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A journal focusing on literature and literary topics for the academic audience.

Articles from Vol. 35, No. 3, Fall

Animal Carnivals: A Bakhtinian Reading of C. S. Lewis's the Magician's Nephew and P. L. Travers's Mary Poppins
In the past two decades, the work of Russian critic Mikhail Bakhtin has become increasingly important to the criticism of children's literature. Caryl Emerson, one of his translators and editors, argues that Westerners most admire Bakhtin's views on...
Books Received
Benabou, Marcel. Dump This Book While You Still Can! Trans. Steven Rendall. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2001. $50.00 cloth; $19.95 paper. Orig. pub. 1992. Berke, Nancy. Women Poets on the Left: Lola Ridge, Genevieve Taggard, Margaret Walker. Gainesville:...
Conventions of Children's Literature: Then and Now
As odd as it may seem, one of the most persistent questions posed by scholars of children's and young adult literature is what constitutes our field of inquiry. What exactly defines children's literature? What marks a work as specifically for children?...
Enfranchising the Child: Picture Books, Primacy, and Discourse
Imagine a discourse between the arts in which the conventions of what we might call "ordinary" cognition do not apply, on a site of intense lobbying neither tethered by history or cultural integrity, nor, frequently, concerned with social cohesion...
From Invention to Convention: A Critical View of the Evolution of the Aside in French Neoclassical Drama
1 The first documented definition of the aside as a dramatic technique, and not just as an occasional stage direction, is usually credited to the French scholar Henri-Jules Pilet de La Mesnardiere, who in his 1640 book La Poetique, written at the...
Mel Glenn and Arnold Adoff: The Poetics of Power in the Adolescent Voice-Lyric
In Self and Sensibility in Contemporary American Poetry, Charles Altieri labels the most prevalent mode of adult poetry written today "the scenic style" (11). Altieri characterizes this mode, also called the poetics of "voice" or the "voicelyric" by...
Partners in Crime: E. Nesbit and the Art of Thieving
Catching a burglar in the act of creeping into her family's nursery, the youngest heroine of E. Nesbit's The Phoenix and the Carpet (1904) "kn[ows] better" than to succumb to fear (192). For Jane, despite her youth, "had read a great many nice stories...
Raymond Carver's "Epiphanic Moments"
Criticism on Raymond Carver is marked by an astonishing absence of consensus. Indeed, like no other author of the so-called minimalist movement, Carver has been coopted by the various critical schools as a conveniently elastic foil to demonstrate their...
"So Stretched out Huge in Length": Reading the Extended Simile
One of the distinctive features of simile is that it can be extended beyond the dimensions of trope into the relatively autonomous mini-genre of its Homeric form. Thus, a study of the extended simile may offer some insights into the relationship between...
The Changing Aesthetics of Character in Children's Fiction
Character and characterization are such an obvious part of fiction that they are very seldom discussed in critical works. Despite the postmodern and poststructural denigration of characters, however, they are still central in fiction; basically, we...
The Harry Potter Novels as a Test Case for Adolescent Literature
When I first read J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1997), I did not understand its mass appeal. It is clever and charming, but it is also episodically plotted, relatively predictable, derivative of Baum, Lewis, and Dahl, and it...
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