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

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-01-03
  • Publisher: Longman
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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 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

PART I.  A Reader’s Guide to the World of Writing


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


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 

      Making and Breaking the Rules

                  Carol Shields,  Absence

      Reading for What Does Not Make Sense


 Writer at 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 of  The 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’s  I Hate Trees

      Clarity and Ambiguity in Visual Culture

            Visual Assumptions

            Writing a Summary of an Image

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


      Crafting an Argument

                  May Sarton,  The Rewards of Living a Solitary Life

            Analyzing an Argumentative Essay

            Making Your Own Argument

            Argument versus Thesis

            From Idea to Thesis

                  Chinua Achebe,  Dead Men’s Path                         

      Critical Thinking: Reading, Questioning, Writing        


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

            Mary Oliver,  August

            Student Writer Katherine Randall, sample writing drafts

        to final paper.




      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

            Thinking Critically about Signs


Looking Back: Writing in the World   


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


      Finding a 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: Lorraine Betesh, Annotated Bibliography–Source #1

      From the Annotated Bibliography to the First Draft

            Making an Outline

STUDENT WRITING: Lorraine Betesh, The Brooklyn Bridge in Illustrations and Photographs–An Outline

            Writing a First Draft

            MLA In-Text Citations


 Writer at Work: Revising                                                                                                      

            Revising the initial  draft                                                                                                      

      A STUDENT RESEARCH PAPER USING VISUAL MEDIA: Lorraine Betesh, The Brooklyn Bridge in Illustrations and Photographs       


            Looking Back: Investigating the World



4.      Organizing the World of Literature: Genre


      Plot Conventions and Expectations                              

                  Margaret Atwood,  Happy Endings

Comparing Genres

                  N. Scott Momaday, from The Way to Rainy Mountain  

What Is Poetry?                                                                          

            Prosody: An Introduction

                   Samuel Taylor Coleridge,  Metrical Feet — Lesson for a Boy

            Poetic Diction

            Poetic Forms

      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

      What Is a Play?                                                                          

                        Susan Glaspell, Trifles             

 Dramatic Structure



            Form and Genre



            What Is Nonfiction?                                                                                                  

                  The Essay 

      Virginia Woolf,  The Death of the Moth

                                Annie Dillard, The Death of a Moth

                  Analyzing an Essays


Writer at Work: Reading and Writing Essays

STUDENT WRITING: Scott Nathanson,  The Meaning of Death


Types of Essays


What Are Visual Media?

            Still Images

            Sequential Images

            Moving Images

            Interactive Images


Looking Back: Organizing the World of Literature


Part II.  The Writer’s World:  Genres and the Craft of Literature 



5.    Imaging the World: Exploring the Forms of Literature


Imagining the World: Working with Poetry


            Writer at Work: Three Poems about Social Relations

                                William Blake,  London 

                        Robert Frost,  Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening 

                        Mary Oliver,  Singapore 

      STUDENT WRITING: Summaries of  London,   Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,  and  Singapore

      STUDENT WRITING: A Comparison of  London,   Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,  and  Singapore


Describing the World: Working with Stories


       Writer at Work: The Power of Description

                                Julia Alvarez,  Snow 

   STUDENT WRITING: A Descriptive Essay


      Staging the World: Working with Plays


       Writer at Work: Viewing and Writing about a Performance of Krapp’s Last Tape

                                Samuel Beckett, Krapp’s Last Tape 

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

     Response Paper on Krapp’s Last Tape, directed by Atom Egoyan, by

      Joshua Cohen


      Explaining the World: Working with Essays


       Writer at Work:  Arguing with an Essay                                                                                                                 

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

STUDENT WRITING: An Argumentative Essay on  How Susie Bayer’s T- Shirt Ended Up on Yusuf Mama’s Back                                       

       Writer at Work: Topics for essays



6.      Writing the World: Working with Literary Devices


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 Power, 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”

                  Akira Kurosawa, movie still from The Seven Samurai

                  Robert Hass, Heroic Simile




Writing the World: Topics for Essays




7.      Translating the World: Reading and Writing between Languages


I Hate and Love: A Casebook on Translation 

Catullus: Poem 85 with interlinear and literal translation

Richard Lovelace,  I hate and love

Walter Landor,  I love and hate

Ezra Pound,  I hate and love

Peter Whigham,  I hate and I love

Charles Martin,  I hate & love

Frank Bidart,  Catullus: Odi et Amo,   Catullus: Excrucior

Miriam Sagan,  Translating Catullus

Translation and Bilingualism

Mary TallMountain,  There Is No Word for Goodbye  [Native American]

Wilfrid Owen,  Dulce et decorum est 

Michael Martone,  The Mayor of the Sister City Speaks to the Chamber of Commerce in Klamath Falls, Oregon, on a Night in December in 1976 

Amy Tan, from Mother Tongue


      Translating the World: Topics for Essays



PART III.  The Reader’s World: Exploring the Themes of Literature



8.  The World Closest to Us: Me and You                                        




Julio Cortázar, Unusual Occupations                  

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

James Baldwin, Sonny’s Blues 

Jonathan Safran Foer, Primer for the Punctuation of Heart Disease 

Alice Walker, Everyday Use                         


Robert Hayden, Those Winter Sundays  

Lucille Clifton, wishes for sons  

Kitty Tsui, A Chinese Banquet


William Shakespeare, Hamlet


Scott Russell Sanders, Buckeye


Families: Topics for essays


Children and Adolescents           


Jamaica Kincaid, Girl                     

Lorrie Moore, The Kid’s Guide to Divorce 

James Joyce, Araby 

John Updike, A&P                   


Elizabeth Bishop, In the Waiting Room 

Anne Sexton, Little Red Riding Hood

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

Gary Soto, Behind Grandma’s House 


Langston Hughes, Salvation


Children and Adolescents: Topics for essays




Dorothy Parker, The Waltz 

John Steinbeck, The Chrysanthemums

Amanda Holzer,  ove and Other Catastrophes: A Mix Tape


Uruttiran, What She Said to Her Girl Friend 

Ono no Komachi, selected tanka

Sara Teasdale, The Look 

William Shakespeare,

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

      When, in disgrace with Fortune and men’s eyes (Sonnet 29)

      How oft when thou, my music, music play'st (Sonnet 128)

John Donne, The Flea 

Jimmy Santiago Baca, Spliced Wire

Edgar Allan Poe, Annabel Lee 

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



      Sei Shonagon, from The Pillow Book


Lovers: Topics for essays

Working further with the World Closest to Us


Reading Globally, Writing Locally I: Orhan Pamuk and the Literature of Europe



Orhan Pamuk, My Father’s Suitcase


Orhan Pamuk, To Look Out The Window                           

Julio Cortázar, Axolotl                                                    


Eleni Fourtouni, Child’s Memory 

CzesBaw MiBosz, My Faithful Mother Tongue 


Working further with the literature of Europe



9.  The Worlds around Us: Beliefs and Ethics                                 


Beliefs: Creation and Beginnings

                        Sacred Text

Genesis, chapters 1-3

                  Secular Texts

Voltaire, Plato’s Dream                                     

Salman Rushdie, Imagine There’s No Heaven

K. C. Cole, Murmurs                      

Creation and Beginnings: Topics for essays


Ethics: Destruction and Endings


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


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

      Because I could not stop for Death ;

      I felt a Funeral, in my Brain ;

      I heard a Fly buzz–when I died–

      It was not Death, for I stood up

      A toad can die of light! 

      Tell all the Truth but tell it slant

WisBawa Szymborska, Lot’s Wife 

Carolyn Forché, The Colonel


Sophocles, Antigone


Destruction and Endings: Topics for essays


Working further with the Worlds around Us



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



 Naguib Mahfouz, Half a Day ( translated by Davies Denys Johnson )

 Naguib Mahfouz, Zaabalawi ( translated by Davies Denys Johnson )



     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





10.        The World We Live in: Spaces and Places



In-Between Spaces



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

Henry Taylor, Landscape with Tractor

Louise Erdrich, Dear John Wayne 

Yusuf Komunyakaa, Facing It


Rachel Carson, The Marginal World  


In-between spaces: Topics for essays                                                                                             


Confined Spaces


Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado

William Faulkner, A Rose for Emily

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper 


Paul Laurence Dunbar, Sympathy

Stevie Smith, Not Waving but Drowning 

Robert Browning, My Last Duchess


Henrik Ibsen, A Doll’s House


Mikhael Metzel, The accused awaiting trial in the Butyrskaya prison in Moscow

Malcolm X, from The Autobiography of Malcolm X


Confined Spaces: Topics for essays


Working further with the World We Live In


Reading Globally, Writing Locally III: 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



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


Living in the City


Toni Cade Bambara, The Lesson


Allen Ginsberg, Supermarket in California

Ezra Pound, In a Station of the Metro

Sharon Olds, On the Subway 

Langston Hughes, Theme for English B



Bill Buford, Lions and Tigers and Bears


      Living in the City: Topics for essays


Living in Nature


Sarah Orne Jewett, A White Heron

T. C. Boyle, Greasy Lake


Haiku by Basho and Richard Wright

H. D., The Sea Rose

William Carlos Williams, So Much Depends                                 

Elizabeth Bishop, The Fish

Walt Whitman, When I Heard the Learned Astronomer 

Langston Hughes, The Negro Speaks of Rivers

Gerard Manley Hopkins, Inversnaid 

Wendell Berry, Stay Home 

Robert Frost, A Brook in the City 

W. S. Merwin, Rain at Night


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 Around Us


Reading Globally, Writing Locally IV:

Gabriel García Márquez and the Literature of the Americas



Gabriel García Márquez, The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World

     Gabriel García Márquez, A 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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