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I Précis I MICHELE BOWMAN University of North Carolina, Greensboro Milner, Andrew. Literature, Culture, and Society. New York: New York University Press, 1996. vii + 232 pp. Cloth $45.00 Paper $17.95 Milner tickles the chin of academia with this frisky defense of the field of cultural studies. He wonders why academics are comfortable talking about popular films and books in their leisure time but not in the halls of the universities or in classrooms. He traces the history of the development of the field and argues that cultural studies is here to stay. Drawing on an impressive range of genres and works, from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Blade Runner to King Lear and the Brandenburg Concertos, Milner reminds us that pleasure should be part of scholarship. Nilsen, Don L. F. Humor in Irish Literature: A Reference Guide. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1996. xvi + 225 pp. Cloth $65.00 A humor scholar walks into an Irish pub, sits down at the bar. The bartender says, "You look like you need a drink, my friend. Why so glum?" The humor scholar sighs. Tm awful tired and weary. See I'm working on a book on Irish humor, and I can't seem to finish. It takes me months to get through one page, and I'm getting sick of writing it." "Why's that?" asks the bartender. "I would think it would be fun!" The scholar sighs, "That's the problem. It's all so funny, I laugh too hard to write." A humor scholar named Nilsen did finish his book, a reference work that links the Irish tradition of telling jokes and stories in pubs to the literature of the country. Divided into an introductory essay on the cultural history of humor in Ireland, chapters devoted to humor in literature of the sixteenth through the twentieth centuries, a list of Irish journals and organizations, and an author/subject index, this reference guide may just make researching Irish humor an academic breeze. The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. Angela Partington, ed. Rev. 4th ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. xviii + 1075 pp. $39.95 The revised edition of this favorite reference work includes over 17,000 quotations, appendices covering "Sayings of the 90s," "Popular Misquotations ," "Advertising Slogans," and "Mottos" (all of which could stand to be a little beefier, given the abundance, if that's the right word, of contemporary sources for such things). The usual index of key-words provides a handy 508 BOOK REVIEWS cross-reference tool. This edition also addresses quotations from non-English sources, more women authors, science, films, and television. Always an authoritative and helpful guide to historical culture, politics, and literature, the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations is now a reference for the 1990s and pop culture as well. Palgrave's Golden Treasury: From Shakespeare to the Present. 6th ed. Updated by John Press. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. xiii + 701 pp. Paper $15.95 A predictable tradition continues with this sixth edition of the popular anthology . Originally published in 1861, Palgrave's became a household name (if there is such a thing) in poetry. John Press updates the anthology to include the post-World War II years with poets like Dylan Thomas, Donald Davie, Philip Larkin, Ted Hughes, Eavan Boland, and Seamus Heaney. But never fear—all the old favorites are here: everyone from Wordsworth and Keats to Hardy and Yeats. Smith, Grover. T. S. Eliot and the Use of Memory. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 1996. 186 pp. $33.50 The transfiguration of Eliot into a multicultural icon in just under two hundred pages is worth seeing. As one of our great white male modernists, he certainly resists this new cast. But the busy keyboards of criticism are always finding the new angle, and Eliot certainly would have appreciated the attention to the myriad allusions and studies that went into his work. Smith focuses on poetry and three plays by Eliot, arguing that the concept of memory— especially cultural and historical—provides a theme in the poet's work. Instead of merely grafting onto tradition, Eliot, says Smith in the preface, "by assimilations, synthesized a tradition for himself from what can be legitimately...


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