The Ecstasy of Influence

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Publisher : Random House
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ISBN : 1448129729
Pages : 464 pages
Rating : 4.4/5 (481 users)

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This volume sheds light on an array of topics from sex in cinema to drugs, graffiti, Bob Dylan, cyberculture, 9/11, book touring and Marlon Brando. Then there are investigations of a shelf's worth of Jonathan Letham's literary models and contemporaries: Norman Mailer, Philip K. Dick, Bret Easton Ellis, James Wood, and others. And, writing about Brooklyn, his father, and his sojourn through two decades of writing, one of the greats of contemporary American literature sheds an equally strong light on himself. In The Ecstasy of Influence, Jonathan Lethem, tangling with what he calls the 'white elephant' role of the writer as public intellectual, arrives at an astonishing range of answers. Funny and unfettered, The Ecstasy of Influence simmers with direct challenges to conventional wisdom and deep insights into the kaleidoscopic nature of artistic vision, the primacy of the writer in the cultural marketplace, and the way the author's own experiences have fuelled his creative passions.

The Muses on Their Lunch Hour

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Publisher : Fordham University Press
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ISBN : 082327375X
Pages : 216 pages
Rating : 4.8/5 (232 users)

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As a break from their ordained labors, what might the Muses today do on their lunch hour? This collection of witty, shrewd, and imaginative essays addresses interdisciplinary topics that range widely from Shakespeare, to psychoanalysis, to the practice of higher education today. With the ease born of deep knowledge, Marjorie Garber moves from comical journalistic quirks (“Fig Leaves”) to the curious return of myth and ritual in the theories of evolutionary psychologists (“Ovid, Now and Then”). Two themes emerge consistently in Garber’s latest exploration of symptoms of culture. The first is that to predict the “next big thing” in literary studies we should look back at ideas and practices set aside by a previous generation of critics. In the past several decades we have seen the reemergence of—for example—textual editing, biography, character criticism, aesthetics, and philology as “hot” new areas for critical intervention. The second theme expands on this observation, making the case for “cultural forgetting” as the way the arts and humanities renew themselves, both within fields and across them. Although she is never represented in traditional paintings or poetry, a missing Muse—we can call her Amnesia—turns out to be a key figure for the creation of theory and criticism in the arts.

Book Reports

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Publisher : Duke University Press
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ISBN : 1478002123
Pages : 416 pages
Rating : 4.4/5 (78 users)

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In this generous collection of book reviews and literary essays, legendary Village Voice rock critic Robert Christgau showcases the passion that made him a critic—his love for the written word. Many selections address music, from blackface minstrelsy to punk and hip-hop, artists from Lead Belly to Patti Smith, and fellow critics from Ellen Willis and Lester Bangs to Nelson George and Jessica Hopper. But Book Reports also teases out the popular in the Bible and 1984 as well as pornography and science fiction, and analyzes at length the cultural theory of Raymond Williams, the detective novels of Walter Mosley, the history of bohemia, and the 2008 financial crisis. It establishes Christgau as not just the Dean of American Rock Critics, but one of America's most insightful cultural critics as well.


Download Postirony PDF

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Publisher : transcript Verlag
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ISBN : 3839436613
Pages : 210 pages
Rating : 4.8/5 (394 users)

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What is 'postirony'? Foremost, it is a response to the ironic zeitgeist. Moreover, it is the key to understanding a specific form of literature. The contemporary reader is familiar with and - unfortunately - used to postmodernism's ironic, self-reflexive metafiction. Authors like David Foster Wallace and Dave Eggers chose a different path: Despite the reign of contemporary irony, they strive to reach the reader on a level beyond, cognitively as well as emotionally - they claim to be sincere and true. Focusing largely on nonfiction by said authors, Lukas Hoffmann explores the means the texts use to achieve something new - namely, a new form of sincerity.

Fictions of the War on Terror

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Publisher : Springer
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ISBN : 1137506180
Pages : 217 pages
Rating : 4.1/5 (375 users)

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This book argues that there are a number of contemporary novels that challenge the reductive 'us and them' binaries that have been prevalent not only in politics and the global media since 9/11, but also in many works within the emerging genre of '9/11 fiction' itself.

Keats’s Reading / Reading Keats

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Publisher : Springer Nature
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ISBN : 3030795306
Pages : 362 pages
Rating : 4.0/5 (37 users)

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This book explores John Keats’s reading practices and intertextual dialogues with other writers. It also examines later writers’ engagements with Keats’s poetry. Finally, the book honors the distinguished Keats scholar Jack Stillinger and includes an essay surveying his career as well as a bibliography of his major publications. The first section of the volume, “Theorizing Keats’s Reading,” contains four essays that identify major patterns in the poet’s reading habits and responses to other works. The next section, “Keats’s Reading,” consists of six essays that examine Keats’s work in relation to specific earlier authors and texts. The four essays in the third section, “Reading Keats,” consider how Keats’s poetry influenced the work of later writers and became embedded in British and American literary traditions. The final section of the book, “Contemporary Poetic Responses,” features three scholar-poets who, in poetry and/or prose commentary, discuss and exemplify Keats’s impact on their work.

Wallace and I

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Publisher : Routledge
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ISBN : 0429594666
Pages : 176 pages
Rating : 4.4/5 (295 users)

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Though David Foster Wallace is well known for declaring that "Fiction’s about what it is to be a fucking human being," what he actually meant by the term "human being" has been quite forgotten. It is a truism in Wallace studies that Wallace was a posthumanist writer, and too theoretically sophisticated to write about characters as having some kind of essential interior self or soul. Though the contemporary, posthuman model of the embodied brain is central to Wallace’s work, so is his critique of that model: the soul is as vital a part of Wallace’s fiction as the bodies in which his souls are housed. Drawing on Wallace’s reading in the science and philosophy of mind, this book gives a rigorous account of Wallace’s dualism, and of his humanistic engagement with key postmodern concerns: authorship; the self and interiority; madness and mind doctors; and free will. If Wallace’s fiction is about what it is to be a human being, this book is about the human ‘I’ at the heart of Wallace’s work.

Best of Rhizome 2012

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Publisher : Lulu Press, Inc
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ISBN : 1291861459
Pages : 226 pages
Rating : 4.2/5 (918 users)

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Best of Rhizome 2012 is a selection of texts published on the editorial platform of Rhizome along 2012. Edited by Joanne McNeil, the book is, in the words of Rhizome's Executive Director Heather Corcoran, “not just a best of Rhizome's work, but a portrait of the year that we hope will gain significance over time [...] From texts on production in the digital age, to the influence of the Occupy Movement, from drones and surveillance, to online vernacular – these collected essays give a sense of what was informing culture in 2012.” Founded in 1996, Rhizome is dedicated to the creation, presentation, preservation, and critique of emerging artistic practices that engage technology. Best of Rhizome 2012 includes texts by Orit Gat, The Piracy Project, Rahel Aima, Angela Genusa, Adam Rothstein, Joanne Mcneil, John Powers, Sarah Jaffe, Harry Burke, Giampaolo Bianconi, Jason Huff, Clement Valla, Rachel Wetzler, Yin Ho, Ben Fino-Radin, Paul Graham Raven, Honor Harger, Jordan Crandall, Maura Lucking, and Cole Stryker.

The Specificity of the Aesthetic, Volume 1

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Publisher : BRILL
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ISBN : 9004526072
Pages : 821 pages
Rating : 4.0/5 (45 users)

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Georg Lukács’s The Specificity of the Aesthetic is both a return to first principles and an attempt to reconstruct the philosophical anthropology and philosophy of history underlying Marxism.


Download Time PDF

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Publisher : NYU Press
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ISBN : 1479821705
Pages : 382 pages
Rating : 4.4/5 (798 users)

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The critical condition and historical motivation behind Time Studies The concept of time in the post-millennial age is undergoing a radical rethinking within the humanities. Time: A Vocabulary of the Present newly theorizes our experiences of time in relation to developments in post-1945 cultural theory and arts practices. Wide ranging and theoretically provocative, the volume introduces readers to cutting-edge temporal conceptualizations and investigates what exactly constitutes the scope of time studies. Featuring twenty essays that reveal what we talk about when we talk about time today, especially in the areas of history, measurement, and culture, each essay pairs two keywords to explore the tension and nuances between them, from “past/future” and “anticipation/unexpected” to “extinction/adaptation” and “serial/simultaneous.” Moving beyond the truisms of postmodernism, the collection newly theorizes the meanings of temporality in relationship to aesthetic, cultural, technological, and economic developments in the postwar period. This book thus assumes that time—not space, as the postmoderns had it—is central to the contemporary period, and that through it we can come to terms with what contemporaneity can be for human beings caught up in the historical present. In the end, Time reveals that the present is a cultural matrix in which overlapping temporalities condition and compete for our attention. Thus each pair of terms presents two temporalities, yielding a generative account of the time, or times, in which we live.

This Is Not a Copy

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Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing USA
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ISBN : 150133784X
Pages : 320 pages
Rating : 4.5/5 (13 users)

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In This Is Not a Copy, Kaja Marczewska identifies a characteristic 'copy-paste' tendency in contemporary culture-a shift in attitude that allows reproduction and plagiarizing to become a norm in cultural production. This inclination can be observed in literature and non-literary forms of writing at an unprecedented level, as experiments with text redefine the nature of creativity. Responding to these transformations, Marczewska argues that we must radically rethink our conceptions of artistic practice and proposes a move away from the familiar categories of copying and originality, creativity and plagiarism in favour of the notion of iteration. Developing the new concept of the Iterative Turn, This Is Not a Copy identifies and theorizes the turn toward ubiquitous iteration as a condition of text-based creative practices as they emerge in response to contemporary technologies. Conceiving of writing as iterative invites us to address a set of new, critical questions about contemporary culture. Combining discussion of literature, experimental and electronic writing, mainstream and independent publishing with debates in 20th- and 21st-century art, contemporary media culture, transforming technologies and copyright laws, This Is Not a Copy offers a timely and urgently needed argument, introducing a unique new perspective on practices that permeate our contemporary culture.

A Practical Guide to Teaching English in the Secondary School

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Publisher : Routledge
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ISBN : 1000483266
Pages : 228 pages
Rating : 4.0/5 (4 users)

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A Practical Guide to Teaching English in the Secondary School offers straightforward advice, inspiration and a wide range of tried and tested approaches to help you find success in the secondary English classroom. Covering all aspects of English teaching, it is designed for you to dip in and out of, and enable you to focus on specific areas of teaching, your programme or pupils’ learning. Fully updated to reflect what student and early career teachers see and experience when they enter the classroom, the second edition supports trainee and practicing teachers to teach in imaginative and creative ways to promote learning in English. Packed with ideas, resources, practical teaching activities and underpinned by the latest research into how children learn, the book examines the core areas of reading, writing and spoken English including: • Plays, poetry, non-fiction, myths and legends, drama and Shakespeare • Developing writing • Creative grammar • Talk and classroom dialogue • Media and digital writing • English across the curriculum • Well-being through writing • Literature and language post-16. Including tools to support critical reflection, A Practical Guide to Teaching English in the Secondary School is an essential companion for all training and newly qualified English teachers.

The Annotated Big Sleep

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Publisher : Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
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ISBN : 080416889X
Pages : 480 pages
Rating : 4.8/5 (41 users)

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The first fully annotated edition of Raymond Chandler’s 1939 classic The Big Sleep features hundreds of illuminating notes and images alongside the full text of the novel and is an essential addition to any crime fiction fan’s library. A masterpiece of noir, Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep helped to define a genre. Today it remains one of the most celebrated and stylish novels of the twentieth century. This comprehensive, annotated edition offers a fascinating look behind the scenes of the novel, bringing the gritty and seductive world of Chandler's iconic private eye Philip Marlowe to life. The Annotated Big Sleep solidifies the novel’s position as one of the great works of American fiction and will surprise and enthrall Chandler’s biggest fans. Including: -Personal letters and source texts -The historical context of Chandler’s Los Angeles, including maps and images -Film stills and art from the early pulps -An analysis of class, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity in the novel

False Starts

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Publisher : Northwestern University Press
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ISBN : 0810131137
Pages : 245 pages
Rating : 4.8/5 (11 users)

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From Herman Melville’s claim that “failure is the true test of greatness” to Henry Adams’s self-identification with the “mortifying failure in [his] long education” and William Faulkner’s eagerness to be judged by his “splendid failure to do the impossible,” the rhetoric of failure has served as a master trope of modernist American literary expression. David Ball’s magisterial study addresses the fundamental questions of language, meaning, and authority that run counter to well-rehearsed claims of American innocence and positivity, beginning with the American Renaissance and extending into modernist and contemporary literature. The rhetoric of failure was used at various times to engage artistic ambition, the arrival of advanced capitalism, and a rapidly changing culture, not to mention sheer exhaustion. False Starts locates a lively narrative running through American literature that consequently queries assumptions about the development of modernism in the United States.

Sonic Overload

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Publisher : Oxford University Press, USA
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ISBN : 0197541259
Pages : 431 pages
Rating : 4.1/5 (975 users)

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Sonic Overload offers a new, music-centered cultural history of the late Soviet Union. It focuses on polystylism in music as a response to the information overload swamping listeners in the Soviet Union during its final decades. It traces the ways in which leading composers Alfred Schnittke and Valentin Silvestrov initially embraced popular sources before ultimately rejecting them. Polystylism first responded to the utopian impulses of Soviet ideology with utopian impulses to encompass all musical styles, from "high" to "low". But these initial all-embracing aspirations were soon followed by retreats to alternate utopias founded on carefully selecting satisfactory borrowings, as familiar hierarchies of culture, taste, and class reasserted themselves. Looking at polystylism in the late USSR tells us about past and present, near and far, as it probes the musical roots of the overloaded, distracted present.� Based on archival research, oral historical interviews, and other overlooked primary materials, as well as close listening and thorough examination of scores and recordings, Sonic Overload presents a multilayered and comprehensive portrait of late-Soviet polystylism and cultural life, and of the music of Silvestrov and Schnittke. Sonic Overload is intended for musicologists and Soviet, Russian, and Ukrainian specialists in history, the arts, film, and literature, as well as readers interested in twentieth- and twenty-first century music; modernism and postmodernism; quotation and collage; the intersections of "high" and "low" cultures; and politics and the arts.

Understanding Jonathan Lethem

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Publisher : Univ of South Carolina Press
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ISBN : 1611175135
Pages : 144 pages
Rating : 4.6/5 (111 users)

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Understanding Jonathan Lethem is a study of the novels, short fiction, and nonfiction on a wide range of subjects in the arts by American novelist Jonathan Lethem, who is the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction for Motherless Brooklyn, a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant, and the Locus Award for Best First Novel for Gun, with Occasional Music. Matthew Luter explores the key contemporaries of and influences on Lethem, who is the Roy Edward Disney Professor of Creative Writing at Pomona College. Luter begins this volume by explaining how Lethem’s innovative and provocative essay on creative appropriation “The Ecstasy of Influence” differs from other writing about influence, suggesting an artistic mode that celebrates thoughtful borrowing. Readings of Lethem’s three major novels follow: taken together, Motherless Brooklyn, The Fortress of Solitude, and Chronic City present a novelist coming to terms with the joys and downsides of artistic influence. Motherless Brooklyn pays tribute to and subverts traditional hardboiled detective novels as Lethem plays with the conventions of a favorite (and influential) genre. Fortress dwells obsessively on appreciation and criticism of influential art, as Lethem’s main character spends a lifetime contemplating the complexities of the art he loves, interrogating his own reactions to it, and thinking through the political implications of the ways he has been influenced by that which he consumes. Chronic City depicts the cost of fandom and the dangers of giving over too much of oneself to the art that one loves, dramatized via a character brought nearly to ruin not by the demands of artistic creation, but by obsessive cultural consumption. Borrowing openly and promiscuously from earlier traditions both high and low (experimental fiction, comic books, art film, detective novels), Lethem displays a career-long interest in questioning what literary originality might mean in a postmodern age. Some suggest that such borrowings indicate a literary well that has run dry, making writers such as Lethem mere patchwork artists. Luter argues instead that Lethem’s propensity for wearing his influences and obsessions on his sleeve encourages new thought about originality itself. Out with “it’s all been done” and in with “look at all that’s been done, and all that we can still do with it!”

The Mammoth Book of Best New SF 25

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Publisher : Hachette UK
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ISBN : 178033883X
Pages : 688 pages
Rating : 4.7/5 (83 users)

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In this the twenty-fifth edition of his celebrated annual Mammoth Book of Best New SF (its 29th as The Year's Best SF in the United States), award-winning editor Gardner Dozois presents most outstanding pieces of short science fiction from 2011, along with his typically informative notes on each author. Many are the work of award-winning writers, but there are also some surprising newcomers. The collection is prefaced, as ever, by Dozois's Summation of 2011 in SF, a review of the year's highlights in publishing and film - including non-fiction, media and awards - obituaries and an insightful look at emerging trends. Includes stories from bestselling writers: Damien Broderick, Paul McAuley, Ian R. MacLeod, Catherynne M. Valente, Robert Reed, Alastair Reynolds, Michael Swanwick, Yoon Ha Lee and many more. Praise for previous editions: Quantity as well as quality . . . every piece is a treasure. The Times. For more than a quarter century, Gardner Dozois's Mammoth Book of Best New SF has defined the field. It is the most important anthology, not only annually, but overall. Charles N. Brown, publsiher of Locus Magazine. New authors rub shoulders with old hands, and strong work from relative novices Hannu Rajaniemi and Lavie Tidhar suggest that SF's future is as bright as ever. Financial Times.