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City Life

by Witold Rybczynski

In City Life, Witold Rybczynski looks at what we want from cities, how they have evolved, and what accounts for their unique identities. In this vivid description of everything from the early colonial settlements...


Shakespeare and Language: Reason, Eloquence and Artifice in the Renaissance

by Jonathan Hope

Why would Elizabethan audiences find Shakespeare's character of the Fool so funny? And what exactly is meant by the name the 'Weird' Sisters in Macbeth? Jonathan Hope, in a comprehensive and fascinating study,...


Shakespeare and Religion

by Alison Shell

Shakespeare's writing has been seen both as profoundly religious, giving everyday human life a sacramental quality, and as profoundly secular, foreshadowing the kind of humanism that sees no necessity for God....


Shakespeare and Law

by Andrew Zurcher

Andrew Zurcher takes a fresh, historically sensitive look at Shakespeare's meticulous resort to legal language, texts, concepts, and arguments in a range of plays and poems.


Shakespeare and the Medieval World

by Helen Cooper

Shakespeare and the Medieval World provides a panoramic overview of the influence of medieval culture on Shakespeare's plays and poems that opens up new vistas within his work uncovering the richness of his...


Leonard Cohen and Philosophy: Various Positions

by Jason Holt

From the early years, when he morphed from celebrated poet to provocative singer-songwriter, to his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Leonard Cohen has endured as one of the most enigmatic and profound...


Collection of Sand

by Italo Calvino & Martin McLaughlin

The last of Italo Calvino's works to appear during the author's lifetime, Collection of Sand is a group of essays never before published in English, discussing subjects ranging from cuneiform and antique maps...


Seven Contemporary Authors: Essays on Cozzens, Miller, West, Golding, Heller, Albee, and Powers

by Thomas B. Whitbread

These seven critical essays, each on a twentieth-century novelist, are disparate in content, but all are concerned with the problem of evil and inhumanity and with the paradoxes of human existence. Each essay...


William Faulkner, Letters & Fictions

by James G. Watson

Besides the groundbreaking novels and stories that brought him fame, William Faulkner throughout his life wrote letters-to his publisher, his lovers, his family, and his friends. In this first major study of...


Ellen Glasgow: Beyond Convention

by Linda W. Wagner

For many years Pulitzer Prize winner Ellen Glasgow has been regarded as a classic American regional novelist. But Glasgow is far more than a Southern writer, as Linda Wagner demonstrates in this fascinating...


Dos Passos: Artist as American

by Linda W. Wagner

In most of his half century of writing, John Dos Passos consistently tried to capture and define the American character. The complete range of his work builds to Dos Passos' concept of "contemporary chronicle,"...


Narrative Consciousness: Structure and Perception in the Fiction of Kafka, Beckett, and Robbe-Grillet

by George H. Szanto

Comparatively little critical attention has been devoted to narrative technique in modern fiction, and formal analysis of the work of Kafka, Beckett, and Robbe-Grillet in particular has for the most part been...


Theater & Propaganda

by George H. Szanto

This original and insightful study explores the points at which theater and propaganda meet. Defining propaganda as a form of "activated ideology," George H. Szanto discusses the distortion of information that...


The Prague School: Selected Writings, 1929-1946

by Peter Steiner

The Prague Linguistic Circle came into being on the afternoon of October 6, 1926, when five Czech and Russian linguists gathered to hear a lecture by a German colleague. From this international beginning, the...


Precious Bane: Collins and the Miltonic Legacy

by Paul S. Sherwin

During his brief and sorrowful career William Collins wrote a handful of enduring poems, the most powerful and innovative verse of the Age of Sensibility. This study traces Collins' struggle to assimilate or...


Nabokov's Fifth Arc: Nabokov and Others on His Life's Work

by J. E. Rivers & Charles Nicol

In his autobiography Speak, Memory, Vladimir Nabokov compared his life to a spiral, in which "twirl follows twirl, and every synthesis is the thesis of the next series." The first four arcs of the spiral of...


The Necessary Earth: Nature and Solitude in American Literature

by Wilson O. Clough

The Necessary Earth is a study of the degree to which the long American experience with an open frontier has entered into an inherently American literature to distingush it from that of other lands. Since literature...


So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures

by Maureen Corrigan

The "Fresh Air" book critic investigates the enduring power of The Great Gatsby -- "The Great American Novel we all think we've read, but really haven't."

Conceived nearly a century ago by a man who died believing...


Short Stories by Jesus

by Amy-Jill Levine

Jesus was a skilled storyteller and perceptive teacher who used images from everyday life to stir up interest in his message about the Kingdom of God. But life in first-century Galilee and Judea was very different...


Literary Rivals: Feuds and Antagonisms in the World of Books

by Richard Bradford

Novelists, poets and playwrights live double lives, sharing the real world with everyone else while spending a good deal of time in a universe of their own making. When they fall out with each other, they are...