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Wild Nights! Wild Nights! The Dickinsons and the Todds: A Screenplay

Description: Emily Dickinson's seclusion is explored in light of her family's strange entanglement with the Todds. Austin Dickinson's affair with Mabel Loomis Todd, and the effect on the lives of Susan Dickinson, Lavinia Dickinson, Martha Dickinson Bianchi, David Todd, and Millicent Todd Bingham, provide a steamy context for the posthumous publication of Emily Dickinson's poetry. The screenplay includes original music (inspired by the dashes and an old hymn) for two poems: "Wild Nightsl Wild Nights!" and "Better - than Music!" Also included are visualizations of many of Dickinson's images, including "circumference," "Eden," "the bee," and "immortality."
Date: August 1988
Creator: Franklin, William Neal
Partner: UNT Libraries

Garrison Keillor and American Literary Traditions

Description: Although Garrison Keillor is perhaps best known as the creator and host of Minnesota Public Radio's A Prairie Home Companion (1974-1987), the focus of this study is his literary career. Keillor's literary accomplishments include a successful career as a writer for The New Yorker and two best-selling books about the fictional town of Lake Wobegon, Minnesota, entitled Lake Wobegon Days (1985) and Leaving Home (1987). His literary style incorporates elements from several traditions in American literature--the precise, sophisticated "New Yorker style" practiced by writers such as E. B. White and James Thurber; the oral tradition prominent in the works of Mark Twain and the nineteenth-century literary comedians; and the satiric realism associated with the small-town literature of writers such as Sherwood Anderson and Sinclair Lewis.
Date: August 1988
Creator: Elston, Suzanne Poteet
Partner: UNT Libraries

English Methods Courses in Texas Preparation for the Essential Elements

Description: This study analyzes the congruence between the objectives of secondary-level English methods courses in Texas universities and the objectives of the state-mandated high school curriculum (the essential elements) in language arts. A questionnaire was used to obtain information from 26 English methods instructors at 22 universities in Texas. The data obtained from these questionnaires reveal that these instructors strongly emphasize preparing prospective English teachers to teach the essential elements of composition. Other significant findings include: (1) the lack of emphasis in the English methods course on strategies for teaching the essential elements of language, when those elements are unrelated to composition, and (2) the lack of uniformity which characterizes the organization of the English methods course at major Texas universities.
Date: August 1988
Creator: Erwin, Martha L. (Martha Lea)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Angry Charmer

Description: This screenplay, dealing with the theme of anger, is divided into three acts: setup, confrontation and resolution, respectively. Beginning in medias res, flashbacks are employed for expositions of the two main characters, Connor Tracy, alias the Angry Charmer, and Howard Goldberg. Act I opens with Connor at the wheel of a van, driving wildly, Howard accompanying. The setup is established. Act IlI returns to the careening van and then flashbacks to the college meeting of Connor and Howard. By the end of the act, the two, now unwilling relatives, go off on a European trip together. The confrontation has begun in earnest. Act III resolves the problem of Connor's anger through the purgative experi ences of the vacation, in particular the climactic ending.
Date: May 1988
Creator: Wall, Jeffrey R. (Jeffrey Robert)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Grotesque Tradition in the Short Stories of Charles Bukowski

Description: The style and themes central to Bukowski's prose have roots in the literary tradition of the grotesque. Bukowski uses grotesque imagery in his writings as a creative device, explaining the negative characteristics of modern life. His permanent mood of angry disgust at the world around him is similar to that of the eighteenth-century satirists, particularly Jonathan Swift. Bukowski confronts the reader with the uglier side of America--its grime, its corruption, the constricted lives of its lower class--all with a simplicity and directness of style impeccably and clearly distilled. Bukowski's style is ebullient, with grotesquely evocative descriptions, scatological detail, and dark humor.
Date: May 1988
Creator: Cooke, James M. (James Michael)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Decline of the Country-House Poem in England: A Study in the History of Ideas

Description: This study discusses the evolution of the English country-house poem from its inception by Ben Jonson in "To Penshurst" to the present. It shows that in addition to stylistic and thematic borrowings primarily from Horace and Martial, traditional English values associated with the great hall and comitatus ideal helped define features of the English country-house poem, to which Jonson added the metonymical use of architecture. In the Jonsonian country-house poem, the country estate, exemplified by Penshurst, is a microcosm of the ideal English social organization characterized by interdependence, simplicity, service, hospitality, and balance between the active and contemplative life. Those poems which depart from the Jonsonian ideal are characterized by disequilibrium between the active and contemplative life, resulting in the predominance of artifice, subordination of nature, and isolation of art from the community, as exemplified by Thomas Carew's "To Saxham" and Richard Lovelace's "Amyntor's Grove." Architectural features of the English country house are examined to explain the absence of the Jonsonian country-house poem in the eighteenth century. The building tradition praised by Jonson gradually gave way to aesthetic considerations fostered by the professional architect and Palladian architecture, architectural patronage by the middle class, and change in identity of the country house as center of an interdependent community. The country-house poem was revived by W. B. Yeats in his poems in praise of Coole Park. In them Yeats reaffirms Jonsonian values. In contrast to the poems of Yeats, the country-house poems of Sacheverell Sitwell and John Hollander convey a sense of irretrievable loss of the Jonsonian ideal and isolation of the poet. Changing social patterns, ethical values, and aesthetics threaten the survival of the country-house poem, although the ideal continues to reflect a basic longing of humanity for a pastoral retreat where life is simple and innocent.
Date: August 1988
Creator: Harris, Candice R. (Candice Rae)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Unity, Ecstasy, Communion: The Tragic Perspective of W.B. Yeats

Description: As a young man of twenty-one in 1886, William Butler Yeats announced his ambition to unify Ireland through heroic poetry. But this prophetic urge lacked structure. Yeats had only some callow notions about needing self-possession and appropriate control of his imagery. As a result, his search for essential knowledge and experience soon led him into occult and symbolist vagueness. Yeats' mind grew flaccid, and his art languished in preciosity for over a decade. Lotos-eating had replaced prophetic fervor. However, early in the new century, as Yeats neared middle age and permanent mediocrity, he recovered his early zeal and finally found the means to give it artistic shape. Through daily theatre work he had discovered tragedy. And through personal trials he had developed a tragic sense. Hence, an entire tragic perspective was born, one that would dominate Yeats' mind and art the rest of his life. Locating the contours of Yeats' shift in-viewpoint, then, provides the key to understanding the man and his mature work. The present study does just that, tracing the origin, development, and elaboration of Yeats' tragic perspective, from its theoretical underpinnings to its poetic triumphs. Above all, this study supplies the basic context of Yeats* careers why he took the path he did, and how he wove all that he found along the way into a remarkable fabric.
Date: May 1988
Creator: Brooks, John C.
Partner: UNT Libraries