Robert M. Maniquis
This article discusses issues relevant to critical writing about the works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It suggests that critical analysis of Coleridge's works is problematic because his poems bristle with interpretive puzzles and his prose has provided a problematic base for modern interpretation itself. The article argues that Coleridge wrote the most obscure yet the most influential critical paragraph in English literature.
This article explores the history of Native American literature in the Northeast, focusing on some American Indian authors from the seventeenth to the first half of the nineteenth century. In particular, it looks at the letters, petitions, diaries, and other works by such writers as Captain Joseph Johnson, Ben Uncas, Henry Quaquaquid, Joseph Johnson, Jr., Joseph Brant, Samson Occom, Samuel Ashpo, and Hendrick Aupaumut and how they challenge the representation of Native Americans in James Fenimore Cooper’s novels The Pioneers (1823) and The Last of the Mohicans (1826). The article begins with a discussion of the proliferation of writing in Native networks in 1757, and how Indigenous literature became a vehicle for communication between Native people in distant places, as well as a tool of persuasion and protest against colonialism and Removal. It cites the alliance among Mohegans, Mohawks, and Mohicans on Lake George before offering a reading of Cooper’s novels.
This chapter takes into account the broad concerns generally associated with ‘romanticism’—the libertine and irrational, the gothic and medieval, folklore and local colour—but argues that three factors were fundamental in determining the nature of Romantic Opera in Georgian England: the influence of German theatre on the London stage; local theatrical politics; and developments in practical stagecraft, in which the work of Phillipe de Loutherbourg presented new ideas, colours, and lighting to a public eager for novelty. In exploring the effect of these factors, this chapter takes three different points of departure—the staging in London of a version of the French rescue opera, Lodoiska; the fashion in London for plays and operas based on the novels of Walter Scott; and the introduction into London of Weber’s opera Der Freischütz—and explores how their themes represented strands of change in the production of opera in Georgian London.
Paradise Lost is stamped everywhere with John Milton's opinions and with his personality, in the manner of a Romantic or post-Romantic poet, but the poem is also much larger than Milton. It is often seen today as the inevitable climax of Milton's poetic career. Paradise Lost was not also largely ignored on its appearance, as is sometimes believed. Its greatness of derives from the intensity of Milton's love of both the Bible and classical epic, and his various strategies for mediating between them. Paradise Lost could not have been written without Milton's profound knowledge of ancient epic; but it is a modern poem, in no sense a pastiche of the classical. Milton's achievement in making an epic out of one of the West's major myths was of European scope and vision.
This article explores how relationships of power are staged or created in the productive interplay between bureaucratic repetition and the imagination or between authoritative forms and the practice of everyday life in medieval writing in England. It explains that the earliest substantial English text to survive is the law-code of King Æthelberht of Kent and that the most ambitious bureaucratic projects of the Middle Ages was known as the Domesday Book. Alongside law-codes, other documents such as charters, writs, manumissions, and wills all provide information about administrative organization in Anglo-Saxon England and about the relationships between spoken and written languages, authoritative structures and religious practice.
This article focuses on Omnis plantacio, an English sermon that shows how a series of complex relationships were evolving between writing, heresy, and anticlericalism in late medieval England. It discusses the intraclerical critiques contained in the sermon and its relentless castigation of failing clerical ranks. It compares and contrasts the works of several authors including Piers Plowman and some Wycliffite texts, and Thomas Netter and John Audelay.
This chapter examines Xiaolu Guo as a paradigmatic writer of geopolitics, biopolitics, and capitalism in contemporary Chinese Anglophone fiction. The chapter first focuses on A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers to rethink models of Anglophone writing. Against utopian conceptions of English as a privileged language of heterogeneity or hybridity, Dictionary is analyzed in terms of biocapital and geopolitics, as a narrative of the Chinese migrant’s absorption into the Anglophone publishing industry and the Anglophone empire. The chapter then analyzes UFO in Her Eyes as representative of a recent turn in Chinese fiction toward issues of biocapital, the increasing entanglement of the communist state’s regulation of bodies with its capitalist goals. Unique among biocapitalist fiction, however, UFO further situates contemporary China in a global post-9/11 context of state surveillance and defense security. Guo’s novels, then, offer a distinctly instructive framework for comparative reflections on biopolitics, biocapital, and the global security state.
Abé Mark Nornes
This chapter charts the history of the international film festival circuit’s relationship to Asian cinema, using Japanese cinema to explore the circuit’s ideological underpinnings. It concludes with a short history of the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival to assert the importance of smaller, regional festivals, which hold the potential for creating extremely productive short circuits in the system.
Anne Lake Prescott
This chapter explores the phenomenal cluster of interpretations around Saul, and his relationship with David, taking its texts from a single year, 1643, when the Civil Wars had begun in earnest and many British writers found scriptural events a useful lens through which to comment on the political and military situation. Authors cited David’s resistance, and its relationship to contemporary rebellion, or his refusal to harm an anointed king, to diverse ends. Writers dealing with such biblical tales were required to assess the relevance of Saul’s story and actions to questions of modern kingship and to the limitations, if any, on modern royal behaviour. The chapter is thus a snapshot of how a biblical story might justify—or condemn—armed resistance to an increased royal absolutism.
W. B. Yeats's early poetry, particularly The Wind Among the Reeds (1899), is often considered ‘symbolist’. As the underlying poetic mode, symbolism brings forty-six pages of notes to sixty-two pages of poems in The Wind Among the Reeds. Yeats wrote an essay entitled ‘The Symbolism of Poetry’ in 1900 in response to Arthur Symons's The Symbolist Movement in Literature. Symons took his point of departure from Thomas Carlyle's remark in Sartor Resartus (1831): ‘It is in and through Symbols that man, consciously or unconsciously lives, works, and has his being...’. In another essay, ‘A Symbolic Artist and the Coming of Symbolic Art’, Yeats offers an unambiguous clue to his thought on symbolism. The essay was for The Dome of December 1898 on the work of Althea Gyles, the designer of the symbolical covers of The Wind Among the Reeds, The Secret Rose (1897), and Poems (1899).