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$69.33 $21.99
101. Literature and the Writing Process
$35.00
102. Understanding Dante (The William
$18.95 $15.95
103. Unclaimed Experience: Trauma,
$35.00 $33.50
104. Tolkien and the Invention of Myth:
$19.77 $9.99 list($29.95)
105. The Bible with Sources Revealed
$76.00 $52.97
106. Antología de autores españoles:
$16.95
107. The Key to The Name of the Rose
$18.87 $17.70 list($29.95)
108. Amelia Peabody's Egypt: A Compendium
$8.96 $6.21 list($9.95)
109. Literary Theory: A Very Short
$9.75 $8.47 list($13.00)
110. Funny Money
$13.75 list($13.95)
111. Machiavelli's The Prince
$73.95 $49.00
112. Bedford Introduction to Literature
$4.10 list($29.95)
113. The Language of Life
$76.95 $50.00
114. To Read Literature
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115. De-Coding Da Vinci: The Facts
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116. The Portable Beat Reader (Viking
$37.95 $34.95
117. A Rhetoric for Writing Teachers
$17.00 $15.95 list($25.00)
118. K.
$9.75 $3.25 list($13.00)
119. Hooking Up
$9.00 $7.94 list($12.00)
120. Aspects of the Novel

101. Literature and the Writing Process with Website (6th Edition)
by Elizabeth McMahan, Susan X. Day, Robert Funk
list price: $69.33
our price: $69.33
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Asin: 0130669067
Catlog: Book (2001-06-27)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 169189
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars perfect for teachers
Teaching an introduction to literature course can be a demanding job. One concern is that you have to find the book/s that provide/s you with the works you want and, at the same time, you want to try to not break the economic backs of your students. LITERATURE AND THE WRITING PROCESS is probably one of the better collections out there. For my purposes, it has most of what I need: dramas like OEDIPUS REX and MACBETH; short stories by Joyce, Carver, O'Connor, Achebe, Munroe, and Updike; and a vast array of poetry that spans centuries.

While the price of this collection seems steep, it works out to be much cheaper than having your students buy a copy of MACBETH, of OEDIPUS REX, of DUBLINERS, of CATHEDRAL, etc. Another advantage of this book is that it provides students with guides on how to approach literature, and how to write about it. Not all of these guides are helpful, and some are extremely weak: this is why I give this book four stars instead of five. Still, I haven't foundmuch else out there that compares to this book for the price!

Rocco Dormarunno.
Instructor, The College of New Rochelle ... Read more


102. Understanding Dante (The William and Katherine Devers Series in Dante Studies)
by John A. Scott
list price: $35.00
our price: $35.00
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Asin: 0268044511
Catlog: Book (2004-11-30)
Publisher: Undp
Sales Rank: 295837
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103. Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative, and History
by Cathy Caruth
list price: $18.95
our price: $18.95
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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


104. Tolkien and the Invention of Myth: A Reader
by Jane Chance
list price: $35.00
our price: $35.00
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Asin: 0813123011
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Sales Rank: 224173
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Book Description

Unlike many of his contemporaries, J.R.R. Tolkien strongly believed that mythology is neither allegory nor historical fact but was instead "a true secondary world born out of language, to be experienced, not excavated." In Tolkien and the Invention of Myth, a collection of eighteen new and classic essays, Jane Chance and established and emerging Tolkien scholars explore the profound influence of late classical and medieval mythologies—ancient Greek, classical and medieval Latin, Old Norse, Old English, and Finnish. Tolkien used writings such as these as he shaped his own mythology in The Silmarillion and the literary masterpiece The Lord of the Rings.

Exploring the origins of Tolkien’s mythological influences, these essays illuminate the crucial episodes, characters, style, language, and concepts central to Tolkien’s complex worlds. The authors probe how such transformations of language and mythology take place in thematic and symbolic form in the novels. They then relate these episodes to Tolkien’s understanding of society, culture, history, heritage, tradition, nature, heroism, and love.

Among the contributors are well-known scholars Marjorie J. Burns, Michael D.C. Drout, Verlyn Flieger, David Lyle Jeffrey, Tom Shippey, and Richard C. West, whose essays examine Tolkien’s literary aesthetic in folklore, his love of philology (his own and medieval), and the philosophical and religious underpinnings of his narratives. The four sections of the book investigate his adaptation of late classical and medieval legends and histories as well as northern European mythological sources.

A well-rounded and essential reader for any Tolkien lover, Tolkien and the Invention of Myth also includes several classic essays on the author’s mythmaking. No other collection attempts to identify the various medieval mythologies woven into the tapestry of The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion and to examine how Tolkien rediscovered and reinvented tales of larger-than-life gods and heroes of northern myths. ... Read more


105. The Bible with Sources Revealed
by Richard E. Friedman
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
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Asin: 0060530693
Catlog: Book (2003-12-01)
Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco
Sales Rank: 66651
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

For centuries, biblical scholars have worked on discovering how the Bible came to be. The consensus that emerged from experts of various traditions was the Documentary Hypothesis: the idea that ancient writers produced documents of poetry, prose, and law over many hundreds of years, which editors then used as sources to fashion the books of the Bible that people have read for the last two thousand years.

In The Bible with Sources Revealed, Richard Elliott Friedman, one of the world's foremost experts on the Bible and author of the bestselling Who Wrote the Bible?, offers a new visual presentation of the Five Books of Moses -- Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy -- unlocking their complex and fascinating tapestry of sources. Different colors and type styles allow readers to easily identify each of the distinct sources, showcasing Friedman's highly acclaimed and dynamic translation.

This unique Bible provides a new means to explore the riches of scripture by:

  • Making it possible to read the source texts individually, to see their artistry, their views of God, Israel, and humankind, and their connection to their moment in history;

  • Presenting the largest collection of evidence ever assembled for establishing and explaining the Documentary Hypothesis;

  • Showing visually how the Bible was formed out of these sources; and

  • Helping readers appreciate that the Bible is a rich, complex, beautiful work as a result of the extraordinary way in which it was created.

Now everyone can explore these rich resources. This new version will forever change the way you understand the Five Books of Moses.

... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very handy reference work
This is exactly what I wished I had when I was first getting into Biblical studies - a Pentateuch with the J, E, P and D sources all colour-coded!
A word of caution, though. Friedman's own most recent book, "The Hidden Book in the Bible", makes a very good argument that the J source and the "Court History" in the book of Kings were written by the same authour. So if you want the whole text of J, you may have to consult that as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best new scholarship on the five books of Moses
This is the best new research published on the origins of the five books of Moses in some time. As most anyone interested in biblical scholarship is aware the five books of Moses comprise the Torah and the number of Hebrew letters in the Torah has always remained the same since it was first recorded into its present form. Thus one can be assured that when you read the bible(whether it be the Hebrew, Catholic or King James) you are receiving the same stories, with some translation difference in English. The question this book delves into is the question of how the Torah came to be and why so many contradictions and repetitions appear in the five books of Moses. As an example; why is the story of the creation of earth told twice? This author is at the forefront of biblical(old testament) scholarship by showing that in fact the five books of Moses are most likely a series of different books combined and then redacted into one form. There is the Books of J and E and then there are additions and some commentary in a book of D(Deuteronomy) and a further layover of the Redactor who brought these varied books together.

The argument here is relatively simple, if far fetched for those not familiar with it, namely that two bibles existed in ancient Israel Books J and E. These most likely were due to the civil war between the two Jewish states(Southern and Northern). The author presents his case clearly, if briefly, and explains that these two books were combined to form the beginning of the modern day Torah. Yet the chapter of Leviticus was later edited to be made mostly a legal diatribe on the Rabbinical Priesthood, while Deuteronomy was edited to be put in line with Samuel and the god/Israel relationship. A redactor was able to combine these varied plots and lobby's to create the text we know to be the Torah and the one that we know to be correct, one that has existed for three thousand years(plus or minus a few hundred). No other religious book comes close to the Torah in its exactness, for instance the New testament is retranslated and seemingly changed every few decades. Rest assured this book is a revolutionary look at the origins of monotheism but a quick flip through and you will see this is a must have as a companion to any biblical research. A must have and a joy to read this will open your eyes to biblical scholarship and shed light on the imprint man has given the interpretation of God. An essential work by an eminent scholar.

Seth J. Frantzman ... Read more


106. Antología de autores españoles: antiguos y modernos, Vol. 1
by Antonio Sanchez-Romeraldo, Fernando Ibarra
list price: $76.00
our 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


107. The Key to The Name of the Rose : Including Translations of All Non-English Passages
by Adele J. Haft, Jane G. White, Robert J. White
list price: $16.95
our price: $16.95
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Asin: 0472086219
Catlog: Book (1999-10-15)
Publisher: UMP
Sales Rank: 18313
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose is a brilliant mystery set in a fictitious medieval monastery. The text is rich with literary, historical, and theoretical references that make it eminently re-readable. The Key makes each reading fuller and more meaningful by helping the interested reader not merely to read but also to understand Eco's masterful work. Inspired by pleas from friends and strangers, the authors, each trained in Classics, undertook to translate and explain the Latin phrases that pepper the story. They have produced an approachable, informative guide to the book and its setting--the middle ages. The Key includes an introduction to the book, the middle ages, Umberto Eco, and philosophical and literary theories; a useful chronology; and reference notes to historical people and events.
The clear explanations of the historical setting and players will be useful to anyone interested in a general introduction to medieval history.
Adele J. Haft is Associate Professor of Classics, Hunter College, City University of New York. Jane G. White is chair of the Department of Languages, Dwight Englewood School. Robert J. White is Professor of Classics and Oriental Studies, Hunter College, City University of New York.
For more information on Umberto Eco's work, please visit Libyrinth's web site at http://www.libyrinth.com/eco">http://www.libyrinth.com/eco.
... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Key to the Name of the Rose
After reading The Name of the Rose with few helps, discovering this book was quite wonderful. It goes into adaquate detail with the historical background, and I found the translations to be good and very helpful. A must for those trying the novel for the first time or for those who felt the lack of endnotes frustrating. A wonderful suppplement.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Key to "The Name of the Rose"
The Key to "The Name of the Rose" by Adele J. Haft, Jane G. White, and Robert J. White is a wonderful little book. When was the last time you used your Latin that you had in High School? You say, you never had Latin... well how do you expect to solve the clues that Brother William of Baskerville in "The Name of the Rose" gets.

Well, the answer is in this little tome as it includes translations of all of the Non-English passages making you as "smart" as Brother William. This book furthers your experience when reading "The Name of the Rose" as you now can decode the juicy clues. Umberto Eco's "The Name of the Rose" is about crimes in a medieval abbey and the obsession of it monks with heresies, apocalyptic visions, and forbidden knowledge.

This "Key" is a delightful guide to the phrases and bizarre characters and has mirthful anecdotes that you're sure to enjoy and you'll solve the mystery of the seven deaths as fast as Brother William and enjoy the intrigue in doing so.

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent resource for artists
i am hoping to do an intricate performance art piece based on the novel "the name of the rose;" however, many of the lush details and layers were lost on me, because i am not a historian or a scholar well-versed in semiotics... the task is still daunting, but i feel more confident having this "hint book" to fill me in on the background information. it renders the novel much more accessible to a lay person, and makes the story even MORE fascinating than it already is. i suggest that anyone reading "the name of the rose" should have a copy of this to help them along... also, there is a text that does this same task for dante's "divine comedy" (dante has a large influence on the novel, so reading dante will help the reader to understand the apocolyptic attitudes of the characters). joseph gallagher wrote "a modern reader's guide to dante's 'the divine comedy'" which you may also find helpful.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-have for Name of the Rose neophytes
I'm enjoying Umberto Eco's NAME OF THE ROSE, but I don't understand so much as a tenth of the Latin. Before I reached page 200, I came to the sinking conclusion that I was missing out on something. I checked KEY TO NAME OF THE ROSE out at my local library, but soon realized that I needed to own my own copy to keep beside my copy of NAME OF THE ROSE. This book is a God-send for those NAME OF THE ROSE fans like me who lack a reading knowledge of Latin. Having other scholars' comments at hand really helps. If you're intrigued by NAME OF THE ROSE, but just don't get it, buy this book!

4-0 out of 5 stars A very helpful companion volume
This is a very good guide to The Name of the Rose. Not perfect, but good. The non-English translations are very helpful, and beat sitting next to a Latin dictionary. The biographical information for historical characters is very good too. My only beef about this is that it doesn't address the historical backdrop of the novel well enough: the Renaissance of the previous century, the conflicts in the Church at the time, and the looming disasters of the 14th century between the time the novel takes place and the time the narrator lays the tale down. Get this volume if you're going to read the book. But don't rely strictly on this. ... Read more


108. Amelia Peabody's Egypt: A Compendium
by Kristen Whitbread
list price: $29.95
our price: $18.87
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Asin: 0060538112
Catlog: Book (2003-11-01)
Publisher: William Morrow
Sales Rank: 3924
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Egypt that so enticed and enchanted intrepid archaeologist-sleuth Amelia Peabody in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries was a place of wonder, mystery, danger, and the lure of antiquity. Now, with this monumental volume of Egyptian culture, history, and arcania, readers will be able to immerse themselves in the great lady's world more completely than ever before.

Journey through the bustling streets and markets of Cairo a hundred years ago. Surround yourself with the customs and color of a bygone time. Explore ancient tombs and temples and marvel at the history of this remarkable land -- from the age of the pharaohs through the Napoleonic era to the First World War. Also included in Amelia Peabody's Egypt are a hitherto unpublished journal entry and intimate biographies of the Emersons and their friends, which provide a uniquely personal view of the lives, relationships, opinions, politics, and delightful eccentricities of mystery's first family, as well as unforgettable pearls of wit and wisdom from everyone's favorite fictional Egyptologist herself.

Containing nearly 600 black-and-white photographs and illustrations, and articles by numerous experts, Amelia Peabody's Egypt sparkles with unforgettable glimpses of the exotic and the bizarre, the unusual and the unfamiliar -- a treasure trove that overflows with Egyptological riches, along with wonderful insights into the culture and mores of the Victorian era, including the prevalent attitudes on empire, fashion, feminism, tourists, servants, and much more.

A one-of-a-kind collection that offers endless hours of pleasure for Peabodyphiles and Egypt aficionados alike, here is a tome to cherish; a grand and glorious celebration of the life, the work, and the world of the incomparable Amelia Peabody.

... Read more

Reviews (8)

2-0 out of 5 stars Delightful and Disappointing at the same time!
The delightful part is the wonderful black and white pictues and drawings that fill this book to the brim. They take up a lot of room and maybe that's a good point.
The disappointing part is that Amelia Peabody fans will find little new about her in this book. The most confusing chapter deals with the history of archaeology in Egypt from the 1800's. You start reading what appears to be a history of the famous players of the era, and then all of a sudden, Emerson and Amelia's discoveries and exploits are mixed in, so anyone who was hoping for a history of who found what where and when will still be wondering at the end of the chapter. There is also a lot of confusion about "real" people and characters who both have their names and photo's interspersed in the text. The last chapter of the book has some childhood pictures of Emerson and Amelia, as well as pictures of real people.
Real Peabody enthusiasts will probably enjoy this book, but I feel sorry for any child who picks this up and writes a report for school!
If you were hoping for material on the parts of the Emerson's lives not covered by the novels, you will be disappointed. There's very little new here, not even any interesting facts about the famous Seth/Sethos and what his life was like between appearances in the novels.
Like the novels, this book is charming. Unlike the novels it is confusing and shallow.

5-0 out of 5 stars Better than I could have imagined!
This compendium gives a wonderful insight into the Egypt of the Peabody-Emerson's era. It's filled with images, details, essays on culture, fashion, even child rearing in the Victorian era. An absolute "must have" for any Peabodyphiles out there.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great photos, wonderful Victorian-era Egypt details
AMELIA PEABODY'S EGYPT: A COMPENDIUM is a collection of articles about Egypt and Victorian culture, 19th century Egyptian history, early archeology, and a comprehensive listing of places and people (both fictional and historical) that are listed in the growing collection of Amelia Peabody historical mysteries. The compendium also includes a huge number of period photographs and etchings that depict Egypt and archeological digs as they existed in the time when Emerson and Amelia were digging, solving mysteries, and confounding the German/Turkish invaders.

Readers looking for a detailed history of Victorian Egypt should probably look elsewhere for their primary material but will want to consider adding the compendium as a secondary source. But fans of the Elizabeth Peters mystery series can hardly go wrong with this fascinating look at the culture and history of Egyptology.

Recommendation--if you're a Peters fan, print out this review and leave it where present-giving significant others will find it. Underline the words 'MUST HAVE.' Alternately, buy it for yourself. The pictures alone are worth the price and then some. It's a treasure.

5-0 out of 5 stars marvelous glimpse at the history of Egypt
Egyptologists and readers of the long running Peabody series (mid 1970s) will appreciate this volume that provides deep insight into the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a period of archeological activity that shed a light on the country's glorious heritage. The compilation takes the audience on tours of Cairo at the turn of the previous century and even more incredibly, a deep look while accompanying some of the archeologists at their digs into ancient tombs and temples.

This is not a Peabody novel, but instead a marvelous glimpse at the history of Egypt with an emphasis on the Age of Archeology and the past it uncovered. The tome contains six hundred photographs and illustrations, a deep glossary, and several intriguing essays and commentaries from experts in the field. With the success of the recent Mummy movies and the long bestselling run of field archeologist Peabody and family, the well written, fascinating AMELIA PEABODY'S EGYPT A COMPENDIUM is a delight that brings to life the distant past and relatively recent past in a county with a rich heritage of many millenniums. Elizabeth Peters caps her great writing career with this tome that will fascinate her fans and those who cherish Egyptology.

Harriet Klausner

5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST for Peabody fans
this is ellen in atlanta, - this book is a MUST for Peters fans!
Gorgeously done and the old photos are great!
the bone to pick is there are NO pictures of the Emersons, or Armana House in the book. No mention of the twin children of Ramses and Nefret, etc.
Just that Amelia at 87 still goes during the season for a bit - no other word on the fates of the others... a sequel Mrs. Peters? ... Read more


109. Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Jonathan Culler
list price: $9.95
our price: $8.96
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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


110. Funny Money
by Mark Singer
list price: $13.00
our price: $9.75
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Asin: 0618197273
Catlog: Book (2004-06-17)
Publisher: Mariner Books
Sales Rank: 28179
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From esteemed New Yorker writer Mark Singer comes this cautionary tale of the Penn Square Bank, the oil and gas broker in an Oklahoma City shopping mall whose collapse in 1982 staggered America's banking industry. Recounting the whole spectacular story and its colorful characters, Singer makes brilliantly (and hilariously) clear what actually happened and why it had to happen in boom-time Oklahoma. Nowhere else did money flow in quite the same spontaneous fashion. "[A] tale of wonderful verve" (New York Times), Funny Money comes to life through Singer's vivid prose and continues to resonate in today's culture of corporate corruption. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Corrections to reviews
As someone who has grown up in Oklahoma City and graduated from high school the year that the collapse had happened, I knew of some of the persons involved through other people.

The red piggy bank logo belonged to Sooner Federal Savings and Loan, and sat on top of 50 Penn Place.

Penn Square Bank had built what is now known as The Tower a couple of blocks down the street. They never moved into it, they were shut down while they were still inside the north end of Penn Square Mall, and the building was finished out after the closure.

Singer has relatives here in Oklahoma in the oil business, so he hadsome insight into the things that had happened.

If you want more detail, Belly Up goes into much more greater detail and is harsher in it's treatment of the characters involved.

4-0 out of 5 stars Okiesmo Lives
Growing up in Oklahoma my only real memory of the Penn Square Bank failure was when they pulled down the red-piggy-bank logo from the top of the building.It was something that was talked about on the national news every evening, but it wasn't well understood just how such a small local bank could cause such a ruckus.

Mr. Singer's book explains what was at the bottom of all of the trouble, how Penn Square fell from grace, and in the process of doing so provides interesting commentary on Oklahoma culture, as well as some history and other facts pertaining to the oil business.The book is very well written and quick paced, providing just enough detail to be considered in depth, while not languishing on unnecessary detail.

It is interesting to remark that the same conditions that caused everyone to say oil at $100 per barrel was a no-brainer arethose that caused people to put forth the indestructible nature of internet-retailing.The Okiesmo of wildcats in pursuit of oil bears striking resemblance to the aggressive idiocy of venture capitalists fighting to put money into business plans that ignored common sense.

This book is satisfying on a lot of levels, the depth of information on the figures behind the bankruptcy, the environment that spawned and incented those figures and also the culture, both nationally and locally, which created this collapse.This is a very interesting book, and I highly recommend it.

4-0 out of 5 stars interesting read on the Penn Square failure
Singer, an Ivy Leaguer from Oklahoma, gives us a pretty good look at how the failure of Penn Square bank nearly took several much larger ones with it back in 1982.

Where Singer's portrayal contrasts with that of others is that he speaks from personal and cultural acquaintance with many of the primary characters.This does not stop him from having a little fun at the expense of what he calls 'Okiesmo', the wildcatting and high-living ethic of the oil and gas industry, but it does mean that he sees his subjects as being (in most cases) basically decent human beings who made bad assumptions and boneheaded business decisions.

The only thing Singer lacks is a deeper exploration of the factors at the upstream banks (Seafirst, Continental, Michigan National, Chase, and more) that allowed Penn Square to balloon out of control.As someone who has seen a few related documents that he can't say much about, I can tell you with certainty that the 'wild and crazy guy' ethic was not limited to Penn Square, and that without the eager participation of larger banks, the whole affair would have been relatively insignificant.Good book for those interested in Oklahoma history, the gas drilling industry or (naturally) the Penn Square failure. ... Read more


111. Machiavelli's The Prince
by Niccolo Machiavelli
list price: $13.95
our price: $13.75
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Asin: 0312149786
Catlog: Book (2004-12-15)
Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
Sales Rank: 247464
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112. Bedford Introduction to Literature 7e and CD-Rom Literactive
by Michael Meyer
list price: $73.95
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Asin: 0312430094
Catlog: Book (2004-07-15)
Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
Sales Rank: 164438
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113. The Language of Life
by BILL MOYERS
list price: $29.95
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Asin: 0385479174
Catlog: Book (1995-06-01)
Publisher: Doubleday
Sales Rank: 142080
Average Customer Review: 4.11 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

In a series of fascinating conversations with thirty-four American poets, and in dozens of poems, The Language of Life celebrates language in its "most exalted, wrenching, delighted, and concentrated form," and its unique power to re-create the human experience: falling in love, facing death, leaving home, playing basketball, losing faith, finding God. Poets speak with Moyers about their work, their lives, and their creativity. In the tradition of the bestsellingHealing and the Mind and The Power of Myth. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars I JUST LOVE IT!
ok...i tell u why i love this book...or let's say audio cassettes.
well,when i started listening to these cassettes i got this weird feeling of being invloved in every single story they said, starting imagining the poets themselves. the way the music was displayed and the characters introduced..i was just overwhelmed.
maybe i am not an expert in english poetry but i enjoyed this collection BIG TIME!!

3-0 out of 5 stars Better Poetry Books Can be Found
Looking back on this book, I guess it's that I wanted to like it so much more than I did. What a great concept! Take a variety of modern poets, interview them and get them talking about their works alongside the poetry. Now you see the expectations in such a book to poetry lovers everywhere. But after owning the book for 7-odd (and they have been) years, I rarely find myself going back to it after the initial read. Why is that? Let me try to tell you.

Moyers indeed takes a variety of poets to interview, from recognized greats such as W.S. Merwin, Rita Dove, Donald Hall, Adrienne Rich, Ocatavio Paz to name a few to lesser known (at least to me) poets such as, Garrett Kaoru Hongo, Dekou Sundiata, and Mary Tall Mountain. Some of the interviews are fascinating as one would expect them to be. But the majority of them drag on. Instead of making the language come alive, the power of the poetry is diluted when it is talked about. Give credit to Moyers for attempting the project and to opening up his purview beyond the academically accepted greats and beyond strictly English-writing poets. For that Moyers is to be commended, but the end effect leaves the reader wanting for more.

I have gotten so much more from any on the "Best American Poetry" series or a little known poetry compilation called "The Generation of 2000," for the sheer love of poetry and learning about poets, than Moyers' book. As for non-English poets, buy the bilingual editions (Paz's collected poems, Neruda's selected poems, etc) even though you don't speak or understand the original language. It's a must to see and hear how the poetry was intended to sound and also be able to read it in a language you understand.

4-0 out of 5 stars A strong collection with a few really good interviews
It is almost impossible to please everyone with a collection. Why was this poet included? Or you included him/her and didn't include this poem... Are you insane? The benefit of an anthology is that it can introduce the reader to poets that they may otherwise never come in contact with. To that end, I am thankful to Moyers for introducing me to the work of James A. Autry and Lucille Clifton. I also enjoyed many, but not all, of the interviews. This was a good book. If you are interested in poetry but aren't sure where to start, this collection will introduce you to a wide variety of styles. I am sure you will find something you like, and it will be worth the effort.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thanks, Mr. Moyers. What a Gift!
I nearly didn't buy this tape series after reading some of the blase reviews. I'm so glad I listened to my intuition (which basically said, "Bill Moyers had broadened your world in the past. Why would he let you down here?") Whew. Always listen to your intuition.

I've listened to poetry tapes in the past but, for me, this fantastic series is a rarity -- it captures the interaction and intimacy of live poetry readings. It's art-in-a-box. Highly recommended to all artists and spiritual seekers..... Another bonus? My husband, who always cast a wary eye toward poetry, is now attending poetry readings after listening to these tapes and finally experiencing for himself the profound power of this medium.

Thank you, Mr. Moyers! And please, please, please come out with another series like this.

5-0 out of 5 stars Poetry alive & breathing
The companion book to Moyers' PBS series "The Power of the Word" and "The Language of Life," which brought to a national audience the vigorous living poetry of a number of contemporary poets from the U.S. and abroad. Poetry is not the dead old thing critics like Harold Bloom and Helen Vendler would have us believe it is: this series, and this book, puts it into the ears and mouths of the people, to our betterment. ... Read more


114. To Read Literature
by Donald Hall
list price: $76.95
our price: $76.95
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Asin: 0030555426
Catlog: Book (1992-01-02)
Publisher: Heinle
Sales Rank: 165971
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This book introduces the three principal types or genres of literature: fiction, poetry, and drama in a way that helps students read literature with pleasure, intelligence, and discrimination. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Donald Hall's Critical Analysis Masterpeice
Donald Hall takes his College and University Audience through all phases of the critical analysis process for Fiction, Poetry and Drama. He makes,as do all geniuses, his subject accessable to all levels and needs. His explication of symbolism and imagry is especially useful.

This is a "must read" for every aspiring student and teacher of literature. ... Read more


115. 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


116. The Portable Beat Reader (Viking Portable Library)
by Ann Charters
list price: $17.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140151028
Catlog: Book (1992-11-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 28154
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The Portable Beat Reader is an excellent and thorough study of the Beat Generation, compiled and edited by Ann Charters, biographer of Jack Kerouac and one of our most notable experts on Beat literature and ideas. This lively work of scholarship goes deeply into the history of the Beat movement, investigating events such as the discovery (by writer William Burroughs) of the word beat to describe this literary generation. The reader includes essays on all the major prose and poetry writers, such as Allen Ginsberg, and offers rare insight into the literary-historical context of the movement. ... Read more

Reviews (16)

4-0 out of 5 stars Introducing The Beats
After riding the whirlwind of On The Road and Howl, many readers will acquire an appetite for Beat literature that will lead them to this book. Ann Charters serves up some of the best pieces of Beat Literature in this anthology. However, some inclusions, such as excerpts from On The Road, could be considered sacrilege, as the texts were never meant to be cut up, and suffer as a result. The Bob Dylan lyrics included by Charters indicate that she was no Dylan scholar, as other tracks would have been more suitable. However, with inclusions such as Neal Cassady's letters, William S. Burroughs adventure narratives, and the lesser known Beat poetry, this anthology is indispensable.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Start for the "Beat"en Path
Nice sampler... all the writers you should expect are in here.

A feature I enjoyed particularly was the intro section... read about the writer before the piece. Since I had not heard of so many of these writers, I found it intriguing to see how many were part of the same group of friends. The Beats largely were connected with each other's lives... and fed off each other's style and work.

Buy this book, then go get the full works of these individual writers. For an anthology of Beat writers, you will find no better book.

I fully recommend this book.

Anthony Trendl

4-0 out of 5 stars A Great Guide If You Don't Know What You Like
This book features some excellent beat writers and includes informative blurbs on their history and style. Each artist has a little chunk of their writing for you to sample, and the material is everything from stories to letters to classically bad prose.

What impressed me were the essays by each other, on the actual generation hype.

"Young people seemed more intense, clutching, and I couldn't help feeling they took themselves too seriously... 'good, clean fun' appeared to be a thing of the past. Or perhaps the aura of suspicion and defensiveness was merely a reflection of my own fears..." --Carylon Cassady

It's a great book for deciding which authors you want to read more of.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential for fans of 20th century literature
Simply put, this is what I turn to when I need inspiration for reading, for creating, for anything. It combines wonderful bios of everyone from Kerouac to Bob Dylan, and their poems, book excerpts, and lyrics galore. Absolutely enjoyable, absolutely essential. Thank god for Ann Charters.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful collection of a variety of beat artists
This reader is a good overall introduction to beat literature. While I could have done with a few more examples of writing from the women in the movement, that probably would not have kept the book as "portable" as its title promises. ... Read more


117. A Rhetoric for Writing Teachers
by Erika Lindemann, Daniel Anderson
list price: $37.95
our price: $37.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195130456
Catlog: Book (2001-07-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 62130
Average Customer Review: 3.75 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From answering the question "Why teach writing?" to offering guidance in managing group work and responding to assignments, this remarkably successful text provides a comprehensive introduction to the teaching of writing. Now updated to incorporate the latest developments in the field, A Rhetoric for Writing Teachers describes in straightforward terms the cross-disciplinary scholarship that has reinvigorated composition teaching. Reflecting current views of writing as social interaction, this edition emphasizes workshops, collaborative learning, and holistic evaluation. Chapters on prewriting techniques, organizing material, paragraphing, sentence structure, words, and revising describe how the teacher can guide students through composing, while sections on rhetoric, cognition, and linguistics discuss theoretical principles that support classroom practices and make the teacher's performance effective. Treating both the theory and practice of writing, the author encourages teachers to adopt the methods that best meet their students' needs and to develop a style of teaching informed by knowledgeable decisions. Over forty percent of the text's material is new to this edition, offering composition scholars a broad range of techniques to encourage and motivate their students. Complete with an updated bibliography and a table of important dates in the history of composition, this classic work offers both prospective and seasoned writing teachers convenient access to recent scholarship in the field and inspires them to examine what it means to teach well. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Very straightforward approach to teaching comp
Lindemann's book is well organized and developed, and provides many practial examples of the theories she discusses. If you had to pick one book to use for a teaching comp class, this would be the one to pick. For a more in-depth study, combine this book with Irene Clark's "Concepts in Composition," which is a more theoretical and historically-based explanation of composition concepts.

5-0 out of 5 stars Valuable resource for composition teachers
One of the best background texts for the writing instructor--secondary or college-level. It will provide the knowledge that brings confidence and understanding to the beginning instructor, and it is worth going back to again and again.

2-0 out of 5 stars Simple
The problem with this book is that it takes a fairly simple approach to teaching writing, even though teaching writing is quite complicated and difficult. Also, the book doesn't say enough about ESL writers or writers with dialects. Finally, I couldn't find any discussion of the fact that writing skills in our schools have declined even as research in writing has increased. Overall, I would say that this is a "feel-good" book that doesn't address the hard issues of writing instruction.

4-0 out of 5 stars Useful and Readable Review of Composition Theory
I have found this book to be well received by students preparing to teach HS English classes, as well as people already in the classroom. It covers thoroughly all the major aspects of composition theory in a succint and careful way, with lots of examples and good bibliography. For anyone who really wants to know what we have learned from comp theory in the last 25 years, this is a good book. It is not a how-to, and does not offer detailed ideas for the classroom; it is based on principles and research. ... Read more


118. K.
by Roberto Calasso, Geoffrey Brock
list price: $25.00
our price: $17.00
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Asin: 1400041899
Catlog: Book (2005-01-18)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 148859
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119. Hooking Up
by Tom Wolfe
list price: $13.00
our price: $9.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312420234
Catlog: Book (2001-10-12)
Publisher: Picador
Sales Rank: 6027
Average Customer Review: 4.08 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In Hooking Up, Tom Wolfe ranges from coast to coast observing 'the lurid carnival actually taking place in the mightiest country on earth in the year 2000.' From teenage sexual manners and mores to fundamental changes in the way human beings now regard themselves thanks to the hot new fields of genetics and neuroscience; from his legendary profile of William Shawn, editor of The New Yorker (first published in 1965), to a remarkable portrait of Bob Noyce, the man who invented Silicon Valley, Tom Wolfe the master of reportage and satire returns in vintage form.
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Reviews (49)

4-0 out of 5 stars a mixed bag
Wolfe's collection 'Hooking Up' is described as a book that talks about sex, courtship, and the 'hooking up' of males and females in today's society. It's not exactly that. What it is, is a collection of essays and fiction collected by Wolfe and thrown together. Nothing wrong with that, but I want to make sure no one is fooled like I was. That being said, it is a pretty good collection of work. It's divided into five parts.

Part 1 (Hooking Up) contains the title essay, one which deals with sex and courtship, then and now. Wolfe doesn't deliver anything new or shocking here.

Part 2 (The Human Beast) contains 3 essays. The first deals with the rise of Pentium and the silicon revolution. Wolfe's skill as a journalist is evident here, but the reading is a bit slow. Both of the other essays deal with the digital revolution. It's a topic Wolfe can write about, but not one that is enjoyable to read.

Part 3 (Vita Robusta, Ars Anorexica) contains four essays. My favorite piece that I've read by Wolfe is "My Three Stooges." Wolfe uses his wit to poke fun at Updike, Mailer, and John Irving, who attacked Wolfe's _A Man in Full_ when it was published. It's a great essay, and you see Wolfe's talents in full. I loved it. There is also his essay "The Invisible Artist" which contains Wolfe's thought on 'modern art' and the sculptor who designed the sculpture at the Viet Nam Memorial and other works we all recognize, but don't know the artist (and even, as Wolfe points out, may not consider the works art).

The next section contains Wolfe's novells "Ambush at Fort Bragg", which is the only fiction in the collection, but it's a good story.

The final section is 'The New Yorker Affair' in which Wolfe spoofed the New Yorker by doing a profile of their editor. It's a great section.

The New Yorker Affair, Ambush at Fort Bragg, and my favorite essay "My Three Stooges" show Wolfe at his best, and they alone are worth the price of the collection. And I'm sure you'll get some enjoyment out of the other pieces as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars another great read
Although not every essay will be appreciated equally by all readers, the overall quality of Wolfe's writing is superb, and this book is a great read. One of the most important essays he has ever written is here, "In the Land of the Rococo Marxist...", wherein he raises a vital question we should all be asking: What did we hear from all the Marxists, pro-Communists, and leftist liberals when Communist died, and all its flaws were revealed forever? Why didn't any of the blind, ignorant people who supported these empty excuses for "civilization", and who repeatedly excused those "evil empires" (i.e., the Soviet Union and Communist China), have any excuse or apology for the rest of us? Many supposedly-educated people supported those political states for years, ignoring all evidence of their evil and repressive nature, and now that they have been absolutely proven wrong, Wolfe wonders where they are now. He is asking why they have no comment, no excuse, no explanation, and the reader, after reading Wolfe here, wonders also. The author does a fabulous job reviewing some of their now-dead views and leveling proper criticism. His essay on this topic is extremely interesting and relevant. His pieces on the history of Silicon Valley (Noyce), "Two Young Men Who Went West.", and on "Hooking Up" are both quite good, although for different reasons. "Two Young Men..." gives such a detailed history of the cultural and historical background of the Silicon Valley developments, it is a "must read" for all who are affected by digital technology--which is to say, nearly everyone. "Hooking Up" is an eye-opener for most readers over the age of 25 or 30. I've heard people I work with use that phrase many times, and I thought I knew what they meant; now that I've read Wolfe's piece, I sure have to re-think some of those conversations. Read and learn. Some criticism that Wolfe's pieces in this work are of uneven quality seems unjustified when you consider the extreme high quality of the best and the fine quality of the rest. A very entertaining and informative book, and it is sure to be thought-provoking for most who pick it up.

4-0 out of 5 stars Wolfe Scores
I've previously enjoyed The Right Stuff and Wolfe's two novels, but I had never read any of his essays or short stories. "Hooking Up" was an excellent, accessible introduction into these genres. The essays in the book cover a range of topics about modern America including its sexual mores, the rise of technology, art and contemporary novels. He makes many great arguments for the greatness and unique character of America and uses his intelligent wit, knowledge of philosophy and historical facts to make strong cases. His writing, as always, is excellent and the stories were insightful. This collection also includes a novella that is both fun and concise (not always Wolfe's strong suit). I think this is a fabulous book for Wolfe fans like myself, but also good for people who want a quick introduction to him without committing to an 800 page novel. Further, it would be great reading for people interested in American Studies and provides a good starting point for lengthy debates. This is a very good book and well worth purchasing.

4-0 out of 5 stars More than half of book is great!
I am a fan of Tom Wolfe because I have so often put down books of fiction thinking, "This ding-a-ling author is just making all this stuff up. It is not informative, nor inspiring and has no relevance to my life.I don't have time for this!" With Wolfe I feel like he is a more honest friend, sharing more real experiences. He gives at least some actual clues about aspects of America that affect me, but I might otherwise never see....There are also wonderful references to Nietsche, American and European history, many American novelists, and there is a great prescription on how to write a good novel.
BUT I was disappointed in much of these essays. My favorite essay may have been "...the Rococco Marxists"...and I was surprised that he was not more critical of certain American professors. He may have politely suggested otherwise but ended with the conclusion that "all" many college professors "really want" is 'to be aloof from the bourgeois'...Monks want to be aloof like this. Is he saying they are holy monks? These professors enjoy many aspects of celebrity: wonderful long vacations all over the world, fine houses, cars, restauraunts, hotels, a sex life better than the most of us? More importantly they may have profound effects on our very powerful class of lawyers and judges, people in the media, etc. I was left with the impression that Wolfe is more worried about offending his own peer group than speaking honestly about some of these issues.
Re: "Ambush at Fort Bragg"....Was it really necessary to have one of the villains go on at great length about his fellow villains' heroic deeds at Mogadishu...a retelling of "Blackhawk Down" ...when they were confronted with damning evidence that the 3 of them had murdered a homosexual in their unit? I think Wolfe might argue 'Yes, that is the whole point...' but it seemed in bad taste, and curious as Wolfe is elsewhere saying some very patriotic things. Surely there was a better way to do this piece. And what is with throwing pies at a miserable jewish insider again? The TV news producer was jewish wasn't he? Is Wolfe running out of funny ideas? Aren't all his jewish friends getting pissed off?....
I loved the stories about the Fairchild Semiconductor founders, and the Harvard zoology-Ant-genius who caused such a controversy; I was puzzled that there was not discussion of the old, non-controversial view that man is part genetic traits and part social learning (nurture vs nature) This Harvard professor did not invent 'trait theory'. ....I didn't like "The New Yorker" parody and related pieces and couldn't finish them... prfairley@hotmail.com

2-0 out of 5 stars I just don't think he's that original.
Of Tom Wolfe, I've read thus far: Hooking Up, A Man in Full, and Bonfire of the Vanities -- but I think I'm done. His "observations" -- and his capacity for observation is the very quality for which so many reviewers are lamentably insistent upon praising him - evince, at best, a rudimentary understanding of modern culture, and most of his readers under 40 know it; or at least those who haven't been [swayed] by his reputation (though that, too, is waning). Bonfire was hardly of the earth-shattering importance with which so many ebullient reviewers infused it, and continue, in reviewing other novels, to offhandedly proliferate; A Man in Full was quite a lot worse, particularly the parts where Wolfe felt obliged to demonstrate his "keen ear" for the African American argot; and now he's gone and proven himself a pontificating windbag. One is actually embarrassed (the sort of vicarious embarrassment one feels violated for having been forced to experience) when he musters the effrontery to upbraid Updike, Irving and Mailer for their unanimous dislike of his meandering, clumsy novel with its contrived dialogue and characters and its idiosyncratic plotline, which ironically might not have been so utterly bereft of charm in Irving's hands. ... Read more


120. Aspects of the Novel
by E. M. Forster
list price: $12.00
our price: $9.00
(price subject to change: see help)
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


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