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Why study Renaissance literature? Reading Class through Shakespeare, Donne, and Milton examines six canonical Renaissance works to show that reading literature also means reading class. Warley demonstrates that careful reading offers the best way to understand social relations and in doing so he offers a detailed historical argument about what class means in the seventeenth century. Drawing on a wide range of critics, from Erich Auerbach to Jacques Rancière, from Cleanth Brooks to Theodor Adorno, and from Raymond Williams to Jacques Derrida, the book implicitly defends literary criticism. It reaffirms six Renaissance poems and plays, including poems by Donne, Shakespeare's Hamlet, and Milton's Paradise Lost, as the sophisticated and moving works of art that generations of readers have loved. These accessible interpretations also offer exciting new directions for the roles of art and criticism in the contemporary, post-industrial world.
I 'm Not the Indian You Had in Mind (2007), a short film that was written and directed by Thomas King, captures recurring themes in his critical and creative work. The film begins with King wheeling a carved wooden cigar-store Indian into the shot of a trendy urban loft, looking directly at the camera, and as he speaks the camera cuts away to the image of an oversized lens projecting images onto a silver screen. The poem is interspersed with footage from Hollywood westerns showing mounted Indians riding hard across the prairie, howling war cries and brandishing tomahawks. In both the film's credits and the audio interview with Liz Janzen (Director of Programming at the National Screen Institute) that accompanies the film, King jokes that the poem was written for his son, Benjamin Hoy, who had asked him to write a poem that rhymed (before he died!), but the film's message is an indictment of stereotypes in popular culture and everyday life. In The Truth about Stories, the published version of his 2003 Massey Lectures, King recalls the incident that provided the title of the film.