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This collection of fifteen essays offers both student and theatergoer a guide to the stage plays, novel, and screenplays of one of the most celebrated British dramatists since Noel Coward. Readers will find that the general and accessible description and analyses in these essays makes the large body of Stoppard's writing clear and approachable while preserving its rich humor. This is the first collection of essays to appear in many years addressing all of Stoppard's major work. It provides insights into the recent plays, Arcadia and Invention of Love, as well as the first extended examination of his work for screen, including a discussion of his co-authored, academy award-winning screenplay Shakespeare in Love. Photographs from key productions, a biography and chronology complete the volume and prepare the reader for future work by this extraordinary writer.
Nobel laureate Toni Morrison is one of the most widely studied of contemporary American authors. Her novels, particularly Beloved, have had a dramatic impact on the American canon and attracted considerable critical commentary. This 2007 Companion introduces and examines her oeuvre as a whole, the first evaluation to include not only her famous novels, but also her other literary works (short story, drama, musical, and opera), her social and literary criticism, and her career as an editor and teacher. Innovative contributions from internationally recognized critics and academics discuss Morrison's themes, narrative techniques, language and political philosophy, and explain the importance of her work to American studies and world literature. This comprehensive and accessible approach, together with a chronology and guide to further reading, makes this an essential book for students and scholars of African American literature.
The Cambridge Companion to Travel Writing brings together specialists from Anthropology, History, Literary and Cultural Studies to offer a broad and vibrant introduction to travel writing in English between 1500 and the present. This comprehensive introduction to the subject features specially commissioned contributions, including six essays surveying the period's travel writing; a further six focusing on geographical areas of particular interest - Arabia, the Amazon, Tahiti, Ireland, Calcutta, the Congo and California; and three final chapters analysing some of the theoretical and cultural dimensions to this enigmatic and influential genre of writing. Several invaluable tools are also provided, including an extensive list of further reading, and a detailed five-hundred year chronology listing important events and publications. This volume will be of interest to teachers and students alike.
The last century was characterised by an extraordinary flowering of the art of poetry in Britain. These specially commissioned essays by some of the most highly regarded poetry critics offer a stimulating and reliable overview of English poetry of the twentieth century. The opening section on contexts will both orientate readers relatively new to the field and provide provocative syntheses for those already familiar with it. Following the terms introduced by this section, individual chapters cover many ways of looking at the 'modern', the 'modernist' and the 'postmodern'. The core of the volume is made up of extensive discussions of individual poets, from W. B. Yeats and W. H. Auden to contemporary poets such as Simon Armitage and Carol Ann Duffy. In its coverage of the development, themes and contexts of modern poetry, this Companion is the most useful guide available for students, lecturers and readers.
In Russian history, the twentieth century was an era of unprecedented, radical transformations - changes in social systems, political regimes, and economic structures. A number of distinctive literary schools emerged, each with their own voice, specific artistic character, and ideological background. As a single-volume compendium, the Companion provides a new perspective on Russian literary and cultural development, as it unifies both migr literature and literature written in Russia. This volume concentrates on broad, complex, and diverse sources - from symbolism and revolutionary avant-garde writings to Stalinist, post-Stalinist, and post-Soviet prose, poetry, drama, and migr literature, with forays into film, theatre, and literary policies, institutions and theories. The contributors present recent scholarship on historical and cultural contexts of twentieth-century literary development, and situate the most influential individual authors within these contexts, including Boris Pasternak, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Joseph Brodsky, Osip Mandelstam, Mikhail Bulgakov and Anna Akhmatova.
Few books in the English language seem to demand a companion more insistently than James Joyce's Ulysses, a work that at once entices and terrifies readers with its interwoven promises of pleasure, scandal, difficulty and mastery. This volume offers fourteen concise and accessible essays by accomplished scholars that explore this masterpiece of world literature. Several essays examine specific aspects of Ulysses, ranging from its plot and characters to the questions it raises about the strangeness of the world and the density of human cultures. Others address how Joyce created this novel, why it became famous and how it continues to shape both popular and literary culture. Like any good companion, this volume invites the reader to engage in an ongoing conversation about the novel and its lasting ability to entice, rankle, absorb, and enthrall.
Since the publication of Thomas More's genre-defining work Utopia in 1516, the field of utopian literature has evolved into an ever-expanding domain. This Companion presents an extensive historical survey of the development of utopianism, from the publication of Utopia to today's dark and despairing tendency towards dystopian pessimism, epitomised by works such as George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. Chapters address the difficult definition of the concept of utopia, and consider its relation to science fiction and other literary genres. The volume takes an innovative approach to the major themes predominating within the utopian and dystopian literary tradition, including feminism, romance and ecology, and explores in detail the vexed question of the purportedly 'western' nature of the concept of utopia. The reader is provided with a balanced overview of the evolution and current state of a long-standing, rich tradition of historical, political and literary scholarship.
This 2004 Companion provides a biographical, theatrical and social-cultural background for Verdi's music, examines in detail important general aspects of its style and method of composing, and synthesizes stylistic themes in discussions of representative works. Aspects of Verdi's milieu, style, creative process and critical reception are explored in essays by highly reputed specialists. Individual chapters address themes in Verdi's life, his role in transforming the theater business, and his relationship to Italian Romanticism and the Risorgimento. Chapters on four operas representative of the different stages of Verdi's career, Ernani, Rigoletto, Don Carlos and Otello synthesize analytical themes introduced in the more general chapters and illustrate the richness of Verdi's creativity. The Companion also includes chapters on Verdi's non-operatic songs and other music, his creative process, and scholarly writing about Verdi from the nineteenth-century to the present day.
This Companion to Victorian Poetry provides an introduction to many of the pressing issues that absorbed the attention of poets from the 1830s to the 1890s. It introduces readers to a range of topics - including historicism, patriotism, prosody, and religious belief. The thirteen specially-commissioned chapters offer insights into the works of well-known figures such as Matthew Arnold, Robert Browning and Alfred Tennyson, and the writings of women poets - like Michael Field, Amy Levy and Augusta Webster - whose contribution to Victorian culture has in more recent years been acknowledged by modern scholars. Revealing the breadth of the Victorians' experiments with poetic form, this Companion also discloses the extent to which their writings addressed the prominent intellectual and social questions of the day. The volume, which will be of interest to scholars and students alike, features a detailed chronology of the Victorian period and a comprehensive guide to further reading.
Virgil became a school author in his own lifetime and the centre of the Western canon for the next 1800 years, exerting a major influence on European literature, art, and politics. This Companion is designed as an indispensable guide for anyone seeking a fuller understanding of an author critical to so many disciplines. It consists of essays by seventeen scholars from Britain, the USA, Ireland and Italy which offer a range of different perspectives both traditional and innovative on Virgil's works, and a renewed sense of why Virgil matters today. The Companion is divided into four main sections, focussing on reception, genre, context, and form. This ground-breaking book not only provides a wealth of material for an informed reading but also offers fresh and sophisticated insights which point to the shape of Virgilian scholarship and criticism to come.
Virginia Woolf is now hailed as one of the greatest, most innovative writers of our age. This landmark collection of essays by leading scholars in the field addresses the full range of her intellectual perspectives - literary, artistic, philosophical and political. The Cambridge Companion to Virginia Woolf provides original, new readings of all nine novels and fresh insight into Woolf's letters, diaries and essays allowing easy reference to individual themes and texts. The progress of Woolf's thinking is revealed from Bloomsbury aestheticism through her hatred of censorship, corruption and hierarchy to her concern with all aspects of modernism. The volume reflects the changing face of Woolf scholarship especially in the light of new feminist approaches, and explores the immense range of social and political issues behind her ongoing search for new narrative forms.
Virtue ethics has emerged from a rich history, in which both Aristotle and Aquinas have played an important role, to become one of the fastest-growing fields in contemporary ethics. In this volume of newly commissioned essays, leading moral philosophers offer a comprehensive overview of virtue ethics. They examine the theoretical structure of virtue ethics and its place in contemporary moral theory and other topics discussed include the history of virtue-based approaches to ethics, what makes these approaches distinctive, what they can say about specific practical issues and where we can expect them to go in the future. This Companion will be useful to students of virtue ethics and the history of ethics and to others who want to understand how virtue ethics is changing the face of contemporary moral philosophy.
As a leading thinker of the European Enlightenment, Voltaire is a central figure in France's collective cultural memory. The popularity of Candide has made him perhaps best known as a writer of tales. Yet these represent only a fraction of his entire oeuvre. Voltaire created a style of authorship which made him the most famous writer in Europe and turned his name into a brand for a certain style of writing and thinking. This Companion covers his plays, fiction, pamphlets, correspondence, biblical criticism, and historical, political and philosophical thought, to give a wide-ranging view of his writings. The most comprehensive book on Voltaire available in English, it makes accessible the most recent research in France as well as the English-speaking world, in a series of original essays and a guide to sources. The essays demonstrate why Voltaire remains an essential point of reference in defining the modern intellectual today.
This accessible and thought-provoking Companion is designed to help students experience the pleasures and challenges offered by one of the twentieth century's greatest poets. A team of international contributors examine Yeats's poetry, drama and prose in their historical and national contexts. The essays explain and synthesise major aspects and themes of his life and work: his lifelong engagement with Ireland, his complicated relationship to the English literary tradition, his literary, social, and political criticism and the evolution of his complex spiritual and religious sense. First-time readers of Yeats as well as more advanced scholars will welcome this comprehensive account of Yeats's career with its useful chronological outline and survey of the most important trends in Yeats scholarship. Taken as a whole, this Companion comprises an essential introduction for students and teachers of Yeats.
This volume brings together specially commissioned essays by some of the world's leading experts on the life and work of W. H. Auden, one of the major English-speaking poets of the twentieth century. The volume's contributors include a prize-winning poet, Auden's literary executor and editor, and his most recent, widely acclaimed biographer. It offers fresh perspectives on his work from Auden critics, alongside specialists from such diverse fields as drama, ecological and travel studies. It provides scholars, students and general readers with a comprehensive and authoritative account of Auden's life and works in clear and accessible English. Besides providing authoritative accounts of the key moments and dominant themes of his poetic development, the Companion examines his language, style and formal innovation, his prose and critical writing and his ideas about sexuality, religion, psychoanalysis, politics, landscape, ecology, and globalisation. It also contains a comprehensive bibliography of writings about Auden.
Richard Wagner is remembered as one of the most influential figures in music and theatre, but his place in history has been marked by a considerable amount of controversy. His attitudes towards the Jews and the appropriation of his operas by the Nazis, for example, have helped to construct a historical persona that sits uncomfortably with modern sensibilities. Yet Wagner's absolutely central position in the operatic canon continues. This volume serves as a timely reminder of his ongoing musical, cultural, and political impact. Contributions by specialists from such varied fields as musical history, German literature and cultural studies, opera production, and political science consider a range of topics, from trends and problems in the history of stage production to the representations of gender and sexuality. With the inclusion of invaluable and reliably up-to-date biographical data, this collection will be of great interest to scholars, students, and enthusiasts.
Wallace Stevens is a major American poet and a central figure in modernist studies and twentieth-century poetry. This Companion introduces students to his work. An international team of distinguished contributors presents a unified picture of Stevens' poetic achievement. The Introduction explains why Stevens is among the world's great poets and offers specific guidance on how to read and appreciate his poetry. A brief biographical sketch anchors Stevens in the real world and illuminates important personal and intellectual influences. The essays following chart Stevens' poetic career and his affinities with both earlier and contemporary writers, artists, and philosophers. Other essays introduce students to the peculiarity and distinctiveness of Stevens' voice and style. They explain prominent themes in his work and explore the nuances of his aesthetic theory. With a detailed chronology and a guide to further reading, this Companion provides all the information a student or scholar of Stevens will need.
War writing is an ancient genre that continues to be of vital importance. Times of crisis push literature to its limits, requiring writers to exploit their expressive resources to the maximum in response to extreme events. This 2009 Companion focuses on British and American war writing, from Beowulf and Shakespeare to bloggers on the 'War on Terror'. Thirteen period-based chapters are complemented by five thematic chapters and two chapters charting influences. This uniquely wide range facilitates both local and comparative study. Each chapter is written by an expert in the field and includes suggestions for further reading. A chronology illustrates how key texts relate to major conflicts. The Companion also explores the latest theoretical thinking on war representation to give access to this developing area and to suggest new directions for research. In addition to students of literature, the volume will interest those working in war studies, history, and cultural studies.
Max Weber is indubitably one of the very greatest figures in the history of the social sciences, the source of seminal concepts like 'the Protestant Ethic', 'charisma' and the idea of historical processes of 'rationalization'. But, like his great forebears Adam Smith and Karl Marx, Weber's work always resists easy categorisation. Prominent as a founding father of sociology, Weber has been a major influence in the study of ancient history, religion, economics, law and, more recently, cultural studies. This Cambridge Companion provides an authoritative introduction to the major facets of his thought, including several (like industrial psychology) which have hitherto been neglected. A distinguished international team of contributors examines some of the major controversies that have erupted over Weber's specialized work, and shows how the issues have developed since he wrote. The articles demonstrate Weber's impact on a variety of research areas.
Wilkie Collins was one of the most popular writers of the nineteenth century. He is best known for The Woman in White, which inaugurated the sensation novel in the 1860s, and The Moonstone, one of the first detective novels; but he wrote over 20 novels, plays and short stories during a career that spanned four decades. This Companion offers a fascinating overview of Collins's writing. In a wide range of essays by leading scholars, it traces the development of his career, his position as a writer and his complex relation to contemporary cultural movements and debates. Collins's exploration of the tensions which lay beneath Victorian society is analysed through a variety of critical approaches. A chronology and guide to further reading are provided, making this book an indispensable guide for all those interested in Wilkie Collins and his work.
Poet, painter, and engraver William Blake died in 1827 in obscure poverty with few admirers. The attention paid today to his remarkable poems, prints, and paintings would have astonished his contemporaries. Admired for his defiant, uncompromising creativity, he has become one of the most anthologized and studied writers in English and one of the most studied and collected British artists. His urge to cast words and images into masterpieces of revelation has left us with complex, forceful, extravagant, some times bizarre works of written and visual art that rank among the greatest challenges to plain understanding ever created. This Companion aims to provide guidance to Blake's work in fresh and readable introductions: biographical, literary, art historical, political, religious, and bibliographical. Together with a chronology, guides to further reading, and glossary of terms, they identify the key points of departure into Blake's multifarious world and work.
William James (1842-1910) was both a philosopher and a psychologist, nowadays most closely associated with the pragmatic theory of truth. The essays in this Companion deal with the full range of his thought, including technical philosophical issues, religious speculation, moral philosophy and political controversies of his time. New readers and nonspecialists will find this the most convenient and accessible guide to James currently available. Advanced students and specialists will find a conspectus of recent developments in the interpretation of James.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889â "1951) is one of the most important, influential, and often-cited philosophers of the twentieth century, yet he remains one of its most elusive and least accessible. The essays in this volume address central themes in Wittgenstein's writings on the philosophy of mind, language, logic, and mathematics. They chart the development of his work and clarify the connections between its different stages. The contributors illuminate the character of the whole body of work by keeping a tight focus on some key topics: the style of the philosophy, the conception of grammar contained in it, rule-following, convention, logical necessity, the self, and what Wittgenstein called, in a famous phrase, â forms of life'.
Women writers played a central role in the literature and culture of eighteenth-century Britain. Featuring essays on female writers and genres by leading scholars in the field, this Companion introduces readers to the range, significance and complexity of women's writing across multiple genres in Britain between 1660 and 1789. Divided into two parts, the Companion first discusses women's participation in print culture, featuring essays on topics such as women and popular culture, women as professional writers, women as readers and writers, and place and publication. Additionally, part one explores the ways women writers crossed generic boundaries. The second part contains chapters on many of the key genres in which women wrote including poetry, drama, fiction (early and later), history, the ballad, periodicals, and travel writing. The Companion also provides an introduction surveying the state of the field, an integrated chronology, and a guide to further reading.
The Romantic period saw the first generations of professional women writers flourish in Great Britain. Literary history is only now giving them the attention they deserve, for the quality of their writings and for their popularity in their own time. This collection of new essays by leading scholars explores the challenges and achievements of this fascinating set of women writers, including Jane Austen, Mary Wollstonecraft, Ann Radcliffe, Hannah More, Maria Edgeworth, and Mary Shelley alongside many lesser-known female authors writing and publishing during this period. Chapters consider major literary genres, including poetry, fiction, drama, travel writing, histories, essays, and political writing, as well as topics such as globalization, colonialism, feminism, economics, families, sexualities, aging, and war. The volume shows how gender intersected with other aspects of identity and with cultural concerns that then shaped the work of authors, critics, and readers.
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