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The Tale of Tales, made up of forty-nine fairy tales within a fiftieth frame story, contains the earliest versions of celebrated stories like Rapunzel, All-Fur, Hansel and Gretel, The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. The tales are bawdy and irreverent but also tender and whimsical, acute in psychological characterization and encyclopedic in description. They are also evocative of marvelous worlds of fairy-tale unreality as well as of the everyday rituals of life in seventeenth-century Naples. Yet because the original is written in the nonstandard Neopolitan dialect of Italian—and was last translated fully into English in 1932—this important piece of Baroque literature has long been inaccessible to both the general public and most fairy-tale scholars. Giambattista Basile’s “The Tale of Tales, or Entertainment for Little Ones” is a modern translation that preserves the distinctive character of Basile’s original. Working directly from the original Neopolitan version, translator Nancy L. Canepa takes pains to maintain the idiosyncratic tone of The Tale of Tales as well as the work’s unpredictable structure. This edition keeps the repetition, experimental syntax, and inventive metaphors of the original version intact, bringing Basile’s words directly to twenty-first-century readers for the first time. This volume is also fully annotated, so as to elucidate any unfamiliar cultural references alongside the text. Giambattista Basile’s “The Tale of Tales, or Entertainment for Little Ones” is also lushly illustrated and includes a foreword, an introduction, an illustrator’s note, and a complete bibliography. The publication of The Tale of Tales marked not only a culmination of the interest in the popular culture and folk traditions of the Renaissance period but also the beginning of the era of the artful and sophisticated “authored” fairy tale that inspired and influenced later writers like Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm. Giambattista Basile’s “The Tale of Tales, or Entertainment for Little Ones” offers an excellent point of departure for reflection about what constitutes Italian culture, as well as for discussion of the relevance that forms of early modern culture like fairy tales still hold for us today. This volume is vital reading for fairy-tale scholars and anyone interested in cultural history.
Gilligan’s Island, created by Sherwood Schwartz, aired for three seasons between 1964 and 1967 on the CBS network. While the series was typically dismissed for its episodic inanity, author Walter Metz argues that this characteristic is precisely the source of the show’s innovation as it produces a vibrant critique of dominant American values. In this analysis of Gilligan’s Island, Metz reveals the inner workings of American television and society through an intensive look at the popular sitcom. In twenty-one short sections, Metz investigates many aspects of Gilligan’s Island: the narrative, the characters, the plot, and the performativity. Through multiple episode analyses and character examinations, Metz shows how the castaways’ actions on the island held deeper meaning and illustrated American social customs. The book also looks at several different themes presented in the show and connects them to many literary traditions, including Shakespeare (The Tempest and Hamlet), existential theatre (Waiting for Godot), and classic American literature (Moby-Dick). Through this discussion, Metz examines the literacy of Gilligan’s Island and the way it knowingly returns to certain tropes from high literature, masking their expression in a distinctly populist American idiom. Metz also addresses the legacy of Gilligan’s Island and its profound effect on American television, as evidenced by popular contemporary shows like Survivor and Lost. At one point in time, Gilligan’s Island was the most syndicated show around the world, but few scholarly articles exist about it. Fans of the show and those interested in television history and popular culture will enjoy this playful and informative study that fills a gap in television history.
In the three decades between 1920 and 1950, the Detroit Tigers won four American League pennants, the first world championship in team history in 1935, and a second world crown ten years later. Star players of this era—including Ty Cobb, Harry Heilmann, Charlie Gehringer, Hank Greenberg, Mickey Cochrane, George Kell, and Hal Newhouser—represent the majority of Tigers players inducted into the Hall of Fame. Sports writers followed the team feverishly, and fans packed Navin Field (later Briggs Stadium) to cheer on the high-flying Tigers, with the first record season attendance of one million recorded in 1924 and surpassed eight more times before 1950. In The Glory Years of the Detroit Tigers: 1920–1950, author William M. Anderson combines historical narrative and photographs of these years to argue that these years were the greatest in the history of the franchise. Anderson presents over 350 unique and lively images, mostly culled from the remarkable Detroit News archive, that showcase players’ personalities as well as their exploits on the field. For their meticulous coverage and colorful style, Anderson consults Tigers reporting from the three daily Detroit newspapers of the era (the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, and Detroit Times) and the Sporting News, which was known then as the “Baseball Bible.” Some especially compelling columns are reproduced intact to give readers a feel for the exciting and careful reporting of these years. Anderson combines historical text with photos in six topical chapters: “Spring Training: When Dreams are Entertained,” “Franchise Stars,” “The Supporting Cast,” “Moments of Glory and Notable Games,” “The War Years,” and “The Old Ballpark: Where Legends and Memories Were Made.” Anderson presents sketches of many fine players who have been overlooked in other histories and visits characters who often acted in strange ways: Dizzy Trout, Gee Walker, Elwood “Boots” “The Baron” Poffenbeger, and Louis “Bobo” “Buck” Newsom. Tigers fans and anyone interested in local sports culture will enjoy this comprehensive and compelling look into the glory years of Tigers history.
From Prague to Post-Holocaust Fiction
First mentioned in the Book of Psalms in the Hebrew Bible, the golem is a character in an astonishing number of post-Holocaust Jewish-American novels and has served as inspiration for such varied figures as Mary Shelley’s monster in her novel Frankenstein, a frightening character in the television series The X-Files, and comic book figures such as Superman and the Hulk. In The Golem Redux: From Prague to Post-Holocaust Fiction, author Elizabeth R. Baer introduces readers to these varied representations of the golem and traces the history of the golem legend across modern pre- and post-Holocaust culture. In five chapters, The Golem Redux examines the different purposes for which the golem has been used in literature and what makes the golem the ultimate text and intertext for modern Jewish writers. Baer begins by introducing several early manifestations of the golem legend, including texts from the third and fourth centuries and from the medieval period; Prague’s golem legend, which is attributed to the Maharal, Rabbi Judah Loew; the history of the Josefov, the Jewish ghetto in Prague, the site of the golem legend; and versions of the legend by Yudl Rosenberg and Chayim Bloch, which informed and influenced modern intertexts. In the chapters that follow, Baer traces the golem first in pre-Holocaust Austrian and German literature and film and later in post-Holocaust American literature and popular culture, arguing that the golem has been deployed very differently in these two contexts. Where prewar German and Austrian contexts used the golem as a signifier of Jewish otherness to underscore growing anti-Semitic cultural feelings, post-Holocaust American texts use the golem to depict the historical tragedy of the Holocaust and to imagine alternatives to it. In this section, Baer explores traditional retellings by Isaac Bashevis Singer and Elie Wiesel, the considerable legacy of the golem in comics, Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, and, finally, “Golems to the Rescue” in twentieth- and twenty-first-century works of film and literature, including those by Cynthia Ozick, Thane Rosenbaum, and Daniel Handler. By placing the Holocaust at the center of her discussion, Baer illustrates how the golem works as a self-conscious intertextual character who affirms the value of imagination and story in Jewish tradition. Students and teachers of Jewish literature and cultural history, film studies, and graphic novels will appreciate Baer’s pioneering and thought-provoking volume.
For the first time, a historian and seasoned mariner looks beyond the specific circumstances of individual shipwrecks in an effort to reach a clearer understanding of the economic, political, and psychological factors that have influenced the 25,000 wrecks on the Great Lakes over the past 300 years. Looking at the entire tragic history of shipwrecks on North America's expansive inland seas, from the 1679 loss of the Griffon to the mysterious sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975, Mark L. Thompson concludes that a wreck is not an isolated event. In Graveyard of the Lakes, Thompson suggests that most of the accidents and deaths on the lakes have been the result of human error, ranging from simple mistakes to gross incompetence. In addition to his compelling analysis of the causes of shipwrecks, Thompson includes factual accounts of more than one hundred wrecks. Graveyard of the Lakes will forever change the reader's perspective on shipwrecks.
A New Look at America's Freshwater Coast
Great Lakes Journey is a follow-up to William Ashworth's earlier book The Late, Great Lakes, published in 1986. Fifteen years after his first trip, Ashworth journeys to many of the same places and talks to many of the same people to examine the changes that have taken place along the Great Lakes since the 1980s. Through personal observation, research, and numerous interviews with scientists, activists, and government agencies, Ashworth creates a detailed picture of the status of the Great Lakes at the end of the twentieth century. Among the most prominent changes he finds are the arrival of the zebra mussel and other exotic species, the rise and fall of the RAP process for pollution cleanup, a growing public mistrust of government action, a substantial loss of habitat and biodiversity, and an explosion of urban sprawl along the shores of the Lakes. Great Lakes Journey is a welcome update on the latest issues affecting the Great Lakes region.
Some Fascinating Gifts to Henry Ford and His Museum
Henry's Attic provides fascinating documentation of some of the one million artifacts in the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. The items represent both Henry Ford's passion for collecting Americana and the astonishing array of gifts—some of great historic value and others of a distinctly homegrown variety—that account for almost half of the museum's collections. It was the quantity of these gifts and the unusual and even unique nature of many of them that provided the inspiration for this book. Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, which Ford established in Dearborn, Michigan in the late 1920s, was intended to recreate the slow-paced, rural character of America before the advent of the automobile. The purchases he made and the gifts he was given reflect his desire to document and preserve the lifeways of common people and to emphasize middle-class rural history, as represented by the tools of agriculture, industry, and transportation.