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).
In 1937, W. B. Yeats wrote ‘A General Introduction for My Work’ to directly confront the dualities central to his poetry and his identity, and to reflect on his predicament as a consciously ‘Irish’ poet who uses the English language as his medium. One of the influences on Yeats's sense of being an Irish poet who writes in English is John O'Leary, who gave Yeats the poems of Thomas Davis, a Young Ireland poet whom Yeats subtly deployed in his explorations of what it meant to be an Irish poet writing in English. Writing in English, Austin Clarke brings to bear on his use of language the full weight of his apprehension of Irish history and culture. Clarke had a complicated response to the poetry of the Irish Literary Revival, especially that written by Yeats. Yeats and Clark both acknowledge that lamenting and unlamenting song derives from the awareness that Gaelic is their national language, but not their mother tongue.
The poetry of T. S. Eliot tells us something about W. B. Yeats's relationship to critical and aesthetic tendencies that were operative in Ireland, Britain, America, and continental Europe from the 1890s onwards. The two Irish poets both felt the need to respond to the innovations of French symbolism, especially as interpreted by Arthur Symons in The Symbolist Movement in Literature. A problem shared by Yeats and Eliot was that of relating what is, in its essentials, a modern picture of the mind to tradition. This chapter compares the views of Yeats and Eliot with respect to tradition, first looking at romanticism, focusing on what idea of romantic poetry is being promoted and how it is linked to nation. It then examines the implications of ‘country spiritism’. The chapter concludes by reflecting on the idea of culture in Yeats and Eliot based on the former's comments on Henry Grattan and John O'Leary.
This article focuses on the primer or the Book of Hours, the most popular reading material for women in England during the medieval period. The primer was at once a first book of prayer and the layperson's primary devotional manual. An abbreviated form of the divine office designed specifically for lay use, the primer emerged in the mid-thirteenth century as a costly aide to the devotions of the elite. It contained the basic prayers that all children were supposed to learn written in easy-to-read letters and often accompanied by an alphabet, as well as a full programme of daily devotions, organized around the hours of the Virgin. The earliest surviving English book of hours, the de Brailes Hours.
This article examines the literature of popular discontent in medieval England. Among the most evocative and intriguing of the surviving texts connected with the life of everyday people of the Middle Ages are the various Middle English poems and verses commenting on contemporary events, scattered through a variety of manuscript collections, administrative records, and other texts. Example of these poetry can be found in the The Yorkshire Partisans section of the book Historical Poems of the XIVth and XVth Centuries published in 1959 by the American-based scholar and critic Rossell Hope Robbins. This article discusses Robbins' analysis of the literary qualities of historical poems.
Traditionally, the U.S. South and its literature have been defined in terms of a supposedly fixed, rooted, and distinctive “sense of place.” This chapter considers how such traditional definitions have been radically recast in recent decades by the trends of globalization and immigration, and how writers—many of them from immigrant backgrounds, or from outside the South themselves—have remapped the region. The chapter focuses on three immigrant trajectories to the U.S. South—from Asia, Africa, and Latin America—as represented in the fiction of (among others) Susan Choi, Ha Jin, Robert Olen Butler, Lan Cao, Dave Eggers, and Cynthia Shearer.