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Series: Series in Literary Studies

The Confluence of Wisdom Along the Silk Road

Omar Khayyam’s Transformative Poetry

Mostafa Vaziri, University of Innsbruck, Austria

July 2021 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-257-8
Availability: In stock
208pp. ¦ $79 £63 €68

For centuries along the vibrant cultural corridor of the Silk Road of Central Asia, philosophers and thinkers from Hellenic, Chinese and Indian traditions debated existential issues. Out of this stimulating milieu, the iconic poet-mathematician Omar Khayyam emerged in the eleventh century, advancing a transformative intercultural philosophy in his poetic work, the Rubaiyat. Vaziri traces the themes of Khayyam’s Rubaiyat back to the highly influential philosophical traditions of the Silk Road and uncovers fascinating parallels in original works by Heraclitus, Zhuangzi (Daoism), Nagarjuna (Mahayana Buddhism), and the Upanishads. In addition, Vaziri’s elegant translation and unique classification of the verses of the Rubaiyat reveal an existential roadmap laid out by Khayyam. In this pioneering volume, Vaziri not only fuses the multiple disciplines of literature, philosophy, culture, history and medicine but also takes the approach of the Rubaiyat to a new level, presenting it as a source of wisdom therapy that stands the test of time in the face of doubt and confusion, offering a platform for self-restoration.

Names as Metaphors in Shakespeare’s Comedies

Grant W. Smith, Eastern Washington University

May 2021 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-018-5
Availability: In stock
371pp. ¦ $73 £54 €61

'Names as Metaphors in Shakespeare’s Comedies' presents a comprehensive study of names in Shakespeare’s comedies. Although names are used in daily speech as simple designators, often with minimal regard for semantic or phonological suggestiveness, their coinage is always based on analogy. They are words (i.e., signs) borrowed from previous referents and contexts, and applied to new referents. Thus, in the literary use of language, names are figurative inventions and have measurable thematic significance: they evoke an association of attributes between two or more referents, contextualize each work of literature within its time, and reflect the artistic development of the writer. In the introduction, Smith describes the literary use of names as creative choices that show the indebtedness of authors to previous literature, as well as their imaginative descriptions (etymologically and phonologically) of memorable character types, and their references to cultural phenomena that make their names meaningful to their contemporary readers and audience. This book presents fourteen essays demonstrating the analytical models explained in the introduction. These essays focus on Shakespeare’s comedies as presented in the First Folio. They do not follow the chronological order of their composition; instead, the individual essays give special attention to differences between the plays that suggest Shakespeare’s artistic development, including the varied sources of his borrowings, the differences between his etymological and phonological coinages, the frequency and types of his topical references, and his use of epithets and generics. This book will appeal to Shakespeare students and scholars at all levels, particularly those who are keen on studying his comedies. This study will also be relevant for researchers and graduate students interested in onomastics. He can be reached at gsmith@ewu.edu.

Societal Constructions of Masculinity in Chicanx and Mexican Literature

From Machismo to Feminist Masculinity

Edited by Bryan R. Pearce-Gonzales, Shenandoah University and Kathryn Quinn-Sanchez, Georgian Court University

July 2021 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-046-8
Availability: In stock
166pp. ¦ $58 £44 €49

'Societal Constructions of Masculinity in Chicanx and Mexican Literature: From Machismo to Feminist Masculinity' demonstrates how masculinity has been constructed and deconstructed as a challenge or reinforcement of patriarchy in cultural works over the last 50 years. The discussion therein focuses on the cultural shift towards a feminist masculinity and how this change is represented in Chicanx and Mexican literature and Mexican telenovelas. The book begins with how violence, citizenship, and masculinity become intertwined as patriarchy fights, both literally and figuratively, to regain the ground it lost to women's agency during WWII. It explores the author's subversion of the status quo through imagining a new aesthetic based on a poetic masculinity which highlights new forms of social relations that validate new masculinities. This is followed by examining texts from the aftermath of the Mexican Revolution that demonstrate how, by pairing the successes and failures of the nation with masculinity, one can see that as time progresses the very definition of what it signifies to be a Mexican male has been adapting along with the State. The book also explains how fatherhood has been represented in Chicanx literature and considers masculine relationships more broadly. The analysis of the telenovelas in this volume indicates how homosexuality serves as the catalyst for a reconfiguring of gender narratives, ultimately leading to change and acceptance within Mexican society while providing an unequivocal look into the future of masculinity as it begins to overthrow its historical gender binaries. This book will appeal to advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and professionals, both specialists and generalists, in fields including Gender Studies, Women's Studies, Comparative Studies, Chicana/o Studies, Latina/o Studies, Latin and American Studies, and Cultural Studies. Feminists and activists for human rights will also find this an interesting and valuable text.

Latin in Modern Fiction

Who Says It’s a Dead Language?

Henryk Hoffmann

March 2021 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-949-3
Availability: In stock
306pp. ¦ $61 £46 €52

The goal of this book is to prove that Latin is not a dead language by demonstrating how prevalent and strong it still is in modern Western culture. In order to do so, the author, an English philologist with a long experience as a Latin educator, catalogues, explains and interprets Latin quotations and references in a multitude of twentieth- and twenty-first-century literary works by—primarily—mainstream authors (from Aldous Huxley to Saul Bellow to John Irving), crime/mystery writers (from Raymond Chandler to Elizabeth George to Dennis Lehane) and frontier/western novelists (from Emerson Hough to Larry McMurtry). The three areas of fiction constituting the main scope of the book indicate the author’s major interest and preference, as well as the subject matter of his extensive research, both prior and current—the former related to his already published books. The writers offering the most impressive contributions to the thesis are featured in the three parts of the main body; those with lesser input are listed in the Appendix. The prospective readers of the book include all Latin students and educators at the secondary and college levels worldwide.

The Portrait of an Artist as a Pathographer: On Writing Illnesses and Illnesses in Writing

Edited by Jayjit Sarkar, Raiganj University, India and Jagannath Basu, Sitalkuchi College, India

May 2021 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-064-2
Availability: In stock
323pp. ¦ $65 £48 €55

Focusing on the various intersections between illness and literature across time and space, The Portrait of an Artist as a Pathographer seeks to understand how ontological, phenomenological and epistemological experiences of illness have been dealt with and represented in literary writings and literary studies. In this volume, scholars from across the world have come together to understand how the pathological condition of being ill (the sufferers), as well as the pathologists dealing with the ill (the healers and caregivers), have shaped literary works. The language of medical science, with its jargon, and the language of the every day, with its emphasis on utility, prove equally insufficient and futile in capturing the pain and suffering of illness. It is this insufficiency and futility that makes us turn towards the canonical works of Joseph Conrad, Samuel Beckett, William Carlos Williams, Virginia Woolf, Kazuo Ishiguro, Miroslav Holub as well as the non-canonical António Lobo Antunes, Yumemakura Baku, Wopko Jensma and Vaslav Nijinsky. This volume helps in understanding and capturing the metalanguage of illness while presenting us with the tradition of ‘writing pain’. In an effort to expand the definition of pathography to include those who are on the other side of pain, the essays in this collection aim to portray the above-mentioned pathographers as artists, turning the anxiety and suffering of illness into an art form. Looking deeply into such creative aspects of illness, this book also seeks to evoke the possibility of pathography as world literature. This book will be of particular interest to undergraduate, postgraduate and research students, as well as scholars of literature and medical humanities who are interested in the intersections between literary studies and medical science.

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