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The Awakening (Case Studies in Contemporary…
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The Awakening (Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism)

by Kate Chopin

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Twenty years is too long a gap in order to give a proper revfiew. This edition, as all Bedford/St. Martin Press', gives the reader a working idea how criticism is applied to the text, which is especially useful when revising for university courses or revising for the Graduate Record Exams, especially the Subject Literature test. The newest edition contains newer essays as 'post-post-post-modern' crit is always changing; however, should you run across this edition (even twenty years out of date) please remember the fundamentals still apply. The Subject exam is a bitch, and you never know what may be thrown at you from Chopin, or in which context: author recognition, criticism-type identification, or whatnot. Be thankful Chopin is not Flabert (Morbid French Realist Writer), and be sure to view 'The Island' starring Kelly McGillis and Julian Sands to help you understand just what is going on in the novel if you are really pressed for time. The video, despite the sexy scenes, is no substitute for the actual novel - English students and revisers and students are usually pressed for time and Cliff Notes don't include a shred of Chopin's Lyrical Style and Language, so they won't help beyond summarizing the plot and putting you to sleep at the all night coffee shop....

Basically, even though I know this Novel/Novelette fairly well, I probably have to wait another year to go for my PhD. If only I knew twenty years what I know now. Hah!

A Norton Critical Edition might be helpful, but I really appreciate the way Bedford/St. Martin's Press describes Reader Response, Feminist, Biographical, and so on. Other editions delve into applying Marxist, Deconstructionism, etc... Ironically (No, not Cleanth Brooke's _Well Wrought Urn_ Irony), most schools of criticism from the 1960's on are considered some form of deconstruction. The Throwbacks still exist, and as an undrgraduate really messed with my head - Mimeses: the only value in literature is that which reflects reality is some way, was the critical school pushed down my throat during my Intro to Lit class. I learned this was an offshoot of Formalism, I *think* - yet Formalism morphed into deconstructionism - the word is the word, seperated from author intent, and the meaning of the word at the time.

Guh, basically, Bedford editions clearly explain what all the new critical schools of thought are and include an essay using that critical school as applicable to the main body of work. Do not let my personal criticism-school confusion meandering taint this review. I find the Bedford/St. Martin's editions most useful in showing examples of relevant critical essays. Norton Critical Editions I also find interesting, but more for author-contempory views and opionions of the work as stated in various in dedications, abstracts, and ( )
  innogen | Dec 6, 2011 |
Reread for a course I'm teaching (I'm about to get 50 papers on it!). Since I've read this classic novel of a woman's confused longing for selfhood many times, I found myself focusing on Chopin's style this time. She has such a wonderful way of using description to convey characters' emotional or mental states. And once you've read it a few times, you start to recognize the subtle effect of pattern and repetition; it's beautifully structured.

This is a marvelous edition that includes cultural context materials (ads for corsets and skin creams, advice for the housewife, contemporary reviews, etc.) and several fine critical essays, each preceded by an explanation and history of the critical mode (feminisim, psychoanalytic theory, etc.). Highly recommended not just for scholars but for anyone wanting to deepen their understanding of the novel, it's reception, and it's significance. ( )
2 vote Cariola | Mar 7, 2010 |
This book is valuable for the themes that it brings up, but I wasn't all that interested. I didn't identify with Edna at all and kept waiting for something to happen. It didn't. I understand why the ending is the way it is, but I was disappointed. ( )
  megaden | Dec 28, 2007 |
I loved this book. Not everyone I know does, but there you are; I'm different like that. ( )
  heidilove | Dec 8, 2005 |
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"Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism" edition. Edited by Nancy Walker. Please do not combine with "The Awakening" as it includes additional essays and material.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312195753, Paperback)

This revision of a widely adopted critical edition presents the 1969 Seyersted text of Kate Chopin's novel along with critical essays that introduce students to The Awakening from the perspectives of feminism, gender (new essay), new historical, deconstructionist, and reader response criticism. An additional new essay demonstrates how various approaches can be combined. The text and essays are complemented by introductions to The Awakening and to the criticism, a glossary of critical terms, and (for the first time) contextual documents.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:57:12 -0400)

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