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Emotion in close reading is a coil, spring or spiral (labelled Stage V) that comes towards the end of our labyrinthine experience of lines of verse – or so I. A. Richards suggests in the ‘Arcadia’ diagram of Principles of Literary Criticism. For the early practical critics on whom Richards experimented, this coil of feeling was an unfortunate vortex from which little affective intelligence emerged: modernist close reading revealed only inhibitions, sentimentality, stock responses. This chapter explores how practical criticism navigates an unsettling new matrix for understanding the experience of feeling in reading and of ‘tone’ as a critical category. It examines the crisis of affect within literary criticism’s early disciplinary history by focusing on Richards’s understanding of ‘pseudo-statement’ and by tracing his contemporary dialogues (Hart Crane, T. S. Eliot) and later interlocutors, such as Sianne Ngai. The chapter re-considers the figure of the critic as cultural confidence man and challenges the flattening of new-critical ‘tone’ in recent affect theory.
X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMTX) is an hereditary neuropathy caused by mutations in GJB1 coding for connexin-32, found in Schwann cells, but also expressed in oligodendrocytes. Reports have identified CNS involvement in CMTX, but no systematic study of cognitive function has been published.
We assessed 24 CMTX patients (13 males; 9GJB1 mutations) with a comprehensive neuropsychological battery, including tests of memory, language, and executive functions.
No differences in cognitive performance were observed between males and females. A case-by-case investigation revealed selective deficits in individual patients. One subgroup (29%) demonstrated executive abnormalities; and a non-overlapping subgroup (29%), prominent reading (decoding) abnormalities.
The present data provide evidence for cognitive deficits in CMTX. Emerging neuropsychological patterns are also discussed.
This chapter examines the reciprocal relation between intelligence and achievement, particularly within academic domains such as verbal ability and mathematical ability. In particular, the chapter examines the specific knowledge needed for successful performance on tests of verbal ability that focus on decoding or reading comprehension, and tests of mathematical ability that focus on solving arithmetic computation problems or arithmetic word problems.
In the Preface, I describe the circumstances of writing this book on Persian travelers around the world in the nineteenth century. Here I outline the purpose of this book in describing in detail the totality of the travel accounts and not just a fragment of them that pertain to Europe, or anywhere else for that matter. In the Preface I survey the current condition of Muslims traveling around the world as the contemporary frame of reference for these nineteenth century travel narratives. I then outline the manner in which I place his book in the context of current world affairs. I argue why we need to retrieve these historical texts in a responsible and comprehensive way for a renewed interest in remapping the world in a more leveled and democratic manner. Before I plunge deeply into the thicket of the texts I examine in this book, I use the Preface to make my readers aware of the contemporary world in which we live, and in which a “Muslim travel ban” captures the daily headlines, and thus the significance of the immediately preceding centuries in reconfiguring our historical worldliness.
In Chapter 6, “A Wandering Monarch,” I look closely at Naser al-Din Shah’s Safar-Nameh/Travelogue (1873). This travelogue by a sitting Qajar monarch represents the widely popular significance of travel narratives in the nineteenth century, in which the royal pen now indulges. The genre was so successful that the ruling monarch wishes to be part of it. Traveling was integral to this arguably most significant Qajar monarch. He traveled widely throughout Iran and abroad and kept diligent records of his travels. His three journeys to Europe (in 1873, 1878, 1889, successively) are integral to this peripatetic monarch. What is particular to these travels, the first of which I will discuss in detail in this chapter, is the fact that the reigning king had effectively moved the political center of gravity of his realm away from his capital of Tehran and presided over a mobile court. It is, again, important to remember that Naser al-Din Shah traveled as much in his own realm and then around the Arab and Muslim world in the Ottoman Empire as he did to Europe. He financed these trips mostly by selling off major concessions to European colonial interests. Because of the structural link between these colonial concessions and Naser al-Din Shah’s extravagant trips abroad, his widely published travelogues were paradoxically the source of much anger and frustration during the preparatory stages of the Constitutional Revolution of 1906–1911. The famous Tobacco Revolt of 1890–1891 was in rebellious reaction to a lucrative tobacco concession the Qajar monarch had granted Major G. F. Talbot, a British colonial merchant, during one of his European trips – for a full monopoly over the production, sale, and export of tobacco for fifty years. The Tobacco Revolt was a dress rehearsal for the Constitutional Revolution of 1906–1911.
Even though Samuel Clemens ended his formal education at the age of twelve, he was a voracious and committed reader throughout his lifetime. His reading was eclectic, with a special attention to history, philosophy, and science. Although his library was dispersed through sale and other means, his library has been reconstructed by examining volumes he owned and marked with comments, as well as noting books that he mentions in his works and his letters. His eclectic reading shows him to be an intellectual and autodidact, much at odds with his public persona as a downhome, homespun humorist.
This chapter provides an overview of research conducted over the past few decades on bilingual lexical access during reading using eye movement measures. We first present a summary of earlier work on bilingual single-word processing and outline the predictions of the bilingual interactive activation plus model (BIA+; Dijkstra & Van Heuven, 2002) regarding bilingual lexical access during reading. We then review the studies focusing on lexical access during L2 processing and then during L1 processing, while distinguishing systematically early and late stages of processing. Overall, the findings demonstrate that bilingual lexical access during reading is nonselective, as predicted by the BIA+, and that cross-language activation may occur more strongly during L2 than during L1 reading. Several other factors, such as semantic constraint and L2 proficiency, are also identified that modulate cross-language activation and the unfolding of lexical access.
The ability to make inferences is essential for effective language comprehension. While inferencing training benefits reading comprehension in school-aged children (see Elleman, 2017, for a review), we do not yet know whether it is beneficial to support the development of these skills prior to school entry. In a pre-registered randomised controlled trial, we evaluated the efficacy of a parent-delivered intervention intended to promote four-year-olds’ oral inferencing skills during shared book-reading. One hundred children from socioeconomically diverse backgrounds were randomly assigned to inferencing training or an active control condition of daily maths activities. The training was found to have no effect on inferencing. However, inferencing measures were highly correlated with children's baseline language ability. This suggests that a more effective approach to scaffolding inferencing in the preschool years might be to focus on promoting vocabulary to develop richer and stronger semantic networks.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is highly heritable and is associated with lower educational attainment. ADHD is linked to family adversity, including hostile parenting. Questions remain regarding the role of genetic and environmental factors underlying processes through which ADHD symptoms develop and influence academic attainment.
This study employed a parent-offspring adoption design (N = 345) to examine the interplay between genetic susceptibility to child attention problems (birth mother ADHD symptoms) and adoptive parent (mother and father) hostility on child lower academic outcomes, via child ADHD symptoms. Questionnaires assessed birth mother ADHD symptoms, adoptive parent (mother and father) hostility to child, early child impulsivity/activation, and child ADHD symptoms. The Woodcock–Johnson test was used to examine child reading and math aptitude.
Building on a previous study (Harold et al., 2013, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54(10), 1038–1046), heritable influences were found: birth mother ADHD symptoms predicted child impulsivity/activation. In turn, child impulsivity/activation (4.5 years) evoked maternal and paternal hostility, which was associated with children's ADHD continuity (6 years). Both maternal and paternal hostility (4.5 years) contributed to impairments in math but not reading (7 years), via impacts on ADHD symptoms (6 years).
Findings highlight the importance of early child behavior dysregulation evoking parent hostility in both mothers and fathers, with maternal and paternal hostility contributing to the continuation of ADHD symptoms and lower levels of later math ability. Early interventions may be important for the promotion of child math skills in those with ADHD symptoms, especially where children have high levels of early behavior dysregulation.
This longitudinal study examines change in maternal interaction strategies in Taiwanese mothers across time, and the synchronic and diachronic relationships between maternal interaction strategies and children's language and early literacy skills. Forty-two mother–child dyads participated in this study. Their interactions during joint book-reading were tape-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed when the children were fourteen, twenty-six, and thirty-six months of age. The children received a battery of language and early literacy tests when they were thirty-six months old. Findings showed that Taiwanese mothers adjusted their use of interaction strategies as their children grew. Maternal use of description, performance, prediction inference, and print-related talk were positively correlated with their children's language and literacy skills. Significant negative correlations were found between use of task-behavioral regulation strategy and text reading in mothers and their children's language performance. This study suggests that age-appropriate interaction strategies are important for children's language and early literacy development.
This study aimed to examine the influence of the complexity of the story-book on caregiver extra-textual talk (i.e., interactions beyond text reading) during shared reading with preschool-age children. Fifty-three mother–child dyads (3;00–4;11) were video-recorded sharing two ostensibly similar picture-books: a simple story (containing no false belief) and a complex story (containing a false belief central to the plot, which provided content that was more challenging for preschoolers to understand). Book-reading interactions were transcribed and coded. Results showed that the complex stories facilitated more extra-textual talk from mothers, and a higher quality of extra-textual talk (as indexed by linguistic richness and level of abstraction). Although the type of story did not affect the number of questions mothers posed, more elaborative follow-ups on children's responses were provided by mothers when sharing complex stories. Complex stories may facilitate more and linguistically richer caregiver extra-textual talk, having implications for preschoolers’ developing language abilities.
Chapter 3 analyses the cultural politics of protest in the 1960s. It examines the transformed understanding of high culture created by a mass market for paperback books. The chapter challenges the idea that the protest movements of the 1960s had their origins in a particular set of intellectual texts – often summarised as Mao, Marx, Marcuse. It traces the history of mass-circulation books in the 1960s and their perceived challenge to the organisation of high culture. I argue that the protest movements of the 1960s first promoted open access to high culture, then attempted to recast the meaning of high culture and developed a critique of commodification. I argue that this transformation did not democratise knowledge as expected, but it did contribute to the desacralisation of high culture and an old regime of elite culture.
Chapter 4 analyses the cultural politics of the protest movements. It traces the way students sought to democratise access to high culture, revise the content of high culture for a new era and abolish the distinction between high and low culture altogether, while also succumbing at times to the temptation of anti-intellectualism. I argue that the cultural drives of the protest movement – democratisation of access, desacralisation and anti-intellectualism – proved contradictory, ultimately leaving unfulfilled the diverse goals of the movement. The period of the late 1960s was marked by both a collapse of the traditional idea of high culture and the inability to find a consensus on what should replace it.
This chapter examines Whitman’s correspondence from a big data perspective, mapping out networks that formed around the poet’s outreach and self-promotion efforts in order to demonstrate how these are echoed in his literary output. Following the poet from the Civil War through Reconstruction to literary fame in old age, “Reading Whitman’s Epistolary Database” sheds new light on key developments in Whitman’s life and writing. Employing a variety of visualization methods and distant reading tools, the authors situate Leaves of Grass within a broader range of writing activity, one in which published poetry and prose are viewed not as separate from epistolary media and communication formats, but intimately tied to them. The chapter aims to be a starting point for a more comprehensive look at Whitman’s textual production, as well as an introduction of this still-underutilized dataset to a wider audience of Whitman scholars and digital humanists.
This chapter thinks about the risks of becoming enchanted by Whitman’s writing. Under crisis neoliberalism, “risk” has become sutured to a phobia of being exposed as naïve; it is often risky to not have some explanatory framework or incisive critique at the ready. Of increasing resonance at this political juncture is what this chapter thinks of in terms of Whitman’s “grammar of risk.” To read Whitman’s poetry now is to feel the jolt of a form that momentarily suspends a language of looking through or beyond what is in front of us. This is not to advocate a “surface reading” that necessarily cancels political depth, but rather to think in terms of a surface consciousness that always imbues a moment of contact with the dignity it might deserve. This is an attitude towards others that continually risks disappointment, but it might also be the only nonviolent way forward we have.
Poor cognitive abilities and low intellectual quotient (IQ) are associated with an increased risk of suicide attempts and suicide mortality. However, knowledge of how this association develops across the life-course is limited. Our study aims to establish whether individuals who died by suicide by mid-adulthood are distinguishable by their child-to-adolescence cognitive trajectories.
Participants were from the 1958 British Birth Cohort and were assessed for academic performance at ages 7, 11, and 16 and intelligence at 11 years. Suicides occurring by September 2012 were identified from linked national death certificates. We compared mean mathematics and reading abilities and rate of change across 7–16 years for individuals who died by suicide v. those still alive, with and without adjustment for potential early-life confounding factors. Analyses were based on 14 505 participants.
Fifty-five participants (48 males) had died by suicide by age 54 years. While males who died by suicide did not differ from participants still alive in reading scores at age 7 [effect size (g) = −0.04, p = 0.759], their reading scores had a less steep improvement up to age 16 compared to other participants. Adjustments for early-life confounding factors explained these differences. A similar pattern was observed for mathematics scores. There was no difference between individuals who died by suicide v. participants still alive on intelligence at 11 years.
While no differences in tests of academic performance and IQ were observed, individuals who died by suicide had a less steep improvement in reading abilities over time compared to same-age peers.
Most previous discussions of Ezra Pound, gender and sexuality have focused on Pound’s poetic depictions of women and his relationships with women artists, patrons and muses. The fascinating biographical stories include such figures as the poet H. D., perhaps Pound’s first love; the pianist and patron Margaret Cravens, who took her life after playing a song Pound and Walter Rummel wrote for her; Pound’s wife, Dorothy (Shakespear) Pound; and his long-time mistress, Olga Rudge, a concert violinist. When critics focus on sexuality and Pound, the result tends to be ‘paranoid’ rather than ‘reparative’ readings, to use Eve Sedgwick’s famous formulation.