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Considered by many to be the most influential US novelist the world has known, William Faulkner's roots and his writing are planted in a single obscure county in the Deep South. A foremost international modernist, Faulkner's subjects and characters, ironically, are more readily associated with the history and sociology of the most backward state in the Union. He experimented endlessly with narrative structure, developing an unorthodox writing style. Yet his main goal was to reveal the truth of «the human heart in conflict with itself,» ultimately defining human nature through the lens of his own Southern experience. This comprehensive account of Faulkner's literary career features an exploration of his novels and key short stories, including The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, Absalom, Absalom!, and many more. Drawing on psychoanalytic, post-structuralist, feminist, and post-colonial theory, it offers an imaginative topography of Faulkner's efforts to reckon with his Southern past, to acknowledge its modernization, and to develop his own modernist method.

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This book introduces Mark Twain through close readings of his seven major works, including Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Connecticut Yankee and Pudd’nhead Wilson. Introduces Mark Twain through close readings of his seven major works, including Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Connecticut Yankee and Pudd’nhead Wilson. Investigates the tension between the real-life person, Samuel Clemens, and the fictional person, Mark Twain. Provides an original reading of Twain’s obsession with performance and popularity. Analyses the significance of Twain’s books for American culture and identity. Illustrated with images from first editions of Twain’s works. A short appendix directs readers to the author’s award-winning website on ‘Mark Twain in his Times’.

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This unique introduction explores Herman Melville as he described himself in Billy Budd-"a writer whom few know." Moving beyond the recurring depiction of Melville as the famous author of Moby-Dick, this book traces his development as a writer while providing the basic tools for successful critical reading of his novels. Offers a brief introduction to Melville, covering all his major works Showcases Melville's writing process through his correspondence with Nathaniel Hawthorne Provides a clear sense of Melville's major themes and preoccupations Focuses on Typee, Moby-Dick, and Billy Budd in individual chapters Includes a biography, summary of key works, interpretation, commentary, and an extensive bibliography.

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Literary Biography: An Introduction illustrates and accounts for the literary genre that merges historical facts with the conventions of narrative while revealing how the biographical context can enrich the study of canonical authors. Provides up-to-date and comprehensive coverage of issues and controversies in life writing, a rapidly growing field of study Offers a valuable biographical and historical context for the study of major classic and contemporary authors Features an interview with Wilfred Owen's biographer, Dominic Hibberd; a gallery of literary portraits with commentaries; close readings that illustrate the differences between fiction and biography; speculation about likely future developments; and detailed suggestions for further reading

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The Novel: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory 1900–2000 is a collection of the most influential writings on the theory of the novel from the twentieth century. Traces the rise of novel theory and the extension of its influence into other disciplines, especially social, cultural and political theory. Broad in scope, including sections on formalism; the Chicago School; structuralism and narratology; deconstruction; psychoanalysis; Marxism; social discourse; gender; post-colonialism; and more. Includes whole essays or chapters wherever possible. Headnotes introduce and link each piece, enabling readers to draw connections between different schools of thought. Encourages students to approach theoretical texts with confidence, applying the same skills they bring to literary texts. Includes a volume introduction, a selected bibliography, an index of topics and short author biographies to support study.

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The works of Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) are widely acclaimed as being among the most original and provocative writings of twentieth-century critical thought, and have become required reading for scholars and students in a range of academic disciplines. This book provides a lucid introduction to Benjamin's oeuvre through a close and sensitive reading not only of his major studies, but also of some of his less familiar essays and fragments. Gilloch offers an original interpretation of, and fresh insights into, the continuities between Benjamin's always demanding and seemingly disparate texts. Gilloch's book will be of particular interest to students and scholars in social theory, literary theory, cultural and media studies and urban studies who are seeking a sophisticated yet readable overview of Benjamin's work. It will also prove rewarding reading for those already well-versed in Benjaminian thought.

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This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the work and thought of Umberto Eco – one of the most important writers in Europe today.

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With the publication of her highly acclaimed and much-cited book Gender Trouble, Judith Butler became one of the most influential feminist theorists of her generation. Her theory of gender performativity and her writings on corporeality, on the injurious capacity of language, on the vulnerability of human life to violence and on the impact of mourning on politics have, taken together, comprised a substantial and highly original body of work that has a wide and truly cross-disciplinary appeal. In this lively book, Moya Lloyd provides both a clear exposition and an original critique of Butler's work. She examines Butlers core ideas, traces the development of her thought from her first book to her most recent work, and assesses Butlers engagements with the philosophies of Hegel, Foucault, Derrida, Irigaray and de Beauvoir, as well as addressing the nature and impact of Butler's writing on feminist theory. Throughout Lloyd is particularly concerned to examine Butler's political theory, including her critical interventions in such contemporary political controversies as those surrounding gay marriage, hate-speech, human rights, and September 11 and its aftermath. Judith Butler offers an accessible and original contribution to existing debates that will be an invaluable resource for students and scholars alike.

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This book recovers places appearing in the mental mapping of medieval and Renaissance writers, from Chaucer to Aphra Behn. A highly original work, which recovers the places that figure powerfully in premodern imagining. Recreates places that appear in the works of Langland, Chaucer, Dante, Petrarch, Spenser, Shakespeare, Aphra Behn, and many others. Begins with Calais – peopled by the English from 1347 to 1558 and ends with Surinam – traded for Manhattan by the English in 1667. Other particular locations discussed include Flanders, Somerset, Genoa, and the Fortunate Islands (Canary Islands). Includes fascinating anecdotes, such as the story of an English merchant learning love songs in Calais. Provides insights into major historical narratives, such as race and slavery in Renaissance Europe. Crosses the traditional divide between the medieval and Renaissance periods.

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Terry Eagleton's Tragedy provides a major critical and analytical account of the concept of 'tragedy' from its origins in the Ancient world right down to the twenty-first century. A major new intellectual endeavour from one of the world's finest, and most controversial, cultural theorists. Provides an analytical account of the concept of 'tragedy' from its origins in the ancient world to the present day. Explores the idea of the 'tragic' across all genres of writing, as well as in philosophy, politics, religion and psychology, and throughout western culture. Considers the psychological, religious and socio-political implications and consequences of our fascination with the tragic.