Collects essays that look at J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye" through a philosophical approach.
Collects essays that look at J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye" through a philosophical approach.
Holden begins his story at Pencey Preparatory, an exclusive private school (fictional, though based on Salinger's own experience at Valley Forge Military Academy) in Agerstown, Pennsylvania, on the Saturday afternoon of the traditional football game with rival school Saxon Hall. Holden ends up missing the game. As manager of the fencing team, he loses their equipment on a New York City subway train that morning, resulting in the cancellation of a match. He goes to the home of his history teacher named Mr. Spencer. Holden has been expelled and isn't to return after Christmas break, which begins the following Wednesday. Spencer is a well-meaning but long-winded middle-aged man. To Holden's annoyance, Spencer reads aloud Holden's history paper, in which Holden wrote a note to Spencer so his teacher wouldn't feel bad about failing him in the subject.
Five essays focus on various aspects of the novel from its ideology within the context of the Cold War and portrait of a particular American subculture to its account of patterns of adolescent crisis and rich and complex narrative structure.
Peter G. Beidler's Reader's Companion is an indispensable guide for teachers, students, and general readers who want fully to appreciate Salinger's perennial bestseller.
J. D. Salinger's 1951 novel, The Catcher in the Rye, is the definitive coming-of-age novel and Holden Caulfield remains one of the most famous characters in modern literature. This jargon-free guide to the text sets The Catcher in the Rye in its historical, intellectual and cultural contexts, offering analyses of its themes, style and structure, and presenting an up-to-date account of its critical reception.
By many accounts, HBO’s The Wire was and remains the greatest and most important television drama of all time. Conceived by writers David Simon and ex-Baltimore homicide detective Ed Burns, this five-season, sixty-episode tour de force has raised the bar for compelling, intelligent television production. With each season addressing a different arena of life in the city of Baltimore, and each season’s narratives tapping into those from previous seasons, The Wire was able to reveal the overlapping, criss-crossing, and colliding realities that shape—if not control—the people, institutions, and culture of the modern American city. The Wire and Philosophy celebrates this show’s realism as well as its intellectual and philosophical clarity. Selected philosophers who are fans of The Wire tap into these conflicts and interconnections to expose the underlying philosophical issues and assumptions and pursue questions, such as, Can cops really tell whether they are smarter than their perps? Or do they fall victim to intellectual vanity? Do individuals really have free will to resist the temptations—of gangs, of drugs, or corruption—that surround them? Is David Simon a modern-day Marx who sees capitalism leading ultimately to its own collapse, or is Baltimore’s story uniquely its own?
Presents a collection of essays analyzing Salinger's The catcher in the rye, including a chronology of his works and life.
What makes humans different from other animals, what humans are entitled to do to other species, whether time travel is possible, what limits should be placed on science and technology, the morality and practicality of genetic engineering—these are just some of the philosophical problems raised by Planet of the Apes. Planet of the Apes and Philosophy looks at all the deeper issues involved in the Planet of the Apes stories. It covers the entire franchise, from Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel Monkey Planet to the successful 2012 reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The chapters reflect diverse points of view, philosophical, religious, and scientific. The ethical relations of humans with animals are explored in several chapters, with entertaining and incisive observations on animal intelligence, animal rights, and human-animal interaction. Genetic engineering is changing humans, animals, and plants, raising new questions about the morality of such interventions. The scientific recognition that humans and chimps share 99 percent of their genes makes a future in which non-human animals acquire greater importance a distinct possibility. Planet of the Apes is the most resonant of all scientific apocalypse myths.
Science fiction writer Philip K. Dick (1928–1982) is the giant imagination behind so much recent popular culture—both movies directly based on his writings, such as Blade Runner (based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), Total Recall, Minority Report, and The Adjustment Bureau plus cult favorites such as A Scanner Darkly, Imposter, Next, Screamers, and Paycheck and works revealing his powerful influence, such as The Matrix and Inception. With the publication in 2011 of volume 1 of Exegesis, his journal of spiritual visions and paranoic investigations, Dick is fast becoming a major influence in the world of popular spirituality and occult thinking. In Philip K. Dick and Philosophy thirty Dick fans and professional thinkers confront the fascinating and frightening ideas raised by Dick’s mind-blowing fantasies. Is there an alien world behind the everyday reality we experience? If androids can pass as human, should they be given the same consideration as humans? Do psychotics have insights into a mystical reality? Would knowledge of the future free us or enslave us? This volume will also include Dick's short story "Adjustment Team," on which The Adjustment Bureau is based. Philip K. Dick and Philosophy explores the ideas of Philip K. Dick in the same way that he did: with an earnest desire to understand the truth of the world, but without falsely equating earnestness with a dry seriousness. Dick’s work was replete with whimsical and absurdist presentations of the greatest challenges to reason and to humanity—paradox, futility, paranoia, and failure—and even at his darkest times he was able to keep some perspective and humor, as for example in choosing to name himself ‘Horselover Fat’ in VALIS at the same time as he relates his personal religious epiphanies, crises, and delusions. With the same earnest whimsy, we approach Philip K. Dick as a philosopher like ourselves—one who wrote almost entirely in thought-experiments and semi-fictional world-building, but who engaged with many of the greatest questions of philosophy throughout the Euro-American tradition. Philip K. Dick and Philosophy has much to offer for both serious fans and those who have recently learned his name, and realized that his work has been the inspiration for several well-known and thought-provoking films. Most chapters start with one or more of the movies based on Dick’s writing. From here, the authors delve deeper into the issues by bringing in philosophers' perspectives and by bringing in Dick’s written work. The book invites the reader with a casual familiarity with Dick to get to know his work, and invites the reader with little familiarity with philosophy to learn more. New perspectives and challenging connections and interpretations for even the most hard-core Dick fans are also offered. To maximize public interest, the book prominently addresses the most widely-known films, as well as those with the most significant fan followings: Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, and The Adjustment Bureau. Along with these “big five” films, a few chapters address his last novels, especially VALIS, which have a significant cult following of their own. There are also chapters which address short stories and novels which are currently planned for adaptation: Radio Free Albemuth (film completed, awaiting distribution), The Man in the High Castle (in development by Ridley Scott for BBC mini-series), and “King of the Elves” (Disney, planned for release in 2012).
Based on eight years of exhaustive research and exclusive interviews with more than 200 people—and published in coordination with the international theatrical release of a major documentary film from the Weinstein Company—Salinger is a global cultural event: the definitive biography of one of the most beloved and mysterious figures of the twentieth century. For more than fifty years, the ever elusive author of The Catcher in the Rye has been the subject of a relentless stream of newspaper and magazine articles as well as several biographies. Yet all of these attempts have been hampered by a fundamental lack of access and by the persistent recycling of inaccurate information. Salinger remains, astonishingly, an enigma. The complex and contradictory human being behind the myth has never been revealed. No longer. In the eight years since Salinger was begun, and especially in the three years since Salinger’s death, the authors interviewed on five continents more than 200 people, many of whom had previously refused to go on the record about their relationship with Salinger. This oral biography offers direct eyewitness accounts from Salinger’s World War II brothers-in-arms, his family members, his close friends, his lovers, his classmates, his neighbors, his editors, his publishers, his New Yorker colleagues, and people with whom he had relationships that were secret even to his own family. Shields and Salerno illuminate most brightly the last fifty-six years of Salinger’s life: a period that, until now, had remained completely dark to biographers. Provided unprecedented access to never-before-published photographs (more than 100 throughout the book), diaries, letters, legal records, and secret documents, readers will feel they have, for the first time, gotten beyond Salinger’s meticulously built-up wall. The result is the definitive portrait of one of the most fascinating figures of the twentieth century.
An overview of the work features a biographical sketch of the author, a list of characters, a summary of the plot, and critical and analytical views of the work.
This collection of essays by philosophers who are also fans does a deep probe of the Sopranos, analyzing the adventures and personalities of Tony, Carmella, Livia, and the rest of television's most irresistible mafia family for their metaphysical, epistemological, value theory, eastern philosophical, and contemporary postmodern possibilities. No prior philosophical qualificationsor mob connections are required to enjoy these musings, which are presented with the same vibrancy and wit that have made the show such a hit.
In The Good Wife and Philosophy, fifteen philosophers look at the deeper issues raised by this stirring TV drama. The Good Wife gives us courtroom battles in the tradition of Perry Mason, with the added dimension of a political intrigue and a tormented personal story. We witness the interplay between common morality and legal correctness; sometimes following one violates the other. Lawyers operate within the law and within legal ethics, yet routinely do harmful things in pursuit of their clients’ interests. The adversarial system leads to such strategies as stringing out a case to exhaust the other side’s resources and bringing suits ostensibly because of wrongdoing by defendants but really to curtail the defendants as a competitive threat to some important client’s interest. The idea for The Good Wife came from the recurring news drama of wives standing by their husbands when scandal breaks: the wives of Bill Clinton, Elliott Spitzer, and John Edwards. Often these politicians’ spouses are themselves lawyers who have had to cope with the gray areas of legal battles and maneuvering. Following her husband’s disgrace and imprisonment, Alicia Florrick has to return to the law, which she abandoned for the sake of being a full-time wife and mother.
Transformers began with toys and a cartoon series in 1984 and has since grown to include comic books, movies, and video games — its science fiction story has reached an audience with a wide range second only to that of Star Wars. Here, in Transformers and Philosophy, a dream team of philosophers pursues the fascinating questions posed by humankind’s encounter with an artificially intelligent mechanical civilization: Is genuine artificial intelligence possible? Would a robotic civilization come with its own morality and artistic life, and would it find a need for romantic love? Should we be more careful about developing robots that may eventually develop ideas of their own? Transformers and Philosophy puts Transformers under a microscope and exposes its philosophical implications in an instantly readable way.
Neil Gaiman is the imaginative wizard behind the best-selling novels American Gods (soon to be an HBO series) and The Anansi Boys, the graphic series The Sandman, and popular children’s books like Coraline and The Graveyard Book. Neil Gaiman and Philosophy looks at Gaiman’s work through a philosophical lens. How does fantasy interact with reality and what can each tell us about the other? Do we each have other selves who embody different personal qualities? If the unknown influences the known, is the unknown just as real as the known? What makes people truly valuable? In Neil Gaiman and Philosophy, eighteen philosophers explore Gaiman’s best-loved and unforgettable worlds: The Graveyard Book, a macabre parallel to The Jungle Book, in which the boy Bod is raised by the supernatural inhabitants of a graveyard. Coraline, in which a girl neglected by her parents finds another world with an Other Mother who pays her a lot of attention, but then turns out to be evil and won’t let her go. Neverwhere, in which a London man discovers a magical parallel city, London Below. The Sandman, best-selling comic books in which the Lord of Dreams attempts to rebuild his kingdom after years of imprisonment. Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett) treats biblical prophecy, the Antichrist, and the End Times as a hilarious comic tale, filled with sly but good-humored twists and turns. MirrorMask, where a young circus girl finds that the pictures she has drawn have given her access to a fantastic world of light and shadow, populated with characters who have designs on her.