BeowulfPresents concise, easy-to-understand biographical, critical, and bibliographical information on a specific literary work -- Provides multiple sources for book reports and term papers with a wealth of information on literary works, authors, and major characters -- Digests of critical extracts prefaced by headnotes
Chaucer and the Energy of Creation : The Design and the Organization of the Canterbury TalesUsing extant manuscripts as his starting point, Edward Condren argues that the overall design of the Canterbury Tales has a structural parallel with Dante's Commedia. He demonstrates how individual tales support this design and how the design itself confers rich meaning, in some instances investing with new complexity tales that otherwise have been little appreciated.
Design in the Wax, The : The Structure of the Divine Comedy and Its MeaningThe Design in the Wax recovers the specifically medieval interpretation of the structure which underlies each part of the poem and the poem as a whole, and shows readers how to discover the single consistent principle which organizes each part and the overall narrative. The incidents of the poem would remain hopelessly ambiguous were it not for the philosophical and theological distinctions embodied in the structure of the narrative, in whose light it is possible to reduce the ambiguity of concrete incidents to their intended allegorical content. Through medieval interpretations of Dante's sources, Marc Cogan discovers a single consistent moral and theological principle organizing each of the sections of the poem and its overall narrative. He argues that, using one common principle, Dante brings the separate allegories of the Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso together into one great allegory, making the transformation of the principle into an ordered set of variations on the theme of love and its representation in human beings as the image of God. This allegory, he points out, provides a meditation on the nature of God and the capacities of human beings. The Design in the Wax is a thought-provoking tool for all students of the Divine Comedy interested in studying Dante's calculated use of poetry to overcome the limits of human understanding.
The Qur'an : An IntroductionThere is much more to the Qur'an than the selective quotations favoured by Islamic fundamentalists. This book provides a student-friendly guide to the many ways in which the Qur'an can be read. Designed for both Muslims and Western non-Muslim students, it examines the Qur'an in Western scholarship as well as giving an overview of the rich interpretive traditions from the time of the Prophet Muhammad to the present day. This guide is a concise introduction to all aspects of the Qur'an: history, understanding and interpretation, providing: coverage of both pre-modern and modern periods plenty of examples to illustrate key points and aid student understanding summaries, timelines and a glossary.
An Introduction to Geoffrey ChaucerGeoffrey Chaucer is widely considered the father of English literature. This introduction begins with a review of his life and the cultural milieu of fourteenth-century England and then expands into analyses of such major works as The Parliament of Fowls, Troilus and Criseyde, and, of course, the Canterbury Tales, examining them alongside a selection of lesser known verses. One of the early hurdles faced by students of Chaucer is achieving ease and fluency with Middle English, but Tison Pugh provides a clear and concise pronunciation guide and a glossary to help novice readers navigate Chaucer's literature in its original language. Additional critical apparatus, including a survey of the writer's sources and brief summaries of major plot lines, make An Introduction to Geoffrey Chaucer an indispensable resource for students, teachers, and anyone who has ever wanted to learn more about this crucial figure of English literature.
The Great 'Umar KhayyamThe Persian poet, mathematician, and astronomer 'Umar Khayyám (1048-1131), is best known for his remarkable and highly influential poem cycle, The Rubáiyát. These poems, of which there are nearly a thousand, have been used in contemporary Iran as resistance literature, symbolizing the secularist voice in cultural debates. Offering a unique overview of a selection of poems, this anthology collects eighteen essays on the history of the reception of the celebrated work in various literary translations and editions, exploring how Khayyám's philosophy as presented in his poetry has inspired generations of poets, novelists, painters, musicians, calligraphers, filmmakers, and freethinkers.
The Arabian Nights: a companionRobert Irwin has taught Arabic and Middle Eastern History at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and London. He is also the Middle East editor for the Times Literary Supplement.
The Cambridge History of Medieval English LiteratureThis was the first full-scale history of medieval English literature for nearly a century. Thirty-three distinguished contributors offer a collaborative account of literature composed or transmitted in England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland between the Norman conquest and the death of Henry VIII in 1547. The volume has five sections: 'After the Norman Conquest'; 'Writing in the British Isles'; 'Institutional Productions'; 'After the Black Death' and 'Before the Reformation'. It provides information on a vast range of literary texts and the conditions of their production and reception, which will serve both specialists and general readers, and also contains a chronology, full bibliography and a detailed index. This book offers an extensive and vibrant account of the medieval literatures so drastically reconfigured in Tudor England. It will thus prove essential reading for scholars of the Renaissance as well as medievalists, and for historians as well as literary specialists.
Critical Essays on Geoffery ChaucerThe full range of literary traditions comes to life in the Twayne Critical Essays Series. Volume editors have carefully selected critical essays that represent the full spectrum of controversies, trends and methodologies relating to each author's work. Essays include writings from the author's native country and abroad, with interpretations from the time they were writing, through the present day.
Dante's Divine ComedyA collection of nine critical essays on Dante's epic poem arranged in chronological order of publication
The Koran: a very short introductionThis Very Short Introduction explores the significance of the Koran both in the modern world and in traditional Muslim culture. Michael Cook provides a lucid and direct account of the Koran as codex, as scripture, as liturgy, and as the embodiment of truth, and examines its means of formation and dissemination. He also discusses issues of interpretation for certain key verses, demonstrating that fecundity of the text for readers throughout the world.
Medieval Literature : a very short introductionThis Very Short Introduction provides a compelling account of the emergence of the earliest literature in Britain and Ireland, including English, Welsh, Scottish, Irish, Anglo-Latin and Anglo-Norman. Introducing the reader to some of the greatest poetry, prose and drama ever written, ElaineTreharne discusses the historical and intellectual background to these works, and considers the physical production of the manuscripts and the earliest beginnings of print culture. Covering both well-known texts, such as Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales and the Mabinogion, as well as texts that aremuch less familiar, such as sermons, saints' lives, lyrics and histories, Treharne discusses major themes such as sin and salvation, kingship and authority, myth and the monstrous, and provides a full, but brief, account of one of the major periods in literary history.ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: an authoritative translation, contexts, criticismThe text is accompanied by a detailed introduction, an essay on the metrical form, the translator's note, marginal glosses, and explanatory annotations to assist readers in the study of this canonical Arthurian romance."Contexts" presents two French tales of Sir Gawain and a passage from the Alliterative Morte Arthure, also translated by Marie Borroff, as well as three selections from the original Middle English poem."Criticism" collects ten interpretive essays on the poem's central themes. Contributors include Alain Renoir, Marie Borroff, J. A. Burrow, A. Kent Hieatt, W. A. Davenport, Ralph Hanna III, Lynn Staley Johnson, Jonathan Nicholls, Geraldine Heng, and Leo Carruthers.A Chronology of important historical and literary dates and a Selected Bibliography are also included.
The Tale of GenjiWritten by the daughter of a Japanese noble, this 11th-century work of fiction chronicles the life and romantic exploits of the handsome son of the emperor and his concubine during the Heian period.
Featured Historical Context
Daily Life in the Middle AgesAlthough life in the Middle Ages was not as comfortable and safe as it is for most people in industrialized countries today, the term "Dark Ages" is highly misleading. The era was not so primitive and crude as depictions in film and literature would suggest. Even during the worst years of the centuries immediately following the fall of Rome, the legacy of that civilization survived. This book covers diet, cooking, housing, building, clothing, hygiene, games and other pastimes, fighting and healing in medieval times. The reader will find numerous misperceptions corrected. The book also includes a comprehensive bibliography and a listing of collections of medieval art and artifacts and related sites across the United States and Canada so that readers in North America can see for themselves some of the matters discussed in the book.