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On the Trail of New England's Vampires
For nineteenth-century New Englanders, "vampires" lurked behind tuberculosis. To try to rid their houses and communities from the scourge of the wasting disease, families sometimes relied on folk practices, including exhuming and consuming the bodies of the deceased. Author and folklorist Michael E. Bell spent twenty years pursuing stories of the vampire in New England. While writers like H. P. Lovecraft, Henry David Thoreau, and Amy Lowell drew on portions of these stories in their writings, Bell brings the actual practices to light for the first time. He shows that the belief in vampires was widespread, and, for some families, lasted well into the twentieth century. With humor, insight, and sympathy, he uncovers story upon story of dying men, women, and children who believed they were food for the dead. This Wesleyan paperback edition includes an extensive preface by the author unveiling some of the new cases he's learned about since Food for the Dead was first published in 2001.
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.
An Anthology of Connecticut Poetry Since 1776
Connecticut may be a small state, but it is large indeed in its contribution to the nation's literature. Garnet Poems features forty-two poets whose work has a strong connection to Connecticut. The first major anthology of Connecticut poetry to appear since the mid-nineteenth century, it includes the work of such notable poets as Wallace Stevens, Lydia Sigourney, Mark Van Doren, Richard Wilbur,
Susan Howe, and Elizabeth Alexander. Distinguished writer-scholar Dennis Barone has supplemented the poems with an editor's preface, notes that illuminate the poet's (or poem's) relation to the state, and informative biographies. The book also features a foreword by Dick Allen, the current Connecticut state poet laureate.
The National Tradition of Historical Thought from Herder to the Present
This is the first comprehensive critical examination in any language of the German national tradition of historiography. It analyzes the basic theoretical assumptions of the German historians of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and relates these assumptions to political thought and action.
The German national tradition of historiography had its beginnings in the reaction against the Enlightenment and the French Revolution of 1789. This historiography rejected the rationalistic theory of natural law as universally valid and held that all human values must be understood within the context of the historical flux. But it maintained at the same time the Lutheran doctrine that existing political institutions had a rational basis in the will of God, though only a few of these historians were unqualified conservatives. Most argued for liberal institutions within the authoritarian state, but considered that constitutional liberties had to be subordinated to foreign policy - a subordination that was to have tragic results.
Mr. Iggers first defines Historismus or historicism and analyzes its origins. Then he traces the transformation of German historical thought from Herder's cosmopolitan culture-oriented nationalism to exclusive state-centered nationalism of the War of Liberation and of national unification. He considers the development of historicism in the writings of such thinkers as von Humboldt, Ranke, Dilthey, Max Weber, Troeltsch, and Meinecke; and he discusses the radicalization and ultimate disintegration of the historicist position, showing how its inadequacies contributed to the political debacle of the Weimar Republic and the rise of National Socialism. No one who wants to fully understand the political development of national Germany can neglect this study.
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.
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.
Ecology and Science Fiction
Contemporary visions of the future have been shaped by hopes and fears about the effects of human technology and global capitalism on the natural world. In an era of climate change, mass extinction, and oil shortage, such visions have become increasingly catastrophic, even apocalyptic. Exploring the close relationship between science fiction, ecology, and environmentalism, the essays in Green Planets consider how science fiction writers have been working through this crisis. Beginning with H. G. Wells and passing through major twentieth-century writers like Ursula K. Le Guin, Stanislaw Lem, and Thomas Disch to contemporary authors like Margaret Atwood, China Miéville, and Paolo Bacigalupi—as well as recent blockbuster films like Avatar and District 9—the essays in Green Planets consider the important place for science fiction in a culture that now seems to have a very uncertain future. The book includes an extended interview with Kim Stanley Robinson and an annotated list for further exploration of “ecological SF” and related works of fiction, nonfiction, films, television, comics, children’s cartoons, anime, video games, music, and more.
Contributors include Christina Alt, Brent Bellamy, Sabine Höhler, Adeline Johns-Putra, Melody Jue, Rob Latham, Andrew Milner, Timothy Morton, Eric C. Otto, Michael Page, Christopher Palmer, Gib Prettyman, Elzette Steenkamp, Imre Szeman.