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Montaigne and the Lives of the Philosophers: Life Writing and Transversality in the Essais
by Alison Calhoun
In his Essais, Montaigne stresses that his theoretical interest in philosophy goes hand in hand with its practicality. In fact, he makes it clear that there is little reason to live our lives according to doctrine without proof that others have successfully done so. Understanding Montaigne’s philosophical thought, therefore, means not only studying the philosophies of the great thinkers, but also the characters and ways of life of the philosophers themselves. The focus of this book is how Montaigne assembled the lives of the philosophers on the pages of his Essais in order to grapple with two fundamental aims of his project: first, his desire to transform the teaching of moral philosophy, and next, as part of a transverse construction of his self in writing. Both of these objectives grew out of a dialogue with the structure and content in the life writing of Plutarch and Diogenes Laertius, authors whose books were bestsellers during the essayist’s lifetime.
December 2014 ISBN: 978-1611494792 $70.00

Nature, Politics, and the Arts: Essays on Romantic Culture in Honor of Carl Woodring
Edited by Hermione de Almeida
Contributions by Nina Auerbach, John Clubbe, Carl Dawson, William Theodore de Bary, George H. Gilpin, William Carl Gilpin, Jonathan Gross, Regina Hewitt, Steven E. Jones, Marsha Manns, Martin Meisel, Anne K. Mellor, Morton D. Paley, Robert L. Patten, Donald H. Reiman, Ben P. Robertson, Robert M. Ryan, G. Thomas Tanselle, Carol Kyros Walker and Elizabeth Kowaleski Wallace.

This interdisciplinary book honors Columbia professor and New York intellectual Carl Woodring. Ten chapters on Romantic and Victorian literary culture written by leading scholars in the field join in conversation with Woodring’s teachings on literature and visual art and his commentaries on American culture. A multiple-authored chapter of postscripts on the aesthetic range of Woodring’s intellectual interests across cultural disciplines, his contributions to English studies and his informing influence on several generations of scholars, and their areas of interest, follows. A chapter from Woodring's unpublished autobiography, on his childhood in small-town America, then concludes the volume with an ironic retrospection on intercultural origins.

Topics addressed among the chapters include portraiture and self-fashioning, landscape art, physiognomy and caricatures, radical print ephemera, illustrated picaresque verse, social and political satire, traditions of the sublime in art and literature, transatlantic influences and aesthetics, chaos theory and the laws of thermodynamics, the Caribbean slave trade, revolutionary history, Napoleonic wars, the politics of multicultural communities, gender and race, marginalia and textual revelations, Native America, historical interchanges in curating museum shows, and contemporary American sculpture and art. Cultural figures of the nineteenth century that are featured in the discussions include Henry Adams, Beethoven, Blake, Byron, Willa Cather, Thomas Cole, Coleridge, James Fenimore Cooper, George Cruikshank, Ugo Foscolo, Washington Irving, Keats, Willibrord Mähler, George Romney, Rowlandson, Shelley, and Wordsworth.

Chapter essays, commentaries, and Carl Woodring's unpublished writings function together in Nature, Politics, and the Arts: Essays on Romantic Culture for Carl Woodring—with a depth of original perspectives and a multi-voiced and intercultural coherence. The book as a whole testifies to Woodring’s living and intellectually potent legacy for future students of nineteenth-century transatlantic culture and twenty-first century scholarship on literature and art.
January 2015 ISBN: 978-1611495409 $90.00

Reading What's There: Essays on Shakespeare in Honor of Stephen Booth
Edited by Michael J. Collins
Contributions by Thomas L. Berger; Ralph Alan Cohen; Laurie Ellinghausen; Michael Ellis-Tolaydo; Brett Gamboa; Michael Goldman; Jay L. Halio; James E. Hirsh; Margaret Maurer; Nicholas Nace; Louisa Newlin and Mark Womack.

The twelve essays were written not simply to honor Stephen Booth, but to further the study of Shakespeare. Booth has, for over forty years, proposed a distinct understanding of how Shakespeare’s plays and poems work upon us and a unique and rigorous way of reading them. The essays here reflect his insights and method and are meant both to recognize his monumental achievements as a critic and to suggest the enduring value of his work to Shakespeare scholarship.

The first essay explains the method and the advantages of Booth’s approach to Shakespeare. The next two—on Romeo and Juliet and The Rape of Lucrece—demonstrate Booth’s way of reading Shakespeare. The next four develop Booth’s contention that Shakespeare often sets "audiences to watch—or, rather, to try to watch—a play other than the one he shows them." The next two essays look at textual problems from Booth's perspective and explore the challenges editors face in their attempts to establish authentic texts for modern readers. The last three essays focus on teaching and include a description of Stephen Booth’s teaching practices and his own renown explanation, through a commentary on Philip D. Eastman's Go, Dog. Go!, of the way poetry works upon its readers and the reasons they value it highly. The book concludes with a bibliography of Stephen Booth's work.
September 2014 ISBN: 978-1611495072 $70.00

Representation, Heterodoxy, and Aesthetics: Essays in Honor of Ronald Paulson
Edited by Ashley Marshall
Contributions by John Barrell; Ann Bermingham; Robert Folkenflik; Robert D. Hume; Michael McKeon; J. Hillis Miller; Mary Poovey; William L. Pressly and Claude Rawson.

The chapters constituting this book are different in subject and method, striking testimony to the range of Paulson’s interests and the versatility of his critical powers. In his prolific career he has produced extensive analysis of art, poetry, fiction, and aesthetics produced in England between 1650 and 1830. Paulson’s unique contribution has to do with his understanding of "seeing" and "reading" as closely related enterprises, and "popular" forms in art and literature as intimately connected—connections illustrated by literary critics and art historians here. Every essay shares some of the concerns and methods that characterize Paulson's wonderfully idiosyncratic thought—except for the final essay, an attempt systematically to analyze Paulson's critical principles and methods. Recurrent themes are a concern with satire in the eighteenth century; a connection between verbal and visual reading; an insistence on the importance of individual artistic choices to the history of culture; an attention to the aims and motives of individual makers of art; and a sensitivity to the crucial links between high and low art.

This volume offers rich explorations of a range of subjects: Swift’s relationship to Congreve; Zoffany's condemnation of Gillray and Hogarth, and broader implications for the role of art in public discourse; the presentation of mourning in the work of the Welsh artist and writer Edward Pugh; G. M. Woodward's "Coffee-House Characters," representing a turn from satire on morals towards satire on manners; Adam Smith's evolving aesthetic program; Samuel Richardson's notions of social reading. The discussions represent a variety of exemplifications of the Paulsonesque, showing a concern with satiric representation in mixed media, with different forms of heterodoxy and iconoclasm, and with the values of producers of popular and polite culture in this period.

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