Loaded Words Tells a Story of Abundance, Excess, Danger, and Desire.

It comes as no surprise FUP has a love affair with literature. Kicking off February 2012 has been the publication of The Mother in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Elissa Marder. Marder deftly explores how “the mother” haunts Freud’s writings on art and literature. Need we say more?

Every season we look forward to the unique and quirky angles our authors take on great works of literature. From exploring the story of Lot’s wife leaving Sodom and Gomorrah to arguing that love is another form of technology. We at FUP believe that love is for the over-educated!

But what happens when love goes awry? When the very diction we use becomes explosive? With a cover that would make Mae West proud, literary and cultural critic Marjorie Garber invites readers to join her in a rigorous and exuberant exploration of language in Loaded Words.  What links the pieces included in this vibrant new collection is the author’s contention that all words are inescapably loaded—that is, highly charged, explosive, substantial, intoxicating, fruitful, and overbrimming—and that such loading is what makes language matter.

‘‘Would you like to take a walk?’’ may sound like an open question, but try it on (a) your dog, (b) a hothead in a bar, or (c) the person to whom you are about to propose marriage, and see how ‘‘loaded’’ this simple query can become.

Garber casts her keen eye on terms from knowledge, belief, madness, interruption, genius, and celebrity to humanities, general education, and academia. Included here are an array of stirring essays, from the title piece, with its demonstration of the importance of language to our thinking about the world; to the superb “Mad Lib,” on the concept of madness from Mad magazine to debates between Foucault and Derrida; to pieces on Shakespeare, “the most culturally loaded name of our time,” and the Renaissance.

What’s not to love? That you have to wait until April 2012 for Loaded Words to publish. I’ve included a sneak peek, but here are some Mad Libs to hold you over until then.

Staff Literature Picks

 

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