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Recent Faculty Books
The Nation Writ Small: African Fictions and Feminisms, 1958–1988
Impure Worlds: The Institution of Literature in the Age of the Novel
Poetry Against Torture: Criticism, History and the Human
A More Conservative Place: Intellectual Culture in the Bush Era
American Indian Autobiography
Artful Dodgers: Reconceiving the Golden Age of Children's Literature
Blood Libel: The Ritual Murder Accusation at the Limit of Jewish History
The Eloquence of the Vulgar: Language, Cinema and the Politics of Culture
The Legacies of Caribbean Radical Politics
Modernism and the New Spain: Britain, Cosmopolitan Europe, and Literary History
Troublemakers: Power, Representation, and the Fiction of the Mass Worker
Approaches to Teaching the Works of Oscar Wilde
Forms of English History in Literature, Landscape, and Architecture
Reformations of the Body: Idolatry, Sacrifice, and Early Modern Theater
Imaginary Citizens: Child Readers and the Limits of American Independence, 1640-1868
boundary 2 39, no.1 (2012); Tunisia Dossier: The Tunisian Revolution Dignity, with “Introduction: For Dignity: Tunisia and the Poetry of Emergent Democratic Humanism”
Portals of Power: Magical Agency and Transformation in Literary Fantasy
August Wilson: Pittsburgh Places in His Life and Plays
Shakespeare & Outsiders
I have always imagined Paradise will be a kind of library.
Literature is news that stays news.
Politics in a work of literature is like a pistol shot in the middle of a concert.
I can hardly describe to you the effect of these books. They produced in me an infinity of new images and feelings, that sometimes raised me to ecstasy, but more frequently sunk me into the lowest dejection.
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein’s Monster
All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse, and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was.
’Tis the good reader that makes the good book; in every book he finds passages which seem to be confidences or sides hidden from all else and unmistakably meant for his ear; the profit of books is according to the sensibility of the reader; the profound thought or passion sleeps as in a mine, until it is discovered by an equal mind and heart.
Every allegedly great age is an age of translations.
Literature is where I go to explore the highest and lowest places in human society and in the human spirit, where I hope to find not absolute truth but the truth of the tale, of the imagination and of the heart.
We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.
Toni Morrison, Nobel Acceptance Speech
Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion.
It is not all books that are as dull as their readers.
If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?
Poetry makes nothing happen.
Poetry Fetter’d, Fetters the Human Race! Nations are Destroy’d, or Flourish, in proportion as Their Poetry Painting and Music, are Destroy’d or Flourish!
On or about December 1910, human character changed.
It is only a novel… or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language.
There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away Nor any Coursers like a Page of prancing Poetry
University of Pittsburgh Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Department of English 526 Cathedral of Learning 4200 Fifth Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15260