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The Accidental Pallbearer

by Frank Lentricchia

Introducing a gritty new detective series set in the bleak hinterlands of upstate new YorkWashed-up private investigator Eliot Conte would rather be teaching American literature and listening to opera than taking pictures of spouses in flagrante delicto. But he flamed out of an academic career when he hung the Provost of UCLA out a window, and he had to come home --- to bleak Utica, New York, where his aging father, Silvio Conte, a political kingmaker, is still cutting deals and hustling appointments, and his all-but-in-blood brother Antonio Robinson is the city's first black Chief of Police.But now Antonio's asking him for a favor that, to Eliot, doesn't seem like the kind of thing a police chief should ask for ... especially as he begins to uncover a trail of evidence leading back to the most sensational hit in local Mafia history. In a Utica marked by economic devastation and racial tensions, Eliot picks up one strand after another, weaving his way through a web of allegiances, grudges, and his own dark demons. Who is the spider at the center of it all?From the Trade Paperback edition.

Critical Terms for Literary Study (2nd edition)

by Frank Lentricchia Thomas Mclaughlin

An expanded introduction to the work of literary theory covering the concepts that shape the way we read, with 28 essays written by a plethora of distinguished scholars.

Dissent from the Homeland: Essays After September 11

by Frank Lentricchia Stanley Hauerwas

Dissent from the Homeland is a book about patriotism, justice, revenge, American history and symbology, art and terror, and pacifism. In this deliberately and urgently provocative collection, noted writers, philosophers, literary critics, and theologians speak out against the war on terrorism and the government of George W. Bush as a response to the events of September 11, 2001. Critiquing government policy, citizen apathy, and societal justifications following the attacks, these writers present a wide range of opinions on such issues as contemporary American foreign policy and displays of patriotism in the wake of the disaster. Whether illuminating the narratives that have been used to legitimate the war on terror, reflecting on the power of American consumer culture to transform the attack sites into patriotic tourist attractions, or insisting that to be a Christian is to be a pacifist, these essays refuse easy answers. They consider why the Middle East harbors a deep-seated hatred for the United States. They argue that the U. S. drive to win the cold war made the nation more like its enemies, leading the government to support ruthless anti-Communist tyrants such as Mobutu, Suharto, and Pinochet. They urge Americans away from the pitfall of national self-righteousness toward an active peaceableness--an alert, informed, practiced state of being--deeply contrary to both passivity and war. Above all, the essays assembled in Dissent from the Homeland are a powerful entreaty for thought, analysis, and understanding. Originally published as a special issue of the journal South Atlantic Quarterly, Dissent from the Homeland has been expanded to include new essays as well as a new introduction and postscript. from Dissent from the Homeland: "An economy based on waste is inherently and hopelessly violent, and war is its inevitable by-product. We need a peaceable economy. "--Wendell Berry, conservationist, farmer, essayist, novelist, and poet "'God Bless America' is not a hymn any Christian can or should sing. At least it is not a hymn any Christian can or should sing unless it is understood that God's blessing incurs God's judgement. "--Stanley Hauerwas "The hardest thing in the world is to know how to act so as to make the difference that can be made; to know how and why that differs from the act that only releases or expresses the basic impotence of resentment. "--Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury "[I]t is instructive to step away for a moment and to deny that it is natural and self-explanatory for masses of people to be devastated by catastrophe in which they have lost no one they know, in a place with which they have no particular connections. Is nationality really such a natural function of human or even social being? . . . [I]s pity or sympathy really so innate a feature of the human constitution?"--Fredric Jameson "America is threatened by the most powerful enemy in its history, the administration of George W. Bush. "--Frank Lentricchia Contributors. Srinivas Aravamudan, Michael J. Baxter, Jean Baudrillard, Robert N. Bellah, Daniel Berrigan, Wendell Berry, Vincent J. Cornell, David James Duncan, Stanley Hauerwas, Fredric Jameson, Frank Lentricchia, Catherine Lutz, Jody McAuliffe, John Milbank, Peter Ochs, Donald E. Pease, Anne R. Slifkin, Rowan Williams, Susan Willis, Slavoj Zizek

Lucchesi and the Whale

by Frank Lentricchia

Lucchesi and The Whale is an unusual work of fiction by noted author and critic Frank Lentricchia. Its central character, Thomas Lucchesi Jr. , is a college professor in the American heartland whose obsessions and compulsions include traveling to visit friends in their last moments of life--because grief alone inspires him to write--and searching for secret meaning in Herman Melville's Moby-Dick. Himself a writer of "stories full of violence in a poetic style," Lucchesi tells his students that he teaches "only because [his] fiction is commercially untouchable" and to "never forget that. " Austerely isolated, anxiety-ridden, and relentlessly self-involved, Lucchesi nonetheless cannot completely squelch his eagerness for love. Having become "a mad Ahab of reading," who is driven to dissect the "artificial body of Melville's behemothian book" to grasp its truth, Lucchesi allows his thoughts to wander and loop from theory to dream to reality to questionable memory. But his black humor-tinged musings are often as profoundly moving as they are intellectual, such as the section in which he ponders the life and philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein in relation to the significance of a name--and then attempts to share these thoughts with a sexy, middle-aged flight attendant--or another in which he describes a chance meeting with a similarly-named mafia don. Despite apparent spiritual emptiness, Lucchesi in the end does find "a secret meaning" to Moby-Dick. And Lentricchia's creations--both Lucchesi and The Whale and its main character--reveal this meaning through a series of ingeniously self-reflective metaphors, in much the way that Melville himself did in and through Moby-Dick. Vivid, humorous, and of unparalleled originality, this new work from Frank Lentricchia will inspire and console all who love and ponder both great literature and those who would write it.

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