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The Novel

Author: Tim Parks
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0198739591
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In this book the distinguished novelist Tim Parks presents reading a novel as an exciting and dangerous meeting with another person. For the novelist, writing the book is part of life, a card played in the long psychological game of dealing with the world. For readers, their reaction to a work of fiction is likewise part of life as we seek a structure or strategy of understanding for ourselves. Engaged with numerous great novels and with focused discussion ofJames Joyce, Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens. D. H. Lawrence, and J.M. Coetzee, The Novel: A Survival Skill gets much closer to the real experience of reading and writing, the mysteries of our positiveand negative responses, than traditional literary criticism. Parks also devotes some time to exploring his own writing in the light of the arguments he is putting forward. The result is a compelling, risk-taking account of what is at stake in the lived experience of writing and of reading. The book also suggests why so much literary criticism seems entirely arcane and irrelevant to the 'ordinary' reader.

Reading And The Reader

Author: Philip Davis
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191506168
Size: 65.91 MB
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The Literary Agenda is a series of short polemical monographs about the importance of literature and of reading in the wider world and about the state of literary education inside schools and universities. The category of 'the literary' has always been contentious. What is clear, however, is how increasingly it is dismissed or is unrecognised as a way of thinking or an arena for thought. It is sceptically challenged from within, for example, by the sometimes rival claims of cultural history, contextualized explanation, or media studies. It is shaken from without by even greater pressures: by economic exigency and the severe social attitudes that can follow from it; by technological change that may leave the traditional forms of serious human communication looking merely antiquated. For just these reasons this is the right time for renewal, to start reinvigorated work into the meaning and value of literary reading. Reading and the Reader offers a defence of reading serious literature, where reading offers a place for inner contemplation, emotion, imagination, and thought-experiment through the energising booster-rocket of literature. It is argued that literature creates a holding-ground in which a dense sense of experience is registered. Such a place is vital to human well-being in the following respects: in sustaining the ability to use and not just suffer one's experience; to be able to think one's thoughts, even those that are customarily unadmitted or felt as anomalous or unworthy; to find room for a realm of speculation in between religions and secularization, in between literature and life. Reading and the Reader, one of the first volumes in the Literary Agenda series, exists to defend the value of reading, to narrow the gaps between the way writers and readers think, to bring literary thinking into the ordinary thinking of the world - especially at a time when the arts and humanities are under some threat. Literature is useful in terms of deep human needs. It offers a form of time-travel - across ages, countries, different minds - that provides alternatives to any conventional worldview.

Tales Of Literacy For The 21st Century

Author: Maryanne Wolf
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191036137
Size: 69.23 MB
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The Literary Agenda is a series of short polemical monographs about the importance of literature and of reading in the wider world and about the state of literary education inside schools and universities. The category of 'the literary' has always been contentious. What is clear, however, is how increasingly it is dismissed or is unrecognised as a way of thinking or an arena for thought. It is sceptically challenged from within, for example, by the sometimes rival claims of cultural history, contextualized explanation, or media studies. It is shaken from without by even greater pressures: by economic exigency and the severe social attitudes that can follow from it; by technological change that may leave the traditional forms of serious human communication looking merely antiquated. For just these reasons this is the right time for renewal, to start reinvigorated work into the meaning and value of literary reading. Being Literate in the 21st Century wrestles with critical, timely questions for 21st-century society. How does literacy change the human brain? What does it mean to be a literate or a non-literate person in the present digital culture: for example, what will be lost in the present reading brain, and what will be gained with different mediums than print? What are the consequences of a digital reading brain for the literary mind and for writing itself ? Can knowledge about the reading brain and advances in technology offer new forms of literacy and new forms of knowledge to the peoples in remote regions of the world who would never otherwise become literate? By using both research from cognitive neuroscience, psycholinguistics, child development, and education, and considering literary examples from world literature, Maryanne Wolf plots a course that seeks to preserve the deepest forms of reading from the past, while developing the cognitive skills necessary for this century's next generation.

Tradition

Author: Seth Lerer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198736282
Size: 80.31 MB
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Seth Lerer presents an original take on tradition in the literary imagination. He asks how we can have an unironic, affective relationship to the literary past in an age marked by historical self-consciousness, critical distance, and shifts in cultural literacy. Tradition: A Feeling for the Literary Past ranges through a set of fiction, poetry, and criticism that makes up our inherited traditions and that also confronts the question of a literary canonand its personal and historical meaning. It affirms the value of close and nuanced reading for our understanding of both past and present. Lerer's larger goal is to explore the ways in which the literary pastmakes us, and in the process, how we create canons for reading, teaching, and scholarship. The writers discussed here were all great readers. Dickens and Orwell, Rushdie and Bradbury, Dickinson and Frost, Anne Bradstreet and Gjertrud Schnackenberg, Chaucer, Dante, Virgil--they all built their literary structures on the scaffold of their bookshelves. Reading the past generates the literary present, and imagines our literate future.

The Tragic Imagination

Author: Rowan Williams
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019873641X
Size: 18.22 MB
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The Literary Agenda is a series of short polemical monographs about the importance of literature and of reading in the wider world and about the state of literary education inside schools and universities. The category of "the literary" has always been contentious. What is clear, however, is how increasingly it is dismissed or is unrecognized as a way of thinking or an arena for thought. It is sceptically challenged from within, for example, by the sometimes rival claims of cultural history, contextualized explanation, or media studies. It is shaken from without by even greater pressures: by economic exigency and the severe social attitudes that can follow from it; by technological change that may leave the traditional forms of serious human communication looking merely antiquated. For just these reasons this is the right time for renewal, to start reinvigorated work into the meaning and value of literary reading. This short but thought-provoking volume asks the question, "What is it that tragedy makes us know?" The focus is on tragedy as a mode of representing the experience of radical suffering, pain, or loss, a mode of narrative through which we come to know certain things about ourselves and our world--about its fragility and ours. Through a mixture of historical discussion and close reading of a number of dramatic texts--from Sophocles to Sarah Kane--the book addresses a wide range of debates: how tragedy is defined, whether there is such a thing as "absolute tragedy," various modern attempts to rework the classical heritage and the relation of comedy to tragedy. There is also a fresh discussion of whether religious--particularly Christian--discourse is inimical to the tragic and of the necessary tension between tragic narrative and certain kinds of political as well as religious rhetoric. Rowan Williams argues that tragic drama both articulates failure and frailty and, in affirming the possibility of narrating the story of traumatic loss, refuses to settle for passivity, resignation, or despair. In this sense, it still shows the trace of its ritual and religious roots. And in challenging two-dimensional models of society, power, humanity and human knowing, it remains an intrinsic part of any fully humanist culture.

Where I M Reading From

Author: Tim Parks
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590178858
Size: 50.40 MB
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Why do we need fiction? Why do books need to be printed on paper, copyrighted, read to the finish? Do we read to challenge our vision of the world or to confirm it? Has novel writing turned into a job like any other? In Where I’m Reading From, the novelist and critic Tim Parks ranges over decades of critical reading—from Leopardi, Dickens, and Chekhov, to Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence, and Thomas Bernhard, and on to contemporary work by Peter Stamm, Alice Munro, and many others—to upend our assumptions about literature and its purpose. In thirty-seven interlocking essays, Where I’m Reading From examines the rise of the “international” novel and the disappearance of “national” literary styles; how market forces shape “serious” fiction; the unintended effects of translation; the growing stasis of literary criticism; and the problematic relationship between writers’ lives and their work. Through dazzling close readings and probing self-examination, Parks wonders whether writers—and readers—can escape the twin pressures of the new global system and the novel that has become its emblematic genre.

Everyday Stories

Author: Northcliffe Professor of English Rachel Bowlby
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198727690
Size: 48.23 MB
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The Literary Agenda is a series of short polemical monographs about the importance of literature and of reading in the wider world and about the state of literary education inside schools and universities. The category of "the literary" has always been contentious. What is clear, however, is how increasingly it is dismissed or is unrecognized as a way of thinking or an arena for thought. It is sceptically challenged from within, for example, by the sometimes rival claims of cultural history, contextualized explanation, or media studies. It is shaken from without by even greater pressures: by economic exigency and the severe social attitudes that can follow from it; by technological change that may leave the traditional forms of serious human communication looking merely antiquated. For just these reasons this is the right time for renewal, to start reinvigorated work into the meaning and value of literary reading. We live in days, no leaving them or choosing them. What's in a day? With their natural narrative arc they begin and they end and in between we talk about how they are going or wonder "where" they have gone. They each have their small stories, non-stories, ephemeral stories. So every day slips by, most days much like most other days. We eat, we sleep, we go to work; we endure, enjoy, continue. Day after day, day before day, it is the recurring of no particular story in endless, beginningless succession. At the same time, any single day is also a unique date, with its multi-digit identity, its moment-at last, and never again-of here and now, today. And on longer scales, the slow small shifts of ordinary days and their surrounding stories will eventually remake the days that have been and gone as the times that are no more. An ordinary day from decades, let alone centuries ago must now be a "once" long passed away, the old days to be regretted-or to be revived in all the curiosity of their historical difference. Everyday Stories makes us think again about the ordinary life we are in, day after day and day by day: always the same, and always slightly changing. Entering into the single day, drawing out the stories that surround us, this book goes into everyday stories of many descriptions, old and new: both in literature and in that story-laden place and time we call real life.

Life And Work

Author: Tim Parks
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300215363
Size: 46.19 MB
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Acclaimed novelist and critic Tim Parks has long been fascinated by the complicated relationship between an author's life and work. Dissatisfied with the dominant modes of reading he encountered, he began exploring the underlying values and patterns that guide authors in both their writing and their lives. In a series of provocative, incisive, and unflinching essays written over the past decade and collected for the first time here, he reveals how style and content in a novel reflect a whole pattern of communication and positioning in the author's ordinary and daily behavior. We see how life and work are deeply enmeshed in the work of writers as diverse as Charles Dickens, Feodor Dostoevsky, James Joyce, Anton Chekhov, Philip Roth, Julian Barnes, Peter Stamm, and Geoff Dyer, among others. Parks further shows us how readers' reactions to these writers and their works are inevitably connected to these communicative patterns, establishing a relationship that goes far beyond aesthetic appreciation. This original and daring collection takes us into the psychology of some of our greatest writers and challenges us to see with more clarity how our lives become entangled with theirs through our reading of their novels.

Emergency

Author: Neil Strauss
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0062136461
Size: 53.62 MB
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Featuring all new material not included in the print edition, including: two deleted chapters, the contents of Neil’s Bugout Bag, a disaster survival cheat sheet on how to survive 35 catastrophic events, and ten emergency-preparedness myths that can kill you. Terrorist attacks. Natural disasters. Domestic crackdowns. Economic collapse. Riots. Wars. Disease. Starvation. What can you do when it all hits the fan? You can learn to be self-sufficient and survive without the system. **I've started to look at the world through apocalypse eyes.** So begins Neil Strauss's harrowing new book: his first full-length worksince the international bestseller The Game, and one of the most original-and provocative-narratives of the year. After the last few years of violence and terror, of ethnic and religious hatred, of tsunamis and hurricanes–and now of world financial meltdown–Strauss, like most of his generation, came to the sobering realization that, even in America, anything can happen. But rather than watch helplessly, he decided to do something about it. And so he spent three years traveling through a country that's lost its sense of safety, equipping himself with the tools necessary to save himself and his loved ones from an uncertain future. With the same quick wit and eye for cultural trends that marked The Game, The Dirt, and How to Make Love Like a Porn Star, Emergency traces Neil's white-knuckled journey through today's heart of darkness, as he sets out to move his life offshore, test his skills in the wild, and remake himself as a gun-toting, plane-flying, government-defying survivor. It's a tale of paranoid fantasies and crippling doubts, of shady lawyers and dangerous cult leaders, of billionaire gun nuts and survivalist superheroes, of weirdos, heroes, and ordinary citizens going off the grid. It's one man's story of a dangerous world–and how to stay alive in it. Before the next disaster strikes, you're going to want to read this book. And you'll want to do everything it suggests. Because tomorrow doesn't come with a guarantee...

Europa

Author: Tim Parks
Publisher: Arcade Publishing
ISBN: 9781559704441
Size: 53.20 MB
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A finalist for the Booker Prize, this ferociously comic tale of love gone sour is the finest novel to date from the author of the national bestsellers, "An Italian Education" and "Italian Neighbors".