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Based on Mailer's own experience of military service in the Philippines during World War Two, The Naked and the Dead' is a graphically truthful and shattering portrayal of ordinary men in battle. First published in 1949, as America was still basking in the glories of the Allied victory, it altered forever the popular perception of warfare. Focusing on the experiences of a fourteen-man platoon stationed on a Japanese-held island in the South Pacific during World War II, and written in a journalistic style, it tells the moving story of the soldiers' struggle to retain a sense of dignity amidst the horror of warfare, and to find a source of meaning in their lives amisdst the sounds and fury of battle.
âeoeFor many serious readers,âe Robert Alter writes in his preface, âeoethe novel still matters, and I have tried here to suggest some reasons why that should be so.âe In his wide-ranging discussion, Alter examines the imitation of reality in fiction to find out why mimesis has become problematic yet continues to engage us deeply as readers. Alter explores very different sorts of novels, from the self-conscious artifices of Sterne and Nabokov to what seem to be more realistic texts, such as those of Dickens, Flaubert, John Fowles, and the early Norman Mailer. Attention is also given to such individual critics as Edmund Wilson and Alfred Kazin and to current critical schools. In Alter's essays, a particular book or movement or juxtaposition of writers provides the occasion for the exploration of a general intellectual issue. The scrutiny of well-chosen passages, the joining of images or themes or ideas, the associative and intuitive processes that lead to the right phrase and the right loop of syntax for the matter at hand-all these come together unexpectedly to illuminate both the text in question and the general issue. Recent discussions of mimesis in fiction generally proceed from a single thesis. By contrast, Motives for Fiction offers an empirical approach, attempting to define mimesis in its various guises by careful critical readings of a heterogeneous sampling of literary texts. Intelligent and good-humored, the book is also old-fashioned enough to wonder whether mimesis might not be a task or responsibility to which much contemporary fiction has not proved entirely adequate.
A new mystery series starring a Memphis crime scene photographer with ghostly assistance Jackie Lyons, a former vice detective with the Memphis Police Department, is trying to put her life back together. Her husband has served her with divorce papers, she's broke, and her apartment has just gone up in flmaes. But a failed marriage, unemployment, and an incinerated home aren't her only problems: she also sees ghosts. Since Jackie left her job with the MPD, she's been making ends meet by photographing crime scenes for her old friends on the force, and for the occasional collector. When she's called to the murder scene of the Playhouse Killer's latest victim, she starts seeing crime scenes from a different perspective-- her new camera captures spectral images. As her camera brings her ghostly visitors into sharper relief, it also points her toward clues the ex-detective in her won't let go: Did the man she has just started dating kill his wife? Is the Playhouse Killer someone in her inner circle? As Jackie works to separate natural from supernatural, friend from foe, and light from dark, the spirit world and her own difficult past become the only things she can depend on to solve the case.
Christianity is a religion of salvation in which believers have always anticipated post-mortem bliss for the faithful and non-salvation for others. Here, Trumbower examines how and why death came to be perceived as such a firm boundary of salvation. Analyzing exceptions to this principle from ancient Christianity, he finds that the principle itself was slow to develop and not universally accepted in the Christian movement's first four hundred years. In fact, only in the West was this principle definitively articulated, due in large part to the work and influence of Augustine.
The Artist's Torah is an uplifting and down-to-earth guide to the creative process, wide open to longtime artists and first-time dabblers, to people of every religious background--or none--and to every creative medium. In this book, you'll find a yearlong cycle of weekly meditations on a life lived artistically, grounded in ancient Jewish wisdom and the wisdom of artists, composers, writers, and choreographers from the past and present. You'll explore the nature of the creative process--how it begins, what it's for, what it asks of you, how you work your way to truth and meaning, what you do when you get blocked, what you do when you're done--and encounter questions that will help you apply the meditations to your own life and work. Above all, The Artist's Torah teaches us that creativity is a natural and important part of the human spirit, a bright spark that, week after week, this book will brighten.
In the 1640s, eight Jesuit missionaries met their deaths at the hands of native antagonists. With their collective canonization in 1930, these men became North America's first saints. Emma Anderson untangles the complexities of these seminal acts of violence and their ever-changing legacy across the centuries. While exploring how Jesuit missionaries perceived their terrifying final hours, she also seeks to comprehend the motivations of those who confronted them from the other side of the axe, musket, or caldron of boiling water, and to illuminate the experiences of those native Catholics who, though they died alongside their missionary mentors, have yet to receive comparable recognition as martyrs. In tracing the creation and evolution of the cult of the martyrs across the centuries, Anderson reveals the ways in which both believers and detractors have honored andpreserved the memory of the martyrs in this "afterlife," and how their powerful story has been continually reinterpreted in the collective imagination. As rival shrines rose on either side of the U.S.-Canadian border, these figures would both unite and deeply divide natives and non-natives, francophones and anglophones, Protestants and Catholics, Canadians and Americans, forging a legacy as controversial as it has been enduring.
The essays, whose authors include some of the foremost scholars of contemporary American literature and film, offer critical insights into the visions of both the novelist and the filmmaker as well as important discussions of how those visions converge and diverge. The essays thus contribute not only to an understanding of the relationship of any given film to the book which inspired it but also to the lively and continuing debate on the very nature and merits of adaptation itself.

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