1990 0-88946-628-9 Reassesses the literary relationship linking Henry Miller and François Rabelais in terms of readings, imitations, and analogies. Uses a Bakhtinian approach to explore how Miller, as a 20th-century anarchist and rebel, could realize his kinship with Rabelais, a 16th-century humanist and Christian. The various avenues explored include lexical richness, conviviality, laughter, the grotesque, scenes of carnival, and the notions of freedom and self-transcendence. Despite the negative side of Miller's work, thought, and artistic vision, of which obscenity, nihilism, and despair form clear elements, Miller's personality exudes a fundamentally positive spirit based on friendship, trust, and mutual respect, all of which can be seen as elements in the Rabelaisian philosophy of Pantagruelisme.
1997 0-7734-8459-0 This volume examines six theorists of humour who have emerged as particularly influential in the 20th century: Henri Bergson, Sigmund Freud, Mikhail Bakhtin, Arthur Koestler, Northrop Frye, and Helene Cixous. Their major theories are reviewed and tested, and major principles of the theories are set in context with one another, while also being inserted into an over-view which borrows from all of them but is determined by none.
1994 0-7734-9388-3 Provides an approach to the author applicable to readers at all levels and degrees of experience. Identifying certain authorial strategies of variety (i.e., visual detail, character function, spatiality and temporality) it indicates how these are combined to create a textual pattern which maximises the reader's initiative and allows him as reader to enjoy literary freedom. It seeks at once to define more clearly such notions as polyphony and polyvalency already introduced to Rabelais studies by Bakhtin and Baraz, to add to them a number of other headings (polylexy, polychromy, etc.) appropriate to other areas of Rabelais' technique, but at the same time to prevent these terms from establishing a set of rigid schemata which would betray the fluidity of a universally open text.