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Christopher Morgan

chapter5 28/1/05 1:31 pm Page 102 5 Science and nature Introduction: pure and applied science Having dealt with the issue of the language of science, one must return to the dilemma pointed up earlier by Ned Thomas’s reading of ‘Homo Sapiens 1941’: how does one begin to reconcile R. S. Thomas’s apparently simultaneous condemnation and admiration for the objects and ideas which underlie that language? As I have already suggested, Thomas seems to move gradually from a preoccupation with the language of science for the purposes of art into a moral philosopher

in R. S. Thomas
Open Access (free)
A Hollywood Love Story (as Written by James Baldwin)
D. Quentin Miller

Baldwin’s The Devil Finds Work (1976) has proven challenging since its publication because readers and critics have trouble classifying it. The challenge may be related to a common feature of Baldwin criticism, namely a tendency to compare late career works to early ones and to find them lacking: the experimental nature of later works of nonfiction like No Name in the Street (1972), The Devil Finds Work, and The Evidence of Things Not Seen (1985) does not square easily with the more conventional essays that made Baldwin famous in his early years. I attempt to reframe The Devil Finds Work not through a comparison to other Baldwin essays, but rather through a comparison to his fiction, specifically the novel Giovanni’s Room. I posit that a greater appreciation for Devil can result from thinking of it as a story, specifically the story of a failed love affair.

James Baldwin Review
An Interview with James Baldwin (1969)
Rich Blint and Nazar Büyüm

This is the first English language publication of an interview with James Baldwin (1924–87) conducted by Nazar Büyüm in 1969, Istanbul, Turkey. Deemed too long for conventional publication at the time, the interview re-emerged last year and reveals Baldwin’s attitudes about his literary antecedents and influences such as Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, and Countee Cullen; his views concerning the “roles” and “duties” of a writer; his assessment of his critics; his analysis of the power and message of the Nation of Islam; his lament about the corpses that are much of the history and fact of American life; an honest examination of the relationship of poor whites to American blacks; an interrogation of the “sickness” that characterizes Americans’ commitment to the fiction and mythology of “race,” as well as the perils and seductive nature of American power.

James Baldwin Review
James Baldwin’s Radicalism and the Evolution of His Thought on Israel
Nadia Alahmed

This article traces the evolution of James Baldwin’s discourse on the Arab–Israeli conflict as connected to his own evolution as a Black thinker, activist, and author. It creates a nuanced trajectory of the transformation of Baldwin’s thought on the Arab–Israeli conflict and Black and Jewish relations in the U.S. This trajectory is created through the lens of Baldwin’s relationship with some of the major radical Black movements and organizations of the twentieth century: Malcolm X, Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam, and, finally, the Black Power movement, especially the Black Panther Party. Using Baldwin as an example, the article displays the Arab–Israeli conflict as a terrain Black radicals used to articulate their visions of the nature of Black oppression in the U.S., strategies of resistance, the meaning of Black liberation, and articulations of Black identity. It argues that the study of Baldwin’s transformation from a supporter of the Zionist project of nation-building to an advocate of Palestinian rights and national aspirations reveals much about the ideological transformations of the larger Black liberation movement.

James Baldwin Review
Open Access (free)
Identity, environment, and deity

Controversial poet Ronald Stuart Thomas was considered to be one of the leading writers of the twentieth century. This book, in three parts, interprets the development of a major theme over Thomas's twenty-seven volumes, probing particular themes and poems with a meticulous insight. The themes of identity, environment, and deity treated reflect the major preoccupations of his life and work. The book presents a comprehensive examination of these major themes as they occur across Thomas's substantial oeuvre, while providing an expanded frame within which the considerable complexity of Thomas's work can be explored. It suggests that such poetic explorations and revelations of identity provide the prima materia of the poetry and form an underlying foundation to Thomas's poetry viewed as a single body of work. Thomas's treatment of the natural world, in particular the theology of nature mysticism vital to much of his work, is then discussed. The book also looks closely at Thomas's increasing preoccupation with science. It explores his philosophical concern with a scientific register for poetry, his own experimentation with that register, his subtle ambivalence towards applied technology, his ongoing critique of 'the machine', and his view of modern physics. Finally, examining Thomas's 'religious poetry', the book re-focuses on the exact nature of his poetic approach to a 'theology of experience' as reflected in his 'mythic' and 'via negativa' modes. It highlights Thomas's 'reconfiguring' of theology, that is, his insistence on the central validity and importance of individual spiritual experience, both as absence and as presence.

Open Access (free)
The natural world
Christopher Morgan

chapter3 28/1/05 1:27 pm Page 49 3 ‘Green asylum’: the natural world Introduction William Scammell, in the ‘Introduction’ to his anthology This Green Earth: A Celebration of Nature Poetry (1992), writes that For the earliest men and women, and perhaps for some remote tribes still today, nature was not so much an environment (a word that didn’t get itself invented until the nineteenth century, and grew tall with the advent of Darwinism) as the ground of being. Consequently ideas of appreciating, loving, conserving or exploiting it hardly arose. It was simply

in R. S. Thomas
Open Access (free)
Jane Eyre in Elizabeth Stoddard’s New England
Anne-Marie Ford

are also explored by Sue Zlosnik and Avril Horner in their essay on the work of Djuna Barnes and Evelyn Waugh (Chapter 11). In adapting the Gothic mode, Brontë not only focuses on the sexual nature of women and male oppression, but also on class categories, reflecting a deeply embedded nineteenth-century preoccupation, one that was a focus for Gothic writers, not least Hawthorne. Stoddard employs elements of the Gothic to render the sexually powerful and dominant male, resonant of the slave owners of the American South, as well as current debates regarding women

in Special relationships
Gary Banham

readings. The historicist orientation in criticism has had a long vogue despite the general recognition of the real problems that such concentration has, not least in accounting for its own conditions of possibility.2 The real reason for the continuing production of works that present an opposition between ‘contextual’ reading and aesthetics is a wide acceptance that aesthetic accounts of works do not involve historical considerations.3 I would like therefore here to present an account of aesthetic criticism that makes clear the nature of its historical purchase. This

in The new aestheticism
Jerry Weinberger

106 Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis 6 On the miracles in Bacon’s New Atlantis JERRY WEINBERGER Bacon’s New Atlantis depicts the world to be produced by his famous project for modern science and technology and the consequent mastery of nature and ‘relief of man’s estate’. The sailors who come upon the island leave a world where they are buffeted by the destructive forces of nature – wind, calm, famine, and disease – and enter one where the weather is controlled, needs met, and sickness cured. The key element of Bensalemite history is the founding by King Solamona

in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis
Open Access (free)
Essays on Modern American Literature
Author: David Herd

Modern American literature began with a statement of enthusiasm from Emerson's writing in Nature. 'Enthusiasm', in Emerson, is a knowing word. Sometimes its use is as description, invariably approving, of a historic form of religious experience. Socrates' meaning of enthusiasm, and the image of the enthusiast it throws up, is crucial to this book. The book is a portrait of the writer as an enthusiast, where the portrait, as will become clear, carries more than a hint of polemic. It is about the transmission of literature, showing various writers taking responsibility for that transmission, whether within in their writing or in their cultural activism. Henry David Thoreau's Walden is an enthusiastic book. It is where enthusiasm works both in Immanuel Kant's sense of the unbridled self, and in William Penn's sense of the 'nearer' testament, and in Thoreau's own sense of supernatural serenity. Establishing Ezra Pound's enthusiasm is a fraught and complicated business. Marianne Moore composed poems patiently, sometimes over several years. She is a poet of things, as isolated things - jewels, curios, familiar and exotic animals, common and rare species of plant - are often the ostensible subjects of her poems. Homage to Frank O'Hara is a necessary book, because the sum of his aesthetic was to be found not just in his writing, but also in his actions to which only friends and contemporaries could testify. An enthusiastic reading of James Schuyler brings to the fore pleasure, the sheer pleasure that can come of combining, or mouthing, or transcribing.