Literary Conjugations

Edited by Richard T. Gray

Published by: University of Washington Press


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Literary Conjugations


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Febris Erotica

Lovesickness in the Russian Literary Imagination

by Valeria Sobol

The destructive power of obsessive love was a defining subject of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Russian literature. In Febris Erotica, Sobol argues that Russian writers were deeply preoccupied with the nature of romantic relationships and were persistent in their use of lovesickness not simply as a traditional theme but as a way to address pressing philosophical, ethical, and ideological concerns through a recognizable literary trope. Sobol examines stereotypes about the damaging effects of romantic love and offers a short history of the topos of lovesickness in Western literature and medicine.

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The Linguistics of Lying And Other Essays

Harald Weinrich

Can language hide thoughts? This question, posed by the German Academy for Language and Literature in 1965 as the topic of its first essay competition, was taken up by the philologist Harald Weinrich, with far-ranging results. The most immediate was his claiming first prize with this volume's title essay, published the following year as Linguistik der Luge. Weinrich's influential essay, now in its sixth printing in Germany, is presented here for the first time in English, with an updated preface by the author and additional essays selected by him.

With wit and clarity, Weinrich brings sophisticated thinking about semantics to bear on the question of how, and how much, language corresponds to thought. He argues that lying is a function not of words but of sentences; it belongs to the semantic aspect of language. His survey of the different ways in which language is untrue forges striking links between linguistic and literary categories on the one hand and ethics and even good manners on the other.

In contrast with scholars of an earlier generation, for whom literary and cultural theory circumscribed the issue of style within a fixed aesthetic framework, Weinrich demonstrates that stylistic analysis is closely linked with analysis in the domains of sociology and anthropology. The essays "Jonah's Sign: On the Very Large and the Very Small in Literature," "Politeness, an Affair of Honor," "Politeness and Sincerity," and "The Style Is the Man Is the Devil" complement "The Linguistics of Lying" in their focus on real and false representations in literature and in life, and notably on the immensely destructive lies, Adolf Hitler's in particular, that marked the politics of the twentieth century.

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The Little Everyman

Stature and Masculinity in Eighteenth-Century English Literature

By Deborah Needleman Armintor

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Mind's World

Imagination and Subjectivity from Descartes to Romanticism

by Alexander M. Schlutz

As the mental faculty that mediates between self and world, mind and body, the senses and the intellect, imagination is indispensable for modern models of subjectivity. From René Descartes's Meditations to the aesthetic and philosophical systems of the Romantic period, to think about the subject necessarily means to address the problem of imagination. In close readings of Descartes, Kant, Fichte, Hardenberg (Novalis) and Coleridge, and with a sustained return to the origins of the discourse about imagination in Greek antiquity, Alexander Schlutz demonstrates that neither the unity of the subject itself, nor the unity of the philosophical systems that are based on it, can be conceptualized without recourse to imagination. Yet, philosophers like Descartes and Kant must deny imagination any such foundational role because of its dangerous connection to the body, the senses and the unruly passions, which threatens the desired autonomy of the rational subject. The modern subject is simultaneously dependent upon and constructed in opposition to imagination, and the resulting ambivalence about the faculty is one of the fundamental conditions of modern models of subjectivity.

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Missing the Breast

Gender, Fantasy, And the Body in the German Enlightenment

Simon Richter

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The Tooth that Nibbles at the Soul

Essays on Music and Poetry

by Marshall Brown

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The Work of Print

Authorship and the English Text Trades, 1660–1760

Lisa M. Maruca

Traces a shift in the very definition of literature, from one that encompasses the material conditions of the production and distribution of books to the more familiar emphasis on the solitary author's ownership of an abstract text. Drawing on contemporary accounts of printers, booksellers, publishers, and distributors, the author examines attitudes about the creative process and approaches to the commodification of writing.


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