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About Cards & Catalogs, 1548-1929
Why the card catalog--a “paper machine” with rearrangeable elements--can be regarded as a precursor of the computer.
Born and educated in Hong Kong, Kit Fan now lives in the UK. He completed a PhD in English at the University of York, and his poems have been widely published in literary magazines such as Poetry Review, Poetry London, and Poetry Wales, and The London Magazine. He won a 2006 Times Stephen Spender Prize for Translation and the 2010 inaugural HKU Poetry Prize.
Growing up Chinese in South Africa
The martial arts novel is one of the most distinctive and widely-read forms of modern Chinese fiction. In Paper Swordsmen, John Christopher Hamm offers the first in-depth English-language study of this fascinating and influential genre, focusing on the work of its undisputed twentieth-century master, Jin Yong. Through close readings of Jin Yong’s recognized masterpieces, Hamm shows how these works combine a rich literary tradition with an extraordinary narrative artistry and an evolving appreciation of the political and cultural aspects of contemporary Chinese experience.
Fiction and Mass Mediacy in the Paper Age
"The Paper Age" is the phrase coined by Thomas Carlyle in 1837 to describe the monetary and literary inflation of the French Revolution—an age of mass-produced "Bank-paper" and "Book-paper." Carlyle's phrase is suggestive because it points to the particular substance—paper—that provides the basis for reflection on the mass media in much popular fiction appearing around the time of his historical essay. Rather than becoming a metaphor, however, paper in some of this fiction seems to display the more complex and elusive character of what Walter Benjamin evocatively calls "the decline of the aura." The critical perspective elaborated by Benjamin serves as the point of departure for the readings of paper proposed in Paperwork.
Kevin McLaughlin argues for a literary-critical approach to the impact of the mass media on literature through a series of detailed interpretations of paper in fiction by Poe, Stevenson, Melville, Dickens, and Hardy. In this fiction, he argues, paper dramatizes the "withdrawal," as Benjamin puts it, of the "here and now" of the traditional work of art into the dispersing or distracting movement of the mass media. Paperwork seeks to challenge traditional concepts of medium and message that continue to inform studies of print culture and the mass media especially in the wake of industrialized production in the early nineteenth century. It breaks new ground in the exploration of the difference between mass culture and literature and will appeal to cultural historians and literary critics alike.
Reading John’s Jewish Apocalypse
What makes the Book of Revelation so hard to understand?
How does the Book of Revelation fit into Judaism and the beginning of
John W. Marshall proposes a radical reinterpretation of the Book of Revelation of John, viewing it as a document of the Jewish diaspora during the Judean War. He contends that categorizing the Book as "Christian" has been an impediment in interpreting the Apocalypse. By suspending that category, solutions to several persistent problems in contemporary exegesis of the Apocalypse are facilitated. The author thus undertakes a rereading of the Book of Revelation that does not merely enumerate elements of a Jewish "background" but understands the Book of Revelation as an integral whole and a thoroughly Jewish text.
Marshall carefully scrutinizes the problems that plague contemporary interpretations of the Book of Revelation, and how the category of "Christian" relates to such problems. He employs the works of Mieke Bal, Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, Jean Franois Lyotard, and Jonathan Z. Smith as theoretical resources. In the second half of his study, he provides detailed descriptions of the social and cultural context of the diaspora during the Judean War, and constructive rereadings of four key text complexes.
The result is a portrait of the Apocalypse of John that envisions the document as deeply invested in the Judaism of its time, pursuing rhetorical objectives that are not defined by the issues that scholars use to differentiate Judaism from Christianity.
Festive Culture in the Early American Republic
Simon P. Newman vividly evokes the celebrations of America's first national holidays in the years between the ratification of the Constitution and the inauguration of Thomas Jefferson. He demonstrates how, by taking part in the festive culture of the streets, ordinary American men and women were able to play a significant role in forging the political culture of the young nation. The creation of many of the patriotic holidays we still celebrate coincided with the emergence of the first two-party system. With the political songs they sang, the liberty poles they raised, and the partisan badges they wore, Americans of many walks of life helped shape a new national politics destined to replace the regional practices of the colonial era.
Theory Building and Research Design in Comparative Politics
Paradigms and Sand Castles demonstrates the relationship between thoughtful research design and the collection of persuasive evidence in support of theory. It teaches the craft of research through interesting and carefully selected examples from the field of comparative development studies. Barbara Geddes is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles.
In Paradise, Stephen Gibson's fourth poetry collection, we are taken on a journey through history and myth, wars past and present, public discoveries and private loss. The search begins and ends with some of the great art and great ruins in cities that once composed part of the Grand Tour of another century. In the collection's final poem, "Ghosts," in which an ironical fashion shoot takes Rome's ruins as its backdrop -"this outcrop of ruin isn't just urinal, / but also restaurant"-the reader sees the implications and repercussions of such a journey. Meanwhile, in lines set closer to home, early-twentieth-century crime-scene photos from New York City inspire a horrifying sequence of poems where we become part of a perverse Grand Tour in reverse. These images recall the millions of immigrants who came to America's shores in search of paradise and whose voyages ended with strangulation in tenement basements and rooftop bludgeonings-crimes, the poems suggest, that were perpetrated both by strangers and by acquaintances, spouses, lovers, or friends. As the reader confronts past horrors and present truths as well as the speaker's personal ones (an abused mother, a shellshocked father), it becomes apparent that the paradise sought–not in the hereafter but in the here and now-lies just beyond reach. It all ends, suggest these verses, with the understanding that behind everything we find nothing more divine than the human.
The Imperial Garden Yuanming Yuan
Noted for its magnificent architecture and extraordinary history, the Yuanming Yuan is China's most famous imperial garden. The complex was begun in the early eighteenth century, and construction continued over the next 150 years. While Chinese historians, and many Chinese in general, view the garden as the paramount achievement of Chinese architecture and landscape design, almost nothing is known about the Yuanming Yuan in the West. A Paradise Lost is the first comprehensive study of the palatial garden complex in a Western language. Written in a broad and engaging style, Young-tsu Wong brings "the garden of perfect brightness" to life as he leads readers on a grand tour of its architecture and history. Wong begins by inspecting the garden's physical appearance and its architectural elements. He discusses the origin and evolution of these structures and the aesthetics of their design and arrangement. Throughout he refers to maps and original models of individual buildings and other existing gardens of the Ming-Qing period, including the well-preserved Yihe Yuan and the Chengde Summer Mountain Retreat in Rehe. A special feature of the book is its exploration of the activities and daily life of the royal household.