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From the acclaimed author of Winter (Mirror) and Rehearsal in Black, Fables of Representation is a powerful collection of essays on the state of contemporary poetry, free from the stultifying theoretical jargon of recent literary history. With its title essay, "Fables of Representation," one of the most cogent studies ever written of the New York School of poets (a group that includes the influential poet John Ashbery), this book is required reading for anyone who seeks to understand the poetry and culture of the postmodern period. Author Paul Hoover's wide-ranging subjects include African-American interdisciplinary studies; the position of poetry in the electronic age; the notion of doubleness in the work of Harryette Mullen and others; the lyricism of the New York School poets; and the role of reality in American poetry. Hoover also introduces two provocative essays sure to generate attention and discussion: "The Postmodern Era: A Final Exam" and "The New Millennium: Fifty Statements on Literature and Culture." Paul Hoover is the editor of the anthology Postmodern American Poetry and author of nine poetry collections, including Totem and Shadow: New and Selected Poems and Viridian. His poetry has appeared in American Poetry Review, The New Republic, and The Paris Review, among others. He is Poet-in-Residence at Columbia College, Chicago.
Ainu Identity, Gender, and Settler Colonialism in Japan
In present-day Japan Ainu women create spaces of cultural vitalization in which they can move between “being Ainu” through their natal and affinal relationships and actively “becoming Ainu” through their craftwork. They craft these spaces despite the specter of loss that haunts the efforts of former colonial subjects, like Ainu, to reconnect with their pasts. The author synthesizes ethnographic field research, museum and archival research, and participation in cultural-revival and rights-based organizing to show how women craft Ainu and indigenous identities through clothwork and how they also fashion lived connections to ancestral values and lifestyles. She examines the connections between the transnational dialogue on global indigeneity and multiculturalism, material culture, and the social construction of gender and ethnicity in Japanese society, and she proposes new directions for the study of settler colonialism and indigenous mobilization in other Asian and Pacific nations.
Water, Modernity, and the Urban Imagination
The Sewing Machine in Modern Japan
Since its early days of mass production in the 1850s, the sewing machine has been intricately connected with the global development of capitalism. Andrew Gordon traces the machine’s remarkable journey into and throughout Japan, where it not only transformed manners of dress, but also helped change patterns of daily life, class structure, and the role of women. As he explores the selling, buying, and use of the sewing machine in the early to mid-twentieth century, Gordon finds that its history is a lens through which we can examine the modern transformation of daily life in Japan. Both as a tool of production and as an object of consumer desire, the sewing machine is entwined with the emergence and ascendance of the middle class, of the female consumer, and of the professional home manager as defining elements of Japanese modernity.
English Writers on the French Revolution
Barton Friedman demonstrates the ways in which English men of letters in the nineteenth century attempted to grasp the dynamics of history and to fashion order, however fragile, out of its apparent chaos. The authors he discusses--Blake, Scott, Hazlitt, Carlyle, Dickens, and Hardy--found in the French Revolution an event more compelling as a paradigm of history than their own "Glorious Revolution." To them the French Revolution seemed universally significant--a microcosm, in short. For these writers maintaining the distinction between "history" and "fiction" was less important than making sense of epochal historical events in symbolic terms. Their works on the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars occupy the boundary between history and fiction, and Fabricating History advances the current lively discussion of that boundary.
At the same time, this work explores questions about narrative strategies, as they are shaped by, or shape, events. Narratives incorporate the ideological and metaphysical preconceptions that the authors bring with them to their writing. "This is not to argue," Professor Friedman says, "that historical narratives are only about the mind manufacturing them or, more narrowly yet, about themselves as mere linguistic constructs. They illumine both the time and place they seek to re-create and, if by indirection, the time and place of the mind thinking them into being."
Originally published in 1988.
The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
Politics and Administration in the Biopolitical State
Fraudulence and Antebellum Print Culture
Literary histories typically celebrate the antebellum period as marking the triumphant emergence of American literature. But the period's readers and writers tell a different story: they derided literature as a fraud, an imposture, and a humbug, and they likened it to inflated currency, land bubbles, and quack medicine.
Excavating a rich archive of magazine fiction, verse satires, comic almanacs, false slave narratives, minstrel song sheets, and early literary criticism, and revisiting such familiar figures as Edgar Allan Poe, Davy Crockett, Fanny Fern, and Herman Melville, Lara Langer Cohen uncovers the controversies over literary fraudulence that plagued these years and uses them to offer an ambitious rethinking of the antebellum print explosion. She traces the checkered fortunes of American literature from the rise of literary nationalism, which was beset by accusations of puffery, to the conversion of fraudulence from a national dilemma into a sorting mechanism that produced new racial, regional, and gender identities. Yet she also shows that even as fraudulence became a sign of marginality, some authors managed to turn their dubious reputations to account, making a virtue of their counterfeit status. This forgotten history, Cohen argues, presents a dramatically altered picture of American literature's role in antebellum culture, one in which its authority is far from assured, and its failures matter as much as its achievements.
In Fabulae, Joy Katz interrogates the physical world, constructing a sensual and striking autobiography. She turns to the familiarity and strangeness of the female body, its surfaces and inner workings, often, although her subjects range from Thomas Jefferson to an Adam and Eve plagued with obsessive-compulsive disorder to the streets of New York’s diamond district. The poems, by turns funny and philosophical, point to how we suffer from desire: the danger, she writes, is that we might love the world “like heaven and be lost.” But they come back to delight in a flawed world especially the palpable beauty of words, and even the erotic shapes of the letterforms that make them up.
Romance in England after the Reformation
Romances were among the most popular books in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries among both Protestant and Catholic readers. Modeled after Catholic narratives, particularly the lives of saints, these works emphasized the supernatural and the marvelous, themes commonly associated with Catholicism. In this book, Tiffany Jo Werth investigates how post-Reformation English authors sought to discipline romance, appropriating its popularity while distilling its alleged Catholic taint. Charged with bewitching readers, especially women, into lust and heresy, romances sold briskly even as preachers and educators denounced them as papist. Protestant reformers, as part of their broader indictment of Catholicism, sought to redirect certain elements of the Christian tradition, including this notorious literary genre. Werth argues that through the writing and circulation of romances, Protestants repurposed their supernatural and otherwordly motifs in order to “fashion,” as Edmund Spenser writes, godly "vertuous" readers. Through careful examinations of the period’s most renowned romances—Sir Philip Sidney’s The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia, Spenser’s The Faerie Queen, William Shakespeare’s Pericles, and Lady Mary Wroth’s Urania—Werth illustrates how post-Reformation writers struggled to transform the literary genre. As a result, the romance, long regarded as an archetypal form closely allied with generalized Christian motifs, emerged as a result of the struggle as a central tenet of the religious controversies that divided Renaissance England.