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This wide-ranging new history of European Romantic Literature presents a pan-European phenomenon which transcended national borders and contributed to a new sense of European cultural identity across the continent. Conceived in the same spirit as Madame de Staël's cultural and political agenda at a time when her 'generous idea' of Europe is being challenged on all sides, the volume pays close attention to the period's circulation of people, ideas, and texts. It proposes to rethink the period comparatively, focusing on various forms of cultural mediation and transfer, and on productive tensions, synchronicities, and interactions within and across borders. Organized chronologically, its twenty chapters address over five hundred works, proposing a coherent historical narrative without completely erasing individual nations' specificities. By showcasing in particular the place of Britain within continental culture, the volume hopes to reactivate critical examinations of Romanticism from a historicised European perspective.
The Cambridge Critical Guide to Latin Literature offers a critical overview of work on Latin literature. Where are we? How did we get here? Where to next? Fifteen commissioned chapters, along with an extensive introduction and Mary Beard's postscript, approach these questions from a range of angles. They aim not to codify the field, but to give snapshots of the discipline from different perspectives, and to offer provocations for future development. The Critical Guide aims to stimulate reflection on how we engage with Latin literature. Texts, tools and territories are the three areas of focus. The Guide situates the study of classical Latin literature within its global context from late antiquity to Neo-Latin, moving away from an exclusive focus on the pre-200 CE corpus. It recalibrates links with adjoining disciplines (history, philosophy, material culture, linguistics, political thought, Greek), and takes a fresh look at key tools (editing, reception, intertextuality, theory).
Two centuries of sexism have hidden Staël's place in international history. Straddling the divides of the French Revolution, Napoleonic Europe, emergent nationalism, and European Romanticism, and playing pivotal roles in those movements, she was also a friend of Byron, Jefferson, and Tsar Alexander. Extensive archival research, and a complete contextual overview of Staël's writings, here restore Staël's canonical status as political philosopher, historian, European Romantic theorist, and Revolutionary. While the term stateswoman is not commonly used, it describes Staël aptly, acting as she necessarily did through men around her. The brilliant game of masks and proxies imposed on her by patriarchy is detailed here, alongside her unending fight for the oppressed, from the nations of Napoleon's subjugated Europe to the victims of the Atlantic slave trade. This title is part of the Flip it Open Programme and may also be available Open Access. Check our website Cambridge Core for details.
The German academic and writer W. G. Sebald made an astounding ascent into the canon of world literature. In this volume, leading experts from both the English- and the German-speaking worlds explore his celebrated prose works published in the short span from 1996 to his premature death in 2001. Special attention is paid to Sebald's unpublished texts and books awaiting translation into English. The volume – illustrated with many unpublished archive images – scrutinizes the dual nature of Sebald's life and work, located between Germany and England, academic and literary writing, vilification and idolization. Through nearly forty essays on a broad range of topics, W. G. Sebald in Context achieves a revision of our understanding of Sebald, defying many clichés about him. Particular attention is paid to the manifold ways in which Sebald's writings exerted a legacy far beyond literature, especially in the areas of art, cinema, and popular music.
In this book, Rachel Teubner offers an exploration of humility in Dante's Divine Comedy, arguing that the poem is an ascetical exercise concerned with training its author gradually in the practice of humility, rather than being a reflection of authorial hubris. A contribution to recent scholarship that considers the poem to be a work of self-examination, her volume investigates its scriptural, literary, and liturgical sources, also offering fresh feminist perspectives on its theological challenges. Teubner demonstrates how the poetry of the Comedy is theologically significant, focusing especially on the poem's definition of humility as ethically and artistically meaningful. Interrogating the text canto by canto, she also reveals how contemporary tools of literary analysis can offer new insights into its meaning. Undergraduate and novice readers will benefit from this companion, just as theologians and scholars of medieval religion will be introduced to a growing body of scholarship exploring Dante's religious thought.
For four hundred years, Norse settlers battled to make southern Greenland a new, sustainable home. They strove against gales and winter cold, food shortages and in the end a shifting climate. The remnants they left behind speak of their determination to wrest an existence at the foot of this vast, icy and challenging wilderness. Yet finally, seemingly suddenly, they vanished; and their mysterious disappearance in the fifteenth century has posed a riddle to scholars ever since. What happened to the lost Viking colonists? For centuries people assumed their descendants could still be living, so expeditions went to find them: to no avail. Robert Rix tells the gripping story of the missing pioneers, placing their poignant history in the context of cultural discourse and imperial politics. Ranging across fiction, poetry, navigation, reception and tales of exploration, he expertly delves into one of the most contested questions in the annals of colonization.
In Boccaccio's time, the Italian city-state began to take on a much more proactive role in prosecuting crime – one which superseded a largely communitarian, private approach. The emergence of the state-sponsored inquisitorial trial indeed haunts the legal proceedings staged in the Decameron. How, Justin Steinberg asks, does this significant juridical shift alter our perspective on Boccaccio's much-touted realism and literary self-consciousness? What can it tell us about how he views his predecessor, Dante: perhaps the world's most powerful inquisitorial judge? And to what extent does the Decameron shed light on the enduring role of verisimilitude and truth-seeming in our current legal system? The author explores these and other literary, philosophical, and ethical questions that Boccaccio raises in the Decameron's numerous trials. The book will appeal to scholars and students of medieval and early modern studies, literary theory and legal history.
This new Companion provides a broad and perceptive overview of the most important vernacular literary genre of the Middle Ages. Freshly commissioned, original chapters from seventeen leading scholars introduce students and general readers to the form's poetics, narrative voice and manuscript contexts, as well as its relationship to the Mediterranean world, race, gender and the emotions, among many other topics. Providing fresh perspectives on the first pan-European literary movement, essays range across a broad geographical area, including England, France, Italy, Germany and the Iberian Peninsula, as well as a varied linguistic spectrum, including Arabic, Hebrew and Yiddish. Exploring the celebration of chivalric ideals and courtly refinements, the volume excavates the tensions and traumas lying beneath decorous surface appearances. An introduction, bibliography of texts and translations as well as chapter-by-chapter reading lists complete this essential guide.
Cervantes the Poet travels from the court of Isabel de Valois to Rome, Naples, Palermo, Algiers, and Madrid's barrio de las letras. Recovering Cervantes' nearly forty-year literary career before the publication of Don Quijote, Gabrielle Ponce-Hegenauer demonstrates the cultural, literary, and theoretical significance of Cervantes' status as a late-sixteenth-century itinerant poet. This study recovers the generative literary milieus and cultural practices of Spain's most famous novelist in order to posit a new theory of the modern novel as an organic transformation of lyric practices native to the late-sixteenth century and Cervantes' own literary outlook.
Premier playwright of modern theater and trailblazer of the short story, Anton Chekhov was also a practising doctor, journalist, writer of comic sketches, philanthropist and activist. This volume provides an accessible guide to Chekhov's multifarious interests and influences, with over 30 succinct chapters covering his rich intellectual milieu and his tumultuous socio-political environment, as well as the legacy of his work in over two centuries of interdisciplinary cultures and media around the world. With a Preface by Cornel West, a chronology and Further Reading list, this collection is the essential guide to Chekhov's writing and the manifold worlds he inhabited.
From the Georgics of Virgil to Flaubert's landscapes of happiness, Ullrich Langer argues that lyric representation holds a particular power to address our humanity. Ranging across a vast chronology, the book investigates how such poetry and prose activates our capacities for empathy, equity, irony and reasoning, while educating us in pleasure and helping us comprehend death. Each chapter constitutes a fresh encounter with some of the most celebrated texts of European literary history, demonstrating how the lyrical works, and what it elicits in us. Through deft rhetorical and philological analysis, the study presents the value of literary studies for both ethical purposes and aesthetic ends.
This is the first monograph to provide a comprehensive interpretation of the Decameron's response to classical and medieval didactic traditions. Olivia Holmes unearths the rich variety of Boccaccio's sources, ranging across Aesopic fables, narrative collections of Islamicate origin, sermon-stories and saints' lives, and compilations of historical anecdotes. Examining the Decameron's sceptical and sexually permissive contents in relation to medieval notions of narrative exemplarity, the study also considers how they intersect with current critical assertions of fiction's power to develop empathy and emotional intelligence. Holmes argues that Boccaccio provides readers with the opportunity to exercise both what the ancients called 'Ethics,' and our contemporaries call 'Theory of Mind.' This account of a vast tradition of tale collections and its provocative analysis of their workings will appeal to scholars of Italian literature and medieval studies, as well as to readers interested in evolutionary understandings of storytelling.
Likened to a second Tsar in Russia and attaining prophet-like status around the globe, Tolstoy made an impact on literature and the arts, religion, philosophy, and politics. His novels and stories both responded to and helped to reshape the European and Russian literary traditions. His non-fiction incensed readers and drew a massive following, making Tolstoy an important religious force as well as a stubborn polemicist in many fields. Through his involvement with Gandhi and the Indian independence movement, his aid in relocating the Doukhobors to Canada, his correspondence with American abolitionists and his polemics with scientists in the periodical press, Tolstoy engaged a vast array of national and international contexts of his time in his life and thought. This volume introduces those contexts and situates Tolstoy—the man and the writer—in the rich and tumultuous period in which his intellectual and creative output came to fruition.
This book looks at how Renaissance poets ended their poetic lines. It considers a range of strategies and argues that line endings are crucial to our understanding of the poems. It begins with an introduction summarizing the work that has already been done in this area and demonstrating my own method. The main part of the book will be divided into three chapters: one on rhyme; one on enjambment; and one on the sestina. These are the most significant kinds of line endings used by English Renaissance poets. The book ends with a brief afterword, in which it summarize the findings and sketch out some new areas for research.
Can civil war ever be overcome? Can a better order come into being? This book explores how the Roman civil wars of the first century BCE laid the template for addressing perennially urgent questions. The Roman Republic's collapse and Augustus' new Empire have remained ideological battlegrounds to this day. Integrative and disintegrative readings begun in antiquity (Vergil and Lucan) have left their mark on answers given by Christians (Augustine), secular republicans (Victor Hugo), and disillusioned satirists (Michel Houellebecq) alike. France's self-understanding as a new Rome – republican during the Revolution, imperial under successive Napoleons – makes it a special case in the Roman tradition. The same story returns repeatedly. A golden age of restoration glimmers on the horizon, but comes in the guise of a decadent, oriental empire that reintroduces and exposes everything already wrong under the defunct republic. Central to the price of social order is patriarchy's need to subjugate women.
An understanding of Dante the theologian as distinct from Dante the poet has been neglected in an appreciation of Dante's work as a whole. That is the starting-point of this vital new book. In giving theology fresh centrality, the author argues that theologians themselves should find, when they turn to Dante Alighieri, a compelling resource: whether they do so as historians of fourteenth-century Christian thought, or as interpreters of the religious issues of our own times. Expertly guiding his readers through the structure and content of the Commedia, Denys Turner reveals – in pacy and muscular prose – how Dante's aim for his masterpiece is to effect what it signifies. It is this quasi-sacramental character that renders it above all a theological treatise: whose meaning is intelligible only through poetry. Turner's Dante 'knows that both poetry and theology are necessary to the essential task and that each without the other is deficient.'
Alison Cornish offers a compelling new take on the Commedia with modern sensibilities in mind. Believing in Dante re-examines the infernal dramas of Dante's masterpiece that alienate and perplex modern readers, offering an invigorating view of the whole Divine Comedy, bringing it to meaningful life today. Addressing the characteristics that distance an author like Dante from the modern world, Alison Cornish shows the value of critically and constructively engaging with texts that do not coincide with current worldviews. She thereby reveals how we might discover constellations by which to navigate the process of reading. Written with incisiveness and sophistication, this landmark book elucidates Dante's eminently readable universe: one where we can and must choose what we want to believe.
In the first comprehensive English-language portrait of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm as political thinkers and actors, Jakob Norberg reveals how history's two most famous folklorists envisioned the role of literary and linguistic scholars in defining national identity. Convinced of the political relevance of their folk tale collections and grammatical studies, the Brothers Grimm argued that they could help disentangle language groups from one another, redraw the boundaries of states in Europe, and counsel kings and princes on the proper extent and character of their rule. They sought not only to recover and revive a neglected native culture for a contemporary audience, but also to facilitate a more harmonious and enduring relationship between the traditional political elite and an emerging national collective. Through close historical analysis, Norberg reconstructs how the Grimms wished to mediate between sovereigns and peoples, politics and culture. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
During the nineteenth century, words like 'intersex' and 'trans' had not yet been invented to describe individuals whose bodies, or senses of self, conflicted with binary sex. But that does not mean that such people did not exist. In nineteenth-century France, case studies filled medical journals, high-profile trials captured headlines, and doctors staked their reputations on sex determinations only to have them later reversed by colleagues. While medical experts fought over what separated a man from a woman, novelists began to explore debates about binary sex and describe the experiences of gender-ambiguous characters. Anne Linton discusses over 200 newly-uncovered case studies while offering fresh readings of literature by several famous writers of the period, as well as long-overlooked popular fiction. This landmark contribution to the history of sexuality is the first book to examine intersex in both medicine and literature, sensitively relating historical 'hermaphrodism' to contemporary intersex activism and scholarship.
As the long sixteenth century came to a close, new positive ideas of gusto/taste opened a rich counter vision of food and taste where material practice, sensory perceptions and imagination contended with traditional social values, morality, and dietetic/medical discourse. Exploring the complex and evocative ways the early modern Italian culture of food was imagined in the literature of the time, Food Culture and the Literary Imagination in Early Modern Italy reveals that while a moral and disciplinary vision tried to control the discourse on food and eating in medical and dietetic treatises of the sixteenth century and prescriptive literature, a wide range of literary works contributed to a revolution in eating and taste. In the process long held visions of food and eating, as related to social order and hierarchy, medicine, sexuality and gender, religion and morality, pleasure and the senses, were questioned, tested and overturned, and eating and its pleasures would never be the same.