Literary criticism

Rebecca May Johnson
August 9, 2019

How has classical literature shaped culture, knowledge, the thinkable? What happens when a canonical text is translated from his gaze into her, and their, gaze(s)?  These are some of the questions Barbara Köhler pursues in her modern epic poem, Niemands Frau (2007), her response to The Odyssey. Translated and re-imagined over the centuries, Homer’s tale found critical resonance in intellectual traditions from Christianity through to Post-Colonialism. Odysseus has been viewed as an ideal, reputedly using reason rather than force to dominate, but in Niemands Frau Köhler takes inspiration from Penelope to weave a text that challenges the rationalist and patriarchal...

Elizabeth Brennan
June 19, 2019
This lecture was originally published by the Institute of English Studies, University of London in 1996.

The Hilda Hulme Memorial Lectures were established in 1985 following a donation from Mr Mohamed Aslam in memory of his wife, Dr Hilda Hulme. The lectures are on the subject of English literature and relate to one of ‘the three fields in which Dr Hulme specialised, namely Shakespeare, language in Elizabethan drama, and the nineteenth-century novel’.

Isobel Armstrong
March 31, 2019
This lecture was originally published by the Institute of English Studies, University of London in 1992.

The Hilda Hulme Memorial Lectures were established in 1985 following a donation from Mr Mohamed Aslam in memory of his wife, Dr Hilda Hulme. The lectures are on the subject of English literature and relate to one of ‘the three fields in which Dr Hulme specialised, namely Shakespeare, language in Elizabethan drama, and the nineteenth-century novel’.
Helen Vendler
August 20, 2018
This lecture was originally published by the Institute of English Studies, University of London in 1990.

The Hilda Hulme Memorial Lectures were established in 1985 following a donation from Mr Mohamed Aslam in memory of his wife, Dr Hilda Hulme. The lectures are on the subject of English literature and relate to one of ‘the three fields in which Dr Hulme specialised, namely Shakespeare, language in Elizabethan drama, and the nineteenth-century novel’.

Stanley Wells
July 31, 2018
This lecture was originally published by the Institute of English Studies, University of London in 1987.

The Hilda Hulme Memorial Lectures were established in 1985 following a donation from Mr Mohamed Aslam in memory of his wife, Dr Hilda Hulme. The lectures are on the subject of English literature and relate to one of ‘the three fields in which Dr Hulme specialised, namely Shakespeare, language in Elizabethan drama, and the nineteenth-century novel’.

Barbara Hardy
May 23, 2018

This lecture was originally published by the Institute of English Studies, University of London in 1986.

The Hilda Hulme Memorial Lectures were established in 1985 following a donation from Mr Mohamed Aslam in memory of his wife, Dr Hilda Hulme. The lectures are on the subject of English literature and relate to one of ‘the three fields in which Dr Hulme specialised, namely Shakespeare, language in Elizabethan drama, and the nineteenth-century novel’.

Lilian Armstrong
December 1, 2016

Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca, 1304-1374) worked over many years on his long historical text about the Lives of ancient Roman military heroes, De viris illustribus (On Famous Men). Left unfinished at his death, the text was completed by 1379 by Petrarch’s colleague, Lombardo della Seta. Within a decade, De viris illustribus was translated into Italian; and in 1476 the Libro degli uomini famosi was printed in Poiano outside of Verona by the eccentric humanist and scribe, Felice Feliciano (1433–1479/1480). The edition includes a peculiar feature: preceding each of the Lives is a page on which is printed an interlace woodcut border within which, however, no image appears.

The present book surveys the...

Esther Laufer
November 25, 2016
How can you fathom a bottomless abyss? How can you capture ineffable beauty in words? How do you narrate the master of all stories? These are the challenges that  seasoned poet Konrad von Würzburg set himself when at the end of the 13th century he composed his account of the Trojan War from a multitude of sources. 
Konrad has long been recognized as an exceptionally self-conscious author who frequently reflects on the nature, status and function of poetry, and who at times appears more concerned with the sparkling surface of his discourse than with the events he narrates. Taking these observations as a starting point, this study presents the first comprehensive treatment of metapoetics in the Trojanerkrieg....
Katharina Volckmer
July 1, 2016

Society and its Outsiders in the Novels of Jakob Wassermann takes a fresh look at Wassermann’s depiction of society and its mechanisms of exclusion, specifically those affecting the Jew, the woman, the child and the homosexual man. Wassermann’s extensive oeuvre has not, until now, been considered as an attempt to portray German society at different historical stages, from the Biedermeier to the end of the Weimar Republic. At the same time, this analysis shows how Wassermann’s interest in outsider figures is intertwined with an interest in narrative technique and discusses how his perception of the world affects his depiction of character.

Edited by Joseph Acquisto, Adrianna M. Paliyenko, and Catherine Witt
October 30, 2015
This volume of essays focuses on how poets approach reading as a notion and a practice that both inform their writing and their relationship to their readers. The nineteenth century saw a broadened and increasingly self-conscious concern with reading as an interpretive and political act, with significant implications for poets' individual practice, which they often forged in dialogue with other poets and artists of the time. Covering the 1830s to the late 1990s, a period rich in poetic innovation, the essays examine a wide range of authors and their diverse approaches to reading as inscribed in - and related to - creative writing, and articulate the many ways in which reading developed as an active engagement key to the critical thought...

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