Connotations : a Journal for Critical Debate

Articles from Vol. 16, No. 1-3, 2006

Attitudes towards Death in Middle English Lyrics and Hagiography
'How ben may ytAt ye to deth as gladly goAs to a feste?'The attitude of the bulk of thirteenth- to fifteenth-century English lyrics towards death is captured in the refrain of a well-known poem by John Dunbar: "Timor mortis conturbat me."1 Middle English...
Bennett's the History Boys: Unnoticed Ironies Lead to Critical Neglect
Any one, or a combination of the following, may be the reason why Alan Bennett's play The History Boys (2004) has received virtually no serious attention to date from academic critics: it's an unusual hybrid; it's middlebrow; its politics are dubious;...
"Betray'd to Shame": Venice Preserved and the Paradox of She-Tragedy
Introduction: Murdering WomenAs is well known, when English theaters re-opened during the Restoration, women were allowed to act in them. This innovation would seem, initially, to be an unqualified boon for women, with a material gain (a new career)...
Decadence and Renewal in Dickens's Our Mutual Friend
The plot of Dickens's Our Mutual Friend focuses on the presumed death and ultimate reappearance of the jeune premier, John Harmon. It had been Dickens's plan to write about "a man, young and perhaps eccentric, feigning to be dead, and being dead to all...
Dis(re)membering History's Revenants: Trauma, Writing, and Simulated Orality in Toni Morrison's Beloved
"Most artful Teuth, [you], being the father of written letters, have on account of goodwill said the opposite of what they can do. For this will provide forgetfulness in the souls of those who have learned it, through neglect of memory, seeing that,...
Echo Restored: A Reading of George Herbert's "Heaven"1
(ProQuest: ... denotes formula omitted.)The history of this talk began with Matthias Bauer telling me, some time ago, about a lecture of his on the discovery of childhood in English seventeenth-century literature. The question that most intrigued him...
"For/From Lew": The Ghost Visitations of Lew Welch and the Art of Zen Failure: A Dialogue for Two Voices*
[The following is a transcription of comments made by two academics in the lobby of a post-9/11 airport, where they sat waiting as their computers were searched. Suspicions were aroused when these two subjects-they claimed they were "scholars" who came...
Resurrection as Blasphemy in Canto 5 of Edmund Spenser's "The Legend of Holiness"
"... and so, who are you, after all? -I am part of the power which forever wills evil and forever works good."(Goethe's Faust, as used as epigraph to Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita)1Journeys to and from the netherworld are common occurrences in...
Self and Other: Narrativity in Xinran's the Good Women of China and Sky Burial
In the past two decades, a number of Chinese diaspora writers have attained worldwide fame and sparked the interests of historians and literary critics. Nobel Prize winner Gao Xingjian aside, one of the most prominent figures is Jung Chang, author of...
The Person from Porlock in "Kubla Khan" and Later Texts: Inspiration, Agency, and Interruption
Of late, literary criticism has focused on the socio-cultural agency of artistic production, writing in the material elided by the classical tradition of the Muse on the one hand and the Romantic figure of the autonomous genius on the other. We no longer...
The Return of the Dead in Margaret Atwood's Surfacing and Alias Grace
1. Introduction1972 was Margaret Atwood's annus mirabilis. In one and the same year, she published Surfacing, a powerful and disturbing novel that has become a classic of twentieth-century fiction, and Survival, an engaging study of the characteristic...
The Trials and Tribulations of the Revenants: Narrative Techniques and the Fragmented Hero in Mary Shelley and Théophile Gautier
Reanimation, as a fantastic subject, can be found in myth and literature of all times. But towards the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth, as a result of the rapid development in the fields of medicine and science, revival...
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