Debates rage over what kind of literature we should read, what is good and bad literature, and whether in the global, digital age, literature even has a future. But what exactly is literature? Why should we read literature? How do we read literature? These are some of the important questions J. Hillis Miller answers in this beautifully written and passionate book. He begins by asking what literature is, arguing that the answer lies in literature's ability to create an imaginary world simply with words. On Literature also asks the crucial question of why literature has such authority over us. Returning to Plato, Aristotle and the Bible, Miller argues we should continue to read literature because it is part of our basic human need to create imaginary worlds and to have stories. Above all, On Literature is a plea that we continue to read and care about literature.
The answer to the question ‘what is literature?’ has not been found. This is the first book-length attempt to find the answer, by one author, since Sartre in his 1948 book with the same title. The book addresses issues such as: how does literature speak to the world; what is great writing; what is originality; what sorts of truths are there, if any, in creative writing? The book uses hundreds of literary examples, and confronts them with philosophy. The book also explores some big questions about the meaning of life, and sets them against a range of literature. It asks questions like: how does great science relate to literature? The book advances the concept of counter-intuition, as part of the basis for answering the question ‘what is literature?’ The book is also concerned with practical matters, such as the ways literature is involved with war, corruption, rights, suffering and hope.
The literature of Finland is bilingual, with lively and extensive traditions in both Finnish and Swedish. This history covers both literary traditions in detail. The volume?s first section, on Finnish-language literature, consists of a series of connected chapters by leading authorities within the field. It opens with a consideration of the folk literature in Finnish that flourished during the Middle Ages and then examines the more recent history of Finnish-language literature, with special emphasis placed on writings from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The second part of the book provides an examination of Finland?s Swedish-language literature from the late fifteenth century through the early nineteenth century. Subsequent chapters trace developments in Finland?s Swedish-language literature during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. A survey of children?s literature?from both the Finnish- and Swedish-language traditions?concludes this exceptionally thorough volume.
?This is a very impressive work of scholarship that will be invaluable to scholars, students and readers. I can?t imagine anyone seriously interested in this country?s literatures who will not want to own a copy.? - Sam Solecki, University of Toronto
Literature and Gender combines an introduction to and an anthology of literary texts which powerfully demonstrate the relevance of gender issues to the study of literature. The volume covers all three major literary genres - poetry, fiction and drama - and closely examines a wide range of themes, including: feminity versus creativity in women's lives and writing the construction of female characters autobiography and fiction the gendering of language the interaction of race, class and gender within writing, reading and interpretation. Literature and Gender is also a superb resource of primary texts, and includes writing by: Sappho Emily Dickinson Sylvia Plath Tennyson Elizabeth Bishop Louisa May Alcott Virginia Woolf Jamaica Kincaid Charlotte Perkins Gilman Susan Glaspell Also reproduced are essential essays by, amoung others, Maya Angelou, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, Toni Morrison, Elaine Showalter, and Alice Walker. No other book on this subject provides an anthology, introduction and critical reader in one volume. Literature and Gender is the ideal guide for any student new to this field.
Remarkably accessible and unfailingly stimulating, this collection of essays exhibits the diversity of interests and the depth of knowledge that made Umberto Eco one of the world's leading writers. From musings on Ptolemy and reflections on the experimental writing of Borges and Joyce, to revelations of his own authorial ambitions and fears, Eco's luminous intelligence is on display throughout. This volume will appeal to anyone interested in how new light is shed on old masters by a great contemporary mind.
This anthology brings together a generous selection of scientific and literary material to explore the exchanges and interactions between them. It shows how scientists and creative writers alike fed from a common imagination in their language, style, metaphors and imagery. It includes writing by Michael Faraday, Thomas Carlyle, Thomas Hardy, Charles Babbage, Charles Darwin, Louis Pasteur, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain and many others.
First published between 1932 and 1940, this is a three-volume study of the historical development of literature. It explores the oral and written literatures of regions from Iceland and the British Isles, to Russia, the Balkans, Africa, India and the Pacific, placing them in their historical context and examining similarities between them. The authors discuss both ancient and recent texts, illustrating the connections within each group and considering the question of whether all literary growth is influenced by common factors. Praised on publication as '... a work that is not, probably could not be, superseded' (International Journal of Comparative Sociology), the book remains a benchmark for those studying comparative literature or the history of literary criticism. Volume 2 focuses particularly on Russia and the Balkans, and also surveys both early Indian and early Hebrew literature.
Literature ? through both its texts and its authors ? has often been an important inspiration for tourists. And tourism, in turn, has long inspired literature. Through analysis of literature from North America, the British Isles and Europe drawn from contrasting periods and across a range of genres and forms, Literature and Tourism provides a detailed and in-depth explanation of the changing inter-relationship between literature and tourism. Literature ? through both its texts and its authors ? has often been an important inspiration for tourists. And tourism, in turn, has long inspired literature. Through analysis of literature from North America, the British Isles and Europe drawn from contrasting periods and across a range of genres and forms, Literature and Tourism provides a detailed and in-depth explanation of the changing inter-relationship between literature and tourism.
For the first time the Dutch-speaking regions of the Caribbean and Suriname are brought into fruitful dialogue with another major American literature, that of the anglophone Caribbean. The results are as stimulating as they are unexpected. The editors have coordinated the work of a distinguished international team of specialists. Read separately or as a set of three volumes, the History of Literature in the Caribbean is designed to serve as the primary reference book in this area. The reader can follow the comparative evolution of a literary genre or plot the development of a set of historical problems under the appropriate heading for the English- or Dutch-speaking region. An extensive inde...