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This pioneering book introduces students to the practice and art of creative writing and creative reading. It offers a fresh, distinctive and beautifully written synthesis of the discipline. David Morley discusses where creative writing comes from, the various forms and camouflages it has taken, and why we teach and learn the arts of fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction. He looks at creative writing in performance; as public art, as visual art, as e-literature and as an act of community. As a leading poet, critic and award-winning teacher of the subject, Morley finds new engagements for creative writing in the creative academy and within science. Accessible, entertaining and groundbreaking, The Cambridge Introduction to Creative Writing is not only a useful textbook for students and teachers of writing, but also an inspiring read in its own right. Aspiring authors and teachers of writing will find much to discover and enjoy.
This book provides a clear and helpful overview of the thought of Emmanuel Levinas, one of the most significant and interesting philosophers of the late twentieth century. Michael L. Morgan presents an overall interpretation of Levinas's central principle that human existence is fundamentally ethical and that its ethical character is grounded in our face-to-face relationships. He explores the religious, cultural and political implications of this insight for modern Western culture and how it relates to our conception of selfhood and what it is to be a person, our understanding of the ground of moral values, our experience of time and the meaning of history, and our experience of religious concepts and discourse. Includes an annotated list of recommended readings and a selected bibliography of books by and about Levinas. An excellent introduction to Levinas for readers unfamiliar with his work, and even for those without a background in philosophy.
Franz Kafka (1883–1924) is one of the most influential of modern authors, whose darkly fascinating novels and stories – where themes such as power, punishment and alienation loom large – have become emblematic of modern life. This Introduction offers a clear and accessible account of Kafka's life, work and literary influence and overturns many myths surrounding them. His texts are in fact far more engaging, diverse, light-hearted and ironic than is commonly suggested by clichs of 'the Kafkaesque'. And, once explored in detail, they are less difficult and impenetrable than is often assumed. Through close analysis of their style, imagery and narrative perspective, Carolin Duttlinger aims to give readers the confidence to (re-)discover Kafka's works without constant recourse to the mantras of critical orthodoxy. In addition, she situates Kafka's texts within their wider cultural, historical and political contexts illustrating how they respond to the concerns of their age, and of our own.
The Colombian Nobel Prize winner, Gabriel García Márquez (b. 1927), wrote two of the great novels of the twentieth century, One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera. As novelist, short story writer and journalist, García Márquez has one of literature's most instantly recognizable styles and since the beginning of his career has explored a consistent set of themes, revolving around the relationship between power and love. His novels exemplify the transition between modernist and post-modernist fiction and have made magical realism one of the most significant and influential phenomena in contemporary writing. Aimed at students of Latin American and comparative literature, this book provides essential information about García Márquez's life and career, his published work in literature and journalism, and his political engagement. It connects the fiction effectively to the writer's own experience and explains his enduring importance in world literature.
Arguably the most influential political writer of the twentieth century, George Orwell remains a crucial voice for our times. Known world-wide for his two best-selling masterpieces Nineteen Eighty-Four, a gripping portrait of a dystopian future, and Animal Farm, a brilliant satire on the Russian Revolution, Orwell has been revered as an essayist, journalist and literary-political intellectual, and his works have exerted a powerful international impact on the post-World War Two era. This Introduction examines Orwell's life, work and legacy, addressing his towering achievement and his ongoing appeal. Combining important biographical detail with close analysis of his writings, the book considers the various genres in which Orwell wrote: the realistic novel, the essay, journalism and the anti-utopia. Ideally suited for readers approaching Orwell's work for the first time, the book concludes with an extended reflection on why George Orwell has enjoyed a literary afterlife unprecedented among modern authors in any language.
This introduction offers readings of Melville's masterpiece, but it also sets out the key themes, contexts, and critical reception of his entire oeuvre.
Literature and philosophy have long shared an interest in questions of truth, value, and form. And yet, from ancient times to the present, they have often sharply diverged, both in their approach to these questions and in their relationship to one another. Moreover, the vast differences among individual writers, historical periods, and languages pose challenges for anyone wishing to understand the relationship between them. This Introduction provides a synthetic and original guide to this vast terrain. It uncovers the deep interests that literature and philosophy share while offering a lucid account of their differences. It sheds new light on many standing debates and offers students and scholars of literary criticism, literary theory, and philosophy a chance to think freshly about questions that have preoccupied the Western tradition from its very beginnings up until the present.
This volume is an introduction to the relationship between psychoanalysis and literature. Jean-Michel Rabaté takes Sigmund Freud as his point of departure, studying in detail Freud's integration of literature in the training of psychoanalysts and how literature provided crucial terms for his myriad theories, such as the Oedipus complex. Rabaté subsequently surveys other theoreticians such as Wilfred Bion, Marie Bonaparte, Carl Jung, Jacques Lacan, and Slavoj Žižek. This Introduction is organized thematically, examining in detail important terms like deferred action, fantasy, hysteria, paranoia, sublimation, the uncanny, trauma, and perversion. Using examples from Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare to Sophie Calle and Yann Martel, Rabaté demonstrates that the psychoanalytic approach to literature, despite its erstwhile controversy, has recently reemerged as a dynamic method of interpretation.
The degrading environment of the planet is something that touches everyone. This book offers an introductory overview of literary and cultural criticism that concerns environmental crisis in some form. Both as a way of reading texts and as a theoretical approach to culture more generally, 'ecocriticism' is a varied and fast-changing set of practices which challenges inherited thinking and practice in the reading of literature and culture. This introduction defines what ecocriticism is, its methods, arguments and concepts, and will enable students to look at texts in a wholly new way. Boxed sections explain key critical terms and contemporary debates in the field with 'hands-on' examples and comparisons. Timothy Clark's thoughtful approach makes this an ideal first encounter with environmental readings of literature.
Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time, 1913-27) changed the course of modern narrative fiction. This Introduction provides an account of Proust's life, the socio-historical and cultural contexts of his work and an assessment of his early works. At its core is a volume-by-volume study of In Search of Lost Time, which attends to its remarkable superstructure, as well as to individual images and the intricacies of Proust's finely-stitched prose. The book reaches beyond stale commonplaces of madeleines and memory, alerting readers to Proust's verbal virtuosity, his preoccupations with the fleeting and the unforeseeable, with desire, jealousy and the nature of reality. Lively, informative chapters on Proust criticism and the work's afterlives in contemporary culture provide a multitude of paths to follow. The book charges readers with the energy and confidence to move beyond anecdote and hearsay and to read Proust's novel for themselves.
Margaret Atwood offers an immensely influential voice in contemporary literature. Her novels have been translated into over 22 languages and are widely studied, taught and enjoyed. Her style is defined by her comic wit and willingness to experiment. Her work has ranged across several genres, from poetry to literary and cultural criticism, novels, short stories and art. This Introduction summarizes Atwood's canon, from her earliest poetry and her first novel, The Edible Woman, through The Handmaid's Tale to The Year of the Flood. Covering the full range of her work, it guides students through multiple readings of her oeuvre. It features chapters on her life and career, her literary, Canadian and feminist contexts, and how her work has been received and debated over the course of her career. With a guide to further reading and a clear, well organised structure, this book presents an engaging overview for students and readers.
John Milton is one of the most important and influential writers in English literary history. The goal of this book is to make Milton's works more accessible and enjoyable by providing a comprehensive overview of the author's life, times and writings. It describes essential details from Milton's biography, explains some of the cultural and historical contexts in which he wrote, offers fresh analyses of his major pamphlets and poems - including Lycidas, Areopagitica and Paradise Lost - and describes in depth traditional and recent responses to his reputation and writings. Separate sections focus on important concepts or key passages from his major works to illustrate how readers can interpret - and get excited about - Milton's writings. This detailed and engaging introduction to Milton will help readers not only better understand the author's life and works but also better appreciate why Milton matters.
More than a century after its beginnings, modernism still has the power to shock, alienate or challenge readers. Modernist art and literature remain thought of as complex and difficult. This introduction explains in a readable, lively style how modernism emerged, how it is defined, and how it developed in different forms and genres. Pericles Lewis offers students a survey of literature and art in England, Ireland and Europe at the beginning of the twentieth century. He also provides an overview of critical thought on modernism and its continuing influence on the arts today, reflecting the interests of current scholarship in the social and cultural contexts of modernism. The comparative perspective on Anglo-American and European modernism shows how European movements have influenced the development of English-language modernism. Illustrated with works of art and featuring suggestions for further study, this is the ideal introduction to understanding and enjoying modernist literature and art.
Modernist poems are some of the twentieth-century's major cultural achievements, but they are also hard work to read. This wide-ranging introduction takes readers through modernism's most famous poems and some of its forgotten highlights to show why modernists thought difficulty and disorientation essential for poetry in the modern world. In-depth chapters on Pound, Eliot, Yeats and the American modernists outline how formal experiments take on the new world of mass media, democracies, total war and changing religious belief. Chapters on the avant-gardes and later modernism examine how their styles shift as they try to re-make the community of readers. Howarth explains in a clear and enjoyable way how to approach the forms, politics and cultural strategies of modernist poetry in English.
Postmodern fiction presents a challenge to the reader: instead of enjoying it passively, the reader has to work to understand its meanings, to think about what fiction is, and to question their own responses. Yet this very challenge makes postmodern writing so much fun to read and rewarding to study. Unlike most introductions to postmodernism and fiction, this book places the emphasis on literature rather than theory. It introduces the most prominent British and American novelists associated with postmodernism, from the 'pioneers', Beckett, Borges and Burroughs, to important post-war writers such as Pynchon, Carter, Atwood, Morrison, Gibson, Auster, DeLillo, and Ellis. Designed for students and clearly written, this Introduction explains the preoccupations, styles and techniques that unite postmodern authors. Their work is characterized by a self-reflexive acknowledgement of its status as fiction, and by the various ways in which it challenges readers to question common-sense and commonplace assumptions about literature.
Author of 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner', 'Kubla Khan' and 'Christabel', and co-author with Wordsworth of Lyrical Ballads in 1798, Samuel Taylor Coleridge was one of the great writers and thinkers of the Romantic revolution. This innovative introduction discusses his interest in language and his extraordinary private notebooks, as well as his poems, his literary criticism and his biography. John Worthen presents a range of readings of Coleridge's work, along with biographical context and historical background. Discussion of Coleridge's notebooks alongside his poems illuminates this rich material and finds it a way into his creativity. Readers are invited to see Coleridge as an immensely self-aware, witty and charismatic writer who, although damaged by an opium habit, responded to and in his turn influenced the literary, political, religious and scientific thinking of his time.
This lively and innovative 2007 introduction to Shakespeare promotes active engagement with the plays, rather than recycling factual information. Covering a range of texts, it is divided into seven subject-based chapters: Character; Performance; Texts; Language; Structure; Sources and History, and it does not assume any prior knowledge. Instead, it develops ways of thinking and provides the reader with resources for independent research through the 'Where next?' sections at the end of each chapter. The book draws on up-to-date scholarship without being overwhelmed by it, and unlike other introductory guides to Shakespeare it emphasizes that there is space for new and fresh thinking by students and readers, even on the most-studied and familiar plays.
Why did theatre audiences laugh in Shakespeare's day? Why do they still laugh now? What did Shakespeare do with the conventions of comedy that he inherited, so that his plays continue to amuse and move audiences? What do his comedies have to say about love, sex, gender, power, family, community, and class? What place have pain, cruelty, and even death in a comedy? Why all those puns? In a survey that travels from Shakespeare's earliest experiments in farce and courtly love-stories to the great romantic comedies of his middle years and the mould-breaking experiments of his last decade's work, this book addresses these vital questions. Organised thematically, and covering all Shakespeare's comedies from the beginning to the end of his career, it provides readers with a map of the playwright's comic styles, showing how he built on comedic conventions as he further enriched the possibilities of the genre.
Shakespeare's poems, aside from the enduring appeal of the Sonnets, are much less familiar today than his plays, despite being enormously popular in his lifetime. This Introduction celebrates the achievement of Shakespeare as a poet, providing students with ways of understanding and enjoying his remarkable poems. It honours the aesthetic and intellectual complexity of the poems without making them seem unapproachably complicated, outlining their exquisite pleasures and absorbing enigmas. Schoenfeldt suggests that today's readers are better able to analyze aspects of the poems that were formerly ignored or the source of scandal - the articulation of a fervent same-sex love, for example, or the incipient racism inherent in a hierarchy of light and dark. By engaging closely with Shakespeare's major poems - Venus and Adonis, Lucrece, The Phoenix and the Turtle, the Sonnets and A Lover's Complaint - the Introduction demonstrates how much these extraordinary poems still have to say to us.
In the eighteenth century, the novel became established as a popular literary form all over Europe. Britain proved an especially fertile ground, with Defoe, Fielding, Richardson and Burney as early exponents of the novel form. The Cambridge Introduction to the Eighteenth-Century Novel considers the development of the genre in its formative period in Britain. Rather than present its history as a linear progression, April London gives an original new structure to the field, organizing it through three broad thematic clusters – identity, community and history. Within each of these themes, she explores the central tensions of eighteenth-century fiction: between secrecy and communicativeness, independence and compliance, solitude and family, cosmopolitanism and nation-building. The reader will gain a thorough understanding of both prominent and lesser-known novels and novelists, key social and literary contexts, the tremendous formal variety of the early novel and its growth from a marginal to a culturally central genre.
The medieval Norse-Icelandic saga is one of the most important European vernacular literary genres of the Middle Ages. This Introduction to the saga genre outlines its origins and development, its literary character, its material existence in manuscripts and printed editions, and its changing reception from the Middle Ages to the present time. Its multiple sub-genres - including family sagas, mythical-heroic sagas and sagas of knights - are described and discussed in detail, and the world of medieval Icelanders is powerfully evoked. The first general study of the Old Norse-Icelandic saga to be written in English for some decades, the Introduction is based on up-to-date scholarship and engages with current debates in the field. With suggestions for further reading, detailed information about the Icelandic literary canon, and a map of medieval Iceland, this book is aimed at students of medieval literature and assumes no prior knowledge of Scandinavian languages.
Nobel Prize-winner Thomas Mann (1875-1955) is not only one of the leading German novelists of the twentieth century, but also one of the few to transcend national and language boundaries to achieve major stature in the English-speaking world. Famous from the time that he published his first novel in 1901, Mann became an iconic figure, seen as the living embodiment of German national culture. Leading scholar Todd Kontje provides a succinct introduction to Mann's life and work, discussing key moments in Mann's personal life and his career as a public intellectual, and giving readers a sense of why he is considered such an important - and controversial - writer. At the heart of the book is an informed appreciation of Mann's great literary achievements, including the novel The Magic Mountain and the haunting short story Death in Venice.
Toni Morrison has written some of the most significant and demanding fiction of the modern age. Her dazzling depictions of African-American experience are studied in high schools and colleges, debated in the media, and analyzed by scholars at an astounding rate. This Introduction offers readers a guide to the world of Morrison in all its complexity, from her status as a key player on the global intellectual stage, to her unique perspective on American history and her innovative narrative techniques. Covering every novel from The Bluest Eye to A Mercy, Tessa Roynon combines close readings with critical insights into Morrison's other creative work, such as short stories, libretto and song lyrics, and unpublished pieces for performance. Chapters also highlight the significance of Morrison's non-fiction, including her groundbreaking work of literary criticism, Playing in the Dark, as well as her many essays, speeches, and interviews. Lively and accessibly written, Roynon's insightful text is ideal for readers approaching Morrison for the first time as well as those familiar with her work.
William Wordsworth is the most influential of the Romantic poets, and remains widely popular, even though his work is more complex and more engaged with the political, social and religious upheavals of his time than his reputation as a 'nature poet' might suggest. Outlining a series of contexts - biographical, historical and literary - as well as critical approaches to Wordsworth, this Introduction offers students ways to understand and enjoy Wordsworth's poetry and his role in the development of Romanticism in Britain. Emma Mason offers a completely up-to-date summary of criticism on Wordsworth from the Romantics to the present and an annotated guide to further reading. With definitions of technical terms and close readings of individual poems, Wordsworth's experiments with form are fully explained. This concise book is the ideal starting point for studying Lyrical Ballads, The Prelude, and the major poems as well as Wordsworth's lesser known writings.
Morphology is the study of how words are put together. A lively introduction to the subject, this textbook is intended for undergraduates with relatively little background in linguistics. Providing data from a wide variety of languages, it includes hands-on activities such as 'challenge boxes', designed to encourage students to gather their own data and analyse it, work with data on websites, perform simple experiments, and discuss topics with each other. There is also an extensive introduction to the terms and concepts necessary for analysing words. Topics such as the mental lexicon, derivation, compounding, inflection, morphological typology, productivity, and the interface of morphology with syntax and phonology expose students to the whole scope of the field. Unlike other textbooks it anticipates the question 'Is it a real word?' and tackles it head on by looking at the distinction between dictionaries and the mental lexicon.
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