Papers on Language & Literature

Literary history, theory, and interpretation.

Articles from Vol. 41, No. 2, Spring

Mimetic Desire in John Dos Passos's U.S.A. Trilogy
Midway through reading U.S.A., Sartre declared John Dos Passos "the greatest living writer of our time." Other contemporaries, including Faulkner and Hemingway, similarly praised the novelist and admired the innovative style and sheer scope of the...
Paradice Lost, Paradise Regained: Homo Faber and the Makings of a New Beginning in Oryx and Crake
Margaret Atwood's novel Oryx and Crake (2003)critiques modernity's commitment to homo faber--he who labors to use every instrument as a means to achieve a particular end in building a world, even when the fabrication of that world necessarily demands...
The Darwin before Darwin: Erasmus Darwin, Visionary Science, and Romantic Poetry
Erasmus Darwin was at the center of the ideas and activities that drove the industrial revolution in the late eighteenth century out of which the scientific worldview developed. His friends and fellow members of the Lunar Society make up what Francis...
"The Queene Is Defrauded of the Intent of the Law": Spenser's Advocation of Civil Law in A View of the State of Ireland
Responses to Spenser's approach to legal reform in A View of the State of Ireland generally note his evasive but present critiques of the use of English Common Law in Ireland. As many critics, some to be noted here, point out, that critique had to...
Trees, Kings, and Muses: Robert Graves's Battle of the Trees and Jotham's Parable of the Trees
Although the word "myth" is used in everyday speech to denote a fictional narrative, and as such may on occasion bear pejorative connotations, for Robert Graves and Raphael Patai myths "are dramatic stories that form a sacred charter either authorizing...