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141. Mythologies
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142. Semiotics: The Basics (The Basics)
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143. The German Bildungsroman : History
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144. The Cambridge Companion to Emily
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145. The Rhetoric of Fiction
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146. Imaginative Writing : The Elements
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147. Poems, Poets, Poetry : An Introduction
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148. The Oxford Companion to English
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149. Undoing Culture : Globalization,
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150. The Tain: Translated from the
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151. Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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152. King Arthur and the Knights of
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153. The Cambridge Companion to Walter
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154. February House: The Story of W.
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155. The Wretched of the Earth
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156. Narratology: Introduction to the
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157. The Critical Response to Mark
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158. On Literature
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159. Letters from the Earth : Uncensored
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160. Shadow Lovers: The Last Affairs

141. Mythologies
by Roland Barthes
list price: $12.00
our price: $9.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374521506
Catlog: Book (1972-01-01)
Publisher: Hill and Wang
Sales Rank: 10290
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"[Mythologies] illustrates the beautiful generosity of Barthes's progressive interest in the meaning (his word is signification) of practically everything around him, not only the books and paintings of high art, but also the slogans, trivia, toys, food, and popular rituals (cruises, striptease, eating, wrestling matches) of contemporary life . . . For Barthes, words and objects have in common the organized capacity to say something; at the same time, since they are signs, words and objects have the bad faith always to appear natural to theirconsumer, as if what they say is eternal, true, necessary, instead of arbitrary, made, contingent. Mythologies finds Barthes revealing the fashioned systems of ideas that make it possible, for example, for 'Einstein's brain' to stand for, be the myth of, 'a genius so lacking in magic that one speaks about his thought as a functional labor analogous to the mechanical making of sausages.' Each of the little essays in this book wrenches a definition out of a common but constructed object, making the object speak its hidden, but ever-so-present, reservoir of manufactured sense."--Edward W. Said
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Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, and worth re-reading.
When I finished this latest re-read of Mythologies I was initially struck by how funny it was. This was something of a big realization for me, stemming from a memory of burning brain cells with a furrowed brow, trying to understand what he was saying and being almost afraid to enjoy it. So there's one of the consolations for growing older for you-- I'm getting confident to really enjoy Barthes.

I'm not saying that I fully understand him yet. I'm not sure that I ever will. I think that "Myth Today"(the book's final and most central essay) still remains fairly firmly out of reach. But it's true that each time I re-read Barthes, I get something more out of it-- I manage to scale heights that I didn't think I would ever get to the last time around.

Isn't it the mark of a brilliant book that it grows with you?

Particularly recommended this time are the essays "Soap Powders and Detergents" and "Operation Margarine".

5-0 out of 5 stars changed my life
I agree with everything that "ladjoolasse@yahoo.com" said, except when he said "I'm French", because I'm not. However I read this book in French, several times over. It's amazing that commentary so attached to 1950's icons has remained so relevant; obviously the structures haven't changed much. This book permanently affected the way I see things, particularly in the media. It should be required reading for all media consumers, and that's pretty much everyone.

At the same time, "Mythologies" offers an object lesson in the bond between language and culture. Much of Barthes' appeal lies in his tongue-in-cheek linguistic play, and that's something no translator could capture completely. This book alone is a good enough reason to learn French.

3-0 out of 5 stars Pertinant in some ways, arguable in others
I thought that many of Barthes's themes resound astonishingly well even today.

However, I found myself overly distracted by his underlying premises in many cases, which simply echo the outmoded Marxist/Atheistic materialism so prevelent in the 1950's literary community. One example is how he blames the middle class in France for propaganda that features a patriotic cover on a national magazine and a photograph of a young soldier. In fact, the middle class (or bourgeoisie) is blamed for every societal issue Barthes defines.

When will the literary community understand that the middle class is not the enemy of a free society?? Why does EVERY literary study or contextual analysis need to be based on Marxist theory?? Come on! It's the 21st century after all. Can we please update the scholars with the realities in which we live day to day??

But returning to Mythologies -- I would recommend reading because of how well the topics parallel our common experience. Just beware that many of his conclusions are from an outmoded, unrealistic, and impractical worldview.

5-0 out of 5 stars Behind the Amusement
Ths book was written by an ardent Maoist in the heady days in which all of Parisian intellectual circles were Maoist. It is now a top read by anyone who comes into contact with the Maoist Literature Association (known as the MLA). Cultural Studies is an extension of Mao's Cultural Revolution.

As with Mao, the idea was to change the meaning of virtually everything, taking the mandarin intellectual class, and moving them to the fringes of society, and taking the marginal farmers and moving them into the universities. In a similar way, Barthes takes marginal cultural activity such as professional wrestling, and moves it to the center of cultural discourse, while he takes Shakespeare, and the canon, and moves it to Manchuria.

It's a heady experiment. In China, the result led to a staggered economy, massive famines, and the death of the entire intellectual class. In the west, it has mostly remained a literary curiosity, but one with a curious history.

Barthes often praised the Maoists, and even travelled to China with other members of Tel Quel (Philippe Sollers and Julia Kristeva were fellow travellers, and they learned Chinese in order to translate Mao's poems into French). This book must be read in tandem with Simone de Beauvoir's book The Long March (about Mao's Revolution) and Julia Kristeva's Chinese Women, in order to give it a historical and intellectual context.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Cusp
I was an Arther Anderson Drop-Out Accountant going to Architecture school. I fell in love with a Radical Feminist Marxist Critic and Theorist. I asked "Where do I start?" She said nothing, pulled Mythologies off her shelf and gave it to me. Forward it led to Foucault and Derrida, Backward to Marx, Hegel, Locke and Hobbes.

It politely said "The Powerful Make Forms - The Forms Have Meaning - What Do They Make? Why Do They Make It? How Do They Make It?"

and architecture stopped being about 2x4's

Still my favorite is The New Citroen...... ... Read more


142. Semiotics: The Basics (The Basics)
by Daniel Chandler
list price: $17.95
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Asin: 0415351111
Catlog: Book (2004-08-01)
Publisher: Routledge
Sales Rank: 50245
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Following the successful Basics format, this is the book for anyone coming to semiotics for the first time. Using jargon-free language and lively, up-to-date examples, Semiotics: The Basics demystifies this highly interdisciplinary subject. Along the way, the reader will find out what a sign and a text are, what codes we take for granted, how semiotics can be used in textual analysis and who Saussure, Peirce, Barthes and Jakobson are and why they are important. Features include a glossary of key terms and realistic suggestions for further reading. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars If you really want an overview of the subject at hand...
then this is perhaps the best book to pick up, as an intro... But ask yourself, honestly- why are you doing this to your mind? Writers who write as badly as the ones dealt with in this tome do so for one reason: intimidation. You're supposed to think, "wow this is hard to read. It must mean the writer has a grasp of things I don't. His arbitrarily constructed and half-assed idiolect make me feel befuddled... Ooh... He smart. Me dumb."

This is not the case.

'Twas the not the case with Schopenhauer, or Rousseau, or Plato, or Nietzsche, or Descartes, or any thinker/writer of substance. Ok, maybe Wittgenstein is hard at times, but his was an original and alien mind... One that struggled, always struggled... Sadly- the 20th C. was a benighted time for original thought. It had wordplay in abundance... but not much thought... one big candy store of thought. Neither caviar nor kale. No beef, no collard greens...

Semioticians and post-structuralists and post-mods, whatever: Their all-too-bombastic obscurantism is a sign of their bad faith. These thinkers are dead ends, their basic presuppositions are highly questionable (if not laughable) and their "discipline," if one may boldly employ the word in as ironical a way as possible- is a joke. The academic legacy of semiotics is a boil on the face of literature. "How many angels can dance oer' the head of a pin," but for post-modernity.

So, why are you taking these prating fools seriously? Call them on their bluff... and abandon their books to the fate of not being read.

Still, as they go, this is a Good Book, a clear book, albeit on a senseless, worthless and ultimately useless subject. Do you really think in 20 years the corpus of these frauds will have any bearing on the world? Does it now?

5-0 out of 5 stars Great introduction and more
This book has been a great introduction to semiotics. However, it has been more, for when trying to understand what appeared to be unrelated topics I have returned to this book and found new insights which reach into philosophy and ontology.

5-0 out of 5 stars First Among Many
Daniel Chandler decided to write this book because at the time there were no books providing an introduction to the complex subject of semiotics.There are now a number of titles on the market, but Chandler's is by far the best.At once accessible, Semiotics: The Basics, takes the reader through all the stages in the evolution of an understanding of semiotics and contextualises with clear examples.I used this book while writing my final undergraduate dissertation and had to read many of the other books on semiotics, but this is the book that I kept coming back to when I needed refreshing both in the basics and the more sophisticated concepts of semiotics.If you are an undergraduate just starting a course in semiotics then buy this book.And if you are about to teach a course in semiotics then read this book and recommend it to your students.

4-0 out of 5 stars Offering Basics without being simplistic.
'Semiotics: the Basics' is remarkable for its clarity but never simplistic.From Saussure to Barthes, from Peirce to Eco, from Freud to Lacan and Derrida, Daniel Chandler offers a compelling and deeply insightful tour through the labyrinths of structuralism, sign systems, mediation, deconstruction, and other themes.Chandler delivers an essential summary of the major ideas in semiotics theory, but with careful sensitivity to those who are new to these ideas.His explanations are rich with examples.Where appropriate, he relates classical semiotics thinking to the highly mediated, postmodern world of mass communication. Chandler's online 'Semiotics for Beginners' has become the most often referred electronic text on the subject.'Semiotics: the Basics' will undoubtely become a standard introductory text in undergraduate courses covering any aspect of contemporary communication theory.

5-0 out of 5 stars Offering Basics without being simplistic.
'Semiotics: the Basics' is remarkable for its clarity but never simplistic.From Saussure to Barthes, from Peirce to Eco, from Freud to Lacan and Derrida, Daniel Chandler offers a compelling and deeply insightful tour through the labyrinths of structuralism, sign systems, mediation, deconstruction, and other themes.Chandler delivers an essential summary of the major ideas in semiotics theory, but with careful sensitivity to those who are new to these ideas.His explanations are rich with examples.Where appropriate, he relates classical semiotics thinking to the highly mediated, postmodern world of mass communication. Chandler's online 'Semiotics for Beginners' has become the most often referred electronic text on the subject.'Semiotics: the Basics' will undoubtely become a standard introductory text in undergraduate courses covering any aspect of contemporary communication theory. ... Read more


143. The German Bildungsroman : History of a Genre (Literary Criticism in Perspective)
by Todd Kontje
list price: $60.00
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Asin: 1879751534
Catlog: Book (1993-11-04)
Publisher: Camden House
Sales Rank: 766118
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Book Description

This book provides an historical overview of criticism of the Bildungsroman from the late 18th century to the present. Although written for scholars of the German novel it will also be of interest to scholars in other literatures. The genre of the Bildungsroman includes some of the greatest German novels yet its definition is considerably less obvious than imagined by the majority of scholars and students who use the term. The book rejects the notion that criticism seeks to elucidate the timeless values of classics, and moves toward the analysis of the cultural and historical factors that shape the reception of a text, genre, or author in successive generations of readers. ... Read more


144. The Cambridge Companion to Emily Dickinson (Cambridge Companions to Literature)
list price: $23.99
our price: $23.99
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Asin: 0521001188
Catlog: Book (2002-09-05)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 424848
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Book Description

This Companion consists of 14 essays by leading international scholars. They provide a series of new perspectives on one of the most enigmatic and widely read American writers. These essays, specially tailored to the needs of undergraduates, examine all of Dickinson's writings, letters and criticism, and place her work in a variety of literary, cultural and political contexts. The volume will be of interest to scholars and students. It features a detailed chronology and a comprehensive guide to further reading. ... Read more


145. The Rhetoric of Fiction
by Wayne Booth
list price: $20.00
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Asin: 0226065588
Catlog: Book (1983-02-15)
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Sales Rank: 112876
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Book Description

"Not many books can be called indispensable. This one can. . . . Many people, reading this sane and cogent book, are going to feel as if doors and windows had been opened."--Wallace Stegner, American Scholar

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146. Imaginative Writing : The Elements of Craft (Penguin Academics Series)
by Janet Burroway
list price: $40.00
our price: $40.00
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Asin: 0321081919
Catlog: Book (2002-08-05)
Publisher: Longman
Sales Rank: 71467
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Written by best-selling author Janet Burroway, Imaginative Writingis an introductory creative writing book that covers the four genres: essay, fiction, poetry, and drama,.Part I addresses the elements of craft (Image, Voice, Character, Setting, Story, and Development and Revision) while Part II explores the genres (Essay, Fiction, Poetry, and Drama). "Try This" Exercises appear throughout each chapter. Provocative and fun, the exercises help readers develop the specific writing skills discussed within the chapters. The book also includes an anthology of 90 complete readings in the four genres. Photographs and graphics, with accompanying warm-up activities, open each chapter.Appendices include collaborative exercises to emphasize the sensory foundations of imaginative writing, a description of standard formats for submitting finished work in each of the four genres, and an outline of the basic elements of prosody. For those interested in developing their creative writing skills. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

2-0 out of 5 stars Marginal
I used this book in a class.I didn't find it very helpful, since many of the chapters are rather abstract.It rambles around without getting to the point in many instances.The examples of essays, short stories and poems were very uninteresting and uninspiring.I guess if you like negative, sensationalized American stories, you won't mind.However, I prefer deep interaction among characters with a little story and adventure.It's also pleasant to have stories written with eloquent, beautiful use of language.You won't see that here.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best introduction to creative writing
After comparing with several other books, I find Burroway's "Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft" by far the best of the lot.

3-0 out of 5 stars Just OK
Burroway's book is just OK.That's about the gist of it.Her methodology is ok, devoting a chapter to the essential ingredients of creative writing, i.e., style, image, tone, voice, point of view, etc., but she sticks writing samples together, regardless of genre, so you'll get a short story and an essay along with some poems to illustrate a particular mode.This can be confusing to beginning writers since you pretty much have to overlook the form of the writing in analyzing the particular point she is attempting to stress.It's nice to try to integrate playwriting samples and exercises into a creative writing book but since performance is such an essential part of theatre, without some background in theatre going, the beginning writer may be putting "de horse before Decartes." (Sorry, John Simon, for stealing your line--but I acknowledge your cleverness).The writing exercises at the end of each chapter are typically adequate and she does offer some "body work" exercises borrowed from acting warm-ups, but in the end, it all doesn't quite mesh. I recommend "Mooring Against the Tide" for its methodology, informed examples--both from "professionals" and students--and its treatment of creative writing both as a craft and an ineffable art. At the very least, if you do find this book helpful, you should have an intuitive sense WHY people feel compelled to do creative writing.Otherwise, this book might just contribute to the M.F.A. style of creative writing so prevalent these days that come out of writing programs by the highly verbal, affluent kids who want to show off how clever they are, and rush off to medical school a couple of years after they aren't "making it."

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent book for the writing classroom
I couldn't disagree more with the one-star review below. I find this such a useful and helpful multi-genre book that I have adopted it for use in my creative writing class here at the University of Alabama. Just an excellent book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Fresh?
Not to start a war here, but Janet Burroway's book *is* fresh, and it's the best, most comprehensive multigenre text on the market.And it's affordable both for university students and writers who want to use it on their own.No, it's not full ofinspirational gobbledygook and gimmicky suggestions to touch the heart of the writer.Instead, it's a very smart book that asks the writer to join in the long histories of the genres it discusses and offers the most succinctly articulated descriptions of techniques and approaches that will not only get a writer started writing but that will also help that writer understand what makes good writing good.The most innovative aspect of Burroway's book is that it takes creative writing as a whole and discusses those basic elements that make all writing good, from the need for concrete imagery that says something to the need for narrative to move and develop across a work.And it offers dozens and dozens of recent examples to illustrate its points.As an anthology alone, this book would be a good read.But Burroway's comments very aptly help a reader to understand what is working well in each of her excerpts.No, it doesn't offer up elaborate metaphors about bones or light or any inner writing child as a way to nurture the soul of the writer.But from my experience as a writing instructor, it's not the soul of the beginning writer that needs nurturing.This book understands quite well the need to nurture the mind of the writer first. ... Read more


147. Poems, Poets, Poetry : An Introduction and Anthology
by Helen Vendler
list price: $53.95
our price: $52.75
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Asin: 0312257066
Catlog: Book (2002-01-11)
Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
Sales Rank: 143908
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148. The Oxford Companion to English Literature (Oxford Companion to English Literature)
by Margaret Drabble
list price: $75.00
our price: $75.00
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Asin: 0198662440
Catlog: Book (2000-09-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 278082
Average Customer Review: 4.17 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars A worthy companion
The first 'Oxford Companion to English Literature' was published in 1932 under the editorial direction of Sir Paul Harvey (no relation the American radio commentator). Half a century and five editions later, this is still a standard, authoritative reference work necessary for scholars and interested non-experts alike.

Under the editorship of Margaret Drabble, author and biographer (known for 'The Witch of Exmoor' and the more recently published 'The Peppered Moth'), this volume remains faithful to Harvey's intention of placing English literature in its widest possible context while exploring the deep classical and continental connections that underpin much of the history.

How can literature be divorced from cultural context? Surely it cannot be -- hence the newest entries into the edition include topics that read as if they were taken from today's best-seller shelf:

- Anglo-Indian Literature
- Simon Armitage
- Kate Atkinson
- Louis de Bernieres
- Censorship

- Ben Elton
- Gay and lesbian literature
- Hypertext
- A. L. Kennedy
- Lad's literature
- Literature of science
- New Criticism
- New Irish Playwrights
- Carol Shields
- Travel writing

This sample listing of the latest entries is representative of the more established categories, in that the entries (encyclopedic in character) include Authors, Subjects, Titles, Events, Characters and Critical Theory. The entries are unsigned (an ever-controversial practice in reference works such as this) -- well over a hundred contributors assisted in this volume, including the likes of Matthew Sweet, Salman Rushdie, Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan, Katherine Duncan-Jones, and Brian Vickers.

This volume serves the general reader well in that one may follow cross-reference trails through the text. Take, for instance, Aaron the Moor -- the reader will be directed to Titus Andronicus, to which one is directed to Shakespeare, and from there a host of other cross-references historical and modern. Under the entry of Gabriel Josipovici, one is led back the entries of Rabelais and Bellow, influences as well as objects of Josipovici's study.

The appendices are new features of this edition. The first appendix is a Chronology that lists the chronology of the production of English literature from c.1000 to 1999 side by side with major historical events in Britain and beyond, and the significant events in the lives of literary figures. Appendix 2 lists the Poets Laureate in chronological order, from 1619 (when the office unofficially began) to the present -- surprisingly, there have only been 21 (19 official). Appendix 3 lists major literary award winners: Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Library Association Carnegie Medalists, and Booker-McConnell Prize for Fiction. Obviously not all of these are British authors, but it helps to place British literature in the wider world context of the twentieth century (as all of these prizes are twentieth-century creations).

In addition to the encyclopedic entries, there are major essays scattered through the text. These include the following topics:

- Biography
- Black British Literature
- Children's Literature
- Detective Fiction
- Fantasy Fiction
- Ghost Stories
- Gothic Fiction
- Historical Fiction
- Metre
- Modernism
- Post-Colonial Literature
- Romanticism
- Science Fiction
- Spy Fiction
- Structuralism and Post-Structuralism

These essays include history and current development of the genre or topic, as well as bibliographic information for further research, which (regrettably) the smaller encyclopedic entries rarely have.

This is a terrific, one-volume reference that should serve well anyone with a need for quick and ready reference material. It should find a welcome home on the shelf of any avid reader, fan of literature and modern fiction, history, religion, or any devoted Anglophile.

2-0 out of 5 stars A (Very Historical) Companion to English Literature
Disliking an Oxford Press book makes me feel like a heretic. The majority of their Companion books are superb, remarkably concise yet thorough works of scholarship. The English Companion is an unfortunate and surprising exception.

The entry for 'New Criticism' is an efficient example of the book's shortcomings. For one thing, there's a laundry list of authors, dates, and books but very little is said of the IDEAS that characterize New Criticism. The entries are generally hamstringed by a focus on the sociopolitical and historical aspects of writers and works. The effort is laudable but inappropriate and uneconomical for a reference work. In its most extreme form, the historical emphasis goes into bizarre detail about an author's upbringing -- is it really necessary that we know where an author went to grade school and when? Entries love to entertain tales of writers' deaths and and of their insignificant travellings. I often felt as though I were reading minibiographies.

One will also notice, in the case of 'New Criticism', the absence of any mention of the 'organic'. This is ridiculous and indicative of the book's lack of attention to concepts as such. There is a non-cross-referenced mention of 'organic' under Coleridge, yet even there it is only mentioned as one of his ideas, not in terms of what the theory tried to say. I would compare it to someone's asking, 'What does X mean?' This book's reply: 'X was one of so-and-so's ideas'. Too often, the response ends there. Literary theory entries are usually on the thin side, though the deconstruction essay is solid. However, even in the longest lit theory essays there is more of an emphasis on people and movements -- far less on ideas.

Along with the lack of depth (or conceptual emphasis), there's little sense of the overall significance of ideas, works or characters (ironic given the attempts at a social-historical approach): Caliban is mentioned in the Tempest entry, and even gets his own paragraph elsewhere, but there's nothing about his character as it's been re-elaborated and re-invented by a long tradition of English writers (Auden, Browning, Joyce, and Wilde for starters). There's nothing about Caliban's portrayal in that tradition, nor mention of Caliban's mirror, etc. Under 'hubris' (which is found, in turn, under a terse account of 'the Poetics'), there's nothing about Icarus, nor is there anything about hubris as a specific theme in so many works.

Speaking of hubris, it's baffling to me that Drabble's entry is longer than either Hill's or Heaney's. The general editor would have been better off focusing more of her energy on other writers: that expansive babbling space could have been put to stronger use had a more thorough background been given on either of those poets, among others.

Readers seeking to understand why an author alludes in his work to a character or poet will be little helped by nebulous terms like 'icily poised' or 'sensuously textured', which are more suggestive of gastronomic, rather than literary, criticism. To my mind a reference's primary function should be to offer a quick source of the 'essentials' of a book or of a writer's ideas, an understanding of which would illuminate one's reading of the alluding work. While I appreciate that entries shy away from 'this or that' critiques or strict (canonical) interpretations, giving lists of facts does an injustice to the works themselves and to the way these works have been interpreted by others. (Believe it or not, people CAN come to their own conclusions even after being introduced to an opinion.)

The book's scope is appropriate to literature, as literature tends to allude to so many disparate disciplines. But if one were truly trying to give an encyclopedic account of literature, the book would have to be much bigger. In this case, specialization suffers. I would have preferred a much more focused account of 'literature' as such; I'd then supplement this with other references focused, for example, on English history. One gets the sense that too many entries end up attenuated in this book.

On the positive side the plot summaries are strong and more nuanced, though many entries are badly written (full of odd, obscuring, convoluted syntax). Again, good editorship would have recognized this.

The book primarily succeeds as an enervated survey. Nevertheless, readers will occasionally happen upon some interesting, well-summarized topics.

I'm going to check out the Cambridgean counterpart to the Oxford Companion, and I'm hoping it will give a more in-depth account of ideas and themes. The other Oxford Companions are, however, truly amazing works and deserve a close look.

3-0 out of 5 stars very good refrence
An excellent resource of information about English works of art

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-have companion for anyone who loves to read
This is one of the most practical reference books in my home library. I turn to it again and again for plot summaries and information about authors. I also find it useful for pre- (and post-) theater reading. And of course it's a real boon for solving the Sunday Times crossword puzzle.

A must-have for anyone who considers themself a reader.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reference Work
As a teacher of Survey of British Literature (both halves), I rely on this work and refer to it regularly in class. It is invaluable for retrieving bits of forgotten lore, for putting authors and subjects into perspective, and for reminding readers of connections. No student of British Literature--whether instructor or traditional student--should be without it. ... Read more


149. Undoing Culture : Globalization, Postmodernism and Identity (Theory, Culture and Society Series)
by Mike Featherstone
list price: $38.95
our price: $38.95
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Asin: 0803976062
Catlog: Book (1996-08-22)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Sales Rank: 301164
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Book Description

"This is a worthwhile discussion of postmodernity and modernity that overlaps theoretically with Chris Rojek's Decentring Leisure. Excellent Bibliography and Index." --Choice What is the relationship between culture and postmodernism? How has globalization influenced our understanding of culture? This shrewd book, written by one of the most accomplished and authoritative writers in the field, is a major contribution to rethinking culture. Mike Featherstone examines how culture is produced, reproduced, challenged, and transformed under current social conditions. Undoing Culture provides a guide to the dramatic changes that everyday life is currently witnessing and also suggests ways of analyzing these changes in theoretically meaningful ways. It explores the meaning of ordered life, the heroic life, revolutionary myth, symbolic power, and forms of consumer culture. What emerges is a highly original and significant attempt to ground culture in the context of globalization and postmodernism. Written with the customary clarity and judicious style that readers have come to expect from this author, Undoing Culture will be essential reading for students in the sociology of culture and cultural studies. ... Read more


150. The Tain: Translated from the Irish Epic Tain Bo Cuailnge
by Thomas Kinsella, Louis Le Brocquy
list price: $19.95
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Asin: 0192803735
Catlog: Book (2002-11-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 139349
Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Tain Bo Cuailnge, center-piece of the eighth-century Ulster cycle of heroic tales, is Ireland's greatest epic. Thomas Kinsella's lively translation is based on the partial texts in two medieval manuscripts, with elements from other versions. This edition includes a group of related stories which prepare for the action of the Tain along with brush drawings by Louis le Brocquy. ... Read more

Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent job Mr. Kinsella
Kinsella does an excellent job of bringing the ancient epic to life. You can almost imagine an old Irish bard reciting the tale in front of a peat fire. Kinsella includes not only the Tain, but stories leading up to the Tain and a brief story about how the Tain was once again learned:
"If this your royal rock
were your own self mac Roich
halted here with sages
searching for a roof
Cuailnge we'd recover
plain and perfect Fergus."

The above was spoken by the poet Muirgen at Fergus's grave, and summoned the spirit of Fergus to... Oh, just buy it and read it.

The epic of the Tain is starting to creep back into our lives. Only recently a software company calle Bungie included many Irish myths as a foundation for one of their most popular games to date. The Tain is also once again being performed by storytellers and it's an excellent tale either oral or written. On a side note, the pronunciation guide is a bit lacking, you'll have to do some leg work to get the proper pronuciation of some Irish words and names.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best of the CĂșchulain-Ulster Cycle Irish Epics
Around the time Jesus walked the Earth, a child-warrior from Ulster, named Setanta, went to a feast. King Conchubar forgot to inform his host, Cullen, that the boy was coming. The host had set his dog, the biggest and meanest in all Ireland out to protect his holdings. The dog had set upon Setanta. The child made short work of the vicious beast. When the party's host complained of the loss of his watchdog, Setanta said that he would be Cullen's hound. That became his name. A name revered in Irish Legend to this day - Cuchulain (Cullen's Hound) This translation of the Epic, by Thomas Kinsella, is the one I would say makes the most enjoyable reading. I would place the Irish Epics against Edith Hamilton's Greek Myths any day. There are other versions of this story. Plus many other heroic tales of ancient Ireland. But I think Mr. Kinsella's is the best that I've read so far.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best of Ancient Mythology
This is one of the greatest mythological tales recorded. Unlike what the summary says, it is not the 'closest thing Ireland has to a national epic'. The Irish national epic would be the Leabhar Gabhala, the Book of Invasions, or possible the Fenian Cycle. It is the certainly the great epic of Ulster, however, and I don't mean to reduce it at all.
The literary wealth, the humor, violent single combat, and glimpse into Gaelic culture makes this a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the ancient (and modern) Irish.
Beir bua!

5-0 out of 5 stars Much easier to read than the direct translations
This is a great story.

5-0 out of 5 stars The men of Ulster are risen from their pangs.
This is the story of a 'tain' or cattle raid perpetrated on Ulster by Ailill and Medb, king and queen of Connacht, along with their allies from all parts of Ireland. It is arguably the earliest surviving epic of Ireland's pre-Christian heritage. The centerpiece of the story is the great feat of 17 year old Cuchulain, who single handedly halts the massed armies intent on seizing the brown bull of Cuailnge (and a tidy portion of the wealth of Ulster as well.

Due to a curse, the men of Ulster are doomed to suffer severe bouts of pain whenever they are faced with great difficulties. So, as Ailill and Medb approach Ulster, only Cuchulain can stand and fight. The 'Tain' and its peripheral tales are the story of Ulster's defense, first by Cuchulain, and finally by the massed men of Ulster, risen from their pangs. Poet Thomas Kinsella's telling of this story starts with the early history of Ulster and then introduces Cuchulain, who will be the hero of many of Ulster's legends.

This is a remarkable effort from a literary standpoint. Whether by Kinsella's art or the nature of the original language of the text, the "Tain bo Cuailnge" is one of the most accessible of the old epics. The language lacks the overblown pretensions of many translations, remaining clear and understandable whether it is prose or verse. Kinsella himself states that this is a translation, not a retelling, but the introduction leaves some doubt about the precise meaning of 'translation.' In any case, Kinsella's efforts have made the story come to life, bringing home beautifully both the glory and tragedy of a conflict that must have decimated the fighting men of an entire country.

The Irish of the "Tain's" writing loved making lists. Lists of heroes, lists of weapons, and lists of places abound. Indeed, every time Cuchulain lists a weapon or moves about, a place in Ulster receives its name. It is as if one of the purposes of this epic is to turn landscape into living literature.

Another purpose, more subtle and controversial is the defining or redefining of the place of women in Irish society. Coming into the "Tain" the key female roles - Medb and Morrigan are not queens or goddesses, but ruler's in their own right. But the blame for the defeat of the Connacht armies is laid clearly in Medb's head. At the end Fergus, an exile form Ulster remarks "It is the usual thing for a herd let by a mare to be strayed and destroyed." This is a conflict that will play out repeatedly in Irish history.

One of the more delightful features of this edition is the brush drawings provided by Louis le Brocquy. Brocquy's style recalls both cave paintings and Greek ceramic decoration. Gradually, it wins the reader over. His rendition of the final massing of the armies is simply stunning. Significant credit must go to Kinsella himself, who has found a way to make ancient prosody appeal to modern ears. ... Read more


151. Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Romance of the Three Kingdoms)
by Lo Kuan-Chung, C. H. Brewitt-Taylor, Robert E. Hegel
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0804834679
Catlog: Book (2002-08-01)
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
Sales Rank: 43318
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

3-0 out of 5 stars Overall i have pleasure reading it
I enjoying reading it except the following problems:

- Typos are almost appeared in every 3 pages.
- Stories are not link between paragraphs. There are pages that I have to read 4-5 times in order to picture what is going on and who and who die.

How about describe more about the heros when introducing them like, how old, what weapon they used and how strong. I believe those will spice up the book a lot more.

EQ

5-0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece
This is China's great achievement in literature. The book retells history splendidly, although there may be some fabrications of what actually did happen. It tells of bravery amongst men, strategy, morality, and loyalty that withstands the test of time. The book has great men that take the role of heroes, and even the antagonists in the story are represented in somewhat of a valorous manner. The writing itself is just magnificent, historical literature is usually boring because of some much explaining, describing, and so forth, but in this piece the writing flows so well that even that is very enjoyable to read. As you read through it you will find yourself rooting for certain warriors and hoping that your personal favorite becomes the hero of the day. Some of China's greatest historical figures are major players in the book, mainly Zhuge Liang. A splendid read. I recommend it to the highest degree.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This is a very good book, filled with strategy, battles, loyalty, chivalry, valour, heroic deeds, and treachery. If you like Medieval type books than you will probably like this, even though it is Chinese, it still has a lot of aspects of something like that. Although Quite long,it is still worth it. It is a Cultural Classic, Just like the Illiad or the Odyssey is to Greek culture. I recommend this to anyone who likes to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great edition
It amazes me how many adaptations of this magnificent, generation-spanning work exist. The most popular may be the KOEI game Dynasty Warriors in any of its versions - my first RTK addiction - but I would also recommend the Chinese TV adaptations, which may be found on VCD, if you really enjoy the books.

I cannot compare this translation to the original Chinese (not quite there yet in reading the lingo), but I can say that, in my opinion, it reads much better and is far more complete than English editions from other publishers and translators. Additionally, its romanization of the character names allow me to discuss them with Chinese friends (i.e. it uses the Wade system, which approximates the difficult sounds of Chinese, unlike Pinyin. Note that you aren't reading the current official romanization in this translation, though). It is very long: the first volume is over 600 pages, which may not seem like much until you see the large page size, small font, and find yourself pausing every other paragraph to take notes on the fascinating action (or to keep track of one of the many important characters!).

So much makes this story worth the read: the valiant characters, the mighty but flawed ones, court intrigue, enormous battles, and most especially the cultural glimpses on nearly every page, ranging from mores and morals to astrology and sorcery to strategy and tactics. There is even a bit of romance, though women in general play a secondary and usually subversive role in the story (never would have guessed that by playing Dynasty Warriors).

This edition unfortunately does have a number of misspellings and punctuation problems. They were really a minor distraction, and I wouldn't let that affect your decision of this edition versus the others.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This book is great for anyone who likes stories about courage, loyalty,and strategy. The names are a little cofusing at first but if you keep in mind the three kingdoms of Shu,Wei,and Wu you'll do fine. I recomend this book as a classic which all people should enjoy. ... Read more


152. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table (Classic Literature With Classical Music. Junior Classics)
by Benedict Flynn, Sean Bean
list price: $17.87
our price: $12.15
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 9626341386
Catlog: Book (1997-07-01)
Publisher: Naxos Audiobooks Ltd.
Sales Rank: 3486
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars King Arthur & the Knights of the Round Table
In all honesty, though I have always loved the stories of Arthur and Camelot, I too bought this audio book merely to hear the amazing voice of Sean Bean. The two combined make for a very powerful and gripping story.

This would be a perfect gift for children, the young-at-heart, or anyone who is captivated by the stories of Camelot.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Voice to be Heard
I honestly have to say that I purchased this audio CD through Audible.com only to hear the beautiful voice of Sean Bean. I wasn't disappointed! Then, after hearing a great story, I purchased it again through Amazon for my 9 year old nephew. Sean does a brilliant job, that would keep any person, young or old, interested in hearing the story of King Arthur. Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Version for Children - and Adults too
When I originally purchased this "Junior Classic" - as a gift for my little brother, an Arthur aficianado - I didn't expect to enjoy it much myself. However, the adaptation is well-done, and is not so inane as to make it unbearable to anyone over ten, which is what I expected. I was so pleasantly surprised that I went out and bought myself a copy!

British actor Sean Bean has an incredible range of voices and accents, which he uses impeccably to enrich the characters he reads (though all the narrative is done in his lovely native Yorkshire). Morgana le Fay, Lancelot, Elaine, and, yes, Arthur all come to life as one listens. A very enjoyable audiobook, for bedtime or listening to in the car, or just as a mini-holiday! ... Read more


153. The Cambridge Companion to Walter Benjamin (Cambridge Companions to Literature)
list price: $23.99
our price: $23.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521797241
Catlog: Book (2004-03-25)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 207847
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Book Description

Offering a comprehensive introduction to the thought of Walter Benjamin, the highly influential twentieth-century critic and theorist, this Companion examines different significant aspects of Benjamin's work. Topics of contributions include Benjamin's relationship to the avant-garde movements of his time; his theories on language, mimesis and modernity; and his relevance to modern cultural studies.Additional material includes autobiographical writings, a guide to further reading and a chronology. ... Read more


154. February House: The Story of W. H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Jane and Paul Bowles, Benjamin Britten, and Gypsy Rose Lee, Under One Roof In Wartime America
by Sherill Tippins
list price: $24.00
our price: $16.32
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 061841911X
Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Sales Rank: 37994
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

February House is the uncovered story of an extraordinary experiment in communal living, one involving young but already iconic writers -- and the country's best-known burlesque performer -- in a house at 7 Middagh Street in Brooklyn during 1940 and 1941. It was a fevered yearlong party fueled by the appetites of youth and by the shared sense of urgency to take action as artists in the months before America entered the war.
In spite of the sheer intensity of life at 7 Middagh, the house was for its residents a creative crucible. Carson McCullers's two masterpieces, The Member of the Wedding and The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, were born, bibulously, in Brooklyn. Gypsy Rose Lee, workmanlike by day, party girl by night, wrote her book The G-String Murders in her Middagh Street bedroom. Auden -- who along with Britten was being excoriated at home in England for absenting himself from the war -- presided over the house like a peevish auntie, collecting rent money and dispensing romantic advice. And yet all the while he was composing some of the most important work of his career.
Sherill Tippins's February House, enlivened by primary sources and an unforgettable story, masterfully recreates daily life at the most fertile and improbable live-in salon of the twentieth century.
... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars An American Bloomsbury Group
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to place many of your favorite artistic heroes in the same room and be a fly on the wall to hear the foment?FEBRUARY HOUSE is that wish granted.At least for this reader.

The potent time is 1940 and 1941 when WW II was chewing up Europe and Asia and daily threatening to gorge the globe.But at 7 Middagh Street in the somewhat seamy part of Brooklyn, a house owned by former Harper's Bazaar literary editor George Davis, several artists many of whose birthdays happened to be in the month of February set up an artist commune, eager for interplay with each other and all joined in the role of pacifists.The housefolk included Carson McCullers, WH Auden and his 18 year old lover Chester Kallman, Thomas Mann's children Erika and Klaus Mann,Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears, Gypsy Rose Lee (!)(as well as the occasional guests George Balanchine, Salvador Dali, Paul Cadmus, Diana Vreeland, Paul Bowles, Leonard Bernstein, Lincoln Kirsten among others.

Uniting in both financial need and in political and artistic agendas, these greats interacted in ways both creative and destructive with the results ranging from famous collaborative efforts to drunken orgies to various intimate couplings and exchanges. Gypsy Rose Lee was the titular 'mother' and Auden the 'father' figure.

'Biographies' such as this could easily become racy sensationalism were it not for the fact the writer Sherill Tippins relates this amazing household of geniuses with such skill and obvious love that we are able to simply enjoy the inner spins on the creative minds in February House.For devotees of any or many of these creative minds' works, this little book is indispensable.Warm, humorous, and very enlightening it illuminates a group of folk who for a period of time gave America its own Bloomsbury.Highly Recommended.Grady Harp, May 05

5-0 out of 5 stars "The We of Me"
Sherrill Tippins' book is an enjoyable, true story illuminating a very human group of creative souls whose works are not only well known, but important, and still resonating beyond the World War II era in which they came to being.

7 Middagh St. or February House, so named because of all the February birthdays in the group (Aquarians and Pisceans dominated,) was the place to truly explore the "we of me." Most communal experiences have awkward moments, to put it politely, and there were very awkward moments here, butmore importantly this place gave a group of precocious and talented friends a home in which to develop the very themes that would make them known, respected, and even loved well beyond their circle.

The fabulous George Davis, fiction editor, partier, racconteur, and people finder extraordinaire, was responsible with his new friend, Carson McCullers, for the idea.He found the house in Brooklyn and invited the artists who became the main tenants.The first tenants included Davis, McCullers, Wystan Auden,and Gypsy Rose Lee. George helped Carson, editing her novella, - Reflections in a Golden Eye - Davis also offered his editing skills, encouraging Gypsy to finally achieve her dream of writing. Her - G String Murders - was incubated at 7 Middagh.Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears, Klaus Mann, Paul and Jane Bowles, Paul's cousin, the future set designer,Oliver Smith, and Richard Wright were also part of the household as time passed and early residents moved on.

I am a devoted fan of the writings of Carson McCullers. She truly understood the "we of me," the influence of our beloved or not so beloved family, friends and casual acquaintances on our definition of self; how as an artist one's "we" can definitely benefit the "me." She began - Member of the Wedding - while living at 7 Middagh. This lovely story resonates with the theme of wanting to belong.Here, at 7 Middagh St., Carson belonged.She and her housemates engaged in ongoing conversations on everything from house keeping, to spiritualissues, to the role of an artist in war time, and each figured out how best to proceed with his work.

Interestingly, it was the often rumpled, messy Wystan Auden who managed to make an initially chaotic experience function efficiently for the most part.He was a born nurturer and demanded a certain level of order in the disorder natural to some creative types.This allowed repairs to be completed, bills to be paid, and regular meal times; allowing the residents time to concentrate on their art.I appreciated learning about Auden's early struggles with patriotism and faith, the concept of home and duty, and the role of the poet in any age.Juxtaposed with Auden's spiritual and philosophical searchings is his real open relation with his beloved, the terminally unfaithful Chester Kallman.I find Auden all the more admirable for his choice to honor his love, however saddened that love sometimes made him.Like McCullers, Auden understood that it is the one who loves who is the most blessed.When love is not returned in kind, the artist can only turn it into art or go mad with remorse.Again, the "we of me" allows for full being.

Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears also lived in an openly homosexual relationship.Theirs was a loving match. It is interesting to know that though they did in time return to England, where they were honored by the British and the world, at this time they were still struggling for positive recognition.Theyand Auden were instead criticized by their peers in England for being in America when Great Britian was in peril of being destroyed by Germany.The turmoil caused by this time inspired these British artists to focus, to formulate their personal philosophies even while collaborating, and to create works that through time have been given more credit.

Tippens' descriptions of the February House house mates makes me wish I could have been one of their frequent guests.Her warm, compassionate telling of this time honors her subjects.The humanity of this group, even when they are at odds with each other, will be recognizable to anyone who has ever been part of a family, lived in a commune, or been part of a team or creative process, in other words, all of us.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Tapestry
Ican only imagine the research that must have gone into writing this account of the collective lives of Auden, McCullers, Britten, and Lee -- personal diaries, letters, documents, newspapers, biographies -- and yet it reads seamlessly, as if the author had actually been an omniscient witness to the events.

You couldn't ask for better characters. (Truth is indeed stranger than fiction, after all!) Entertaining eccentricities abound, certainly, but the book goes into enough depth to fully explain motivation, even allowing us to glimpse their souls through the moral and ethical struggles each artist faced during this crucial time in history. Perhaps the highest accomplishment of the author is her ability to compassionately describe the varying mix of vulnerability and ambition in each of the artists.

February House was a place where one could open to the soul of creativity simply by walking down to the kitchen for breakfast. The run-down Brooklyn Heights walk-up served as a refuge for artists fleeing from Europe as WWII heated up. The primary residents enjoyed stimulation and encouragement beyond their wildest dreams. They were able to find new parts of themselves in this alchemical cauldron and put those discoveries into their work. Many of Auden's poems, McCullers' novels, Britten's compositions were seeded here and the fruits are still enjoyed today.

But really, this book is not about the brilliance of their works or the artistic contributions they made to society. It's all about the people -- the STORY. And that's what makes a great book.

Read it because you "should," keep it because you've fallen in love.

5-0 out of 5 stars A crucible of genius
There is a theory that scientific geniuses have to be alone, (Einstein, Newton, Archimedes needed peace and quiet to distill their thoughts) but literary masters need company. Shakespeare and Marlowe thrived in the boiling pot of Elizabethan London; Dickens, Thackeray and Trollope all went to the same clubs; and in this wonderful book we find some of the most innovative and arresting intellects of the twentieth century living in the same house. This is a story that most of us don't know about, but anyone interested in books will love. Funny, entertaining, superbly researched and compassionate, it even made me feel sympathy for Auden, Isherwood, Britten who famously went the wrong way across the Atlantic when war was declared. The test of a great book is, does it leave you wanting more, and this one does. Burroughs house in Tangier? Gertrude Stein's salon? I dont know if Ms. Tippins is interested in a sequel, but I sure am.

5-0 out of 5 stars A life of lives
The intertwining of lives is usually a mixture of monotonous ups and downs. February House proved otherwise.The web of life spun by the individuals in this intriguing literary work was extraordinary.Though each resident was an icon in his/her own right; the sum was exalting.February House evidenced the insurmountable research and attention to detail by Sherill Tippins.She molded the reader into a silent partner; listening to and living the lives of the players in February House.She invited the reader's eyes into the heart and soul of each resident.Mon chapeau to an excellent literary work; one that will survive the test of time. ... Read more


155. The Wretched of the Earth
by Frantz Fanon
list price: $12.00
our price: $9.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802150837
Catlog: Book (1965-06-01)
Publisher: Grove Press
Sales Rank: 9381
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Frantz Fanon (1925-61) was a Martinique-born black psychiatrist and anticolonialist intellectual; The Wretched of the Earth is considered by many to be one of the canonical books on the worldwide black liberation struggles of the 1960s. Within a Marxist framework, using a cutting and nonsentimental writing style, Fanon draws upon his horrific experiences working in Algeria during its war of independence against France. He addresses the role of violence in decolonization and the challenges of political organization and the class collisions and questions of cultural hegemony in the creation and maintenance of a new country's national consciousness. As Fanon eloquently writes, "[T]he unpreparedness of the educated classes, the lack of practical links between them and the mass of the people, their laziness, and, let it be said, their cowardice at the decisive moment of the struggle will give rise to tragic mishaps."

Although socialism has seemingly collapsed in the years since Fanon's work was first published, there is much in his look into the political, racial, and social psyche of the ever-emerging Third World that still rings true at the cusp of a new century.--Eugene Holley, Jr. ... Read more

Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars The truth is here
Reading this amazing book in 2001, the first fact that blew my mind was how relevant this book is in today's world, even though it was written in 1961.
This book is an attempt at understanding the processes of decolonialization, and offering a constructive way to make this process successful and meaningful. Seemingly, it has only historic value in today's decolonized world. But as I read the book, from its beginning to its end, I could not help finding parallels to many current world issues. Wherever there is a situation of oppressed groups trying to put an end to their oppression - the words of Fanon are relevant and enlightening.

Fanon helped me understand the attitudes of the oppressed (found today mainly in Africa and Asia), and the pitfalls of the national liberation struggles. Reading this book explained why so many countries replaced colonialism with corrupt dictatorships.

This book shows that Fanon is one of the sharpest and most truthful intelectuals of the 20th century.

I know I did not manage to convey the full impact this book had on me. The impact may become clear when I say that this book must be translated to every language, taught in every high school system, and discussed at every academic and political level.

3-0 out of 5 stars Lessons from an era gone about our own dangerous future
Fanon lays bare the day to day interactions of the oppressed and the oppressor,
reveiling the tragic symptoms and by-products of colonialism, such as the
belief that violence must be met with violence to liberate a nation. The
mindset of the oppressed and the culture of an oppressed people is written very
plain, universal language (thanks in some part, no doubt, to the translator)
and there are themes and ideas in this book that ring true today because of
this style of writing.

Fanon writes about the need for having a "national culture" and the promotion
of national identity in order to provide a cohesion to people exiting
colonialism into the more covertly cruel world of free markets, total
independence and possibly neo-colonialism (such as what goes on in a lot of the
poorer Asian, African and South American countries today with sweatshops,
plantations and diamond mining). This idea that a national unity and recognized
common interest is not an option, it's totally necessary, if a group of people
wants to truly take power for themselves can be applied to all types of groups
today: gay people, the impoverished, the political Left, those in occupied
countries, religious minorities worldwide, etc.
So why would I only give the book 3 stars? I feel that while a lot of the
philosophy in the book is timeless, it takes lot of wading through dated
accounts of 1960s African politics, Fanon's psychiatric conclusions (one-fifth
of the book is devoted to this) and some mediocre round-about philosophizing.
The back of the edition I read claimed that "The Wretched of the Earth" had
surpassed other books of the era about colonialism and become more than just a
historically interesting artifact. By the last page however, I got the same
feeling I did when I finished "The Rights of Man" by Paine a year earlier for a
university assignment; there's simply no need to go through so much irrelevant
text to get to the core of the argument, which could be found in some of the
author's essay complilations
instead.

5-0 out of 5 stars A medical psychiatrist, Fanon
His statement, not much Marx in it, was that both the tortured
and the torturers needed therapy.

Pretty much, you have a headache and neck and back problems if
you watch tv. A lot of snuff tv in the news. Usually shown
at 6 when children are around.

The TV as an instrument of forming a sub hypnotic channel
even radio, is a forensic characterisation of the of the
phenomenon of indwelling on electronic mediums.

The electronic mediums are, unforturnately, proliferating
in the em band. This trend is not well noted in the
classical news medium.

Making electromagnetic mines that attach neuroplasm to
computers, men women, and childrens' minds, is essentially
the industrial black budget of the evolution of surveillance
and em probes.

Torture can now be done with electronic eqipment, and
the computer blending of electronics to human minds is
a vast technological black budget infrastructure.

It's also curious... you won't read or hear about this
anywhere else... mind control is on the internet.
Not surveillance technology.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must Read
This is a very useful book to anybody interested in understanding colonialism and its effects in Africa. Colonialism was a military project, and Fanon explained that clearly. Fanon does not shy away from suggesting the use of force, if necessary, to achieved freedom. But this book is not about the use of force/violence to achieve freedom, and should not be regarded as such. It is a book that explains western attitudes towards the colonized world, their willingness to use violence, their assault on African culture, and the curruption of African leaders after independence. Do not forget that independence came to Africa, after the French, the British and Belgians were given a clear warning about the fate that was awaiting them in other parts of Africa by the FLN (in Algeria), the MAU MAU movement (in Kenya), and the very aggressive movement for indepence in the Congo and Ghana. Europe was distoryed after World War II, and their armies could no longer sustain their military projects in Africa. This vulnerability was exploited by African leaders. That is why they failed in maintaining direct colonial control of their former colonies. When you ready this excellent material, you will appreciate Fanon's foresight:-his warning to Africans(and every colonized country)to take their destiny into their own hands: saying that every generation must out of relative obscurity, find its mission, fulfill it or betray it. A warning that most Africans ignored after independence. To anybody interested in the works of people like Dr. Walter Rodney, Aime Cesaire, Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, and Basil Davidson, this book is a "Must Read". Please read other Fanon material: Toward African Revolution, Dying Colonism, Black Skin White Masks. Interesting reading! Every African must read Fanon's books!

5-0 out of 5 stars Fanon Does Not Glorify Violence! (and Other Corrections)
Those reviews that castigate Fanon for "glorifying violence" ought to be ignored. Fanon is writing, among other things, a phenomenology of anti-colonialism. It is meant neither as a recommendation nor a condemnation but as a description of the objective truth of a historical condition. That is, for Fanon reverse racist violent nationalism is a stage in the emergence of a political consiciousness that will eventually overcome and, indeed, renounce its own beginnings. What is remarkable is that people at present are so manifestly incapable of reading a dialctical unfolding such as this. The violence of the Algerian War had already largely taken place at the time of Fanon's writing and, let it be recalled, it was primarily the murder of Algerians by the French, for whom African imperialism is still a profitable if somewhat unsavory business.
While Fanon tracks the stages in the evolution of a radical anti-capitalist consciousness in the underdeveloped world, there is no question of his endorsing or advocating violence. One has only to read the final chapter on the psychological effects on both the colonizer and the colonized to see that Fanon is acutely aware of the brutality for all concerned of the Algerian War, even or, indeed, especially, for the oppressors themselves. There is certainly no question of his endorsing the indiscriminate horrors committed that were committed by the FLN against their oppressors.
The other thing, of course, that the petulant, anti-intellectual, ahistorical reactionaries who have shared their opinions here conveniently ignore is the violence inherent in the settler colonialism Fanon was addressing. As for the comparison with India, it is indeed illuminating, and one might profitably develop Fanon into a critique of the post-colonial India elite. After all, the real thrust of the book is its attempt to push anti-imperialism in a genuinely democratic direction, insofar as this was even possible for a largely peasant agricultural society caught within a much larger capitalist cosmos. At any rate, contra one reviewer, in the much-vaunted democracy of India, were peasants substantially liberated by the Indian National Congress from their indebtedness and from coercive labor practices? For his part, Fanon is not content with such liberal eye-wash as the talk of "Indian democracy" achieved through non-violence. In stark contrast to many other romantic commentators, he is keenly aware that there is nothing save radical democratic organized politics that can prevent post-colonial societies from a descent into poverty, despair, and the reactionary resurgence of "leadership" and virulently post-traditional "ethnicities" and "religiosities" though, in the face of the further defeat of the radical left in the West, most likely there is nothing to prevent the implosion of the Third World and the exhaustion (and extermination) of progressive energies there. Pages 95ff. in which Fanon discusses the terrible brutality of the very attempt to create industrialism in a country such as Algeria, and the awful irony of "independence" from the wealth of the colonizer are powerful and utterly ignored by most "radicals" who refuse to see that the resources already exist for the world to enjoy both opulence and sustainability.
Another thing - Fanon is inconceivable without Marxism. It informs his every argument, even if his point is only to criticize actually existing Marxisms. Therefore, the claim that "Fanon is great, except for the Marxist bit" is absurd and puerile. The real problem is that that entire intellectual language and with it the vast majority of the history of 20th century social hope is being actively forgotten. The nuances of so much of Fanon lies in the way he handles, refashions, and pushes up against the limits of the Marxian legacy as it came to him. (The idea that Fanon is a "genius" and that there are none else like him is similarly an indication of a tragic social and political amnesia, and this is not meant to detract in the slightest from the incredible achievement that is both this work and youthful masterwork "Black Skins, White Masks").
Finally, to uncritically drag Fanon into the American context, as some other reviewers want to do, is, it seems to me, potentially extremely misleading. Far more so than "Black Skins," "Wretched" is a book of its time and place. Certainly, any comparison with Malcolm X, who was no leftist and certainly no Marxist, is hopelessly misguided. Never mind the fact that Fanon's project of a liberated Algeria can scarcely be compared with the project of black American radical activists. American blacks were not colonized but forcibly transported and enslaved. More importantly, American blacks live within the heart of capitalism and Fanon's recommendation to the New World descendents of slaves would never be so crackpot as a separatist black nationalism.
There are many good grounds for criticizing Fanon, but since few reviewers seem capable of even approaching those matters, a more basic commentary seemed necessary. ... Read more


156. Narratology: Introduction to the Theory of Narrative
by Mieke Bal
list price: $21.95
our price: $21.95
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Asin: 0802078060
Catlog: Book (1998-01-01)
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Sales Rank: 167420
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Recommendation
This book was recommended by my MA thesis advisor at graduate course in English. It gave me valuable insights and ideas to develop my own argument. It's also very fun to read itself. I recommend this book for those who want to know more about what is "storytelling"- probably one of the most fundamental, universal and interesting human activities - like!

4-0 out of 5 stars very useful
This book is extremely useful both for absolute beginners and also for those who have already encountered and practised narratology. Bal's comprehensive theory of narrative is a precious tool for a better understanding of narrative texts and of other theories in the field of narratology.

4-0 out of 5 stars A VERY GOOD BOOK
A VERY GOOD BOO ... Read more


157. The Critical Response to Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn (Critical Responses in Arts and Letters)
list price: $77.95
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Asin: 0313275750
Catlog: Book (1991-11-30)
Publisher: Greenwood Press
Sales Rank: 603190
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Book Description

The Critical Response to Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn contains articles, reviews, and scholarly essays spanning the period from the original publication of the novel in 1885 to the present. The collection reflects the major literary trends and issues of response to the book--such as persistent attempts to ban it, literary criticism concerning its ending, and many thematic interpretations. Among essayists included are literary figures such as T. S. Eliot and Twain scholars Walter Blair, Leo Marx, and James Cox. Champion provides an introductory overview on the range and issues of critical response, a feature on adaptations of Huckleberry Finn, and a bibliography of additional scholarship. ... Read more


158. On Literature
by Umberto Eco
list price: $26.00
our price: $15.60
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Asin: 0151008124
Catlog: Book (2004-12-06)
Publisher: Harcourt
Sales Rank: 11218
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Book Description

In this collection of essays and addresses delivered over the course of his illustrious career, Umberto Eco seeks "to understand the chemistry of [his] passion" for the word. From musings on Ptolemy and "the force of the false" to reflections on the experimental writing of Borges and Joyce, Eco's luminous intelligence and encyclopedic knowledge are on dazzling display throughout. And when he reveals his own ambitions and superstitions, his authorial anxieties and fears, one feels like a secret sharer in the garden of literature to which he so often alludes.
Remarkably accessible and unfailingly stimulating, this collection exhibits the diversity of interests and the depth of knowledge that have made Eco one of the world's leading writers.
... Read more

159. Letters from the Earth : Uncensored Writings (Perennial Classics)
by Mark Twain
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
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Asin: 0060518650
Catlog: Book (2004-02)
Publisher: Perennial Classics
Sales Rank: 16881
Average Customer Review: 4.66 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"I have told you nothing about man that is not true." You must pardon me if I repeat that remark now and then in these letters; I want you to take seriously the things I am telling you, and I feel that if I were in your place and you in mine, I should need that reminder from time to time, to keep my credulity from flagging.

In Letters from the Earth, Twain presents himself as the Father of History -- reviewing and interpreting events from the Garden of Eden through the Fall and the Flood, translating the papers of Adam and his descendants through the generations. First published fifty years after his death, this eclectic collection is vintage Twain: sharp, witty, imaginative, complex, and wildly funny.

... Read more

Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars Bitter, but funny, on-the-nose cynicism
Mark Twain shows his dark side in this book of short stories that was not published until years after his death. It was thought by his family that his fans would be disturbed by the absolute departure from the usual topics and flavor of his work. It is definitely worth reading. "Letters From the Earth", the title story, (and my favorite) is witty and observant but disturbing in it's darkness. If Mark Twain was alive now he would have a field day with the current social moral standards and hypocrisy.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Mixed bag
This book is probably not what you are expecting. If you are looking for a free-wheelin' adventure story along the lines of Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn, you will not only be disappointed, but most probably shocked. However, if you are looking for an entire book of irrevent writings - as I was - then that's not what you're getting, either. Something less than half of the book (say, roughly, 1/3) consists of deliciously irrevent writings, drained from Mark Twain's pen of bitter ink. The best among these is the title section, "Letters From The Earth", in which Satan writes back to archangels Gabriel and Michael about his visit to earth and the "human race experiment", after his banishment from heaven. In these letters, Mark Twain points out various absurtities and illogical assertions and beliefs about human religions, and unflinchingly describes the vanity and hypocrisy of many of its adherents. I was under the impression that the entire book consisted of these letters; however, I was wrong. It is merely the first section of the book, occupying some 30-50 pages. For people who are highly into this kind of writing, however - as I am - it is worth the price of admission alone. There are several other pieces in the book along this line - including the famous essays Was The World Made For Man? and The Lowest Animal - which display not only Mark Twain's essential pessimism, but his very rational mind and hilarous wit. These pieces are an absolutely essential read for the lover of satire: few better examples are to be found anywhere in literature. The rest of the book, however, is a mixed bag. It consits of various pieces from the "Mark Twain Papers" - a collection of his writings (mostly unfinished) the he decreed to have published sometime after his death. Among these are a few interesting pieces (most of them various satires, several on religious topics), while others are more broadly ranging: everything from a completely improvised tale that he used to put his two children to bed to an unfinished fantasy piece that the editor seems to attach rather a lot of importance to, but whose actual virtue is somewhat more questionable. These pieces range from vaguely interesting to mildly funny to downright boring. Several would've probably been better served by being included in other volumes, while several should probably have been left unpublished. Still, there are definitely some essential writings in this volume that any fan of Mark Twain - or satire, or irrevent writings, for that matter - will want to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Satan's side of the story
Letters from the Earth is an assortment of unpublished-for-60-years writings by Mark Twain. They cover a wide span of subject matter ranging from critiques of the prose style of another writer to the author's construction of the Old Testament and God from the perspective of Satan. In addition to Letters From Earth (Satan's), the contents includes Papers of the Adam Family, The Damned Human Race, Something About Repentance, Was the World Made For Man, In the Animal's Court, The Intelligence of God, The Lowest Animal and others.

Readers who are offended by careful examinations of the meaning and implications of holy or sacred writings of the Old Testiment will not enjoy this book. The author, whatever his actual religious beliefs, probably wasn't an Old Testiment Christian. In this series of short writings he takes specific stories from the OT and holds them into the light away from the long traditions that accompany them in most of our minds. He examines the evidence of the stories for hints of what sort of creature God must be if the OT is true. He extropolates what Satan might be.

I'm an admirer of this author and I believe everything he ever wrote is worth reading and digesting. I put this book alongside his best. But I also admit that if I harbored a microbe of religious fanatic somewhere inside me I'd be hard-pressed to enjoy reading Letters From the Earth.

5-0 out of 5 stars Way ahead of his time
As much as I enjoyed his more famous books, it is actually this work that makes him even more genius to me. I was totally taken aback. His opinions on religion and the hypocrosy of it all were almost exactly as mine as I read along. I thought that no one was like that... let alone back then... but indeed he was. To know that such a great man felt the same way as I did regarding the Bible and human behavior brings me great comfort.

I only wish he were alive so I could personally thank him.

5-0 out of 5 stars I can't believe no one has reviewed this book.
I'm a big Twain fan but I'll keep it simple.

This book, a collection really, is short and sweet. If you have any interest in: sociology (particularly American), religion (particularly American), cultural commentary (particularly American), trying to explain the human condition (not particularly American) or comedy, this is a very good selection. And it will take you only a matter of hours to dip into some of Twain's funniest--and prickly--thoughts.

I mean it. ... Read more


160. Shadow Lovers: The Last Affairs of H. G. Wells
by Andrea Lynn
list price: $30.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0813333946
Catlog: Book (2001-12-24)
Publisher: Westview Press
Sales Rank: 353465
Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Nearing age seventy, and in what would be the last decade of his life, H. G. Wells fell in love at least three times-first with the much younger Baroness Moura Budberg, and soon thereafter with two well-born Americans, Constance Coolidge and Martha Gellhorn, twenty-five and forty years his junior, respectively.These would constitute what Wells himself described as his "last flounderings towards the wife idea." The affairs also would demonstrate that Wells was driven less by his considerable intelligence than by his libido, and his obsession to find his ideal lover--what he called his "lover-shadow."

In Shadow Lovers, Andrea Lynn has created a fascinating study of the very personal side of one of the 20th century's greatest thinkers. This self-proclaimed "Don Juan of the Intelligentsia" was said to have "radiated" energy--intellectual, emotional, physical, and sexual, and his assorted charms made him fabulously successful with women. Drawing on papers recently made public by the Wells estate, Lynn traces Wells's relationship with each of these three femmes fatales and sheds light on the many secrets of all of their lives. Along the way she paints a vivid portrait of the early part of the last century in London, Moscow, Paris, Peking, and the United States. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

1-0 out of 5 stars A slipshod effort
The poor quality of this book is indicated by the author's statement that I did not attempt to contact Martha Gellhorn during my research for a biography of herEven a cursory reading of the first edition of Nothing Ever Happens to the Brave: The Story of Martha Gellhorn shows that I did indeed contact Gellhorn, and that I received a reply. ... Read more


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