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Tragedy: A Short Introduction reinvigorates the genre for readers who are eager to embrace it, but who often find the traditional masterpieces too distant from their own language and world. Argues that today’s most popular television shows and films thrive on the type of violence, passion, madness, and catastrophe first introduced to the stage in fifth century Athens Offers selected case studies that exemplify the compelling qualities of tragedy Reviews the history of tragic performance and the qualities of the classic tragic hero, and clarifies the role of plot in defining traged Analyzes the difference between a tragedy, a catastrophe, and a mere unhappy ending Explores the past and future of the tragic form

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This engaging book draws on all of Shakespeare's plays to show they can still be used as a guide to life. Introduces beginning students and general readers to Shakespeare's plays by highlighting the connections between the issues addressed by the plays and those of our own time. Focuses on the characters, situations and stories in Shakespeare which are still familiar today. Shows how Shakespeare's plays illustrate some of life's most familiar stories – love and obsession, parents and children, sex and politics, suffering and revenge Makes Shakespeare’s plays accessible to the widest possible audience.

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This book provides a lively introduction to the work of Roland Barthes, one of the twentieth century's most important literary and cultural theorists. The book covers all aspects of Barthes's writings including his work on literary theory, mass communications, the theatre and politics. Moriarty argues that Barthes's writing must not be seen as an unchanging body of thought, and that we should study his ideas in the contexts within which they were formulated, debated and developed.

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What is psychoanalytic criticism and how can it be justified as a type of criticism in its own right? In this new and thoroughly revised edition of her classic textbook, Elizabeth Wright provides a cogent answer to this question and a wide-ranging introduction to psychoanalytic criticism from Freud to the present day. Since each school of psychoanalysis has its own theory of the aesthetic process, the field is complex. Adopting a critical perspective, Elizabeth Wright focuses on major figures and texts in psychoanalysis and in literary and art criticism: classical psychoanalysis; Jungian analytic psychology; objects-relations theory; French psychoanalysis; French anti-psychoanalysis; feminist psychoanalytic criticism. Across these divisions certain problems recur, problems which conceal themselves in a wide range of surprising places, from Shakespearean tragedy to performance theatre from magic realism to detective fiction, from the German Lied to Wagner. These areas are investigated with reference to rival psychoanalytic theories, while connections are traced between the aesthetic process and the psychoanalytic approach. Already established as the leading introduction to the field, this new edition of Psychoanalytic Criticism will be essential reading for students of literature and literary theory, psychoanalysis, feminism and feminist theory, cultural studies and the humanities generally.

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This book is a clear and accessible introduction to the writings of Helene Cixous, novelist, dramatist and critic, whose work has had a major impact on feminist theory and practice. Susan Sellers, a major scholar on Cixous, provides a lucid account of Cixous's theoretical position, and in particular her distinctive theory of an 'écriture féminine'. She discusses the development of Cixous's literary oeuvre in the context of this theory, and analyses a selection of the works in detail to illustrate the different stages in Cixous's writing career. Focusing on the key novels and plays, Sellers explores a range of issues and themes central to her work; the correlation between the death of Cixous's own father and her 'coming-into-being' as a writer; the psychological process of separation and individuation and the creation of a female authorial self; the discovery of the other and the dramatization of love; the delineation/depiction of an alternative form of relationship between self and other which would have a significance in a wider sphere than that of the merely personal. This much-needed book will be welcomed by students in literature and literary theory, feminism and women's studies, English and French studies and philosophy.

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Edward Said is one of the foremost thinkers writing today. His work as a literary and cultural critic, a political commentator, and the champion of the cause of Palestinian rights has given him a unique position in western intellectual life. This new book is a major exploration and assessment of his writings in all these main areas. Focusing on Said's insistence on the connection between literature, politics and culture, Kennedy offers an overview and assessment of the main strands of Said's work, drawing out the links and contradictions between each area. The book begins with an examination of Orientalism, one of the founding texts of post-colonial studies. Kennedy looks at the book in detail, probing both its strengths and weaknesses, and linking it to its sequel, Culture and Imperialism. She then examines Said's work on the Palestinian people, with his emphasis on the need for a Palestinian narrative to counter pro-Israeli accounts of the Middle East, and his searing criticisms of US, Israeli, and even Arab governments. The book closes with an examination of Said's importance in the field of post-colonial studies, notably colonial discourse analysis and post-colonial theory, and his significance as a public intellectual. This book will be of great interest to anyone studying post-colonialism, literary theory, politics, and the Middle East, as well as anyone interested in Said's writings.

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Terry Eagleton is one of the most influential contemporary literary theorists and critics. His diverse body of work has been crucial to developments in cultural theory and literary critical practice in modern times, and for a generation of humanities students his writing has been a source of both provocation and enjoyment. This book undertakes a lucid and detailed analysis of Eagleton's oeuvre. It gives close attention to the full range of Eagleton's major publications, examining their arguments and implications, as well as how they have intervened in wider debates in cultural theory. It also investigates his less familiar works, such as his early writing on the Catholic left, as well as other as yet unpublished material, showing how these works can be understood alongside the more prominent areas of his thought. Through this, this book offers a cohesive overview of Eagleton's career to date, tracing the development of his theoretical positions, and an assessment of Eagleton's wider contributions to fields such as Marxist literary criticism and cultural theory. It will be essential reading for students of literary criticism, cultural theory, and intellectual history.

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A provocative and compelling book that explores the complex relationship between democracy and avant-garde art, offering a surprising new perspective on the critical role that the arts play in democratic governance at home and abroad. Covers a broad range of topics, from disputes over public art, copyright, and obscenity, to the operations of the House Un-American Activities Committee during the Cold War Highlights detailed and at times shocking debates over the role of the rebellious artist within society

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For most English-speaking readers, Russian literature consists of a small number of individual writers – nineteenth-century masters such as Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Turgenev – or a few well-known works – Chekhov's plays, Brodsky's poems, and perhaps Master and Margarita and Doctor Zhivago from the twentieth century. The medieval period, as well as the brilliant tradition of Russian lyric poetry from the eighteenth century to the present, are almost completely terra incognita, as are the complex prose experiments of Nikolai Gogol, Nikolai Leskov, Andrei Belyi, and Andrei Platonov. Furthermore, those writers who have made an impact are generally known outside of the contexts in which they wrote and in which their work has been received. In this engaging book, Andrew Baruch Wachtel and Ilya Vinitsky provide a comprehensive, conceptually challenging history of Russian literature, including prose, poetry and drama. Each of the ten chapters deals with a bounded time period from medieval Russia to the present. In a number of cases, chapters overlap chronologically, thereby allowing a given period to be seen in more than one context. To tell the story of each period, the authors provide an introductory essay touching on the highpoints of its development and then concentrate on one biography, one literary or cultural event, and one literary work, which serve as prisms through which the main outlines of a given period?s development can be discerned. Although the focus is on literature, individual works, lives and events are placed in broad historical context as well as in the framework of parallel developments in Russian art and music.

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This compact and critically up-to-date introduction to Roman satire examines the development of the genre, focusing particularly on the literary and social functionality of satire. It considers why it was important to the Romans and why it still matters. Provides a compact and critically up-to-date introduction to Roman satire. Focuses on the development and function of satire in literary and social contexts. Takes account of recent critical approaches. Keeps the uninitiated reader in mind, presuming no prior knowledge of the subject. Introduces each satirist in his own historical time and place – including the masters of Roman satire, Lucilius, Horace, Persius, and Juvenal. Facilitates comparative and intertextual discussion of different satirists.