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1. cover
Title: Representation and its discontents: the critical legacy of German romanticism online access is available to everyone
Author: Seyhan, Azade
Published: University of California Press,  1992
Subjects: Philosophy | Literary Theory and Criticism | German Studies
Publisher's Description: Azade Seyhan provides a concise, elegantly argued introduction to the critical theory of German Romanticism and demonstrates how its approach to the metaphorical and linguistic nature of knowledge is very much alive in contemporary philosophy and literary theory. Her analysis of key thinkers such as Friedrich Schlegel and Novalis explores their views on rhetoric, systematicity, hermeneutics, and cultural interpretation. Seyhan examines German Romanticism as a critical intervention in the debates on representation, which developed in response to the philosophical revolution of German Idealism.Facing a chaotic political and intellectual landscape, the eighteenth-century theorists sought new models of understanding and new objectives for criticism and philosophy. Representation and Its Discontents identifies the legacy of this formative moment in modern criticism and suggests its relevance to contemporary discussions of post-structuralism, orientalism, theories of textuality, and the nature of philosophical discourse.   [brief]
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2. cover
Title: Placing movies: the practice of film criticism
Author: Rosenbaum, Jonathan
Published: University of California Press,  1995
Subjects: Cinema and Performance Arts | Film
Publisher's Description: Jonathan Rosenbaum, longtime contributor to such publications as Film Quarterly, Sight and Sound, and The Village Voice , is arguably the most eloquent, insightful film critic writing in America today. Placing Movies , the first collection of his work, gathers together thirty of his most distinctive and illuminating pieces. Written over a span of twenty-one years, these essays cover an extraordinarily broad range of films - from Hollywood blockbusters to foreign art movies to experimental cinema. They include not just reviews but perceptive commentary on directors, actors, and trends; and thoughtful analysis of the practice of film criticism.It is this last element - Rosenbaum's reflections on the art of film criticism - that sets this collection apart from other volumes of film writing. Both in the essays themselves and in the section introductions, Rosenbaum provides a rare insider's view of his profession: the backstage politics, the formulation of critical judgments, the function of film commentary. Taken together, these pieces serve as a guided tour of the profession of film criticism.They also serve as representative samples of Rosenbaum's unique brand of film writing. Among the highlights are memoirs of director Jacques Tati and maverick critic Manny Farber, celebrations of classics such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and The Manchurian Candidate , and considered reevaluations of Orson Welles and Woody Allen.   [brief]
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3. cover
Title: A radical Jew: Paul and the politics of identity online access is available to everyone
Author: Boyarin, Daniel
Published: University of California Press,  1994
Subjects: Religion | Judaism | Christianity | Gender Studies | Literature | Anthropology
Publisher's Description: Daniel Boyarin turns to the Epistles of Paul as the spiritual autobiography of a first-century Jewish cultural critic. What led Paul - in his dramatic conversion to Christianity - to such a radical critique of Jewish culture?Paul's famous formulation, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, no male and female in Christ," demonstrates the genius of Christianity: its concern for all people. The genius of Judaism is its validation of genealogy and cultural, ethnic difference. But the evils of these two thought systems are the obverse of their geniuses: Christianity has threatened to coerce universality, while ethnic difference is one of the most troubled issues in modern history.Boyarin posits a "diaspora identity" as a way to negotiate the pitfalls inherent in either position. Jewishness disrupts categories of identity because it is not national, genealogical, or even religious, but all of these, in dialectical tension with one another. It is analogous with gender: gender identity makes us different in some ways but not in others.An exploration of these tensions in the Pauline corpus, argues Boyarin, will lead us to a richer appreciation of our own cultural quandaries as male and female, gay and straight, Jew and Palestinian - and as human beings.   [brief]
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4. cover
Title: Revenge of the aesthetic: the place of literature in theory today online access is available to everyone
Author: Clark, Michael 1950-
Published: University of California Press,  2000
Subjects: Literature | Literary Theory and Criticism | Philosophy
Publisher's Description: This cutting-edge collection of essays showcases the work of some of the most influential theorists of the past thirty years as they grapple with the question of how literature should be treated in contemporary theory. The contributors challenge trends that have recently dominated the field--especially those that emphasize social and political issues over close reading and other analytic methods traditionally associated with literary criticism. Written especially for this collection, these essays argue for the importance of aesthetics, poetics, and aesthetic theory as they present new and stimulating perspectives on the directions which theory and criticism will take in the future. In addition to providing a selection of distinguished critics writing at their best, this collection is valuable because it represents a variety of fields and perspectives that are not usually found together in the same volume. Michael Clark's introduction provides a concise, cogent history of major developments and trends in literary theory from World War II to the present, making the entire volume essential reading for students and scholars of literature, literary theory, and philosophy.   [brief]
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5. cover
Title: Nets of awareness: Urdu poetry and its critics online access is available to everyone
Author: Pritchett, Frances W 1947-
Published: University of California Press,  1994
Subjects: Literature | Literary Theory and Criticism | South Asia | Asian History
Publisher's Description: Frances Pritchett's lively, compassionate book joins literary criticism with history to explain how Urdu poetry - long the pride of Indo-Muslim culture - became devalued in the second half of the nineteenth century.This abrupt shift, Pritchett argues, was part of the backlash following the violent Indian Mutiny of 1857. She uses the lives and writings of the distinguished poets and critics Azad and Hali to show the disastrous consequences - culturally and politically - of British rule. The British had science, urban planning - and Wordsworth. Azad and Hali had a discredited culture and a metaphysical, sexually ambiguous poetry that differed radically from English lyric forms.Pritchett's beautiful reconstruction of the classical Urdu poetic vision allows us to understand one of the world's richest literary traditions and also highlights the damaging potential of colonialism.   [brief]
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6. cover
Title: Contesting Earth's future: radical ecology and postmodernity
Author: Zimmerman, Michael E 1946-
Published: University of California Press,  1994
Subjects: Philosophy | Social and Political Thought | Natural History | Ecology | Sociology
Publisher's Description: Radical ecology typically brings to mind media images of ecological activists standing before loggers' saws, staging anti-nuclear marches, and confronting polluters on the high seas. Yet for more than twenty years, the activities of organizations such as the Greens and Earth First! have been influenced by a diverse, less-publicized group of radical ecological philosophers. It is their work - the philosophical underpinnings of the radical ecological movement - that is the subject of Contesting Earth's Future .The book offers a much-needed, balanced appraisal of radical ecology's principles, goals, and limitations. Michael Zimmerman critically examines the movement's three major branches - deep ecology, social ecology, and ecofeminism. He also situates radical ecology within the complex cultural and political terrain of the late twentieth century, showing its relation to Martin Heidegger's anti-technological thought, 1960s counterculturalism, and contemporary theories of poststructuralism and postmodernity.An early and influential ecological thinker, Zimmerman is uniquely qualified to provide a broad overview of radical environmentalism and delineate its various schools of thought. He clearly describes their defining arguments and internecine disputes, among them the charge that deep ecology is an anti-modern, proto-fascist ideology. Reflecting both the movement's promise and its dangers, this book is essential reading for all those concerned with the worldwide ecological crisis.   [brief]
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7. cover
Title: Tortured confessions: prisons and public recantations in modern Iran online access is available to everyone
Author: Abrahamian, Ervand 1940-
Published: University of California Press,  1999
Subjects: History | Middle Eastern History | Politics | Middle Eastern Studies
Publisher's Description: The role of torture in recent Iranian politics is the subject of Ervand Abrahamian's important and disturbing book. Although Iran officially banned torture in the early twentieth century, Abrahamian provides documentation of its use under the Shahs and of the widespread utilization of torture and public confession under the Islamic Republican governments. His study is based on an extensive body of material, including Amnesty International reports, prison literature, and victims' accounts that together give the book a chilling immediacy.According to human rights organizations, Iran has been at the forefront of countries using systematic physical torture in recent years, especially for political prisoners. Is the government's goal to ensure social discipline? To obtain information? Neither seem likely, because torture is kept secret and victims are brutalized until something other than information is obtained: a public confession and ideological recantation. For the victim, whose honor, reputation, and self-respect are destroyed, the act is a form of suicide.In Iran a subject's "voluntary confession" reaches a huge audience via television. The accessibility of television and use of videotape have made such confessions a primary propaganda tool, says Abrahamian, and because torture is hidden from the public, the victim's confession appears to be self-motivated, increasing its value to the authorities.Abrahamian compares Iran's public recantations to campaigns in Maoist China, Stalinist Russia, and the religious inquisitions of early modern Europe, citing the eerie resemblance in format, language, and imagery. Designed to win the hearts and minds of the masses, such public confessions - now enhanced by technology - continue as a means to legitimize those in power and to demonize "the enemy."   [brief]
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8. cover
Title: Flight from Eden: the origins of modern literary criticism and theory online access is available to everyone
Author: Cassedy, Steven
Published: University of California Press,  1990
Subjects: Literature | European Literature
Publisher's Description: Steven Cassedy takes aim at two of the most enduring myths of modern criticism: that it is secular, and that it is new and autonomous. He argues that though modern criticism is often forbiddingly scientific and technical, the modern critic remains something of a mystic. Every school of modern criticism - from structuralism to postmodern criticism - rests on a faith in an "Eden," an irreducible essence, a myth, like the common myth that there is an intrinsic distinction between "poetic" language and "ordinary" language. The modern critic attempts to abandon all mystical faith; this is the "flight from Eden." But it is always in vain.It is traditionally assumed that modern literary criticism and theory came from France, and relatively recently. In fact, according to Cassedy, the entire modern critical consciousness was already formed by the early twentieth century in the minds of writers who were primarily neither professional critics nor philosophers, but poets. Some were French (Mallarmé, and Valéry); others were not (Rilke, Bely, and the Russian avant-garde poet Velimir Khlebnikov). In them we find the same Edenic faith, the same effort to abandon it, and the same failure of that effort.   [brief]
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9. cover
Title: Cry for luck: sacred song and speech among the Yurok, Hupa, and Karok Indians of northwestern California online access is available to everyone
Author: Keeling, Richard
Published: University of California Press,  1993
Subjects: Anthropology | Ethnomusicology
Publisher's Description: The "sobbing" vocal quality in many traditional songs of northwestern California Indian tribes inspired the title of Richard Keeling's comprehensive study. Little has been known about the music of aboriginal Californians, and Cry for Luck will be welcomed by those who see the interpretation of music as a key to understanding other aspects of Native American religion and culture.Among the Yurok, Hupa, and Karok peoples, medicine songs and spoken formulas were applied to a range of activities from hunting deer to curing an upset stomach or gaining power over an uninterested member of the opposite sex. Keeling inventories 216 specific forms of "medicine" and explains the cosmological beliefs on which they were founded. This music is a living tradition, and many of the public dances he describes are still performed today. Keeling's comparative, historical perspective shows how individual elements in the musical tradition can relate to the development of local cultures and the broader sphere of North American prehistory.   [brief]
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10. cover
Title: On human nature: a gathering while everything flows, 1967-1984 online access is available to everyone
Author: Burke, Kenneth 1897-
Published: University of California Press,  2003
Subjects: Literature | Literary Theory and Criticism | Intellectual History | Rhetoric | Comparative Literature
Publisher's Description: On Human Nature: A Gathering While Everything Flows brings together the late essays, autobiographical reflections, an interview, and a poem by the eminent literary theorist and cultural critic Kenneth Burke (1897-1993). Burke, author of Language as Symbolic Action, A Grammar of Motives, and Rhetoric of Motives, among other works, was an innovative and original thinker who worked at the intersection of sociology, psychology, literary theory, and semiotics. This book, a selection of fourteen representative pieces of his productive later years, addresses many important themes Burke tackled throughout his career such as logology (his attempt to find a universal language theory and methodology), technology, and ecology. The essays also elaborate Burke's notions about creativity and its relation to stress, language and its literary uses, the relation of mind and body, and more. Provocative, idiosyncratic, and erudite, On Human Nature makes a significant statement about cultural linguistics and is an important rounding-out of the Burkean corpus.   [brief]
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11. cover
Title: Reading Sappho: contemporary approaches online access is available to everyone
Author: Greene, Ellen 1950-
Published: University of California Press,  1998
Subjects: Classics | Classical Literature and Language | Literary Theory and Criticism | Poetry
Publisher's Description: Reading Sappho considers Sappho's poetry as a powerful, influential voice in the Western cultural tradition. Essays are divided into four sections: "Language and Literary Context," "Homer and Oral Tradition", "Ritual and Social Context", and "Women's Erotics". Contributors focus on literary history, mythic traditions, cultural studies, performance studies, recent work in feminist theory, and more.A legendary literary figure, Sappho has attracted readers, critics, and biographers ever since she composed poems on the island of Lesbos at the close of the seventh century B.C. Bringing together some of the best recent criticism on the subject, this volume, together with Re-Reading Sappho , represents the first anthology of Sappho scholarship, drawing attention to Sappho's importance as a poet and reflecting the diversity of critical approaches in classical and literary scholarship during the last several decades.   [brief]
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12. cover
Title: Earthwards: Robert Smithson and art after Babel
Author: Shapiro, Gary 1941-
Published: University of California Press,  1995
Subjects: Art | Art Criticism | Social and Political Thought
Publisher's Description: The death of Robert Smithson in 1973 robbed postwar American art of an unusually creative practitioner and thinker. Smithson's pioneering earthworks of the 1960s and 1970s anticipated contemporary concerns with environmentalism and the site-specific character of artistic production. His interrogation of authorship, the linear historiography of high modernism, and the limitations of the museum prefigures key themes in postmodern criticism while underscoring the uniqueness of Smithson's own work as an artist, filmmaker, and writer.Gary Shapiro's elegant and incisive study of Smithson's career is the first book to address the full range of the artist's dazzling virtuosity. Ranging from Smithson's best known works such as Spiral Jetty and Partially Buried Woodshed to his photographs, films, and theoretical readings and writings, Shapiro's masterful book analyzes Smithson's art in relation to the legacy of American art of the 1960s and central philosophical themes in its contemporary reception.   [brief]
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13. cover
Title: Collected prose
Author: Olson, Charles 1910-1970
Published: University of California Press,  1997
Subjects: Literature | Literary Theory and Criticism | American Literature | Poetry | Literature | Literary Theory and Criticism | American Literature | Poetry
Publisher's Description: The prose writings of Charles Olson (1910-1970) have had a far-reaching and continuing impact on post-World War II American poetics. Olson's theories, which made explicit the principles of his own poetics and those of the Black Mountain poets, were instrumental in defining the sense of the postmodern in poetry and form the basis of most postwar free verse.The Collected Prose brings together in one volume the works published for the most part between 1946 and 1969, many of which are now out of print. A valuable companion to editions of Olson's poetry, the book backgrounds the poetics, preoccupations, and fascinations that underpin his great poems. Included are Call Me Ishmael , a classic of American literary criticism; the influential essays "Projective Verse" and "Human Universe"; and essays, book reviews, and Olson's notes on his studies. In these pieces one can trace the development of his new science of man, called "muthologos," a radical mix of myth and phenomenology that Olson offered in opposition to the mechanistic discourse and rationalizing policy he associated with America's recent wars in Europe and Asia. Editors Donald Allen and Benjamin Friedlander offer helpful annotations throughout, and poet Robert Creeley, who enjoyed a long and mutually influential relationship with Olson, provides the book's introduction.   [brief]
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14. cover
Title: Should I be tested for cancer?: maybe not and here's why
Author: Welch, H. Gilbert
Published: University of California Press,  2004
Subjects: Medicine | Health Care | Disease
Publisher's Description: Getting tested to detect cancer early is one of the best ways to stay healthy - or is it? In this lively, carefully researched book, a nationally recognized expert on early cancer detection challenges one of medicine's most widely accepted beliefs: that the best defense against cancer is to always try to catch it early. Read this book and you will think twice about common cancer screening tests such as total body scans, mammograms, and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests. Combining patient stories and solid data on common cancers, Dr. H. Gilbert Welch makes the case that testing healthy people for cancer is really a double-edged sword: while these tests may help, they often have surprisingly little effect and are sometimes even harmful. Bringing together a body of little-known medical research in an engaging and accessible style, he discusses in detail the pitfalls of screening tests, showing how they can miss some cancers, how they can lead to invasive, unnecessary treatments, and how they can distract doctors from other important issues. Welch's conclusions are powerful, counterintuitive, and disturbing: the early detection of cancer does not always save lives, it can be hard to know who really has early cancer, and there are some cancers better left undiscovered. Should I Be Tested for Cancer? is the only book to clearly and simply lay out the pros and cons of cancer testing for the general public. It is indispensable reading for the millions of Americans who repeatedly face screening tests and who want to make better-informed decisions about their own health care.   [brief]
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15. cover
Title: The voice in the margin: Native American literature and the canon online access is available to everyone
Author: Krupat, Arnold
Published: University of California Press,  1989
Subjects: Native American Studies | American Literature
Publisher's Description: In its consideration of American Indian literature as a rich and exciting body of work, The Voice in the Margin invites us to broaden our notion of what a truly inclusive American literature might be, and of how it might be placed in relation to an international - a "cosmopolitan" - literary canon. The book comes at a time when the most influential national media have focused attention on the subject of the literary canon. They have made it an issue not merely of academic but of general public concern, expressing strong opinions on the subject of what the American student should or should not read as essential or core texts. Is the literary canon simply a given of tradition and history, or is it, and must it be, constantly under construction? The question remains hotly contested to the present moment.Arnold Krupat argues that the literary expression of the indigenous peoples of the United States has claims on us to more than marginal attention. Demonstrating a firm grasp of both literary history and contemporary critical theory, he situates Indian literature, traditional and modern, in a variety of contexts and categories. His extensive knowledge of the history and current theory of ethnography recommends the book to anthropologists and folklorists as well as to students and teachers of literature, both canonical and noncanonical. The materials covered, the perspectives considered, and the learning displayed all make The Voice in the Margin a major contribution to the exciting field of contemporary cultural studies.   [brief]
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16. cover
Title: Trials of authorship: anterior forms and poetic reconstruction from Wyatt to Shakespeare online access is available to everyone
Author: Crewe, Jonathan V
Published: University of California Press,  1990
Subjects: Literature | Renaissance Literature | English Literature
Publisher's Description: For more than a decade, the English Renaissance has been the scene of trial for the critical methodologies of deconstruction, feminism, new historicism, psychoanalytic poststructuralism, and cultural studies. Jonathan Crewe argues that the commitment in the prevailing criticism to innovation, transgression, and radical change has increasingly obscured some powerfully conservative elements both in Renaissance culture and in these critical discourses themselves.In a reading of the poets Wyatt, Surrey, and Gascoigne, and of the biographies of Thomas More and Cardinal Wolsey, Crewe focuses on the relatively stable poetic and cultural forms operative in the Renaissance. He argues that these established forms, which shape poetic composition, social interaction, and individual identity, are subject to only limited reconstruction by English authors in the sixteenth century. They both facilitate and limit literary and social expression and result in more sharply conflicted literary production than contemporary critics have been willing to acknowledge. Crewe concentrates on authors whose canonical status is somewhat precarious and intentionally shifts the emphasis away from the Elizabethan period and toward that of Henry VIII. Trials of Authorship redraws the existing picture of the English Renaissance in the sixteenth century.   [brief]
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17. cover
Title: Late modernism: politics, fiction, and the arts between the world wars online access is available to everyone
Author: Miller, Tyrus 1963-
Published: University of California Press,  1999
Subjects: Literature | Fiction | Art Theory | Cinema and Performance Arts | Politics | Political Theory | History
Publisher's Description: Tyrus Miller breaks new ground in this study of early twentieth-century literary and artistic culture. Whereas modernism studies have generally concentrated on the vital early phases of the modernist revolt, Miller focuses on the turbulent later years of the 1920s and 1930s, tracking the dissolution of modernism in the interwar years.In the post-World War I reconstruction and the worldwide crisis that followed, Miller argues, new technological media and the social forces of mass politics opened fault lines in individual and collective experience, undermining the cultural bases of the modernist movement. He shows how late modernists attempted to discover ways of occupying this new and often dangerous cultural space. In doing so they laid bare the ruin of the modernist aesthetic at the same time as they transcended its limits.In his wide-ranging theoretical and historical discussion, Miller relates developments in literary culture to tendencies in the visual arts, cultural and political criticism, mass culture, and social history. He excavates Wyndham Lewis's hidden borrowings from Al Jolson's The Jazz Singer ; situates Djuna Barnes between the imagery of haute couture and the intellectualism of Duchamp; uncovers Beckett's affinities with Giacometti's surrealist sculptures and the Bolshevik clowns Bim-Bom; and considers Mina Loy as both visionary writer and designer of decorative lampshades. Miller's lively and engaging readings of culture in this turbulent period reveal its surprising anticipation of our own postmodernity.   [brief]
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18. cover
Title: The listening composer
Author: Perle, George 1915-
Published: University of California Press,  1990
Subjects: Music | Contemporary Music | Composers
Publisher's Description: George Perle takes us into the composer's workshop as he reevaluates what we call "twentieth-century music" - a term used to refer to new or modern or contemporary music that represents a radical break from the tonal tradition, or "common practice," of the preceding three centuries. He proposes that this music, in the course of breaking with the tonal tradition, presents coherent and definable elements of a new tradition. In spite of the disparity in their styles, idioms, and compositional methods, he argues, what unites Scriabin, Stravinsky, Bartók, and the Viennese circle (Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern) is more important than what separates them.If we are to understand the connections among these mainstream composers, we also have to understand their connections with the past. Through an extraordinarily comprehensive analysis of a single piece by Varèse, Density 21.5 for unaccompanied flute, Perle shows how these composers refer not only to their contemporaries but also to Wagner, Debussy, and Beethoven.Perle isolates the years 1909-10 as the moment of revolutionary transformation in the foundational premises of our musical language. He asks: What are the implications of this revolution, not only for the composer, but also for the listener? What are the consequences for the theory and teaching of music today? In his highly original answers, Perle relates the role of intuition in the listening experience to its role in the compositional process.Perle asserts that the post-Schoenbergian serialists have preoccupied themselves with secondary and superficial aspects of Schoenberg's twelve-tone method that have led it to a dead end but he also exposes the speciousness of current alternatives such as chance music, minimalism, and the so-called return to tonality. He offers a new and more comprehensive definition of "twelve-tone music" and firmly rejects the notion that accessibility to the new music is reserved for a special class of elite listeners.   [brief]
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19. cover
Title: The erotic Whitman online access is available to everyone
Author: Pollak, Vivian R
Published: University of California Press,  2000
Subjects: Literature | American Studies | Gender Studies | American Literature | Literary Theory and Criticism
Publisher's Description: In this provocative analysis of Whitman's exemplary quest for happiness, Vivian Pollak skillfully explores the intimate relationships that contributed to his portrayal of masculinity in crisis. She maintains that in representing himself as a characteristic nineteenth-century American and in proposing to heal national ills, Whitman was trying to temper his own inner conflicts as well. The poet's expansive vision of natural eroticism and of unfettered comradeship between democratic equals was, however, only part of the story. As Whitman waged a conscious campaign to challenge misogynistic and homophobic literary codes, he promoted a raceless, classless ideal of sexual democracy that theoretically equalized all varieties of desire and resisted none. Pollak suggests that this goal remains imperfectly achieved in his writings, which liberates some forbidden voices and silences others. Integrating biography and criticism, Pollak employs a loosely chronological organization to describe the poet's multifaceted "faith in sex." Drawing on his early fiction, journalism, poetry, and self-reviews, as well as letters and notebook entries, she shows how in spite of his personal ambivalence about sustained erotic intimacy, Whitman came to imagine himself as "the phallic choice of America."   [brief]
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20. cover
Title: The other modernism: F.T. Marinetti's futurist fiction of power
Author: Blum, Cinzia Sartini
Published: University of California Press,  1996
Subjects: Art | Literary Theory and Criticism | Women's Studies
Publisher's Description: Drawing on recent feminist and psychoanalytic criticism, Cinzia Sartini Blum provides the first analysis of the rhetoric, politics, and psychology of gender in the avant-garde writings of the Italian Futurist F.T. Marinetti. Her book explores the relations between the seemingly unrelated goals of Italian Futurism: technical revolution, espousal of violence, avowed misogyny, and rejection of literary tradition.Blum argues for the centrality of the rhetoric of gender in Marinetti's work. She also investigates a diverse array of his futurist textual practices that range from formal experimentation with "words in freedom" to nationalist manifestos that advocate intervention in World War I and anticipate subsequent fascist rhetoric of power and virility. A major contribution to the study of the twentieth-century avant-garde and the first full-length study of Marinetti in English, The Other Modernism will interest all those concerned with twentieth-century literature, culture, and society and the problem of modern subjectivity.   [brief]
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