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A new poetic century demands a new set of approaches. This Companion shows that American poetry of the twenty-first century, while having important continuities with the poetry of the previous century, takes place in new modes and contexts that require new critical paradigms. Offering a comprehensive introduction to studying the poetry of the new century, this collection highlights the new, multiple centers of gravity that characterize American poetry today. Essays on African American, Asian American, Latinx, and Indigenous poetries respond to the centrality of issues of race and indigeneity in contemporary American discourse. Other essays explore poetry and feminism, poetry and disability, and queer poetics. The environment, capitalism, and war emerge as poetic preoccupations, alongside a range of styles from spoken word to the avant-garde, and an examination of poetry's place in the creative writing era.
Few poets have captured the imagination of the world like Seamus Heaney. Recognized as one of the truly outstanding poets of our time, Heaney's work is both critically acclaimed and popular with the general reader. It is taught in classrooms across the globe and has been translated into more than twenty-seven languages. Presenting original research from an international field of scholars, Seamus Heaney in Context offers new pathways to explore the places, times and influences that made Heaney a poet. Drawing on newly available archival and print sources, these essays situate Heaney in a multitude of contexts that help readers navigate received ideas about his life and work. In mapping intersecting themes in the current terrain of Heaney criticism, this study also signposts new directions for understanding Heaney's poetry in future contexts.
Book, Text, Medium: Cross Sectional Reading for a Digital Age utilizes codex history, close reading, and language philosophy to assess the transformative arc between medieval books and today's e-books. It examines what happens to the reading experience in the 21st century when the original concept of a book is still held in the mind of a reader, if no longer in the reader's hand. Leading critic Garrett Stewart explores the play of mediation more generally, as the concept of book moves from a manufactured object to simply the language it puts into circulation. Framed by digital poetics, phonorobotics, and the rising popularity of audiobooks, this study sheds new light on both the history of reading and the negation of legible print in conceptual book art.
After the Human provides a comprehensive overview of how a range of philosophical, ethical, and political ideas under the framework of posthumanism have transformed humanities scholarship today. Bringing together a range of interdisciplinary scholars and perspectives, it puts into dialogue the major influences from philosophy, literary study, anthropology, and science studies that set the stage for a range of new questions to be asked about the relationship of the human to other life. The book's central argument is that posthumanism's challenge to and disruption of traditional humanist knowledge is so significant as to presage a sea-change from the humanities into the posthumanities. After the Human documents the emergence of posthumanist ideas in the fractures within traditional disciplines, examines the new objects of analysis that thus came into prominence, and theorizes new interdisciplinary methods of study that followed.
While literary modernism is often associated with Euro-American metropolises such as London, Paris or New York, this book considers the place of the colonial city in modernist fiction. From the streets of Dublin to the shop-houses of Singapore, and from the botanical gardens of Bombay to the suburbs of Suva, the monumental landscapes of British colonial cities aimed to reinforce empire's universalising claims, yet these spaces also contradicted and resisted the impositions of an idealised English culture. Inspired by the uneven landscapes of the urban British empire, a group of twentieth-century writers transformed the visual incongruities and anachronisms on display in the city streets into sources of critique and formal innovation. Showing how these writers responded to empire's metrocolonial complexities and built legacies, Modernism in the Metrocolony traces an alternative, peripheral history of the modernist city.
This is the first book specifically devoted to the New Modernist Studies. Bringing together a range of perspectives on the past, present, and future of this vibrant, complicated scholarly enterprise, the collection reconsiders its achievements and challenges as both a mode of inquiry and an institutional formation. In its first section, the volume offers a fresh history of the New Modernist Studies' origins amid the intellectual configurations of the end of the twentieth century and changing views of the value, influence, and scope of modernism. In the second section a dozen leading scholars examine recent trends in modernist scholarship to suggest possible new paths of research, showing how the field continues to engage with other areas of study and how it makes a case for the ongoing meaning of modernist literature and art in the contemporary world.
Eric Falci's The Value of Poetry offers an evaluation and critique of the literary, cultural, and political value of poetry in the twenty-first century. Falci claims that some of the most vital, significant, and enduring human notions have been voiced and held in poems. Poems marble civilizations: they catch courses of thought, tracks of feeling, and acts of speech and embed these shapes in language that is, in some fashion, poised toward the future. Falci argues that poetry is a vital medium in addressing and understanding some of the most pressing issues of our time. Ranging widely across canonical and contemporary poetry, The Value of Poetry shows how poems matter, and what poetry offers to readers in the contemporary world.
In The Prosthetic Imagination, leading critic Peter Boxall argues that we are now entering an artificial age, in which our given bodies enter into new conjunctions with our prosthetic extensions. This new age requires us to reimagine our relation to our bodies, and to our environments, and Boxall suggests that the novel as a form can guide us in this imaginative task. Across a dazzling range of prose fictions, from Thomas More's Utopia to Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake, Boxall shows how the novel has played a central role in forging the bodies in which we extend ourselves into the world. But if the novel has helped to give our world a human shape, it also contains forms of life that elude our existing human architectures: new amalgams of the living and the non-living that are the hidden province of the novel imagination. These latent conjunctions, Boxall argues, are preserved in the novel form, and offer us images of embodied being that can help us orient ourselves to our new prosthetic condition.
This book offers a new reading of the relationship between money, culture and literature in America in the 1970s. The gold standard ended at the start of this decade, a moment which is routinely treated as a catalyst for the era of postmodern abstraction. This book provides an alternative narrative, one that traces the racialized and gendered histories of credit offered by the intertextual narratives of writers such as E.L Doctorow, Toni Morrison, Marilyn French, William Gaddis, Thomas Pynchon and Don De Lillo. It argues that money in the 1970s is better read through a narrative of political consolidation than formal rupture as these histories foreground the closing down, rather than opening up, of serious debates about what American money should be and who it should serve. These novels and this moment remain important because they alert us to imagine the alternative histories of credit that were imaginatively proposed but never realized.
This book explores for the first time the literature of absolute war in connection to World War II. From a transnational and comparative standpoint, it addresses a set of theoretical, historical, and literary questions, shedding new light on the nature of absolute war, the literature on the world war of 1939–45, and modern war writing in general. It determines the main features of the language of absolute war, and how it gravitates around fundamental semantic clusters, such as the horror, terror, and the specter. The Literature of Absolute War studies the variegated responses given by literary authors to the extreme and seemingly unsolvable challenges posed by absolute war to epistemology, ethics, and language. It also delves into the different poetics that articulate the writing on absolute war, placing special emphasis on four literary practices: traditional realism, traumatic realism, the fantastic, and catastrophic modernism.
Nobel Laureate J. M. Coetzee is amongst the most acclaimed and widely studied of contemporary authors. The Cambridge Companion to J. M. Coetzee provides a compelling introduction for new readers, as well as fresh perspectives and provocations for those long familiar with Coetzee's works. All of Coetzee's published novels and autobiographical fictions are discussed at length, and there is extensive treatment of his translations, scholarly books and essays, and volumes of correspondence. Confronting Coetzee's works on the grounds of his practice, the chapters address his craft, his literary relations and horizons, and the relationship between his writings and other arts, disciplines and institutions. Written by an international team of contributors, this Companion offers a comprehensive introduction to this important writer, establishes new avenues of discovery, and explains Coetzee's undiminished ability to challenge and surprise his readers with inventive works of striking power and intensity.
Contemporary Feminist Life-Writing is the first volume to identify and analyse the 'new audacity' of recent feminist writings from life. Characterised by boldness in both style and content, willingness to explore difficult and disturbing experiences, the refusal of victimhood, and a lack of respect for traditional genre boundaries, new audacity writing takes risks with its author's and others' reputations, and even, on occasion, with the law. This book offers an examination and critical assessment of new audacity in works by Katherine Angel, Alison Bechdel, Marie Calloway, Virginie Despentes, Tracey Emin, Sheila Heti, Juliet Jacques, Chris Krauss, Jana Leo, Maggie Nelson, Vanessa Place, Paul Preciado, and Kate Zambreno. It analyses how they write about women's self-authorship, trans experiences, struggles with mental illness, sexual violence and rape, and the desire for sexual submission. It engages with recent feminist and gender scholarship, providing discussions of vulnerability, victimhood, authenticity, trauma, and affect.
This volume explores the history of Irish writing between the Second World War (or the 'Emergency') in 1939 and the re-emergence of violence in Northern Ireland in the 1970s. It situates modern Irish writing within the contexts of cultural transition and transnational connection, often challenging pre-existing perceptions of Irish literature in this period as stagnant and mundane. While taking into account the grip of Irish censorship and cultural nationalism during the mid-twentieth century, these essays identify an Irish literary culture stimulated by international political horizons and fully responsive to changes in publishing, readership, and education. The book combines valuable cultural surveys with focussed discussions of key literary moments, and of individual authors such as Seán O'Faoláin, Samuel Beckett, Edna O'Brien, and John McGahern.
Irish Literature in Transition, 1980–2020 elucidates the central features of Irish literature during the twentieth century's long turn, covering its significant trends and formations, reassessing its major writers and texts, and providing path-making accounts of its emergent figures. Over the past forty years, life in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland has been transformed by new material conditions in each polity and by ideological shifts in the way people understand themselves and their relation to the world. Amid these remarkable changes, culture on both sides of the border has emerged as a global phenomenon, one that both reflects and intervenes in rapidly changing contemporary conditions. This volume accounts for broad patterns of literary and cultural production in this period and demonstrates the value of Irish contemporary literature within anglophone and European traditions and as a body of work that has kept its eye trained on the particularities of the island and its inhabitants.
The 1930s is frequently seen as a unique moment in British literary history, a decade where writing was shaped by an intense series of political events, aesthetic debates, and emerging literary networks. Yet what is contained under the rubric of 1930s writing has been the subject of competing claims, and therefore this Companion offers the reader an incisive survey covering the decade's literature and its status in critical debates. Across the chapters, sustained attention is given to writers of growing scholarly interest, to pivotal authors of the period, such as Auden, Orwell, and Woolf, to the development of key literary forms and themes, and to the relationship between this literature and the decade's pressing social and political contexts. Through this, the reader will gain new insight into 1930s literary history, and an understanding of many of the critical debates that have marked the study of this unique literary era.
Cormac McCarthy is a writer informed by an intense curiosity. His interests range from the natural world, to philosophy and religion, to history and culture. Cormac McCarthy in Context offers readers the opportunity to understand how various influences inform his rich body of work. The collection explores the relationship McCarthy has with his favourite authors, writers such as Herman Melville, William Faulkner, and Ernest Hemingway. Other contexts are tremendously informative, including the American Romance tradition of the nineteenth century as well as modernity and the modernist literary movement. Influence and context are of absolute importance in understanding McCarthy, who is now being understood as one of the most significant authors of the contemporary period.
What was the modernist response to the global crisis of liberal world order after 1919? This book tells the story of the origins of liberal world governance in Cambridge modernist circles, the literary response to the Versailles Peace of 1919, and the contestation of that institutional moment across a range of world literary modernities. Challenging standard accounts of reactionary postwar politics, Interwar Modernism and the Liberal World Order articulates a modernism animated by the contradictions of liberal governance between the wars. The book develops a new materialist reading of modernist politics hinged on the official figures that traverse both modernist texts and liberal order. This official liberal world shapes interwar arts and letters from wartime Cambridge to revolutionary Shanghai.
Sylvia Plath in Context brings together an exciting combination of established and emerging thinkers from a range of disciplines. The book reveals Plath's responses to the writers she reads, her interventions in the literary techniques and forms she encounters, and the wide range of cultural, personal, artistic, political, historical and geographical influences that shaped her work. Many of these essays confront the specific challenges for reading Sylvia Plath today. Others evaluate her legacy to the writers who followed her. Reaching well beyond any simple equation in which biographical cause results in literary effect, all of them argue for a body of work that emerges from Plath's deep involvement in the world she inhabits. Situating Plath's writing within a wide frame of references that reach beyond any single notion of self, this book will be a vital resource for students, scholars, instructors and researchers of Sylvia Plath.
James Baldwin in Context provides a wide-ranging collection of approaches to the work of an essential black American author who is just as relevant now as he was during his turbulent heyday in the mid-twentieth century. The perspectives range from those who knew Baldwin personally, to scholars who have dedicated decades to studying him, to a new generation of scholars for whom Baldwin is nearly a historical figure. This collection complements the ever-growing body of scholarship on Baldwin by combining traditional inroads into his work, such as music and expatriation, with new approaches, such as intersectionality and the Black Lives Matter movement.
In the twenty-first century, leading publishers are under intense pressure from their conglomerate owners and shareholders to generate growth and profits. This book shows how these pressures have transformed the contemporary novel. Paul Crosthwaite argues that recent British and American authors have internalized the market logics of the financial sector and book trade, resulting in the production of works of 'market metafiction' in which authors reflect obsessively on their writing's positioning in the literary marketplace. The Market Logics of Contemporary Fiction reveals the entanglement of fictional narrative and market dynamics to be the central phenomenon of contemporary literary culture. It engages with work by key authors including Iain Sinclair, Don DeLillo, Kathy Acker, Bret Easton Ellis, Chris Kraus, Percival Everett, David Foster Wallace, Colson Whitehead, Anne Billson, Hari Kunzru, Barbara Browning, Teju Cole, Ben Lerner, Tao Lin, Nell Zink, Joshua Cohen, Sheila Heti, and Garth Risk Hallberg.