Papers on Language & Literature

Literary history, theory, and interpretation.

Articles from Vol. 48, No. 3, Summer

Active and Passive Citizenship in Emma Lazarus's "The New Colossus" and Judith Ortiz Cofer's "The Latin Deli: An Ars Poetica"
In The New American Exceptionalism (2009), Donald E. Pease relies on sociologist Ghassan Hage's description of "two utterly different ways" of "national belonging" that he calls active and passive (28). The active citizen, Hage notes, includes "[t]he...
"Christopher Wasn't Satisfied with Either Ending": Connecting Christopher Isherwood's the World in the Evening to E. M. Forster's Maurice
In a century whose fiction is remarkable for its growing sexual can- dour, Isherwood has been no trailblazer. --Jonathan H. Fryer [T]exts come before us as the always-already-read; we approach them through sedimented layers of previous interpretations,...
Destroying to Save: Idealism and Pragmatism in Alice Walker's "Everyday Use"
In his report following the battle for Ben Tre during the Vietnam War, Peter Arnett quotes an American officer as saying, "'It became necessary to destroy the town to save it'" (256). The statement was quickly used by others to epitomize the inanity,...
"High Civilization": The Role of Noh Drama in Ezra Pound's Cantos
The importance of Noh drama to Ezra Pound's poetry, and especially to his Cantos, has long been acknowledged and has previously been approached from a variety of perspectives: focusing on the sources and accuracy of the translations in 'Noh' Or Accomplishment;...
Readying for Surprise: Emory Elliott's Literary Historiography
Emory Elliott. National Dreams and Rude Awakenings: Essays on American Literature, from the Puritans to the Postmodern. Heidelberg, Germany: Universitatsverlag, 2010. Hardcover $65.85. Very likely, Emory Elliott agreed with Jonathan Arac that those...
The Urn's "Silent Form": Keats's Critique of Poetic Judgment
In John Keats's "Ode on a Grecian Urn," the most enigmatic phrase is "Beauty is truth, truth beauty" (49). The equation of beauty and truth in this phrase has generated numerous interpretive responses to the nature of aesthetic experience represented...