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Subject: Art

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.

Three Hollywood Stalwarts in Literature

A Study in Film Perception Through References to Peck, Mitchum and Holden

Henryk Hoffmann

ISBN: 978-1-64889-288-2
Availability: Pre-order
370pp. ¦ $73 £53 €60

This book focuses on the perception of the names, personae, performances and films of three Hollywood megastars, Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum and William Holden, as presented in the references and allusions encountered in American and foreign literature. Its secondary aim is to establish the ‘impact factor’ of the three actors and their major films and provide extensive data for further studies on the complex and bilateral relationships between film and literature. The pertinent quotations in ‘Three Hollywood Stalwarts in Literature: A Study in Film Perception Through References to Peck, Mitchum and Holden’ have been extracted from nearly 220 works by about 140 authors. The majority of the works were written by acclaimed authors; amongst them are some well-known American mainstream writers such as John Updike, John Irving, Fannie Flagg and Anne Tyler; some leaders of the mystery genre include Martha Grimes, Stuart Kaminsky, Elmore Leonard, Sara Paretsky; and a few masters of other popular genres, such as Stephen King and Dean Koontz. The global flavor of the citations is provided by international authors (e.g., Julio Cortázar, Elizabeth Hay, Henri Charrière, Sebastien Japrisot) and authors born to first-generation U.S. immigrants (e.g., Oscar Hijuelos). Almost seventy films referenced in world literature are discussed in the book, and those mentioned in the biggest number of works include ‘Sunset Boulevard’, ‘The Wild Bunch’, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, ‘Roman Holiday’, ‘Spellbound’, ‘The Guns of Navarone’, and ‘Duel in the Sun’, among others. This book will appeal to college professors and students interested in film studies, specifically film analysis and criticism, film perception, and film genres. It will also hold interest for the general reader interested in biographies of movie personalities and the careers of the three actors, movie and stage actors, and fans of the western, film noir, and war genres.

Film, Philosophy and Religion

Edited by William H. U. Anderson, Concordia University of Edmonton in Alberta

August 2021 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-292-9
Availability: In stock
454pp. ¦ $91 £71 €78

Hollywood is a $40 billion annual business, one that is highly influential in culture. If we want to know who we are as individuals and a society, what we believe and what we value, we need to know and understand Hollywood and film. Make no mistake, Hollywood is neither philosophically, politically, nor morally neutral! Many studies demonstrate how movies “affect” us long before we have thought it through. In other words, Hollywood “smuggles” all kinds of ideas into our minds and hearts without us even knowing it. While Hollywood may be the biggest and most influential in the world, this book will demonstrate the growing international influence of film from India (Bollywood), Nigeria (Nollywood), Zimbabwe (Zollywood) and Yesilçam (Turkey). 'Film, Philosophy and Religion' explicitly and implicitly takes a philosophical approach to analyzing film theoretically and methodologically. There are topic and film-specific chapters that take a theological approach, and others that explore ideas like Affect, Axiology, Art Reflecting the Artist and Transcendence (Spirituality) of Film. Hermeneutics also have a central role in the book, including films based on biblical texts that act as interpretations of these texts and fill in the blanks (albeit speculatively by way of script and directors). Chapters also explore the philosophy of aesthetics and film realism which end with theology, while other chapters explore the incompatibility of science with religion, as well as a chapter on the timely topic of rape in Turkish film. The book’s scope goes from the “Horror of Evil in Ridley Scott’s Alien Universe” to “Love Can Thaw a Frozen Heart: The Philosophy of Love in the Frozen Films” (Disney Princess Narratives). This book represents international films and scholars. The diverse perspectives from theist to atheist—and everything in-between—are sure to spark thinking and generate talking points that provide something for everyone in an accessible format. It will be of great interest to university students and professors, scholars, seminaries, and the general public.

Arthurian Legend in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries

Edited by Susan L. Austin, Landmark College

September 2021 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-947-9
Availability: In stock
184pp. ¦ $61 £46 €52

The King Arthur we imagine did not exist in history. He is the result of stories told and retold, changed and added to by storytellers for centuries, each making the story reflect the storyteller’s time and values. The chapters in this book look at movies, manga, comic books, a television show, and traditional books released since 1960 to explore some of the ways King Arthur has been reimagined in the past 60 years. Interpreting Avalon High and The Kind Who Would Be King, Camelot 3000 and King Arthur vs. Dracula, Fate/Zero, John Steinbeck’s The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights, the influence of Arthurian legend on Harry Potter, Terry Gilliam’s The Fisher King, John Boorman’s Excalibur, Jerry Zucker’s First Knight, Antoine Fuqua’s King Arthur, Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword, Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Secret Service, Iris Murdoch’s The Time of the Angels, and the BBC series Merlin, the authors find that while we are still interested in the idea of King Arthur, we may also want his story to be more racially and gender inclusive, less elitist, and in some cases, more secular.

Pioneers in Machinima: The Grassroots of Virtual Production

Tracy Gaynor Harwood, De Montfort University and Ben Grussi

March 2021 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-273-9
Availability: In stock
271pp. ¦ $63 £48 €54

This important new work focuses on the pioneers in machinima, considered to be the grassroots and beginnings of virtual production. Machinima’s impacts are identified by the community, supplemented by Harwood and Grussi’s research and experience over a period of 25 years – from game, film and filmmaking to digital arts practice, creative technologies developments and related research and theory. Machinima is the first digital cultural practice to have emerged from the internet into a mainstream creative genre. Its latest transformation is evident through the increasing convergence of games and film where real-time virtual production as a professional creative practice is resulting in new forms of machine-generated interactive experiences. Using the most culturally significant machinima works (machine-cinema) as lenses to trace its history and impacts, ‘Pioneers in Machinima: The Grassroots of Virtual Production’ provides in-depth testimony by filmmakers and others involved in its emergence. The extensive reference to source materials and interviews bring the story of its impacts up to date through the critical reflections of the early pioneers. This book will be of interest to machinima researchers and practitioners, including game culture, media theorists, students of film studies and game studies, digital artists and those interested in how creative technologies have influenced communities of practice over time.

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