Connotations : a Journal for Critical Debate

Articles from Vol. 18, No. 1-3, 2008

Ambiguity and the Poets*
A stranger meeting ambiguity for the first time might well be taken aback by her mixed reputation. She is disliked and avoided in some realms, whereas in others she is welcome. A philosopher like J. L. Austin will patrol the streets of language in order...
Dickens and the Comic Extraneous*
What, then, constitutes the extraneous in fiction, let alone the comic extraneous? When Dickens is at issue, it is probably simpler to describe the comic first: he has accustomed us to the recurrent appearance in a given text of flat caricatures who...
Henry James's Double-Bind: Chasing Possibilities in "The Jolly Corner"*
Look in my face; my name is Might-have-been;I'm also called No-more, Too-late, Farewell;Dante Gabriel Rossetti, "The House of Life""If I were to live my life over again, I would be an American"1; Henry James's powerful statement is more than just a witty...
Isabelle, a Man from Algeria: A Response to Verna A. Foster*
I advise you to take your own life [...] to prevent biographers from taking it in theirs.Letter from Henry Adams to Henry James1Verna A. Foster's choice of Wertenbaker's New Anatomies to study the aesthetic and ethical impUcations of historical drama...
Joe Orton's Laodicean Tragedy: The Good and Faithful Servant*
In Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken," there are two roads that diverge in a yeUow wood. The poet takes one and wonders what would have happened had he taken the other. But there is another way of interpreting the topos of the road not taken. This...
"No Real Men": Mary Butts's Socio-Sexual Politics A Response to Andrew Radford*
It is no exaggeration to say that Mary Butts is one of the most difficult and enigmatic writers of modernist prose. And it is perhaps her own personal sense of exclusion - as manifested in her short stories, journals, and novels - from the burgeoning...
Peter Ackroyd's English Music as Romance of Englishness: A Response to Susan Ang*
Susan Ang's wide-ranging, thoroughly researched article gives precious insights into the poetic and epistemological questions raised by Peter Ackroyd's English Music, a novel that rehearses most of the novelist, critic and biographer's obsessions, and...
Pynchon Takes the Fork in the Road*1
"Even if you forget everything else, " Rinpungpa instructs the Yogi, "remember one thing - when you come to a fork in the road, take it. " Easy for him to say, of course, being two people at once.(Pynchon, Against the Day 766)The enigmatic seal, inscribed...
Roads Not Taken
The Connotations symposia are a biennial event, organized by a scholarly society that has formed around Connotations: A Journal for Critical Debate. Members of the society are asked to offer suggestions for conference topics, and are then to vote on...
Roads-Not-Taken, Taken by the Adapter: The Case of Biblical Samson*1
Adaptations: Dialogues and Logical RelationsIn this essay I will argue that adaptations of a literary work bring to light roads-not-taken (but suggested) by the initiating text, and demonstrate the argument by presenting three adaptations of Samson's...
Secrets Not Revealed: Possible Stories in Wilkie Collins's the Woman in White*1
I. Preamble: The Law of Reading FictionWilkie Collins's TZie Woman in White, first pubüshed between 1859 and 1860, features no less than ten different narrators whose eyewitness accounts, diary entries, letters and personal statements make up the separate...
Spenser as Prometheus: The Monstrous and the Idea of Poetic Creation*1
1. IntroductionEdmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, one of the richest, most ambitious and complex poems in the English language, develops the early modern concept of the poet as creator. Sir Philip Sidney, the most prominent of Spenser's contemporary...
State Super Vias, et Videte, et Interrogate De Viis Antiquis Que Sit Bona, et Ambulate in Ea*
In Jeremiah 6:16, quoted by the Parson at the beginning of his tale, the good way the children of Israel are to take is not specificaUy described. Rather, it is opposed to apostasy and idolatry. In the Parson's Tale, however, this way is identified as...
The Family Reunion: Eliot, James, and the Buried Life*
T. S. Eliot's play The Family Reunion (1939) has not become part of the standard repertoire and is not likely to do so. Eliot himself came to consider it a failure, but it remains stubbornly alive; some of the scenes and individual speeches have indisputable...
"The Road Not Taken" in Hemingway's "The Snows of Kilimanjaro"*1
Although the speaker of Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken" tells us that the road he takes is "less traveled," in the second and third stanzas, he makes it clear that "the passing there" had worn these two paths "really about the same" and that...
(Un)Surprises Uncovered: A Reply to Jennifer Geer, Jean-Jacques Lecercle, and Michael Mendelson*
I was like a child, constantly wondering, and surprised at nothing.George MacDonald, Lilith 17I am deUghted at the responses to my article on (un)surprises in Lewis Carroll's AZfce-books and would like to thank Jennifer Geer, JeanJacques Lecercle, and...
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