairy tales stretches across great distances and time; their history is entangled with folklore and myth, and their inspiration draws on ideas about nature and the supernatural, imagination and fantasy, psychoanalysis and feminism. In this Very Short Introduction, Marina Warner digs into a rich hoard of fairy tales in all their brilliant and fantastical variations, in order to define a genre and evaluate a literary form that keeps shifting through time and history. Drawing on a glittering array of examples, from classics such as Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and The Sleeping Beauty, the Grimm Brothers' Hansel and Gretel, and Hans Andersen's The Little Mermaid, to modern-day realizations including Walt Disney's Snow White, Warner forms a persuasive case for fairy tale as a crucial repository of human understanding and culture. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Film: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Michael Wood

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192803530

Category: Art

Page: 138

View: 6671

Offers a wealth of insight into the paradoxical nature of film, considering its role and impact on society in the 20th century as well as its future in the digital age. Original.
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Plague: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Paul Slack

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191623962

Category: Medical

Page: 160

View: 2686

Throughout history plague has been the cause of many major catastrophes. It was responsible for the Black Death of 1348 and the Great Plague of London in 1665, and for devastating epidemics much earlier and much later, in the Mediterranean in the sixth century, and in China and India between the 1890s and 1920s. Today, it has become a metaphor for other epidemic disasters which appear to threaten us, but plague itself has never been eradicated. In this Very Short Introduction, Paul Slack explores the historical impact of plague over the centuries, looking at the ways in which it has been interpreted, and the powerful images it has left behind in art and literature. Examining what plague meant for those who suffered from it, and how governments began to fight against it, he demonstrates the impact plague has had on modern notions of public health and how it has shaped our history. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Islam: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Malise Ruthven

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0199642877

Category: Religion

Page: 200

View: 4765

Islam features widely in the news, often in its most militant forms, but few people in the non-Muslim world really understand its nature. Malise Ruthven's Very Short Introduction, offers essential insights into the big issues, provides fresh perspectives on contemporary questions, and guides us through the complex debates.
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Revolutions: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jack A. Goldstone

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199858500

Category: History

Page: 148

View: 3206

This volume places recent events in Iraq and Afghanistan to Tunisia and Egypt in historical context. It provides a history of revolutions and insurgencies, an introduction to the way social scientists think about the causes and outcomes of revolutions, and an explanation of their significance in historical and political change. Jack A. Goldstone begins with a brief history of revolutions and insurgencies, from the revolutions that brought democracy to Greek city-states and led to thefounding of Rome through the major peasant revolts of the Middle Ages in Europe and China, and the Independence revolts in the Americas. He also touches upon the insurgencies in Latin America (Zapatistas and FARC) and Asia (in Malaysia and the Philippines), whose failure is instructive in understanding why revolts succeed or fail. The book then discusses types of revolutions and their causes; the radical social revolutions in France, Russia, and China; the revolutions for independence in Indiaand Algeria; revolutions against dictators in Mexico, Cuba, and Iran; and the so-called color revolutions in Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, and Georgia. Goldstone considers some of the key revolutionary leaders of history where they came from, what inspired them, and how they changed their societies. A diverse range of popular groups have carried revolutions: peasants, miners, urban craftsmen, professionals, students, and mothers, all treated here. A chapter on insurgency and counter-insurgencycovers Iraq and Afghanistan. Finally, Goldstone grapples with the outcomes of revolutions: whether they are associated with the rise of freedom and democracy, devastating ideological dictatorships, or something inconclusive. He examines the historical legacies of revolutions, in the areas of freedom, economic growth, women's rights, and minority rights. Revolutions have succeeded enough to feed dreams of freedom, but failed often enough to prompt caution.
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Colonial Latin American Literature

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Rolena Adorno

Publisher: OUP USA

ISBN: 0199755027

Category: History

Page: 148

View: 9160

An account of the literature of the Spanish-speaking Americas from the time of Columbus to Latin American Independence, this book examines the origins of colonial Latin American literature in Spanish, the writings and relationships among major literary and intellectual figures of the colonial period, and the story of how Spanish literary language developed and flourished in a new context. Authors and works have been chosen for the merits of their writings, their participation in the larger debates of their era, and their resonance with readers today.
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Classical Literature

A Very Short Introduction

Author: William Allan

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199665451

Category: Fiction

Page: 135

View: 4957

William Allan's Very Short Introduction provides a concise and lively guide to the major authors, genres, and periods of classical literature. Drawing upon a wealth of material, he reveals just what makes the 'classics' such masterpieces and why they continue to influence and fascinate today.
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Children's Literature: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Kimberley Reynolds

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191620122

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 160

View: 6279

Children's literature takes many forms - works adapted for children in antiquity, picture books and pop-ups - and now includes the latest online games and eBooks. This vast and amorphous subject is both intimately related to other areas of literary and cultural investigation but also has its own set of concerns, issues and challenges. From familiar authors including Beatrix Potter and Roald Dahl, classic books such as Pooh, Alice in Wonderland, and The Secret Garden, to modern works including Harry Potter and the Twilight series, thisVery Short Introduction provides an overview of the history of children's literature as it has developed in English, whilst at the same time introducing key debates, developments, and figures in the field. Raising questions about what shape the future of literature for children should take, and exploring the crossover with adult fiction, Reynolds shows that writing for children - whether on page or screen - has participated in shaping and directing ideas about culture, society and childhood. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Translation

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Matthew Reynolds

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198712111

Category: Foreign Language Study

Page: 142

View: 824

Translation is everywhere, giving us dubbed films, and access to foreign news and the literature of other cultures. Considering subtitling, interpreting, and adaptations, Matthew Reynolds reveals how translation is changing radically in the new age of electronic media.
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