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Family Catastrophe

A Modernist Novel

Wang Wen-hsing

Wang Wen-hsing caused a sensation in Taiwan in 1972 with publication of Family Catastrophe, his first full-length novel. Many critics were outraged, called it socially irresponsible, morally corrupt, and stylistically irrational, but the novel weathered its controversial reception to become what is now widely regarded as a masterpiece in modern Chinese fiction and the benchmark of Taiwan’s Modernist movement. Often described as Joycean, Family Catastrophe is significant for its stylistic and linguistic experimentation as well as for its disturbing and universal themes. It appears now in English for the first time. Fiction From Modern China

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A Few Months to Live

Different Paths to Life’s End

Jana Staton, Roger W. Shuy, and Ira Byock

A Few Months to Live describes what dying is like from the perspectives of nine terminally ill individuals and their caregivers. Documenting a unique study of end-of-life experiences that included detailed conversations in home care settings, the book focuses on how participants lived their daily lives, understood their illnesses, coped with symptoms-especially pain-and searched for meaning or spiritual growth in their final months of life. The accounts are presented largely in the participants' own words, illuminating both the medical and non-medical challenges that arose from the time each learned the "bad news" through their final days of life and memorial services.

Describing the nationwide crisis that surrounds end-of-life care, the authors contend that informal caregiving by relatives and close friends is an enormous and too-often invisible resource that deserves close and public attention. By incorporating not only the ill person's but also the family's perspective, they portray the nine participants in the contexts of their daily lives and relationships rather than simply as patients. Addressing such issues as palliative care, quality of life, financial hardship, grief and loss, and communications with medical personnel, the authors identify how families, professionals, and communities can respond to the challenges of terminal illness and the need to confront life's end.

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Fictions of Desire

Narrative Form in the Novels of Nagai Kafu

Stephen Snyder

Stephen Snyder examines Kafu's fiction in terms of narrative strategy, placing him squarely within some of the most important currents of literary modernism--at the nexus of Naturalism and the largely antithetical development of the modernist reflexive novel.

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Figural Language in the Novel

Ramon Saldivar

Novels affirm the power of fiction to portray the horizons of knowledge and to dramatize the ways that the truths of human existence are created and preserved. Professor Saldivar shows that deconstructive readings of novels remind us that we do not apprehend the world directly but through interpretive codes.

Originally published in 1984.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Focusing the Familiar

A Translation and Philosophical Interpretation of the Zhongyong

Roger T. Ames and David L. Hall

The Zhongyong--translated here as Focusing the Familiar--has been regarded as a document of enormous wisdom for more than two millennia and is one of Confucianism's most sacred and seminal texts. It achieved truly canonical preeminence when it became one of the Four Books compiled and annotated by the Southern Song dynasty philosopher Zhu Xi (1130-1200). Within the compass of world literature, the influence of these books (Analects of Confucius, Great Learning, Zhongyong, and Mencius) on the Sinitic world of East Asia has been no less than the Bible and the Qu'ran on Western civilization. With this new translation David Hall and Roger Ames provide a distinctly philosophical interpretation of the Zhongyong, remaining attentive to the semantic and conceptual nuances of the text to account for its central place within classical Chinese literature. They present the text in such a way as to provide Western philosophers and other intellectuals access to a set of interpretations and arguments that offer new insights into issues and concerns common to both Chinese and Western thinkers. In addition to the annotated translation, a glossary of terms gives in concise form important senses of the terms that play a key role in the argument of the Zhongyong. An appendix addresses some of the more technical issues relevant to the understanding of both the history of the text and the history of its English translations. Here the translators introduce readers to the best contemporary textual studies of the Zhongyong and make use of the most recent archaeological discoveries in China to place the work within its own intellectual context.

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Form, Meaning, and Focus in American Sign Language

Miako N. P. Rankin

The meaning of any linguistic expression resides not only in the words, but also in the ways that those words are conveyed. In her new study, Miako N. P. Rankin highlights the crucial interrelatedness of form and meaning at all levels in order to consider specific types of American Sign Language (ASL) expression. In particular, Form, Meaning, and Focus in American Sign Language, Miako N. P. Rankin considers how ASL non-agent focus, similar to the meaning of passive voice in English. Rankin’s analyses of the form-meaning correspondences of ASL expressions of non-agent focus reveals an underlying pattern that can be traced across sentence and verb types. This pattern produces meanings with various levels of focus on the agent. Rankin has determined in her meticulous study that the pattern of form-meaning characteristic of non-agent focus in ASL is used prolifically in day-to-day language. The recognition of the frequency of this pattern holds implications regarding the acquisition of ASL, the development of curricula for teaching ASL, and the analysis of ASL discourse in effective interpretation.

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Frequency of Occurrence and Ease of Articulation of Sign Language Handshapes

The Taiwanese Example

Jean Ann

In the growing body of research on sign language linguistics, one area of inquiry considers an important component of all sign languages — handshapes — and whether the use of specific kinds increase in direct relation to the ease of their formation. Author Jean Ann provides significant clarification in her book Frequency of Occurrence and Ease of Articulation of Sign Language Handshapes: The Taiwanese Example. Ann employs a straightforward methodology in her examination of the use of Taiwan Sign Language (TSL) handshapes in five succinct chapters. In the first chapter, she discusses the two approaches linguists have taken toward understanding languages, and how these theories have influenced sign language researchers’ consideration of the ease of articulation and frequency of handshapes. In her second chapter, Ann delineates the physiology of hands and explains why certain digits move with greater dexterity than others. Ann applies this physiological information in the third chapter to construct a model for determining the ease of articulation of any logically possible handshape. She divides the handshapes into three categories, ranging from impossible to easy. In the fourth chapter, she applies her model to examine the patterns of TSL, first by describing the 56 handshapes identified in TSL, then determining how often each is used. She then compares the usage data to the handshapes’ ease of formation. The final chapter summarizes her findings and suggests implications of this work that are bound to generate further speculation and study on sign language handshapes in the future.

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Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics (GURT) 2001

Linguistics, Language, and the Real WorldDiscourse and Beyond

Deborah Tannen and James E. Alatis, Editors

GURT is nationally and internationally recognized as one of the world's star gatherings for scholars in the fields of language and linguistics. In 2001, the best from around the world in the disciplines of anthropological linguistics and discourse analysis meet to present and share the latest research on linguistic analysis and to address real-world contexts in private and public domains. The result is this newest, invaluable 2001 edition of the Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics. This volume brings together the plenary speakers only, all leaders in their fields, showcasing discourse contexts that range from medical interactions to political campaigns, from classroom discourse and educational policy to current affairs, and to the importance of everyday family conversations. The contributors expand the boundaries of discourse to include narrative theory, music and language, laughter in conversation, and the ventriloquizing of voices in dialogue.

Frederick Erickson explores the musical basis of language in an elementary school classroom; Wallace Chafe analyzes laughter in conversation. William Labov examines narratives told to South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, while Deborah Schiffrin compares multiple accounts of Holocaust narratives, and Alessandro Duranti considers competing speaker and audience interpretations during a political candidate's campaign tour. Robin Lakoff uncovers contrasting narratives shared by different cultural groups with respect to such current events as the O.J. Simpson trial. Deborah Tannen examines the integration of power and connection in family relationships, while Heidi Hamilton considers accounts that diabetic patients give their doctors. Shirley Brice Heath looks at discourse strategies used by policymakers to deny research findings, and G. Richard Tucker and Richard Donato report on a successful bilingual program.

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