Classical Literature

Classical Literature Author : William Allan
Release : 2014-03
Publisher : Oxford University Press
ISBN : 0199665451
File Size : 86.81 MB
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William Allan's Very Short Introduction provides a concise and lively guide to the major authors, genres, and periods of classical literature. Drawing upon a wealth of material, he reveals just what makes the 'classics' such masterpieces and why they continue to influence and fascinate today.

Classics: A Very Short Introduction

Classics: A Very Short Introduction Author : Mary Beard
Release : 2000-02-24
Publisher : Oxford Paperbacks
ISBN : 9780192853851
File Size : 42.76 MB
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Explores the relationship between the contemporary world and the ancient one.

German Literature: A Very Short Introduction

German Literature: A Very Short Introduction Author : Nicholas Boyle
Release : 2008-02-28
Publisher : OUP Oxford
ISBN : 0191578630
File Size : 24.53 MB
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German writers, from Luther and Goethe to Heine, Brecht, and Günter Grass, have had a profound influence on the modern world. This Very Short Introduction presents an engrossing tour of the course of German literature from the late Middle Ages to the present, focussing especially on the last 250 years. Emphasizing the economic and religious context of many masterpieces of German literature, it highlights how they can be interpreted as responses to social and political changes within an often violent and tragic history. The result is a new and clear perspective which illuminates the power of German literature and the German intellectual tradition, and its impact on the wider cultural world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

English Literature: A Very Short Introduction

English Literature: A Very Short Introduction Author : Jonathan Bate
Release : 2010-10-07
Publisher : Oxford University Press
ISBN : 0199569266
File Size : 83.42 MB
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English Literature: A Very Short Introduction discusses why literature matters, how narrative works, and what is distinctly English about English literature. Jonathan Bate considers how we determine the content of the field, and looks at the three major kinds of imaginative literature - English poetry, English drama and The English novel.

Chinese Literature

Chinese Literature Author : Sabina Knight
Release : 2012-02-03
Publisher : OUP USA
ISBN : 019539206X
File Size : 22.51 MB
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This book tells the story of Chinese literature, from prehistory to the present, in terms of literary culture's key role in supporting social and political concerns. A welcome guide for teachers, students, and lay readers, Chinese Literature: A Very Short Introduction honors traditional Chinese understandings of literature as encompassing history and philosophy, as well as the evolution of poetry and poetics, storytelling, drama, and the novel.

Italian Literature: A Very Short Introduction

Italian Literature: A Very Short Introduction Author : Peter Hainsworth
Release : 2012-02-23
Publisher : Oxford University Press
ISBN : 0199231796
File Size : 85.39 MB
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In this Very Short Introduction to Italian Literature, Peter Hainsworth and David Robey examine Italian literature from the Middle Ages up to the present day, looking at themes and issues which have recurred throughout its history and continue to be of importance today.

German Literature: A Very Short Introduction

German Literature: A Very Short Introduction Author : Nicholas Boyle
Release : 2008-02-28
Publisher : Oxford University Press
ISBN : 0199206597
File Size : 23.69 MB
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German writers, be it Goethe, Nietzsche, Marx, Brecht or Mann, have had a profound influence on the modern world. This Very Short Introduction illuminates the particular character and power of German literature, and examines its impact on the wider cultural world.

Classical Literature: A Very Short Introduction

Classical Literature: A Very Short Introduction Author : William Allan
Release : 2014-03-27
Publisher : OUP Oxford
ISBN : 019164336X
File Size : 35.5 MB
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From popular histories through to reworkings of classical subject matter by contemporary poets, dramatists, and novelists, the classical world and the masterpieces of its literature continue to fascinate readers and audiences in a huge variety of media. In this Very Short Introduction, William Allan explores what the 'classics' are and why they continue to shape our Western concepts of literature. Presenting a range of material from both Greek and Latin literature, he illustrates the variety and sophistication of these works, and considers examples from all the major genres. Ideal for the general reader interested in works of classic literature, as well as students at A-Level and University, this is a lively and lucid guide to the major authors and literary forms of the ancient period. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Comparative Literature: a Very Short Introduction

Comparative Literature: a Very Short Introduction Author : Ben Hutchinson
Release : 2018-03-22
Publisher : Oxford University Press
ISBN : 0198807279
File Size : 58.67 MB
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Comparative Literature is both the past and the future of literary studies. Its history is intimately linked to the political upheavals of modernity: from colonial empire-building in the nineteenth century, via the Jewish diaspora of the twentieth century, to the postcolonial culture wars ofthe twenty-first century, attempts at "comparison" have defined the international agenda of literature. But what is comparative literature? Ambitious readers looking to stretch themselves are usually intrigued by the concept, but uncertain of its implications. And rightly so, in many ways: even theprofessionals cannot agree on a single term, calling it comparative in English, compared in French, and comparing in German. The very term itself, when approached comparatively, opens up a Pandora's box of cultural differences. Yet this, in a nutshell, is the whole point of comparative literature. To look at literature comparatively is to realize just how much can be learned by looking over the horizon of one's own culture; it is to discover not only more about other literatures, but also about one's own; and it is toparticipate in the great utopian dream of understanding the way nations and languages interact. In an age that is paradoxically defined by migration and border crossing on the one hand, and by a retreat into monolingualism and monoculturalism on the other, the cross-cultural agenda of comparativeliterature has become increasingly central to the future of the Humanities. We are all, in fact, comparatists, constantly making connections across languages, cultures, and genres as we read. The question is whether we realise it.This Very Short Introduction tells the story of Comparative Literature as an agent of international relations, from the point of view both of scholarship and of cultural history more generally. Outlining the complex history and competing theories of comparative literature, Ben Hutchinson offers anaccessible means of entry into a notoriously slippery subject, and shows how comparative literature can be like a Rorschach test, where people see in it what they want to see. Ultimately, Hutchinson places comparative literature at the very heart of literary criticism, for as George Steiner oncenoted, 'to read is to compare'.ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Ovid: a Very Short Introduction

Ovid: a Very Short Introduction Author : Llewelyn Morgan
Release : 2020-09-24
Publisher : Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN : 0198837682
File Size : 36.37 MB
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Ovid, wittiest of ancient poets, has been an influential model for writers and artists throughout the ages. Llewelyn Morgan introduces the poet and his works, describing each of his poems in turn, setting them in their social and literary context, and considering the twist of events that led to the exile of Rome's most celebrated artist.

Poetry

Poetry Author : Bernard O'Donoghue
Release : 2019
Publisher : Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN : 0199229112
File Size : 87.25 MB
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Poetry, arguably, has a greater range of conceptual meaning than perhaps any other term in English. At the most basic level everyone can recognize it--it is a kind of literature that uses special linguistic devices of organization and expression for aesthetic effect. However, far grander claims have been made for poetry than this -- such as Shelley's that the poets "are the unacknowledged legislators of the world," and that poetry is "a higher truth." In this Very Short Introduction Bernard O'Donoghue provides a fascinating look at the many different forms of writing which have been called "poetry" -- from the Greeks to the present day. As well as questioning what poetry is, he asks what poetry is for, and considers contemporary debates on its value. Is there a universality to poetry? And does it have a duty of public utility and responsibility? ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Ancient Greece: A Very Short Introduction

Ancient Greece: A Very Short Introduction Author : Paul Cartledge
Release : 2011-10-27
Publisher : Oxford University Press
ISBN : 0199601348
File Size : 88.96 MB
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Introduces major topics in ancient Greek civilization through the development of eleven characteristic city states, ranging from prehistoric Cnossos through Byzantion, and including the future Marseilles as well as Athens and Sparta.

Chinese Literature: A Very Short Introduction

Chinese Literature: A Very Short Introduction Author : Sabina Knight
Release : 2012-02-03
Publisher : Oxford University Press
ISBN : 0199920958
File Size : 88.23 MB
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Perhaps nowhere else has literature been as conscious a collective endeavor as in China, and China's survival over three thousand years may owe more to its literary traditions than to its political history. This Very Short Introduction tells the story of Chinese literature from antiquity to the present, focusing on the key role literary culture played in supporting social and political concerns. Embracing traditional Chinese understandings of literature as encompassing history and philosophy as well as poetry and poetics, storytelling, drama, and the novel, Sabina Knight discusses the philosophical foundations of literary culture as well as literature's power to address historical trauma and cultivate moral and sensual passions. From ancient historical records through the modernization and globalization of Chinese literature, Knight draws on lively examples to underscore the close relationship between ethics and aesthetics, as well as the diversity of Chinese thought. Knight also illuminates the role of elite patronage; the ways literature has served the interests of specific groups; and questions of canonization, language, nationalism, and cross-cultural understanding. The book includes Chinese characters for names, titles, and key terms.

Modern Latin American Literature

Modern Latin American Literature Author : Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria
Release : 2012-01-24
Publisher : OUP USA
ISBN : 0199754918
File Size : 63.92 MB
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This Very Short Introduction chronicles the trends and traditions of modern Latin American literature, arguing that Latin American literature developed as a continent-wide phenomenon, not just an assemblage of national literatures, in moments of political crisis. With the Spanish American War came Modernismo, the end of World War I and the Mexican Revolution produced the avant-garde, and the Cuban Revolution sparked a movement in the novel that came to be known as the Boom. Within this narrative, the author covers all of the major writers of Latin American literature, from Andres Bello and Jose Maria de Heredia, through Borges and Garcia Marquez, to Fernando Vallejo and Roberto Bolano.

Italian Literature: A Very Short Introduction

Italian Literature: A Very Short Introduction Author : Peter Hainsworth
Release : 2012-02-23
Publisher : OUP Oxford
ISBN : 019162392X
File Size : 30.22 MB
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In this Very Short Introduction, Peter Hainsworth and David Robey consider Italian literature from the Middle Ages to the present day, looking at themes and issues which have recurred throughout its history and continue to be of importance today. Examining themes such as regional identities, political disunity, and the role of the national language, they also cover a wide range of authors and works, including Dante, Petrarch, Manzoni, Montale, and Calvino. They explore some of the distinctive traditions of the literature, such as its liking for theorizing its own position, its concern with politics, and its secular orientation in spite of the Catholic beliefs and practices of the Italian people. Concluding by looking at the ways in which Italian literature has changed over the last thirty years, they examine the influence of women's writing in Italian, and acknowledge the belated recognition of its importance. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Reading: A Very Short Introduction

Reading: A Very Short Introduction Author : Belinda Jack
Release : 2019-04-18
Publisher : Oxford University Press
ISBN : 0192552457
File Size : 39.62 MB
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Today many people take reading for granted, but we remain some way off from attaining literacy for the global human population. And whilst we think we know what reading is, it remains in many ways a mysterious process, or set of processes. The effects of reading are myriad: it can be informative, distracting, moving, erotically arousing, politically motivating, spiritual, and much, much more. At different times and in different places reading means different things. In this Very Short Introduction Belinda Jack explores the fascinating history of literacy, and the opportunities reading opens. For much of human history reading was the preserve of the elite, and most reading meant being read to. Innovations in printing, paper-making, and transport, combined with the rise of public education from the late eighteenth century on, brought a dramatic rise in literacy in many parts of the world. Established links between a nation's levels of literacy and its economy led to the promotion of reading for political ends. But, equally, reading has been associated with subversive ideas, leading to censorship through multiple channels: denying access to education, controlling publishing, destroying libraries, and even the burning of authors and their works. Indeed, the works of Voltaire were so often burned that an enterprising Parisian publisher produced a fire-proof edition, decorated with a phoenix. But, as Jack demonstrates, reading is a collaborative act between an author and a reader, and one which can never be wholly controlled. Telling the story of reading, from the ancient world to digital reading and restrictions today, Belinda Jack explores why it is such an important aspect of our society. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Decadence: a Very Short Introduction

Decadence: a Very Short Introduction Author : David Weir
Release : 2018
Publisher : Oxford University Press
ISBN : 0190610220
File Size : 25.90 MB
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The history of decadent culture runs from ancient Rome to nineteenth-century Paris, Victorian London, fin de siecle Vienna, Weimar Berlin, and beyond. The decline of Rome provides the pattern for both aesthetic and social decadence, a pattern that artists and writers in the nineteenth century imitated, emulated, parodied, and otherwise manipulated for aesthetic gain. What begins as the moral condemnation of modernity in mid-nineteenth century France on the part of decadent authors such as Charles Baudelaire ends up as the perverse celebration of the pessimism that accompanies imperial decline. This delight in decline informs the rich canon of decadence that runs from Joris-Karl Huysmans's A Rebours to Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, Aubrey Beardsley's drawings, Gustav Klimt's paintings, and numerous other works. In this Very Short Introduction, David Weir explores the conflicting attitudes towards modernity present in decadent culture by examining the difference between aesthetic decadence--the excess of artifice--and social decadence, which involves excess in a variety of forms, whether perversely pleasurable or gratuitously cruel. Such contrariness between aesthetic and social decadence led some of its practitioners to substitute art for life and to stress the importance of taste over morality, a maneuver with far-reaching consequences, especially as decadence enters the realm of popular culture today. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Jewish Literature: A Very Short Introduction

Jewish Literature: A Very Short Introduction Author : Ilan Stavans
Release : 2021-06-03
Publisher : Oxford University Press
ISBN : 0190076992
File Size : 64.51 MB
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The story of Jewish literature is a kaleidoscopic one, multilingual and transnational in character, spanning the globe as well as the centuries. In this broad, thought-provoking introduction to Jewish literature from 1492 to the present, cultural historian Ilan Stavans focuses on its multilingual and transnational nature. Stavans presents a wide range of traditions within Jewish literature and the variety of writers who made those traditions possible. Represented are writers as dissimilar as Luis de Carvajal the Younger, Franz Kafka, Bruno Schulz, Isaac Babel, Anzia Yezierska, Elias Canetti, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Irving Howe, Clarice Lispector, Susan Sontag, Philip Roth, Grace Paley, Amos Oz, Moacyr Scliar, and David Grossman. The story of Jewish literature spans the globe as well as the centuries, from the marrano poets and memorialists of medieval Spain, to the sprawling Yiddish writing in Ashkenaz (the "Pale of Settlement' in Eastern Europe), to the probing narratives of Jewish immigrants to the United States and other parts of the New World. It also examines the accounts of horror during the Holocaust, the work of Israeli authors since the creation of the Jewish State in 1948, and the "ingathering" of Jewish works in Brazil, Bulgaria, Argentina, and South Africa at the end of the twentieth century. This kaleidoscopic introduction to Jewish literature presents its subject matter as constantly changing and adapting.

Native American Literature: A Very Short Introduction

Native American Literature: A Very Short Introduction Author : Sean Teuton
Release : 2017-12-20
Publisher : Oxford University Press
ISBN : 0199944539
File Size : 75.66 MB
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North American indigenous literature began over thirty thousand years ago when indigenous people began telling stories of emergence and creation, journey and quest, and heroism and trickery. By setting indigenous literature in historical moments, Sean Teuton skillfully traces its evolution from the ancient role of bringing rain and healing the body, to its later purpose in resisting European invasion and colonization, into its current place as a world literature that confronts dominance while celebrating the imagination and resilience of indigenous lives. By the time Europeans arrived in North America indigenous people already understood the power of written language and the need to transmit philosophy, history, and literature across generations and peoples. Seeking out multiple literary forms such as sermon, poetry, and novel to serve differing worldviews, indigenous authors have shaped their writing into North American indigenous literature as we recognize it today. In this lucid narrative, Sean Teuton leads readers into indigenous worlds. He describes the invention of a written indigenous language, the first indigenous language newspaper, and the literary occupation of Alcatraz Island. Along the way readers encounter the diversity of indigenous peoples who, owing to their differing lands, livelihoods, and customs, molded literature to a nation's specific needs. As Teuton shows, indigenous literature is one of the best places for understanding indigenous views about land and society and the role of humanity in the cosmos. In turning to celebrated contemporary authors such as Thomas King, Leslie Silko, Sherman Alexie, Louise Erdrich, and James Welch, Teuton demonstrates that, like indigenous people, indigenous literature continues to survive because it adapts, both honoring the past and reaching for the future.

Voltaire: a Very Short Introduction

Voltaire: a Very Short Introduction Author : Nicholas Cronk
Release : 2017-02-23
Publisher : Oxford University Press
ISBN : 0199688354
File Size : 74.78 MB
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Voltaire (1694-1778), best remembered as the author of Candide, is one of the central actors -- arguably the defining personality -- of the European Enlightenment. In this Very Short Introduction, Nicholas Cronk explores Voltaire's remarkable career and demonstrates how his thinking is pivotal to our notion and understanding of the Enlightenment. In a fresh and modern examination of his writings, Cronk examines the nature of Voltaire's literary celebrity, demonstrating the extent to which his work was reactive and practical, and therefore made sense within the broader context of the debates to which he responded. The most famous living author in Europe in the 18th century, Cronk emphasizes Voltaire's skills of "performance" as a writer and his continued relevance today. He concludes by looking not only at Voltaire's impact in literature and philosophy, but also his influence on French political values and modern French politics. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.