From the Critic's Workbench: Essays in Literature and Semiotics

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This book comprises twenty-two chapters, including previously unpublished material, written over the entire span of Marianne Shapiro's working life. Its opening section on the European heritage begins with a long essay on the Aeneid that breaks new interpretative ground by examining the epic from the perspective of Virgil's implicit prescriptions for leaders and leadership. Chapters on Dante add to the store of knowledge on his minor works as well as the Comedy, and are followed by close readings of Petrarch and Provencal poetry. The American and comparative literature section features an analysis of John Ashbery's New Spirit and a page-by-page commentary on Nabokov's Lolita and Pnin. The book is rounded out by three chapters in a semiotics section, the highlight of which is an analysis of the Christian Trinity based on a deep understanding of Peirce's sign theory.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Pt. 1 Literature 1
The European heritage 3
Virgil 5
1 Virgil stuff 7
2 The ending of the Aeneid 77
Dante 85
3 An old French source for Ugolino? 87
4 Figurality in the Vita Nuova : Dante's new rhetoric 109
5 On the role of rhetoric in the Convivio 129
6 Paradiso 28 : the status of astronomy 161
7 On the poetics of purgatory 177
8 Virgil 'Come la Madre' and Beatrice 'Questi Ammiraglio' 191
Petrarch 201
9 The adynaton in Petrarch's Sestinas 203
10 The Petrarchan selva revisited : Sestina XXII 225
11 Anxiety of influence in Petrarch 243
Provencal 251
12 The figure of the watchman in the Provencal erotic alba 253
13 The Provencal Trobairitz and the limits of courtly love 289
14 "Fols naturaus" : the born fool as literary type 303
15 The decline of joi in the Provencal planh 309
American and comparative literature 331
16 John Ashbery : the new spirit 333
17 Notes on Nabokov's Lolita and Pnin 349
18 How narrators report speech 435
19 The primacy of poetry in the Orlando Furioso and Don Quixote 451
Pt. 2 Semiotics 455
20 Preliminaries to a semiotics of ballet 457
21 The semiotics of Archie Bunker 471
22 The trinity as semiotic 495
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