For students of modern literature, the works of Virginia Woolf are essential reading. In her novels, short stories, essays, polemical pamphlets and in her private letters she explored, questioned and refashioned everything about modern life: cinema, sexuality, shopping, education, feminism, politics and war. Her elegant and startlingly original sentences became a model of modernist prose. This is a clear and informative introduction to Woolf's life, works, and cultural and critical contexts, explaining the importance of the Bloomsbury group in the development of her work. It covers the major works in detail, including To the Lighthouse, Mrs Dalloway, The Waves and the key short stories. As well as providing students with the essential information needed to study Woolf, Jane Goldman suggests further reading to allow students to find their way through the most important critical works. All students of Woolf will find this a useful and illuminating overview of the field.
Beginning its life as the sensational entertainment of the eighteenth century, the novel has become the major literary genre of modern times. Drawing on hundreds of examples of famous novels from all over the world, Marina MacKay explores the essential aspects of the novel and its history: where novels came from and why we read them; how we think about their styles and techniques, their people, plots, places, and politics. Between the main chapters are longer readings of individual works, from Don Quixote to Midnight's Children. A glossary of key terms and a guide to further reading are included, making this an ideal accompaniment to introductory courses on the novel.
This is an eloquent and accessible introduction to one of the most important writers of the twentieth century. This book provides biographical and contextual information, but more fundamentally, it also considers how we might think about an enduringly difficult and experimental novelist and playwright who often challenges the very concepts of meaning and interpretation. It deals with his life, intellectual and cultural background, plays, prose, and critical response and relates Beckett's work and vision to the culture and context from which he wrote. McDonald provides a sustained analysis of the major plays, including Waiting for Godot, Endgame, and Happy Days and his major prose works including Murphy, Watt and his famous 'trilogy' of novels (Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable). This introduction concludes by mapping the huge terrain of criticism Beckett's work has prompted, and it explains the turn in recent years to understanding Beckett within his historical context.
Named after a small neighborhood in London where its members settled as young adults, the Bloomsbury Group produced an impressive body of work that yielded British Post-Impressionist painting, literary modernism, the field of macroeconomics, and a new direction for public taste in art. This Companion offers a comprehensive guide to the intellectual and social contexts surrounding Bloomsbury and its coterie, which includes writer Virginia Woolf, economist Maynard Keynes, and art critic Roger Fry, among others. Thirteen chapters from leading scholars and critics explore the Bloomsbury Group's rejection of Victorian values and social mores, their interventions in issues of empire and international politics, their innovations in the literary and visual arts, and more. Complete with a chronology of key events and a detailed guide to further reading, this Companion provides scholars and students of English literature fresh perspectives on the achievements of this remarkable circle of friends.
The Cambridge Introduction to British Fiction 1900 1950
Edward Albee, perhaps best known for his acclaimed and infamous 1960s drama Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, is one of America's greatest living playwrights. Now in his seventies, he is still writing challenging, award-winning dramas. This collection of essays on Albee, which includes contributions from the leading commentators on Albee's work, brings fresh critical insights to bear by exploring the full scope of the playwright's career, from his 1959 breakthrough with The Zoo Story to his recent Broadway success, The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? (2002). The contributors include scholars of both theatre and English literature, and the essays thus consider the plays both as literary texts and as performed drama. The collection considers a number of Albee's lesser-known and neglected works, provides a comprehensive introduction and overview, and includes an exclusive, original interview with Mr Albee, on topics spanning his whole career.
James Joyce has a reputation for being one of modern literature's most difficult writers. This introduction gives students the necessary tools they will need to get the most out of reading him. It provides the essential biographical information and situates his life and works in broader cultural, historical, and literary contexts. Students will also find detailed examinations of the major works including Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. In addition, Bulson lets students see how Joyce evolved as a writer. This introduction also provides a brief history of the critical reception of Joyce's life and works and explains what a variety of critical approaches can teach us. A guide to further reading has been included for those interested in consulting some of the more influential secondary works. This accessible and lively introduction gives students everything they will need to get started reading, understanding, and appreciating Joyce.