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Prehistoric Fiction from Charles Darwin to Jean M. Auel
The genre of prehistoric fiction contains a surprisingly large and diverse group of fictional works by American, British, and French writers from the late nineteenth century to the present that describe prehistoric humans. Nicholas Ruddick explains why prehistoric fiction could not come into being until after the acceptance of Charles Darwin's theories, and argues that many early prehistoric fiction works are still worth reading even though the science upon which they are based is now outdated. Exploring the history and evolution of the genre, Ruddick shows how prehistoric fiction can offer fascinating insights into the possible origins of human nature, sexuality, racial distinctions, language, religion, and art. The book includes discussions of well-known prehistoric fiction by H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, J.-H. Rosny Aine, Jack London, William Golding, Arthur C. Clarke, and Jean M. Auel and reminds us of some unjustly forgotten landmarks of prehistoric fiction. It also briefly covers such topics as the recent boom in prehistoric romance, notable prehistoric fiction for children and young adults, and the most entertaining movies featuring prehistoric humans. The book includes illustrations that trace the changing popular images of cave men and women over the past 150 years.
Michael Collier’s poems are like a living film of the image of one’s past. In rich detail, they bring to life the geography of childhood—commonplace events that have a unique texture of one’s own—a dream of flying, a secret obsession, a school pageant, a jam session in the garage. The memories are folded into the heart, but with an inevitable sense of loss, a sense of capturing “the moment held in the air, the illusion of something whole, something true.” Water and light are constant images in this book, apt conduits to the past. Memories are refracted “in the faces of old regrets.” But they are not wholly lost for they inform the present; they continue “beating loud.” The Folded Heart is a lyrical compression of language, precise, intensely felt.
In the title poem "Fortress", the medieval walled castle is the stronghold in which the family dwells. There are stories here of people in the "fortresses" of the self, the city, or the natural world.
All these poems have in common a lyrical approach to solitude ("the only protection / against death/ was to love solitude") and an ironical vision for which love of beauty and the longing for the world are the cure. Hillman combines the imagistic with narrative; in her poems lyricism wars with irony; the solitary noticing consciousness is in control - because the observed world seems beautiful to the observer, great joy is possible despite the sense of difficulty or sorrow.
The language here is rich and elegant. Truth is relentlessly addressed.
Leslie Scalapino is widely regarded as one of the best avant-garde writers in America today. This extraordinary new book is essay-fiction-poetry, an experiment in form, "a serial novel for publication in the newspaper" that collapses the distinction between documentary and fiction. Loosely set in Los Angeles, the book scrutinizes our image-making, producing extreme and vivid images-hyena, Muscle Beach in Venice, the Supreme Court, subway rides-in order for them to be real. Countering contemporary trends toward interiority, Scalapino's work constitutes a unique effort to "be" objectively in the world. The writing is an action, a dynamic push to make intimacy in the public realm. She does not distinguish between poetry and "real events": her writing is analogous to Buddhist notions of dreaming one is a butterfly, and becoming aware that actually being the butterfly is as real as dreaming it.
A British Architect in America, 1847-1860
Gervase Wheeler was an English-born architect who designed such important American works as the Henry Boody House in Brunswick, Maine; the Patrick Barry House in Rochester, New York; and the chapels at Bowdoin and Williams colleges. But he was perhaps best known as the author of two influential architecture books, Rural Homes (1851) and Homes for the People (1855). Yet Wheeler has remained a little known, enigmatic figure. Renee Tribert and James F. O'Gorman's study sheds new light on the course of Wheeler's career in the states, and brings crucial issues to the fore--the international movement of ideas, the development of the American architectural profession, the influence of architectural publications on popular taste, and social history as expressed in the changing nature of the American house. Wheeler's career is traced chronologically and geographically and the book is lavishly illustrated with over fifty images, including building plans and historical photographs.
An outstanding examination of the Crises that lead to the colonial rebellions of 1689.
In her wry and riveting new collection, Marianne Boruch discovers things often taken for granted and holds them up to deceptively casual light, questioning them both mercilessly and mercifully. Employing a masterly range of tone and form, Boruch makes a sometimes strange but always revealing investigation of world and self, history and memory, resistance and release. Here a woman levitates behind a door as her daughter badly bangs out Mozart. Here God is caught before the moment of creation, before knowledge, before "the invention/ of the question too, the way all/ at heart are rhetorical, each leaf/ suddenly wedded to its shade." It's here raucous boys on their bikes are told--through telepathy--don't go to this war. Here, that a Dutch still life is returned to the small chaos of its making. And Eve, in "stained fascination," stares down the snake of the lost garden. The lyric impulse in these deeply interior poems stops time, even as the world, indifferent to its mystery, keeps happening.
Praise for Marianne Boruch:
"Her poems are complex rather than simple rooms ... they bring the world's strangeness, and their own, home to whatever reader is open to old mysteries, both in dreams and in the waking life they illuminate."--Philip Booth, The Georgia Review
"Marianne Boruch's (work) has the wonderful, commanding power of true attention: She sees and considers with intensity. Her poems often give fresh examples of how rare and thrilling it can be to notice."--Robert Pinsky, Book World, The Washington Post
"Every detail of image and syntax shines with multiplicity."--Donald Revell, The Ohio Review
The Rio Grande in North American History. Vol. 1, Indians and Spain. Vol. 2, Mexico and the United States. 2 vols. in one
Winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and Bancroft Prize for History, Great River was hailed as a literary masterpiece and enduring classic when it first appeared in 1954. It is an epic history of four civilizations--Native American, Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo-American--that people the Southwest through ten centuries. With the skill of a novelist, the veracity of a scholar, and the love of a long-time resident, Paul Horgan describes the Rio Grande, its role in human history, and the overlapping cultures that have grown up alongside it or entered into conflict over the land it traverses. Now in its fourth revised edition, Great River remains a monumental part of American historical writing.
The Half-Inch Himalayas is a stellar collection of early work by the poet Agha Shahid Ali (1949-2001). His most recent volumes of poetry are Rooms Are Never Finished and The Country Without a Post Office. He is also the editor of Ravishing Disunities: Real Ghazals in English.
In Every Variety of Architectural Style
Henry Austin's (1804-1891) works receive consideration in books on nineteenth-century architecture, yet no book has focused scholarly attention on his primary achievements in New Haven, Connecticut, in Portland, Maine, and elsewhere. Austin was most active during the antebellum era, designing exotic buildings that have captured the imaginations of many for decades. James F. O'Gorman deftly documents Austin's work during the 1840s and '50s, the time when Austin was most productive and creative, and for which a wealth of material exists. The book is organized according to various building types: domestic, ecclesiastic, public, and commercial. O'Gorman helps to clarify what buildings should be attributed to the architect and comments on the various styles that went into his eclectic designs. Henry Austin is lavishly illustrated with 132 illustrations, including 32 in full color. Three extensive appendices provide valuable information on Austin's books, drawings, and his office.