Signs Taken for Wonders

On the Sociology of Literary Forms

Author: Franco Moretti

Publisher: Verso

ISBN: 9781844670567

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 273

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A compelling analysis of the relations between high and mass culture, from tragedy and horror to detective fiction and classical realism.
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The Invisible Hand in Popular Culture

Liberty vs. Authority in American Film and TV

Author: Paul A. Cantor

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

ISBN: 0813140838

Category: Political Science

Page: 488

View: 698

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Popular culture often champions freedom as the fundamentally American way of life and celebrates the virtues of independence and self-reliance. But film and television have also explored the tension between freedom and other core values, such as order and political stability. What may look like healthy, productive, and creative freedom from one point of view may look like chaos, anarchy, and a source of destructive conflict from another. Film and television continually pose the question: Can Americans deal with their problems on their own, or must they rely on political elites to manage their lives? In this groundbreaking work, Paul A. Cantor explores the ways in which television shows such as Star Trek, The X-Files, South Park, and Deadwood and films such as The Aviator and Mars Attacks! have portrayed both top-down and bottom-up models of order. Drawing on the works of John Locke, Adam Smith, Alexis de Tocqueville, and other proponents of freedom, Cantor contrasts the classical liberal vision of America -- particularly its emphasis on the virtues of spontaneous order -- with the Marxist understanding of the "culture industry" and the Hobbesian model of absolute state control. The Invisible Hand in Popular Culture concludes with a discussion of the impact of 9/11 on film and television, and the new anxieties emerging in contemporary alien-invasion narratives: the fear of a global technocracy that seeks to destroy the nuclear family, religious faith, local government, and other traditional bulwarks against the absolute state.
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Shakespearean Tragedy

Author: John Drakakis

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317899903

Category: Drama

Page: 446

View: 5643

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Shakespearean Tragedy brings together fifteen major contemporary essays on individual plays and the genre as a whole. Each piece has been carefully chosen as a key intervention in its own right and as a representative of an influential critical approach to the genre. The collection as a whole, therefore, provides both a guide and explanation to the various ways in which contemporary criticism has determined our understanding of the tragedies, and the opportunity for assessing the wider issues such criticism raises. The collection begins by considering the impact of social semiotics on approaches to the tragedies, before moving on to deal, in turn, with the various forms of Marxist criticism, New Historicism, Cultural Materialism, Feminism, Psychoanalysis, and Poststructuralism.
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How Novels Think

The Limits of Individualism from 1719-1900

Author: Nancy Armstrong

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231503873

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 224

View: 6988

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Nancy Armstrong argues that the history of the novel and the history of the modern individual are, quite literally, one and the same. She suggests that certain works of fiction created a subject, one displaying wit, will, or energy capable of shifting the social order to grant the exceptional person a place commensurate with his or her individual worth. Once the novel had created this figure, readers understood themselves in terms of a narrative that produced a self-governing subject. In the decades following the revolutions in British North America and France, the major novelists distinguished themselves as authors by questioning the fantasy of a self-made individual. To show how novels by Defoe, Austen, Scott, Brontë, Dickens, Eliot, Hardy, Haggard, and Stoker participated in the process of making, updating, and perpetuating the figure of the individual, Armstrong puts them in dialogue with the writings of Locke, Hume, Rousseau, Malthus, Darwin, Kant, and Freud. Such theorists as Althusser, Balibar, Foucault, and Deleuze help her make the point that the individual was not one but several different figures. The delineation and potential of the modern subject depended as much upon what it had to incorporate as what alternatives it had to keep at bay to address the conflicts raging in and around the British novel.
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In the Company of Strangers

Family and Narrative in Dickens, Conan Doyle, Joyce, and Proust

Author: Barry McCrea

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231527330

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 256

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In the Company of Strangers shows how a reconception of family and kinship underlies the revolutionary experiments of the modernist novel. While stories of marriage and long-lost relatives were a mainstay of classic Victorian fiction, Barry McCrea suggests that rival countercurrents within these family plots set the stage for the formal innovations of Joyce and Proust. Tracing the challenges to the family plot mounted by figures such as Fagin, Sherlock Holmes, Leopold Bloom, and Charles Swann, McCrea tells the story of how bonds generated by chance encounters between strangers come to take over the role of organizing narrative time and give shape to fictional worlds—a task and power that was once the preserve of the genealogical family. By investigating how the question of family is a hidden key to modernist structure and style, In the Company of Strangers explores the formal narrative potential of queerness and in doing so rewrites the history of the modern novel.
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The Dread of Difference

Gender and the Horror Film

Author: Barry Keith Grant

Publisher: University of Texas Press

ISBN: 1477302425

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 560

View: 6714

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"The Dread of Difference is a classic. Few film studies texts have been so widely read and so influential. It's rarely on the shelf at my university library, so continuously does it circulate. Now this new edition expands the already comprehensive coverage of gender in the horror film with new essays on recent developments such as the Hostel series and torture porn. Informative and enlightening, this updated classic is an essential reference for fans and students of horror movies."—Stephen Prince, editor of The Horror Film and author of Digital Visual Effects in Cinema: The Seduction of Reality "An impressive array of distinguished scholars . . . gazes deeply into the darkness and then forms a Dionysian chorus reaffirming that sexuality and the monstrous are indeed mated in many horror films."—Choice "An extremely useful introduction to recent thinking about gender issues within this genre."—Film Theory
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Tense Future

Modernism, Total War, Encyclopedic Form

Author: Paul K. Saint-Amour

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190266295

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 368

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We know that trauma can leave syndromes in its wake. But can the anticipation of violence be a form of violence as well? Tense Future argues that it can-that twentieth-century war technologies and practices, particularly the aerial bombing of population centers, introduced non-combatants to a coercive and traumatizing expectation. During wartime, civilians braced for the next raid; during peacetime they braced for the next war. The pre-traumatic stress they experienced permeates the century's public debates and cultural works. In a series of groundbreaking readings, Saint-Amour illustrates how air war prophets theorized the wounding power of anticipation, how archive theory changed course in war's shadow, and how speculative fiction conjured visions of a civilizational collapse that would end literacy itself. And in this book's central chapters, he shows us how Ford Madox Ford, Robert Musil, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and other interwar modernist writers faced the memory of one war and the prospect of another, some by pitting their fictions' encyclopedic scale and formal turbulence against total war, others by conceding war's inevitability while refusing to long for a politically regressive peace. Total war: a conflict that exempts no one, disregarding any difference between soldier and civilian. Tense Future forever alters our understanding of the concept of total war by tracing its emergence during the First World War, its incubation in air power theory between the wars, and above all its profound partiality. For total war, during most of the twentieth century, meant conflict between imperial nation states; it did not include the violence those states routinely visited on colonial subjects during peacetime. Tacking back and forth between metropole and colony, between world war and police action, Saint-Amour describes the interwar refashioning of a world system of violence-production, one that remains largely intact in our own moment of perpetual interwar.
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Contemporary Literary and Cultural Theory

The Johns Hopkins Guide

Author: Michael Groden,Martin Kreiswirth,Imre Szeman

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 1421407051

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 536

View: 7331

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Contemporary Literary and Cultural Theory: The Johns Hopkins Guide is a clear, accessible, and detailed overview of the most important thinkers and topics in the field. Written by specialists from across disciplines, its entries cover contemporary theory from Adorno to ?i?ek, providing an informative and reliable introduction to a vast, challenging area of inquiry. Materials include newly commissioned articles along with essays drawn from The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism, known as the definitive resource for students and scholars of literary theory and for philosophical reflection on literature and culture.
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The Transnational Fantasies of Guillermo del Toro

Author: A. Davies,D. Shaw,D. Tierney

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137407840

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 210

View: 4136

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Offering a multifaceted approach to the Mexican-born director Guillermo del Toro, this volume examines his wide-ranging oeuvre and traces the connections between his Spanish language and English language commercial and art film projects.
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