From the Irish Cailleach and other shape-shifters of folk legends to modern movie transformers; from Ovid's Metamorphoses to the moment when Gregor Samsa woke up one morning to find himself transformed into an insect in Kafka's novella; from conversion narratives to slave narratives, turning points and transformations have always been central to literary works and to cultural developments. In fact, with Freytag's pyramid in mind, one could claim that all literary works focus on the trope of a transformation born of a turning point, because such moments comprise the very essence and vitality of human life and culture. But why are turning points necessarily transformational and in what way? And what brings about those turning points in language, literature, culture and human lives? These are essentially the questions the essays in this volume seek to answer. The contributors examine turning points and transformations - personal, literary and cultural - brought about through the randomness of the universe as well as through human interference, and discuss ways in which humans in general and writers in particular, through their art, experience and cope with the ineluctable results.
About the Author: Christine DeVine is the Mary E. Dichmann Endowed Professor of English at the University of Louisiana, USA, and author of Class in Turn-of-the-Century Novels of Gissing, James, Hardy, and Wells, essays on Henry James, George Gissing, Thomas Hardy and George Eliot, and editor of a forthcoming collection on nineteenth-century transatlantic travel writers. Marie Hendry is the Writing Center Director and Doctoral Candidate at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, USA. She holds an MA in Literature from the University of South Florida and an MA in International Affairs from Florida State University. She is a contributor to the third edition of The Bedford Bibliography for Teachers of Basic Writing and is the book review editor for the journal Femspec.