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21. Shadowplay: The Hidden Beliefs
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22. Literature: An Introduction to
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23. The American Enemy : The History
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24. The Norton Anthology of American
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25. Ulysses Annotated
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26. Literature of Travel and Exploration:
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27. Nick Hornby's Polysyllabic Spree
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28. Children's Literature: Engaging
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29. The Compact Bedford Introduction
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30. American Literature, Vol. 2: Realism
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34. A Handbook to Literature (9th
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40. A Guide for Grown-ups: Essential

21. Shadowplay: The Hidden Beliefs and Coded Politics of William Shakespeare
by Clare Asquith
list price: $26.95
our price: $17.79
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Asin: 1586483161
Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Sales Rank: 35088
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A revelatory new look at how Shakespeare secretly addressed the most profound political issues of his day, and how his plays embody a hidden history of England

In 16th century England many loyal subjects to the crown were asked to make a terrible choice: to follow their monarch or their God. The era was one of unprecedented authoritarianism: England, it seemed, had become a police state, fearful of threats from abroad and plotters at home. This age of terror was also the era of the greatest creative genius the world has ever known: William Shakespeare. How, then, could such a remarkable man born into such violently volatile times apparently make no comment about the state of England in his work?He did. But it was hidden. Revealing Shakespeare's sophisticated version of a forgotten code developed by 16th-century dissidents, Clare Asquith shows how he was both a genius for all time and utterly a creature of his own era: a writer who was supported by dissident Catholic aristocrats, who agonized about the fate of England's spiritual and political life and who used the stage to attack and expose a regime which he believed had seized illegal control of the country he loved.Shakespeare's plays offer an acute insight into the politics and personalities of his era. And Clare Asquith's decoding of them offers answers to several mysteries surrounding Shakespeare's own life, including most notably why he stopped writing while still at the height of his powers. An utterly compelling combination of literary detection and political revelation, Shadowplay is the definitive expose of how Shakespeare lived through and understood the agonies of his time, and what he had to say about them. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Even If It Has Lots of Speculative Ideas
This is an entertaining book if nothing else.... and I am not trying to be negative in any way. For someone new to Shakespeare, this book is a bit complicated and that particular reader will fail to grasp some the arguments. I found it slightly hard to challenge all of her ideas and conclusion since she draws on a wealth of knowledge. I have attempted to learn something about Shakespeare and started by reading three popular biographies by three well known authors: Burgess, Kermode, and Greenblatt. Plus I have scanned or read a number of other books - see my Listmania list on Shakspeare. Eventually I bought Asimov's guide to Shakespeare, which is just a joy to read, and The Norton Shakespeare, the 3500 page monster that is the best single book - as a general reference on the works and times. Today one can enjoy most of Shakespeare's works on DVD and there are thousands of books, magazines, and journal articles available on the subject.

Writing a biography or an analysis about Shakespeare - putting it mildly - is a challenge, especially if the aim is to present and discuss new information as we have here. The idea that one might find new ideas about a 450 year old Shakespeare is virtually impossible. Thus, all the Shakespeare biographers and writers including Asquith are dependent on Shakespeare's works themselves, plus those books that immediately followed Shakespeare's life such as John Aubrey's book Brief Lives (1626 to 1697), and the various civic records from London and Stratford, along with court records, land transfer documents, and wills, etc. He left no notes nor did he write a biography.

All these books - including the present book - are not about new information. They are about presenting a coherent picture of Shakespeare and his environment: political, socio-economic, historic, sources of myths, religious ideas, other writers, etc. In reviewing the books the differences one sees in the books are in the styles, depth of knowledge, amount of speculation, facts, writing skill, holding the reader, etc.

The present book attempts to bring us an analysis based on the "hidden meanings" or code words and phrases, or simply a deeper understanding of his works, so we can find clues in his writings. This concept is not new since Shakespeare left no diaries and all we have are his writings and those writings of his contemporaries. There have been thousands of books and articles on Shakespeare, but as I wrote above, none by him, and most are centuries after he died.

In trying to judge her arguments - and I am not an expert - I looked fairly carefully at Chapter 15 or "Silenced" where she puts forward the theory that the Tempest was a sort of final personal tour de force for Shakespeare and that he was forced to retire - since he had a Catholic bias in childhood or some Catholic tendencies - and he had to leave London. We will never really know the real story unless we suddenly discover Shakespeare's secret diary after 400 years, but to me this seems like mostly speculation. Around this time he bought property at the Blackfriars in London so clearly he was not completely cutting his ties with London and the theatre. For myself, I suspect that he was simply getting tired after 20 years of writing and had accumulated enough money to retire, and in fact he lived only a few more years. That is the generally accepted view. It is generally thought that his father was a secret Catholic who had suppressed his public views in the mid 15th century as a town bailiff and alderman under the rule of Elizabeth. William Shakespeare the son seemed more neutral and had always lived with the continuous anti-Catholic intimidation factor of heads stuck on spikes, including many Catholic martyrs, as he walked back and forth across the bridge to London from the south bank, so I see nothing really dramatic here to cause a sudden change forcing him out of the theatre. Also, that chapter has just a few references beyond Ben Johnson.

In summary, this is a quick and entertaining read about Shakespeare with some speculation, and it merits at least 4 stars. I enjoyed the book but was not totally convinced. She needs more specific references to back up her points - in my opinion. Still it is a good 4 star read.
... Read more


22. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama
list price: $77.33
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Asin: 0321183304
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: Longman Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 28618
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Literature, 9/e, the most popular introduction of its kind, is organized into three genres¤Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. As in past editions, the authors' collective poetic voice brings personal warmth and a human perspective to the discussion of literature, adding to students' interest in the readings.An introduction to a balance of contemporary and classic stories, poems, and plays. Casebooks offer in-depth look at an author or clusters of works, for example “Latin American Poetry.” Authors Joe Kennedy and Dana Gioia provide inviting and illuminating introductions to the authors included and to the elements of literature. Coverage of writing about literature is also included.For those interested in literature. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good solid compilation for traditional approach
A very nice textbook, with a broad selection of literature, thought-provoking questions on each selection, short author bios, discussions of literature-related concepts, and even some pictures of authors. By tackling fiction, poetry, and drama all, the book has a very comprehensive and broad approach. A specialist in any of these three areas might look elsewhere for a more focused approach to their field; for a far-ranging english literature, class, the book is very solid.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Teaching Anthology
... First of all, it is massive and contains three books in one - fiction, poetry and drama. Each section includes a plethora of selections as well as longer works (like the full length plays of Hamlet and Macbeth). So one is really getting quite a library from this one book.

Even better, the sections are organized along themes in order to teach the student (or interested reader) how to appreciate the various forms. So the poetry section has sections on sound, figures of speech, rhythm, closed and open form, etc. I suppose this comes from it being a textbook for undergraduate courses - in any case, it pays off. I've learned a tremendous amount already. It's all in very easy to understand non-technical language, too.

At the end of the book, there is even a brief section on various forms of literary criticism. The book contains numerous student essays, brief author biographies, reflections by the authors on their own works (this is really great), and it reflects a really broad range of genres and time periods (unfortunately the section on haiku is plagued by bad translations, and there aren't enough examples of Chinese and other Japanese poetry... oh well!). There is also an emphasis on getting the reader to practice (and write for him or herself) what is being taught. So if you want to be a writer, this is great.

If you're a beginner interested in getting into literature, this is really a great way to do it. Don't be put off by the massiveness of this book - it's really a resource. Just start in one small place (I started in 'poetry') and work your way around. It will definitely increase your appreciation for literature.

4-0 out of 5 stars Decent Anthology
The Kennedy Anthology is a decent dependable sampler.I studied from it as an undergraduate and I now use it, as a grad student, to teach introductory lit classes (supplementing it, of course, with outsidematerial)

I'm suprised, however, at the reviewer's comments above.Yes,Kennedy includes rock songs in the poetry section, but claims dismissingtheir inclusion are faulty for two reasons.1)Rock lyrics, whether you'refond of them or not, do qualify as poetry (they are verse, after all and whether or not rock and roll lyrics stand as "good" poetry is acompletely separate issue) and2)Despite the fact that popular lyrics areincluded in the poetry section, the canonical giants are stillwell-represented (no need to fret, Whitman hasn't gone anywhere).In otherwords, if you dislike the rock lyrics, well, simply don't teachthem.

More importantly, in a field as diverse and (usually) liberal asliterature, I'm shocked that people still complain about multiculturalismand international literature "taking away" from established greattexts.Isn't this PC debate over?Haven't we all now simply accepted thefact that including diverse texts isn't a PC issue but rather an issue ofgood old common sense?Does anyone really still question the validity ofmarginalized (yet talented) voices being heard?Hasn't liberal humanism(at least in its problematic manifestations) been successfullydeconstructed?Frankly, I'm frightened to think how there are Englishinstructors out there actually arguing AGAINST diversity.Then again, I'malso incredibly naive.

Lastly, I like lit textbooks that include examplesof student essays.I employ a workshop method in my class and my studentsand I look at a variety of essays throughout the term--from establishedprofessionals, from students, and from me.Students are too oftenbombarded with "professional" examples of what they are expectedto produce.Why not include examples of reasonable essays that are more orless within their rhetorical reach?

3-0 out of 5 stars Some problems with the new (7th) edition
Let me begin by saying that the rating I have given is not comparing Kennedy's volume to other kinds of works, but rather to the half-dozen or so popular textbooks that are similar and that anthologize many of the sameworks.All have particular strengths and weaknesses; they are all worthyanthologies.

For several years, I have been using the Kennedyanthology to teach the introduction to literature class to universitystudents.I am reasonably satisfied with the current text, although theprice seems rather high.I have had some reservations about the selectionsin poetry because Mr. Kennedy has insisted upon calling popular songs"poetry" and implied that a few of the pop songs by Run D.M.C.,Paul Simon, Bessie Smith and Clarence Williams, and the Beatles are theequivalent of real poems.Sometimes a student will become angry because Iwill not accept a paper on a pop song.

This 60's kind of nonsense(like "The Poetry of Rock") should have remained in the 60's. Shamelessly, however, Mr. Kennedy and his publisher seem to pander to whatis perceived as students' tastes.I note that at the back of the volume isa form soliciting students' opinions of the selections.There is nosimilar form for teachers.

I am especially disturbed by this newedition because the claim to "international and multiculturalcoverage" has evidently meant the deletion of a great short story, LeoTolstoy's "The Death of Ivan Ilych."I guess, in the minds ofthe compiler and editors, the inclusion of additional "studentessays" was more important than the inclusion of a great story. (Frankly,I--and I suspect many others--could do with fewer student essaysand more essays by professionals.)

In a recent article in "TheChronicle of Higher Education" (Feb. 12, 1999), Professor JamesShapiro (Columbia) laments, "When Brevity Rules the Syllabus,'Ulysses' Is Lost."He goes on to say that because of the currentdemand for brevity, we can "forget about 'War and Peace'--'The Deathof Ivan Ilyich' is fast becoming Tolstoy's representative work."IfKennedy's 7th edition of "Literature" is any indication, however,we can forget about Tolstoy altogether.

Maybe some caring peoplecould get together and demand that Tolstoy be put back. ... Read more


23. The American Enemy : The History of French Anti-Americanism
by Philippe Roger
list price: $35.00
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Asin: 0226723682
Catlog: Book (2005-04-22)
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press
Sales Rank: 19631
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Book Description

Georges-Louis Buffon, an eighteenth-century French scientist, was the first to promote the widespread idea that nature in the New World was deficient; in America, which he had never visited, dogs don't bark, birds don't sing, and--by extension--humans are weaker, less intelligent, and less potent. Thomas Jefferson, infuriated by these claims, brought a seven-foot-tall carcass of a moose from America to the entry hall of his Parisian hotel, but the five-foot-tall Buffon remained unimpressed and refused to change his views on America's inferiority.

Buffon, as Philippe Roger demonstrates here, was just one of the first in a long line of Frenchmen who have built a history of anti-Americanism in that country, a progressive history that is alternately ludicrous and trenchant. The American Enemy is Roger's bestselling and widely acclaimed history of French anti-Americanism, presented here in English translation for the first time.

With elegance and good humor, Roger goes back 200 years to unearth the deep roots of this anti-Americanism and trace its changing nature, from the belittling, as Buffon did, of the "savage American" to France's resigned dependency on America for goods and commerce and finally to the fear of America's global domination in light of France's thwarted imperial ambitions. Roger sees French anti-Americanism as barely acquainted with actual fact; rather, anti-Americanism is a cultural pillar for the French, America an idea that the country and its culture have long defined themselves against.

Sharon Bowman's fine translation of this magisterial work brings French anti-Americanism into the broad light of day, offering fascinating reading for Americans who care about our image abroad and how it came about.


... Read more

24. The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Package 1: Volumes A-B, Sixth Edition
by Nina Baym
list price: $66.75
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Asin: 0393977935
Catlog: Book (2002-07)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 212569
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Now available in a portable multi-volume format, The Norton Anthology of American Literature is the classic survey of American literature from its sixteenth-century origins to its flourishing present.

The Sixth Edition offers the work of 242 writers—30 newly included—representing the extraordinary wealth and diversity of American literature. Among the many major works included in their entirety are Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, Thoreau's Walden, Douglass's Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Clemens's Huckleberry Finn, Chopin's The Awakening, Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire, Larsen's Quicksand, Ginsberg's "Howl," Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross, and Parks's The America Play. Informative introductions, headnotes, footnotes, and bibliographies accompany the texts.

Package 1, "Literature to 1865," contains two slipcased volumes: "Literature to 1820" (Volume A) and "1820-1865" (Volume B). ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Not revisionism, breadth
The reviewer who complains about the great authors being excluded in favour of the mediocre is missing the point. For me, to study American literature is not just to study the great works. Instead, it's to study American literature. That includes slave songs, native American chants, and anything else that was produced with a commitment to art and expression rather than simple commerce. We can't, of course, read everything but have to limit ourselves to reading representitive samples. And those representitive samples will include the great works which should, rightly, dominate. But to exclude the rest of the American works that those great works grew out of is to give, I think, a perverse view of what "American literature" means. Do you read only the flowers or view the field as a whole and see the flowers as they fit into the ecology? Is it a study of American literature or a study of selected great works? Lately, the Norton anthologies have been moving towards the broader view. It may not be what you want to do but to disparage it as unworthy is wrong.

3-0 out of 5 stars More Mathers Please
Is this all the Mathers you get? What about Jerry and Marshall. And we all know that early American lit is more boring than the late stuff. This anthology would really benefit from some Chuck Palaniak.

My favorite novel included is Mary Rowlandson's Captivity Narrative. I can't imagine how hard it must have been to go without church for all that time. She really had strength.

NOTE ON THE TEXT: If you really love American Lit, you'll find the puritan stuff much more engaging than the 19th Century. I keep a copy of Volume A by my bedside.

5-0 out of 5 stars as Norton understands, all authors endure revisionism
the reviewer from los angeles is evaluating what he calls a university trend, not these marvelous and comprehensive anthologies. moreover, of the three authors to whom he accords canonical status, cooper (whom twain absolutely reviled) and poe both remain controversial. a teacher of literature myself, i find cooper remarkably unimaginative and intolerably inefficient. His Rivenoak speaks that condescending white-guy version of "plain-ole-injun-talk", praising Natty Bumpo's decency 8 or 10 times in a single numb paragraph. we read cooper because of his influence, not his raw merits. further, cooper, like the astounding melville, was a 1930's revisionist canon re-admission; in fact, joseph conrad was asked to write an introduction to a melville volume and refused, writing back that he saw nothing of value in his writing. meanwhile, countless novels that (in their day) sold many, many times more than any of these folks are simply not read any more. so we've completely revised the canon that way too, judging as disposable most of the literature that real american readers of former times couldn't get enough of. who were the successful authors? hawthorne called them "that damn tribe of scribbling women," which accounts--in the words of a canon fixture himself (and one i utterly venerate)--for what we now ignorantly call "gender studies," and the concommitant revision of antholgies. as for native amnerican authors, we can at least say that cooper would be nowhere without them, and having read them on their own merits we can say much more, and with deep appreciation.

at any rate, norton is expanding their antholgies in size as they add these "other" writers, so that their additions do not come at the expense of the conservative canon. norton offers us the familiar and the recovered side-by side, so we needn't get anxious. their anthology is a thoroughgoing record and celebration of the complete american literary tradition, as it was advanced and read by living americans.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Revisionist's Anthology
I looked over the Norton Sixth Edition the other day...

Approximately a decade has passed since I used the Fourth Edition Norton Anthology during my undergraduate studies. At that time I sensed that there were two types of English professor: the traditionalist, who was committed to teaching the traditionally accepted great American writers; and, the revisionist, whose mission was to infuse female and minority writers at whatever cost. It seemed to me that the revisionist had been behind the Fourth Edition, given that there were many apparent changes to the American literary canon for what I believed to be for the purposes of political correctness and social change. My suspicions were later confirmed when a visiting Berkley professor, my American Lit professor's friend, admitted that this in fact was not only the goal but "a great responsiblility".

Of course, there is nothing wrong in introducing new writers, who during the preceding decades, because of there gender, race or ethnic background, had been overlooked and not read or studied. However, because there is finite number of pages in a given work, when a new writer is introduced it is at the expense of the older, traditional writer who ends up giving away his pages. In fact, in that course, entitled American Literature, which was a required course for all English Lit majors, we did not read any Twain, no Fennimore Cooper, and no Poe. Instead we were assigned Native American chants, slave writings, and various female authors. Just to reiterate, there is nothing wrong with studying Native American chants, slave writings, and female writers, but we must ask ourselves is it worth pushing some of the traditionally accepted fathers of American literature aside?

Since then I have looked over the Fifth and now Sixth editions and have seen the revisionist's grip tighten. It seems that with every edition there are more decisions made based on politics rather than merit. The canon is being revised and the good folks at Norton believe that it is their duty to do so.

Nevertheless, although it is clear that I am not a disciple of the revisionist, I nevertheless recommend the Norton Anthologies because although they contain plenty of mediocre works, they are nevertheless interwoven among the works of American masters, and it is difficult not to see who is who, regardless of what Professor Stillahippy says. ... Read more


25. Ulysses Annotated
by Don Gifford
list price: $29.95
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Asin: 0520067452
Catlog: Book (1989-10-01)
Publisher: University of California Press
Sales Rank: 31482
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Here substantially revised and expanded, Don Gifford's annotationsto Joyce's great modern classic comprise a specialized encyclopedia that willinform any reading of Ulysses. Annotations in this edition are keyed both to thereading text of the new critical edition of Ulysses published in 1984 and to thestandard 1961 Random House edition and the current Modern Library and Vintagetexts.Gifford has incorporated over 1,000 additions and corrections to the firstedition. The introduction and headnotes to sections provide generalgeographical, biographical and historical background. The annotations glossplace names, define slang terms, give capsule histories of institutions andpolitical and cultural movements and figures, supply bits of local and Irishlegend and lore, explain religious nomenclature and practices, trace literaryallusions and references to other cultures. The suggestive potential of minor details was enormously fascinating to Joyce,and the precision of his use of detail is a most important aspect of hisliterary method. The annotations in this volume illuminate details which are notin the public realm for most of us. ... Read more

Reviews (12)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great, with some room for improvement
I used this book from about pg 200 of Ulysses onward, and I think it's just about indispensable. There should not be any embarrassment in this: unless you know Latin, German, French, Hebrew (together with a good cross-section of literature from all these languages), Catholic & Jewish culture, English literature more or less entire, and (hardest of all) Dublin slang, culture, politics, and all the knick-knacks of daily life from 1904, Ulysses presents many baffling passages. This book helps out with all these things, plus plenty of other stuff: myths, songs, internal reference cross-indexing (for those of us who can't remember that Stephen Daedalus thought of the same Latin quotation 600 pages earlier), Joyce's basic scheme for each section, and more.

There are two failings, and they are minor: (1) there are still plenty of obscure words and phrases that aren't annotated (the introduction acknowledges this) and conversely (2) there are a number of things that don't need annotations that get them (particularly galling are the annotations that simply tell you that they don't know what Joyce is talking about either).

Still, an essential reference, and pretty entertaining in its own right (like flipping through an encyclopedia or Brewer's Phrase & Fable).

5-0 out of 5 stars Break it Down
All the surface details, references to mythology, history, politics, music, literature, etc, can be found in this book (Joyce's novel is not included within, just the annotations, but it still clocks in at 700 pages!). If you want to know exactly what Joyce was referring to--this is the place. However, it won't necessarily tell you what he MEANT (aheheh, some things must be left to the reader).

Of course, if you've never read Ulysses you don't need to know every obscure reference. Just pick up REJOYCE or THE NEW BLOOMSDAY BOOK, which have generalized overviews of the novel. This is for the deep scholars. But as Joyce said, all he expects of his readers is that they study his works for the rest of their lives.

This will keep you busy.

4-0 out of 5 stars Thorough, but not best for the novice reader
Gifford's book offers fascinating glosses and contextual annotations for Ulysses, but was not quite what I was looking for to help me with my first attempt at the book. The annotations are mostly disjoint explanations of specific allusions and references.

There are other guides to Ulysses that are better suited for the novice Joyce reader, helping the reader to keep track of the plot, the progress of the Odyssey and Hamlet corelations and explaining the shifts in style through the book. This kind of hand-holding may be unnecessary for more sophisticated readers, but for my first read, it was essential!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great reference, but not necessary to love Ulysses
Several years ago, when I embarked on my first reading of Ulysses, I purchased this book to help me deal with the famous Joycian allusions.

I was stunned by the size and careful detail of this annotation, since it rivals the size of Ulysses itself. For the first 60 pages or so of Ulysses, I religiously read every annotation for every allusion. And then I realized that I was missing out on the beauty of the book as a work of art. So I set the annotation down and continued reading Ulysses without help. Yes, there were many parts I failed to understand, but I loved the book nonetheless, and appreciated it as one of the 20th century's greatest pieces of art.

The annotation should serve not as a companion during a first reading of Ulysses, but rather as a reference for future, more detailed readings. As I have read parts of Ulysses again, I have turned to the annotation to guide me and help me understand the intricate details of the book. It is a scholarly endeavor, and one must always remember that Joyce meant to be enigmatic - to enjoy his genius does not necessarily mean to understand every enigma and allusion.

Savor the words of James Joyce, then savor his intellectual cavortings through this marvelous annotation. Do not use the annotation as a crutch to read Ulysses, the greatest novel of the 20th century, but trust your mind to learn his language.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beyond helpful
THis book is the ultimate Ulysses companion, just a line by line explication of the book so one can choose what one feels they need help with and cut out the extra sentences of a more formally structured book. ... Read more


26. Literature of Travel and Exploration: An Encyclopedia
by Jennifer Speake
list price: $495.00
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Asin: 1579582478
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers
Sales Rank: 496701
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Book Description

Containing more than 600 entries, this valuable resource presents all aspects of travel writing. There are entries on places and routes (Afghanistan, Black Sea, Egypt, Gobi Desert, Hawaii, Himalayas, Italy, Northwest Passage, Samarkand, Silk Route, Timbuktu), writers (Isabella Bird, Ibn Battuta, Bruce Chatwin, Gustave Flaubert, Mary Kingsley, Walter Ralegh, Wilfrid Thesiger), methods of transport and types of journey (balloon, camel, grand tour, hunting and big game expeditions, pilgrimage, space travel and exploration), genres (buccaneer narratives, guidebooks, New World chronicles, postcards), companies and societies (East India Company, Royal Geographical Society, Society of Dilettanti), and issues and themes (censorship, exile, orientalism, and tourism).

This comprehensive resource is designed for all those involved in teaching or researching this literature, as well as the general reader with an interest in exploring this growing subject. ... Read more


27. Nick Hornby's Polysyllabic Spree
by Nick Hornby
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Asin: 1932416242
Catlog: Book (2004-12-10)
Publisher: McSweeney's
Sales Rank: 1542
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Book Description

"Books are, let's face it, better than everything else," writes Nick Hornby in his "Stuff I've Been Reading" column in The Believer. "If we played cultural Fantasy Boxing League, and made books go 15 rounds in the ring against the best that any other art form had to offer, then books would win pretty much every time. Go on, try it. The Magic Flute v. Middlemarch? Middlemarch in six. The Last Supper v. Crime and Punishment? Fyodor on point And every now and again you'd get a shock, because that happens in sport, so Back to the Future III might land a lucky punch on Rabbit, Run; but I'm still backing literature 29 times out of 30." This book collects Hornby's popular columns in a single, artfully illustrated volume with selected passages from the novels, biographies, collections of poetry, and comics under discussion. ... Read more


28. Children's Literature: Engaging Teachers and Children in Good Books
by Michael O. Tunnell, James S. Jacobs, Daniel L. Darigan
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Asin: 0130813559
Catlog: Book (2001-08-07)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 156631
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29. The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature : Reading, Thinking , Writing
by Michael Meyer
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Asin: 0312398816
Catlog: Book (2002-08-01)
Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
Sales Rank: 74538
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30. American Literature, Vol. 2: Realism to the Present, Eighth Edition
by George McMichael, James S. Leonard, Bill Lyne, Anne-Marie Mallon, Verner D. Mitchell, Mae Miller Claxton
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Asin: 0131829599
Catlog: Book (2003-10-31)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 29092
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31. Dharma Bums
by Jack Kerouac
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
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Asin: 0140042520
Catlog: Book (1991-02-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 4188
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

One of the best and most popular of Kerouac's autobiographical novels, The Dharma Bums is based on experiences the writer had during the mid-1950s while living in California, after he'd become interested in Buddhism's spiritual mode of understanding. One of the book's main characters, Japhy Ryder, is based on the real poet Gary Snyder, who was a close friend and whose interest in Buddhism influenced Kerouac. This book is a must-read for any serious Kerouac fan. ... Read more

Reviews (115)

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny!
Man, I don't know where to start. "The Dharma Bums" is a masterpiece of the Beat Generation and a novel I will not soon forget. After The Loser's Club by Richard Perez, this is the best book I've read all year.

Jack Kerouac wrote this story about his days as a Zen Buddhist and rucksack wanderer. His alias in the book is Raymond Smith, and he is living in Berkley with his good buddy Alvah Goldbook(Allen Ginsburg). Ray meets a Zen Lunatic named Japhy Ryder(Gary Snyder), and together they travel the mountains and pastures of Central California trying to find themselves and find the true meaning of life. Ray also journies to Desolation Peak in Washington and lives there alone for the summer, which is just another chapter to this amazing piece of literature.

Another part of this book that impressed me was the beginning, when Kerouac wrote about his experience at the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance, and spoke of Alvah Goldbook's first reading of his poem "Wail", which in reality was Allen Ginsburg's legendary first reading of "Howl", which to this day is a Beat Literature classic.

While reading this book, I was constantly marking lines and passages, because some of the descriptions and poetry Kerouac included in this novel are simply amazing. "The Dharma Bums" is one of those books I will treasure forever and read over and over again.

5-0 out of 5 stars One word "Amazing"
Many a time an author decides a novel, should refelct one's life. And we see that Kerouac contains this belief. "Dharma Bums" was a beautiful description of Kerouac's interaction with Gary Snyder, one of the great Beat poets located in San Francisco. This book, not only amazed people about with it's writing, but launched an entire idea of American Buhdism. Many say that On the Road is Jack's best book, but my opinion is that On the Road is a pop version of Dharma Bums. But that is my educated opinion, my personal opinion is that I love this book. Kerouac has been a large influence on my life. As a child my mother and cousin would read me poetry and novels from the beat generation, naturally the older I got the more I started to appreciate the writing. But through it all Dharma Bums is still my favorite (W/ Cassidy's letters to Jack a close second). I recommend this book whole heartly to any individual who truly loves literture, too often this generation gets written off as a bunch of drunks, but Hemmingway and Lost gen members are remembered as a group of talented writers, they had a couple in their day. So give these writers a chance, and start with this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars On the Road with The Dharma Bums
I first met Kerouac in the early 70s, when I was finishing my sentence in college. He inspired me to actually go on the road and hitch hike across the country several times (something I would no longer recommend). I learned about America through Jack. Dharma Bums taught me that there was another side to thought and life than the ones I had been living. While he himself was self destructive, I have incorporated many of his philosophies thorughout my lfe, and continue to search for truth and beauty, even while amid lies and ugliness. Trying to explain Dharma Bums and its philosophies to my teenage daughter is a trip. She just looks at me as though I'd lost my mind, which I no doubt did years ago when I first ran in to the stories of Kerouac. It's sad to think that the ideas and lifestyles he enshrines are dying out, if not dead all ready. Anyone looking for a boost into the beat world, or an explanation for what made it so "in" 50 years ago would best be advised to read Dharma Bums, and On The Road. Nuff said.

5-0 out of 5 stars A cool drink
DHARMA BUMS came out a year after ON THE ROAD. While the latter is the beat manifesto celebrating the peripatetic lifestyle, BUMS focuses on the beat romance with Buddhist enlightenment and the building of an inner life. ON THE ROAD was an instant, memorable success, and while BUMS no doubt fed a desire for more of the same, it stands apart, its own satisfying work of art, its own way of sending telegraphs from the heart of the beat movement. Many of the episodes are based on actual events and experiences that were still fresh memories as the book was written.

Ray Smith is the first person narrator of DHARMA BUMS, a look alike for Jack Kerouac. For most of the book, he slyly puts Japhy Ryder at the center of attention. Ryder is a stand-in for poet Gary Snyder who survives, who as a young man in his twenties was already a natural leader. Surrounding them are other familiar figures from the era, including Alvah Goldbook (translates to Allen Ginsberg). They all write poetry and love jazz, women, and a casual lifestyle. They seek spiritual enlightenment. They delight in trolling for clothes in the Good Will and Army and Navy stores, they savor the simplest meal over a campfire. They are the Dharma Bums, rejecting the paralyzed emptiness they ascribe to middle class life.

I really like this book. The prose is clear and concrete, even when sorting through abstract notions. It is often funny. Kerouac had extraordinary insight into individual nuances and desires, and plays them into the tension of the journey and the sorting out. He had a gift for seeing how outsiders might perceive him and his crowd and how history might come to interpret the present he was portraying. Though he is legendarily perceived as a spontaneous artist, there is extraordinary control and shape imposed on these pages. Only twice does he momentarily break his world: once, in my edition, he slips and refers to Japhy as Gary, and another time, slipping out of the immediacy of the action, he pays a compliment to a simple meal on the road, noting that even as a lionized young writer in New York, he had not had a better meal in an upscale restaurant. Those curious nanoseconds can be forgiven, however. This book is a joy.

5-0 out of 5 stars one of kerouac's finest
I've heard it said that this is Kerouac's greatest novel. I still say that honor is held by On the Road, but this book is just as good. And it is his most spiritual novel. Kerouac combines his talent at writing with his philosophy of life and what you have is a powerful tool to enlightenment. This book should be read on at least two levels, as a work of great literature and as a theological tool. I can't recommend it enough. ... Read more


32. Mythology : Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes
by Edith Hamilton
list price: $7.50
our price: $6.75
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Asin: 0446607258
Catlog: Book (1999-08-01)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 7858
Average Customer Review: 4.12 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (34)

4-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Compendium on Greek Mythology
Here is an inexpenive paperback that will give you a wonderful intro to the Greek Myths...the stories are weel presented and Hamilton tries to preserve the flavor of each individual Greek source...thus some stories here are more detailed, even gory; others read more like fairy tales...the author does have a strong bias towards using Roman sources which she finds overblown; thus she always steers the reader in the direction of the aesthetic simplicity of original Greek sources...I believe Bulfinch is a good alternate read if you want some of the Roman versions...but for the majority of us who don't have time to gather all the original but want to broaden our knowledge on Greek mythology, I can think of no better volume than this one...it is also an enjoyable read in of it's own

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Reading Experience!
I have been interested in Mythology for quite some time now, and when one of my teachers mentioned a voluntary summer class on mythology with no credit offerred I was quite interested. She said that our primary book would be MYTHOLOGY by Edith Hamilton, a book I was yet to read. I have now completed this book, twice. It is the most complete volume of mythology, greek, roman, and a little bit of norse, that I have ever read. It starts off with a brief description of each of the gods, titans, etc. It discusses at least one story from each of the gods, and most of the lesser gods. It also talks about the creation of the earth, and many other significant events and at the very end of the book there are several charts describing the ancestry of the gods, titans and heroes. Adequate for a textbook, yet I believe this book is much more like a novel. It reads quite quickly and interestingly, yet is quite educational. I was amazed at all the real-life applications that I was able to make from the stories. I plan on reading it several more times, and I hope you will read it as well. A must to understanding some of the significance of names and especially European cities, not to mention a great read. Also recommended: THE LOSERS CLUB by Richard Perez

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Overview of Greek Mythology
In my opinion, mythology is a very interesting subject that helps us better understand past cultures' lifestyles and many of the stories are extremely enjoyable. Edith Hamilton's Mythology is a great overview of the Greek classics and it describes how the Greeks were the first mass culture to deify in their own image, have gods that acted very human, and could directly interact with their subjects.

The book is set-up very well with sections on the Olympian gods, lesser gods, classic tales of heroes and villains, and much more. Hamilton is a great writer and she really makes you "relive" many of the stories. I also appreciated how Hamilton gave adequate background on historians such as Homer, Ovid, Virgil, etc.

Many of the stories contained here most people have heard of, but not in the way that Hamilton tells them. Hercules, Theseus, the Trojan War, even the Calydonian Boar Hunt, are retold in a maserful and enjoyable manner. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the great classics that have remained a part of our culture for many many centuries. My only gripe with the book is that it does not contain much on other mythologies such as the Egyptian, Sumerian, and Norse (Roman myth is heavily related to Greek and is discussed), but there are plenty of works on those.

4-0 out of 5 stars napa high millionwordproject
Mythology by Edith Hamilton is a wonderful book for anyone who loves the stories of gods and heroes as much as I do. After not studying the Greek and Roman myths for about two years in school, I thought I had lost my love for the stories. But, when I read this book about the stories of myth and ledged, my mind is once again filled with awe and wonder. Reading about how people in ancient Greece and Rome explained how things happened, such as with Hera and Argus and how the peacock got it's eyes, and with Demeter and Hades and how the seasons began, is a truly wonderful reading experience. However, there are so many different stories in this book, it starts to become hard to tell one from the other. That is one thing I disliked about the book Mythology. True, they were separated and placed into categories, but I felt like there were to many stories/legends crammed into one book. However, over all it was a truly wonderful book.

4-0 out of 5 stars NAPAHIGH STUDENT million word report
Mythology by Edith Hamilton is a wonderful book for anyone who loves the stories of gods and heroes as much as I do. After not studying the Greek and Roman myths for about two years in school, I thought I had lost my love for the stories. But, when I read this book about the stories of myth and ledged, my mind is once again filled with awe and wonder. Reading about how people in ancient Greece and Rome explained how things happened, such as with Hera and Argus and how the peacock got it's eyes, and with Demeter and Hades and how the seasons began, is a truly wonderful reading experience. However, there are so many different stories in this book, it starts to become hard to tell one from the other. That is one thing I disliked about the book Mythology. True, they were separated and placed into categories, but I felt like there were to many stories/legends crammed into one book. However, over all it was a truly wonderful book. ... Read more


33. The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson (Modern Library Classics)
by RALPH WALDO EMERSON
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
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Asin: 0679783229
Catlog: Book (2000-09-12)
Publisher: Modern Library
Sales Rank: 3479
Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The definitive collection of Emerson's major speeches, essays, and poetry, The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson chronicles the life's work of a true "American Scholar."

As one of the architects of the transcendentalist movement, Emerson embraced a philosophy that championed the individual, emphasized independent thought, and prized "the splendid labyrinth of one's own perceptions." More than any writer of his time, he forged a style distinct from his European predecessors and embodied and defined what it meant to be an American. Matthew Arnold called Emerson's essays "the most important work done in prose."
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Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Waters that keep me afloat
My daughter sent me one of these e-mail questionnaires intended to reveal your personality. One of the questions on it was, "What person, living or dead, would you give $10,000 to spend an hour with?" In that moment, I typed in "Ralph Waldo Emerson". He's not the only one, but I certainly would beg, borrow or steal $10,000 for an hour with him -- not Thoreau, not Whitman, not Schiller... but Emerson I would. And Goethe I would. But my simple heart lies closer to Emerson than to Goethe.

I have gone through 4-5 of his selected works, and this is one of my two favorite.

30 years ago, when I entered high school, we studied the Transcendentalists in a basic lit class, and something about Emerson just glowed in my mind. The teacher told me that with time I'd get to know other authors better, and Emerson would take his place alongside a legion of others. But he was in a degree mistaken. Emerson never did diminish. I have never fallen out of love with him. And the relationship is a serious one. When the shadow of doubt creeps over me that my presence on this planet might be some kind of horrendous mistake, I still crack open a volume of Emerson. And he has never failed to recall me to myself.

5-0 out of 5 stars Altering pieces of work
With all the books written about philosophy today, and in the past, this should be perhaps, by far, the most sought after work. Camus and Dostoevsky have contributed much to thought and philosophy of existentialism, but this seems to, in its own way, surpass any labeling of a type of philosophy.

Self-Reliance has to be one of the most understood pieces in the collection. Mr. Emerson speaks in a tone that is easily understood and thoughts explained in plain english, no degree required to understand. And once understood, ideas are easy to apply to our own life to better understand what we have read.

Without a doubt, this book is a must in any thinkers library. Walt Whitman says it best about this book, "I was simmering, simmering, simmering. Emerson brought me to a boil." A genius of a book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Life-Changing
All I can say is Emerson changed my life. Once I read "Self-Reliance" in school, his writing sparked my interest. I read a few more of his essays, then became "addicted" to this book. Despite its length, I read all of his essays and poems in 6 months. I highly recommend this book to anyone. Emerson is a genius. Everyone should read at least one of Emerson's essays in their lifetime. They are amazing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspirational Collection of Pure Brilliance
After perusing the wonderful assortment of Emerson's work in this marvelous compendium, I was inspired by the sheer genius of this man. I found his work inspirational because it reminded me how insightful and profound we humans can be. As we go through the day-to-day of modern life, it has become apparent that our culture believes the more basic you speak the more real you are being---well after reading Emerson, modern "realness" can take a hike. Here's to the intellect!

Buy this book, sit back and read what thoughts we are capable of forging, and enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Life altering
After reading the essay, "Self Reliance," I had a new perspective on my own intellectual capacity.

Emerson's faith in reason, truth, and the potential of the individual, are inspiring.

These essays are a great introduction to learning to trust yourself to find your own spiritual path.

He is religious with out being dogmatic. He wonderfully marries the intellect with wonder. mmmm.

Highly recommended. ... Read more


34. A Handbook to Literature (9th Edition)
by William Harmon
list price: $56.00
our price: $56.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0130979988
Catlog: Book (2002-07-10)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 71781
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The definitive, contemporary reference on literature and literary criticism in English, this handbook provides an alphabetical listing of more than 2,000 important terms and facts in literature, linguistics, rhetoric, criticism, printing, bookselling, and information technology.Covers a wide range of terms, most centered in literature, but extending into other areas, such as film, radio, TV, printing, linguistics and literary theory, music, graphic arts, classical studies, and computing and information science terms.For anyone interested in literature and literary criticism. ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Handbook to Literature
Harmon and Holman have done a fantastic job editing this handbook. I had to pick it up for use in a poetry class (taught by Harmon, no less!) and have found it to be not only a useful study guide, but an entertaining read insofar as it is not dry as one might suspect such a book to be, but is at times quite humorous. From "amphimacer" to "homeoleuton" (and seemingly everything else related to literary style, rhetoric, rules, movements, and just plain interesting facts), the handbook is comprehensive and easy to follow.

The editors have cited -- and in many cases quoted -- passages from a wide variety of popular literary works in order to make each entry clear. Cross-referencing is extensive and definitions are very understandable.

The entries are alphabetized, and each time a new letter comes about, the editors give an example and a history of a different font.

Also included are a time-line of literary movements, both American and English, and listings of literary prize-winners and major publications and events in both American and English literary history.

In corresponding with friends whose interests run along the same vein as mine, I have enthusiastically recommended Harmon and Holman's handbook, and I extend that here, as well.

Daryl L. Houston (dhouston@email.unc.edu)

4-0 out of 5 stars Attention University Interscholastic League Competitors!
If your teacher/leader for the University Interscholastic League for literary criticism has not clued you in yet, this is the book to get! It's got everything you never knew you didn't know about English literature. The "Knowledge of Literary Terms and History" section of the exam is based on this text, so whether you're hitting the books or just expanding your horizons, be sure and check it out!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for people who love literary devices
Very informative and expansive. It's handy and interesting because it goes past basic definitions to include historical background, etc.

5-0 out of 5 stars A page-turner encyclopedia? You better believe it!
If you have a question about English or American literature, chances are you'll find the answer here. William Harmon, professor of English at the University of North Carolina has revised and updated this handbook, long popular in academia. He's added more than 100 entries which reflect current trends in literature and criticism.

If you don't have a student at home, get this book anyway. Read it. Just the outline of English and American literary history in the back of the book is worth the price. You undoubtedly will find books here you never knew existed. I thought I'd read all of Eudora Welty, for instance, but I found a "new" title listed here -- new to me, at least. I also discovered a James Gould Cozzens book I'd never heard of.

The handbook is actually an encyclopedia of words and phrases pertaining to the study of literature. Listings are defined, explained and often illustrated. There are cross references. Appendices include complete lists of Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize winners for fiction, poetry and drama. The index of proper names in the back lists over 2,300 authors and prominent literary figures.

This book is a must for the home library. Also, it's entertaining as well as informative reading. You may well find yourself curled up with it, unwilling to tear yourself away.

5-0 out of 5 stars Handy, Handy, Handy!
I love this book because it has complete, concise definitions of every literary facet you can think of. I have used it as a study tool for my certification tests, as a quick look up tool before tests, and as a way to explain difficult literary terminology to my students. I cannot stress how badly English teachers (and anyone else who loves literature) needs this book! ... Read more


35. Literature : Reading, Reacting, Writing (with Lit21 CD-ROM Version 1.5)
by Laurie G. Kirszner, Stephen R. Mandell
list price: $76.95
our price: $76.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 141300640X
Catlog: Book (2003-10-10)
Publisher: Heinle
Sales Rank: 245406
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Book Description

Combining the broadest selection of literature available, with time-proven and class-tested writing instruction, and the extraordinary Lit21 CD-ROM, the new editions of LITERATURE: READING, REACTING, WRITING, Fifth Edition provide all the help that students need to make literature a part of their lives. ... Read more


36. The Location of Culture (Routledge Classics)
by Homi K. Bhabha
list price: $24.82
our price: $24.82
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Asin: 0415336392
Catlog: Book (2004-10-01)
Publisher: Routledge
Sales Rank: 293143
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In Location of Culture, Homi Bhabha sets out the conceptual imperative and political consistency of the post-colonial intellectual project. In a provocative series of essays, Bhaba explains why the post-colonial critiquwe has altered forever the landscape of postmodern discourse. ... Read more

Reviews (15)

3-0 out of 5 stars Homi don't play that!
Let's get one thing straight. Homi Bhabhi is difficult to understand. However, I think everyone else who wrote reviews is wrong. Bhabha is the only post-colonial theorist who has an adequate grasp of historical dynamics in constructing identity, while remaining unafraid to problematize notions of historicity. I don't think the other people who reviewed this book understand that. I liked this book. But I liked his earlier stuff--EG Nation and Narration--a little better.

5-0 out of 5 stars Obscure but ultimately an eye(and text) opening theory
Bhabha is writing about a terrain which is perhaps best understood when being applied to a specific text. The theory all by itself sounds fascinating but obscure, when you see Bhabhas theory in practice, however,it makes all kinds of sense and yields extremely nuanced readings of texts you may have thought you knew very well.
In Writing India(published 1996) Bart Moore-Gilbert uses Bhabha's theory to great effect in his analysis of Kipling.
Also Bart Moore-Gilbert gives an excellent and concise summary of Bhabhas work as well as excellent summaries of Said and Spivak(as well as detailed analysis of criticisms of their work) in Postcolonial Theory Contexts Practices(published 1997). All in crystal clear prose.

3-0 out of 5 stars I'd rather stick my hand in a blender than read this again
The fact that this book is influential is generally beyond argument. What astonishes me, however, is that so many people had the endurance to sit through the horrific writing; the author's style is obnoxious in the extreme. The first paragraph, for example, notes that the question of culture is the "trope of our times," characterized by "a tenebrous sense of survival." These concepts are not mind-bending. An everday, or as Homi would say, "colloquial" vocabularly would sufficiently articulate his thesis, yet he seems hellbent on packing his work with obscure language like he needs show off or prove something. Again, his ideas are influential, but he makes reading them as painful as possible.

1-0 out of 5 stars Mimicry, Mockery, Menace
Ambivalence is a key term in Bhabha's Location of Culture. Accordingly, Bhabha's prose might be considered poetry or gibberish, but certainly not scholarship. There is no thesis, no argument, no evidence. That is not to say that Bhabha wouldn't be capable of such writing. Every once in a while, the reader can catch a glimpse of Bhabha's Other: the lucid thinker of post-colonialism. In order to compensate for the lack of clarity, structure and, yes, basic congruity between subjects, verbs and objects, Bhabha enacts the thoughts he fails to express. Indeed, his text is a performance of itself. Take, for instance, his chapter on mimicry. Whatever intelligent thoughts other scholars have derived from this concept, you will not find them in Bhabha's book. But he indeed shows you what he means, as he goes through the motions of scholarship. First, he makes a number of general statements that sound like a thesis. Then he puts a in a few convoluted sentence structures that make no sense-grammatically or otherwise. And finally he slams in a quote or two to prove a point-what point doesn't matter, for he did not make one in the first place. As a reader you will have to decide whether his work is a mimicry (in his definition "almost but not quite") of scholarship or its menace (according to Bhabha, 'not at all but still a little'). About one thing, though, he leaves no ambivalence: he "quite simply mocks its power to be a model." Harvard volunteered to be the evidence.

3-0 out of 5 stars Even though this is one of the most highly regarded ...
...theory books of the 1990s, its fame and reputation seem overblown. None of the other reviews posted here have really stated what Bhabha tries to accomplish in "The Location of Culture," so I'll give it a crack, even though I'm no expert on postcolonial theory.

To save you all some time, many of Bhabha's key points are made in the first two pages of his book. For instance: "In-between spaces provide the terrain for elaborating strategies of selfhood--singular or communal--that initiate new signs of identity, and innovative sites of collaboration, and contestation, in the act of defining the idea of society" (p. 1-2). Elsewhere, in-betweenness is easily the key concept in the book, as well as the notion of HYBRIDITY. The reason the modernist model of Colonialism is doomed to fail is not only because it needs the Other (the colonized) to validate its own supremacy (and to fulfill its desires), but also because it engages in what Bhabha refers to as "contra-modernity": modernity in "colonial conditions where its imposition is itself the denial of historical freedom, civic autonomy and the 'ethical' choice of refashioning" (p. 241). Bhabha finds that by examining the borderlines between Colonial power and Colonial oppression, a truer history of global populations can be obtained. In one of the finer passages in the book, Bhabha examines a scene from Salman Rushdie's controversial 1988 novel "The Satanic Verses" and descibes how the postcolonial body--shaped by an outside nationalist culture--is representative of the colonizer, yet the colonizers "can never let the national history look at itself narcissistically in the eye" (p. 168).

Now let me preface my explanation by saying this is what I THINK Bhabha is getting at. It's not that his prose is "confusing," as other reviewers have stated here--although it is exceedingly "academic" (and there is nothing wrong with that, in and of itself)--but it is mired in the theoryspeak of the West that Bhabha seems so insistent upon de-centralizing. Bhabha uses the theories of the European male elite with so much blind faith that it easily undermines much of what he is trying to accomplish. Jacques Lacan, Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud and Jacques Derrida are all over this book. These "founders of discourse" (as Foucault called Marx and Freud--and could posthumously call himself given his exhaltation in the academy after his death in 1984) represent an alternate (i.e. "left") critical practice, yet completely dominate Western discussions of theory in literary circles. Is not Bhabha, an Indian scholar, colonized by these minds?

Also, Bhabha's insistence upon in-betweenness at times really seems to undermine his (apparent) intentions. He seems, on the one hand, to claim that it is precisely through in-betweenness that the oppressors dominate the oppressed. Yet, it also seems that this in-betweenness gives the oppressed the opportunity to resist the oppressors. We seem to be back at step zero. Is anything really being said here?

He should have followed better the example of Frantz Fanon, who appears early and often as a primary source in "The Location of Culture." Fanon was surely no stranger to the Western tradition, but was able to write in a critical-poetical-personal style that was accessible to non-academics, a style that had real fire. Bhabha, with all his emphasis on the work of postcolonial theory--which, in his words, seeks to "revise those nationalist or 'nativist' pedagogies that set up the relation of Third World and First World in a binary structure of opposition" (p. 173)--continually relies on the concept of "doubling" (likely a Lacanian theory) as well as his notion of in-betweenness (or liminality, as he calls it) in such a manner that no distinct point of view really emerges. The theoryspeak seems to subsume any important observations he might be willing to make.

While this book has some wonderful moments in it, I would estimate that about 25 of the books 250 pages really says something. I'm worried that this book has been canonized because the mainly white scholars that run the Academy need their theories stated in a dense manner by an Indian man to give them validity. I know that kind of thinking is very conspiratorial, but it is only a concern. I've not read any other Bhabha, or other postcolonial theorists like Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak or Arjun Appadurai, but I cannot recommend this an easy gateway into this material. I would recommend the writings of Fanon, though his writing precedes the moment of postcolonial theory by some three or four decades, as a better introduction. ... Read more


37. Hey Rube : Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness Modern History from the Sports Desk
by Hunter S. Thompson
list price: $23.00
our price: $15.64
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Asin: 0684873192
Catlog: Book (2004-08-11)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 2381
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Book Description

SPORTS, POLITICS, AND SEX COLLIDE IN HUNTER S. THOMPSON'S WILDLY POPULAR ESPN.COM COLUMNS, PROVING THAT THE GOOD DOCTOR IS IN -- AND AS INSIGHTFUL AND INCENDIARY AS EVER.

For decades, Hunter S. Thompson has galvanized American journalism with his acerbic wit, radical ideas, and gonzo tactics. He continues his reign as "The Unabomber of contemporary letters" (Time) with Hey Rube. Fear, greed, and action abound in this hilarious, thought-provoking compilation as Thompson doles out searing indictments and uproarious rants while providing brilliant commentary on politics, sex, and sports -- at times all in the same column.

Filled with critics' favorites, as well as never before published columns, Hey Rube follows Thompson through the beginning of the new century, revealing his queasiness over the 2000 election ("rigged and fixed from the start"); his take on professional sports (to improve Major League Baseball "eliminate the pitcher"); and his myriad controversial opinions and brutally honest observations on issues plaguing America -- including the Bush administration and the inequities within the American judicial system.

Hey Rube gives us a look at the gonzo journalist in his most organic form -- unbridled, astute, and irreverent. ... Read more


38. The Bedford Introduction to Literature : Reading, Thinking, Writing
by Michael Meyer
list price: $73.95
our price: $73.95
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Asin: 0312412428
Catlog: Book (2004-07-09)
Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
Sales Rank: 62798
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39. Heath Anthology of American Literature, Vol. 2
list price: $63.96
our price: $63.96
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Asin: 061810920X
Catlog: Book (2001-07-01)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Sales Rank: 92873
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This new anthology brings the expansive, inclusive approach of the two-volume Heath to the single-volume format. While other one-volume texts continue to anthologize primarily canonical works, the new Heath Concise offers a fresh perspective for the course, based on the successful hallmarks of the two-volume set.

  • The selected works represent the most culturally diverse table of contents available in a one-volume format.
  • A wealth of historical and cultural context material helps illuminate the literary works.
  • A broad range of literary forms includes sermons, songs, and letters.
  • Engaging Headnotes and Section Introductions provide students with background information.
  • Mini-thematic units—including Literature of the Vietnam Conflict— allow for in-depth study.
  • Unlike many one-volume anthologies, The Heath features fewer excerpts of long works and a rich selection of short works teachable in every classroom.
  • A comprehensive web site offers abundant student and instructor resources, such as author information; an interactive timeline of literature, history, and culture; and an archive of Heath Newsletter articles.

... Read more

Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars The Heath Anthology of American Literature
In purchasing this book, I was expecting to find something similar to the second volume of the Norton Anthology of American Literature.Unfortunately, I found this book to be far inferior.It has works by someof America's most highly commended authors, and has some great shortstories.However, the excerpts from authors' longer works seem to belacking; there should either be longer excerpts or more poingnat scenesshould have been chosen.The anthology spends far too much time describingeras, and not enough in inserting major works.Some of thebreakdowns/characterizations of the peices included are awkward, and tendsto underrate the authors by putting them in sectionss that degrade theirwork. ... Read more


40. A Guide for Grown-ups: Essential Wisdom from the Collected Works of Antoine de Saint-Exup¿ry
by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
list price: $9.95
our price: $8.96
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Asin: 0152167110
Catlog: Book (2002-05-01)
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Sales Rank: 10148
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

“One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.” For more than sixty years, this insight from The Little Prince has been quoted in more than 130 languages by fans around the world. Now, for the first time, quotations from the collected works and letters of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry are presented in a charming gift edition. Six chapters--“Happiness,” “Friendship,” “Responsibility,” “Fortitude,” “Love,” and “What Is Essential”--offer inspirational and thought-provoking words about the subjects held most dear by the author. A perfect gift for graduates—or for anyone who wants gentle guidance. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
I'm a huge fan of St. Exupery. His writings are fantastic. This book pulls out some of the beautiful prose he wrote and oh it's just wonderful to open the book to some page, read the passage/phrase and then sit and savor it, meditate on it. I love this book. Glad it was compiled. Highly highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars Essential Wisdom is Right
Let it be understood that this is a coffee table/bathroom type book. The kind of book you pick up and select a few pages and read and meditate on what it is you have just read. Perhaps you share it with a friend and get engrossed in a discussion after reading only a page or two. I suppose you could read it from cover to cover, and although you would be finished quickly I think you would be missing the point of encapsulating the brunt of a prolific writer's works into 96 pages each with only one or two sentences on them. The idea is to revisit the world of Antione de Saint-Exupery and linger a little bit longer than you did the first time you read his works.

If you are familiar with the works of Antoine De Saint-Exupery, you will probably recognize just what part of each story the quotes are taken from. You will also instantly recall the magical way in which Saint-Exupery was able to reveal the his subtle wisdom in regards to happiness, friendhsip, love, grief, etc. in a way that was accessible to children, but still profound to the most discerning adult. If you are only familiar with The Little Prince, than perhaps this little guide will do a lot to bring you up to speed on Saint-Exupery's entire body of everyday philosophy.

I doubt that anyone who has never heard of Saint-Exupery or any of his stories will appreciate this book much. The magic of Saint-Exupery has to be experienced before one learns how to detect the depth of his thoughts in these short quotations. As a gift this book is still an excellent idea, but perhaps it should be given in conjunction with at least one other Saint-Exupery book, if the recipient is completely new to Saint Exupery.

I will serenely conclude here before I start taking my opinion too seriously.

4-0 out of 5 stars very nice to slow down and read
After just being introduced to the "Little Prince", I wanted more. This book is nice to have around to read when things seem out of control and the stress level is getting high. This would be a nice book to give as a gift or have in the guest room for those visitors who may need a little 'essential wisdom'.

4-0 out of 5 stars Just good common sense
Lovely quotations regarding Love, Friendship etc. that make you feel all warm and cozy. Makes you want to pick up and read Wind, Sand, Stars and The Little Prince all over again and also look up at the stars once again with new feeling. ... Read more


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