Synopses & Reviews
Have the terrorist attacks of September 11 shifted the moral coordinates of contemporary fiction? And how might such a shift, reflected in narrative strategies and forms, relate to other themes and trends emerging with the globalization of literature? This book pursues these questions through works written in the wake of 9/11 and examines the complex intersection of ethics and narrative that has defined a significant portion of British and American fiction over the past decade.
Don DeLillo, Pat Barker, Aleksandar Hemon, Lorraine Adams, Michael Cunningham, and Patrick McGrath are among the authors Georgiana Banita considers. Their work illustrates how post-9/11 literature expresses an ethics of equivocation—in formal elements of narrative, in a complex scrutiny of justice, and in tense dialogues linking this fiction with the larger political landscape of the era. Through a broad historical and cultural lens, Plotting Justice reveals links between the narrative ethics of post-9/11 fiction and events preceding and following the terrorist attacks—events that defined the last half of the twentieth century, from the Holocaust to the Balkan War, and those that 9/11 precipitated, from war in Afghanistan to the Abu Ghraib scandal. Challenging the rhetoric of the war on terror, the book honors the capacity of literature to articulate ambiguous forms of resistance in ways that reconfigure the imperatives and responsibilities of narrative for the twenty-first century.
Duncan's (1919–1988) great meditation on modernism's last remaining question mark finally sees print. Published as the first volume in California's Collected Writings of Robert Duncan series this lovingly prepared volume presents this long critical work written in 1960 and 1961 in its full form for the first time. It brilliantly reconstructs the dynamics of Pound Williams and H.D.'s complex charged evolving poet relations and of H.D.'s eventual departure from the modernist mainstream into a classicism that exasperated Williams but clearly fascinates Duncan. It reveals Duncan's own poetic relationship to H.D. with whom he corresponded late in the latter poet's life. It tracks a canonical murder by which critics (beginning with Randall Jarrell) systematically exclude H.D. from the modernist pantheon. And it shows Duncan whose great longer works lay ahead of him struggling to find a poetic kernel within H.D.'s oeuvre. While this book is staged as an elaborate defense of H.D.'s work and especially her austere and archaic seeming late poetry it is best read as the daybook of a poet as he absorbs thinks through departs from returns to and loves a major antecedent. (Jan.) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
"Duncan's (1919 1988) great meditation on modernism's last remaining question mark finally sees print. Published as the first volume in California's Collected Writings of Robert Duncan series, this lovingly prepared volume presents this long critical work, written in 1960 and 1961, in its full form for the first time. It brilliantly reconstructs the dynamics of Pound, Williams, and H.D.'s complex, charged, evolving poet relations, and of H.D.'s eventual departure from the modernist mainstream into a classicism that exasperated Williams, but clearly fascinates Duncan. It reveals Duncan's own poetic relationship to H.D., with whom he corresponded late in the latter poet's life. It tracks a canonical murder, by which critics (beginning with Randall Jarrell) systematically exclude H.D. from the modernist pantheon. And it shows Duncan, whose great longer works lay ahead of him, struggling to find a poetic kernel within H.D.'s oeuvre. While this book is staged as an elaborate defense of H.D.'s work, and especially her austere and archaic-seeming late poetry, it is best read as the daybook of a poet as he absorbs, thinks through, departs from, returns to, and loves a major antecedent. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
and#8220;Published as the first volume in California's Collected Writings of Robert Duncan series, this lovingly prepared volume presents this long critical work, written in 1960 and 1961, in its full form for the first time.and#8221;
and#8220;The guiding light throughout is Duncanand#8217;s clear, though subtly resonant prose, which lets even lengthy sentences carry the reader smoothly along from beginning to end.and#8221;
and#8220;I am besotted with a new book that is also an old book. This is The H.D. Book, by Robert Duncan, a wild, dazzling, idiosyncratic magnum opus. . . . The wonders of The H.D. Book are almost without number. [It is] a work of exacting and extravagant optimism.and#8221;
and#8220;Profoundly coherent: a strikingly original and provocative articulation of an American literary vision that is engaged simultaneously with Romantic enchantment, modernist formalism, and an arguably postmodern concern with citational networks, self-displacement, and the shadow play of a language always larger than us.and#8221;
and#8220;Into this eldritch tapestry Duncan weaves patches of poetic autobiography, strands of family history and reflections on his intellectual development.and#8221;
“Extraordinary book.” Bookforum
“Charming.” The Nation
“Robert Duncans The H.D. Book, complete in print at last, now manifests the timeliness of its permanence.” Poetry Foundation/ Harriet
and#8220;The belated publication of The H.D. Book will, one hopes, lead more readers to her haunting, resonant later work and also convince more readers to make the leap into Robert Duncan's demanding but gorgeous word-music. Someday, some century even, he and his peers in the Bay Area Renaissance . . . will be recognized as the greatest and most rewarding American poets of their era.and#8221;
and#8220;The insights into the and#8216;whenand#8217; of the American West offered by this book are both timely and essential to our further understanding of how cultures developed in the contact zones of the northern parts of the western hemisphere.and#8221;and#8212;Nicolas S. Witschi, coeditor of Dirty Words in Deadwood: Literature and the Postwestern
"[Reading for Liberalism] provides a valuable perspective on Western literature, especially the field of popular magazines, so important to the shaping of American attitudes toward the frontier West."—C. Gilbert Storms, Journal of Arizona History
and#8220;Robert Duncanand#8217;s The H.D. Book, complete in print at last, now manifests the timeliness of its permanence.and#8221;
"Part narrative theory, part ethical analysis, this book offers a well-written conceptual examination of the juncture between fiction and morality in the literature written in the wake of 9/11."—E. T. Mason, CHOICE
"Banita's book makes an important contribution to scholarship on post-9/11 literature."—Clemens Spahr, NOVEL
"With great breadth and power, Banita's Plotting Justice will be of interest to scholars concerned with discussion of narrative ethics, but also to scholars interested in the specific narrative strategies and themes that emerge in post-9/11 fiction."—James Gifford, The Year's Work in English Studies
This magisterial work, long awaited and long the subject of passionate speculation, is an unprecedented exploration of modern poetry and poetics by one of Americaand#8217;s most acclaimed and influential postwar poets. What began in 1959 as a simple homage to the modernist poet H.D. developed into an expansive and unique quest to arrive at a poetics that would fuel Duncanand#8217;s great work in the 1970s. A meditation on both the roots of modernism and its manifestation in the work of H.D., Ezra Pound, D.H. Lawrence, William Carlos Williams, Edith Sitwell, and many others, Duncanand#8217;s wide-ranging book is especially notable for its illumination of the role women played in creation of literary modernism. Until now, The H.D. Book existed only in mostly out-of-print little magazines in which its chapters first appeared. Now, for the first time published in its entirety, as its author intended, this monumental workand#151;at once an encyclopedia of modernism, a reinterpretation of its key players and texts, and a record of Duncanand#8217;s quest toward a new poeticsand#151;is at last complete and available to a wide audience.
Founded in 1868, the Overland Monthly
was a San Francisco-based literary magazine whose mix of humor, pathos, and romantic nostalgia for a lost frontier was an immediate sensation on the East Coast. Due in part to a regional desire to attract settlers and financial investment, the essays and short fiction published in the Overland Monthly
often portrayed the American West as a civilized evolution of, and not a savage regression from, eastern bourgeois modernity and democracy.
Stories about the American West have for centuries been integral to the way we imagine freedom, the individual, and the possibility for alternate political realities. Reading for Liberalism examines the shifting literary and narrative construction of liberal selfhood in California in the late nineteenth century through case studies of a number of western American writers who wrote for the Overland Monthly, including Noah Brooks, Ina Coolbrith, Bret Harte, Jack London, John Muir, and Frank Norris, among others. Reading for Liberalism argues that Harte, the magazines founding editor, and the other members of the Overland group critiqued and reimagined the often invisible fabric of American freedom. Reading for Liberalism uncovers and examines in the text of the Overland Monthly the relationship between wilderness, literature, race, and the production of individual freedom in late nineteenth-century California.
Before the West Was West examines the extent to which scholars have engaged in-depth with pre-1800 and#8220;westernand#8221; texts and asks what we mean by and#8220;westernand#8221; American literature in the first place and when that designation originated.
Calling into question the implicit temporal boundaries of the and#8220;American Westand#8221; in literature, a literature often viewed as having commenced only at the beginning of the 1800s, Before the West Was West explores the concrete, meaningful connections between different texts as well as the development of national ideologies and mythologies. Examining pre-nineteenth-century writings that do not fit conceptions of the Wild West or of cowboys, cattle ranching, and the Pony Express, these thirteen essays demonstrate that no single, unified idea or geography defines the American West.and#160;
Contributors investigate texts ranging from the Norse Vinland Sagas and Mary Rowlandsonand#8217;s famous captivity narrative to early Spanish and French exploration narratives, an eighteenth-century English novel, and a play by Aphra Behn. Through its examination of the disparate and multifaceted body of literature that arises from a broad array of cultural backgrounds and influences, Before the West Was West apprehends the literary West in temporal as well as spatial and cultural terms and poses new questions about and#8220;westernnessand#8221; and its literary representation.
Willa Catherand#8217;s 1935 novel drew on her lifelong interest in music, which plays a transformative role in the lives of her characters. Catherand#8217;s last novel set in the Great Plains tells the story of young Lucy Gayheart, who escapes life in small-town Haverford, Nebraska, in 1902 to pursue a career in music. In Chicago she falls in love with an older singer, Clement Sebastian, who finds renewed inspiration in her. However, tragic chance destroys their ensuing love affair. The novel has evoked divergent responses among critics and readers ever since its publication.
and#160;This Willa Cather Scholarly Edition includes a historical essay providing fresh insight into the novel, the role of music, and Catherand#8217;s writing process. It also features photographs, maps, and explanatory notes with a full range of biographical, historical, and cultural information. The textual editing of the novel, approved by the Committee on Scholarly Editions of the Modern Language Association, draws on corrected typescripts and proofs and presents a clean, authoritative text of the first edition.
About the Author
David Porter, a professor of classics, English, and music from 1962 to 2013, also served as president of Carleton College (1986andndash;87) and Skidmore College (1987andndash;99). He is the author of On the Divide: The Many Lives of Willa Cather (Nebraska, 2008) and coauthor of Seeking Life Whole: Willa Cather and the Brewsters. Kari A. Ronning is a research associate professor of English and textual editor of the Willa Cather Scholarly Editions, most recently The Song of the Lark (Nebraska, 2012). She worked on the historical editing of A Lost Lady (Nebraska, 1997) and Obscure Destinies (Nebraska, 1998). Frederick M. Link (1930andndash;2011), professor emeritus of English at the University of Nebraskaandndash;Lincoln, is the textual editor of Catherandrsquo;s Obscure Destinies (Nebraska, 1998), The Professorandrsquo;s House (Nebraska, 2002), and Shadows on the Rock (Nebraska, 2006).
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Book One: Beginnings
Chapter 3 Eros
Chapter 4 Palimpsest
Chapter 5 Occult Matters
Chapter 6 Rites of Participation
Book Two: Nights and Days
Appendix 1: Preliminary Notes Toward Book 3 of The H.D. Book
Appendix 2: Composition and Publication History of The H.D. Book
Appendix 3: A List of Works Cited by Robert Duncan in The H.D. Book