Like Clockwork: Steampunk Pasts, Presents, and Futures

POETRY

1.
Rachel A. Bowser, Brian Croxall
Like Clockwork: Steampunk Pasts, Presents, and Futures

Once a small subculture, the steampunk phenomenon exploded in visibility during the first years of the twenty-first century, its influence and prominence increasing ever since. From its Victorian and literary roots to film and television, video games, music, and even fashion, this subgenre of science fiction reaches far and wide within current culture. Here Rachel A. Bowser and Brian Croxall present cutting-edge essays on steampunk: its rise in popularity, its many manifestations, and why we should pay attention.

Like Clockwork offers wide-ranging perspectives on steampunk’s history and its place in contemporary culture, all while speaking to the “why” and “why now” of the genre. In her essay, Catherine Siemann draws on authors such as William Gibson and China Mieville to analyze steampunk cities Kathryn Crowther turns to disability studies to examine the role of prosthetics within steampunk as well as the contemporary culture of access and Diana M. Pho reviews the racial and national identities of steampunk, bringing in discussions of British chap-hop artists, African American steamfunk practitioners, and multicultural steampunk fan cultures.

From disability and queerness to ethos and digital humanities, Like Clockwork explores the intriguing history of steampunk to evaluate the influence of the genre from the 1970s through the twenty-first century.

Contributors: Kathryn Crowther, Perimeter College at Georgia State University Shaun Duke, University of Florida Stefania Forlini, University of Calgary (Canada) Lisa Hager, University of Wisconsin–Waukesha Mike Perschon, MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta Diana M. Pho David Pike, American University Catherine Siemann, New Jersey Institute of Technology Joseph Weakland, Georgia Institute of Technology Roger Whitson, Washington State University.

2.
Michelle Yeh, N. G. D. Malmqvist
Frontier Taiwan: An Anthology of Modern Chinese Poetry edited

Taiwan has evolved dramatically from a little-known island to an internationally acclaimed economic miracle and thriving democracy. The history of modern Taiwanese poetry parallels and tells the story of this transformation from periphery to frontier. Containing translations of nearly 400 poems from 50 poets spanning the entire twentieth century, this anthology reveals Taiwan in a broad spectrum of themes, forms, and styles: from lyrical meditation to political satire, haiku to concrete poetry, surrealism to postmodernism.

The in-depth introduction outlines the development of modern poetry in the unique historical and cultural context of Taiwan. Comprehensive in both depth and scope, Frontier Taiwan beautifully captures the achievements of the nation’s modern poetic traditions.

3.
Paul Keegan
The Penguin Book of English Verse

Spanning seven centuries, this ambitious and revelatory collection turns the traditional chronology of anthologies on its head, listing poems according to their first individual appearance in the language rather than by poet.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

4.
Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei
Heidegger, Holderlin, and the Subject of Poetic Language: Toward a New Poetics of Dasein

Heidegger’s interpretations of the poetry of Hlderlin are central to Heidegger’s later philosophy and have determined the mainstream reception of Hlderlin’s poetry. Gosetti-Ferencei argues that Heidegger has overlooked central elements in Hlderlin’s poetics, such as a Kantian understanding of aesthetic subjectivity and a commitment to Enlightenment ideals. These elements, she argues, resist the more politically distressing aspects of Heidegger’s interpretations, including Heidegger’s nationalist valorization of the German language and sense of nationhood, or Heimat.In the context of Hlderlin’s poetics of alienation, exile, and wandering, Gosetti-Ferencei draws a different model of poetic subjectivity, which engages Heidegger’s later philosophy of Gelassenheit, calmness, or letting be. In so doing, she is able to pose a phenomenologically sensitive theory of poetic language and a new poetics of Dasein,or being there.

5.
Glenn Hughes
A More Beautiful Question: The Spiritual in Poetry and Art

As more and more people in North America and Europe have distanced themselves from mainstream religious traditions over the past centuries, a “crisis of faith” has emerged and garnered much attention. But Glenn Hughes, author of A More Beautiful Question: The Spiritual in Poetry and Art, contends that despite the withering popularity of faith-based worldviews, our times do not evince a decline in spirituality. One need only consider the search for “alternative” religious symbolisms, as well as the growth of groups espousing fundamentalist religious viewpoints, to recognize that spiritual concerns remain a vibrant part of life in Western culture.
Hughes offers the idea that the modern “crisis of faith” is not a matter of vanishing spiritual concerns and energy but rather of their disorientation, even as they remain pervasive forces in human affairs. And because art is the most effective medium for spiritually evocation, it is our most significant touchstone for examining this spiritual disorientation, just as it remains a primary source of inspiration for spiritual experience.
A More Beautiful Question is concerned with how art, and especially poetry, functions as a vehicle of spiritual expression in today’s modern cultures. The book considers the meeting points of art, poetry, religion, and philosophy, in part through examining the treatments of consciousness, transcendence, and art in the writings of twentieth-century philosophers Eric Voegelin and Bernard Lonergan. A major portion of A More Beautiful Question is devoted to detailed “case studies” of three influential modern poets: Gerard Manley Hopkins, Emily Dickinson, and T. S. Eliot. In these and its other chapters, the book examines the human need for artistic symbols that evoke the mystery of transcendence, the ways in which poetry and art illuminate the spiritual meanings of freedom, and the benefits of an individual’s loving study of great literature and art.
A More Beautiful Question has a distinctive aim—to clarify the spiritual functions of art and poetry in relation to contemporary confusion about transcendent reality—and it meets that goal in a manner accessible by the layperson as well as the scholar. By examining how the best art and poetry address our need for spiritual orientation, this book makes a valuable contribution to the philosophies of art, literature, and religion, and brings deserved attention to the significance of the “spiritual” in the study of these disciplines.