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Princeton Essays in Literature

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Achilles' Choice

David Lenson

Why, during the last two hundred years, when critical achievement in the field of tragedy has been outstanding, has there been little creative practice? David Lenson examines the work of various writers not ordinarily placed in the tragic tradition—among them, Kleist, Goethe, Melville, Yeats, and Faulkner—and suggests that the tradition of tragedy does continue in genres other than drama, that is, in the novel and even in lyric poetry.

The notion of tragedy's migration from one genre to others indicates, however, rather sweeping modifications in the theory of tragedy. Achilles' Choice proposes a structural model for tragic criticism that synthesizes the almost scientific theories predominant since World War II with the irrationalist theories they replaced.

Originally published in 1975.

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.

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The Aesthetics of Gyorgy Lukacs

Bela Kiralyfalvi

This book-length treatment of György Lukács' major achievement, his Marxist aesthetic theories. Working from the thirty-one volumes of Lukács’ works and twelve separately published essays, speeches, and interviews, Bela Kiralyfalvi provides a full and systematic analysis for English-speaking readers.

Following an introductory chapter on Lukács' philosophical development, the book concentrates on the coherent Marxist aesthetics that became the basis for his mature literary criticism. The study includes an examination of Lukács' Marxist philosophical premises; his theory of the origin of art and the relationship of art to life, science, and religion; and his theory of artistic reflection and realism.

Later chapters treat the concepts of type and totality in Lukács' category of specialty, the distinctions between allegory and symbolism in his theory of the language of art, and Lukács' understanding of aesthetic effect and form and content in art. There is a separate chapter on Lukács' dramatic theory.

This lucid and readable account of Lukács' aesthetic theories will be of special interest to students of literature, aesthetics, and drama. In addition, it will be appreciated by those generally concerned with Marxist theory.

Originally published in 1975.

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.

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Cervantes' Christian Romance

Alban K. Forcione

Alban Forcione analyzes the problem which has most troubled modern readers of the Persiles, its episodic character and confusing proliferation of action. Examining closely the structure of the romance Cervantes considered his masterpiece and boldest contribution to literature, Mr. Forcione discerns in it a simple pattern: a coherent cycle of catastrophe and restoration linked symbolically to the Christian vision of man's fall and redemption.

Originally published in 1972.

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.

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Coleridge's Metaphors of Being

Edward Kessler

In an original and provocative demonstration that Coleridge's later poetry took on a powerful metaphysical conception, Edward Kessler emphasizes Coleridge's struggle with language as a means of both expressing and creating Being. While many of Coleridge's late poems are generally viewed as fragments that constitute an aesthetic failure, Professor Kessler contends that what at first may appear to reflect Coleridge's inability to finish a poem can otherwise be seen as a deliberate rejection of what the poet came to see as a confining form.

Originally published in 1979.

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.

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The Echoing Wood of Theodore Roethke

Jenijoy Labelle

A poet's tradition provides him with a sense of community that may be regarded as a necessary condition for poetry. Jenijoy La Belle, who studied with Roethke, here describes the cultural tradition that he defined and created for himself. In so doing, she demonstrates how an understanding of Roethke's sources and the influences on his work is essential for its interpretation.

The author considers the sources of Roethke's poetry and the influence on him of a wide circle of poets including T. S. Eliot, Yeats, Whitman, Wordsworth, Smart, Donne, Sir John Davies, and Dante. In addition, she traces the changes in Roethke's response to his literary past as he moves from his early lyrics to his final sequences. His imitation of selected poets began as a conscious effort but later became a basic component of his imaginative faculties, encompassing an historical attitude and a psychological state.

Originally published in 1976.

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.

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Ezra Pound and the Troubadour Tradition

Stuart Y. McDougal

The world of the troubadours of medieval Provence—of Bertran de Born, Arnaut de Mareuil, and Peire Bremon lo Tort—always fascinated Ezra Pound and, as Stuart McDougal shows, provided both themes and techniques for his early poetry.

Pound's first translations of Provençal poetry were a way of penetrating an alien sensibility and culture and making it his own; they were also important technical exercises. Confronted with the problem of finding a suitable form and language for the Provencal experience, he condensed, deleted, expanded—the results were highly original works.

Among Pound's early experiments were the studies of individual Provencal poets, each representing one of the qualities of Provençal culture that attracted him—Bertran is the man of action and Vidal is an example of the close connection between man and the "vital universe."

Implicit in Pound's treatment of the past is his belief in the contemporaneity of these medieval values. This belief remains constant in The Cantos, although as the work developed it became clear that no single cultural framework could encompass it. Nevertheless, the medieval world remained the cornerstone of Pound's paradise—a brilliantly unified, vibrant world against which he could contrast the chaos and sterility of contemporary civilization.

Originally published in 1973.

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.

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The Figure of Dante

An Essay on The Vita Nuova

Jerome Mazzaro

Jerome Mazzaro examines Dante's Vita Nuova as an artistic correlative to what Dante conceived as an image of himself. Specifically, he explores the structure of the work in relation to medieval views of memory, self, music, form, and interpretation, and against the facts of Dante's life and culture as we have come to know them.

Originally published in 1981.

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.

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Figure of Faust in Valery and Goethe

Kurt Weinberg

This book interprets Mon Faust and explores the differences between Valéry's and Goethe's treatments of the Faust figure. The author shows by close analysis how Valéry opposes a Cartesian, anti-Pascalian Faust to Goethe's romantically flawed hero. The title of the project conceived by Valéry's Faust, The Mind's Body-part autobiography, part metaphysical treatise-embodies the Cartesian dilemma ironically illustrated by the Mon Faust fragments: the misfortunes of the thinking essence, the cogito, in its subjugation to the body.

The first three chapters examine the Cartesian character of a Faust engaged in superhuman but vain attempts to reconcile the intellect and the libido. A fourth chapter discusses the differences between Goethe's and Valéry's protagonists and as well between Goethe and his Faust. Throughout the book the author explores Valéry's linguistic experimentation, which, through charades, paranomasia, onomastics, and etymological puns, brings into full play the mystifying and mythologizing aspects of language. To resolve the stylistic problems associated with this fragmentary work the author adapts the tone of his exegesis to the diverse stylistic levels of Mon Faust. His analysis illuminates the Cartesian potential inherent in Valéry's protagonist.

Originally published in 1976.

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.

restricted access This search result is for a Book

The German Bildungsroman from Wieland to Hesse

Martin Swales

Although some of the most distinguished German novels written since about 1770 are generally considered to be Bildungsromane, the term Bildungsroman is all too frequently used in English without an awareness of the tradition from which it arose.

Professor Swales concentrates on the roles of plot, characterization, and narrative commentary in novels by Wieland, Goethe, Stifter, Keller, Mann, and Hesse. By pointing out that the goal in each work is both elusive and problematic, he suggests a previously unsuspected ironic intent. His analysis adds to our awareness of the potentialities inherent in the novel.

Originally published in 1978.

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.

restricted access This search result is for a Book

Hofmannsthal's Novel "Andreas"

David H. Miles

Although Hofmannsthal never completed his only novel Andreas, its theme—the quest for self through memory—haunted the Viennese writer and recurs again and again in his poems, libretti, and essays. Analyzing the fragment, David Miles discusses Hofmannsthal's understanding of memory and myth, Andreas’ pivotal role in his work, and its place within the tradition of such novels as Goethe's Wilhelm Meister and Rilke's Malte.

Originally published in 1972.

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.

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