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Studies of the Rahab story in Joshua illustrate how, as interpreters, we can read our interests and convictions into a text, allow it no room to protest that it did not have these interests or convictions, and give it no opportunity conversely to question the interests and convictions that we bring to it as interpreters. This raises the question whether we actually want to discover things from texts or whether we simply want to provide illustrations of and support for what we think already.
As literary scholars have become increasingly concerned with the cultural significance of warfare, the concept of revolution has lost much of the authority it has traditionally enjoyed in discussions of aesthetics and politics. This chapter argues that literary studies have much to learn from the accounts of language and violence found in both military and revolutionary discourses. The first part of the chapter focuses on the maverick status of the word “revolution” in post-Enlightenment thought and describes the emergence of a theory of revolutionary language in Marx and his inheritors. The second part concentrates on Clausewitz’s understanding of state violence, asking why his conception of war should prove so attractive to revolutionaries. The final section of the chapter considers whether the attention paid to war and revolution has led to the neglect of a potentially more fundamental form of conflict: civil war. In closing, it is suggested that as nation-states lose their monopoly on large-scale organized violence, literary and cultural studies will have to embrace new paradigms of transnational and subnational strife.
The chapter begins with a section on the Egyptian Marxist Louis Awad’s radical modernist poetic project Plutoland from 1947. The chapter engages Awad’s critical intervention to lay out the transnational roots of Arabic poetry from the premodern period to the twentieth century before moving on to address the intricacies of the Arabic prosodic rules he wanted the modernists to break. In the second section, I give technical details about how I represent poetic meters throughout the rest of the book and explain the science of Arabic prosody. Next, the chapter covers critical approaches to modernist poetry in both Arabic and Persian, paying particular attention to the critics’ positions on the possibility of composing politically committed poetry. I then transition into a long section on the history of literary commitment, its philosophical foundations, and the role it played in Arabic and Persian poetic criticism. In a brief conclusion, I suggest a way out of the debates that took shape around literary commitment and offer further details on my balancing of formalist and contextual analytical approaches to the poetry I read in the later chapters.
The early decades of the twentieth century saw the articulation of new approaches to literature in Iran and the Arab world as Arabic and Persian literary modernisms developed out of the Arab nahḍah “renaissance” and the neoclassical Persian bāzgasht movement of “literary return. Modernist poetry in Arabic and Persian, which emerges in many ways on its own and draws on this other, local history, thus stands outside and against a singular understanding of modernism as a European phenomenon and calls us to consider what it might look like if we situate the center of our modernist map in the Middle East. The introduction deploys a range of recent literary theory on modernism, transnationalism, and modernity in the Arab world and Iran to argue for a re-orientation of our perspective and to treat Middle Eastern modernism on its own terms. By relocating our modernist center to an “Eastern” geography, the chapter argues for a new way of looking at modernist poetic developments within the region and across the border between the Arabic- and Persian-speaking worlds. Considering modernism from this relativist perspective shows how Arabic and Persian poetries form a significant modernist geography within the broader movement of modernism.
The volume will open with a brief introduction to Wallace’s work, including a list of works and a short biography. The introduction will also offer a brief history of Wallace Studies, identifying several waves of critical work that provide a useful critical framework for students and scholars, and providing some direction for further reading that will be picked up in a bibliography at the end of the volume. The introduction will also introduce readers to some of the key themes in Wallace Studies that the following chapters will take up, framing the rest of the volume in a clear and concise manner.
Many people with anxiety do not seek therapy due to negative views of treatment. Although close others (e.g. romantic partners, family members, close friends) are highly involved in treatment decisions, the role of specific relational behaviours in treatment ambivalence has yet to be studied.
This study examines the relationship between social predictors (perceived criticism and accommodation of anxiety symptoms by close others) and treatment ambivalence.
Community members who met diagnostic criteria for an anxiety-related disorder (N = 65) and students who showed high levels of anxiety (N = 307) completed an online study. They were asked to imagine they were considering starting cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for their anxiety and complete a measure of treatment ambivalence accordingly. They then completed measures of perceived criticism and accommodation by close others. Linear regression was used to examine the predictive value of these variables while controlling for sample type (clinical/analogue) and therapy experience.
Greater reactivity to criticism from close others and greater accommodation of anxiety symptoms by close others were associated with greater treatment ambivalence in those with anxiety. These predictors remained significant even when controlling for therapy history and sample type.
When it comes to treatment attitudes, relational context matters. Clients demonstrating ambivalence about starting therapy may benefit from discussion about the impact of their social environment on ambivalence.
Like Johnson himself, the community of his devoted readers is divided in its attitude to the academy. Some Johnsonians are enthusiastic followers of the Great Cham striving to achieve the envied status of Johnsonianissimus without the taint of academic criticism; others are academics first and devotees of Johnson second. These humanistic scholars are often concerned with the text of Johnson, whereas the Johnsonians are concerned with his personality. A contest between these biographers, on the one hand, and those bibliographers, on the other, played itself out in the history of the Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson, twenty-three volumes (1958–2018). The impetus for the edition came largely from Johnsonians, but as time wore on, the academics became gradually more influential, and their approach eventually prevailed. This chapter is a kind of archaeology of the edition and reveals this shift in emphasis over time and a difference between American and British approaches to literary criticism.
Johnson’s Lives of the Poets are a classic not only of literary criticism but of biography as well. Originally intended as brief prefaces in an anthology of fifty-eight poets from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, they increased in scope as Johnson worked on them, and as one commentator has said, they became “a book of wisdom and experience … a commentary on human destiny.” The lives of Milton, Swift, Dryden, and Pope are really books in their own right, and the earlier Life of Savage is a deeply felt account of someone Johnson knew well in his youth. He made good use of such documentary material as he was able to obtain, and for recent poets was able to draw upon his own memory of telling anecdotes. Above all, the Lives explore the range of human achievement, its failures and also its triumphs.
This discussion of “Johnson and the essay” analyzes Johnson’s relationship with the essay – both his own idea of the essay and as compared with others’ practice in the form. After showing that the spirit of the essay is pervasive within Johnson’s writings and not confined to his major periodicals, the argument focuses on the special case of the periodical essay and draws attention to the moral and philosophical pertinence of The Rambler (Johnson’s “pure wine”), taking examples from his serious and comic modes. The account concludes by examining the experience of Johnson’s singular style and the fit between individual essays and the shape and meaning of the succession of papers overall. If Johnson’s essays do not resemble those of Michel de Montaigne in temper or structure, they are, in the case of The Rambler, a single-handed intellectual project of a similar order and a comparable endeavor in the art of self-founding.
Johnson’s stand against prejudice is reflected in the critical and editorial aspects of his “Shakespeare.” His editions contain the distinguished Preface and notes and express Johnson’s dialogue with earlier editions. This chapter considers Johnson on the methods of Pope, Theobald, Hanmer, and Warburton and suggests the collaborative nature of Johnson’s contributions. Defending “the dull duty of an editor,” Johnson concedes the task is impossible, and his later editions display second thoughts, generally favoring conservative readings. Johnson’s notes are varied and clarify meanings through paraphrase, with examples from Measure for Measure and Othello, the latter exemplifying Johnson’s sensitivity to female suffering. The central criterion of Johnson’s criticism – “general nature” – is then addressed. The essay concludes with detailed analysis of the death of Cardinal Beaufort from Henry VI Part 2, a scene heavily marked up by Johnson in his Warburton and described as “scarcely the work of any pen but Shakespeare’s.”
This “guided tour” of the Lives of the Poets explores Johnson’s criteria for poetry, starting from his discussion of the metaphysical poets. What Johnson says about Gray’s Elegy is related to the commemorative impulse in the Lives. The ironic vision of the Life of Savage is argued to underlie that comedic understanding of the complex relation between writing and life that frequently surfaces elsewhere. Four major writers then get special attention, in which literary appreciation and quasi-personal relationship go hand in hand. Johnson’s intensely held ambivalence about Paradise Lost pays reluctant tribute to Milton’s own capaciousness of mind. Swift’s rigor toward himself and others is met by Johnson’s correspondingly acerbic, unforgiving account. Dryden’s roving, fluid, omni-curious intelligence, his hospitality to the occasional and contingent, is matched by the relaxed generosity and miscellaneousness of Johnson’s Life of Dryden, as contrasted with the careful scrutiny afforded to the life and work of the self-aware, self-critical, aspiring Pope.
In the years and decades following the end of the Revolutionary War, dozens of ordinary Americans engaged in different ways the burgeoning genre of memoir writing. In fragments and half-told stories, as well as whole-of-life biographies, ordinary colonists offered a rich and inclusive history of the era. In their varied forms and diverse styles, they were among the earliest group of Americans to try and explain themselves, and often emphasized themes of betrayal, deprivation, divisions, violence, disease, and chaos. In doing so, these writers undermined or complicated more well-known narratives about the Revolutionary era that dominated the mainstream print culture and subsequent histories of the Revolution. In that respect, those who wrote about their Revolutionary era experiences were also engaging in a Revolutionary act. Collectively and over many decades, memoir writers drew on and enriched a new medium of storytelling that ultimately reveals a more complicated founding story of a nation.
Jameson’s writings modelled ethnoexocentrism and cultural exchange and reflected the cross-cultural freedoms and opportunities she enjoyed as a result of her interchange with Germany and Ottilie von Goethe. Her three resulting ‘German’ books advanced feminist agendas in England by way of German models. Visits and Sketches (1834) details the empowerment of Jameson as writer, cultural critic, and intellectual underwritten by solo travels and her commentaries on German women’s literature, art, intellectual exchange, and sociability. Winter Studies and Summer Rambles in Canada (1838) represents Jameson’s fullest command of contemporary German letters, often by way of writers and thinkers such as Rahel, who were underestimated or ignored by English masculine writers on German culture. Her cultural exchange with Ojibwa women including June Schoolcraft and Schoolcraft’s mother, while more limited, built in part upon the ethnoexocentrism she had learned to exercise in Germany. Social Life in Germany represents Jameson’s work as a translator but, more important, her recourse to German models for alternative marriage and divorce practices she tacitly endorsed for Britain. Her subsequent writings, while not focusing so exclusively on Germany, still drew upon the freedoms and opportunities she discovered there.
Central to running an effective team is knowing your own personality, the good parts and the bad. It is reassuring to know that there are no perfect leaders in medicine, just like in any field, no matter how good some leaders think they are. We all have inherent personality traits that can make us more, or less, effective. This chapter helps you examine your strengths that may lead you to be a good leader, as well as your weaknesses, and how to identify both. It dives into the value of 360 evaluations, and how to procure one that will be most informative and helpful. We discuss the benefit of having a coach to help you process your personality traits to maximize your effectiveness. It goes into the available coursework available in leadership development, including suggested readings. It discusses the importance of assessing and continually reassessing your effectiveness as a leader, and how to recalibrate. It concludes with an explanation of how to find and establish your peer group once you’ve achieved a new leadership position.
Edward Said’s lifelong commitment to Romance philology and the discipline of Comparative Literature gave him an unusual and critical angle on the globalization of culture and ideas. This chapter explains that heritage and demonstrates the usefulness and power of that critique.
Blending skills and strategies. Editing techniques. Getting value from a critical reader. Editing in response to notes. Trouble-shooting. Interpreting and addressing the causes of problems.
‘Identifying the problem isn’t the hard part. The hard part is finding the courage, where necessary, to revise radically. People often assume the editing process is about cutting bad writing, but it’s just as important to be prepared to cut good writing that no longer serves the narrative.’
Rabbi Jacob Emden (1697–1779) was an important rabbi and scholar in the area of Hamburg. One of his works, Mitpaḥat Sefarim (“Book Cloth,” Altona, 1768), is a critique of the Zohar (“Book of Splendor”), a canonical Jewish mystical text attributed to the ancient scholar Rabbi Shimon bar Yoḥai (ca. 2nd cent. CE). In Mitpaḥat Sefarim, Emden casts doubt upon the Zohar’s provenance, authorship, and age. This critique has led some to identify Emden with the early beginnings of the Haskalah, the Jewish Enlightenment, as an opponent of mysticism. However, Emden took mystical sources very seriously, both in the spiritual realm, and, as this article shows, even in his writings on religious law. This article examines the perceived contradiction in Emden’s thinking, and proposes a view of Emden as an early modern printer and critic with a unique perspective, rather than a confused precursor of modern ideas.
The prefaces of Cicero’s late dialogues indicate that they share a pedagogic function with the philosophical practices of the Hellenistic Academy. In the first part of this chapter, we give a few examples showing how the late dialogues serve this end, and use them to argue that Cicero’s texts systematically enact, as well as represent, an Academic pedagogical methodology. In the second part of the chapter, we use these results to propose that Cicero’s earlier, “Platonic,” dialogues are equally sophisticated in the modes through which they effect Academic aims concerning philosophical education. As starting points for further inquiry, we indicate a few of the devices the early dialogues employ to prompt the reader to reflect on her job as a philosophical critic.
This chapter provides a select overview of critical responses to Ellison’s two essay collections —Shadow and Act (1964) and Going to the Territory (1986)—since their publication. The essays were important in the evolution of American Studies (through R.W.B. Lewis’s reaction) and the development of Jazz Studies; the jazz essays were excerpted into the volume Living with Music, edited by Robert O’Meally (2001). For critics such as Eric Lott, Hortense J. Spillers, Kenneth Warren, and David Bromwich, the collections expand on thematic concerns regarding art, politics, and race introduced in Invisible Man (1952). These and other critics reflect on the importance of these chapters for thinking about race and literature, identity and culture, laughter, music, and other topics.
Ralph Ellison's reputation as a major American writer has been secured in the past twenty-five years. This period has witnessed a remarkable resurgence in Ellison scholarship, stimulated partly by the availability of previously unpublished materials and the opening of The Ralph Ellison Papers in the Library of Congress. This chapter surveys major events and trends in Ellison studies since his death in 1994.