This article examines the features of African American naturalism. As a literary approach, naturalism attempts to represent and explore the themes, questions, and tensions associated with the explosive growth of science and social science in the late nineteenth century, as well as the limits and consequences of formal and philosophical determinism, and few writers or readers had more at stake regarding these issues than did African Americans. If naturalist fiction often chronicles the limitations and restrictions imposed on individual freedom, there can be no stronger example of the denial of free will than that imposed by the system of chattel slavery in the United States and the concurrent linkage of a slave's ontological status with legal subservience and inferiority. Beginning in the 1890s, the most prominent and influential African American intellectuals and artists, including W. E. B. Du Bois, Charles Chesnutt, Pauline Hopkins, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Sutton Griggs, and James Weldon Johnson, participated in the creation of seminal naturalist texts that responded to immanent social and political conditions and that together offer a more diverse and inclusive portrait of naturalism itself.
De Witt Douglas Kilgore
Can we imagine a future in which the African diaspora is seen as central to the flow of events? This chapter seeks to answer that question through a history of Afrofuturism as a critical term and a critique of the concept as deployed by black and white science fiction writers. The word is presented as a heuristic that makes visible black artistic production of futures that seek escape from dystopian erasures that seem real. The idea captures stories about science, technology, and culture other than those that limit future history to Eurocentric extrapolations. Kilgore argues that the term has allowed both a reconsideration of canonical African-American literature as well as an extension of science fiction’s ability to see prophetically across racial and cultural divides.
Adaptation scholars have long debated the proper relationship between theory and practice in adaptation studies. This essay considers the claims of theory and practice, examines the ways they compete in several particular theorists, and comes down on the side of theory, but theory defined in a new way. It urges not that adaptation scholars adopt a new and improved theory of adaptation, but that they adopt new ways of thinking about the activity of theorizing as a series of questions designed to lead to further, better questions. It ends, but does not conclude, with a list of questions that adaptation scholars might profitably explore.
This chapter maintains that Pushkin’s artistic project illuminates a paradoxical convergence of nationalism and internationalism at the core of both European and Russian Romanticism: the period’s concurrent commitment, on the national as well as individual scale, to creative solipsism and to circuits of intellectual exchange opened up by the Enlightenment across Europe; its introspection and extroversion; its vitalizing yet ambivalent comparatism. Pushkin’s formal and stylistic versatility appears to revel in, but also critically interrogate, the creative possibilities inherent in a country fashioning its modern national culture by means of appropriation. This investment in comparative cultural (de)construction, at once playful and serious, persists as a unifying thread throughout Pushkin’s otherwise insistently versatile oeuvre and could be productively singled out as the defining feature of his Romanticism.
This article examines the poetry and essays of Alice Meynell. It first considers the poem, ‘A Modern Poet’ (1875), which illustrates both her ambivalence about women’s poetry and her own reception as a nineteenth- or twentieth-century poet. It then turns to ‘The Laws of Verse’ and ‘The English Metres,’ where she addresses poetic form.
The relationship between translation and adaptation has remained problematic despite the appearance of two books on the subject. The difficulty lies in understanding how both terms are culturally constructed and change over space and time. Chapter 28 suggests that there is no absolute distinction between the two; to look at the relationship between translation and adaptation requires us to study cultural policies and the way creative workers respond to them, and to understand how readers over time have reinterpreted the two terms. The essay considers the lessons ecological models of learning in collaborative micro-cultures have to offer adaptation scholars and translation scholars alike.
John Bourchier, Lord Berners, stands at the boundary between the medieval and early modern, his compositions hovering at their nebulous threshold. While it is recognized that Arthur of Little Britain (1560?) and Huon of Bourdeaux (c.1515) are written in the tradition of the medieval chivalric romance and that Castle of Love (1548?) reflects new, humanist trends in the genre, it is less frequently observed that these two strands of romance were both avidly read, reprinted, and adapted throughout the Tudor period. Readers looked to romance for entertainment, education, and advice. Despised and feared by moralists, it provided children, merchants, gentlemen, women, and nobles with models of exemplary and daring behaviour, rhetorical and chivalric prowess, and political theory. Straining against the tide of continued and widespread moral condemnation, chivalric and humanist romance fiction remained popular with male and female readers across the social spectrum. In order to illuminate the dominance of the romance throughout the period, this article provides an overview of sixteenth-century romance production, dissemination, and readership. It takes a close look at Lord Berners, whose literary output reflects the evolution, enduring popularity, and continued relevance of the genre through the Tudor period and beyond.
“All livin language is sacred”: Poetry and Varieties of English in These Islands’ considers the various uses of non-standard Englishes in contemporary poetry, whether the variety of English be national, regional, class- or ethnically based. It argues that the association of poetry with a prestigious standard form of the language has created particular difficulties for poets who do not speak this variety, and that the record of these difficulties can be found in a number of contemporary poets’ work, especially that by Harrison, Heaney, Leonard, and Nagra. But it also argues that contact with vernacular speech, in many forms, can be a source of poetic energies, and that these are drawn upon in a number of contemporary poets writing in various forms of non-standard English, notably in Scots (arguably a standard variety itself), Ulster Scots, or in the Nation language of dub poetry.
Kevin Killeen and Helen Smith
The introduction explores the centrality of the Bible in early modern England, demonstrating its importance to devotional life, scholarship, political thought, and everyday experience. It explores existing scholarship on early modern biblical culture, and presents a brief history of the printing and circulation of the Bible in English, as well as the numerous forms in which the scriptures were encountered. The introduction argues for the particularity of the ‘English’ Bible, and describes the scope and ambitions of the Handbook. It argues that the ‘English’ Bible was, in many ways, an international phenomenon, created by translators and scrutinised by scholars; inspired by the debates of the European Reformations; and indebted to continental fashions in printing and publishing.