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81. The Brief Bedford Reader
$75.00 $52.68
82. Classical Myth, Fourth Edition
$75.00 $18.65
83. Shifts and Transpositions in Medieval
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84. Reading Abstract Expressionism
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85. The Longman Anthology of World
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86. Antología de autores españoles:
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87. The Elements of Typographic Style
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88. De-Coding Da Vinci: The Facts
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89. The Annotated Lolita : Revised
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90. Discourse Analysis (Cambridge
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91. The Cambridge Companion to Joseph
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92. A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms
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93. The Essential Neruda : Selected
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94. K.
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95. Concise Anthology of American
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96. Literature for Children : A Short
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97. Aspects of the Novel
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98. Unclaimed Experience: Trauma,
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99. Literary Theory: A Very Short
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100. Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia

81. The Brief Bedford Reader
by Jane E. Aaron, Dorothy M. Kennedy, X. J. Kennedy
list price: $39.95
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Asin: 0312399367
Catlog: Book (2002-07-30)
Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
Sales Rank: 118405
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Brief Bedford Reader is excellent
I purchased this book to use as a text for a composition course I teach. It features excellent sections on composition topics like cause and effect, narration, process analysis, classification, etc. The selections in the book really are "brief". Most are between three and five pages long. The topics and authors addressed are real-world, high interest issues that make great discussion pieces. Personally, I enjoyed reading the selections. They are excellent casual reading pieces.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Bedford Reader
An excellent collection of stylistically important works. Very well-organized and informative as well as fun to read. ... Read more


82. Classical Myth, Fourth Edition
by Barry B. Powell
list price: $75.00
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Asin: 0131825909
Catlog: Book (2003-07-02)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 203742
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Comprehensive and scholarly, this well-designed book presents Greek and Roman myths in a lively and easy-to-read manner. It features fresh translations, numerous illustrations (ancient and modern) of classical myths and legends, and commentary that emphasizes the anthropological, historical, religious, sociological, and economic contexts in which the myths were told.This book covers myths of creation, myths of fertility, myths of the Olympians, Heracles, Oedipus, Trojan War, Roman Myth, Odysseus, and more. It also introduces students to classic literary works by Homer, Hesiod, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Ovid.For anyone interested in learning more about the creation and modern interpretation of classical myths. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

1-0 out of 5 stars Doesnt deal with myths' deeper historical origins
I can only say, not being a classicist, but one who did study under the esteemed Prof. Edward O'Neil of Univ. of Southern California, that I find it curious that this author does not deal much with the theories of migrations (Achaeans, Dorians later) into Greece that explain origins and approximate dates of certain myths. For example the inclusion of chthonic deities/mother earthdeities being early myths of Minoan influences, the patriarchal - sky-god myths relating to Achaeans and their influence by migration on the Greek mainland. I find H.J. Rose better at this for sure, as is O'Neil's work on Library of Apollodorus. Man, Myth and Monument,is also an excellent guide for anyone who wants to follow this fascinating aspect of myth.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Composition
Powell has done it again in his fourth edition.Though there are minor changes whcih he made in the newest edition, this book offers great details about ancient gods and heroes - putting the reader's mind into the ancient mythical land.The books also has actual passages from various ancient writers and also included more background stories to help the readers understand the story in a better perspective.His writing is simple and honest.Its worth your money if you are an avid mythology reader.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good Place to Start
While this book is a good place to start, Powell leaves the impression that myth was developed in an orderly and defined manner.Often, the versions alluded to and used are entirely mainstream and completely neglect other, sometimes more interesting versions.Would certainly like to see more emphasis placed on naming sources in the footnotes to facilitate further research by students.Certainly a good textbook to begin introducing myth with, but to provide an adequate, college level course requires supplementation with many other texts and lengthy discussions on how the text is just one author's interpretation.

5-0 out of 5 stars The 3rd edition
The popularity of Classical Myth as a text for college classes is quite understandable; Classical Myth is a useful synthesis of textbook- and sourcebook-style material. The writing is engaging and the level of detail is appropriate--enough to challenge students but not so much as to overwhelm. Moreover, the third edition offers several significant improvements over the second edition. Let me share a few of the changes that jumped out at me:

The chapters on the Olympian gods have been re-organized so that chapter six covers Zeus and Hera, chapter seven covers the male Olympians, and chapter eight covers the female Olympians. In the previous edition, the logic of the division of deities was less clear--chapter six covered Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Hestia, Hades and Aphrodite; chapter seven treated Apollo and Artemis; and chapter 8 discussed Hephaestus, Ares, Athena, and Hermes.

There is also a new chapter, chapter twelve, entitled "Introduction to Heroic Myth." It is a short chapter which introduces students to the idea of the hero. Although the chapter is new, much of the material it contains is actually not new--it comes from chapter fifteen in the previous edition which was a discussion of myths related to Heracles. In my opinion, this chapter could usefully be expanded--it is quite short, and there is a great deal that can be said about the figure of the hero in myth and in interpretation of myth which is not said here.

Finally, lists of key terms have been added at the end of each chapter, an addition which may be useful to students.

However, I have a few quibbles with aspects of the previous edition that still appear in the third edition. Let me offer two general reflections and then one very specific objection.

First, although Powell does use footnotes, they generally only gloss material that may be confusing for students. Like many other authors of textbooks on mythology, he usually doesn't indicate from what source or sources the various parts of the myths he is describing come. Of course, his text isn't intended for serious scholarly use and most scholars no doubt know where to turn for more detailed information. But students who want to track down the original sources will often be left in the dark by Powell's presentation of the myths. Since, however, I don't believe I've every seen a handbook of mythology that noted sources in this way, Powell really cannot be faulted for his decision.

Second, Classical Myth is, like all handbooks of mythology, selective. Powell generally focuses on the most important and famous variants of the myths he discusses. This is quite appropriate for a textbook, but it is also somewhat deceptive. Students may come away with the erroneous impression that an established "canon" of Greek myth existed. I think a few more examples of variant versions of myths would help students appreciate that the stories that appear in Classical Myth represent only a few versions of the many disparate, often contradictory, stories of the gods and heros that were told by the Greeks.

Finally, getting down to specifics, in the chapters on the Olympian gods, Powell asserts confidently that "by the sixth century...a body of twelve Olympian gods and goddesses had been recognized." He admits that the list was somewhat flexible--sometimes Dionysus replaces Hestia. But for the Greeks, the list was not nearly so fixed (back to my objections about creating a false sense that there was a mythological "canon"). It is clear, both from the text in chapter six and from the accompanying chart, that Powell includes Hades as one of the Olympians. This perplexes me- as far as I can tell Hades was not usually included among the Olympian deities at all. According to Eudoxus, a student of Plato, the twelve are Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite, Hermes, Athena, Hephaestus, and Hestia. In other words, Eudoxus omits Hades and prefers Hestia to Dionysus. (Chart 6.1, which lists the Olympian deities, has undergone some revision from the previous edition; chart 6.1 in the second edition, properly I think, omitted Hades. But in the new edition, Hades has been added to the chart, with the result that thirteen deities appear in bold, not twelve, adding to the confusion.)

Just a few more minor quibbles: the Orphic material still appears in the chapter on death rather than in the chapters on creation where, I think, it more appropriately belongs. And Powell'senthusiasm for the Greek alphabet--which seems somewhat idiosyncratic to me--is still apparent, though less so than in the previous edition in which he referred to the "limitations inherent in prealphabetic writing." I think the Hittite Telepinus myth should be included--or at least mentioned -among the myths on the Great Goddess. And finally I would particularly like to know the origin of the claim that temple prostitution occurred at Cythera.

Overall, however, I like Classical Myth, and I do feel that the third edition is an improvement over the second. Using Classical Myth and, perhaps, a few inexpensive paperback editions of Hesiod and Greek plays, it's possible to teach a class on Classical Mythology. By collecting the myths from other cultures--especially the Eastern myths--Powell has taken a lot of hard work out of teaching this subject. I also find the companion website constructed by Prentice Hall to be an amazing resource--well designed, well executed, and most comprehensive.

4-0 out of 5 stars Amazing
I have been amazed by this book, it is an extremelly interesting book,with a lot of insight in the Greek mythology, I really loved reading it andit also gave me a better understanding in the greek culture and itsmythology. ... Read more


83. Shifts and Transpositions in Medieval Narrative : A Festschrift for Dr Elspeth Kennedy
list price: $75.00
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Asin: 0859914216
Catlog: Book (1994-10-20)
Publisher: D.S.Brewer
Sales Rank: 664361
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Book Description

The essays in this collection celebrate the research and teaching career of Dr ELSPETH KENNEDY (St Hilda's College, Oxford), distinguished Arthurian and medievalist. Papers focus on the processes of innovation and transformation and the relationship between tradition and originality in medieval literature. They consider shifts from one genre to another and their implications for audience expectations; transpositions of a theme or story within or between narratives; and the process of rewriting a work in the same language. A variety of different approaches are used, reflecting the latest research in, among others, gender studies, generic intertextuality, translation theory, psychoanalysis, and anthropology. Several literary genres are treated, and works in different languages (Latin, Old and Middle French, Middle High German, Old and Middle English) are examined.Contributors:KAREN PRATT,EMMANULE BAUMGARTNER,DONALD MADDOX, SARA STURM-MADDOX, SARA KAY, ROGER PENSOM, MAUREEN BOULTON, JANICE M. PINDER, NICHOLAS WATSON, ALBRECHT CLASSEN, ANNE SAVAGE, PENNY ELEY, JOY WALLACE, CERIDWEN LLOYD-MORGAN, JANE TAYLOR ... Read more


84. Reading Abstract Expressionism : Context and Critique
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Asin: 0300106130
Catlog: Book (2005-05-11)
Publisher: Yale University Press
Sales Rank: 363899
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Book Description

Abstract Expressionism is arguably the most important art movement in postwar America. Many of its creators and critics became celebrities, participating in heated public debates that were published in newspapers, magazines, and exhibition catalogues. This up-to-date anthology is the first comprehensive collection of key critical writings about Abstract Expressionism from its inception in the 1940s to the present day.
Ellen G. Landau’s masterful introduction presents and analyzes the major arguments and crucial points of view that have surrounded the movement decade by decade. She then offers a selection of readings, also organized by decade, including influential statements by such artists as Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, Jackson Pollock, and Barnett Newman as well as the commentary of diverse critics. Offering new insights into the development of Abstract Expressionism, this rich anthology also demonstrates the ongoing impact of this revolutionary and controversial movement.
Reading Abstract Expressionism is essential for the library of any curator, scholar, or student of twentieth-century art.
... Read more

85. The Longman Anthology of World Literature A,B,C: The Ancient World, the Medieval Era, and the Early Modern Period
by David Damrosch, April Alliston, Marshall Brown, Page Dubois, Sabry Hafez
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Asin: 0321202384
Catlog: Book (2004-01-01)
Publisher: Longman Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 619225
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86. Antología de autores españoles: antiguos y modernos, Vol. 1
by Antonio Sanchez-Romeraldo, Fernando Ibarra
list price: $76.00
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Asin: 0130338389
Catlog: Book (1972-04-01)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 57128
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Important for any Spanish library, en espanol tambien
As a Spanish literature major, I found that this book is a wonderful asset to my library.It broadly covers Spanish literature until its own Golden Age.It is well worth reading for anyone who is serious about Spanishliterature.

Era un estudiante universitario en la literatura espanola, ycreo que este libro es muy importante por un libreria completa.Cubre laliteratura desde el principio hasta el Siglo del Oro.Es beneficio leerpor culquiera persona quien es seria sobre la literatura espanola. ... Read more


87. The Elements of Typographic Style
by Robert Bringhurst
list price: $189.50
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Asin: 0881790338
Catlog: Book (1992-11-01)
Publisher: Hartley & Marks
Sales Rank: 257294
Average Customer Review: 4.66 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Renowned typographer and poet Robert Bringhurst brings clarity to the art of typography with this masterful style guide. Combining the practical, theoretical, and historical, this edition is completely updated, with a thorough exploration of the newest innovations in intelligent font technology, and is a must-have for graphic artists, editors, or anyone working with the printed page using digital or traditional methods. ... Read more

Reviews (50)

5-0 out of 5 stars I can't remain in my profession without this book.
As a designer, I am always looking to hone my skills. I thought I was adept at setting type until I found this gem. Bringhurst's study of type covers the obvious to the arcane. Beautifully designed, it illustrates type and their families, page geometry, philosophies of design, and typesetting rules. Master Craftsman, Hermann Zapf (you know -- his faces are in your computer) said himself that "he wishes to see this book become the Typographers Bible". This book is a must for the writer, publisher, designer, and editor because it covers a multitude of topics and rules vital and common to each sector. This is the "Manual of Style" for typesetting. It requires us to think more carefully about the setting of words and its impact on writing: "Typography is to literature what musical performance is to composition -- full of endless opportunity for insight OR obtuseness." I recommend this for anyone even remotely interested in the artform of letters. I highly recommend it for writers considering designing their own books.

5-0 out of 5 stars Only five stars?
How can I possibly only give this work five stars? Robert Bringhurst's "Elements of Typographic Style" is more than a list of prescriptions. It is a definitive reference which explores the history behind typography, and uses that history to explain in its clear, lucid way why rules exist. Where the antiquated rules have no practical basis, Bringhurst is quick to dispell their necessity - but he neither dismisses them nor rejects them.

The visual beauty of this book is apparent upon opening it - it is a model of all it preaches. It addresses ongoing issues of basic formatting and page shaping, but also modern needs such as setting more than one language in one text - including those that read right to left (e.g., Arabic scripts). The simple yet elegant writing style makes reading this work a pleasure in itself. Anyone who deals with type - and this now means most everyone - should read this book; its advice is complementary, or even superior, to a style manual.

The Amazon editorial above lays out its sections, and as that shows, the book covers the full breadth of modern typography and page composition.

I strongly recommend this book. It is an honour to read it.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Few Really Fine Works on Classic Typography
Along with the later book by James Felici, called "The Complete Manual of Typography" from Adobe Press, Bringhurst's book is a landmark work in English for any level of typgographic study.
Read it slowly and carefully for all the nuggets he leaves in a trail for us to follow. An amazing, brilliant effort no graphic design person should omit from his or her typographic education.

5-0 out of 5 stars The book to own
If you were allowed only one book on typography, it should be this one. Bringhurst is a poet. He loves language, written language, and all its parts. That love comes through in the text and the visual presentation of every page.

Bringhurst advocates a subdued typographic style. This makes good sense in the vast majority of cases, since typography is the servant of the text that it carries. Like any good servant, it should be unobtrusive, well dressed, and competent to handle every task it is given, quietly and promptly. Bringhurst demonstrates nearly everything he says, starting first with this book itself.

The book is a beautiful artifact, with an elegant and informative page layout. Body text, side- and foot-notes, references, running titles, and more - they all fit together well on the page. Each kind of information is set off only slightly, but clearly and predictably. The content is well organized: prose in the early chapters, reference material in the later chapters and appendices, and all the intermediates in the middle of the book. Diagrams and tables are minimalist and communicative.

The text spans centuries, from ancient Egyptian page layouts to the rationale behind Unicode. Bringhurst is passionate about typography's history, and insists that it inform every modern decision about print and printing. He embraces the new just as much, and is careful to note the strengths and weaknesses of each typographic technology.

Bringhurst discusses far too many topics to touch on here. In every case, though, he brings his poet's sense to all of the writing, using witty, descriptive language for even the most mundane of technical issues. The one weakness I saw was in the geometry of page layouts. I like his mathematical rigor and esthetic practicality. Still, I think that the number of different constructions was more a tribute to what can be done than to what serves a real need.

This is the best, most complete text I know on book design. As Bringhurst points out, there are lots of other uses for type than books, but he chose books as his subject - I have no problem with that limitation. The only problem I saw, and not really a problem with the book itself, is its subtlety. The nuances (well, most of the nuances) he discusses are important. Beginners, however, may not see the significance of small matters. Once a reader's eye it tuned to the fine detail, however, this book is the most helpful I know.

2-0 out of 5 stars An anal examination of type.
If you are into fonts in a big way you'll like this book. If you design fine books you'll enjoy it. Much on history. The section equating musical scales seemed insane to me. The derivations of the names of the fonts (obscure mythological or operatic characters) is interesting but useless. Most of the book is useless to me at this point in my design career. I'm looking for something more concrete. Something that compares the legibility and usability of various fonts or gives examples of why a designer would choose one font over another for which type of job. I was looking, perhaps, for a discussion on the relative merits of slab serifs vs. other types of serifs, or x-height and usability, or think and thin strokes on serif type. I just finished reading "The Elements of Graphic Design" by Alex W. White which, for me, was much more instructive, giving me concrete reasons for using various styles. Not to say I didn't learn something. The section on analphabetic characters was enlightening as was the comparison of different fonts that really aren't what they seem to be (two entirely different fonts named Garamond). I now know that when people speak about the relative excellence of Garamond they probably don't know what they are talking about. Two stars may seem low but I think people here generally overrate things. I didn't find it very readable either. Still I'd like to have it in my library, good reference on rare occasions. If you are a font fanatic, go for it. ... Read more


88. De-Coding Da Vinci: The Facts Behind the Fiction of The Da Vinci Code
by Amy Welborn
list price: $9.95
our price: $8.96
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Asin: 1592761011
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: Our Sunday Visitor
Sales Rank: 5584
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

De-Coding Da Vinci is a handy, thorough, yet easy-to-read resource that can help readers understand the difference between fact and fiction in the best-selling novel by Dan Brown.

De-Coding Da Vinci: The Facts behind the Fiction of The Da Vinci Code addresses the misrepresentation of history, religion and art in The Da Vinci Code. Did Leonardo actually build these codes into his paintings? Was the Priory of Sion a real organization? Is the Holy Grail really, as he says, Mary Magdalene's womb and now her bones, and not the Last Supper cup? Is Opus Dei really what The Da Vinci Code says it is? What was Constantine's true role in early Christianity? Was Jesus human or divine or both? Was He married to Mary Magdalene? Do secret writings not in the Bible really contain truths about Jesus, Mary Magdalene and the sacred feminine?

Complete with discussion questions and suggestions for further reading in every chapter, this is the perfect book to accurately answer questions as well as inspire further conversation. It can be used either as a personal resource to expand one's knowledge of the issues raised by The Da Vinci Code or to lead a discussion for a book club, a church group or to discuss with friends who've read the book and have questions that need to be answered. ... Read more

Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hmmm...
The reviewer from Huntsville evidently skipped the portions of this book in which Welborn clearly explains why she wrote her book. "The Da Vinci Code" is a novel, she writes, but the author (Dan Brown) makes claims both in the novel and on his website that the historical assertions he's making are sound. They're not. Ask any historian of any type about Jesus, Mary Magadalene and the Priory of Sion and they'll tell you it's bunk.

No, Welborn makes clear that her book is for those who don't seem to understand that the Da Vinci Code is, in fact, fiction. And there are people like that - read the reader reviews for the novel if you doubt. The point is...if you read the Da Vinci Code as a novel and enjoyed it at that novel, great. But if you left it wondering if what Dan Brown says about early Christianity was true or not - and he makes some pretty radical claims, like early Christians didn't believe Jesus was divine - then you need to pick up this great book which answers those questions clearly and succintly and gives good suggestions for deeper study.

5-0 out of 5 stars Takes care of it
Good stuff here. I got a good education in early Christian history, filling in points no one ever bothered to mention in church, and for sure that Dan Brown got way wrong in his book.

Fine treatment of all the important issues - the art - which Brown either massively misreads or deliberately mis-describes - the religion, the history.

I read the Da Vinci Code last year because all the reviews told me it was a smart read, like Eco. Well, it's not, and this book clears up the questions and problems and outright misstatements that are in the novel.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent rebuttal by a gifted writer
Mrs. Welborn has written an excellent rebuttal to 'The Da Vinci Code'. The novel itself was rather bad and despite its proclamation to be factual, was anything but -- consequently, it doesn't take Ms. Welborn more than a hundred or so pages to engage in a point by point refutation of the various claims; a quick, but substantial, read.

The study questions at the end of each chapter, and the recommendations for further reading, make this an ideal text for use by any youth minister or teacher wishing to discuss the novel with his class.

5-0 out of 5 stars I know art...
And Ms. Welborn's book is quite accurate on that score. The Da Vinci Code would have been laughable if the misinformation weren't so damaging to the truth about Leondardo and the nature of his art. I fear that too many - millions now, have a terrible caricature of the man all because of this silly novel.

This book offers a good, understandable introduction to the issues, and lays out how silly Brown's misreadings of Leonardo's art and his life are. We hardly know anything at all about Leonardo's (...)life, contrary to what one reviewer and Mr. Brown assert - read any of the biographies, and you find a mention of the youthful sodomy charge, as you do in this book, and then...that is all that is known. There is absolutely no basis on which to assert, as Brown does, that Leonardo was a "flamboyant (...)." It would not matter if he was, but as Ms. Welborn makes clear, there is no reason to accept Mr. Brown as an expert on art (or religious history) when he can't get these simple, well-known facts straight.

1-0 out of 5 stars Loose with her facts
Ms. Welborn used her facts loosely making assertions that were only one interpretation of the facts. She refutes "Leonardo's" homosexuality despite its common assumption among historians. Other glaring misintrepretations and deletions made this a worthless purchase. Very bias and did not give all the facts about the fascinating issues Dan Brown focuses interest on in his fiction novel. Surely she realizes we understand The da Vinci Code is fiction, but it did bring attention to many fascinating areas. More than I can say about this lousy rebuttal. I want my money back, Ms. Welborn! ... Read more


89. The Annotated Lolita : Revised and Updated
by VLADIMIR NABOKOV, Alfred Appel Jr.
list price: $19.00
our price: $12.92
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Asin: 0679727299
Catlog: Book (1991-04-23)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 9008
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

In 1954 Vladimir Nabokov asked one American publisher to consider "a firebomb that I have just finished putting together." The explosive device: Lolita, his morality play about a middle-aged European's obsession with a 12-year-old American girl. Two years later, the New York Times called it "great art." Other reviewers staked a higher moral ground (the editor of the London Sunday Express declaring it "the filthiest book I've ever read"). Since then, the sinuous novel has never ceased to astound.Even Nabokov was astonished by its place in the popular imagination. One biographer writes that "he was quite shocked when a little girl of eight or nine came to his door for candy on Halloween, dressed up by her parents as Lolita." And when it came time to casting the film, Nabokov declared, "Let them find a dwarfess!"

The character Lolita's power now exists almost separately from the endlessly inventive novel. If only it were read as often as it is alluded to. Alfred Appel Jr., editor of the annotated edition, has appended some 900 notes, an exhaustive, good-humored introduction, and a recent preface in which he admits that the "reader familiar with Lolita can approach the apparatus as a separate unit, but the perspicacious student who keeps turning back and forth from text to Notes risks vertigo." No matter. The notes range from translations to the anatomical to the complex textual. Appel is also happy to point out the Great Punster's supposedly unintended word play: he defends the phrase "Beaver Eaters" as "a portmanteau of 'Beefeaters' (the yeoman of the British royal guard) and their beaver hats." ... Read more

Reviews (56)

5-0 out of 5 stars It's NOT a dirty book!!!!!!!!!!!!
I only recently read "Lolita", after having managed to avoid it for a good twenty-six years. Thank God I picked it up at last! I don't believe in "the Great American Novel" and I've never been able to choose one book as "the best I've ever read"-- before now. Whether or not it qualifies as an American novel (I don't see why not, but as Nabokov was born outside the U.S. others might disagree) 'Lolita' IS the best book I've ever read, hands down, bar none, period. // And yet, every time I recommend it to someone new, they comment, "oh, but that's a sick book. I don't want to read about an old man and a little girl. It's nasty.," or something along those lines. WRONG!!!!!! 'Lolita' is a beautiful, lyrical, funny, compelling, exciting adventure with a narrator who's insanely sane and a heroine one can pity but seldom respect. The plot is unpredictable even if you know the subject matter, and at times the tension generated by dear Humbert Humbert and his little Lo kept me up all night long, reading. // I love this book, respect it, and look forward to reading it many many times. Certainly I'll always find something new-- Nabokov is Joycean in the multitude and depth of his references, with a charming American tilt and sense of fun. :: READ THIS BOOK. I dare you to dislike it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of subtle literary meaning
Nabokov has crafted here a work so brilliant it deserves to be put side by side with all the classics of western literary tradition. He towers above the rest with a literary style that can only be described as breathtaking.

I will not bother to respond to the idea of Lolita as pornography or as a book of paedophilia. It is a topic not worthy of discussing.

The literary allusions in Lolita are so rich and subtle that a reader can reread Lolita dozens of times and still find fresh material to marvel at. Perhaps one of the most directly readable of the Modernist authors, Vladimir Nabokov combines here a dazzling virtuoso performance of literary meaning. Though no master of languages or literature yet, I caught the few simple allusions to Poe, and am tracking down the rest slowly. Lolita is truly a book of multiple meanings, a book that transfigures and transforms, remakes and enlightens in a way subtle and profound.

A glorious work of a maestro in his prime, Lolita ought to be required reading simply for the lush beauty of its prose.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lolita.. for the serious reader
I, like I am aware many of you are, am a very picky reader. I need to be pulled in by a book and taken away by it. That is exactly what I found in Lolita, and haven't found since. Nabokov has set my standards extremely high with his prose writing style which in my mind can be compared to no one but Edgar Allen Poe himself.
As for the storyline, I was swept away by the gentleness of Humbert and his emotions. I truely connected with him. I felt his sorrow, his pain and his happiness. I connected with Lolita, with her innocence and lack there of, and how she felt. I connected with Clare Quilty in a way I never thought I would have. I felt hatred towards the characters, sympathy towards them. Everything you should feel in novels.
As for the descriptions. Well, Nabokov does go a wee bit overboard with them. However, as in the rule set by Poe - "Every single line in the story must lead up to a single effect," and Nabokov does a hell of good job doing it. All of those descriptions forshadow something.
"Lolita" is full of culture, also. It describes settings perfectly with the era. From Lo's clothes to her music, from the magazines she reads to the way the family life is, you can perfectly imagine just what time period it is historically as well as personally.
The book is extremely difficult, some pages and paragraphs have to be read two or three times in order to fully absorb their content. Sometimes I even found it difficult not to skim through things, but i'm glad I did not.
If you are going to read "Lolita," read it because you want to, not because it's considered a classic. If you read it, take it in, take your time.. absorb Nabokov's words. You will not be regretful.
I recommend this book to serious readers who wish to read it to be swept away. I do not recommend this to people who just want to say they've read it, because they won't enjoy it. Take your time, and absorb the content, and I guarentee you'll love it!

Liz- 17

5-0 out of 5 stars in response to "inferior story"
It sounds to me like you only read the book because it's 'deemed a classic.' In your sluggish effort to simply finish the book so you could say you read it, you missed some large issues that Nabokov presented. Being a former English major, you should've picked up on the larger themes, not that it's just a story about a girl being raped. What about the theme of 'old Europe' vs. 'young America,' American modernization, generation clashes, pop culture, love and romance, betrayal. You missed all that and more. No, you don't have to like the book, but you didn't pick up what the book really was about and maybe that's why you didn't like it.

2-0 out of 5 stars A great technical novel, with an inferior story
(Please keep in mind that I gave this book two stars compared to other books considered classics - I'm not saying it's as good as Al Franken's book, which I gave three stars. When rating books, I keep in mind the genre.)

Nabokov is a superior writer for the reasons that Appel mentions in his detailed notes: his allusions to other works, the book being a parody of itself, effective use of foreshadowing, putting the author's fingerprint on the narrative, the double, and all of the other literary techniques. In the end though, the story is lousy. A 13-year-old girl is getting raped and I couldn't care and it's not because I sympathized with her tormentor either. Does that make me a bad person? Perhaps. Does it make Nabokov a lousy storyteller? In this instance, yes.

I just couldn't care about the characters. The book took me two years to read - I kept putting it down to read another novel. I wasn't expecting - and didn't want - an erotic thriller. That's what late-night Showtime is for. If the point of the novel was to make a story about pedophilia mundane, than Nabokov succeed. It still doesn't mean it's a good book. (Some of the other reviews here sound as if they gave the book a good rating just because it's been deemed a classic.)

As a former English major, I've read many classic novels. Read this one if you are interested in the technical aspects of writing. Examining Nabokov's approach will make you a better writer. Don't read it because you are looking for a classic that tells a good story though - check out Joyce, Steinbeck, or Fitzgerald for that need.

Go ahead - say this review wasn't helpful too. God forbid someone actually has a negative opinion of this book. ... Read more


90. Discourse Analysis (Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics)
by Gillian Brown, George Yule
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Asin: 0521284759
Catlog: Book (1983-07-28)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 301321
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Book Description

Discourse analysis is a term which has come to have different interpretations for scholars working in different disciplines. For a sociolinguist, it is concerned mainly with the structre of social interaction manifested in conversation; for a psycholinguist, it is primarily concerned with the nature of comprehension of short written texts; for the computational linguist, it is concerned with producing operational models of text-understanding within highly limited contexts. In this textbook, the authors provide an extensive overview of the many and diverse approaches to the study of discourse, but base their own approach centrally on the discipline which, to varying degrees, is common to them all - linguistics. Using a methodology which has much in common with descriptive linguistics, they offer a lucid and wide-ranging account of how forms of language are used in communication. Their principal concern is to examine how any language produced by man, whether spoken or written, is used to communicate for a purpose in a context. The discussion is carefully illustrated throughout by a wide variety of discourse types (conversations recorded in different social situations, extracts from newspapers, notices, contemporary fiction, graffiti, etc.). The techniques of analysis are described and exemplified in sufficient detail for the student to be able to apply them to any language in context that he or she encounters. A familiarity with elementary linguistics is assumed, but the range of issues discussed in conjunction with the variety of exemplification presented will make this a valuable and stimulating textbook not only for students of linguistics, but for any reader who wishes to investigate the principles underlying the use of language in natural contexts to communicate and understand intended meaning. ... Read more


91. The Cambridge Companion to Joseph Conrad (Cambridge Companions to Literature)
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Asin: 0521484847
Catlog: Book (1996-06-27)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 349193
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Cambridge Companion to Joseph Conrad offers a wide-ranging introduction to the fiction of Joseph Conrad, one of the most influential novelists of the twentieth century. Leading Conrad scholars give an account of Conrad's life, provide detailed readings of his major works, and discuss his narrative techniques, his complex relationship with cultural developments of his time, his influence on later writers and artists, and recent developments in Conrad criticism. The volume, which is aimed at students and the general reader, also contains a chronology and guide to further reading. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Conrad Companion
The series "Cambridge Companions" is somewhat uneven. Some titles are excellent, and others are inaccesible, tedious and really not "Companions" at all. This "Companion", however, to Joseph Conrad is probably one of the best in the series.

Beginning with a short biography of Conrad's life, there follow chapters on the short fiction, and several on most of the important of Conrad's works, such as "Heart of Darkness", "Lord Jim", "Nostromo" and "The Secret Agent". These are followed by sections on his late novels, Conradian narrative, his influence, and others. All of the Chapters are written in closed essay form by leading Conrad scholars, are easy to read, and well documented with footnotes. The final chapter includes a fairly comprehensive bibliography that wil be most helpful for students and scholars alike. It will provide a good starting point for further research.

If you are interested in Joseph Conrad, beyond reading his novels and short stories, then this book will be very helpful. I recommend it highly.

5-0 out of 5 stars TRAVELLING WITH CAPTAIN CONRAD
Joseph Conrad is not only a Great Master of English literature, but also a man who wandered all over the world, by sea and land, producing for our delight a treasure of short stories as intense as novels, as well as adozen novels as engaging as fairy tales. For some readers he is above all awriter of "sea stories", for others a creator of fabulous adventures; formany, an intuitive connoisseur of the human soul who gave birth tounforgettable characters. But there is more: Joseph Conrad inhabits hisbooks, he is a friend who shows us a path, gently spelling out about aperiod in human history. He talks to the intelligence and the emotions. Thebunch of essays of this wonderful companion, by the Cambridge fellows,gives us precious hints for travelling with Captain Conrad through thelabyrinths and waves of the physical and virtual planet in which chance hasplaced us to live and die. ... Read more


92. A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms
by Richard A. Lanham
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Asin: 0520076699
Catlog: Book (1992-01-01)
Publisher: University of California Press
Sales Rank: 75138
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The first edition of this widely used work has been reprinted manytimes over two decades. With a unique combination of alphabetical anddescriptive lists, it provides in one convenient, accessible volume all therhetorical termsmostly Greek and Latinthat students of Western literature andrhetoric are likely to come across in their reading or to find useful in theirwriting. Now the Second Edition offers new features that will make it still moreuseful:A completely revised alphabetical listing that defines nearly 1,000terms used by scholars of formal rhetoric from classical Greece to the presentday.A revised system of cross-references between terms.Many new examples andnew, extended entries for central terms.A revised Terms-by-Type listing toidentify unknown terms.A new typographical design for easier access. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars It's Just Fun!
Over the Christmas holidays, I traveled back east to visit my parents. I carried Lanham's "A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms." One night my mom and I sat up talking about everything from Picasso to metaphysics and at some point we got to talking about Shakespeare. I tried to explain to her why Shakespeare is rhetorically reveered, and at one point I climbed downstairs to the guest room and retrieved Lanham's book. She -- like most of us -- hears the word "rhetoric" and thinks of politicians and empty promises, or phrasing so complicated as to render simple fact obscure.

I think the first word in "Handlist" we got a chuckle over was "chiasmus" and some of the examples like "It's not whether grapenuts are good enough for you, but whether you're good enough for grapenuts!" And the famous "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." The one that gave her the best chuckle though was an editor's advice to a young writer "You're writing is both original and interesting; unfortunately the part that's original is not interesting and the part that is interesting is not original."

The great thing about this book is that it gives name to a great many devices we already use in everyday speech, and for a writer this information is invaluable. The better facility a writer has with these devices the better he or she can express our endless human emotions.

A good many of the examples give the Latin or Greek root word, but the definitions are in English. Many of them have example usage along with the definition.

E.g., "Insultatio": derisive, ironical abuse of a person to his face. As Hamlet says to his mother:
Look on this picture, and on this,
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
See what a grace was seated on this brow:
Hyperion's curls, the front of Jove himself...
This was your husband. Look you now what follows.
Here is your husband, like a mildewed ear
Blasting the wholesome brother. Have you eyes?
Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed,
And batten on this moor? Ha! Have you eyes?
(Hamlett, III, iv)

All in all, I think this handlist -- as much a dictionary as a "handlist" of rhetorical devices -- is a rich resource for writers, law students, political science majors, and young English scholars. Indeed, with this handlist, you could begin your own "Progymnasmata"!

Stacey

4-0 out of 5 stars A Wordsmith's Wonderland
Samuel Butler once wrote that "All a rhetorician's rules teach nothing but to name his tools." Classical and Medieval rhetoricians named, renamed, parsed, and cataloged all these tools with a bewildering sesquipedalian nomenclature. "Handlist" almost succeeds in its attempt to make sense of this thorny thicket of jargon.

Chapter 1 of "Handlist" is a dictionary style listing of all the various names of the rhetorical devices. Each name is individually entered, but only the main name is defined. Each of the lesser names simply has cross references. The merely-cross-referenced names outnumber the actually-defined names by about 3 to 1. The actually-defined names should have been set in a bolder type than the merely-cross-referenced names.

Chapter 2 consists of an excellent review of the divisions of rhetoric. Read Chapter 2 first.

Chapter 3 takes the more common rhetorical devices and catalogs them by type, giving brief definitions. It catalogs only one name for each device, and is much more user friendly than Chapter 1. Read Chapter 3 second.

My suggestion for the third edition: Reorder the chapters. Put Chapter 2 first and Chapter 1 last.

2-0 out of 5 stars poorly organized
The problem that I have with this book is that often the words that it defines tells me to go look up another fine. That would be fine, except that I go to the word it said to look up and discover that I either have to look up another word. This book is not helpful in that respect, and given that a lot of PCs run Windows, it doesn't really make sense to release a hypertext version for the Mac but not one for Windows. So the Windows users are stuck with a book that really isn't that good.

5-0 out of 5 stars Enquire Within Upon Everything
It's hard to describe how valuable this book is. Simply put, it changed my life. The title is both perfect and a little misleading: yes, it's a handlist, but that gives little sense of the breadth and scholarship of Lanham's work. Yes, you'll find incredibly useful definitions of the most recondite, as well as the most everyday, tropes and schemes. But embedded within his exposition Lanham gives us an argument for rhetoric: its complexity, historical richness, and value. Lanham's touch is very personal, offering a collection of definitions that are at once eclectic and definitive. If you need to buy one book on rhetoric, this should be it. If it intrigues you as much as it did me, follow up with Lanham's _The Electronic Word: Democracy, Technology, and the Arts_. There you'll see the very practical implications of the study of rhetoric framed through historical and theoretical debates. Two thumbs up.

5-0 out of 5 stars great desk reference
I keep 5 reference books on writing w/in arms reach of my desk; this is one of them. The book catalogs every rhetorical flourish I've ever heard of, provides vivid examples of each, and witty and insightful commentary on many of them. ... Read more


93. The Essential Neruda : Selected Poems
by Pablo Neruda
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Asin: 0872864286
Catlog: Book (2004-04-15)
Publisher: Consortium
Sales Rank: 5524
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This collection of Neruda's most essential poems will prove indispensable. Selected by a team of poets and prominent Neruda scholars in both Chile and the U.S., this is a definitive selection that draws from the entire breadth and width of Neruda's various styles and themes. An impressive group of translators that includes Alistair Reid, Stephen Mitchell, Robert Haas, Jim Harrison, Stephen Kessler and Jack Hirschman, have come together to revisit or completely retranslate the poems; and a handful of previously untranslated works are included as well. This selection sets the standard for a general, high--quality introduction to Neruda's complete oeuvre.

Pablo Neruda was born in Chile in 1904. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971.

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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars By one of the greatest known Spanish poets
The Essential Neruda Selected Poems presents fifty poems by Pablo Neruda, one of the greatest known Spanish poets, both in their original language and in new translations created by a collaboration of eight poets, translators, and Neruda scholars. A captivating celebration, and a superb introduction to the pathos of Neruda's work one hundred years after his birth. "Winter Garden": It shows up, the winter. Splendid dictation / bestowed on me by slow leaves / suited up in silence and yellow. // I'm a book of snow, / a wide hand, a prairie, / an expectant circumference, / I pertain to earth and its winter...

5-0 out of 5 stars Teach and enjoy Neruda
I teach Neruda in Chile, we often see the work of this poet in translation, since the students come from different countries. I've read the Essential Neruda and decided that this is the best choice to teach and enjoy Neruda's poems in the English language. First of all it covers all important poem collections published by Neruda, its affordable for any reader and above all, Eisner's versions of the romantic poetry and the joint translations of Alturas de Macchu Picchu -just to name a couple of many examples- are accurate and close to the strength of the poems in the original language. ... Read more


94. K.
by Roberto Calasso, Geoffrey Brock
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Asin: 1400041899
Catlog: Book (2005-01-18)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 148859
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95. Concise Anthology of American Literature (5th Edition)
by George McMichael, J.C. Levenson, Leo Marx, David E. Smith, Mae Miller Claxton, Susan Bunn
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Asin: 0130289418
Catlog: Book (2000-11-21)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 162258
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This book contains selections from Volumes I and II of the Anthology of American Literature, Seventh Edition. Carefully selected works introduce readers to America's literary heritage, from the colonial times of William Bradford and Anne Bradstreet to the contemporary era of Saul Bellow and Toni Morrison.It provides a wealth of additional contextual information surrounding the readings as well as the authors themselves. An expanded chronological chart and interaction time line help readers associate literary works with historical, political, technological, and cultural developments. Other coverage includes a continued emphasis on cultural plurality, including the contributions to the American literary canon made by women and minority authors, and a reflection of the changing nature of the canon of American Literature.For anyone who likes to read the writings of American Literature—and wants to understand the connection between those words and their place in American history. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars A pretty good anthology
Let's face it, most people won't be buying this volume by choice--they'll buy it for a class. Still, it's good to know what you're getting into. This is a pretty good anthology of American literature, starting all the way back with Native American myths and Columbus's journals and continuing through Puritan, Enlightenment, Transcendentalist, Romantic, and modern periods of literature in America.

The introductions to the pieces are good--as good or better than Norton's--and the selections themselves are generally good. Still, though, there are a few notable things missing, but that is to be expected in any compendium, I suppose.

One of the highlights of this volume is the full reprints of Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography and Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn. If you have to buy this book, it should be useful and may even be worth keeping around after the class is over. I know I'm going to keep mine. ... Read more


96. Literature for Children : A Short Introduction (5th Edition)
by David L. Russell
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Asin: 0205410332
Catlog: Book (2004-04-16)
Publisher: Allyn & Bacon
Sales Rank: 49680
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Book Description

This succinct yet comprehensive introduction to children's literature focuses on genres and concepts rather than on particular authors. This text is unique from others on the market because it is flexible for use in both English and Education departments.It focuses on the traditional genres of children's literature, and the discussions within the chapters are organized according to themes.Children's Literature. ... Read more


97. Aspects of the Novel
by E. M. Forster
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Asin: 0156091801
Catlog: Book (1956-06-01)
Publisher: Harvest/HBJ Book
Sales Rank: 30409
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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There are all kinds of books out there purporting to explainthat odd phenomenon the novel. Sometimes it's hard to know whom they'reare for, exactly. Enthusiastic readers? Fellow academics? Would-bewriters? Aspects of the Novel, E.M. Forster's 1927 treatise onthe "fictitious prose work over 50,000 words" is, it turns out, foranyone with the faintest interest in how fiction is made. Open atrandom, and find your attention utterly sandbagged.

Forster's book is not really a book at all; rather, it's a collectionof lectures delivered at Cambridge University on subjects as parboiledas "People," "The Plot," and "The Story." It has an unpretentiousverbal immediacy thanks to its spoken origin and is written in the key of Aplogetic Mumble: "Those who dislike Dickens have an excellent case. He ought to be bad." Such gentle provocations litter these pages. How canyou not read on? Forster's critical writing is so ridiculouslyplainspoken, so happily commonsensical, that we often forget to beintimidated by the rhetorical landscapes he so ably leads us through.As he himself points out in the introductory note, "Since the novel isitself often colloquial it may possibly withhold some of its secretsfrom the graver and grander streams of criticism, and may reveal themto backwaters and shallows."

And Forster does paddle into some unlikely eddies here. For instance,he seems none too gung ho about love in the novel: "And lastly, love. Iam using this celebrated word in its widest and dullest sense. Let mebe very dry and brief about sex in the first place." He really means inthe first place. Like the narrator of a '50s hygiene film, Forstercontinues, dry and brief as anything, "Some years after a human beingis born, certain changes occur in it..." One feels here the same-sexerhaving the last laugh, heartily.

Forster's brand of humanism has fallen from fashion in literarystudies, yet it endures in fiction itself. Readers still love thisauthor, even if they come to him by way of the multiplex. Thedurability of hiswork is, of course, the greatest raison d'êtrethis book could have. It should have been titled How to Write NovelsPeople Will Still Read in a Hundred Years. --Claire Dederer ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Marvelous thugh loosely structured reflections on the novel
Though Forster structures his essays around such fundamental novelistic elements as plot, character, and language, this is a rather loosely constructed and free ranging discussion of the literary form that has come in the past two hundred years to dominate the Western world's literary preoccupations. It is not systematic, nor is it comprehensive. Its tone is more personal and impressionistic. Fortunately, Forster has a large number of tremendously perceptions about the novel and novelists, and because he couches these reflections in frequently brilliant sentences, this book makes for reading that is both insightful and delightful. It is also an intensely personal book, so that we gain a great deal of insight into Forster's tastes and quirks.

Nearly every chapter in this book has something to offer the reader, but I have found his discussion of the difference between flat and round characters to be especially useful in reading other novels. In Forster's view, a round character is one that can develop and change over the course of a novel's story. They adjust, grow, and react to events and people around them. They are fuller, and therefore more lifelike. A flat character, on the other hand, is essentially the same character at the end of the tale as at the beginning. They do not grow, do not alter with time, do no admit of development. Flat characters are not necessarily bad characters. As Forster points out, correctly, I think, nearly all of Charles Dickens's characters are flat characters. Not even major characters such as David Copperfield change during the course of their history.

I have found this distinction to be quite helpful in reading the work of various novelists. Some authors have almost nothing but round characters. Anthony Trollope is a premier example of this. All of his characters develop and change and are effected by events around them. Some authors have a mix of flat and round characters, like Jane Austen. As Forster points out, she is even capable of taking a flat character like Mrs. Bennet, expand her suddenly into a round character, and then collapse her back into a round one. And her round characters are very, very round indeed. Compare Elizabeth Bennet or Emma Woodhouse with any character in Dickens, and the difference is obvious. On the other hand, someone like Hemingway tends to have round male characters and flat female characters, or Iris Murdoch, who has round female characters but flat male characters.

The book is filled with marvelous, frequently funny sentences. "Books have to be read . . . it is the only way of discovering what they contain." "Neither of them has much taste: the world of beauty was largely closed to Dickens, and is entirely closed to Wells." "The intensely, stifling human quality of the novel is not to be avoided; the novel is sogged with humanity." "The human mind is not a dignified organ, and I do not see how we can exercise it sincerely except through eclecticism." And one could go on and on.

If one wants a systematic and exhaustive history and discussion of the novel, one ought to turn, perhaps, to another book. But if one finds a pithy, impressionistic reaction to the form by one of its better 20th century practitioners, one could not do better than this find book.

5-0 out of 5 stars better than his novels
...the fundamental aspect of the novel is its story-telling aspect... -EM Forster, Aspects of the Novel

I liked this collected series of lectures on what makes for good novel writing much better than almost any of the novels that Forster actually wrote (A Passage to India being the lone exception). Forster treats seven different aspects--the story, people, plot, fantasy, prophecy, pattern, and rhythm--in a breezy conversational style. Along the way, he offers examples, both good and bad, from literary history. I found myself agreeing and dissenting about equally, but the whole thing was immensely interesting and entertaining.

Here are some of the observations that I agreed with and why:

A story "can only have one fault: that of making the audience not want to know what happens next."

One inevitably thinks of James Joyce's Ulysses, which by now has surely retired the title of "the book most likely to remain unfinished". No matter how revolutionary the technique, how insightful the observations or how compelling the characters, a book that you can put down and not care what happens next has failed in its most basic task. ----------------------

The constant sensitiveness of characters for each other--even in writers called robust, like Fielding--is remarkable, and has no parallel in life, except among those people who have plenty of leisure. Passion, intensity at moments--yes, but not this constant awareness, this endless readjusting, this ceaseless hunger. I believe that these are the reflections of the novelist's own state of mind while he composes, and that the predominance of love in novels is partly because of this.

Forster elsewhere sites DH Lawrence favorably, but he seems to me to be an author whose characters are so obsessed by passion as to be too novelistic, if not completely unrealistic. But, the example I would site here actually is not a case of love predominating to excess, but rather Crime and Punishment , where the characters' constant awareness of the philosophical and moral implications of their every thought and deed is such that it could only be the product of an author in intellectual overdrive. If real people truly lived their lives this way, nothing would ever get done. ----------------------

In the losing battle that the plot fights with the characters, it often takes a cowardly revenge. Nearly all novels are feeble at the end. This is because the plot requires to be wound up. Why is this necessary? Why is there not a convention which allows a novelist to stop as soon as he feels muddled or bored? Alas, he has to round things off, and usually the characters go dead while he is at work, and our final impression of them is through deadness.

Anyone who's ever read one of his books will instantly call to mind James Clavell. I recall the jarring sensation of finishing his great novel Tai-Pan when, many hundreds of pages into the book, unwilling to see it conclude, but obviously noticing that their were a dwindling number of pages; I could not imagine how he would conclude the main plot line so quickly, let alone tie up all of the remaining loose ends. And then, BOOM!, our hero is dead and the book is over. And why? I was ready to read on for as long as he wanted to keep writing. Or, at worst, he could have just stopped in mid story and said: "To be continued..." But Forster is right; the conventions of the novel almost require authors to

let the tiger out of the cage at the end, and, more often then not, it leaves a bitter taste in the reader's mouth, regardless of how much we'd enjoyed the book up until that point.

There is much food for thought of this kind in this witty, opinionated, fascinating survey of the novel. Add to that a really fine hammer job on Henry James and the fact that said hammering upset Virginia Woolf and we're talking big thumbs up here.

GRADE: A-

5-0 out of 5 stars Invaluable and deeply insightful
This very unusual book is highly recommended to all lovers of classical or even modern literature. It provides some fascinating insight into the creative process, as well as a deeper understanding of the artist E.M. Forster.Invaluable criticism and advice from perhaps the greatest English writer ever.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Everyone
This little book, the result of a series of Cambridge lectures by E. M. Forester in 1927, may be a little hard to acquire, but it is written in a style that is easy to read and understand, and with a style that tempts you to read it many times.

The idea is simple. Imagine all the novelists sitting in a room, each with a pen in hand. As we look over their shoulders what do we see? A story, something that keeps you wanting to know 'What happens next'. What gets added to that to make a great novel? People, Plot, Fantasy, Prophecy, Pattern and Rhythm are the words Forester uses to discuss the various aspects. Always with a sense of humor, and a loving understanding of his craft, and specific examples from novels written by those writers in that room.

This book it worth studying for an understanding of literature, it is also reading for an understanding of this particular novelist and what he believes is important in those books we all love.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Intriguing and Useful Study
ASPECTS OF THE NOVEL follows the text of a series of lectures E. M. Forster gave at Cambridge in 1927. He departed boldly from convention by trying to get his listeners to picture the great novelists of history writing at the same time in the same room--this to protect us from the pseudo-scholarly impulse to classify by period without a careful exploration of themes. Who is a psuedo-scholar? Anyone who "loves mentioning [the] genius [of a novelist], because the sound of the word exempts him from trying to discover its meaning." No longer guilty, I hope!

Forster helps facilitate that all-important struggle with the writer that will give us the most enjoyment and edification from literature. He does so by examining seven "aspects": The Story, People, The Plot, Fantasy, Prophecy, Pattern and Rhythm. Examples drawn from the likes of Sterne, Melville, Joyce, D. H. Lawrence and Henry James help illustrate his logically and lucid points. As a practitioner and a critic of the novel, Forster is both engaged with his topic and engaging in his exposition. Highly recommended for both the serious novel reader and the literature student needing a breather from the oppressiveness of Theory. ... Read more


98. Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative, and History
by Cathy Caruth
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Asin: 0801852471
Catlog: Book (1996-03-01)
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Sales Rank: 372082
Average Customer Review: 2 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Cathy Caruth has emerged as one of our most innovative scholars on what we call trauma, and on our ways of perceiving and conceptualizing that still mysterious phenomenon".--Robert Jay Lifton, M.D., author of "Hiroshima in America" and "The Protean Self". ... Read more

Reviews (1)

2-0 out of 5 stars Poor Analysis
I was excited to read this book when I found out about it, but I was severely dissapointed by the analysis Caruth gives. The texts and problems she addresses are rich and full of material to be sifted through, but her analysis is too quick to make equivalences and parallels where there are none. I found this to be the case most prominently in the chapters on Freud's "Moses and Monotheism." If you follow her logic carefully, she attempts to demonstrate that Freud exhibited repetition (in rewriting "Moses and Monotheism") before he experiences trauma (of being forced to leave Germany). To my knowledge, traumatic repetition is supposed to FOLLOW the traumatic incident. In addition, insofar as she depends on "Beyond the Pleasure Principle," she simply ignores the argument Freud gives for the death drive, and reduces repetition to trauma alone. However, Freud makes the case in "Beyond the Pleasure Principle" that trauma alone is NOT sufficient to understand repetition. I would have been more sympathetic with Caruth's reading if she had made an argument as to why this was not the case, but she does not. ... Read more


99. Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Jonathan Culler
list price: $9.95
our price: $8.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 019285383X
Catlog: Book (2000-05-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 41595
Average Customer Review: 4.21 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

What is literary theory? Is there a relationship between literature and culture? In fact, what is literature, and does it matter?These questions and more are addressed in Literary Theory:A Very Short Introduction, a book which steers a clear path through a subject which is often perceived to be complex and impenetrable.

Jonathan Culler, an extremely lucid commentator and much admired in the field of literary theory, offers discerning insights into such theories as the nature of language and meaning, and whether literature is a form of self-expression or a method of appeal to an audience. Concise yet thorough, Literary Theory also outlines the ideas behind a number of different schools:deconstruction, semiotics, postcolonial theory, and structuralism, among others.

From topics such as literature and social identity to poetry, poetics, and rhetoric, Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction is a welcome guide for anyone interested in the importance of literature and the debates surrounding it. ... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars A useful map of the landscape
First, if you have ever speculated that "theory" is primarily posturing by intellectuals with too much time on their hands in an attempt to justify their fringe political/social views, this book will probably confirm that belief for you. Further, if you have ever suspected that the arcane jargon created by "theory" practitioners is little more than obfuscation to ensure that their more outrageous pronouncements will be immune from refutation by intelligent but uninitiated outsiders, this book will do little to dissuade you. Nonetheless, if you want an approachable explication of what "theory" is all about, this is the book for you. Professor Culler does not argue the case for a particular school of thought, but explains (eschewing jargon when possible) the underlying currents of thought that drive literary analysis today. He starts by explaining the inextricable connection of literature theory to cultural studies and proceeds to explore the ramifications of that marriage. He then examines how literature theory attempts to answer questions about the nature of self, language, and meaning. To ensure that no single movement is given precedence, short descriptions of the tenets of the various schools are relegated to an appendix. The sheer number of approaches listed is breathtaking -- Russian Formalism, New Criticism, Phenomenology, Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, Deconstruction, Feminist Theory, Psychoanalysis, Marxism, New Historicism/Cultural Materialism, Post-Colonial Theory, Minority Discourse, and Queer Theory. So, if you simply want to know what all the "fuss" is about, or if you want to embark on a more serious study, start here.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential guide to PoMo Theory
Jonathan Culler's work is a fine exposition on the wrok of some of the twentieth centuries most provoctive philosophical and literary theorists. In well researched and clear chapters, Culler takes the reader on a guided tour of Postmodern theory-- which grew out of or is a response to russian formalism, phenomenology, new criticism, structuralism, post-structuralism, deconstruction,feminist theory, new histroricism, post-colonial theory, and minority discourses--beginning with the a discussion of the idea of "theory" and its importance and application to academic study today.

Using a highly stylized prose voice Culler succeeds greatly in expressing the nuance and deepth of this most controversial philosophical movement. Rather one is a student of Foucault, Derrida, de Saussure, or literary theory in general this book is an invaluable guide to the basics of these complex collection of ideas.

In this work Culler expands upon the importance of literature and by extension the close study of it as he recognizes the interconnectivty implicit between individual life and the literature that is produced as an attempt to explain its meaning. In Culler's view literature and the study of same is every bit as important as the study of history and religion as all aim to promulgate a "true" narrative of human experience, which some do better than others. Literary Theory, if for no other reason, is an important resource simply because it brings this idea to the fore and urges the reader into a more open and receptive posture in relation to the "reading" of any meaningful text, be it a novel, a symphony, a ballet, a painting or even a newspaper, which can only lead to a more infused understanding of the purpose of art and humanities necessary relation to it.

Reading this slim volume will save you hours of struggle with the difficult texts and ideas, that this book is definitely not meant to replace, but only supplement, rather it be Foucault's "History of Sexuality" and "Discipline and Punish"; Derrida's notion of "play" and deconstruction, de Saussure's "la parole" or the diverse body of work that first found its inspiration in these ideas, which are essential to understanding the raging debates in academia today.

4-0 out of 5 stars an accessible and helpful self-study guide for beginners
Yes, the book does aim to answer questions about the nature of literature and theory rather than approach them from a school-by-school philosophical/ideological orientation. Some English student in a rush who just wants an elucidation of the major critical schools will find Culler's approach oblique and might want to find a different book to read. Culler's book is easy to read, fun, clear, yet it touches briefly on a lot of heavy ideas that are explained in plain language for beginners. I appreciate that he doesn't seem to privilege any one ideology but lets the reader make up his own mind; this is the sign of a mature educator. Other reviewers of this little gem have overlooked what is perhaps the most valuable part: the "Citations and Further Reading" section in the back. This helpful annotated bibliography is loaded with references to journals and books that are linked to each chapter topic. It gives specific page numbers where to locate the relevant information so you don't waste time searching. Believe me: this is great. If you are facing something like Derrida's Of Grammatology or de Saussure's Course in General Linguistics for the first time, it can be pretty intimidating. These valuable references make Culler's litle book the perfect self-study guide with the primary texts. The only disappointment I have is that this book does not teach the reader how to apply the information he reads here to other texts; for example, the reader isn't taught steps on how to "deconstruct" a text. But there are other books that already do that like Steven Lynn's Texts in Context or Critical Theory Today by Lois Tyson and many others that are equally good. If you still want an institutional history of criticism or an explication of its schools, Culler recommends many books in the appendix in the back (I haven't read them), among them Terry Eagleton's Literary Theory: An Introduction ("a tendentious but very lively account"), Peter Barry's Beginning Theory: An Introducion to Literary and Cultural Theory ("a useful 'school'-oriented textbook"), Richard Harland's Superstructuralism ("broad and lively introductory survey"), Green and LeBihan's Critical Theory and Practice ("cleverly fuses the survey by school with approach by topic"). Culler's Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction is definitely not the only book a beginner will want to read on literary theory, but it is a great place to start. I rate it a strong four stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars helpful to me
I have been reading Culler's more comprehensive books on Structuralism and Deconstruction. I was having trouble reading these, so I stopped and read this, along with the other "Very Short Introduction" on Poststructuralism (not by Culler.)

I am finishing up "On Deconstruction" and it has been very smooth sailing, thanks to this book.

If you are not a beginner, this book probably isn't necessary, but if you are, it might be useful

3-0 out of 5 stars Spasmodically insightful.
Once again, Culler shows that he can explain theory in a manner that is relatively accessible to the neophyte yet likely to go down well with his peers. All the same, the final effect is less than satisfying. As thoughtful as the seven meditations on theory and language are, they don't have sufficient cohesion to make much of an impression (let alone a memorable one) on a reader fresh to theory. One wishes the author had paid more attention to the historical periods of theory and the revisions of successive generations, if only to clarify key distinctions. Or that this commentary (like many other recent explanations of literary theory) did not pass by archetypal criticism, which may be reductive and out of fashion in the academy but for many younger readers offers an edifying and useful approach. Instead, he manages to touch on Foucault, Derrida, and Lacan in the introductory chapter and devotes later chapters to discussions about J. L. Austin and performative language along with a section about Judith Butler.

The Appendix, which provides a summary of various schools and methodologies, is written in unhelpful, "humanless" prose, as unaware of an audience as it is deaf to voice (certainly this isn't what Barthes had in mind when he sacrificed the author to the life of the text).

In short (or in this case, the very very short of it), there are some good things to be gleaned from this little text (especially if an instructor wishes to use it for "departure points"), but I'm afraid it's too arbitrary, personal, and eccentric to be of great service in the undergraduate classroom. ... Read more


100. Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia : Fourth Edition (Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia)
by Bruce Murphy
list price: $50.00
our price: $31.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 006270110X
Catlog: Book (1996-10-09)
Publisher: HarperResource
Sales Rank: 22571
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

What does it mean to have the voice of a stentor? Where is John o'Groat'sHouse? Ever heard of a beast epic, or the Jindyworobak Movement? And what is theorigin of the word "abracadabra"?

The answers lie in this delicious reference that anyone interested in humility should have;just glimpsing it on the shelf reminds one of how very much there is that one does notknow. The thousands of entries in Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia cover anythingand nearly everything having to do with literature. The book includes biographies ofauthors, summaries of books and plays, depictions of characters and mythologicalfigures, explications of literary terms and movements, and, well, a whole bunch of otherirresistible stuff that is somewhat quirky and utterly engrossing. (For the curious: a stentor's voice is a very loud voice; John o'Groat's House isconsidered to be the most northerly point in Great Britain; in a beast epic, "thecentral characters are animals and the tone is often satirical"; the JindyworobakMovement is "a school of Australian poets demanding fidelity to Australianenvironment and the employment of aboriginal themes"; and abracadabra is acabalistic charm.) ... Read more

Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars a booklover's book, fun to browse, xlnt reference
A handy reference work for scholars, literature students, readers and booksellers, the headings include authors, titles, literary terms, fictional protagonists, historical personages, and so forth. This is one to keep at arm's reach, right there next to the dictionary.

A quick & ready reference for unfamiliar terms encountered during literary jaunts and journeys, and a great aid for booksellers needing some accurate background information to list a literary find online! One wishes the numerous online booksellers just entering the fray would purchase a copy, and familiarize themselves just a little with the world of books and literature of which they have become purveyors! - I've seen listings that betray the seller's ignorance of the difference between Winston Churchill the British statesman (& prime minister), and Winston Churchill the American novelist! A quick check of this easy reference work would have made the difference between accuracy and diletantism!

5-0 out of 5 stars Easy reference to every literary topic imaginable.
Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia is the most complete one-volume encyclopedia based on literature. Its entries are numerous and cover a vast variety of topics, from 'portmanteau words' to 'The Inferno.' I highly recommend this book to everyone who has an interest in literature or who need some extra help in that subject to get by.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Priceless Resource
I purchased this for myself my second year of college. Being an English major especially interested in the Modernists, it soon became the most used volume in my bookcase. A fantastic quick reference when crunched for time and excellent for understanding those oh-so-esoteric literary allusions. It's wonderful, with references for historical and artistic events and movements, novels, epics, authors, poets . . . a must for any lover and/or student of literature. This would make a fantastic gift, too!

4-0 out of 5 stars Not My Favorite, But A Good Choice
Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia, a favorite literary reference source for many years, has been substantially revised and updated in recent years with more emphasis on African American, Eastern, Middle Eastern, African, South American, Eastern European, and women's literature.

Benet's compilation includes biographies of authors and poets, short summaries of literary works, historical data on literary movements, and definitions of literary terms. Other entries encompass more general topics that might interest readers: historical definitions (Napoleon Bonaparte, Congress of Vienna, Vietnam War, Vikings), religious terms (trimurti - Hindu, Trinity - Christian, tripitaka - Buddhist), and art and music references (e.g., Grandma Moses, Picasso, and Mozart).

I find Benet's short essays and definitions to be well-written and quite helpful. It is an excellent reference work.

However, my personal favorite is the Merriam Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature, a joint effort of Merriam Webster and Encyclopedia of Britannica. Benet's and Merriam Webster's compilations overlap considerably, but they are not identical.

Benet's work is less complete; most notably it has fewer definitions for literary terms as well as fewer biographies of authors and poets. I find that Merriam-Webster's has many more descriptive essays on specific literary works and poems. For example, Benet's does not have an entry for The Name of the Rose, I Sing the Body Electric, Love in the Time of Cholera, For the Union Dead, or many other titles found in Merriam Webster.

Where Benet's and Merriam Webster's have the same entry (e.g., Cervantes, Charlie Chan, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Paradise Lost), they are both quite good. Merriam Webster's has some photos and drawings scattered throughout the text; Benet's does not.

I give 5 stars to Merriam Webster's and 4 stars to Benet's.

5-0 out of 5 stars Traveling companion or reference guide, this one's a winner.
For what it is, this little volume is the best: An illustrated guide (necessarily succinct because it is, after all, only one volume) to authors, works, characters, cities and towns of the British Isles as they relate to literature.

If you're putting together a tour of Britain relating to a particular writer -- A Christmas Tour of Dickens's England, for example -- here's the place to begin.

Altogether there are 1200 places listed, associated with 913 authors. Illustrations include portraits of writers, pictures of buildings and pictures of landscapes that are associated with authors and their works.

The section on Edinburgh is typical. After a paragraph about the early history of the town, its famous writers are listed with titles of their works. the earliest is Gavin Douglas, allegorical poet, who died in 1522. There's information about all the classical Scots -- even the somewhat obscure -- from Dr. Johnson through Stevenson, Carlyle, Burns and MacKenzie to David Hume.

It's too small to be detailed in the information it presents, but it's certainly broad enough in scope to be an extremely valuable desk reference to English literature. As a travel guide it's unique and invaluable.

It's an extraordinary book, one you'll lose yourself in, one that will send you back to the bookshelf to check and to reread some authors. ... Read more


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