During the time when the American nation was emerging, the novels of a British author Charles Dickens contributed significantly to the making of American culture. The unique contribution of Charles Dickens's American Audience is the focus upon the testimony of Dickens's American readers as a unique "reading community": how his fiction intersected with their real lives, how he impacted American publishing, literacy, and educational reform, and how Americans loved the theatricality that Dickens brought to their lives.
As technology advances, society retains its mythical roots--a tendency evident in rock music and its enduring relationship with myth and science fiction. This study explores the mythical and fantastic themes of artists from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s, including David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane, Blue Oyster Cult, Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Drawing on insights from Joseph Campbell, J.G. Frazer, Carl Jung and Mircea Eliade, the author examines how performers have incorporated mythic archetypes and science fiction imagery into songs that illustrate societal concerns and futuristic fantasies.
Whether curled up on a sofa with a good mystery, lounging by the pool with a steamy romance, or brooding over a classic novel, Americans love to read. Despite the distractions of modern living, nothing quite satisfies many individuals more than a really good book. And regardless of how one accesses that book—through a tablet, a smart phone, or a good, old-fashioned hardcover—those choices have been tallied for decades. In Bestseller: A Century of America’s Favorite Books, Robert McParland looks at the reading tastes of a nation—from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present day. Through extensive research, McParland provides context for the literature that appealed to the...
Demonstrating the power a single author can have on generations of individuals around the world, Citizen Steinbeck enables readers to make sense of both the past and the present through the prism of this literary icon’s inspirational work.
Myth pervades heavy metal. With visual elements drawn from medieval and horror cinema, the genre’s themes of chaos, dissidence and alienation transmit an image of Promethean rebellion against the conventional. In dialogue with the modern world, heavy metal draws imaginatively on myth and folklore to construct an aesthetic and worldview embraced by a vast global audience. The author explores the music of Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Metallica and many others from a mythological and literary perspective.
Music - The Speech of Angels explores the fascinating variety of Western music through the thoughts of composers, philosophers, and psychologists. The history of thought about music, from classical times to the present, unfolds in these pages. Taking its title from the comment by Thomas Carlyle that "music is the speech of angels," this book explores how we are moved by music. The author considers the ancient claim that the musical symbol is rooted in transcendence and that the material explanations of physics and psychology offer us only a partial view of the scope and power of music. Music listeners will find here a history of reflections on music from antiquity to the Renaissance and a discussion of ideas on music from rationalist, religious, and empirical perspectives. Topics covered include music and inspiration, formalism, the creative process, musical knowledge and emotion.
In FromNative Son to King’s Men: The Literary Landscape of 1940s America, Robert McParland examines notable works published throughout the decade. Among the authors covered are James Baldwin, Pearl S. Buck, James Gould Cozzens, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, John Hersey, Norman Mailer, Ann Petry, Irwin Shaw, John Steinbeck, Robert Penn Warren, Eudora Welty, and Richard Wright. McParland explores how popular novels, literary fiction, and even short stories by these authors represented this pivotal period in American culture. From Native Son to King’s Men will appeal to anyone interested in the cultural climate of the 1940s and how this period was depicted in American literature.
Series introduction -- Volume introduction -- How to write a good essay -- How to write about Joseph Conrad -- Heart of darkness -- The nigger of the "Narcissus" -- Lord Jim -- "Youth" -- The secret agent -- "The secret sharer" -- Nostromo -- Under western eyes -- Victory.
At the height of the Great Depression the narrator loses his job in the Butte copper mines and leaves home to look for work despite the fact that there are eighteen million unemployed and his chances are slim. He hoboes 10,000 miles throughout the West, stealing rides in boxcars and passenger trains, hitchhiking on the roads. He stops at hobo jungle and Hoovervilles, encounters sadistic railroad security and always capitalized the Law. He digs potatoes for a quarter a day, washes cars for a penny each, boxes in a carnival for two dollars a fight. He is picked up as a vagrant, beds down in a brothel, watches a hanging, and winds up in the county jail on suspicion of murder. Because his story is largely autobiographical, every word rings true. He is a Depression-era pilgrim and the people he meets comprise the face of America in despair. There are authentic and persuasive portraits of people trying to find their way through one of the most desperate times in history. O'Malley's graphic, first-hand account will tell you what it was really like.
The 1920s offered a veritable explosion of distinctively American fiction for the first time, from many of the nation’s most widely heralded writers, including Ernest Hemingway, Willa Cather, John Dos Passos, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, and others. Imagining the American Community demonstrates how the presence of the novels by these authors contributed to shaping the national imagination. The source material ranges from the minutes of reading circles and critical comment in periodicals to the archives of writers’ works and the diaries, journals, and letters of common readers.