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Literary arts

  • Auteur:
    Popkin, David
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    Builds vocabulary by presenting the entertaining histories behind the core words we need for more effective communication and comprehension.

  • Auteur:
    Larson, Jennifer
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    Understanding Suzan-Lori Parks is a critical study of a playwright and screenwriter who was the first African American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Suzan-Lori Parks is also the recipient of a MacArthur Genius Award, a Whiting Writers Award, a CalArts/Alpert Award in the Arts, two Obie Awards, and a Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts. In this book Jennifer Larson examines how Parks, through the innovative language and narratives of her extensive body of work, investigates and invigorates literary and cultural history. Larson discusses all of Parks’s genres—play, screenplay, essay, and novel—closely reading key texts from Parks’s more experimental earlier pieces as well as her more linear later narratives. Larson’s study begins with a survey of Parks’s earliest and most difficult texts including Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom and The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World. Larson then analyzes Venus, In the Blood, and the Lincoln Plays: The America Play and the Pulitzer Prize–winning TopDog/Underdog.  Larson also discusses two of Parks’s most important screenplays, Girl 6 and Their Eyes Were Watching God. In interpreting these screenplays, Larson examines film’s role in the popularization and representation of African American culture and history. These essays suggest an approach to all genres of literature and blend creativity, form, culture, and history into a revisionary aesthetic that allows for no identity or history to remain fixed, with Parks arguing that in order to be relevant they must all be dynamic and democratic.

  • Auteur:
    Lang, John
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    In this first book-length analysis of Ron Rash's fiction and poetry, John Lang covers all of Rash’s books published through 2013 and offers key insights about his aims, themes, literary techniques and allusions, and major literary influences. Understanding Ron Rash introduces readers to the major themes and literary techniques in Ron Rash's poetry and fiction in the fourteen books he has published through 2013. After a brief survey of Rash's life and career, five subsequent chapters examine his work by genre, following the chronology of his books' publication. Lang begins with Rash’s first three collections of short fiction, examining their themes and style and interconnections. In an analysis of Rash's four volumes of poetry, Lang emphasizes both their grounding in Appalachia and their universal appeal. Then an examination of his first three novels considers Rash’s historical and ecological and religious concerns as well as his desire to preserve what is rapidly vanishing, including the region's vernacular language. Rash's best-known and most accomplished novel, Serena, with its vivid characters, is examined for its striking use of dramatic techniques, and varied literary allusions.After a study of his most recent novel, The Cove, Lang’s critical study's returns to Rash's recent work in short fiction: his Frank O'Connor Award-winning Burning Bright and Nothing Gold Can Stay, both of which demonstrate his wide-ranging subject matter and characters as well as his incisive portrait of contemporary life in Appalachia and beyond. An extensive bibliography of primary and secondary materials by and about Rash concludes the book, making it especially useful to students and teachers who want to learn more about Rash's work.

  • Auteur:
    Veggian, Henry
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    Henry Veggian introduces readers to one of the most influential American writers of the last half-century. Winner of the National Book Award, American Book Award, and the first Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, Don Delillo is the author of short stories, screenplays, and fifteen novels including his breakthrough work White Noise (1985) and Pulitzer Prize finalists Mao II (1992) and Underworld (1998).Veggian traces the evolution of DeLillo’s work through the three phases of the author’s career as a fiction writer, from the experimental early novels, through the more substantial works of the mid-1980s and 1990s, into the “smaller” but newly innovative novels of the last decade. He guides readers to Delillo’s principal concerns—the tension between biography and anonymity, the blurred boundary between fiction and historical narrative, and the importance of literary authorship in opposition to various structures of power—and traces the evolution of his changing narrative techniques.Beginning with a brief biography, an introduction to reading strategies, and a survey of the major concepts and questions that inform writings about DeLillo’s work, Veggian proceeds chronologically through the major novels of the author’s career. His discussion summarizes complicated plots, reflects critical responses to the author’s work, and explains the literary tools used to fashion his characters, narrators, and events. In a concluding chapter, Veggian engages DeLillo’s notable examples of other modes, particularly the short story that, he shows, reveals important insights into his “modular” working method as well as the evolution of his novels.

  • Auteur:
    Murphy, Brenda
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    Understanding David Mamet analyzes the broad range of David Mamet's plays and places them in the context of his career as a prolific writer of fiction and nonfiction prose as well as drama. Over the past three decades, Mamet has written more than thirty produced plays and garnered recognition as one of the most significant and influential American playwrights of the post-World War II generation. In addition to playwriting and directing for the theater, Mamet also writes, directs, and produces for film and television, and he writes essays, fiction, poetry, and even children's books. The author remains best known for depicting men in gritty, competitive work environments and for his vernacular dialogue (known in the theater as "Mametspeak"), which has raised the expletive to an art form. In this insightful survey of Mamet's body of work, Brenda Murphy explores the broad range of his writing for the theater and introduces readers to Mamet's major writing in other literary genres as well as some of his neglected pieces.Murphy centers her discussion around Mamet's most significant plays—Glengarry Glen Ross, Oleanna, American Buffalo, Speed-the-Plow, The Cryptogram, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, Edmond, The Woods, Lakeboat, Boston Marriage, and The Duck Variations—as well as his three novels—The Village, The Old Religion, and Wilson. Murphy also notes how Mamet's one-act and less known plays provide important context for the major plays and help to give a fuller sense of the scope of his art. A chapter on his numerous essays, including his most anthologized piece of writing, the autobiographical essay "The Rake," reflects Mamet's controversial and evolving ideas about the theater, film, politics, religion, and masculinity. Throughout her study Murphy incorporates references to Mamet's popular films as useful waypoints for contextualizing his literary works and understanding his continuing evolution as a writer for multiple mediums.

  • Auteur:
    Frye, Steven
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    Named by Harold Bloom as one of the most significant American novelists of our time, Cormac McCarthy has been honored with the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award for All the Pretty Horses, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Pulitzer Prize for The Road, and the coveted MacArthur Fellowship. In Understanding Cormac McCarthy Steven Frye offers a comprehensive treatment of McCarthy's fiction to date, dealing with the author's aesthetic and thematic concerns, his philosophical and religious influences, and his participation in Western literary traditions. Frye provides extensive readings of each novel, charting the trajectory of McCarthy's development as a writer who invigorates literary culture both past and present through a blend of participation, influence, and aesthetic transformation. He explores the early works of the Tennessee period in the context of the romance genre, the southern gothic, and the grotesque. A chapter is devoted to Blood Meridian, a novel that marks McCarthy's transition to the West and his full recognition as a major force in American letters. Frye also explores McCarthy's Border Trilogy and his later works—specifically No Country for Old Men and The Road—addressing the manner in which McCarthy's preoccupation with violence and human depravity exists alongside a perpetual search for meaning, purpose, and value.

  • Auteur:
    Kidd, Sue Monk
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    The authors describe their introspective journeys to Greece and France, during which they reconnected while Sue grappled with midlife challenges and writer's block and Ann struggled with heartbreak and post-college career questions.

  • Auteur:
    Khordoc, Catherine
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    Tours et détours examine l’inscription du mythe de Babel dans la littérature contemporaine de langue française. Le mythe s’avère une source d’inspiration pour les auteurs examinés qui évoquent justement des phénomènes sociaux actuels, tels que le multiculturalisme, l’immigration, l’exil, la pluralité des langues, la traduction et l’identité. Les ouvrages étudiés, tous écrits en français mais issus de différents contextes linguistiques et culturels, mettent en lumière de nouvelles interprétations du mythe de Babel. Pendant longtemps le mythe de Babel et la pluralité linguistique et culturelle qui s’ensuivent ont été considérés une malédiction pour l’humanité, mais les romans à l’étude remettent en question cette vision négative. Sans exalter les bienfaits de la multiplicité, ils considèrent comment la pluralité linguistique et culturelle enrichit et façonne la production littéraire ainsi que le monde contemporain. Les auteurs et œuvres étudiés sont •    Monique Bosco, Babel-Opéra •    Hédi Bouraoui,  Ainsi parle la tour CN •    Francine Noël,  Babel, prise deux ou Nous avons tous découvert l’Amérique •    Ernest Pépin, Tambour-Babel •    Jorge Semprun, L’Algarabie

  • Auteur:
    Drout, Michael D. C.
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    Professor Michael D.C. Drout takes listeners on a literary journey, exploring Tolkien's most celebrated writings, while explaining the techniques and themes, to show how Tolkien crafted literary worlds that the reader cares desperately about and wishes to save.

  • Auteur:
    Didion, Joan
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    In this intensely personal, deeply moving account, the author exposes the layers and facets of her life over a year of dramatic and unexpected events. Her daughter's serious illness and her husband's sudden death "cut loose any fixed idea I had about death, about illness, about probability and luck ... about marriage and children and memory ... about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself."

  • Auteur:
    Pressfield, Steven
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    Steven Pressfield delivers a guide to inspire and support those who struggle to express their creativity. Pressfield believes that "resistance" is the greatest enemy, and he offers many unique and helpful ways to overcome it.

  • Auteur:
    Smith, A. J. M., Gnarowski, Michael, Roberts, Charles G. D., Polk, James
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    Voyageur Classics is a series of new versions of Canadian classics, with added material and special introductions. In this bundle we find two classic works of the art of the Canadian essay. Charles G. D. Roberts was a distinguished writer of his time who published more than 40 volumes of poetry, romance fiction and nature writing—making him one of the most popular writers of his time. He pioneered the animal story in which he went beyond surface elements of nature and endowed his animal "characters" with qualities of feeling and intelligence that brought them closer to their human cousins. Roberts' career as a writer transcended his Canadian roots and he was internationally known and popular in America and England. Arthur James Marshall Smith—prize-winning poet, essayist, influential anthologist and critic—died in 1980. His last book, The Classic Shade: Selected Poems, on which Selected Writings is based, stands as his final intention in the world of literature. To this long out of print book the editor has added original material by Smith in which he defined and advanced modernism in Canadian writing. Includes:Selected Writings, A.J.M. SmithThe Kindred of the Wild

  • Auteur:
    Klinkowitz, Jerome
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    Kurt Vonnegut is one of the few American writers since Mark Twain to have won and sustained a great popular acceptance while boldly introducing new themes and forms on the literary cutting edge. This is the "Vonnegut effect" that Jerome Klinkowitz finds unique among postmodernist authors.In this innovative study of the author's fiction, Klinkowitz examines the forces in American life that have made Vonnegut's works possible. Vonnegut shared with readers a world that includes the expansive timeline from the Great Depression, during which his family lost their economic support, through the countercultural revolt of the 1960s, during which his fiction first gained prominence. Vonnegut also explored the growth in recent decades of America's sway in art, which his fiction celebrates, and geopolitics, which his novels question. A pioneer in Vonnegut studies, Jerome Klinkowitz offers The Vonnegut Effect as a thorough treatment of the author's fiction—a canon covering more than a half century and comprising twenty books. Considering both Vonnegut's methods and the cultural needs they have served, Klinkowitz explains how those works came to be written and concludes with an assessment of the author's place in American fiction.

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    Includes selections from The book of the Icelander and The book of the settlements; all of The Greenlanders' saga and Eirik the Red's saga. It is interspersed with explanatory background information.

  • Auteur:
    Louch, Jan
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    The memoir of small-town librarian Jan Louch, whose pair of Scottish Fold cats became the mascots of the company Baker & Taylor--and beloved by librarians and readers nationwide. It all started when Jan Louch, assistant librarian at the Douglas County Public Library in Carson Valley, Nevada, and a coworker acquired two Scottish Fold cats to keep mice away from the town's new library. Jan called the cats Baker and Taylor because the names fit the felines' mild temperaments, and because she dealt with the book distribution company on a daily basis. When Jan agreed to let the company photograph the cats for a poster, she couldn't know that they would go on to become the most famous library cats in the world. It was enough for Jan that everyone who visited the library fell in love with the cats. But then the poster became a hit. Children from across the country wrote letters, which Jan answered for Baker and Taylor, and fans traveled from far and wide to see Baker holding court at the circulation desk and Taylor in his unusual sitting-Buddha pose. In this charming memoir, Jan celebrates these wonderful cats and the people--readers, cat-lovers, and many others--that came together around them.

  • Auteur:
    Fulford, Robert
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    Narrative has been central to human life for millennia, and the twentieth century has been preeminently the age of the story. Mass culture and mass leisure have enabled us to spend far more time absorbing stories, real and imaginary, than any of our ancestors. Whether or not this has been to our benefit is one of the questions raised by journalist and 1999 CBC Massey lecturer Robert Fulford. Narrative, Fulford points out, is how we explain, how we teach, how we entertain ourselves - often all at once. It is the bundle in which we wrap truth, hope, and dread. It is crucial to civilization. Fulford writes engagingly and energetically about narrative history, narrative in news coverage, the rise of electronic narrative, and narrative as it flourishes in the form of gossip, "the folk-art version of literature," revealing to us the mystery, power, and importance of story in all our lives.

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    This bestselling reference guide includes 76 entries on traditional and modern poetic forms. Defined in alphabetical order, each entry is allotted 1-7 pages with examples and histories of-and ideas for using-each form.

  • Auteur:
    Abram, David
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    For a thousand generations, human beings viewed themselves as part of the wider community of nature, and they carried on active relationships not only with other people but with other animals, plants, and natural objects (including mountains, rivers, winds, and weather patterns) that we have only lately come to think of as "inanimate." How, then, did humans come to sever their ancient reciprocity with the natural world? What will it take for us to recover a sustaining relationship with the breathing earth? In The Spell of the Sensuous David Abram draws on sources as diverse as the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty, Balinese shamanism, Apache storytelling, and his own experience as an accomplished sleight-of-hand magician to reveal the subtle dependence of human cognition on the natural environment. He explores the character of perception and excavates the sensual foundations of language, which-even at its most abstract-echoes the calls and cries of the earth. In this lyrical work, Abram weaves his arguments with a passion, a precision, and an intellectual daring that recall such writers as Loren Eisleley, Annie Dillard, and Barry Lopez.

  • Auteur:
    Falk, Dan
    Sommaire:

    William Shakespeare lived at a time when the medieval world — a world of magic, astrology, witchcraft, and superstition of all kinds — was just beginning to give way to more modern ways of thinking. Shakespeare and Galileo were born in the same year, and new ideas about the human body, the earth, and the universe at large were just starting to transform Western thought. Shakespeare was not a scientist — the word did not even exist in Elizabethan times — but a handful of scholars are now examining Shakespeare's interest in the scientific discoveries of his time: what he knew, when he knew it, and how he incorporated that knowledge into his work. His plays, poems, and sonnets were not "about" science — but they often reflect scientific ideas, and the more carefully we look at those ideas the better we can appreciate the scope of Shakespeare's achievement. A close reading of Shakespeare's works reveals the depth of his interest in the natural world. Falk examines the world that the playwright and poet lived in, taking a close look at the science of his day — exploring where and how that knowledge is reflected in Shakespeare's work. He also delves into how other writers and artists of the period were influenced by the revolution in science unfolding around them — a subject that has received little attention beyond specialized academic works. Throughout the book Falk stops to ask what Shakespeare knew, and how it may have influenced his work. Obviously, Shakespeare was not the Carl Sagan of the Elizabethan Age — his first commitment was to his stagecraft, not to philosophy or science. However, Falk argues that a close reading of Shakespeare's works reveals the depth of his interest in the natural world, and shows that he was more conscious of the changing conception of the cosmos than we usually imagine. Shakespeare's writing often reflects the scientific ideas of his time — and the philosophical problems they were raising — and the more carefully we look at those ideas the better we can appreciate the scope of his achievement. This book is aimed squarely at the lay reader — those who enjoy Shakespeare's plays and poems for the joy of it, and armchair astronomers and historians who enjoy a trip back in time.

  • Auteur:
    Ozma, Alice
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    When Alice Ozma was in fourth grade, she and her father decided to see if he could read aloud to her for a hundred consecutive nights. On the hundredth night, they shared pancakes to celebrate, but it soon became evident that neither wanted to let go of their storytelling ritual. So they decided to continue what they called "The Streak." Alice's father read aloud to her every night without fail until the day she left for college.

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