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Literature & Literary Criticism

“There Would Always Be a Fairy Tale”

| Filed under: Literature & Literary Criticism, Recent Releases
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Devoted to Tolkien, the teller of tales and cocreator of the myths they brush against, these essays focus on his lifelong interest in and engagement with fairy stories, the special world that he called faërie, a world they both create and inhabit, and with the elements that make that world the special place it is. They cover a range of subjects, from The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings and their place within the legendarium he called the Silmarillion to shorter works like “The Story of Kullervo” and “Smith of Wootton Major.”

 


The Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury

| Filed under: Literature & Literary Criticism, Recent Releases
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Though it highlights just one year of writing, this third volume of The Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury represents a crucial moment at the midpoint of his first full decade as a professional writer. The original versions of the 1940s stories recovered for The Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury, presented in the order in which they were written and first sent off to find life in the magazine market, suggest that Bradbury’s masks didn’t always appeal to his editors. The Volume 3 stories were all written between March 1944 and March 1945, and the surviving letters of this period reveal the private conflict raging between Bradbury’s efforts to define a distinct style and creative vision at home in Los Angeles and the tyranny of genre requirements imposed by the distant pulp publishing world in New York.

 


The Great Tower of Elfland

| Filed under: Literature & Literary Criticism, Recent Releases
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Beginning in the mid-1950s, scholars proposed that the Inklings were a unified group centered on fantasy, imagination, and Christianity. Scholars and a few Inklings themselves supported the premise until 1978, when Humphrey Carpenter wrote the first major biography of the group, disputing a unified worldview. Carpenter dedicated an entire chapter to decry any theological or literary unity in the group, arguing disagreement in areas of Christian belief, literary criticism, views of myth, and writing style. Since Carpenter’s The Inklings, many analyses of the Inklings—and even their predecessors—have continued to show disunity rather than unity in the group.

 


Reading Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not

| Filed under: Hemingway Studies, Literature & Literary Criticism, Reading Hemingway, Recent Releases
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Published in 1937, Ernest Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not is that rare example of a novel whose cultural impact far outweighs its critical reputation. Long criticized for its fragmented form, its ham-fisted approach to politics, and its hard-boiled obsession with cojones, this blistering tale of a Florida Straits boat captain named Harry Morgan desperately trying to survive the economic ravages of the Great Depression by running rum and revolutionaries to Havana has fueled tourist industries in Key West and Cuba and has inspired at least three movie adaptations (including a classic cowritten by William Faulkner and starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall).

 


The New Ray Bradbury Review, No. 5

and | Filed under: Film, Literature & Literary Criticism, Recent Releases, Science Fiction and Fantasy
NRBR 5

As a highly visual writer, Ray Bradbury’s works have frequently been adapted for film and television. One of the most stylized and haunting dramatizations is François Truffaut’s 1966 film adaptation of Fahrenheit 451. For this fifth volume of The New Ray Bradbury Review, guest editor Phil Nichols brings together essays and articles that reflect upon Bradbury’s classic novel and Truffaut’s enduring low-tech science fiction film, fifty years after its release.

 


Teaching Hemingway and Gender

| Filed under: Hemingway Studies, Literature & Literary Criticism, Recent Releases, Teaching Hemingway
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Ernest Hemingway’s place in American letters seems guaranteed: a winner of Nobel and Pulitzer prizes, Hemingway has long been a fixture in high school and college curricula. Just as influential as his famed economy of style and unflappable heroes, however, is his public persona. Hemingway helped create an image of a masculine ideal: sportsman, brawler, hard drinker, serial monogamist, and world traveler. Yet his iconicity has also worked against him. Because Hemingway is often dismissed by students and scholars alike for his perceived misogyny, instructors might find themselves wondering how to handle the impossibly over-determined author or even if they should include him on their syllabi at all.

 


Mysterious Medicine

| Filed under: Literature & Literary Criticism, Literature & Medicine, Medicine, Recent Releases
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Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe were masters of mystery and fantasy, but they also engaged real controversies surrounding individual health, health care practice, and biomedical research in nineteenth-century America. During this volatile era, when mesmerists, phrenologists, and other pseudoscientists reigned and “regular” physicians were just beginning to consolidate power, Hawthorne and Poe provided important critiques of experimental and often haphazard systems of care, as well as insights into the evolving understanding of mental and physical pathologies. As writers, they responded to the social, historical, and medical forces of their own time, yet they also addressed themes of bioethics, humanism, and patient-centered care that remain relevant in the twenty-first century.

 


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