Notes on Contemporary Literature

Articles from Vol. 40, No. 3, May

Frost's "Sensible Conversation" with Hazlitt
Although William Hazlitt's Table-Talk (1821) and Lectures on the English Comic Writers (1819) were staples of the teacher Robert Frost's assignments at Amherst College (Lawrence Thompson, Robert Frost: The Years of Triumph 1915-1938 [NY: Holt, Rinehart...
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Generations of Canadian Women Alone Together in Margaret Atwood's the Blind Assassin
In The Blind Assassin (NY: Anchor Books, 2004), Margaret Atwood tells the story of five generations of Canadian women who find alternatives to the oppressive rules imposed by their husbands and fathers. Constrained by a patriarchal mentality, which...
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"Monstre Gai" in Wyndham Lewis and Saul Bellow
In Wyndham Lewis' Monstre Gai (1955), the second book of his often impenetrable trilogy The Human Age, Pullman and his ex-school-fag Satterthwaite try to gain admission to the Third City, a purgatorial world beyond the grave, by joining the entourage...
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Naked in a Tree: James Dean, the William Blakes, Yossarian, Melanie, et Al
The naked-in-a-tree image need not have profound symbolic connotations. On the one hand, it may signify suspected mental disturbance, as in the films Sweetie (Australian, directed by Jane Campion, 1989) and Das schreckliche Madchen (German, 1990, directed...
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The Problem of Omniscience in John Updike's Roger's Version
In Roger's Version (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1986), John Updike finds a new way to engage an old set of problems--having to do with literary realism, narrative authority, and point of view--that have been in play at least since the publication of Walter...
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