Popular Criticism Books

31+ [Hand Picked] Popular Books On Criticism

Discover the list of some best books written on Criticism by popular award winning authors. These book on topic Criticism highly popular among the readers worldwide.

3/5

The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations by Toni Morrison

Arguably the most celebrated and revered writer of our time now gives us a new nonfiction collection--a rich gathering of her essays, speeches, and meditations on society, culture, and art, spanning four decades. The Source of Self-Regard is brimming with all the elegance of mind and style, the literary prowess and moral compass that are Toni Morrison's inimitable hallmark. Arguably the most celebrated and revered writer of our time now gives us a new nonfiction collection--a rich gathering of her essays, speeches, and meditations on society, culture, and art, spanning four decades. The Source of Self-Regard is brimming with all the elegance of mind and style, the literary prowess and moral compass that are Toni Morrison's inimitable hallmark. It is divided into three parts: the first is introduced by a powerful prayer for the dead of 9/11; the second by a searching meditation on Martin Luther King Jr., and the last by a heart-wrenching eulogy for James Baldwin. In the writings and speeches included here, Morrison takes on contested social issues: the foreigner, female empowerment, the press, money, "black matter(s)," and human rights. She looks at enduring matters of culture: the role of the artist in society, the literary imagination, the Afro-American presence in American literature, and in her Nobel lecture, the power of language itself. And here too is piercing commentary on her own work (including The Bluest Eye, Sula, Tar Baby, Jazz, Beloved, and Paradise) and that of others, among them, painter and collagist Romare Bearden, author Toni Cade Bambara, and theater director Peter Sellars. In all, The Source of Self-Regard is a luminous and essential addition to Toni Morrison's oeuvre.

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3.3/5

Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer

A witty, informative guide to writing "good English" from Random House's longtime copy chief and one of Twitter's leading enforcers of proper grammar--a twenty-first-century Elements of Style. As authoritative as it is amusing, this book distills everything Benjamin Dreyer has learned from the hundreds of books he has copyedited, including works by Elizabeth Strout, A witty, informative guide to writing "good English" from Random House's longtime copy chief and one of Twitter's leading enforcers of proper grammar--a twenty-first-century Elements of Style. As authoritative as it is amusing, this book distills everything Benjamin Dreyer has learned from the hundreds of books he has copyedited, including works by Elizabeth Strout, E. L. Doctorow, and Frank Rich, into a useful guide not just for writers but for everyone who wants to put their best foot forward in writing prose. Dreyer offers lessons on the ins and outs of punctuation and grammar, including how to navigate the words he calls "the confusables," like tricky homophones; the myriad ways to use (and misuse) a comma; and how to recognize--though not necessarily do away with--the passive voice. (Hint: If you can plausibly add "by zombies" to the end of a sentence, it's passive.) People are sharing their writing more than ever--on blogs, on Twitter--and this book lays out, clearly and comprehensibly, everything writers can do to keep readers focused on the real reason writers write: to communicate their ideas clearly and effectively. Chock-full of advice, insider wisdom, and fun facts on the rules (and nonrules) of the English language, this book will prove invaluable to everyone who wants to shore up their writing skills, mandatory for people who spend their time editing and shaping other people's prose, and--perhaps best of all--an utter treat for anyone who simply revels in language.

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3.3/5

They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us by Hanif Abdurraqib

In an age of confusion, fear, and loss, Hanif Abdurraqib's is a voice that matters. Whether he's attending a Bruce Springsteen concert the day after visiting Michael Brown's grave, or discussing public displays of affection at a Carly Rae Jepsen show, he writes with a poignancy and magnetism that resonates profoundly. In the wake of the nightclub attacks in Paris, he recall In an age of confusion, fear, and loss, Hanif Abdurraqib's is a voice that matters. Whether he's attending a Bruce Springsteen concert the day after visiting Michael Brown's grave, or discussing public displays of affection at a Carly Rae Jepsen show, he writes with a poignancy and magnetism that resonates profoundly. In the wake of the nightclub attacks in Paris, he recalls how he sought refuge as a teenager in music, at shows, and wonders whether the next generation of young Muslims will not be afforded that opportunity now. While discussing the everyday threat to the lives of black Americans, Abdurraqib recounts the first time he was ordered to the ground by police officers: for attempting to enter his own car. In essays that have been published by the New York Times, MTV, and Pitchfork, among others—along with original, previously unreleased essays—Abdurraqib uses music and culture as a lens through which to view our world, so that we might better understand ourselves, and in so doing proves himself a bellwether for our times.

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4.6/5

The Hatred of Poetry by Ben Lerner

No art has been denounced as often as poetry. It's even bemoaned by poets: "I, too, dislike it," wrote Marianne Moore. "Many more people agree they hate poetry," Ben Lerner writes, "than can agree what poetry is. I, too, dislike it and have largely organized my life around it and do not experience that as a contradiction because poetry and the hatred of poetry are inextric No art has been denounced as often as poetry. It's even bemoaned by poets: "I, too, dislike it," wrote Marianne Moore. "Many more people agree they hate poetry," Ben Lerner writes, "than can agree what poetry is. I, too, dislike it and have largely organized my life around it and do not experience that as a contradiction because poetry and the hatred of poetry are inextricable in ways it is my purpose to explore." In this inventive and lucid essay, Lerner takes the hatred of poetry as the starting point of his defense of the art. He examines poetry's greatest haters (beginning with Plato's famous claim that an ideal city had no place for poets, who would only corrupt and mislead the young) and both its greatest and worst practitioners, providing inspired close readings of Keats, Dickinson, McGonagall, Whitman, and others. Throughout, he attempts to explain the noble failure at the heart of every truly great and truly horrible poem: the impulse to launch the experience of an individual into a timeless communal existence. In The Hatred of Poetry, Lerner has crafted an entertaining, personal, and entirely original examination of a vocation no less essential for being impossible.

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3.8/5

Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power by Noam Chomsky , Peter Hutchinson (Editor) , Kelly Nyks (Editor) , Jared P. Scott (Editor)

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! In his first major book on the subject of income inequality, Noam Chomsky skewers the fundamental tenets of neoliberalism and casts a clear, cold, patient eye on the economic facts of life. What are the ten principles of concentration of wealth and power at work in America today? They're simple enough: reduce democracy, shape ideology, redesign A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! In his first major book on the subject of income inequality, Noam Chomsky skewers the fundamental tenets of neoliberalism and casts a clear, cold, patient eye on the economic facts of life. What are the ten principles of concentration of wealth and power at work in America today? They're simple enough: reduce democracy, shape ideology, redesign the economy, shift the burden onto the poor and middle classes, attack the solidarity of the people, let special interests run the regulators, engineer election results, use fear and the power of the state to keep the rabble in line, manufacture consent, marginalize the population. In Requiem for the American Dream, Chomsky devotes a chapter to each of these ten principles, and adds readings from some of the core texts that have influenced his thinking to bolster his argument. To create Requiem for the American Dream, Chomsky and his editors, the filmmakers Peter Hutchison, Kelly Nyks, and Jared P. Scott, spent countless hours together over the course of five years, from 2011 to 2016. After the release of the film version, Chomsky and the editors returned to the many hours of tape and transcript and created a document that included three times as much text as was used in the film. The book that has resulted is nonetheless arguably the most succinct and tightly woven of Chomsky's long career, a beautiful vessel--including old-fashioned ligatures in the typeface--in which to carry Chomsky's bold and uncompromising vision, his perspective on the economic reality and its impact on our political and moral well-being as a nation. "During the Great Depression, which I'm old enough to remember, it was bad–much worse subjectively than today. But there was a sense that we'll get out of this somehow, an expectation that things were going to get better . . ." —from Requiem for the American Dream

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3.1/5

The Weird and the Eerie by Mark Fisher

What exactly are the Weird and the Eerie? In this new essay, Mark Fisher argues that some of the most haunting and anomalous fiction of the 20th century belongs to these two modes. The Weird and the Eerie are closely related but distinct modes, each possessing its own distinct properties. Both have often been associated with Horror, yet this emphasis overlooks the aching f What exactly are the Weird and the Eerie? In this new essay, Mark Fisher argues that some of the most haunting and anomalous fiction of the 20th century belongs to these two modes. The Weird and the Eerie are closely related but distinct modes, each possessing its own distinct properties. Both have often been associated with Horror, yet this emphasis overlooks the aching fascination that such texts can exercise. The Weird and the Eerie both fundamentally concern the outside and the unknown, which are not intrinsically horrifying, even if they are always unsettling. Perhaps a proper understanding of the human condition requires examination of liminal concepts such as the weird and the eerie. These two modes will be analysed with reference to the work of authors such as H. P. Lovecraft, H. G. Wells, M.R. James, Christopher Priest, Joan Lindsay, Nigel Kneale, Daphne Du Maurier, Alan Garner and Margaret Atwood, and films by Stanley Kubrick, Jonathan Glazer and Christoper Nolan.

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3.3/5

The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations by Toni Morrison

Arguably the most celebrated and revered writer of our time now gives us a new nonfiction collection--a rich gathering of her essays, speeches, and meditations on society, culture, and art, spanning four decades. The Source of Self-Regard is brimming with all the elegance of mind and style, the literary prowess and moral compass that are Toni Morrison's inimitable hallmark. Arguably the most celebrated and revered writer of our time now gives us a new nonfiction collection--a rich gathering of her essays, speeches, and meditations on society, culture, and art, spanning four decades. The Source of Self-Regard is brimming with all the elegance of mind and style, the literary prowess and moral compass that are Toni Morrison's inimitable hallmark. It is divided into three parts: the first is introduced by a powerful prayer for the dead of 9/11; the second by a searching meditation on Martin Luther King Jr., and the last by a heart-wrenching eulogy for James Baldwin. In the writings and speeches included here, Morrison takes on contested social issues: the foreigner, female empowerment, the press, money, "black matter(s)," and human rights. She looks at enduring matters of culture: the role of the artist in society, the literary imagination, the Afro-American presence in American literature, and in her Nobel lecture, the power of language itself. And here too is piercing commentary on her own work (including The Bluest Eye, Sula, Tar Baby, Jazz, Beloved, and Paradise) and that of others, among them, painter and collagist Romare Bearden, author Toni Cade Bambara, and theater director Peter Sellars. In all, The Source of Self-Regard is a luminous and essential addition to Toni Morrison's oeuvre.

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4/5

The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World by Maya Jasanoff

From one of America's most exciting historians, the astonishing life and times of Joseph Conrad, a visionary guide to the turbulent age of globalization Shakespeare and the Elizabethans, Goethe and the Romantics - great artists can become tutelary spirits for their age. As Maya Jasanoff argues, Joseph Conrad did not merely embody the soul of his time, he anticipated our own From one of America's most exciting historians, the astonishing life and times of Joseph Conrad, a visionary guide to the turbulent age of globalization Shakespeare and the Elizabethans, Goethe and the Romantics - great artists can become tutelary spirits for their age. As Maya Jasanoff argues, Joseph Conrad did not merely embody the soul of his time, he anticipated our own. Through his journeys from Poland to France, England to Malaysia, Belgium to Congo, he witnessed a turning point in international history. He learned first-hand about immigration, terrorism, imperial oppression, the dangers of nationalism, and the promise and peril of rapid technological innovation. His life and work present an inside history of globalization and eerily reflect the hypocrisies of the West's most cherished ideals. Joseph Conrad was born Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski in 1857, in a region of Poland then controlled by Russia, Europe's most autocratic empire. By 1862, his father had been arrested for fomenting revolution and his family sentenced to exile, where a series of miserable forced relocations precipitated the illnesses that killed both of Conrad's parents before he was eleven. At sixteen, fleeing an orphan's sadness, he abandoned everything he knew to pursue the unlikely dream of becoming a sailor. From the deck of a ship, he saw the surging, competitive -new imperialism- that placed a flag on every populated part of the world by century's end. He got a close look, too, at the places -beyond the end of telegraph cables and mail-boat lines, - as empires expanded their reach into the so-called dark places of the earth. Through an expert blend of history, biography, literary criticism, and travelogue, Maya Jasanoff traces the strands of Conrad's experiences and the stories of his four greatest works--The Secret Agent, Lord Jim, Heart of Darkness, and Nostromo. This spellbinding narrative casts new light on his age, and offers fresh insight into our own. Genre-bending, intellectually thrilling, and deeply humane, The Dawn Watch embarks us on a bold expedition to the veritable dark heart of Conrad and our global world.

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4.2/5

The Story of Kullervo by J.R.R. Tolkien , Verlyn Flieger (Editor)

The world first publication of a previously unknown work of fantasy by J.R.R. Tolkien, which tells the powerful story of a doomed young man who is sold into slavery and who swears revenge on the magician who killed his father. Kullervo son of Kalervo is perhaps the darkest and most tragic of all J.R.R. Tolkien’s characters. ‘Hapless Kullervo’, as Tolkien called him, is a lu The world first publication of a previously unknown work of fantasy by J.R.R. Tolkien, which tells the powerful story of a doomed young man who is sold into slavery and who swears revenge on the magician who killed his father. Kullervo son of Kalervo is perhaps the darkest and most tragic of all J.R.R. Tolkien’s characters. ‘Hapless Kullervo’, as Tolkien called him, is a luckless orphan boy with supernatural powers and a tragic destiny. Brought up in the homestead of the dark magician Untamo, who killed his father, kidnapped his mother, and who tries three times to kill him when still a boy, Kullervo is alone save for the love of his twin sister, Wanona, and guarded by the magical powers of the black dog, Musti. When Kullervo is sold into slavery he swears revenge on the magician, but he will learn that even at the point of vengeance there is no escape from the cruellest of fates. Tolkien himself said that The Story of Kullervo was ‘the germ of my attempt to write legends of my own’, and was ‘a major matter in the legends of the First Age’. Tolkien’s Kullervo is the clear ancestor of Túrin Turambar, tragic incestuous hero of The Silmarillion. In addition to it being a powerful story in its own right, The Story of Kullervo – published here for the first time with the author’s drafts, notes and lecture-essays on its source-work, The Kalevala – is a foundation stone in the structure of Tolkien’s invented world.

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3.1/5

Punto d'ombra by Teju Cole

"Punto d'ombra" presenta il nuovo lavoro di Teju Cole: una serie di immagini e parole che, come le pagine di un diario visivo, seguono e testimoniano i suoi diversi viaggi e peregrinazioni nel mondo. Anche se il progetto ha delle connessioni evidenti con le opere di autori come John Berger, Chris Marker e W.G. Sebald, "Punto d'ombra" di Teju Cole è qualcosa di diverso. Un "Punto d'ombra" presenta il nuovo lavoro di Teju Cole: una serie di immagini e parole che, come le pagine di un diario visivo, seguono e testimoniano i suoi diversi viaggi e peregrinazioni nel mondo. Anche se il progetto ha delle connessioni evidenti con le opere di autori come John Berger, Chris Marker e W.G. Sebald, "Punto d'ombra" di Teju Cole è qualcosa di diverso. Un lavoro originale e coraggioso che combina la poetica fotografia di paesaggio di Teju Cole con la sua prosa, lirica, allusiva e impegnata. Con un'introduzione di Siri Hustvedt.

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4.5/5

Women of Will: Following the Feminine in Shakespeare's Plays by Tina Packer

From one of the country’s foremost experts on Shakespeare and theatre arts, actor, director, and master teacher Tina Packer offers an exploration—fierce, funny, fearless—of the women of Shakespeare’s plays. A profound, and profoundly illuminating, book that gives us the playwright’s changing understanding of the feminine and reveals some of his deepest insights. Packer, wi From one of the country’s foremost experts on Shakespeare and theatre arts, actor, director, and master teacher Tina Packer offers an exploration—fierce, funny, fearless—of the women of Shakespeare’s plays. A profound, and profoundly illuminating, book that gives us the playwright’s changing understanding of the feminine and reveals some of his deepest insights. Packer, with expert grasp and perception, constructs a radically different understanding of power, sexuality, and redemption. Beginning with the early comedies (The Taming of the Shrew, Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Comedy of Errors), Packer shows that Shakespeare wrote the women of these plays as shrews to be tamed or as sweet little things with no definable independent thought, virgins on the pedestal. The women of the histories (the three parts of Henry VI; Richard III) are, Packer shows, much more interesting, beginning with Joan of Arc, possibly the first woman character Shakespeare ever created.  In her opening scene, she’s wonderfully alive—a virgin, true, sent from heaven, a country girl going to lead men bravely into battle, the kind of girl Shakespeare could have known and loved in Stratford. Her independent resolution collapses within a few scenes, as Shakespeare himself suddenly turns against her, and she yields to the common caricature of his culture and becomes Joan the Enemy, the Warrior Woman, the witch; a woman to be feared and destroyed . . .  As Packer turns her attention to the extraordinary Juliet, the author perceives a large shift. Suddenly Shakespeare’s women have depth of character, motivation, understanding of life more than equal to that of the men; once Juliet has led the way, the plays are never the same again. As Shakespeare ceases to write about women as predictable caricatures and starts writing them from the inside, embodying their voices, his women become as dimensional, spirited, spiritual, active, and sexual as any of his male characters. Juliet is just as passionately in love as Romeo—risking everything, initiating marriage, getting into bed, fighting courageously when her parents threaten to disown her—and just as brave in facing death when she discovers Romeo is dead. And, wondering if Shakespeare himself fell in love (Packer considers with whom, and what she may have been like), the author observes that from Juliet on, Shakespeare writes the women as if he were a woman, giving them desires, needs, ambition, insight. Women of Will follows Shakespeare’s development as a human being, from youth to enlightened maturity, exploring the spiritual journey he undertook.  Packer shows that Shakespeare’s imagination, mirrored and revealed in his female characters, develops and deepens until finally the women, his creative knowledge, and a sense of a larger spiritual good come together in the late plays, making clear that when women and men are equal in status and sexual passion, they can—and do—change the world. Part master class, part brilliant analysis—Women of Will is all inspiring discovery.

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3.1/5

The Art of X-Ray Reading by Roy Peter Clark

Roy Peter Clark, one of America's most influential writing teachers, offers writing lessons we can draw from 25 great texts. Where do writers learn their best moves? They use a technique that Roy Peter Clark calls X-ray reading, a form of reading that lets you penetrate beyond the surface of a text to see how meaning is actually being made. In THE ART OF X-RAY READING, Clar Roy Peter Clark, one of America's most influential writing teachers, offers writing lessons we can draw from 25 great texts. Where do writers learn their best moves? They use a technique that Roy Peter Clark calls X-ray reading, a form of reading that lets you penetrate beyond the surface of a text to see how meaning is actually being made. In THE ART OF X-RAY READING, Clark invites you to don your X-ray reading glasses and join him on a guided tour through some of the most exquisite and masterful literary works of all time, from The Great Gatsby to Lolita to The Bluest Eye, and many more. Along the way, he shows you how to mine these masterpieces for invaluable writing strategies that you can add to your arsenal and apply in your own writing. Once you've experienced X-ray reading, your writing will never be the same again.

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5/5

An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic by Daniel Mendelsohn

From award-winning memoirist and critic, and bestselling author of The Lost: a deeply moving tale of a father and son's transformative journey in reading--and reliving--Homer's epic masterpiece. When eighty-one-year-old Jay Mendelsohn decides to enroll in the undergraduate Odyssey seminar his son teaches at Bard College, the two find themselves on an adventure as profoundl From award-winning memoirist and critic, and bestselling author of The Lost: a deeply moving tale of a father and son's transformative journey in reading--and reliving--Homer's epic masterpiece. When eighty-one-year-old Jay Mendelsohn decides to enroll in the undergraduate Odyssey seminar his son teaches at Bard College, the two find themselves on an adventure as profoundly emotional as it is intellectual. For Jay, a retired research scientist who sees the world through a mathematician's unforgiving eyes, this return to the classroom is his "one last chance" to learn the great literature he'd neglected in his youth--and, even more, a final opportunity to more fully understand his son, a writer and classicist. But through the sometimes uncomfortable months that the two men explore Homer's great work together--first in the classroom, where Jay persistently challenges his son's interpretations, and then during a surprise-filled Mediterranean journey retracing Odysseus's famous voyages--it becomes clear that Daniel has much to learn, too: Jay's responses to both the text and the travels gradually uncover long-buried secrets that allow the son to understand his difficult father at last. As this intricately woven memoir builds to its wrenching climax, Mendelsohn's narrative comes to echo the Odyssey itself, with its timeless themes of deception and recognition, marriage and children, the pleasures of travel and the meaning of home. Rich with literary and emotional insight, An Odyssey is a renowned author-scholar's most triumphant entwining yet of personal narrative and literary exploration.

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4/5

What We See When We Read by Peter Mendelsund

A gorgeously unique, fully illustrated exploration into the phenomenology of reading-how we visualize images from reading works of literature, from one of our very best book jacket designers, himself a passionate reader. A VINTAGE ORIGINAL. What do we see when we read? Did Tolstoy really describe Anna Karenina? Did Melville ever really tell us what, exactly, Ishmael looked A gorgeously unique, fully illustrated exploration into the phenomenology of reading-how we visualize images from reading works of literature, from one of our very best book jacket designers, himself a passionate reader. A VINTAGE ORIGINAL. What do we see when we read? Did Tolstoy really describe Anna Karenina? Did Melville ever really tell us what, exactly, Ishmael looked like? The collection of fragmented images on a page - a graceful ear there, a stray curl, a hat positioned just so - and other clues and signifiers helps us to create an image of a character. But in fact our sense that we know a character intimately has little to do with our ability to concretely picture our beloved - or reviled - literary figures. In this remarkable work of nonfiction, Knopf's Associate Art Director Peter Mendelsund combines his profession, as an award-winning designer; his first career, as a classically trained pianist; and his first love, literature - he thinks of himself first, and foremost, as a reader - into what is sure to be one of the most provocative and unusual investigations into how we understand the act of reading.

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4.9/5

The Shipwrecked Mind: On Political Reaction by Mark Lilla

A sense of nostalgia, of not feeling at home in the present, and an attempt to recover a lost philosophical or religious tradition characterize the twentieth-century intellectuals whose work Mark Lilla investigates in The Shipwrecked Mind. From Franz Rosenzweig, who sought to lead assimilated Jews away from the world of history and politics and back to the sources of Jewis A sense of nostalgia, of not feeling at home in the present, and an attempt to recover a lost philosophical or religious tradition characterize the twentieth-century intellectuals whose work Mark Lilla investigates in The Shipwrecked Mind. From Franz Rosenzweig, who sought to lead assimilated Jews away from the world of history and politics and back to the sources of Jewish tradition, to Leo Strauss, who tried to recover the Socratic tradition in philosophy, to Eric Voegelin, who wrote a multivolume universal history to explain human consciousness, to the rediscovery of Saint Paul by former Marxists, Lilla traces an intellectual craving for theological-political mythmaking, for a grand historical narrative--an "imaginative assemblage of past events and ideas and present hopes and fears"--that can locate humanity's wrong turn on the path to modernity, and help us return to philosophical or religious truth.

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4.8/5

Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000–2016, with A Journal of a Writer's Week by Ursula K. Le Guin

Praise for Ursula K. Le Guin: "I read her nonstop growing up and read her still. What makes her so extraordinary for me is that her commitment to the consequences of our actions, of our all too human frailties, is unflinching and almost without precedent for a writer of such human optimism."—Junot Diaz "A lot of her work is about telling stories, and what it means to tell st Praise for Ursula K. Le Guin: "I read her nonstop growing up and read her still. What makes her so extraordinary for me is that her commitment to the consequences of our actions, of our all too human frailties, is unflinching and almost without precedent for a writer of such human optimism."—Junot Diaz "A lot of her work is about telling stories, and what it means to tell stories, and what stories look like. She's been extremely influential on me in that area of what I, as a beginning writer, thought a story must look like, and the much more expan-sive view I have now of what a story can be and can do."—Karen Joy Fowler "She was and remains a central figure for me."—Michael Chabon Ursula K. Le Guin is one of our foremost public literary intellectuals and this collection of her recent talks, essays, introductions, and book reviews is the best manual we have for traveling the worlds explored in recent fiction; the most useful guide to the country we're visiting, life. Ursula K. Le Guin was born in Berkeley, California, in 1929. Among her honors are the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, a National Book Award, the Hugo, Nebula, and Kafka awards, a Pushcart Prize, and the Harold D. Vursell Me-morial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Portland, Ore-gon.

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3.8/5

Literary Theory: An Introduction by Terry Eagleton

Written in 1982, this work appeared, as Professor Eagleton explains, at the watershed of two very different decades. It could not anticipate what was to come after, neither could it grasp what had happened in literary theory in the light of where it was to lead.

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3.1/5

A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf

A Room of One's Own is an extended essay by Virginia Woolf. First published on the 24th of October, 1929, the essay was based on a series of lectures she delivered at Newnham College and Girton College, two women's colleges at Cambridge University in October 1928. While this extended essay in fact employs a fictional narrator and narrative to explore women both as writers A Room of One's Own is an extended essay by Virginia Woolf. First published on the 24th of October, 1929, the essay was based on a series of lectures she delivered at Newnham College and Girton College, two women's colleges at Cambridge University in October 1928. While this extended essay in fact employs a fictional narrator and narrative to explore women both as writers of and characters in fiction, the manuscript for the delivery of the series of lectures, titled Women and Fiction, and hence the essay, are considered nonfiction. The essay is seen as a feminist text, and is noted in its argument for both a literal and figural space for women writers within a literary tradition dominated by patriarchy.

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4.4/5

The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages by Harold Bloom

Literary critic Harold Bloom's The Western Canon is more than a required reading list-it is a vision. Infused with a love of learning, compelling in its arguments for a unifying written culture, it argues brilliantly against the politicization of literature and presents a guide to the great works of the western literary tradition and essential writers of the ages. The West Literary critic Harold Bloom's The Western Canon is more than a required reading list-it is a vision. Infused with a love of learning, compelling in its arguments for a unifying written culture, it argues brilliantly against the politicization of literature and presents a guide to the great works of the western literary tradition and essential writers of the ages. The Western Canon was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

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5/5

Anatomy of Criticism by Northrop Frye

Striking out at the conception of criticism as restricted to mere opinion or ritual gesture, Northrop Frye wrote this magisterial work proceeding on the assumption that criticism is a structure of thought and knowledge in its own right. Employing examples of world literature from ancient times to the present, he provides a conceptual framework for the examination of litera Striking out at the conception of criticism as restricted to mere opinion or ritual gesture, Northrop Frye wrote this magisterial work proceeding on the assumption that criticism is a structure of thought and knowledge in its own right. Employing examples of world literature from ancient times to the present, he provides a conceptual framework for the examination of literature. In four brilliant essays on historical, ethical, archetypical, and rhetorical criticism, he applies "scientific" method in an effort to change the character of criticism from the casual to the causal, from the random and intuitive to the systematic.Harold Bloom contributes a fascinating and highly personal preface that examines Frye's mode of criticism and thought (as opposed to Frye's criticism itself) as being indispensable in the modern literary world.

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4.8/5

Illuminations: Essays and Reflections by Walter Benjamin , Hannah Arendt (Editor) , Harry Zohn (Translator) , Leon Wieseltier (Preface)

Studies on contemporary art and culture by one of the most original, critical and analytical minds of this century. Illuminations includes Benjamin's views on Kafka, with whom he felt the closest personal affinity, his studies on Baudelaire and Proust (both of whom he translated), his essays on Leskov and on Brecht's Epic Theater. Also included are his penetrating study on Studies on contemporary art and culture by one of the most original, critical and analytical minds of this century. Illuminations includes Benjamin's views on Kafka, with whom he felt the closest personal affinity, his studies on Baudelaire and Proust (both of whom he translated), his essays on Leskov and on Brecht's Epic Theater. Also included are his penetrating study on "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," an illuminating discussion of translation as a literary mode, and his thesis on the philosophy of history. Hannah Arendt selected the essays for this volume and prefaces them with a substantial, admirably informed introduction that presents Benjamin's personality and intellectual development, as well as his work and his life in dark times. Reflections the companion volume to this book, is also available as a Schocken paperback. Unpacking My Library, 1931 The Task of the Translator, 1913 The Storyteller, 1936 Franz Kafka, 1934 Some Reflections on Kafka, 1938 What Is Epic Theater?, 1939 On Some Motifs in Baudelaire, 1939 The Image of Proust, 1929 The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, 1936 Theses on the Philosophy of History, written 1940, pub. 1950

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5/5

Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature by Erich Auerbach , Willard R. Trask (Translator) , Edward W. Said (Introduction)

A half-century after its translation into English, Erich Auerbach's "Mimesis" still stands as a monumental achievement in literary criticism. A brilliant display of erudition, wit, and wisdom, his exploration of how great European writers from Homer to Virginia Woolf depicted reality has taught generations how to read Western literature. This new expanded edition includes A half-century after its translation into English, Erich Auerbach's "Mimesis" still stands as a monumental achievement in literary criticism. A brilliant display of erudition, wit, and wisdom, his exploration of how great European writers from Homer to Virginia Woolf depicted reality has taught generations how to read Western literature. This new expanded edition includes a substantial essay in introduction by Edward Said as well as an essay, never before translated into English, in which Auerbach responds to his critics. A German Jew, Auerbach was forced out of his professorship at the University of Marburg in 1935. He left for Turkey, where he taught at the state university in Istanbul. There he wrote "Mimesis," publishing it in German after the end of the war. Displaced as he was, Auerbach produced a work of great erudition that contains no footnotes, basing his arguments instead on searching, illuminating readings of key passages from his primary texts. His aim was to show how from antiquity to the twentieth century literature progressed toward ever more naturalistic and democratic forms of representation. This essentially optimistic view of European history now appears as a defensive--and impassioned--response to the inhumanity he saw in the Third Reich. Ranging over works in Greek, Latin, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and English, Auerbach used his remarkable skills in philology and comparative literature to refute any narrow form of nationalism or chauvinism, in his own day and ours. For many readers, both inside and outside the academy, "Mimesis" is among the finest works of literary criticism ever written.

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3.4/5

Against Interpretation and Other Essays by Susan Sontag

"Susan Sontag's essays are great interpretations, and even fulfillments, of what is really going on." --Carlos Fuentes "She has come to symbolize the writer and thinker in many variations: as analyst, rhapsodist, and roving eye, as public scold and portable conscience." --Time "A dazzling intellectual performance." --Vogue Against Interpretation was Susan Sontag's first colle "Susan Sontag's essays are great interpretations, and even fulfillments, of what is really going on." --Carlos Fuentes "She has come to symbolize the writer and thinker in many variations: as analyst, rhapsodist, and roving eye, as public scold and portable conscience." --Time "A dazzling intellectual performance." --Vogue Against Interpretation was Susan Sontag's first collection of essays and is a modern classic. Originally published in 1966, it has never gone out of print and has influenced generations of readers all over the world. It includes the famous essays "Notes on Camp" and "Against Interpretation," as well as her impassioned discussions of Sartre, Camus, Simone Weil, Godard, Beckett, Lévi-Strauss, science-fiction movies, psychoanalysis, and contemporary religious thought. This edition has a new afterword, "Thirty Years Later," in which Sontag restates the terms of her battle against philistinism and against ethical shallowness and indifference.

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3.8/5

Orientalism by Edward W. Said , Jean-Leon Gerome (Cover Artist)

More than three decades after its first publication, Edward Said's groundbreaking critique of the West's historical, cultural, and political perceptions of the East has become a modern classic. In this wide-ranging, intellectually vigorous study, Said traces the origins of "orientalism" to the centuries-long period during which Europe dominated the Middle and Near East and, More than three decades after its first publication, Edward Said's groundbreaking critique of the West's historical, cultural, and political perceptions of the East has become a modern classic. In this wide-ranging, intellectually vigorous study, Said traces the origins of "orientalism" to the centuries-long period during which Europe dominated the Middle and Near East and, from its position of power, defined "the orient" simply as "other than" the occident. This entrenched view continues to dominate western ideas and, because it does not allow the East to represent itself, prevents true understanding. Essential, and still eye-opening, Orientalism remains one of the most important books written about our divided world.

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4.4/5

Mythologies by Roland Barthes , Annette Lavers (Translator)

"No denunciation without its proper instrument of close analysis," Roland Barthes wrote in his preface to Mythologies. There is no more proper instrument of analysis of our contemporary myths than this book—one of the most significant works in French theory, and one that has transformed the way readers and philosophers view the world around them. Our age is a triumph of cod "No denunciation without its proper instrument of close analysis," Roland Barthes wrote in his preface to Mythologies. There is no more proper instrument of analysis of our contemporary myths than this book—one of the most significant works in French theory, and one that has transformed the way readers and philosophers view the world around them. Our age is a triumph of codification. We own devices that bring the world to the command of our fingertips. We have access to boundless information and prodigious quantities of stuff. We decide to like or not, to believe or not, to buy or not. We pick and choose. We think we are free. Yet all around us, in pop culture, politics, mainstream media, and advertising, there are codes and symbols that govern our choices. They are the fabrications of consumer society. They express myths of success, well-being, and happiness. As Barthes sees it, these myths must be carefully deciphered, and debunked. What Barthes discerned in mass media, the fashion of plastic, and the politics of postcolonial France applies with equal force to today's social networks, the iPhone, and the images of 9/11. This new edition of Mythologies, complete and beautifully rendered by the Pulitzer Prize–winning poet, critic, and translator Richard Howard, is a consecration of Barthes's classic—a lesson in clairvoyance that is more relevant now than ever.

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3/5

Ways of Seeing by John Berger

John Berger’s Classic Text on Art John Berger's Ways of Seeing is one of the most stimulating and the most influential books on art in any language. First published in 1972, it was based on the BBC television series about which the (London) Sunday Times critic commented: "This is an eye-opener in more ways than one: by concentrating on how we look at paintings . . . he will John Berger’s Classic Text on Art John Berger's Ways of Seeing is one of the most stimulating and the most influential books on art in any language. First published in 1972, it was based on the BBC television series about which the (London) Sunday Times critic commented: "This is an eye-opener in more ways than one: by concentrating on how we look at paintings . . . he will almost certainly change the way you look at pictures." By now he has. "Berger has the ability to cut right through the mystification of the professional art critics . . . He is a liberator of images: and once we have allowed the paintings to work on us directly, we are in a much better position to make a meaningful evaluation" —Peter Fuller, Arts Review "The influence of the series and the book . . . was enormous . . . It opened up for general attention to areas of cultural study that are now commonplace" —Geoff Dyer in Ways of Telling Winner of the 1972 Booker Prize for his novel, G., John Peter Berger (born November 5th, 1926) is an art critic, painter and author of many novels including A Painter of Our Time, From A to X and Bento’s Sketchbook.

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4.8/5

Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human by Harold Bloom

"The indispensable critic on the indispensable writer." -Geoffrey O'Brien, New York Review of Books. A landmark achievement as expansive, erudite, and passionate as its renowned author, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human is the culmination of a lifetime of reading, writing about, and teaching Shakespeare. Preeminent literary critic-and ultimate authority on the wester "The indispensable critic on the indispensable writer." -Geoffrey O'Brien, New York Review of Books. A landmark achievement as expansive, erudite, and passionate as its renowned author, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human is the culmination of a lifetime of reading, writing about, and teaching Shakespeare. Preeminent literary critic-and ultimate authority on the western literary tradition-Harold Bloom leads us through a comprehensive reading of every one of the dramatist's plays, brilliantly illuminating each work with unrivaled warmth, wit and insight. At the same time, Bloom presents one of the boldest theses of Shakespearean scholarships: that Shakespeare not only invented the English language, but also created human nature as we know it today.

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4.6/5

Aspects of the Novel by E.M. Forster

E.M. Forster's Aspects of the Novel is an innovative and effusive treatise on a literary form that, at the time of publication, had only recently begun to enjoy serious academic consideration. This Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction by Oliver Stallybrass, and features a new preface by Frank Kermode. First given as a series of lectures at Cambridge Unive E.M. Forster's Aspects of the Novel is an innovative and effusive treatise on a literary form that, at the time of publication, had only recently begun to enjoy serious academic consideration. This Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction by Oliver Stallybrass, and features a new preface by Frank Kermode. First given as a series of lectures at Cambridge University, Aspects of the Novel is Forster's analysis of this great literary form. Here he rejects the 'pseudoscholarship' of historical criticism - 'that great demon of chronology' - that considers writers in terms of the period in which they wrote and instead asks us to imagine the great novelists working together in a single room. He discusses aspects of people, plot, fantasy and rhythm, making illuminating comparisons between novelists such as Proust and James, Dickens and Thackeray, Eliot and Dostoyevsky - the features shared by their books and the ways in which they differ. Written in a wonderfully engaging and conversational manner, this penetrating work of criticism is full of Forster's habitual irreverence, wit and wisdom. In his new introduction, Frank Kermode discusses the ways in which Forster's perspective as a novelist inspired his lectures. This edition also includes the original introduction by Oliver Stallybrass, a chronology, further reading and appendices. E. M. Forster (1879-1970) was a noted English author and critic and a member of the Bloomsbury group. His first novel, Where Angels Fear To Tread appeared in 1905. The Longest Journey appeared in 1907, followed by A Room With A View (1908), based partly on the material from extended holidays in Italy with his mother. Howards End (1910) was a story that centered on an English country house and dealt with the clash between two families, one interested in art and literature, the other only in business. Maurice was revised several times during his life, and finally published posthumously in 1971. If you enjoyed Aspects of the Novel, you might like Forster's A Room with a View, also available in Penguin Classics.

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4.5/5

How Fiction Works by James Wood

In the tradition of E. M. Forster's Aspects of the Novel and Milan Kundera's The Art of the Novel, How Fiction Works is a scintillating study of the magic of fiction--an analysis of its main elements and a celebration of its lasting power. Here one of the most prominent and stylish critics of our time looks into the machinery of storytelling to ask some fundamental questio In the tradition of E. M. Forster's Aspects of the Novel and Milan Kundera's The Art of the Novel, How Fiction Works is a scintillating study of the magic of fiction--an analysis of its main elements and a celebration of its lasting power. Here one of the most prominent and stylish critics of our time looks into the machinery of storytelling to ask some fundamental questions: What do we mean when we say we "know" a fictional character? What constitutes a telling detail? When is a metaphor successful? Is Realism realistic? Why do some literary conventions become dated while others stay fresh? James Wood ranges widely, from Homer to Make Way for Ducklings, from the Bible to John le Carré, and his book is both a study of the techniques of fiction-making and an alternative history of the novel. Playful and profound, How Fiction Works will be enlightening to writers, readers, and anyone else interested in what happens on the page.

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4.3/5

Poetics by Aristotle , Malcolm Heath (Translator)

‘The plot is the source and the soul of tragedy’ In his near-contemporary account of Greek tragedy, Aristotle examines the dramatic elements of plot, character, language and spectacle that combine to produce pity and fear in the audience, and asks why we derive pleasure from this apparently painful process. Taking examples from the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripide ‘The plot is the source and the soul of tragedy’ In his near-contemporary account of Greek tragedy, Aristotle examines the dramatic elements of plot, character, language and spectacle that combine to produce pity and fear in the audience, and asks why we derive pleasure from this apparently painful process. Taking examples from the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, The Poetics introduces into literary criticism such central concepts as mimesis (‘imitation’), hamartia (‘error’), and katharsis (‘purification’). Aristotle explains how the most effective tragedies rely on complication and resolution, recognition and reversals, centring on characters of heroic stature, idealized yet true to life. One of the most powerful, perceptive and influential works of criticism in Western literary history, the Poetics has informed serious thinking about drama ever since. Malcolm Heath’s lucid English translation makes the Poetics fully accessible to the modern reader. It is accompanied by an extended introduction, which discusses the key concepts in detail and includes suggestions for further reading.

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3.9/5

The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination by Sandra M. Gilbert , Susan Gubar

An analysis of Victorian women writers, this pathbreaking book of feminist literary criticism is now reissued with a substantial new introduction by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar that reveals the origins of their revolutionary realization in the 1970s that "the personal was the political, the sexual was the textual." Contents: The Queen's looking glass: female creativity, m An analysis of Victorian women writers, this pathbreaking book of feminist literary criticism is now reissued with a substantial new introduction by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar that reveals the origins of their revolutionary realization in the 1970s that "the personal was the political, the sexual was the textual." Contents: The Queen's looking glass: female creativity, male images of women, and the metaphor of literary paternity -- Infection in the sentence: the women writer and the anxiety of authorship -- The parables of the cave -- Shut up in prose: gender and genre in Austen's Juvenilia -- Jane Austen's cover story (and its secret agents) -- Milton's bogey: patriarchal poetry and women readers -- Horror's twin: Mary Shelley's monstrous Eve -- Looking oppositely: Emily Brontë's bible of hell -- A secret, inward wound: The professor's pupil -- A dialogue of self and soul: plain Jane's progress -- The genesis of hunger, according to Shirley -- The buried life of Lucy Snowe -- Made keen by loss: George Eliot's veiled vision -- George Eliot as the angel of destruction -- The aesthetics of renunciation -- A woman, white: Emily Dickinson's yarn of pearl.

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