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A Practical Guide to European Versification Systems
Students of English literature now rarely receive instruction in versification (theory or practice) at either the undergraduate or the graduate level. The Long and the Short of It is a clear, straightforward account of versification that also functions as an argument for a renewed attention to the formal qualities of verse and for a renewed awareness of the forms and traditions that have shaped the way we think about English verse. After an introduction and discussion of basic principles, Joseph A. Dane devotes a chapter to quantitative verse (Latin), syllabic or isosyllabic verse (French), and accentual verse (Old English/Germanic). In addition to basic versification systems, the book includes a chapter on musical forms, since verse was originally sung. Most serious studies of these systems in English have been designed for language students, and are not accessible to students of English literature or general readers. This book will enable the reader to scan verse in all three systems, and it will also provide a framework within which students can understand points of contention about particular verse forms. The guide includes a chapter addressed to teachers of English, an appendix with examples of verse types, and a glossary of commonly used terms.
Comparative Perspectives on Cuba's Transition
In Looking Forward, Marifeli Perez-Stable and her colleagues imagine Cuba's future after the “poof moment”—Jorge I. Domínguez's vivid phrase—when the current regime will no longer exist. Written in an accessible style that will appeal to all interested readers, this volume does not try to predict how and when the Castro regime will end, but instead considers the possible consequences of change. Each chapter—prepared by an expert in the field—takes up a basic issue: politics, the military, the legal system, civil society, gender, race, economic transition strategies, social policy and social welfare, corruption, the diaspora, memory, ideology and culture, and U.S.-Cuba relations. The author of each chapter considers three questions: How have other new democracies handled the basic issue in question? How might Cuba’s unique conditions affect this area in transition? What are the likely outcomes and alternatives for a Cuba in transition? Designed with students, policy-makers, and journalists in mind, this lively and accessible volume is an essential resource.
In The Making and Unmaking of the English Catholic Intellectual Community, 1910–1950, James R. Lothian examines the engagement of interwar Catholic writers and artists both with modernity in general and with the political and economic upheavals of the times in England and continental Europe. The book describes a close-knit community of Catholic intellectuals that coalesced in the aftermath of the Great War and was inspired by Hilaire Belloc's ideology. Among the more than two dozen figures considered in this volume are G. K. Chesterton, novelist Evelyn Waugh, poet and painter David Jones, sculptor Eric Gill, historian Christopher Dawson, and publishers Frank Sheed and Maisie Ward. For Catholic intellectuals who embraced Bellocianism, the response to contemporary politics was a potent combination of hostility toward parliamentary democracy, capitalism, and so-called “Protestant” Whig history. Belloc and his friends asserted a set of political, economic, and historiographical alternatives—favoring monarchy and Distributism, a social and economic system modeled on what Belloc took to be the ideals of medieval feudalism. Lothian explores the community's development in the 1920s and 1930s, and its dissolution in the 1940s, in the aftermath of World War II. Frank Sheed and Maisie Ward, joined by Tom Burns and Christopher Dawson, promoted an aesthetic and philosophical vision very much at odds with Belloc’s political one. Weakened by internal disagreement, the community became fragmented and finally dissolved.
Transnational Faith and Transformation
Maryknoll Catholic missionaries from the United States settled in Peru in 1943 believing they could save a “backward” Catholic Church from poverty, a scarcity of clergy, and the threat of communism. Instead, the missionaries found themselves transformed: within twenty-five years, they had become vocal critics of United States foreign policy and key supporters of liberation theology, the preferential option for the poor, and intercultural Catholicism. In The Maryknoll Catholic Mission in Peru, 1943-1989, Susan Fitzpatrick-Behrens explains this transformation and Maryknoll’s influence in Peru and the United States by placing it in the context of a transnational encounter among Catholics with shared faith but distinct practices and beliefs. Peru received among the greatest number of foreign Catholic missionaries who settled in Latin America during the Cold War. It was at the heart of liberation theology and progressive Catholicism, the center of a radical reformist experiment initiated by a progressive military dictatorship, and the site of a devastating civil war promoted by the Maoist Shining Path. Maryknoll participated in all these developments, making Peru a perfect site for understanding Catholic missions, the role of religion in the modern world, and relations between Latin America and the United States.
English Literary Images of Mary Magdalene, 1550-1700
Patricia Badir’s The Maudlin Impression investigates the figure of Mary Magdalene in post-medieval English religious writings and visual representations. Badir argues that the medieval Magdalene story was not discarded as part of Reformation iconoclasm, but was enthusiastically embraced by English writers and artists and retold in a wide array of genres. This rich study bridges the historical division between medieval and early modern culture by showing the ways in which Protestant writers, as well as Catholics, used the medieval stories, art, and symbolism related to the biblical Magdalene as resources for thinking about the role of the affective and erotic in Christian devotion. Their literary and artistic glosses protected a range of religious devotional practices and lent embodied, tangible form to the God of the Reformation. They employed the Magdalene figure to articulate religious experience by means of a poetics that could avoid controversial questions of religious art while exploring the potency and appeal of the beautiful. The Maudlin Impression is a literary history of imitation and invention. It participates in the “religious turn” in early modern studies by demonstrating the resilience of a single topos across time and across changing Christian beliefs.
The "I" of the Text
In Medieval Autographies, A. C. Spearing develops a new engagement of narrative theory with medieval English first-person writing, focusing on the roles and functions of the “I” as a shifting textual phenomenon, not to be defined either as autobiographical or as the label of a fictional speaker or narrator. Spearing identifies and explores a previously unrecognized category of medieval English poetry, calling it "autography.” He describes this form as emerging in the mid-fourteenth century and consisting of extended nonlyrical writings in the first person, embracing prologues, authorial interventions in and commentaries on third-person narratives, and descendants of the dit, a genre of French medieval poetry. He argues that autography arose as a means of liberation from the requirement to tell stories with preordained conclusions and as a way of achieving a closer relation to lived experience, with all its unpredictability and inconsistencies. Autographies, he claims, are marked by a cluster of characteristics including a correspondence to the texture of life as it is experienced, a montage-like unpredictability of structure, and a concern with writing and textuality. Beginning with what may be the earliest extended first-person narrative in Middle English, Winner and Waster, the book examines instances of the dit as discussed by French scholars, analyzes Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s Prologue as a textual performance, and devotes separate chapters to detailed readings of Hoccleve’s Regement of Princes prologue, his Complaint and Dialogue, and the witty first-person elements in Osbern Bokenham’s legends of saints. An afterword suggests possible further applications of the concept of autography, including discussion of the intermittent autographic commentaries on the narrative in Troilus and Criseyde and Capgrave’s Life of Saint Katherine.
Nation, Religion, and Family in the Prussian East, 1772-1880
Mennonite German Soldiers traces the efforts of a small, pacifist, Christian religious minority in eastern Prussia—the Mennonite communities of the Vistula River basin—to preserve their exemption from military service, which was based on their religious confession of faith. Conscription was mandatory for nearly all male Prussian citizens, and the willingness to fight and die for country was essential to the ideals of a developing German national identity. In this engaging historical narrative, Mark Jantzen describes the policies of the Prussian federal and regional governments toward the Mennonites over a hundred-year period and the legal, economic, and social pressures brought to bear on the Mennonites to conform. Mennonite leaders defended the exemptions of their communities’ sons through a long history of petitions and legal pleas, and sought alternative ways, such as charitable donations, to support the state and prove their loyalty. Faced with increasingly punitive legal and financial restrictions, as well as widespread social disapproval, many Mennonites ultimately emigrated, and many others chose to join the German nation at the cost of their religious tradition. Jantzen tells the history of the Mennonite experience in Prussian territories against the backdrop of larger themes of Prussian state-building and the growth of German nationalism. The Mennonites, who lived on the margins of German society, were also active agents in the long struggle of the state to integrate them. The public debates over their place in Prussian society shed light on a multi-confessional German past and on the dissemination of nationalist values.
Depicting Evil in the Modern Theatre
Messiahs and Machiavellians is an innovative exploration of “modern evil” in works of early- and late-modern theatre, raising issues about ethics, politics, religion, and aesthetics that speak to our present condition. Paul Corey examines how theatre—which expressed a key political dynamic both in the Renaissance and the twentieth century—lays open the impulses that instigated modernity and, ultimately, unparalleled levels of violence and destruction. Starting with Albert Camus’ Caligula and Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, then turning to Machiavelli’s Mandragola and Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, Corey traces the emergence of two dominant, intertwining features of modern evil: an unrestrained pursuit of power and the utopian desire for perfection. Corey’s imaginative and convincing readings of these plays, based on detailed textual analysis, move beyond the accounts usually offered by literary critics. Drawing on political, theological, and philosophical sources—a combination as fertile as it is unusual—Corey’s methodology allows him to make keen and subtle arguments about the eschatological nature of modern politics.
Strategies for Equitable and Integrated Development
Despite rapid metropolitanization throughout the Americas and widespread interest in “megacities,” few studies have examined the new governance structures needed to address issues of citizen representation and participation and the public service challenges of population expansion and increasing urban inequalities. To fill that void, Peter K. Spink, Peter M. Ward, Robert H. Wilson, and the other contributors to this volume provide original research and analysis of the principal metropolitan areas in six federalist countries of the Americas—Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, the United States, and Venezuela. They find that a common feature of metropolitan expansion is the lack of a unified governmental structure. Using a comparative research framework, they examine the forms, functions, legitimacy, and performance of emerging governmental structures. Their cross-national study shows that existing institutional structures and political systems impede collaboration among governments in metropolitan areas. Given both the relatively few successful models at the local level and the disinterest on the part of federal governments, regional governments—states and provinces—seem to provide the most pragmatic bases for constructing metropolitan governments that are capable of efficiently delivering services. Because there is no direct path to achieve such new structures, the authors urge reform at the state and local levels to address the need to work out the politics and management structures that will function best within their own politics.
The Penitential Psalms in Late Medieval and Early Modern England
In Miserere Mei, Clare Costley King'oo examines the critical importance of the Penitential Psalms in England between the end of the fourteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth century. During this period, the Penitential Psalms inspired an enormous amount of creative and intellectual work: in addition to being copied and illustrated in Books of Hours and other prayer books, they were expounded in commentaries, imitated in vernacular translations and paraphrases, rendered into lyric poetry, and even modified for singing. Miserere Mei explores these numerous transformations in materiality and genre. Combining the resources of close literary analysis with those of the history of the book, it reveals not only that the Penitential Psalms lay at the heart of Reformation-age debates over the nature of repentance, but also, and more significantly, that they constituted a site of theological, political, artistic, and poetic engagementacross the many polarities that are often said to separate late medieval from early modern culture.