Two for Tuesday – Auden and Picasso

W. H. Auden and Pablo Picasso were brilliant twentieth century artists creating images — one through poetry, and the other, through paintings. Princeton University Press is pleased to announce the publication of two new books focusing on their work.

audenFor the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio
W. H. Auden
Edited and with an introduction by Alan Jacobs

For the Time Being is a pivotal book in the career of one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century. W. H. Auden had recently moved to America, fallen in love with a young man to whom he considered himself married, rethought his entire poetic and intellectual equipment, and reclaimed the Christian faith of his childhood. Then, in short order, his relationship fell apart and his mother, to whom he was very close, died. In the midst of this period of personal crisis and intellectual remaking, he decided to write a poem about Christmas and to have it set to music by his friend Benjamin Britten. Applying for a Guggenheim grant, Auden explained that he understood the difficulty of writing something vivid and distinctive about that most clichéd of subjects, but welcomed the challenge. In the end, the poem proved too long and complex to be set by Britten, but in it we have a remarkably ambitious and poetically rich attempt to see Christmas in double focus: as a moment in the history of the Roman Empire and of Judaism, and as an ever-new and always contemporary event for the believer. For the Time Being is Auden’s only explicitly religious long poem, a technical tour de force, and a revelatory window into the poet’s personal and intellectual development. This edition provides the most accurate text of the poem, a detailed introduction by Alan Jacobs that explains its themes and sets the poem in its proper contexts, and thorough annotations of its references and allusions.

Alan Jacobs is the Clyde S. Kilby Professor of English at Wheaton College in Illinois. He previously edited Auden’s The Age of Anxiety for this series, and is the author of several books, including most recently The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction.

We invite you to read the Preface online: http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/p9946.pdf

picassoPicasso and Truth: From Cubism to Guernica
T. J. Clark

Was Picasso the artist of the twentieth century? In Picasso and Truth, T. J. Clark uses his inimitable skills as art historian and writer to answer this question and reshape our understanding of Picasso’s achievement. Supported by more than 200 images, Clark’s new approach to the central figure of modern art focuses on Picasso after the First World War: his galumphing nudes of the early 1920s, the incandescent Guitar and Mandolin on a Table from 1924, Three Dancers done a year later, the hair-raising Painter and Model from 1927, the monsters and voracious bathers that follow, and finally–summing up but also saying farewell to the age of Cubism–the great mural Guernica.

Based on Clark’s A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts, delivered at the National Gallery of Art, Picasso and Truth argues that the way to take Picasso’s true measure as an artist is to leave behind biography–the stale stories of lovers and hangers-on and suntans at the beach that presently constitute the “Picasso literature”–and try to follow the steps of his pictorial argument. As always with Clark, specific works of art hold center stage. But finding words for them involves thinking constantly about modern culture in general. Here the book takes Nietzsche as guide.

Is Picasso the artist Nietzsche was hoping for–the one come to cure us of our commitment to Truth? Certainly, as the dark central years of the twentieth century encroached, Picasso began to lose confidence in Cubism’s comprehensiveness and optimism. Picasso and Truth charts this shift in vivid detail, making it possible for us to see Picasso turn away from eyesight, felt proximity, and the ground of shared experience–the warmth and safety that Clark calls “room-space”–to stake everything on a glittering, baffling, unbelievable here and now. And why? Because the most modernity can hope for from art, Picasso’s new paintings seem to say, is a picture of the strange damaged world we have made for ourselves. In all its beauty and monstrosity.

T. J. Clark is George C. and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Art History Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of The Painting of Modern Life (Princeton), The Sight of Death, and Farewell to an Idea, and the coauthor of (with “Retort”) Afflicted Powers.

We invite you to listen to an interview with T. J. Clark on BBC Radio 3 Nightwaves (22 minutes in).
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p019yny0

Delbanco to Deliver Fribolin Lecture

Mark your calendars! Andrew Delbanco, author of College: What it Is, Was, and Should Be will deliver the 25th Annual Carl and Fanny Fribolin Lecture on Friday, May 3, at Keuka College in New York. The event is free and open to the public. Read more about the event below.

Andrew Delbanco to deliver Fribolin Lecture

Dr. Andrew Delbanco, recipient of the 2011 National Humanities Medal, will deliver the 25th Annual Carl and Fanny Fribolin Lecture Friday, May 3, at Keuka College.

r. Andrew Delbanco, recipient of the 2011 National Humanities Medal, will deliver the 25th Annual Carl and Fanny Fribolin Lecture Friday, May 3, at Keuka College.

One of the highlights of May Day Weekend, Delbanco will discuss “What is College For?” at 6:30 p.m. in Norton Chapel. It is free and open to the public.

The lecture series carries the names of Geneva resident Carl Fribolin, an emeritus member of the College’s Board of Trustees and recipient of an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 2004, and his late wife.

Delbanco is Mendelson Family Chair of American Studies and Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. He was awarded the 2011 National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama “for his writing that spans the literature of Melville and Emerson to contemporary issues in higher education.”

In 2001, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and named by Time Magazine as “America’s Best Social Critic.” In 2003, he was named New York State Scholar of the Year by the New York Council for the Humanities. In 2006, he received the “Great Teacher Award” from the Society of Columbia Graduates.

Delbanco is the author of many books, including, most recently, College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be, and The Abolitionist Imagination. Melville: His World and Work was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Biography, and appeared on “best books” lists in the Washington Post, Independent (London), Dallas Morning News, and TLS. It was awarded the Lionel Trilling Award by Columbia University.

Delbanco’s essays appear regularly in The New York Review of Books, New Republic, New York Times Magazine, and other journals. His topics range from American literary and religious history to contemporary issues in higher education.

Delbanco has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He was a member of the inaugural class of fellows at the New York Public Library Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.

This Week’s Book Giveaway

The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics: Fourth Edition
Roland Greene, editor in chief
Stephen Cushman, general editor
Clare Cavanagh, Jahan Ramazani & Paul Rouzer, associate editors

Through three editions over more than four decades, The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics has built an unrivaled reputation as the most comprehensive and authoritative reference for students, scholars, and poets on all aspects of its subject: history, movements, genres, prosody, rhetorical devices, critical terms, and more. Now this landmark work has been thoroughly revised and updated for the twenty-first century. Compiled by an entirely new team of editors, the fourth edition—the first new edition in almost twenty years—reflects recent changes in literary and cultural studies, providing up-to-date coverage and giving greater attention to the international aspects of poetry, all while preserving the best of the previous volumes

At well over a million words and more than 1,000 entries, the Encyclopedia has unparalleled breadth and depth. Entries range in length from brief paragraphs to major essays of 15,000 words, offering a more thorough treatment—including expert synthesis and indispensable bibliographies—than conventional handbooks or dictionaries.

This is a book that no reader or writer of poetry will want to be without.

  • Thoroughly revised and updated by a new editorial team for twenty-first-century students, scholars, and poets
  • More than 250 new entries cover recent terms, movements, and related topics
  • Broader international coverage includes articles on the poetries of more than 110 nations, regions, and languages
  • Expanded coverage of poetries of the non-Western and developing worlds
  • Updated bibliographies and cross-references
  • New, easier-to-use page design
  • Fully indexed for the first time

The random draw for this book with be Friday 9/21 at 3 pm EST. Be sure to like us on Facebook if you haven’t already to be entered to win!

UVA Today writes “Poetry Encyclopedia Has Something for Everybody”

Sometimes the headline says it all! Anne E. Bromley wrote up this feature about the long-awaited Fourth Edition of the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (PEPP), edited by an entirely new team of scholars under Editor in Chief Roland Greene.

The feature includes interviews with PEPP General Editor Stephen Cushman and Associate Editor Jahan Ramazani, both in the English Department at the University of Virginia.

If you’re on Facebook and are a fan of the new PEPP, make sure you check out (and “Like”) the Facebook page, where you can find this and other stories about the PEPP Fourth Edition.

Happy Birthday, Henry!

Happy Birthday to Henry David Thoreau! Born July 12, 1817, it’s been 195 years since the day of Henry’s birth. In honor of this day, here are a few of Henry’s own words on himself, courtesy of Jeffery Cramer’s The Quotable Thoreau.

http://press.princeton.edu/images/k9391.gif

I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born” – Walden, (pg. 372).

I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion” – ‘Resistance to Civil Government’ in Reform Papers, (pg. 7).

I have never got over my surprise that I should have been born into the most estimable place in all the world, and in the very nick of time, too” –Written December 5, 1856, in his Journal, vol. IX (pg. 3).

I do not purpose to write an ode to dejection, but to brag as lustily as chanticleer in the morning, standing on his roost, if only to wake my neighbors up”—Walden, (pg. 3).

It is my own way of living that I complain of as well as yours” –‘Huckleberries,’ (pg. 3).

I am freer than any planet” – Written March 21, 1840, in his Journal, vol. 1. (pg. 93).

It is impossible for me to be interested in what interests men generally. Their pursuits and interests seem to me frivolous. When I am most myself and see the clearest, men are least to be seen” – Written April 24, 1852, in his Journal, vol. 4 (pg. 7).

What’s your favorite Thoreau quote? Share with us!

Want to brush up on Henry’s life and craft? Read the Introduction to The Quotable Thoreau, here. Alternatively, check out a Henry David Thoreau Princeton Short – ‘On Reading: From Walden.’ 

BOOK FACT FRIDAY

FACT: “Nearly a century after the first English settlement at Jamestown, and eighty years after the ‘pilgrims’ landed at Plymouth, there were still only two colleges in the American colonies, Harvard (founded in 1636) in the north, and William and Mary (1693) in the upper south.”

College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be
by Andrew Delbanco, Winner of the 2011 National Humanities Medal

As the commercialization of American higher education accelerates, more and more students are coming to college with the narrow aim of obtaining a preprofessional credential. The traditional four-year college experience—an exploratory time for students to discover their passions and test ideas and values with the help of teachers and peers—is in danger of becoming a thing of the past.

In College, prominent cultural critic Andrew Delbanco offers a trenchant defense of such an education, and warns that it is becoming a privilege reserved for the relatively rich. In arguing for what a true college education should be, he demonstrates why making it available to as many young people as possible remains central to America’s democratic promise.

In a brisk and vivid historical narrative, Delbanco explains how the idea of college arose in the colonial period from the Puritan idea of the gathered church, how it struggled to survive in the nineteenth century in the shadow of the new research universities, and how, in the twentieth century, it slowly opened its doors to women, minorities, and students from low-income families. He describes the unique strengths of America’s colleges in our era of globalization and, while recognizing the growing centrality of science, technology, and vocational subjects in the curriculum, he mounts a vigorous defense of a broadly humanistic education for all. Acknowledging the serious financial, intellectual, and ethical challenges that all colleges face today, Delbanco considers what is at stake in the urgent effort to protect these venerable institutions for future generations.

“Those who love traditional colleges and universities, but also recognize the imperative of reducing inequalities in income and opportunity, confront a profound moral and intellectual challenge. Andrew Delbanco, one of our most humane and rigorous scholars, has turned his energies to this conundrum in his elegant and eloquent book. He writes that ‘it is an offense against democracy to presume that education should be reserved for the wellborn and the well-off.’ That is where all of our debates must start.”—E. J. Dionne Jr., author of Our Divided Political Heart

We invite you to read the Introduction here: http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/i9651.pdf

New Literature Catalog

We invite you to check out our new 2012 literature catalog at: http://press.princeton.edu/catalogs/lit12.pdf

You will find new books such as The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, Michelangelo, Enigmas of Identity, Whatever Gets You through the Night, and more. New paperbacks are also available—great titles such as Allegory, Lincoln on Race and Slavery, and Not for Profit.

The MLA meeting is going on now in Seattle. We’re there at booth no. 408. Stop by to say hello and browse new books.

A Special Holiday Giveaway

‘Tis the season for giving—and we’re feeling very generous today! We’re hosting 2 book giveaways next week, one on our main PUP Facebook page, and the other on our Princeton Birds and Natural History Facebook page. 1 winner from each page will be selected Thursday, December 22 at noon. All you have to do is “like” our Facebook pages and you’ll be entered to win! Here are the details:

On our main PUP Facebook page, the winner will get to choose a prize from 3 of our bestsellers: On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt, Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn’t Buy Presents for the Holidays by Joel Waldfogel, and Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas Still Walk among Us by John Quiggin. The choice is yours! Just be sure to “like” us by next Thursday at noon!

Over on our Princeton Birds and Natural History Facebook page, we’re giving away a copy of The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds by Richard Crossley. This stunningly illustrated book from acclaimed birder and photographer Richard Crossley revolutionizes field guide design by providing the first real-life approach to identification. “Like” this page by Thursday at noon if you haven’t already to win!

Good luck, and Happy Holidays from Princeton University Press!

BOOK FACT FRIDAY

FACT: “In World War II (1939–45) more men (and women) were mobilized than in the Great War. The United States mustered 14.9 million men and women; the British Empire raised 6.2 million; the USSR 25 million; Germany 12.5 million; Japan 7.5 million. Many women entered the armed forces to fill noncombat positions. The U.S. Army Air Force had hundreds of women pilots, some of whom had such hazardous duty as flying aircraft from the United States to the war zones.”

On War and Leadership: The Words of Combat Commanders from Frederick the Great to Norman Schwarzkopf
by Owen Connelly

What can we learn about leadership and the experience of war from the best combat leaders the world has ever known? This book takes us behind the scenes and to the front lines of the major wars of the past 250 years through the words of twenty combat commanders. What they have to say—which is remarkably similar across generational, national, and ideological divides—is a fascinating take on military history by those who lived it. It is also worthwhile reading for anyone, from any walk of life, who makes executive decisions.

The leaders showcased here range from Frederick the Great to Norman Schwarzkopf. They include such diverse figures as Napoleon Bonaparte, commanders on both sides of the Civil War (William Tecumseh Sherman and Stonewall Jackson), German and American World War II generals (Rommel and Patton), a veteran of the Arab-Israeli wars (Moshe Dayan), and leaders from both sides of the Vietnam War (Vo Nguyen Giap and Harold Moore). What they have had in common is an unrivaled understanding of the art of command and a willingness to lead from the front. All earned the respect and loyalty of those they led—and moved them to risk death.

The practices of these commanders apply to any leadership situation, whether military, business, political, athletic, or other. Their words reveal techniques for anticipating the competition, leading through example, taking care of the “troops,” staying informed, turning bad luck to advantage, improvising, and making bold decisions.

Leader after leader emphasizes the importance of up-front “muddy boots” leadership and reveals what it takes to persevere and win. Identifying a pattern of proven leadership, this book will benefit anyone who aspires to lead a country, a squadron, a company, or a basketball team. It is a unique distillation of two and a half centuries of military wisdom.

“A superb and thought-provoking primer from masters of the art of command on the timeless elements of leadership that can be followed to help overcome any adversity.”—Military Heritage

“This book has a rich compilation of leadership traits, characteristics, and principles that some of the great battle captains of the past have adhered to. It provides an exceptional reference for comparison for officers toady.”—Major General Harry W. Jenkins, Marine Corps Gazette

We invite you to read Chapter 1 here: http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/i7337.pdf

To all the veterans, we thank you!

Create Dangerously is the One Book, One Philadelphia selection

Edwidge Danticat’s collection of essays, Create Dangerously, originally published in cloth by PUP and now in paperback by Vintage, has been selected for the One Book, One Philadelphia reading program. What this means is that the Free Library of Philadelphia is encouraging all Philadelphians (Is that what they are called?) to read the book and will sponsor a series of events — readings, lectures, film screenings — to foster a dialogue around the issues in the book.

Create Dangerously is a beautiful, moving book that presents Edwidge’s thoughts on what it means to be a writer; what it means to be an immigrant writer; and what it means to be an immigrant writer, writing outside of your homeland. I love the title of this article announcing the selection: “Creating dangerously, reading collectively”, as it really captures one of the themes in the book: an author may write at their own peril in order to bring important ideas about human rights to a global audience.

While I know many will pick up the paperback for economic reasons, I hope some people will opt to purchase the hardback edition. It is such an elegant and provocative package — with a printed case and a little slip of a dust jacket that is hand-printed — that it would be a lovely addition to anyone’s personal library (especially since it can be found on some online retailers for a mere $3-$4 more than the paperback!).

Edwidge Danticat writes about Port-au-Prince for The Daily Beast/Newsweek

Edwidge Danticat, author of Create Dangerously, returns to Haiti and finds resilience and regeneration: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/08/07/edwidge-danticat-reflects-on-port-au-prince.html

Built for 200,000 people yet home to more than 2 million, Port-au-Prince is a city that constantly reminds you of the obvious, as though you were a 6-year-old. No, not everything is broken. And no, not all the people are dead. It is a city that everything—political upheaval, fires, hurricanes, the earthquake—has conspired to destroy, yet still it carries on. The still-leaning houses and the rubble that has begun to grow weeds, the tent camps that have become micro-cities of their own, all bear their own testimony to a city that should have ground to a halt long ago, yet continues to persevere.

Create Dangerously will soon be published in paperback, but the cloth edition with its exclusive cover design and half jacket is still available everywhere. One of my favorite features of this book is that the half jacket can be shifted up and down along the spine, revealing different portions of the artwork beneath. It subtly changes the cover each time I pick it up. Check it out for yourself!

Colin Dayan on ‘pariah dogs’

This is some heavy reading – especially if you love dogs – but Colin Dayan, author of this season’s The Law is a White Dog: How Legal Rituals Make and Unmake Persons isn’t afraid to explore the often unpleasant treatment of  canines in literature and society.  Check out her latest piece in the July/August issue of The Boston Review for a preview of what you’ll find in her engrossing and disturbing book.