This series of essays by prominent academics and practitioners investigates in detail the history of performance in the classical Greek and Roman world. Beginning with the earliest examples of 'dramatic' presentation in the epic cycles and reaching through to the latter days of the Roman Empire and beyond, this 2007 Companion covers many aspects of these broad presentational societies. Dramatic performances that are text-based form only one part of cultures where presentation is a major element of all social and political life. Individual chapters range across a two thousand year timescale, and include specific chapters on acting traditions, masks, properties, playing places, festivals, religion and drama, comedy and society, and commodity, concluding with the dramatic legacy of myth and the modern media. The book addresses the needs of students of drama and classics, as well as anyone with an interest in the theatre's history and practice.
For the last two centuries biblical interpretation has been guided by perspectives that have largely ignored the oral context in which the gospels took shape. Only recently have scholars begun to explore how ancient media inform the interpretive process and an understanding of the Bible. This collection of essays, by authors who recognize that the Jesus tradition was a story heard and performed, seeks to reevaluate the constituent elements of narrative, including characters, structure, narrator, time, and intertextuality. In dialogue with traditional literary approaches, these essays demonstrate that an appreciation of performance yields fresh insights distinguishable in many respects from results of literary or narrative readings of the gospels.
Satire as a distinct genre of writing was first developed by the Romans in the second century BCE. Regarded by them as uniquely 'their own', satire held a special place in the Roman imagination as the one genre that could address the problems of city life from the perspective of a 'real Roman'. In this Cambridge Companion an international team of scholars provides a stimulating introduction to Roman satire's core practitioners and practices, placing them within the contexts of Greco-Roman literary and political history. Besides addressing basic questions of authors, content, and form, the volume looks to the question of what satire 'does' within the world of Greco-Roman social exchanges, and goes on to treat the genre's further development, reception, and translation in Elizabethan England and beyond. Included are studies of the prosimetric, 'Menippean' satires that would become the models of Rabelais, Erasmus, More, and (narrative satire's crowning jewel) Swift.
An introduction to how the history of Rome was written in the ancient world, and its impact on later periods. It presents essays by an international team of scholars that aim both to orient non-specialist readers to the important concerns of the Roman historians and also to stimulate new research.
Wilkie Collins was one of the most popular writers of the nineteenth century. He is best known for The Woman in White, which inaugurated the sensation novel in the 1860s, and The Moonstone, one of the first detective novels; but he wrote over 20 novels, plays and short stories during a career that spanned four decades. This Companion offers a fascinating overview of Collins's writing. In a wide range of essays by leading scholars, it traces the development of his career, his position as a writer and his complex relation to contemporary cultural movements and debates. Collins's exploration of the tensions which lay beneath Victorian society is analysed through a variety of critical approaches. A chronology and guide to further reading are provided, making this book an indispensable guide for all those interested in Wilkie Collins and his work.
Ralph Ellison's classic 1952 novel Invisible Man is one of the most important and controversial novels in the American canon and remains widely read and studied. This Companion provides an introduction to this influential and significant novelist and critic and to his masterpiece. It features essays by leading scholars, a chronology and a guide to further reading. The essays reveal alternative dimensions of Ellison's art radiating out from Invisible Man into other domains - technology, political theory, law, photography, music, religion - and recover the compelling urgency and relevance of Ellison's political and artistic vision. Since Ellison's death his published oeuvre has been expanded by several major volumes - his collected essays, the fragment of a novel, Juneteenth (1999), letters and short stories - examined here in the context of his life and work. Students and scholars of Ellison and of American and African-American literature will find this an invaluable and accessible guide.
Alexander Pushkin stands in a unique position as the founding father of Russian literature. In this Companion, leading scholars discuss Pushkin's work in its political, literary, social and intellectual contexts. In the first part of the book individual chapters analyse his poetry, his theatrical works, his narrative poetry and historical writings. The second section explains and samples Pushkin's impact on broader Russian culture by looking at his enduring legacy in music and film from his own day to the present. Special attention is given to the reinvention of Pushkin as a cultural icon during the Soviet period. No other volume available brings together such a range of material and such comprehensive coverage of all Pushkin's major and minor writings. The contributions represent state-of-the-art scholarship that is innovative and accessible, and are complemented by a chronology and a guide to further reading.