Adam T. Sonstegard
Artistic Liberties is a landmark study of the illustrations that originally accompanied now-classic works of American literary realism and the ways editors, authors, and illustrators vied for authority over the publications.
Though today, we commonly read major works of nineteenth-century American literature in unillustrated paperbacks or anthologies, many of them first appeared as magazine serials, accompanied by ample illustrations that sometimes made their way into the serials’ first printings as books. The graphic artists creating these illustrations often visually addressed questions that the authors had left for the reader to interpret, such as the complexions of racially ambiguous characters in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The artists created illustrations that depicted what outsiders saw in Huck and Jim in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, rather than what Huck and Jim learned to see in one another. These artists even worked against the texts on occasion—for instance, when the illustrators reinforced the same racial stereotypes that writers such as Paul Laurence Dunbar had intended to subvert in their works.
Authors of American realism commonly submitted their writing to editors who allowed them little control over the aesthetic appearance of their work. In his groundbreaking Artistic Liberties, Adam Sonstegard studies the illustrations from these works in detail and finds that the editors employed illustrators who were often unfamiliar with the authors’ intentions and who themselves selected the literary material they wished to illustrate, thereby taking artistic liberties through the tableaux they created.
Sonstegard examines the key role that the appointed artists played in visually shaping narratives—among them Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson, Stephen Crane’s The Monster, and Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth—as audiences tended to accept their illustrations as guidelines for understanding the texts. In viewing these works as originally published, received, and interpreted, Sonstegard offers a deeper knowledge not only of the works, but also of the realities surrounding publication during this formative period in American literature.
Britain Colonized analyzes how and why filmmakers use clichéd Hollywood formulas and American cultural standards when adapting British literature. The films discussed in this book are evidence of the way one nation remakes another, often in the image of itself or what it needs the Other to be (as the British Empire once did). Reterritorialization on the part of Hollywood manifests American cultural and capitalist hegemony over the English speaking world. Britain Colonized identifies the phenomena portending the future of British and Anglophone literary and cultural studies as a group of citations appropriated for American ends.
Frederick Jeff Karem
The Purloined Islands offers the first book-length exploration of literary and cultural exchanges between the United States and the Caribbean during the roughly eighty-year period of their greatest interaction, from the close of the Spanish-American War to the Cuban Revolution. The interconnected histories of colonization, migration, slavery, and political struggle thrust writers from both regions into a vibrant literary conversation across national borders. Jeff Karem charts this dialogue and its patterns of influence through an analysis of key literary and cultural sources in English, French, and Spanish, including a large body of rare archival evidence.
What the author identifies in this wide-ranging exchange is the Caribbean’s vital contribution not only to the literatures of the American hemisphere but also to the literary and intellectual culture of the United States itself. Specifically, he shows how such movements as pan-Africanism, the New Negro Renaissance, and pan-American modernism have significant Caribbean roots, although the United States has often failed to recognize them, effectively "purloining" those resources without acknowledgment. As his title’s allusion to Poe’s "The Purloined Letter" suggests, Karem argues that the contributions of the Caribbean have been borrowed, appropriated, and nationalized by U.S. culture but are hidden in plain sight.
Both its multilingual character and its emphasis on the reciprocity in cultural cross-currents will make the book of interest to readers not only in Caribbean and American cultural and literary studies but also in pan-American or border studies, Black Atlantic studies, and African American studies.
From Murphy to Rockaby to Worstward Ho, Beckett’s Masculinity illustrates how Samuel Beckett’s work functions as a testament to the site of memory for the historically erased twentieth-century Protestant, Anglo-Irish community. Jennifer Jeffers ably shows how Beckett converted his own personal traumatic loss of a masculine, patriarchal national identity into a sustained group of obsessive images in his texts. As Beckett’s work matured, he utilized the strategies of emasculation and gender distortion to dismantle Western masculinity. Beckett’s Masculinity shows that Western hegemonic masculinity was a source of private trauma and anxiety for Beckett; yet, he eventually transformed the twentieth-century literary landscape by harnessing the power of parodied masculinity and perverted gender in his work.
Rachel K. Carnell
This is the first full-length biography of Delarivier Manley(c.1670-1724). A Tory pamphleteer, playwright, and satirical historian, Manley was regarded by her contemporaries Jonathan Swift and Robert Harley as a key member of the Tory propaganda team. Her best-selling political scandal chronicle The New Atlantis(1709) helped to bring down the Whig ministry in 1710. Her reputation was tarnished, however, in subsequent generations and twentieth-century scholars often misread her works as under-developed novels rather than as complex works of political satire. Carnell argues that Manley's quasi-autobiographical writings Letters Writen [sic] by Mrs. Manley (1696) and The Adventures of Rivella (1714)are coyly political self-portraits which must be read in their historical context. This is the first book to take account of all known information about Manley's life and work. It corrects many oft-repeated errors in extant scholarship, and uncovers previously unknown details about her life, including evidence about three illegitimate children by John Tilly, Governor of Fleet Prison. Carnell explores the delicate verbal negotiations required for a woman to enter the partisan hotbed of the early eighteenth-century political debate, thus offering an important historical perspective on women's continuing efforts today to be taken seriously in the political public sphere.
“Tornado is a book of ravishing and precise beauty. Death, said Wallace Stevens, is the mother of beauty, and so it is here; around the loss of a beloved sister in childhood, Ted Lardner has spun a radiant web of language by which he reveals what does not and cannot die, in the scale of nature above and underground, in the movements of time, and in the ongoing reach of human tenderness that ‘glides through our skins like a wave, lighting it up from inside.’”—Alicia Ostriker
“Ted Lardner enlarges our range of wonder. For him, the task is to bring the jolt of another world to us by showing us that a springtime apple tree is ‘a brain in flower’ that comes to us ‘from the other side of human language.’ Each line of Tornado sends out a beam that flashes in the line then bounces like sonar in the reader’s deeper parts where we keep our beloved dead. . . . It’s as if Lardner did not write on a keyboard but with a typewriter ball with images, not letters. The ‘tornado’ is his image for leaving, for an ‘intersection’ where the living pass beyond the visible yet begin the Orphic need for imagination. At the center of this vortex Ted Lardner creates the space where the dead still have their Being and make their Rilkean demand that we change our lives. This is a wonderful book.”—Bill Tremblay
Rachel K. Carnell
Narrative realism has long been understood as a full account of “real life” and the individual self. Breaking with this traditional history, Partisan Politics, Narrative Realism, and the Rise of the British Novel demonstrates that the formal conventions of narrative realism emerged at the end of the seventeenth century in response to an explosion of partisan writings that offered rival versions of political selfhood. The novel mediated between the competing Whig, Tory, and Jacobite versions of selfhood that emerged during the upheavals of the 1680s and flourished through the mid 1750s. The rise of the novel was connected to the rise of “the individual,” as traditional accounts proposed, but this Whig individual was just one of several partisan versions of the self that were vying for pre-eminence during this period.
Gary Dyer breaks new ground by surveying and interpreting hundreds of satirical poems and prose narratives published in Britain during the Romantic period. These works have been neglected by literary scholars, satisfied that satire disappeared in the late eighteenth century. Dyer argues that satire continued to be a major and widely-read genre, and that contemporary political and social conflicts gave new meanings to conventions inherited from classical Rome and eighteenth-century England. He includes a bibliography of more than 700 volumes containing satirical verses.
Revisionary survey of satire in the Romantic period, setting work of major Romantic figures such as Byron in new context
Was the first comprehensive bibliography of volumes containing satirical verse
Ted Lardner and Arnetha Ball
This pioneering study of African American students in the composition classroom lays the groundwork for reversing the cycle of underachievement that plagues linguistically diverse students. African American Literacies Unleashed: Vernacular English and the Composition Classroom approaches the issue of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) in terms of teacher knowledge and prevailing attitudes, and it attempts to change current pedagogical approaches with a highly readable combination of traditional academic discourse and personal narratives.
Realizing that composition is a particular form of social practice that validates some students and excludes others, Arnetha Ball and Ted Lardner acknowledge that many African American students come to writing and composition classrooms with talents that are not appreciated. To empower and inform practitioners, administrators, teacher educators, and researchers, Ball and Lardner provide knowledge and strategies that will help unleash the potential of African American students and help them imagine new possibilities for their successes as writers.
African American Literacies Unleashed asserts that necessary changes in theory and practice can be addressed by refocusing attention from teachers’ knowledge deficits to the processes through which teachers engage information relevant to culturally informed pedagogy. Providing strategies for unlearning racism in the classroom and changing the status quo, this volume stresses the development and maintenance of a real sense of teaching efficacy—teachers’ beliefs in their abilities to connect with and work effectively with all students—and reflective optimism—teachers’ informed expectations that all students have the potential to succeed.
Arnetha Ball is an associate professor of education at Stanford University. She is the author of Carriers of the Torch and coeditor of Black Linguistics and Bahktinian Perspectives on Language, Literacy, and Learning.
Ted Lardner is an associate professor of English at Cleveland State University and codirector of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center. His poetry and essays have been published in LUNA, Pleiades, and other journals.
Frederick Jeff Karem
To what extent has the growing popular demand for a vicarious experience of other cultures fueled the expectation that the most important task for regional and ethnic writers is to capture and convey authentic cultural material to their readers? In The Romance of Authenticity, Jeff Karem argues that, in contrast to prevailing assumptions that authenticity should be prized as a goal of regional and ethnic literatures, it is in fact a dangerously restrictive category of literary judgment. He draws on a large body of archival evidence to show how intense political and economic interests have determined what literary representations are deemed authentic, not only constraining what such writers can publish but also limiting the ways in which their works are interpreted.
The author specifically discusses the work of William Faulkner, Richard Wright, Ernest Gaines, Rolando Hinojosa, and Leslie Marmon Silko. Exploring these writers’ different responses to the expectation that they act as cultural representatives of the Southern, Southwestern, African American, Latino, or Native American experience, Karem finds that some refuse that role and others embrace it. The Romance of Authenticity concludes that despite the celebration of hybridity in contemporary theories of identity, the politics of cultural authenticity in publishing and criticism produce precisely the opposite effect, reducing regional and ethnic writers to exotic objects of desire.
Amazon.com review--In his smashing debut story collection I Dream of Microwaves, Imad Rahman navigates the world of marginal actors looking for work--and love--in quirky, unseemly venues. Following the travails of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a young Pakistani actor whose career highlight has been playing perpetrators in crime reenactments on America's Most Wanted, Rahman offers over-the-top episodes of astounding wit and hilarity, in no particular chronological order, as Kareem: finds work as a costumed hawker of a trendy drink at a dive bar where he battles a dwarven rival for the crowd's business; reprises Brando's role of Kurtz in a musical production of Apocalypse Now at the Steak 'N Stage dinner theatre; and partakes in his recurring girlfriend, Eileen's, plan to pry money from her philanthropic grandmother. In the latter, title story, Kareem pretends to be a Bosnian war survivor, pitted against Eileen's ruse. The B-listers recognize each other and, rather than tattle, enter into a duel of "acting one-upsmanship," telling increasingly grandiose stories of atrocity and third-world living. After joining a Shakespeare troupe stranded in Pakistan and watching their driver revive his van with a mouthful of gas, then immediately light a cigarette without incident, Kareem: "expected his head to pop off with a bang, flames bellowing out his open neck." Self-deprecating and funny, Kareem is a memorable thespian worth following around. --Michael Ferch
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