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Communities in Fiction reads six novels or stories (one each by Trollope, Hardy, Conrad, Woolf, Pynchon, and Cervantes) in the light of theories of community worked out (contradictorily) by Raymond Williams, Martin Heidegger, and Jean-Luc Nancy. _x000B_The book’s topic is the question of how communities or noncommunities are represented in fictional works. Such fictional communities help the reader understand real communities, including those in which the reader lives. As against the presumption that the trajectory in literature from Victorian to modern to postmodern is the story of a gradual loss of belief in the possibility of community, this book demonstrates that communities have always been presented in fiction as precarious and fractured. Moreover, the juxtaposition of Pynchon and Cervantes in the last chapter demonstrates that period characterizations are never to be trusted. All the features both thematic and formal that recent critics and theorists such as Fredric Jameson and many others have found to characterize postmodern fiction are already present in Cervantes’s wonderful early seventeenth-century “Exemplary Story,” “The Dogs’ Colloquy.” All the themes and narrative devices of Western fiction from the beginning of the print era to the present were there at the beginning, in Cervantes. _x000B_Most of all, however, Communities in Fiction looks in detail at its six fictions, striving to see just what they say, what stories they tell, and what narratological and rhetorical devices they use to say what they do say and to tell the stories they do tell. The book attempts to communicate to its readers the joy of reading these works and to argue for the exemplary insight they provide into what Heidegger called Mitsein, being together in communities that are always problematic and unstable. _x000B_
A milestone in literary scholarship, the publication of the Johns Hopkins edition of The Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley makes available for the first time critically edited clear texts of all poems and translations that Shelley published or circulated among friends, as well as diplomatic texts of his significant incomplete poetic drafts and fragments. Edited upon historical principles by Donald H. Reiman and Neil Fraistat, the multi volume edition will offer more poems and fragments than any previous collective edition, arranged in the order of their first circulation. These texts are followed by the most extensive collations hitherto available and detailed commentaries that describe their contextual origins and subsequent reception. Rejected passages of released poems appear as supplements to those poems, while other poetic drafts that Shelley rejected or left incomplete at his death will be grouped according to either their publication histories or the notebooks in which they survive. Volume One includes Shelley's first four works containing poetry (all prepared for publication before his expulsion from Oxford), as well as "The Devil's Walk" (circulated in August 1812), and a series of short poems that he sent to friends between 1809 and 1814, including a bawdy satire on his parents and "Oh wretched mortal," a poem never before published. An appendix discusses poems lost or erroneously attributed to the young Shelley. "These early poems are important not only biographically but also aesthetically, for they provide detailed evidence of how Shelley went about learning his craft as a poet, and the differences between their tone and that of his mature short poetry index a radical change in his self-image . . . The poems in Volume I, then, demonstrate Shelley's capacity to write verse in a range of stylistic registers. This early verse, even in its most abandoned forays into Sensibility, the Gothic, political satire, and vulgarity—perhaps especially in these most apparently idiosyncratic gestures—provides telling access to its own cultural moment, as well as to Shelley's art and thought in general."—from the Editorial Overview
Writing to his publisher in 1813, Shelley expressed the hope that two of his major works "should form one volume"; nearly two centuries later, the second volume of the Johns Hopkins edition of The Complete Poetry fulfills that wish for the first time. This volume collects two important pieces: Queen Mab and The Esdaile Notebook. Privately issued in 1813, Queen Mab was perhaps Shelley's most intellectually ambitious work, articulating his views of science, politics, history, religion, society, and individual human relations. Subtitled A Philosophical Poem: With Notes, it became his most influential—and pirated—poem during much of the nineteenth century, a favorite among reformers and radicals. The Esdaile Notebook, a cycle of fifty-eight early poems, exhibits an astonishing range of verse forms. Unpublished until 1964, this sequence is vital in understanding how the poet mastered his craft. As in the acclaimed first volume, these works have been critically edited by Donald H. Reiman and Neil Fraistat. The poems are presented as Shelley intended, with textual variants included in footnotes. Following the poems are extensive discussions of the circumstances of their composition and the influences they reflect; their publication or circulation by other means; their reception at the time of publication and in the decades since; their re-publication, both authorized and unauthorized; and their place in Shelley's intellectual and aesthetic development.
"His name is Percy Bysshe Shelley, and he is the author of a poetical work entitled Alastor, or the Spirit of Solitude.” With these words, the radical journalist and poet Leigh Hunt announced his discovery in 1816 of an extraordinary talent within “a new school of poetry rising of late.” The third volume of the acclaimed edition of The Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley includes Alastor, one of Shelley’s first major works, and all the poems that Shelley completed, for either private circulation or publication, during the turbulent years from 1814 to March 1818: Hymn to Intellectual Beauty, Mont Blanc, Laon and Cythna, as well as shorter pieces, such as his most famous sonnet, Ozymandias. It was during these years that Shelley, already an accomplished and practiced poet with three volumes of published verse, authored two major volumes, earned international recognition, and became part of the circle that was later called the Younger Romantics. As with previous volumes, extensive discussions of the poems’ composition, influences, publication, circulation, reception, and critical history accompany detailed records of textual variants for each work. Among the appendixes are Mary W. Shelley’s 1839 notes on the poems for these years, a table of the forty-two revisions made to Laon and Cythna for its reissue as The Revolt of Islam, and Shelley’s errata list for the same. It is in the works included in this volume that the recognizable and characteristic voice of Shelley emerges—unmistakable, consistent, and vital.
Apprentice Years, 1905–1918
Additional Volumes and Resources
Volume 1 of The Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot, Apprentice Years, 1905-1918 includes all surviving prose from Eliot’s years as a student and from his first three years as a literary journalist. Spanning the most formative period in his life, the collection begins with a story composed when he was a sixteen-year-old student at the Smith Academy in St. Louis and ends with a review published when he was thirty and an established man of letters in London. The volume contains twenty-six previously unpublished essays in philosophy and nearly one hundred pieces published in periodicals but never collected. Scrupulously edited and annotated by Jewel Spears Brooker and Ronald Schuchard, this volume is the first scholarly edition of Eliot’s early prose.
Apprentice Years, 1905-1918 is divided into three parts. The first features stories and reviews written between 1905 and 1910 while Eliot was a day student at Smith Academy and an undergraduate at Harvard. The second consists of essays in philosophy and ethics written between 1912 and 1915 when he was a graduate student at Harvard and Oxford. The culmination of this work was his doctoral dissertation on F. H. Bradley, here published for the first time in a critical edition. Articles and reviews written between 1915 and 1918 constitute the third group, beginning with pieces related to Eliot’s credentials in philosophy and the social sciences and concluding with essays and reviews in little magazines and journals Eliot published while establishing himself in literary circles. Apprentice Years contains a detailed historical introduction that traces Eliot’s intellectual development from broad interests in language and literature to intensive study of F. H. Bradley and Aristotle to an informed synthesis of literature and philosophy in literary criticism.
Jewel Spears Brooker, Professor Emerita of Literature at Eckerd College, is the author or editor of eight books, including Approaches to Teaching Eliot's Poetry and Plays (1988), Reading 'The Waste Land': Modernism and the Limits of Interpretation (1990, coauthored with Joseph Bentley), The Placing of T. S. Eliot (1991), Mastery and Escape: T. S. Eliot and the Dialectic of Modernism (1994), Conversations with Denise Levertov (1998), T. S. Eliot and Our Turning World (2000), and T. S. Eliot: The Contemporary Reviews (2004). She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Knight Foundation, and Pew Charitable Trust. She has served as president of the T. S. Eliot Society and the South Atlantic Modern Language Association and as a member of the National Humanities Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Ronald Schuchard, the Goodrich C. White Professor of English, Emeritus, at Emory University, is the author of award-winning Eliot’s Dark Angel (1999) and The Last Minstrels: Yeats and the Revival of the Bardic Arts (2008). The editor of Eliot’s Clark and Turnbull lectures, The Varieties of Metaphysical Poetry (1993), he is co-editor with John Kelly of The Collected Letters of W. B. Yeats, Volume 3 (1994), Volume 4 (2005), winner of the MLA’s Cohen Award for a Distinguished Edition of Letters, and Volume 5 (forthcoming). A former Guggenheim fellow and founder-director of the T. S. Eliot International Summer School (2009-2013), he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Literature, Politics, Belief, 1927–1929
Additional Volumes and Resources
In 1927, T. S. Eliot was baptized and confirmed in the Church of England and became a naturalized British citizen. The works collected in Literature, Politics, Belief are contemporaneous with Eliot's conversion and exhibit his deepening interest in the history, complexity, and difficulty of belief. During this period he also developed his passion for Renaissance literature and increasingly engaged with English, European, and theological politics.
The nine essays Eliot collected in his third volume of criticism, For Lancelot Andrewes (1928), represent only a fraction of his writing from this period. He produced fifty-four pieces in 1927, forty-nine in 1928, and twenty-four in 1929, along with a small book on Dante.
Literature, Politics, Belief includes Eliot's reviews of detective novels and an edition of The Complete Sherlock Holmes Short Stories; his review of a two-volume biography of Edgar Allan Poe; and his introduction to Ezra Pound's Selected Poems. It also includes two unpublished essays, “The Return of Foxy Grandpa,” a review of Alfred North Whitehead’s Science and the Modern World and Religion in the Making, and the first publication in English of “The Contemporary Novel” (previously in French translation only), which evaluates the state of the novel in Eliot’s time with reference to D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, Aldous Huxley, and David Garnett.
The Perfect Critic, 1919–1926
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We are delighted to announce that Volume 2 of The Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot: The Critical Edition was awarded the Modernist Studies Association 2015 Book Prize for an Edition, Anthology, or Essay Collection.
The Perfect Critic, 1919-1926, Volume 2 of The Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot, documents Eliot's emergence as an authoritative and commanding critical voice in twentieth-century letters. The essays and reviews in this volume, most of which were never republished or collected after their first appearances in periodicals, trace the swift and astonishing arc of his rise to international prominence as an incisive critic of literature and culture, an avant-garde poet, and an editor of a successful and celebrated London journal. These seven years register the seismic shift in modern poetry that comes with the publication of The Waste Land (1922), and they witness the appearance of Eliot's first collected volume of verse, Poems, 1909-1925 (1925).
Eliot composed not less than 130 essays, reviews, and letters during this brief time, publishing in venues as various as The Athenaeum, The Times Literary Supplement, La Nouvelle Revue française, The Dial, and Vanity Fair. Such a period of intense creativity and prolific critical writing is all the more remarkable when considered against the backdrop of the extraordinary upheavals in his personal life: the unexpected deaths of his father and sister, the dismal mental and physical health of his wife Vivienne, and Eliot's own psychological breakdown and treatment. The volume features a thorough historical introduction that describes the dynamic and challenging circumstances, both personal and professional, that faced him as he began to establish his critical reputation in London literary circles and beyond.
The Perfect Critic gathers together an impressive and widely unknown body of work, but it includes also several of Eliot's most influential and enduring essays—“Tradition and the Individual Talent,” “Hamlet,” “The Metaphysical Poets,” and “Ulysses, Order, and Myth”—now edited and annotated by Anthony Cuda and Ronald Schuchard. These magisterial early works furnish us with the signal concepts and phrases that have made Eliot's criticism a permanent feature of monographs, syllabi, and anthologies, including the “extinction of personality,” the “objective correlative,” the “dissociation of sensibility,” and the “mythical method.”
The Perfect Critic includes a previously unpublished essay, “A Neglected Aspect of Chapman,” as well as the contents of two influential prose volumes published during the period, The Sacred Wood (1920) and Homage to John Dryden (1924). It also contains newly edited versions of the eight Clark Lectures that Eliot delivered in 1926 for the prestigious series at Trinity College, Cambridge.
Anthony Cuda, associate professor of English at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, is the author of The Passions of Modernism: Eliot, Yeats, Woolf and Mann (2010). He has published articles on Eliot, Yeats, and Heaney, and his reviews of contemporary poetry have appeared in The Washington Post Book World, The New Criterion, FIELD: Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, and elsewhere. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the T. S. Eliot Society and a regular lecturer at the T. S. Eliot International Summer School.
Ronald Schuchard, the Goodrich C. White Professor of English, Emeritus, at Emory University, is the author of award-winning Eliot's Dark Angel (1999) and The Last Minstrels: Yeats and the Revival of the Bardic Arts (2008). The editor of Eliot's Clark and Turnbull lectures, The Varieties of Metaphysical Poetry (1993), he is co-editor with John Kelly of The Collected Letters of W. B. Yeats, Volume 3 (1994), Volume 4 (2005), winner of the MLA's Cohen Award for a Distinguished Edition of Letters, and Volume 5 (forthcoming). A former Guggenheim fellow and founder-director of the T. S. Eliot International Summer School (2009-2013), he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Categories of Difference in Eighteenth-Century British Culture
In the 1723 Journal of a Voyage up the Gambia, an English narrator describes the native translators vital to the expedition's success as being "Black as Coal." Such a description of dark skin color was not unusual for eighteenth-century Britons—but neither was the statement that followed: "here, thro' Custom, (being Christians) they account themselves White Men." The Complexion of Race asks how such categories would have been possible, when and how such statements came to seem illogical, and how our understanding of the eighteenth century has been distorted by the imposition of nineteenth and twentieth century notions of race on an earlier period.
Wheeler traces the emergence of skin color as a predominant marker of identity in British thought and juxtaposes the Enlightenment's scientific speculation on the biology of race with accounts in travel literature, fiction, and other documents that remain grounded in different models of human variety. As a consequence of a burgeoning empire in the second half of the eighteenth century, English writers were increasingly preoccupied with differentiating the British nation from its imperial outposts by naming traits that set off the rulers from the ruled; although race was one of these traits, it was by no means the distinguishing one. In the fiction of the time, non-European characters could still be "redeemed" by baptism or conversion and the British nation could embrace its mixed-race progeny. In Wheeler's eighteenth century we see the coexistence of two systems of racialization and to detect a moment when an older order, based on the division between Christian and heathen, gives way to a new one based on the assertion of difference between black and white.
That the poet John Gower was a major literary figure in England at the close of the fourteenth century is no longer in question. Scholarly attention paid to him and to his work over the past twenty- five years has redeemed him from an undeserved obscurity imposed by the preceding two hundred. The facts of his life and career are now documented, and recent critical assessment has placed his achievement most accurately alongside Chaucer's, Langland's, and the Gawain- poet's.
Unique among his contemporaries, all of whom undoubtedly read and used French in some measure, Gower alone has left us a significant body of verse and prose in Anglo-Norman; chiefly, the twelve-stanza poem Mirour de l-Omme, the Cinkante Balades, and the Traitié pour les amantz marietz. We are offered in this concordance of his Anglo- Norman work a unique opportunity to view a poetic language as it was written and read in England until Gower's death in 1408 and beyond.
As seventeenth-century England wrestled with the aftereffects of the Reformation, the personal frequently conflicted with the political. In speeches, political pamphlets, and other works of religious controversy, writers from the reign of James I to that of James II unexpectedly erupt into autobiography. John Milton famously interrupts his arguments against episcopacy with autobiographical accounts of his poetic hopes and dreams, while John Donne's attempts to describe his conversion from Catholicism wind up obscuring rather than explaining. Similar moments appear in the works of Thomas Browne, John Bunyan, and the two King Jameses themselves. These autobiographies are familiar enough that their peculiarities have frequently been overlooked in scholarship, but as Brooke Conti notes, they sit uneasily within their surrounding material as well as within the conventions of confessional literature that preceded them.
Confessions of Faith in Early Modern England positions works such as Milton's political tracts, Donne's polemical and devotional prose, Browne's Religio Medici, and Bunyan's Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners as products of the era's tense political climate, illuminating how the pressures of public self-declaration and allegiance led to autobiographical writings that often concealed more than they revealed. For these authors, autobiography was less a genre than a device to negotiate competing political, personal, and psychological demands. The complex works Conti explores provide a privileged window into the pressures placed on early modern religious identity, underscoring that it was no simple matter for these authors to tell the truth of their interior life—even to themselves.