The Poetics and Politics of the American Gothic: Gender and Slavery in Nineteenth-Century American Literature [EPUB]
13 January 2017, 15:52
2016 | EPUB | 1.04MB
Taking as its point of departure recent insights about the performative nature of genre, The Poetics and Politics of the American Gothic challenges the critical tendency to accept at face value that gothic literature is mainly about fear. Instead, Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet argues that the American Gothic, and gothic literature in general, is also about judgment: how to judge and what happens when judgment is confronted with situations that defy its limits. Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, Gilman, and James all shared a concern with the political and ideological debates of their time, but tended to approach these debates indirectly.
Thus, Monnet suggests, while slavery and race are not the explicit subject matter of antebellum works by Poe and Hawthorne, they nevertheless permeate it through suggestive analogies and tacit references. Similarly, Melville, Gilman, and James use the gothic to explore the categories of gender and sexuality that were being renegotiated during the latter half of the century. Focusing on "The Fall of the House of Usher," The Marble Faun, Pierre, The Turn of the Screw, and "The Yellow Wallpaper," Monnet brings to bear minor texts by the same authors that further enrich her innovative readings of these canonical works.
At the same time, her study persuasively argues that the Gothic's endurance and ubiquity are in large part related to its being uniquely adapted to rehearse questions about judgment and justice that continue to fascinate and disturb.
Measure Yourself Against the Earth: Essays [EPUB]
13 January 2017, 15:40
2015 | EPUB | 0.8MB
Mark Kingwell is as at home discussing Battlestar Galactica as he is civility, can find the Plato in popular culture, and sees in idleness a deeply revolutionary gesture. In Measure Yourself Against the Earth, he brings his heady mixture of critical intelligence and infectious enthusiasm to bear on film, aesthetics, politics, leisure, literature and much more, showing us how each can help us to imagine and achieve the society we want. The concept of "the gift" unites many of these essays: it is in this idea, Kingwell argues persuasively, in which we may be able to refashion the real world of democracy. "An activist, fugitive democracy. A living democracy that is no opaque demand but a real thing—a society. Democracy: the gift we keep on giving each other."
Smart, engaged, and wide ranging, Mark Kingwell's Measure Yourself Against the Earth confirms its author as among our leading cultural theorists and philosophers.
Words Like Loaded Pistols: Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama [EPUB]
11 January 2017, 15:34
2012 | EPUB | 2.62MB
Rhetoric is all around us. It's what inspires armies, convicts criminals, and makes or breaks presidential candidates. And it isn't just the preserve of politicians. It's in the presentation to a key client, the half-time talk in the locker room, and the plea to your children to eat their vegetables. Rhetoric gives words power: it persuades and cajoles, inspires and bamboozles, thrills and misdirects. You have been using rhetoric yourself, all your life. After all, you know what a rhetorical question is, don't you?
In Words Like Loaded Pistols, Sam Leith traces the art of persuasion, beginning in ancient Syracuse and taking us on detours as varied and fascinating as Elizabethan England, Milton's Satanic realm, the Springfield of Abraham Lincoln and the Springfield of Homer Simpson. He explains how language has been used by the great heroes of rhetoric (such as Cicero and Martin Luther King Jr.), as well as some villains (like Adolf Hitler and Richard Nixon.)
Leith provides a primer to rhetoric's key techniques. In Words Like Loaded Pistols, you'll find out how to build your own memory-palace; you'll be introduced to the Three Musketeers: Ethos, Pathos and Logos; and you'll learn how to use chiasmus with confidence and occultation without thinking about it. Most importantly of all, you will discover that rhetoric is useful, relevant – and absolutely nothing to be afraid of.