By Cynthia Ayala
Hey there readers! Okay so like I said before I was going to showcase what I was reading for school and maybe, depending on the content, write reviews of what I have read. Also time is a big issue as well. I only have so many hours in a day. I will also be sorting this list by my classes. You might be wondering why the heck I am doing this. Well here’s there reason: because I can? I know, I’m a weirdo, that’s a fact, but I guess what I’m also trying to do is stay on top of my reading and if this is going to help me do that, well then here we go. I also want to make my school life more familiar with my readers – hey, that’s you guys! – and generate interest in what I am doing here at school as well as comments on my reading material.
Like I said, I’m a weird one. But I would like to make a note that professors are assigning sections of the material below. So if you see it again that means that we are either still reading it or that we are reading another section of it. Just wanted to make that clear.
Anyway, much like with my regular weekly reading list, all synopsis’s are courtesy of Goodreads.
LI 204 – Contemporary Fairy Tales
By Maria Tartar
“Gathering together 44 tales from around the world, from the 5th century on, this critical edition examines the genre, its cultural implications and its critical history. She has focused on six different tale types, and includes multicultural variants and literary rescriptings.”
“From familiar fairy tales and legends – Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, Puss-in-Boots, Beauty and the Beast, vampires, werewolves – Angela Carter has created an absorbing collection of dark, sensual, fantastic stories.”
3. 60 Stories
“With these audacious and murderously witty stories, Donald Barthelme threw the preoccupations of our time into the literary equivalent of a Cuisinart and served up a gorgeous salad of American culture, high and low. Here are the urban upheavals reimagined as frontier myth; travelogues through countries that might have been created by Kafka; cryptic dialogues that bore down to the bedrock of our longings, dreams, and angsts. Like all of Barthelme’s work, the sixty stories collected in this volume are triumphs of language and perception, at once unsettling and irresistible.”
LI 216 – Literature of the Gothic
“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (originally The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere) is the longest major poem by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, written in 1797–98 and was published in 1798 in the first edition of Lyrical Ballads. Modern editions use a later revised version printed in 1817 that featured a gloss. Along with other poems in Lyrical Ballads, it was a signal shift to modern poetry and the beginning of British Romantic literature.
It relates the events experienced by a mariner who has returned from a long sea voyage. The Mariner stops a man who is on the way to a wedding ceremony and begins to narrate a story. The Wedding-Guest’s reaction turns from bemusement to impatience and fear to fascination as the Mariner’s story progresses, as can be seen in the language style: for example, Coleridge uses narrative techniques such as personification and repetition to create either a sense of danger, of the supernatural or of serenity, depending on the mood of each of the different parts of the poem”
By Mary Shelly
“Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only nineteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creatures hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.
Frankenstein, an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature? In our age, filled with news of organ donation genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever.”
LI 304 – 19TH Century Russian Literature
6. The Nose
“‘The Nose’ is a satirical short story by Nikolai Gogol. Written between 1835-1836, it tells of a St. Petersburg official whose nose leaves his face and develops a life of its own.
Dmitri Shostakovich’s opera The Nose, first performed in 1930, is based on this story. A short film based on the story was made by Alexandre Alexeieff and Claire Parker in 1963 and used pinscreen animation. A play based on the short story was written by Tom Swift and produced by The Performance Corporation in 2008.
– Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.”
7. The Overcoat
“A sincere young clerk makes great sacrifices to attain an overcoat of untold value and power.”
LI 372 – Shakespearean Comedy
“Critically acclaimed as one of Shakespeare’s most complex and intriguing plays, Twelfth Night is a classic romantic comedy of mistaken identities. In recent years it has returned to the center of critical debate surrounding gender and sexuality. The introduction explores the multiple factors that make up the play’s rich textual, theatrical, critical, and cultural history. Keir Elam surveys the play’s production and reception, emphasizing the role of the spectator both within the comedy and the playhouse. He also discusses the themes of perspective and interpreting visual images, theatric and film adaptations of the play, and Twelfth Night‘s comedic elements, and provides individual analyses of Malvolio, Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, Feste, Orsino, Olivia, and Viola. Editorial craft, casting and the use of music are addressed in the appendices, which also include a list of abbreviations and references, a catalog of Shakespeare’s works and works partly by Shakespeare, and citations for the modern productions mentioned in the text, other collated editions of Twelfth Night, and other related reading.
The Arden Shakespeare has developed a reputation as the pre-eminent critical edition of Shakespeare for its exceptional scholarship, reflected in the thoroughness of each volume. An introduction comprehensively contextualizes the play, chronicling the history and culture that surrounded and influenced Shakespeare at the time of its writing and performance, and closely surveying critical approaches to the work. Detailed appendices address problems like dating and casting, and analyze the differing Quarto and Folio sources. A full commentary by one or more of the play’s foremost contemporary scholars illuminates the text, glossing unfamiliar terms and drawing from an abundance of research and expertise to explain allusions and significant background information. Highly informative and accessible, Arden offers the fullest experience of Shakespeare available to a reader.”
By Lesel Dawson
“Lesel Dawson examines figures afflicted with erotic melancholy in early modern literature and provides a historical context for their malady. She discusses how the literary representation of lovesickness relates to issues of gender and identity, making a contribution to the fields of literature, gender, and medical history.”
By Anne Carson
“A book about love as seen by the ancients, Eros is Anne Carson’s exploration of the concept of “eros” in both classical philosophy and literature. Beginning with: “It was Sappho who first called eros ‘bittersweet.’ No one who has been in love disputes her. What does the word mean?”, Carson examines her subject from numerous points of view and styles, transcending the constraints of the scholarly exercise for an evocative and lyrical meditation in the tradition of William Carlos William’s Spring and All and William H. Gass’s On Being Blue.”
By Anne Carson
“From poet and classicist Anne Carson comes this translation of the work of Sappho, together with the original Greek. Carson presents all the extant fragments of Sappho’s verse, employing brackets and white space to denote missing text – allowing the reader to imagine the poems as they were written.”