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Loaded Words Paperback – June 1, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0823242054 ISBN-10: 0823242056 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews


"Masterfully bridging the gap between high culture and low, Garber's witty, accessible essays give us surprising angles on a host of topics."-Jonathan Culler, Cornell University

"A vigorous, revealing collection about the pleasures and revelations of close reading, whether it involves words, books, biographies, or ideas."-Kirkus Reviews

"There is no one writing today who can make the dizzying leaps from the lofty summits of the academy to the down-and-dirty life in the street with such wit, clarity, and originality as Marjorie Garber does. In her latest collection of essays, Loaded Words, she takes her show to the place where it began--with language itself. She reads the words of our culture in new and explosive ways and puts them back together again so that they're never quite the same."-Leonard Barkan, Princeton University

"Marjorie Garber has crafted an impressive career built upon words. Whether looking at the time-tested plays of Shakespeare or the ephemeral discourses of contemporary culture, she takes nothing about language for granted. Spirited master of both high and low, she compellingly demonstrates that the words we thought we knew are full of unexpected turns, shifts in meaning, and double dealings. This new collection of essays is at once vintage Garber and richly surprising."-Nancy J. Vickers, Bryn Mawr College

"Self-styled 'peripatetic writer,' Harvard Shakespearean, and culture critic Garber collects loosely connected but fascinating essays on a range of themes."-Publishers Weekly

About the Author

MARJORIE GARBER is William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of English and of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University. Among her many books are Symptoms of Culture, Quotation Marks, Shakespeare After All, and The Use and Abuse of Literature.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press; 1 edition (June 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823242056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823242054
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.7 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,611,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By aron row on January 5, 2014
Format: Paperback
Loaded is a word that explodes with different meanings depending on culture, time, context; the message in the title is that the gist of language shifts with individual, place and time. In a series of fifteen essays, Harvard professor of English and Shakespeare scholar Marjorie Garber explores how language is used and how vocabulary evolves with time. Words like madness, celebrity, the humanities, genius are dissected and probed to expose their shifting connotations, as such expressions metamorphose to match different settings and intents. Excess usage of specific words like genius, creative, elite and too many other which have been abused in the media distort the original objective of the expression itself. Think of the word genius which arose specifically in connection with the arts, and has now been transported to the sciences and more recently to commercial technology in labeling the Apple geniuses. The humanities are stressed as academically essential to guide student thinking skills with language as the essential instrument for thought. Words lead to ideas, but for clarity it is essential that the listener be aware of the nature of language, how words can be used and their power. Those stimulated by explosive thoughts will find this selection of essays compelling.
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