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Edward Albee, perhaps best known for his acclaimed and infamous 1960s drama Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, is one of America's greatest living playwrights. Now in his seventies, he is still writing challenging, award-winning dramas. This collection of essays on Albee, which includes contributions from the leading commentators on Albee's work, brings fresh critical insights to bear by exploring the full scope of the playwright's career, from his 1959 breakthrough with The Zoo Story to his recent Broadway success, The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? (2002). The contributors include scholars of both theatre and English literature, and the essays thus consider the plays both as literary texts and as performed drama. The collection considers a number of Albee's lesser-known and neglected works, provides a comprehensive introduction and overview, and includes an exclusive, original interview with Mr Albee, on topics spanning his whole career.
The Cambridge Companion to Eighteenth-Century Poetry analyzes major premises, preoccupations, and practices of English poets writing from 1700 to the 1790s. These specially-commissioned essays avoid familiar categories and single-author approaches to look at the century afresh. Chapters consider such large poetic themes as nature, the city, political passions, the relation of death to desire and dreams, appeals to an imagined future, and the meanings of â sensibility'. Other chapters explore historical developments such as the connection between poetic couplets and conversation, the conditions of publication, changing theories of poetry and imagination, growing numbers of women poets and readers, the rise of a self-consciously national tradition, and the place of lyric poetry in thought and practice. The essays are well supported by supplementary material including a chronology of the period and detailed guides to further reading. Altogether the volume provides an invaluable resource for scholars and students.
This volume is the first systematic presentation of the work of Albert Einstein, comprising fourteen essays by leading historians and philosophers of science that introduce readers to his work. Following an introduction that places Einstein's work in the context of his life and times, the book opens with essays on the papers of Einstein's 'miracle year', 1905, covering Brownian motion, light quanta, and special relativity, as well as his contributions to early quantum theory and the opposition to his light quantum hypothesis. Further essays relate Einstein's path to the general theory of relativity (1915) and the beginnings of two fields it spawned, relativistic cosmology and gravitational waves. Essays on Einstein's later years examine his unified field theory program and his critique of quantum mechanics. The closing essays explore the relation between Einstein's work and twentieth-century philosophy, as well as his political writings.
Musicians are always quick to adopt and explore new technologies. The fast-paced changes wrought by electrification, from the microphone via the analogue synthesiser to the laptop computer, have led to a wide diversity of new musical styles and techniques. Electronic music has grown to a broad field of investigation, taking in historical movements such as musique concrte and elektronische musik, and contemporary trends such as electronic dance music and electronica. A fascinating array of composers and inventors have contributed to a diverse set of technologies, practices and music. This book brings together some novel threads through this scene, from the viewpoint of researchers at the forefront of the sonic explorations empowered by electronic technology. The chapters provide accessible and insightful overviews of core topic areas and uncover some hitherto less publicised corners of worldwide movements. Recent areas of intense activity such as audiovisuals, live electronic music, interactivity and network music are actively promoted.
Elizabeth Bishop is increasingly recognized as one of the twentieth century's most important and original poets. Initially celebrated for the minute detail of her descriptions, what John Ashbery memorably called her thinginess, Bishop's reputation has risen dramatically since her death, in part due to the publication of new work, including letters, stories, and visual art, as well as a controversial volume of uncollected poems, drafts, and fragments. This Companion engages with key debates surrounding the interpretation and reception of Bishop's published and unpublished writing in relation to questions of biography, the natural world, and politics. Individual chapters focus on well-known texts such as North & South, Questions of Travel, and Geography III, while offering fresh readings of the significance of Nova Scotia, Massachusetts, and Brazil to Bishop's life and work. With a chronology and guide to further reading, this volume explores the full range of Bishop's artistic achievements and the extent to which the posthumous publications have contributed to her enduring popularity.
In the last few decades Elizabeth Gaskell has become a figure of growing importance in the field of Victorian literary studies. She produced work of great variety and scope in the course of a highly successful writing career that lasted for about twenty years from the mid-1840s to her unexpected death in 1865. The essays in this Companion draw on recent advances in biographical and bibliographical studies of Gaskell and cover the range of her impressive and varied output as a writer of novels, biography, short stories, and letters. The volume, which features well-known scholars in the field of Gaskell studies, focuses throughout on her narrative versatility and her literary responses to the social, cultural, and intellectual transformations of her time. This Companion will be invaluable for students and scholars of Victorian literature, and includes a chronology and guide to further reading.
This volume offers an account of English literary culture in one of its most volatile and politically engaged moments. From the work of Milton and Marvell in the 1650s and 1660s through the brilliant careers of Dryden, Rochester, and Behn, Locke and Astell, Swift and Defoe, Pope and Montagu, the pressures and extremes of social, political, and sexual experience are everywhere reflected in literary texts: in the daring lyrics and intricate political allegories of this age, in the vitriol and bristling topicality of its satires as well as in the imaginative flight of its mock epics, fictions, and heroic verse. The volume's chronologies and select bibliographies will guide the reader through texts and events, while the fourteen essays commissioned for this Companion will allow us to read the period anew.
This 2004 volume offers an introduction to British literature that challenges the traditional divide between eighteenth-century and Romantic studies. Contributors explore the development of literary genres and modes through a period of rapid change. They show how literature was shaped by historical factors including the development of the book trade, the rise of literary criticism and the expansion of commercial society and empire. The first part of the volume focuses on broad themes including taste and aesthetics, national identity and empire, and key cultural trends such as sensibility and the gothic. The second part pays close attention to the work of individual writers including Sterne, Blake, Barbauld and Austen, and to the role of literary schools such as the Lake and Cockney schools. The wide scope of the collection, juxtaposing canonical authors with those now gaining new attention from scholars, makes it essential reading for students of eighteenth-century literature and Romanticism.
English poetry in the first half of the seventeenth century is an outstandingly rich and varied body of verse, which can be understood and appreciated more fully when set in its cultural and ideological context. This student Companion, consisting of fourteen new introductory essays by scholars of international standing, informs and illuminates the poetry by providing close reading of texts and an exploration of their background. There are individual studies of Donne, Jonson, Herrick, Herbert, Carew, Suckling, Lovelace, Milton, Crashaw, Vaughan and Marvell. More general essays describe the political and religious context of the poetry, explore its gender politics, explain the material circumstances of its production and circulation, trace its larger role in the development of genre and tradition, and relate it to contemporary rhetorical expectation. Overall the Companion provides an indispensable guide to the texts and contexts of early-seventeenth-century English poetry.
This volume provides lively and authoritative introductions to twenty-nine of the most important British and Irish poets from Geoffrey Chaucer to Philip Larkin. The list includes, among others, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, Wordsworth, Browning, Yeats and T. S. Eliot, and represents the tradition of English poetry at its best. Each contributor offers a new assessment of a single poet's achievement and importance, with readings of the most important poems. The essays, written by leading experts, are personal responses, written in clear, vivid language, free of academic jargon, and aim to inform, arouse interest, and deepen understanding.
This rich and varied portrait of drama from 1660 to 1714 provides students with essential information about playwrights, staging and genres in their social and political context. The theater that followed the Restoration of Charles II is revealed in all of its tumult, energy and conflict. Contributors pay attention to major and minor playwrights, the first professional female dramatists, the performance aspects of the drama and the main dramatic genres and themes.
This Companion presents both an introduction to the history of the ancient philosophical school of Epicureanism and also a critical account of the major areas of its philosophical interest. Chapters span the school's history from the early Hellenistic Garden to the Roman Empire and its later reception in the Early Modern period, introducing the reader to the Epicureans' contributions in physics, metaphysics, epistemology, psychology, ethics and politics. The international team of contributors includes scholars who have produced innovative and original research in various areas of Epicurean thought and they have produced essays which are accessible and of interest to philosophers, classicists, and anyone concerned with the diversity and preoccupations of Epicurean philosophy and the current state of academic research in this field. The volume emphasises the interrelation of the different areas of the Epicureans' philosophical interests while also drawing attention to points of interpretative difficulty and controversy.
Modernism arose in a period of accelerating globalization in the late nineteenth century. Modernist writers and artists, while often loyal to their country in times of war, aimed to rise above the national and ideological conflicts of the early twentieth century in service to a cosmopolitan ideal. This Companion explores the international aspects of literary modernism by mapping the history of the movement across Europe and within each country. The essays place the various literary traditions within a social and historical context and set out recent critical debates. Particular attention is given to the urban centers in which modernism developed from Dublin to Zurich, Barcelona to Warsaw and to the movements of modernists across national borders. A broad, accessible account of European modernism, this Companion explores what this cosmopolitan movement can teach us about life as a citizen of Europe and of the world.
A lively and comprehensive account of the whole tradition of European fiction for students and teachers of comparative literature, this volume covers twenty-five of the most significant and influential novelists in Europe from Cervantes to Kundera. Each essay examines an author's use of, and contributions to the genre, and also engages in an important aspect of the form, such as its relation to romance or one of its sub-genres, such as the Bildungsroman. Larger theoretical questions are introduced through specific readings of exemplary novels. Taking a broad historical and geographic view, the essays keep in mind the role the novel itself has played in the development of European national identities and in cultural history over the last four centuries. While conveying essential introductory information for new readers, these authoritative essays reflect up-to-date scholarship and also review, and sometimes challenge, conventional accounts.
Evangelicalism, a vibrant and growing expression of historic Christian orthodoxy, is already one of the largest and most geographically diverse global religious movements. This Companion offers an up-to-date articulation of evangelical theology that is both faithful to historic evangelical convictions and in dialogue with contemporary intellectual contexts and concerns. In addition to original and creative essays on central Christian doctrines such as Christ, the Trinity, and Justification, it breaks new ground by offering evangelical reflections on issues such as gender, race, culture, and world religions. This volume also moves beyond the confines of Anglo-American perspectives to offer separate essays exploring evangelical theology in African, Asian, and Latin American contexts. The contributors to this volume form an unrivalled list of many of today's most eminent evangelical theologians and important emerging voices.
Existentialism exerts a continuing fascination on students of philosophy and general readers. As a philosophical phenomenon, though, it is often poorly understood, as a form of radical subjectivism that turns its back on reason and argumentation and possesses all the liabilities of philosophical idealism but without any idealistic conceptual clarity. In this volume of original essays, the first to be devoted exclusively to existentialism in over forty years, a team of distinguished commentators discuss the ideas of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty and Beauvoir and show how their focus on existence provides a compelling perspective on contemporary issues in moral psychology and philosophy of mind, language and history. A further sequence of chapters examines the influence of existential ideas beyond philosophy, in literature, religion, politics and psychiatry. The volume offers a rich and comprehensive assessment of the continuing vitality of existentialism as a philosophical movement and a cultural phenomenon.
This Companion contains fifteen chapters by leading international scholars, who together reflect diverse but complementary approaches to the study of Ezra Pound's poetry and prose. They consider the poetics, foreign influences, economics, politics and publication history of Pound's entire corpus, and reveal his importance in developing some of the key movements in twentieth-century poetry. The book also situates Pound's work in the context of Modernism, illustrating his influence on contemporaries like T. S. Eliot and James Joyce. Taken together, the chapters offer a sustained examination of one of the most versatile, influential and certainly controversial poets of the modern period.
Fairy tales have never known geographical, disciplinary or cultural borders. In many ways, they provide a model for thinking about storytelling on a transnational level long before comparative literature began transforming itself into world literature. As the simple expression of complex thought, fairy tales have increasingly become the focus of intense scholarly inquiry. In this Companion, international scholars from a range of academic disciplines explore the historical origins, cultural dissemination and psychological power of fairy stories, and offer model interpretations of tales from a variety of traditions and sources, including Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm and the One Thousand and One Nights. Rather than disenchanting the stories, the essays in this volume broaden our understanding of them and deepen our appreciation of the cultural work they do. A chronology and guide to further reading contribute to the usefulness of the volume for students and scholars.
Fantasy is a creation of the Enlightenment and the recognition that excitement and wonder can be found in imagining impossible things. From the ghost stories of the Gothic to the zombies and vampires of twenty-first-century popular literature, from Mrs Radcliffe to Ms Rowling, the fantastic has been popular with readers. Since Tolkien and his many imitators, however, it has become a major publishing phenomenon. In this volume, critics and authors of fantasy look at the history of fantasy since the Enlightenment, introduce readers to some of the different codes for the reading and understanding of fantasy and examine some of the many varieties and subgenres of fantasy; from magical realism at the more literary end of the genre, to paranormal romance at the more popular end. The book is edited by the same pair who edited The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction (winner of a Hugo Award in 2005).
Feminism has dramatically influenced the way literary texts are read, taught and evaluated. Feminist literary theory has deliberately transgressed traditional boundaries between literature, philosophy and the social sciences in order to understand how gender has been constructed and represented through language. This lively and thought-provoking Companion presents a range of approaches to the field. Some of the essays demonstrate feminist critical principles at work in analysing texts, while others take a step back to trace the development of a particular feminist literary method. The essays draw on a range of primary material from the medieval period to postmodernism and from several countries, disciplines and genres. Each essay suggests further reading to explore this field further. This is the most accessible guide available both for students of literature new to this developing field, and for students of gender studies and readers interested in the interactions of feminism, literary criticism and literature.
This book is a critical guide to the scholarly exploration of feminist theology. It describes the main features of this modern theological development and examines its major concerns and questions. It presents comprehensive and critical analyses of the essential matters of Christian doctrine written by contributors knowledgeable in feminist theology. The book presents a challenge for future scholarship, since it critically engages with the assumptions of feminist theology, and seeks to open ways for women after feminism to enter into the vocation of theology.
This volume brings together a series of essays by acknowledged experts on Flaubert. It offers a coherent overview of the writer's work and critical legacy, and provides insights into the very latest scholarly thinking. While a central place is given to Flaubert's most widely read texts, attention is also paid to key areas of the corpus that have tended to be overlooked. Close textual analyses are accompanied by discussion of broader theoretical issues, and by a consideration of Flaubert's place in the wider traditions that he both inherited and influenced. These essays provide not only a robust critical framework for readers of Flaubert, but also a fuller understanding of why he continues to exert such a powerful influence on literature and literary studies today. A concluding essay by the prize-winning author Mario Vargas Llosa examines Flaubert's legacy from the point of view of the modern novelist.
Francis of Assisi (1181/82-1226) was one of the most vibrant and colourful personalities in the Middle Ages. The life of this remarkable reformer of the medieval Church was celebrated in art, drama, poetry, music, the new vernacular literature and architecture. His ideal was to enter into a restorative and enriching relationship with Jesus Christ, whom he wished to imitate in the most perfect manner, a direct and immediate goal which captured the contemporary imagination. This Companion explores the life of Francis of Assisi and his enduring legacy throughout the centuries. The first part concentrates on his life and works whilst the second explores the way in which his heritage influenced the apostolic activities of his followers in the century following his death. This book is a must-read for students and scholars of Church history, as well as medieval social and intellectual history.
Frederick Douglass was born a slave and lived to become a best-selling author and a leading figure of the abolitionist movement. A powerful orator and writer, Douglass provided a unique voice advocating human rights and freedom across the nineteenth century, and remains an important figure in the fight against racial injustice. This Companion, designed for students of American history and literature, includes essays from prominent scholars working in a range of disciplines. Key topics in Douglass studies - his abolitionist work, oratory, and autobiographical writings - are covered in depth, and new perspectives on religion, jurisprudence, the Civil War, romanticism, sentimentality, the Black press, and transatlanticism are offered. Accessible in style, and representing new approaches in literary and African-American studies, this book is both a lucid introduction and a contribution to existing scholarship.
Each volume of this series of companions to major philosophers contains specially commissioned essays by an international team to scholars together with a substantial bibliography, and will serve as a reference work for students and non-specialists. One aim of the series is to dispel the intimidation such readers often feel when faced with the work of a difficult and challenging thinker.
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