Book List

Cybereditions books are available for purchase as ebooks (in PDF format, readable via Adobe Acrobat Reader or Adobe Ebook Reader). They are also available as paperbacks, which can be bought online via Amazon or Barnes&Noble. Payment is by VISA or MasterCard.

Hal G. P. Colebatch  Caverns of Magic: Caves in Myth and Imagination

The fascination of caves says something about the human appetite for wonder, for mystery and majesty. From grunting cavemen to menancing goblins, caves have played a role in human culture and story-telling. They provide a glittering backdrop to the tales of King Arthur and a depository for legendary treasure hoards from the Norse sagas through H.Rider Haggard to J.R.R. Tolkein.

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Myron C. Tuman  Melville's Gay Father and the Knot of Filicidal Desire: On Men and Their Demons

In a broad-ranging literary study starting with Herman Melville's Billy Budd, lecturer Myron C. Tuman teases out the bonds between a series of fathers and their mostly inarticulate sons. From Joseph Conrad to Vladimir Nabokov, from Giambattista Vico to Sigmund Freud, Tuman canvasses the knotted tales of innocent children in the hands of a filicidal protector.
"Of course it was the stutter in Melville’s handsome sailor, his ‘lurking defect,’ that has been at the heart of my lifelong attraction to Herman Melville’s late masterpiece, Billy Budd"—so begins Myron C. Tuman’s new study of the strange, distant bond between a series of fathers (literary or otherwise) and their mostly inarticulate sons.
At the center of this book is Tuman’s sense that what at first looked like the relatively minor detail of Billy’s stutter might provide a path into a new understanding of his own lifelong struggle with stuttering—that his own stutter, like Billy’s, might be part of a larger narrative related to fathers and authority generally.

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John David Ebert  Celluloid Heroes & Mechanical Dragons

John David Ebert’s Celluloid Heroes & Mechanical Dragons examines how movies since the late 1960s have developed a "myth of the machine" for our contemporary society. Modern technology, Ebert argues, has created a new environment which raises problems that our modern myths, in celluloid form, attempt to resolve by presenting a number of possible scenarios ranging from "demolition" of the machine, as in The Lord of the Rings, to "symbiosis," as in the Star Wars films. Ebert examines films such as Apocalypse Now, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Videodrome, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and A.I. for answers to the question how modern man can retain his humanity while living in a society which is increasingly dominated by the technology he has created.

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Stephanie C. Kane  The Phantom Gringo Boat: Shamanic Discourse and Development in Panama

Originally published by the Smithsonian Institution in 1994, Stephanie C. Kane’s The Phantom Gringo Boat has been recognized as a ground-breaking piece of ethnographic research. This second edition contains a new preface by the author and, reprinted in an Appendix, two supplementary essays on gender, the rain-forest and the state, and three reviews of the first edition.

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Julius Kovesi  Moral Notions

First published in 1967, Moral Notions provides a novel account of the rationality of morality, based on a penetrating general theory of concepts. The editors, Alan Tapper and Bob Ewin, explain the significance of Kovesi's work in an Afterword to this new edition.

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Jan Sjåvik  Reading for the Truth: Rhetorical Constructions in Norwegian Fiction

In Reading for the Truth, Jan Sjåvik studies some novels and short stories that are central to Norwegian literature, showing how, through rhetorical devices, their authors try to ensure that their works are read solely according to their intention. Using Davidsonian triangulation as a model, he argues that literary texts are best interpreted through the co-operative effort of author and reader.

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Lionel Tiger   The Apes of New York

The Apes of New York collects the feisty products of Lionel Tiger's brief but exuberant career as a columnist for various New York newspapers from 1998 to 2002. With wit and crisp reasoning he enlightens and entertains on topics ranging from the greed of political and stock-option malefactors to the pleasure of an evening with Cleo Laine.

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Hal G. P. Colebatch   Return of the Heroes: The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Harry Potter and Social Conflict

Hal Colebatch seeks to explain why, in the present apparently cynical and disillusioned age, heroic fantasies such as The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and the Harry Potter stories have enjoyed immense popular success. He argues that the popularity of these works shows that “traditional” values are in fact more securely entrenched than “progressive” critics would have us believe.

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Brian M. Downing   The Paths of Glory: Social Change in America from the Great War to Vietnam

This timely and engaging study argues powerfully that America's involvement in wars, particularly during the 20th century, have propelled the country from a traditional past structured by families, communities, religion, faith in progress, and a sense of a national whole, to a postmodern present of atomization, fragmentation, secularization, and anomie.

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Colin Manlove   From Alice to Harry Potter: Children's Fantasy in England

A masterly survey of English children’s fantasy literature from the Victorian era to the 1990s, From Alice to Harry Potter deals historically and thematically with a wide range of authors, and seeks to explain the distinctive features of their writings. Selected by Choice as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2003.

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S. A. Grave  Understanding Religion

Aiming to further an understanding of religion from the inside, so to speak, Understanding Religion argues that what makes religion unique in human life is concern with transcendental matters. The author gives a sympathetic and illuminating account of this concern as it is manifested in the five great world religions, and identifies other common features of religions.

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Geoffrey Payzant   Hanslick on the Musically Beautiful: Sixteen Lectures on the Aesthetics of Eduard Hanslick

In his Vom musikalisch-Schönen (1852), Eduard Hanslick presented an influential and controversial theory of musical aesthetics. In the lectures collected here, Geoffrey Payzant provides a scholarly and stimulating account of Hanslick’s theory.

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Ronald Radosh   Prophets on the Right: Profiles of Conservative Critics of American Globalism

First published in 1975, Prophets on the Right examines the views of five conservative critics of American foreign policy from the 1930s to the Cold War era. This new edition contains a new introduction in which the author explains how his recent political reorientation, from left to right, has affected his interpretation of the views of the“ prophets.”

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Stephen Booth   King Lear, Macbeth, Indefinition, and Tragedy

In this provocative book, first published in 1983, Stephen Booth speculates on the essence of tragedy. He argues that the literary works we call tragedies have their value as enabling actions: dramatic tragedies can render us capable, temporarily, of enduring practical, personal experience of the fact of infinity.

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Alex Abramovich   Cinderella Story: Notes on Contemporary Culture

Cinderella Story collects the best work by one of the freshest young voices to have emerged in the (virtual) pages of Feed magazine. Though remarkably varied, each of the fifteen essays here exhibits an abiding concern for how the products of America’s culture industry impact upon real American lives. “Abramovich cares deeply about some things it would be politic not to,” Sam Lipsyte writes in his preface, “ and dismantles popular lines of thought with no regard to free drinks forsaken. His stubborn course eschews easy categorizations, embraces nuance, paradox, sensation. Indeed, if there could be such a thing, you might call him a Method Critic - the way his felt actuality bleeds into his cultural knowledge.”

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Ihab Hassan   The Postmodern Turn: Essays in Postmodern Theory and Culture

Ihab Hassan pioneered studies of postmodernism as a concept of literary theory and a cultural phenomenon. The essays in this collection present his seminal and provocative reflections on both the concept and the phenomenon. This edition also includes a new Foreword and the recently published essay “Queries for Post-Colonial Studies.”

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Josephine Donovan   Uncle Tom's Cabin: Evil, Affliction and Redemptive Love

A revised and updated edition of a 1990 study of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s epic antislavery novel, in which the author focuses on the political, philosophical, and religious ideas in Stowe's work, finding its reflections on the problem of evil still timely in the twenty-first century. The book provides a useful overview of the novel's critical reception from early African-American reactions to the recent "canon wars."

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Maurice Goldsmith   Private Vices, Public Benefits

Private Vices, Public Benefits puts Bernard Mandeville’s social and political thought in its historical context. Goldsmith shows how Mandeville initially framed his views in The Female Tatler (1709-10) where, opposing Richard Steele's advocacy of public and private virtue in The Tatler, he contended that the development of society, prosperity and well-being depends on the vicious and selfish aspects of human nature. In The Fable of the Bees and its sequels Mandeville transformed this claim into an elaborate conjectural history of human progress. By rejecting the aristocratic model of human fulfilment, he was able to recognize other ways of pursuing happiness and also the denigrated capacities of women.

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Josephine Donovan   Sarah Orne Jewett

An updated and revised edition of a classic study, this widely cited book presents a lucid review of all of Jewett's work, which includes nearly 200 stories and novels. In a new preface Donovan discusses the "culture war" that has recently erupted over Jewett's works.

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Richard A. Lanham   Tristram Shandy: The Games of Pleasure

Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy stands as one of the oddest comic novels in English literature. The Victorians were too morally earnest to see its meaning, while in our time critics have been too resolutely philosophical to grasp it. In contrast, Richard Lanham's introduction to Tristram Shandy combines clarity, wit, and grace. His account of the novel in terms of the simple pursuit of pleasure reveals historic and rhetorical models for the text while never straying from its playful spirit.

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Brian Boyd   Nabokov's Ada: The Place of Consciousness

Nabokov’s Ada: The Place of Consciousness explores the relationship between the obvious dazzle of Nabokov's style and the unsuspected depths of his thought before focusing on his richest and most surprising novel. This “stunning,” “magnificent” first book by “the great man of Nabokov studies,” which “provides not only the best commentary on [Ada], but also . . . a brilliant overview of Nabokov's metaphysics,” has now been updated with a new preface, four additional chapters and two comprehensive new indexes.

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Jonathan Yardley   Our Kind of People

In an afterword for this new edition of Our Kind of People, Jonathan Yardley notes that a reviewer of the first edition was upset by the title, finding it offensive to non-WASP Americans. But the title is, as the author notes, “the only right title for the book.” It captures, with droll irony, precisely what the book so brilliantly provides - in his words, “a mixture of familial piety and tongue-in-cheek commentary.” In recounting the story of his family and his parents’ fifty-year marriage, Yardley combines the talents of biographer and social historian with the affection of a loving son to create a chronicle which is at once sharply perceptive and deeply moving.

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John G. Jones   Tales and Teachings of the Buddha: The Jâtaka Stories in Relation to the Pâli Canon

First published in 1979, this book, now carefully pruned, corrected and modified, builds on the ground-breaking work done by Gombrich, Spiro and Tambiah in their field studies of lay Buddhism in Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand, by demonstrating that, within the Buddhist tradition itself, there is a vast fund of folkloric material which is more in touch with lay concerns than the more austere teaching found in the Canon proper - although it sometimes departs alarmingly from the orthodox tradition. In this compact study, both sources, Jâtaka and Canon, each vast in extent, have been thoroughly explored and compared, making them more accessible than they have ever been before.

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David Novitz   The Boundaries of Art

Hailed as a “breakthrough book in aesthetics” when it first appeared in 1992, this lucidly written and persuasively argued work explores the various often unnoticed relations between art and everyday life. In this revised and expanded edition, the author proposes a new and refreshingly different direction for the study of the philosophy of art.

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Tobin Siebers   The Mirror of Medusa

Tobin Siebers exposes the role of superstition in unexpected areas of modern life, explaining how exclusionary behavior and superstitious beliefs about human difference influence thinking in the social and human sciences. Combining literary and anthropological insights, his radical interpretations cast new light on the history of narcissism, the worldwide belief in the evil eye, Freud’s theories of uncanniness and group psychology, and the role played by ethnocentrism and marginality in power relations between western and nonwestern peoples.

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Arnold Berleant   The Aesthetic Field

Arguing that traditional answers to the question “What is art?” are partial at best, Arnold Berleant contends that we need to understand art in a different way, as a complex field, an aesthetic field encompassing all the factors that form the context of art and our experience of art.

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Norman Holland   Poems in Persons

This book gives the study of literature a powerful psychoanalytic model for the literary process. The first edition of Poems in Persons established American-style reader-response criticism and showed how this new understanding applies to all kinds of human psychological processes. This second revised edition adds important new developments to the first.

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Robert and Jon Solomon  Up the University: Re-creating Higher Education in America

Ranging from academic freedom and tenure to multiculturalism and football, this timely and provocative book offers both a scathing indictment of today’s university and a set of simple, but radical, solutions to the problems of higher education.

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Francis E. Sparshott  The Concept of Criticism

This eloquent essay by a scholar recognized as perhaps our greatest contemporary philosopher of art is a classic of modern aesthetics. It is one of the few sustained analyses of the logical nature of art and literary criticism ever to appear in print.

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Tibor R. Machan  Capitalism and Individualism

The purely economic view of individualism (homo economicus) falls far short of providing a basis for understanding human reality. Machan mounts a robust argument for a conception of the individual that recognizes the values of the free market and civil liberties but avoids licensing the unbridled pursuit of self-interest.

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Peter Lamarque  Philosophy and Fiction: Essays in Literary Aesthetics

These bracing, polemical essays rigorously explore a range of issues of philosophical interest in the analysis of literature, including the role of the author, literary appreciation, the nature of fiction, the pleasures of tragedy, and the question of censorship.

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Alfred R. Louch  Explanation and Human Action

Alfred Louch argues that there can be no scientific theory of social behavior similar to those found in the natural sciences. In this rich and profound book, he shows why human actions can by their nature only be explained ad hoc, and cannot be detached from moral assessments.

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Mark Turner  Death Is the Mother of Beauty: Mind, Metaphor, Criticism

In this book, Mark Turner shows that the languages of literature and everyday life are different expressions of the same universal mechanisms of the mind. Drawing on the languages and metaphors of kinship and causation, and on myriad examples in English literature from Chaucer to Wallace Stevens, he argues convincingly that all our thinking with language depends on a restricted range of deep metaphors and inference patterns.

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Frederick Crews  Skeptical Engagements

This carefully reasoned and witty book presents a searing critique of the pretension and folly infecting the literary academy. Beyond targeting the excesses of “theory,” the essays cover such diverse figures as Joseph Conrad, Henry Miller, Norman Mailer, Philip Roth, Philip Rahv, and Leslie Fiedler.

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Our Authors

Alex Abramovich
Arnold Berleant
Stephen Booth
Brian Boyd
Hal G. P. Colebatch
Frederick Crews
Josephine Donovan
Brian M. Downing
John David Ebert
Maurice Goldsmith
S. A. Grave
Ihab Hassan
Norman Holland
John G. Jones
Stephanie C. Kane
Julius Kovesi
Peter Lamarque
Richard A. Lanham
Alfred R. Louch
Tibor R. Machan
Colin Manlove
David Novitz
Geoffrey Payzant
Ronald Radosh
Tobin Siebers
Jan Sjåvik
Robert and Jon Solomon
Francis E. Sparshott
Lionel Tiger
Myron C. Tuman
Mark Turner
Jonathan Yardley