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Clarissa's Ciphers

by Terry Castle Cornell University Press (November 01, 2016)

As Samuel Richardson's 'exemplar to her sex,’ Clarissa in the eponymous novel published in 1748 is the paradigmatic female victim. In Clarissa’s Ciphers, Terry Castle delineates the ways in which, in a world...

Frame, Glass, Verse

by Rayna Kalas Cornell University Press (December 15, 2018)

In a book that draws attention to some of our most familiar and unquestioned habits of thought—from "framing" to "perspective" to "reflection"—Rayna Kalas suggests that metaphors of the poetic imagination...

Meaning and Interpretation

by G. L. Hagberg Cornell University Press (March 15, 2018)

'What is the meaning of a word?' In this thought-provoking book, Hagberg demonstrates how this question—which initiated Wittgenstein's later work in the philosophy of language—is significant for our understanding...

Novels, Readers, and Reviewers

by Nina Baym Cornell University Press (March 15, 2018)

This book describes and characterizes responses of American readers to fiction in the generation before the Civil War. It is based on close examination of the reviews of all novels—both American and European—that...

Bread and Circuses

by Patrick Brantlinger Cornell University Press (November 01, 2016)

Lively and well written, Bread and Circuses analyzes theories that have treated mass culture as either a symptom or a cause of social decadence. Discussing many of the most influential and representative theories...

The City Lament

by Tamar M. Boyadjian Cornell University Press (December 15, 2018)

Poetic elegies for lost or fallen cities are seemingly as old as cities themselves. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, this genre finds its purest expression in the Book of Lamentations, which mourns the destruction...

Photographic Literacy

by Katherine M. H. Reischl Cornell University Press (December 15, 2018)

Photography, introduced to Russia in 1839, was nothing short of a sensation. Its rapid proliferation challenged the other arts, including painting and literature, as well as the very integrity of the self. If...

Obscene Pedagogies

by Carissa M. Harris Cornell University Press (December 15, 2018)

As anyone who has read Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales knows, Middle English literature is rife with sexually explicit language and situations. Less canonical works can be even more brazen in describing illicit...

Virgin Whore

by Emma Maggie Solberg Cornell University Press (December 15, 2018)

In Virgin Whore, Emma Maggie Solberg uncovers a surprisingly prevalent theme in late English medieval literature and culture: the celebration of the Virgin Mary’s sexuality. Although history is narrated as...

The One, Other, and Only Dickens

by Garrett Stewart Cornell University Press (November 15, 2018)

In The One, Other, and Only Dickens, Garrett Stewart casts new light on those delirious wrinkles of wording that are one of the chief pleasures of Dickens’s novels but that go regularly unnoticed in Dickensian...

Modernism à la Mode

by Elizabeth M. Sheehan Cornell University Press (October 15, 2018)

Modernism à la Mode argues that fashion describes why and how literary modernism matters in its own historical moment and ours. Bringing together texts, textiles, and theories of dress, Elizabeth Sheehan shows...

Phantasmatic Shakespeare

by Suparna Roychoudhury Cornell University Press (October 15, 2018)

Representations of the mind have a central place in Shakespeare’s artistic imagination, as we see in Bottom struggling to articulate his dream, Macbeth reaching for a dagger that is not there, and Prospero...

On the Threshold of Eurasia

by Leah Feldman Cornell University Press (October 15, 2018)

On the Threshold of Eurasia explores the idea of the Russian and Soviet "East" as a political, aesthetic, and scientific system of ideas that emerged through a series of intertextual encounters produced by Russians...

Seductive Reasoning

by Ellen Rooney Cornell University Press (November 01, 2016)

Seductive Reasoning takes a provocative look at contemporary Anglo-American literary theory, calling into question the critical consensus on pluralism's nature and its status in literary studies. Drawing on...

Chaucer and the Poets

by Winthrop Wetherbee Cornell University Press (November 01, 2016)

In this sensitive reading of Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde, Winthrop Wetherbee redefines the nature of Chaucer’s poetic vision. Using as a starting point Chaucer’s profound admiration for the achievement...

The Institution of Criticism

by Peter Uwe Hohendahl Cornell University Press (May 20, 2016)

German radicals of the 1960s announced the death of literature. For them, literature both past and present, as well as conventional discussions of literary issues, had lost its meaning. In The Institution of...

The Self and Its Pleasures

by Carolyn J. Dean Cornell University Press (May 20, 2016)

Why did France spawn the radical poststructuralist rejection of the humanist concept of 'man' as a rational, knowing subject? In this innovative cultural history, Carolyn J. Dean sheds light on the origins of...

Autobiographical Voices

by Françoise Lionnet Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

Adopting a boldly innovative approach to women’s autobiographical writing, Françoise Lionnet here examines the rhetoric of self-portraiture in works by authors who are bilingual or multilingual or of mixed...

Signature Pieces

by Peggy Kamuf Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

Some contemporary approaches to literature still accept the separation of historical, biographical, external concerns from formal, internal ones. On the borderline that lends this division between inside and...

The Other Side of the Story

by Molly Hite Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

In a book that compares Virginia Woolf’s writing with that of the novelist, actress, and feminist activist Elizabeth Robins (1862–1952), Molly Hite explores the fascinating connections between Woolf’s...

Feminist Theory, Women's Writing

by Laurie A. Finke Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

In this rewarding book, Laurie A. Finke challenges assumptions about gender, the self, and the text which underlie fundamental constructs of contemporary feminist theory. She maintains that some of the key concepts...

Homicide in American Fiction, 1798–1860

by David Brion Davis Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

Homicide has many social and psychological implications that vary from culture to culture and which change as people accept new ideas concerning guilt, responsibility, and the causes of crime. A study of attitudes...

Exotic Nations

by Renata Wasserman Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

In this highly original and critically informed book, Renata R. Mautner Wasserman looks at how, during the first decades following political independence, writers in the United States and Brazil assimilated...

Decadent Genealogies

by Barbara Spackman Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

Barbara Spackman here examines the ways in which decadent writers adopted the language of physiological illness and alteration as a figure for psychic otherness. By means of an ideological and rhetorical analysis...

The Forms of Historical Fiction

by Harry E. Shaw Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

Harry Shaw’s aim is to promote a fuller understanding of nineteenth-century historical fiction by revealing its formal possibilities and limitations. His wide-ranging book establishes a typology of the ways...

The Expense of Spirit

by Mary Beth Rose Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

A public and highly popular literary form, English Renaissance drama affords a uniquely valuable index of the process of cultural transformation. The Expense of Spirit integrates feminist and historicist critical...

Heroic Poets, Poetic Heroes

by Dwight F. Reynolds Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

An astonishingly rich oral epic that chronicles the early history of a Bedouin tribe, the Sirat Bani Hilal has been performed for almost a thousand years. In this ethnography of a contemporary community of professional...

Phantom Formations

by Marc Redfield Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

Marc Redfield maintains that the literary genre of the Bildungsroman brings into sharp focus the contradictions of aesthetics, and also that aesthetics exemplifies what is called ideology. He combines a wide-ranging...

The Supplement of Reading

by Tilottama Rajan Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

Tilottama Rajan illuminates a crisis of representation within romanticism, evident in the proliferation of stylistically and structurally unsettled literary texts that resist interpretation in terms of a unified...

Critical Terrains

by Lisa Lowe Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

Examining and historicizing the concept of "otherness" in both literature and criticism, Lisa Lowe explores representations of non-European cultures in British and French writings from the eighteenth through...

Women and Romance

by Laurie Langbauer Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

According to Laurie Langbauer, the notion of romance is vague precisely because it represents the chaotic negative space outside the novel that determines its form. Addressing questions of form, Langbauer reads...


by Margaret R. Higonnet Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

The first book to assess the impact of feminist criticism on comparative literature, Borderwork recharts the intellectual and institutional boundaries on that discipline. The seventeen essays collected here,...

The Cosmic Web

by N. Katherine Hayles Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

From the central concept of the field—which depicts the world as a mutually interactive whole, with each part connected to every other part by an underlying field— have come models as diverse as quantum...

Writing in Limbo

by Simon Gikandi Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

In Simon Gikandi’s view, Caribbean literature and postcolonial literature more generally negotiate an uneasy relationship with the concepts of modernism and modernity—a relationship in which the Caribbean...


by Susan Stanford Friedman Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

Did James Joyce, that icon of modernity, spearhead the dismantling of the Cartesian subject? Or was he a supreme example of a modern man forever divided and never fully known to himself? This volume reads the...

Telling the Truth

by Barbara C. Foley Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

Barbara Foley here focuses on the relatively neglected genre of documentary fiction: novels that are continually near the borderline between factual and fictive discourse. She links the development of the genre...

Echoes of Desire

by Heather Dubrow Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

Echoes of Desire variously invokes and interrogates a number of historicist and feminist premises about Tudor and Stuart literature by examining the connections between the anti-Petrarchan tradition and mainstream...

Franz Kafka

by Stanley Corngold Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

In Stanley Corngold’s view, the themes and strategies of Kafka’s fiction are generated by a tension between his concern for writing and his growing sense of its arbitrary character. Analyzing Kafka’s work...

Greatness Engendered

by Alison Booth Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

The egotism that fuels the desire for greatness has been associated exclusively with men, according to one feminist view; yet many women cannot suppress the need to strive for greatness. In this forceful and...

Poetry in Speech

by Egbert J. Bakker Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

Applying linguistic theory to the study of Homeric style, Egbert J. Bakker offers a highly innovative approach to oral poetry, particularly the poetry of Homer. By situating formulas and other features of oral...

The Challenge of Bewilderment

by Paul B. Armstrong Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

The Challenge of Bewilderment treats the epistemology of representation in major works by Henry James, Joseph Conrad, and Ford Madox Ford, attempting to explain how the novel turned away from its traditional...

Feminizing the Fetish

by Emily Apter Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

Shoes, gloves, umbrellas, cigars that are not just objects—the topic of fetishism seems both bizarre and inevitable. In this venturesome and provocative book, Emily Apter offers a fresh account of the complex...

Tainted Souls and Painted Faces

by Amanda Anderson Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

Prostitute, adulteress, unmarried woman who engages in sexual relations, victim of seduction—the Victorian "fallen woman" represents a complex array of stigmatized conditions. Amanda Anderson here reconsiders...

The Ethics of Criticism

by Tobin Siebers Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

Tobin Siebers asserts that literary criticism is essentially a form of ethics. The Ethics of Criticism investigates the moral character of contemporary literary theory, assessing a wide range of theoretical...

Madame Bovary on Trial

by Dominick LaCapra Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

In 1857, following the publication of Madame Bovary, Flaubert was charged with having committed an "outrage to public morality and religion." Dominick LaCapra, an intellectual historian with wide-ranging literary...

Chaos Bound

by N. Katherine Hayles Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

N. Katherine Hayles here investigates parallels between contemporary literature and critical theory and the science of chaos. She finds in both scientific and literary discourse new interpretations of chaos,...

Interpretive Conventions

by Steven Mailloux Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

In Interpretive Conventions, Steven Mailloux provides a general introduction to reader-response criticism while developing his own specific reader-oriented approach to literature. He examines five influential...

Scenes of Sympathy

by Audrey Jaffe Cornell University Press (February 15, 2018)

In Scenes of Sympathy, Audrey Jaffe argues that representations of sympathy in Victorian fiction both reveal and unsettle Victorian ideologies of identity. Situating these representations within the context...

Building a National Literature

by Peter Uwe Hohendahl & Renate Baron Franciscono Cornell University Press (May 20, 2016)

Building a National Literature boldly takes issue with traditional literary criticism for its failure to explain how literature as a body is created and shaped by institutional forces. Peter Uwe Hohendahl approaches...

Thinking in Time

by Suzanne Guerlac Cornell University Press

"In recent years, we have grown accustomed to philosophical language that is intensely self-conscious and rhetorically thick, often tragic in tone. It is enlivening to read Bergson, who exerts so little rhetorical...