Loaded WordsBook - 2012
Contains lively, witty essays, written in an accessible style, concrete and down-to-earth, sensible but often contrarian, and with a wide range of cultural references, so that almost any reader will feel that he or she is learning something.
In this collection of essays, cultural and literary critic Garber (English, visual and environmental studies, Harvard University) focuses on words that have, in various ways, become 'loaded' in recent years, such as "'madness," "celebrity,""knowledge," "general education," and "patriotism." There are several essays on Shakespeare, and on the work of thinkers including Kant, Freud, and Foucault. Other subjects considered include advertising culture, film and TV, Hollywood tourism, and IQ tests. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Oxford University Press
In Loaded Words the inimitable literary and cultural critic Marjorie Garber invites readers to join her in a rigorous and exuberant exploration of language. 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.
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.
With its wide range of cultural references and engaging style coupled with fresh intellectual inquiry, Loaded Words will draw in and enchant scholars, students, and general readers alike.