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Friday, April 30, 2010

Haul of Books 2010: Stuff For Me v.4

Not too long ago the University of Florida had a little book sale in their used book store thing in Library East. It's hard to pass up book sales if you're like me. I should take a picture of my apartment one day so you all can see what it looks like. For the last few weeks there have been books all over my floor, piling up on top of shelves, and residing just about everywhere I can find a place to put them without tripping over them in the dark.

So, here is part one of my grab bag journey, with a few other things tossed in because they fit into the picture (image should appear after the fold, but for some reason Blogger is being a pill about that):
And, as usual, here are the descriptions, from left to right, top to bottom:

1. Genre Fusion: A New Discourse Practice by Marleen S. Barr (ARC; called Genre Fission in print)
What do Amsterdam prostitutes, NASA astronauts, cross-dressing texts, and Star Trek characters have in common? Only Marleen Barr knows for sure. In Genre Fission, the award-winning author revitalizes literary and cultural theory by proposing an entirely new discourse practice of examining the points where genres and attendant meanings first converge, then reemerge as something new. Part literary analysis, part cultural studies, part feminist critique flavored with a smattering of science fiction and utopian studies, it is witty and eccentric, entertaining and enlightening.

Barr expands postmodern assumptions about cultural studies by suggesting that "genre fission" is occurring among discrete literary and cultural "types" of events--mainstream novels, science fiction, historical narratives, film, paintings, and museum displays. For her literary insights, Barr turns her attention to such mainstream authors as Saul Bellow, John Updike, Marge Piercy, and John Barth as well as science fiction writers Ursula Le Guin and Octavia Butler and Hispanic American writers Julia Alvarez, Ana Castillo, and Cristina Garca, among others.

Barr moves from literary to culture studies by addressing such phenomena from contemporary mass culture as the urban landscapes of New York and Los Angeles, Jackie Kennedy, the Star Trek industry, Lynn Redgrave, Amsterdam's red light district, Lorena Bobbitt, and the Apollo astronauts--to provide only a few of the relevant examples. Thus Genre Fission attains what Barr herself designates (in describing the art of Judy Chicago and Lee Bontecou) as "utopian interweavings of difference," crossing numerous boundaries in order to frame a larger territory for exploration.
2. PMLA, Volume 125, Number 1, January 2010 (subscribed; publication by the Modern Language Association)
There's actually a lot of stuff in this issue, with sections dedicated to Textual Materialism, Museum Studies, Visual/Literary Cultures, and other things. There are some great resources in this for English majors (mostly relevant to those at my level, though).
3. The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness by Reinhold Niebuhr
All I know is that it is about Democracy, but since it has no description on the back and nothing online, that is only a guess. It looked interesting, though.
4. The Apartheid Regime: Political Power and Racial Domination edited by Robert M. Price and Carl G. Rosberg
Should be self-explanatory. I can't find a description for this one either, unfortunately. I've been very interested in Apartheid in the past, primarily because one of my focuses is "the Other" and it's representation in science fiction. This is an old book, but it should be useful anyway.
5. The Myth Makers: European and Latin American Writers by V. S. Prichett
Essays on the personalities and works--and how they reflect each other--of Boris Pasternak, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Anton Chekhov, Leo Tolstoy, Ivan Goncharov, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Alexander Pushkin, August Strindberg, Franz Kafka, Jean Genet, Emile Zola, George Sand, Gustave Flaubert, Stendhal, Eca de Queiroz, Benito Perez Galdos, Machado de Assis, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Jorge Luis Borges.
6. The Literary Use of the Psychoanalytic Process by Meredith Anne Skura (I'm on a Freud/Lacan kick lately)
No description again, unfortunately. But, I don't think the title is unclear on what this book is about. It might be of use to me while I continue working on my thesis, in which Freud and Lacan are making an appearance. The funny part about that is that only a few years ago I was not at all interested in these two and had planned on avoiding them like the plague. Look at me now...
7. Historicism (the New Critical Idiom series) by Paul Hamilton
Historicism is the essential introduction to the field, providing its readers with the necessary knowledge, background and vocabulary to apply it in their own studies. Paul Hamilton's compact and comprehensive guide:
--Explains the theory and basics of historicism
--Presents a history of the term and its uses
--Introduces the reader to the key thinkers in the field, from ancient Greece to modern times
--Considers historicism in contemporary debates and its relevance to other modes of criticism, such as feminism and post-colonialism
--Contains an extensive bibliography of further reading
Well, there you go. Anything sound of interest to you? Have you bought anything recently? Let me know in the comments!

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