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Literature A World of Writing Stories, Poems, Plays and Essays

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-09-25
  • Publisher: Pearson

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Literature A World of Writing Stories, Poems, Plays, and Essaysis an exciting new full-color introduction to literature anthology with compelling visual pedagogy and a rich selection of thematically organized readings that make new literature familiar and familiar literature new. An extensive writing handbook shows students how to read critically and guides them through the process of writing arguments using dynamic visual tools to convey key concepts. Outstanding selections, engaging visual pedagogy, superior writing instruction all for 20% less than comparable texts! Key concepts are presented visually using idea maps, fill-in boxes, and annotations that enable students to grasp main ideas more effectively. Diverse texts are presented in four casebooks called, "Reading Globally, Writing Locally."

Author Biography

David L. Pike is Professor of Literature at American University, where he teaches courses on urban culture and the underground, cinema, modernism, Dante, Roman literature, and the novel. He is the author of Canadian Cinema since the 1980s: At the Heart of the World (U of Toronto P, 2012); Metropolis on the Styx: The Underworlds of Modern Urban Culture, 1800 —2001(Cornell UP, 2007); Subterranean Cities: The World beneath Paris and London 1800—1945 (Cornell UP), shortlisted for the 2006 Modernist Studies Association book prize; Passage through Hell: Modernist Descents, Medieval Underworlds (Cornell UP), recipient of the 1997 Gustave O. Arlt Award in the Humanities from the Council of Graduate Schools and a Choice Outstanding Academic Book for 1997; and articles on urban culture, subterranean studies, film, and medieval literature. He is co-general editor of the Longman Anthology of World Literature.


Ana M. Acosta is Associate Professor of English at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. Her book, Reading Genesis in the Long Eighteenth Century: From Milton to Mary Shelley, was published by Ashgate in 2006. She has published articles on religion, science and Enlightenment and is currently at work on a book-length project entitled “Theaters of Enlightenment: Imagined Encounters between Science and Religion in 18th-century Culture.”  She has twice been the recipient of a Whiting Fellowship, has received two PSC-CUNY awards, and was chosen in 2008 by the students at Brooklyn College as a Role Model in the conference “Standing on the Shoulders of Others.”

Table of Contents



1. Reading and Thinking about Literature: A World of Meaning

     Meaningless Words and the World of Meaning

     Literary Form and Assumptions about Meaning

     The Point of Literary Meaning

     Forming Literary Meaning

     Making Sense

     Making Meaning out of Misunderstanding

Roberto Fernández, Wrong Channel

     Deciphering Meaning: The Riddle Game

     The Riddle as a Literary Device

Sylvia Plath, Metaphors

     Reading for What Does Not Make Sense

     Strategies for Reading Critically

     Writer @ Work: The Reading Process

Sharon Olds, The Possessive

    Student Writing: Justin Schiel reads and annotates The Possessive

     Clarity and Ambiguity of Language

     Working with Ambiguity in Literary Writing

     Reading versus Writing

     Working with Clarity in Nonliterary Writing: The Summary

    Student Writing: Four Summaries ofThe Possessive

     Clarity and Ambiguity in Storytelling

Franz Kafka, Before the Law

     Student Writing: Two Summaries of Before the Law

Ursula K. Le Guin, The Wife’s Story

      Clarity and Ambiguity of Argument: Summarizing an Essay

Rosa Ehrenreich Brooks, I Hate Trees

    Student Writing: Melissa Kim, A Summary of Rosa Ehrenreich Brooks, “I Hate Trees”

     Clarity and Ambiguity in Literary Genres

     Plot Conventions and Expectations

Margaret Atwood, Happy Endings

     Clarity and Ambiguity in Visual Culture

     Visual Assumptions

     Writing a Summary of an Image

Cornelius Gijsbrechts, Letter Rack with Christian V’s Proclamation

    Student Writing: Alan Green, A Summary of Letter Rack with Christian V’s Proclamation

     Looking Back: A World of Meaning


2. Argument, Critical Thinking, and the Process of Writing: Writing in the World

     Crafting an Argument

     Analyzing an Argumentative Essay

May Sarton, The Rewards of Living a Solitary Life

     Making Your Own Argument

     Argument versus Thesis

     From Idea to Thesis

Chinua Achebe, Dead Men’s Path

     Student Idea Map for “Dead Men’s Path”

     Critical Thinking: Reading, Questioning, Writing

     Writer @ Work: Critical Thinking from First Impressions to Finished Paper

     Critical Thinking Step by Step

Mary Oliver, August

    Student Writing: Katherine Randall, sample writing from drafts to final paper

    Student Writing: Three Summaries of August

     Critical Thinking in a Comparison Paper

Ellen Hunnicutt, Blackberries

Leslie Norris, Blackberries

    Student Writing: Cynthia Wilson, Leave the Picking to the Boys

     Thinking Critically about Visual Culture


     Still Images

     Sequential Images

     Moving Images

     Interactive Images

     Looking Back: Writing in the World


3. Planning, Writing, and Revising a Research Paper: Investigating the World

     Finding a Topic

    Student Writing: Rob Lanney, Paper Topic and Revised Paper Topic

     Finding, Evaluating, and Summarizing Your Sources in the Annotated Bibliography

     Primary Sources and Secondary Sources

     The MLA Works-Cited List

     Plagiarism and How to Avoid It

     The Annotated Bibliography

    Student Writing: Rob Lanney, Annotated Bibliography—Source #1

     From the Annotated Bibliography to the First Draft

     Making an Outline

    Student Writing: Rob Lanney, The Castle in Productions and Films of Hamlet—An Outline

     Writing the First Draft

     MLA In-Text Citations

     Writer @ Work: Revising

   Student Writing: Rob Lanney, Hamlet’s Elsinore–Initial draft

   Student Writing: Rob Lanney, Hamlet’s Elsinore

   Student Writing: Lorraine Betesh, The Brooklyn Bridge in Illustrations and Photographs

    Looking Back: Investigating the World


PART 2     The Writer’s World: Genres And The Craft Of Literature


4. Stories: Describing the World

     What Is Fiction?

     Fiction and History

     Types of Fiction

     The Craft of Fiction

Padgett Powell, A Gentleman’s C

     The Materials of Fiction

     The Tools of Fiction

     Writer @ Work: Description

Julia Alvarez, Snow

    Student Writing: Hashim Naseem, The Motherland

     Describing the World: Topics for Essays

     Looking Back: Describing the World 


5. Poetry: Imagining the World

     What Is Poetry?

     Prosody: An Introduction

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, from Metrical Feet— Lesson for a Boy

     Poetic Diction

     Poetic Forms

     Writer @ Work: Three Poems about Social Relations

William Blake, London

Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Mary Oliver, Singapore

    Student Writing: Melissa Pabon, Summaries of London, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, and Singapore

    Student Writing: Melissa Pabon, The Importance of Everyday Occurrences in London, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, and Singapore

     Imagining the World: Topics for Essays

     Writer @ Work: Reading and Writing Essays

    Student Writing: Scott Nathanson, The Meaning of Death

     Types of Essays

     Looking Back: Imagining the World


6. Plays: Staging the World

      What Is a Play?

Susan Glaspell, Trifles

      Dramatic Structure



      Form and Genre

     Writer @ Work: Writing about a Live or a Taped Performance

Samuel Beckett, Krapp’s Last Tape

    Student Writing: Joshua Cohen,Notes on Krapp’s Last Tape, directed by Atom Egoyan

    Student Writing: Joshua Cohen, Response Paper on Krapp’s Last Tape

     Staging the World: Topics for Essays

     Looking Back: Staging the World


7. Essays: Explaining the World

     What Is Nonfiction?

     The Essay

Virginia Woolf, The Death of the Moth

Annie Dillard, Death of a Moth

     Analyzing an Essay

     Writer @ Work: Arguing with an Essay

George Packer, How Susie Bayer’s T-Shirt Ended Up on Yusuf Mama’s Back

    Student Writing: Jacquelynn Messina, The Used Clothes Trade: Who Benefits?

     Explaining the World: Topics for Essays

     Looking Back: Explaining the World


8. Working with Literary Devices: Writing the World

     Literary Devices

     Patterns of Repetition

     Patterns of Inversion

     Patterns of Contradiction

     Ambiguity and Double Meaning


     Referring to Other Texts

     Word Pictures

John Keats, Drawing of the Sosibios Vase

John Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn

Hiram Powers, Greek Slave

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, On Hiram Powers’ Greek Slave

Peter Brueghel the Elder, Landscape with the Fall of Icarus

William Carlos Williams, Landscape with the Fall of Icarus

W. H. Auden, Musée des Beaux Arts

Michael Hamburger, Lines on Brueghel’s Icarus

Robert Hass, Heroic Simile

Akira Kurosawa, movie still from The Seven Samurai

     Writing the World: Topics for Essays


PART 3      The Reader’s World: Exploring The Themes Of Literature


9. Me and You: The World Closest to Us

     Photographs from The Family of Man


**Dagoberto Gilb, Look on the Bright Side

Flannery O’Connor, A Good Man Is Hard to Find

James Baldwin, Sonny’s Blues

Jonathan Safran Foer, A Primer for the Punctuation of Heart Disease

Alice Walker, Everyday Use

Mary TallMountain, There Is No Word for Goodbye

Robert Hayden, Those Winter Sundays

Lucille Clifton, wishes for sons

**Rita Dove, Daystar

**A.R. Ammons, Coward

William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Scott Russell Sanders, Buckeye

Amy Tan, from Mother Tongue

     Families: Topics for Essays


Jamaica Kincaid, Girl

Lorrie Moore, The Kid’s Guide to Divorce

James Joyce, Araby

John Updike, A & P

**Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm, Little Red Cap

Anne Sexton, Red Riding Hood

Agha Shahid Ali, The Wolf’s Postscript to “Little Red Riding Hood”

Gary Soto, Behind Grandma’s House

**Martin Espada, Why I Went to College

Langston Hughes, Salvation

     Children and Adolescents: Topics for Essays


John Steinbeck, The Chrysanthemums

**Haruki Murakami, The Year of Spaghetti

Amanda Holzer, Love and Other Catastrophes: A Mix Tape

Uruttiran, What She Said to Her Girl Friend

Ono no Komachi, Three tanka

William Shakespeare, How oft, when thou, my music, music play’st (Sonnet 128)

William Shakespeare, Let me not to the marriage of true minds (Sonnet 116)

William Shakespeare, When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes (Sonnet 29)

John Donne, The Flea

**Monica Ferrell, Rime Riche

Edgar Allan Poe, Annabel Lee

T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

**Jack Spicer, A Book of Music

Sei Shonagon, fromHateful Things

***Joan Didion, Marrying Absurd

     Lovers: Topics for Essays

     Working Further with the World Closest to Us


**Reading Globally, Writing Locally: Marjane Satrapi and The Literature of the Middle East

**Marjane Satrapi, from Persepolis

**Marjane Satrapi, Iran and Israel

**From 1001 Nights: The Wonderful Bag

**Yehuda Amichal, The Diameter of the Bomb

**Yehuda Amichal, Wildpeace

**Mahmoud Darwish, Who Am I without Exile?

**Working Further with the Literature of the Middle East


10. Beliefs and Ethics: The Worlds around Us

     Images of Good and Evil in the World


from Genesis

Salman Rushdie, Imagine There’s No Heaven

K. C. Cole, Murmurs

**Italo Calvino, All at One Point

     Creation and Beginnings: Topics for Essays


Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown

Kate Chopin, The Story of an Hour

Ernest Hemingway, Hills Like White Elephants

Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried

**Tobias Wolff, Bullet in the Brain

William Carlos Williams, Complete Destruction

Robert Frost, Fire and Ice

John Donne, Death, Be Not Proud

Dylan Thomas, Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night

Emily Dickinson, I like a look of Agony

Emily Dickinson, Because I could not stop for Death –

Emily Dickinson, I felt a Funeral, in my Brain

Emily Dickinson, I heard a Fly buzz – when I died –

Emily Dickinson, It was not Death, for I stood up

Emily Dickinson, A Toad, can die of Light –

Emily Dickinson, Tell all the Truth but tell it slant –

Wilfrid Owen, Dulce et Decorum Est

Carolyn Forché, The Colonel

Sophocles, Antigone

Destruction and Endings: Topics for Essays

Working Further with the Worlds Around Us


Reading Globally, Writing Locally: Naguib Mahfouz and the Literature of Africa

Naguib Mahfouz, Half a Day

Naguib Mahfouz, Zaabalawi

Binyavanga Wainaina, How to Write about Africa

Jeremy Cronin, To learn how to speak . . .

Chenjerai Hove, You Will Forget

Working Further with the Literature of Africa 


11. Spaces and Places: The World We Live in

     Imagining Spaces


Robert Smithson, Spiral Jetty

Eudora Welty, A Worn Path

Raymond Carver, Cathedral

Sherman Alexie, This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

Robert Frost, Mending Wall

James Wright, Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota

Louise Erdrich, Dear John Wayne

Yusuf Komunyakaa, Facing It

Rachel Carson, fromThe Marginal World

***Studs Terkel, The Mason: Carl Murray Bates

     In-Between Spaces: Topics for Essays


Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado

William Faulkner, A Rose for Emily

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper

***Daniel Orozco, Orientation

Paul Laurence Dunbar, Sympathy

Stevie Smith, Not Waving but Drowning

Robert Browning, My Last Duchess

Henrik Ibsen, A Doll’s House

Malcolm X, fromThe Autobiography of Malcolm X

     Confined Spaces: Topics for Essays

     Working Further with the World We Live In


Reading Globally, Writing Locally: Jhumpa Lahiri and the Literature of Asia

Jhumpa Lahiri, My Two Lives

Jhumpa Lahiri, When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine

Kazuo Ishiguro, A Family Supper

Garrett Hongo, Who Among You Knows the Essence of Garlic?

Xu Gang, Red Azalea on the Cliff

Working Further with the Literature of Asia 


12. Nature, Cities, and the Environment: The World We Share

      Imagining City and Nature Together


Toni Cade Bambara, The Lesson

Allen Ginsberg, A Supermarket in California

Ezra Pound, In a Station of the Metro

***Valzhyna Mort, New York

Langston Hughes, Theme for English B

***David Ives, Sure Thing

Bill Buford, Lions and Tigers and Bears

     Living in the City: Topics for Essays


Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Three Projects

Julio Cortázar, Axolotl

T. Coraghessan Boyle, Greasy Lake

Bash o , Four haiku

Richard Wright, Haiku

William Carlos Williams, so much depends

Elizabeth Bishop, The Fish

***Kay Ryan, Turtle

Walt Whitman, When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer

Langston Hughes, The Negro Speaks of Rivers

Gerard Manley Hopkins, Inversnaid

Louis D. Owens, The American Indian Wilderness

Donella Meadows, Living Lightly and Inconsistently on the Land

     Living in Nature: Topics for Essays

     Working Further with the World We Share 



Reading Globally, Writing Locally: Gabriel GarcÌa Márquez and the Literature of the Americas

Gabriel García Márquez, The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World

Gabriel García Márquez, The Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

Pablo Neruda, The Word

Jimmy Santiago Baca, So Mexicans Are Taking Jobs from Americans

Tino Villanueva, Variation on a Theme by William Carlos Williams

Working Further with the Literature of the Americas


Appendix A: The World of Literary Criticism


Appendix B: MLA Documentation Guidelines



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