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"Cornell Open is the new global open-access portal for classic out-of-print titles from the distinguished catalog of Cornell University Press. Funded by the newly created Humanities Open Book Program, a collaborative effort between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Cornell Open offers for the first time electronically full open access to key titles in literary criticism and theory, German studies, and Slavic studies."

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The text of these books is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/


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Bread and Circuses

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ISBN: 9780801493386 Year: Pages: 312 Language: English
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Subject: History
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Lively and well written, Bread and Circuses analyzes theories that have treated mass culture as either a symptom or a cause of social decadence. Discussing many of the most influential and representative theories of mass culture, it ranges widely from Greek and Roman origins, through Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Ortega y Gasset, T. S. Eliot, and the theorists of the Frankfurt Institute, down to Marshall McLuhan and Daniel Bell. Brantlinger considers the many versions of negative classicism and shows how the belief in the historical inevitability of social decay.

Building a National Literature

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ISBN: 9780801496226 Year: Pages: 376 Language: English
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Subject: History
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Building a National Literature boldly takes issue with traditional literary criticism for its failure to explain how literature as a body is created and shaped by institutional forces. Peter Uwe Hohendahl approaches literary history by focusing on the material and ideological structures that determine the canonical status of writers and works. He examines important elements in the making of a national literature, including the political and literary public sphere, the theory and practice of literary criticism, and the emergence of academic criticism as literary history. Hohendahl considers such key aspects of the process in Germany as the rise of liberalism and nationalism, the delineation of the borders of German literature, the idea of its history, the understanding of its cultural function, and the notion of a canon of major and minor authors.

By Honor Bound

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ISBN: 9781501707193 Year: Pages: 312 Language: English
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Subject: History
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In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Russians from all ranks of society were bound together by a culture of honor. Here one of the foremost scholars of early modern Russia explores the intricate and highly stylized codes that made up this culture. Nancy Shields Kollmann describes how these codes were manipulated to construct identity and enforce social norms--and also to defend against insults, to pursue vendettas, and to unsettle communities. She offers evidence for a new view of the relationship of state and society in the Russian empire, and her richly comparative approach enhances knowledge of statebuilding in premodern Europe. By presenting Muscovite state and society in the context of medieval and early modern Europe, she exposes similarities that blur long-standing distinctions between Russian and European history.

Through the prism of honor, Kollmann examines the interaction of the Russian state and its people in regulating social relations and defining an individual's rank. She finds vital information in a collection of transcripts of legal suits brought by elites and peasants alike to avenge insult to honor. The cases make clear the conservative role honor played in society as well as the ability of men and women to employ this body of ideas to address their relations with one another and with the state. Kollmann demonstrates that the grand princes—and later the tsars—tolerated a surprising degree of local autonomy throughout their rapidly expanding realm. Her work marks a stark contrast with traditional Russian historiography, which exaggerates the power of the state and downplays the volition of society.

Chaucer and the Poets

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ISBN: 9781501707230 Year: Pages: 256 Language: English
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Subject: Multidisciplinary
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In this sensitive reading of Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde, Winthrop Wetherbee redefines the nature of Chaucer’s poetic vision. Using as a starting point Chaucer’s profound admiration for the achievement of Dante and the classical poets, Wetherbee sees the Troilus as much more than a courtly treatment of an event in ancient history—it is, he asserts, a major statement about the poetic tradition from which it emerges. Wetherbee demonstrates the evolution of the poet-narrator of the Troilus, who begins as a poet of romance, bound by the characters’ limited worldview, but who in the end becomes a poet capable of realizing the tragic and ultimately the spiritual implications of his story.

Clarissa's Ciphers

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ISBN: 9781501707148 Year: Pages: 208 Language: English
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Subject: Languages and Literatures
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As Samuel Richardson's 'exemplar to her sex,’ Clarissa in the eponymous novel published in 1748 is the paradigmatic female victim. In Clarissa’s Ciphers, Terry Castle delineates the ways in which, in a world where only voice carries authority, Clarissa is repeatedly silenced, both metaphorically and literally. A victim of rape, she is first a victim of hermeneutic abuse. Drawing on feminist criticism and hermeneutic theory, Castle examines the question of authority in the novel. By tracing the patterns of abuse and exploitation that occur when meanings are arbitrarily and violently imposed, she explores the sexual politics of reading.

The Electrification of Russia, 1880-1926

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ISBN: 9781501707162 Year: Pages: 288 Language: English
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Subject: History
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≤p≥The Electrification of Russia, 1880–1926 is the first full account of the widespread adoption of electricity in Russia, from the beginning in the 1880s to its early years as a state technology under Soviet rule. Jonathan Coopersmith has mined the archives for both the tsarist and the Soviet periods to examine a crucial element in the modernization of Russia. Coopersmith shows how the Communist Party forged an alliance with engineers to harness the socially transformative power of this science-based enterprise. A centralized plan of electrification triumphed, to the benefit of the Communist Party and the detriment of local governments and the electrical engineers. Coopersmith's narrative of how this came to be elucidates the deep-seated and chronic conflict between the utopianism of Soviet ideology and the reality of Soviet politics and economics.

Images from the Region of the Pueblo Indians of North America

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ISBN: 9780801484353 Year: Pages: 128 Language: English
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Subject: History
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Aby M. Warburg (1866–1929) is recognized not only as one of the century’s preeminent art and Renaissance historians but also as a founder of twentieth-century methods in iconology and cultural studies in general. Warburg’s 1923 lecture, first published in German in 1988 and now available for the first time in English translation, Michael Steinberg offers offers at once a window on his career, a formative statement of his cultural history of modernity, and a document in the ethnography of the American Southwest. This edition includes thirty-nine photographs, many of them originally presented as slides with the speech, and a rich interpretive essay by the translator.

Images from the Region of the Pueblo Indians of North America translates Warburg’s seminal study of the “serpent ritual” of the Hopi people, which grew out of a trip to the American Southwest undertaken by Warburg in 1895–1896.

The Institution of Criticism

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ISBN: 9781501707186 Year: Pages: 288 Language: English
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Subject: Languages and Literatures
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German radicals of the 1960s announced the death of literature. For them, literature both past and present, as well as conventional discussions of literary issues, had lost its meaning. In The Institution of Criticism, Peter Uwe Hohendahl explores the implications of this crisis from a Marxist perspective and attempts to define the tasks and responsibilities of criticism in advanced capitalist societies. Hohendahl takes a close look at the social history of literary criticism in Germany since the eighteenth century. Drawing on the tradition of the Frankfurt School and on Jürgen Habermas's concept of the public sphere, Hohendahl sheds light on some of the important political and social forces that shape literature and culture. The Institution of Criticism is made up of seven essays originally published in German and a long theoretical introduction written by the author with English-language readers in mind. This book conveys the rich possibilities of the German perspective for those who employ American and French critical techniques and for students of contemporary critical theory.

Literary Transcendentalism

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ISBN: 9780801491528 Year: Pages: 352 Language: English
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Subject: Languages and Literatures
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>p

Lawrence Buell combines intellectual history and critical explication, giving equal attention to general trends and to particular works and individuals. His chapters on conversation, religious discourse, catalog rhetoric, and literary travelogue treat intensively topics that have been relatively neglected. His analyses of Ellery Channing's poetry and the use of persona in Emerson and Very are also innovative. In the final section, he offers the first systematic account of the autobiographical tradition in transcendentalist writing.>p

Nabokov

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ISBN: 9781501707223 Year: Pages: 264 Language: English
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Subject: Languages and Literatures
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Vladimir Nabokov described the literature course he taught at Cornell as ""a kind of detective investigation of the mystery of literary structures."" Leona Toker here pursues a similar investigation of the enigmatic structures of Nabokov's own fiction. According to Toker, most previous critics stressed either Nabokov’s concern with form or the humanistic side of his works, but rarely if ever the two together. In sensitive and revealing readings of ten novels, Toker demonstrates that the need to reconcile the human element with aesthetic or metaphysical pursuits is a constant theme of Nabokov’s and that the tension between technique and content is itself a key to his fiction. Written with verve and precision, Toker’s book begins with Pnin and follows the circular pattern that is one of her subject’s own favored devices.

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