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Tales of Unrest
The life of the Anglo-African writer Ernest Glanville (1855–1925) was the stuff of fiction. As a young colonist he took long, lonely treks in the border country of the Eastern Cape, absorbing the superstitions and folklore of the Xhosa. He served as a war correspondent for the London Daily Chronicle in the Zulu War, riding with Basutos, Boers, colonials, mounted infantry, and regular cavalry scouts. After the war the venturesome Glanville wrote for and edited several London-based and South African publications, most notably the oldest newspaper in that part of the British empire, Cape Argus. Throughout his seventeen adventure novels and several collections of short fiction he wrote of what he had seen, done, or heard from eyewitnesses. Historical facts are mixed with supernatural elements of local myth and magic not merely to give his tales a powerful exoticism but to explore the borderland spaces of his time and place.
History, Criticism, and Myth
Studying Oscar Wilde: History, Criticism, and Myth takes issue with many assumptions current in Wilde scholarship. It sets an engaging course in exploring Wilde’s literary reputation. In particular, Professors Guy and Small are interested in the tension between Wilde’s enduring popularity with the general reading public as a perennially witty entertainer and his status among academics as a complex, politicized writer attuned to the cultural and philosophical currents associated with modernity. Their argument focuses initially on the prominence of biographical readings of Wilde’s literary works, drawing attention to the contradictions in the ways biographers have described his life and to the problems of seeing his writing as a form of self-disclosure. Subsequent chapters assess the usefulness of other forms of academic scholarship to understanding works that are not, on the surface, “difficult.” Here a number of commonly held views are challenged. To what extent is De Profundis autobiographical? How sophisticated is the learning exhibited in Intentions? In what ways are the society comedies “about” homosexuality? And how does The Picture of Dorian Gray relate to Wilde’s “mature” style? The volume also examines some of Wilde’s lesser-known, unfinished works and scenarios, including The Cardinal of Avignon, La Sainte Courtisane, and A Florentine Tragedy (all printed as appendices), arguing that these “failed” works provide important insight into the reasons for Wilde’s popular success. Since Guy and Small have authored numerous articles and books on Wilde, Studying Oscar Wilde: History, Criticism, and Myth will be a must read for scholars, but it is also written in a jargon-free language that will speak to that wider audience of readers who enjoy Oscar Wilde.
Transparencies of Desire
The "Conclusion" to The Renaissance advises the responsive critic to consider carefully "the various forms of intellectual activity which together make up the culture of an age." Transparencies of Desire brings together twenty-one varied, contentious, informative essays that confirm Pater's ongoing power to captivate and challenge readers. The interdisciplinary breadth of the collection demonstrates that the critical culture of Pater studies is always multifaceted--inviting diverse theoretical perspectives yet also demanding that any paradigm of analysis (feminist, new historicist, aesthetic, queer theory, formalist, biographical, Foucauldian) be tested and redefined. Scholars from five different countries reconsider Pater's career and canon, the reception of his works, the intersections of genre, gender, and aesthetics, and the implications of Pater's writings--in aesthetics, fiction, philosophy, archaeology, art history--for contemporary cultural studies.