In this lively and provocative book, cultural critic Marjorie Garber, who has written on topics as different as Shakespeare, dogs, cross-dressing, and real estate, explores the pleasures and pitfalls of the academic life. Academic Instincts discusses three of the perennial issues that have surfaced in recent debates about the humanities: the relation between "amateurs" and "professionals," the relation between one academic discipline and another, and the relation between "jargon" and "plain language." Rather than merely taking sides, the book explores the ways in which such debates are essential to intellectual life. Garber argues that the very things deplored or defended in discussions of the humanities cannot be either eliminated or endorsed because the discussion itself is what gives humanistic thought its vitality.Written in spirited and vivid prose, and full of telling detail drawn both from the history of scholarship and from the daily press, Academic Instincts is a book by a well-known Shakespeare scholar and prize-winning teacher who offers analysis rather than polemic to explain why today's teachers and scholars are at once breaking new ground and treading familiar paths. It opens the door to an important nationwide and worldwide conversation about the reorganization of knowledge and the categories in and through which we teach the humanities. And it does so in a spirit both generous and optimistic about the present and the future of these disciplines.
Sex and Real Estateis a witty, informative, and thought-provoking study of our complex relation to the ideas and actualities of house and home. With vast erudition lightly carried, Marjorie Garber -- professor of English and director of the Humanities Center at Harvard University -- ranges through literature, art, film, journalism, criticism, and the hard evidence of everyday experience, and gives us an acute analysis of the ways in which we think about the places we hang our hats. She discusses the House as Beloved ("Your house is the other person in your life," declares an architectural designer. ), as Mother ("The house, we would like to think, loves us. "), as Body ("both an ancient figure and a persistent desire"). She writes about the Dream House, the Trophy House ("We could call the purchasers of celebrity homes 'house-groupies. '"), the House as History, and the Summer House ("When you're seventeen, you dream of a summer romance. When you're forty-seven, you dream of a summer home. "). Each chapter is a superb, individually constructed essay. Taken together, they add up to an enlightening and challenging exploration of one of the most familiar -- but also most emotionally charged -- elements of our lives.
In this text for scholars and general readers, Garber (English, Harvard U. ) considers the language, characters, and themes in the plays of William Shakespeare. Individual readings examine each of the 38 plays in chronological sequence, allowing the reader to trace Shakespeare's development as a writer and creator of dramatic scenarios. The volume also includes listings of film adaptations, an extensive bibliography, and background information on Shakespeare's life and times. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
From one of the world's premier Shakespeare scholars, author ofShakespeare After All("the indispensable introduction to the indispensable writer"-Newsweek): a magisterial new study whose premise is "that Shakespeare makes modern culture and that modern culture makes Shakespeare. " Shakespeare has determined many of the ideas that we think of as "naturally" our own and even as "naturally" true-ideas about human character, individuality and selfhood, government, leadership, love and jealousy, men and women, youth and age. Yet many of these ideas, timely as ever, have been reimagined-are indeed often now first encountered-not only in modern fiction, theater, film, and the news but also in the literature of psychology, sociology, political theory, business, medicine, and law. Marjorie Garber delves into ten plays to explore the interrelationships between Shakespeare and twentieth century and contemporary culture-from James Joyce'sUlyssesto George W. Bush's reading list. InThe Merchant of Venice,she looks at the question of intention; inHamlet, the matter of character; inKing Lear,the dream of sublimity; inOthello,the persistence of difference; and inMacbeth,the necessity of interpretation. She discusses the conundrum of man inThe Tempest; the quest for exemplarity inHenry V; the problem of fact inRichard III; the estrangement of self inCoriolanus; and the untimeliness of youth inRomeo and Juliet. Shakespeare and Modern Culture is a tour de force reimagining of our own mental and emotional landscape as refracted through the prism of protean "Shakespeare. " From the Hardcover edition.
Unraveling the Legend and History of Shakespeare's Mysterious Portrait -- is the newly-discovered portrait really Shakespeare?
As defining as Christopher Lasch's The Culture of Narcissism, Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind, and Dinesh D'Souza's Illiberal Education were to the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, respectively, Marjorie Garber's The Use and Abuse of Literature is to our times. Even as the decline of the reading of literature, as argued by the National Endowment for the Arts, proceeds in our culture, Garber ("One of the most powerful women in the academic world"--The New York Times) gives us a deep and engaging meditation on the usefulness and uselessness of literature in the digital age. What is literature, anyway? How has it been understood over time, and what is its relevance for us today? Who are its gatekeepers? Is its canonicity fixed? Why has literature been on the defensive since Plato? Does it have any use at all, or does it merely serve as an aristocratic or bourgeois accoutrement attesting to worldly sophistication and refinement of spirit? Is it, as most of us assume, good to read literature, much less study it--and what does either mean? The Use and Abuse of Literature is a tour de force about our culture in crisis that is extraordinary for its brio, panache, and erudition (and appreciation of popular culture) lightly carried. Garber's winning aim is to reclaim literature from the margins of our personal, educational, and professional lives and restore it to the center, as a fierce, radical way of thinking.From the Hardcover edition.
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