Search results for: inscrutable-malice

Inscrutable Malice

Author : Jonathan A. Cook
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Language Topics

Author : Ross Steele
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This second volume in honour of Michael Halliday contains three sections: The Design of Language, Text and Discourse and Exploring Language as Social Semiotic, and concludes with a recent interview conducted by Paul Thibault in which Halliday provides further insights in his theory of language. The essential design features of language are semantic, lexico-grammatical and phonological. Text for Halliday is a semantic unit expressed by the lexico-grammatical and phonological patterns in language. The papers in the first section study aspects of these three strata of language and the relation between them. The second section deals with units higher than the clause complex and the papers there attempt to integrate the analysis of the lexico-grammatical and phonological systems into higher level discourse units. The papers in the third section develop the notion of language as social semiotic which is central to Haliday s model of language.

Melville s Philosophies

Author : Branka Arsic
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Melville's Philosophies departs from a long tradition of critical assessments of Melville that dismissed his philosophical capacities as ingenious but muddled. Its contributors do not apply philosophy to Melville in order to detect just how much of it he knew or understood. To the contrary, they try to hear the philosophical arguments themselves-often very strange and quite radical-that Melville never stopped articulating and reformulating. What emerges is a Melville who is materialistically oriented in a radical way, a Melville who thinks about life forms not just in the context of contemporary sciences but also ontologically. Melville's Philosophies recovers a Melville who is a thinker of great caliber, which means obliquely but dramatically reversing the way the critical tradition has characterized his ideas. Finally, as a result of the readings collected here, Melville emerges as a very relevant thinker for contemporary philosophical concerns, such as the materialist turn, climate change, and post-humanism.

The Spaces and Places of Horror

Author : Francesco Pascuzzi
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This volume explores the complex horizon of landscapes in horror film culture to better understand the use that the genre makes of settings, locations, spaces, and places, be they physical, imagined, or altogether imaginary. In The Philosophy of Horror, Noël Carroll discusses the “geography” of horror as often situating the filmic genre in liminal spaces as a means to displace the narrative away from commonly accepted social structures: this use of space is meant to trigger the audience’s innate fear of the unknown. This notion recalls Freud’s theorization of the uncanny, as it is centered on recognizable locations outside of the Lacanian symbolic order. In some instances, a location may act as one of the describing characteristics of evil itself: In A Nightmare on Elm Street teenagers fall asleep only to be dragged from their bedrooms into Freddy Krueger’s labyrinthine lair, an inescapable boiler room that enhances Freddie’s powers and makes him invincible. In other scenarios, the action may take place in a distant, little-known country to isolate characters (Roth’s Hostel films), or as a way to mythicize the very origin of evil (Bava’s Black Sunday). Finally, anxieties related to the encroaching presence of technology in our lives may give rise to postmodern narratives of loneliness and disconnect at the crossing between virtual and real places: in Kurosawa’s Pulse, the internet acts as a gateway between the living and spirit worlds, creating an oneiric realm where the living vanish and ghosts move to replace them. This suggestive topic begs to be further investigated; this volume represents a crucial addition to the scholarship on horror film culture by adopting a transnational, comparative approach to the analysis of formal and narrative concerns specific to the genre by considering some of the most popular titles in horror film culture alongside lesser-known works for which this anthology represents the first piece of relevant scholarship.

Ghost Faces

Author : David Greven
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Combines psychoanalysis, queer theory, masculinity studies, and cultural studies to explore contemporary manhood in film. Ghost Faces explores the insidious nature of homophobia even in contemporary Hollywood films that promote their own homo-tolerance and appear to destabilize hegemonic masculinity. Reframing Laura Mulvey’s and Gilles Deleuze’s paradigms and offering close readings grounded in psychoanalysis and queer theory, David Greven examines several key films and genre trends from the late 1990s forward. Movies considered range from the slasher film Scream to bromances and beta male comedies such as I Love You, Man to dramas such as Donnie Darko and 25th Hour to Rob Zombie’s remake of the horror film Halloween. Greven also traces the disturbing connections between torture porn found in such films as Hostel and gay male Internet pornography.

W H Hudson And The Elusive Paradise

Author : David Miller
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Moby Dick by Herman Melville MAXnotes

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MAXnotes. . . - offer a fresh look at masterpieces of literature - present material in an interesting, lively fashion - are written by literary experts who currently teach the subjects - are designed to stimulate independent thinking by raising various issues and thought-provoking ideas and questions - enhance understanding and enjoyment of the work - cover what one must know about each work - include an overall summary, character lists, explanation and discussion of the plot, the work's historical context, biography of the author - each chapter is individually summarized and analyzed and includes study questions and answers - feature illustrations conveying the period and mood of the work Each MAXnotes measures 5 1/4" x 8 1/4" (13.3 cm x 21 cm).

Waging War on War

Author : Giorgio Mariani
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The notion that war plays a fundamental role in the United States' idea of itself obscures the rich--and by no means naïve--seam of anti-war thinking that winds through American culture. Non-violent resistance, far from being a philosophy of passive dreamers, instead embodies Ralph Waldo Emerson's belief that peace "can never be defended, never be executed, by cowards." Giorgio Mariani rigorously engages with the essential question of what makes a text explicitly anti-war. Ranging from Emerson and Joel Barlow to Maxine Hong Kingston and Tim O'Brien, Waging War on War explores why sustained attempts at identifying the anti-war text's formal and philosophical features seem to always end at an impasse. Mariani moves a step beyond to construct a theoretical model that invites new inquiries into America's nonviolent, nonconformist tradition even as it challenges the ways we study U.S. warmaking and the cultural reactions to it. In the process, he shows how the ideal of nonviolence and a dislike of war have been significant, if nonhegemonic, features of American culture since the nation's early days. Ambitious and nuanced, Waging War on War at last defines anti-war literature while exploring the genre's role in an assertive peacefighting project that offered--and still offers--alternatives to violence.

Poe and the Subversion of American Literature

Author : Robert T. Tally, Jr.
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Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2014 In Poe and the Subversion of American Literature, Robert T. Tally Jr. argues that Edgar Allan Poe is best understood, not merely as a talented artist or canny magazinist, but primarily as a practical joker who employs satire and fantasy to poke fun at an emergent nationalist discourse circulating in the United States. Poe's satirical and fantastic mode, on display even in his apparently serious short stories and literary criticism, undermines the earnest attempts to establish a distinctively national literature in the nineteenth century. In retrospect, Poe's work also subtly subverts the tenets of an institutionalized American Studies in the twentieth century. Tally interprets Poe's life and works in light of his own social milieu and in relation to the disciplinary field of American literary studies, finding Poe to be neither the poète maudit of popular mythology nor the representative American writer revealed by recent scholarship. Rather, Poe is an untimely figure whose work ultimately makes a mockery of those who would seek to contain it. Drawing upon Gilles Deleuze's distinction between nomad thought and state philosophy, Tally argues that Poe's varied literary and critical writings represent an alternative to American literature. Through his satirical critique of U.S. national culture and his otherworldly projection of a postnational space of the imagination, Poe establishes a subterranean, nomadic, and altogether worldly literary practice.

An Essay in the History of the Radical Sensibility in America

Author : L.S. Halprin
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How do you use the word "radical?" Committed to the progressive? The cooperative? The communal? The equalitarian? In so far as social, political, and economic power is sought and wielded in malice, just so far is benevolence radical. The history of social, political, and economic power has been mostly the history of malice. The history of benevolence has been mostly the history of radicalism. The sensibility that loves benevolence has been a radical sensibility. In An Essay in the History of the Radical Sensibility in America, L.S. Halprin argues that before the middle of the nineteenth century the work of all American radicals was organized to defend some form of sentimental faith in millennial progress; that the work of the great writers of the middle of the nineteenth century was the first to be fundamentally free of the constraints of sentimentality; that despite that generation’s accomplishments, the old sentimentalities have persisted, perpetuating the cycle in which illusions designed to make radicalism’s chances seem better than they are become the disillusions which make them seem worse. Along the way, Halprin unfolds something of the contribution of Edgar Alan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and Walt Whitman to the specific content of the radical sensibility in America. Since the middle of the nineteenth century, the radical’s work has been primarily to accomplish political power. That work and the frustrations of it often leave little energy for the pursuit of a thoroughgoing self-awareness. Halprin's analysis is particularly useful now to remind readers of both the sentimentalities and the wisdoms from which we come.

20 000 Leagues Under the Sea

Author : Jules Verne
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An American frigate, tracking down a ship-sinking monster, faces not a living creature but an incredible invention -- a fantastic submarine commanded by the mysterious Captain Nemo. Suddenly a devastating explosion leaves just three survivors, who find themselves prisoners inside Nemo's death ship on an underwater odyssey around the world from the pearl-laden waters of Ceylon to the icy dangers of the South Pole . . .as Captain Nemo, one of the greatest villians ever created, takes his revenge on all society. More than a marvelously thrilling drama, this classic novel, written in 1870, foretells with uncanny accuracy the inventions and advanced technology of the twentieth century and has become a literary stepping-stone for generations of science fiction writers.

Prima Facie

Author : Richard Thomas
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Filled with more than eighty compelling and often humorous essays, Prima Facie explores a wide array of subjects-human nature, free will, war, evolution, religion, political correctness, death and taxes. Author Richard Thomas reflects on these subjects and his own life to determine why people act the way they do. Thomas proposes three laws to explain human behavior: Reciprocity. This law states that everyone should have an equivalent exchange of goods for services rendered. We all want fair treatment from our associates. The Leg Up. This law claims that a person will climb over someone else to improve his situation or enforce his supposed superior status. LCD. This law maintains that humans tend to drag each other down to the lowest common denominator (LCD). One person cannot be better than someone else. Thomas argues that the various systems we have created to control our interactions with one another have turned the human race from once fearful, huddling prey into predators who now stalk their own kind. Prima Facie asks us to examine our own lives and beliefs, requires us to recognize the negative impact our everyday behavior has on others, and encourages us to take back responsibility for our destiny.

Frankenstein in Theory

Author : Orrin N. C. Wang
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This collection provides new readings of Frankenstein from a myriad of established and burgeoning theoretical vantages including narrative theory, cognitive and affect theory, the new materialism, media theory, critical race theory, queer and gender studies, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, and others. Demonstrating how the literary power of Frankenstein rests on its ability to theorize questions of mind, self, language, matter, and the socio-historic that also drive these critical approaches, this volume illustrates the ongoing intellectual richness found both in Mary Shelley's work and contemporary ways of thinking about it.

The Turn Around Religion in America

Author : Michael P. Kramer
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Playing on the frequently used metaphors of the 'turn toward' or 'turn back' in scholarship on religion, The Turn Around Religion in America offers a model of religion that moves in a reciprocal relationship between these two poles. In particular, this volume dedicates itself to a reading of religion and of religious meaning that cannot be reduced to history or ideology on the one hand or to truth or spirit on the other, but is rather the product of the constant play between the historical particulars that manifest beliefs and the beliefs that take shape through them. Taking as their point of departure the foundational scholarship of Sacvan Bercovitch, the contributors locate the universal in the ongoing and particularized attempts of American authors from the seventeenth century forward to get it - whatever that 'it' might be - right. Examining authors as diverse as Pietro di Donato, Herman Melville, Miguel Algarin, Edward Taylor, Mark Twain, Robert Keayne, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Paule Marshall, Stephen Crane, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Joseph B. Soloveitchik, among many others-and a host of genres, from novels and poetry to sermons, philosophy, history, journalism, photography, theater, and cinema-the essays call for a discussion of religion's powers that does not seek to explain them as much as put them into conversation with each other. Central to this project is Bercovitch's emphasis on the rhetoric, ritual, typology, and symbology of religion and his recognition that with each aesthetic enactment of religion's power, we learn something new.

The Platonian Leviathan

Author : Leon Harold Craig
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Thomas Hobbes's influential political treatise, Leviathan, was first published in 1651. Many scholars have since credited him with a mechanistic outlook towards human nature that established the basis of modern Western political philosophy from the perspective of social contract theory. In The Platonian Leviathan, Leon Harold Craig weaves together philosophy, political science, and literature to offer a radical re-interpretation of Hobbes's most famous work. Though Craig begins and concludes his analysis with discussions of Herman Melville's Moby-Dick and includes an essay on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, the bulk of his two-part commentary centres on Leviathan. Part One shows the overt principles of Hobbes's political prescription to be untenable, and strongly suggests that Hobbes himself did not subscribe to these rules, using them only as tools to further his philosophical goals. In Part Two, Craig displays the underlying Platonism of Hobbes's thinking. Sure to be controversial, The Platonian Leviathan may nonetheless re-orient the future direction of Hobbes scholarship.

American Fiction in the Cold War

Author : Thomas H. Schaub
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In American Fiction in the Cold War Thomas Hill Schaub makes it clear that Trilling's summary was in itself a mythic reconstruction, a prominent example of the way liberal writers in the late 1940s and 1950s came to terms with their political past. Schaub's book brilliantly analyzes their efforts to reshape an "old" liberalism alleged to hold naively optimistic views of human nature, scientific reason, and social progress into a "new," skeptical liberalism that recognized the persistence of human evil, the fragility of reason, and the ambiguity of moral decision. Most important, as American Fiction in the Cold War demonstrates, these liberal reassessments of history, politics, human nature, and destiny--what Schaub calls the "liberal narrative"--mediated the critical and imaginative production of the literary community after World War II. Schaub shows that the elements of this narrative are visible in a wide spectrum of cultural narratives in American history, political philosophy, and social criticism during the Cold War era. His analysis of the dominant critical communities of the late 1940s--led by critics such as Lionel Trilling and Irving Howe, Cleanth Brooks and Allen Tate--recovers the political meanings embedded within their debates over the nature of literary realism, the definition of the novel, and speculations on its "death." In the second part of his study, Schaub turns to Ralph Ellison, Flannery O'Connor, Norman Mailer, and John Barth. His readings of their fiction isolate the political and cultural content of works often faulted for their apparent efforts to transcend social history. Reviewing John Barth's End of the Road, for example, he shows the politics of culture concealed within what seems to be a philosophical narrative. In novel after novel, he demonstrates, the liberal narrative is operating from within, tuning and steering the direction of the plot and the creation of the character. Schaub's penetrating exploration of the relationship between U.S. political and social thought and the literary consciousness in the early postwar years will be of interest to intellectual historians and to students of American literary culture.

Cosmopolitanism and the Literary Imagination

Author : C. Patell
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Through contemporary theories of cosmopolitanism and analyses of literary texts such as Heart of Darkness, Lilith's Brood, and Moby-Dick, this book explores the cosmopolitan impulses behind the literary imagination. Patell argues that cosmopolitanism regards human difference as an opportunity to be embraced rather than a problem to be solved.


Author : Frederick Turner
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Epic does many things. Among others, it defines the nature of the human storyteller; recalls the creation of the world and of the human race; describes the paradoxical role of the hero as both the Everyman and the radical exception; and establishes the complex quest underlying all human action. Epic illustrates that these ingredients of epic storytelling are universal cultural elements, in existence across multiple remote geographical locations, historical eras, ethnic and linguistic groups, and levels of technological and economic development. Frederick Turner argues that epic, despite being scoffed at and neglected for over sixty years, is the most fundamental and important of all literary forms and thereby deserves serious critical attention. It is the source and originof all other literature, the frame within which any story is possible. The mission of this book is to repair gaps in the literary understanding of epic studies—and offer permission to future epic writers and composers. The cultural genres of Marvel Comics, gothic, anime, manga, multi-user dungeon gaming, and superhero movies reprise all the epic themes and motifs. Consider The Wizard of Oz, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Lost, The Matrix, Superman, Harry Potter, and Narnia. Here can be found the epic beast-man, the miraculous birth of the hero, the creation myth, the founding of the city, the quest journey, the descent into the land of the dead, the monsters, and the trickster. This book will be of interest to all readers fascinated by folklore, oral tradition, religious studies, anthropology, mythology, and enthusiastic about literature in general.


Author : William P. Brown
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Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching is a distinctive resource for those who interpret the Bible in the church. Planned and written specifically for teaching and preaching needs, this critically acclaimed biblical commentary is a major contribution to scholarship and ministry.

Moby Dick

Author : Herman Melville
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A literary classic that wasn't recognized for its merits until decades after its publication, Herman Melville's Moby-Dick tells the tale of a whaling ship and its crew, who are carried progressively further out to sea by the fiery Captain Ahab. Obsessed with killing the massive whale, which had previously bitten off Ahab's leg, the seasoned seafarer steers his ship to confront the creature, while the rest of the shipmates, including the young narrator, Ishmael, and the harpoon expert, Queequeg, must contend with their increasingly dire journey. The book invariably lands on any short list of the greatest American novels.