Global Languages and Literatures

This book examines contemporary French society's relationship with violence in an era of increased media dominance. The study's innovative and interdisciplinary approach integrates media, cinema, and literary studies to analyze how crime news (faits divers) function as a site of discursive struggle. Reisinger focuses on the sensational Paulin and Succo affairs that became mobile signifiers about crime, insecurity, and the Other in France in the 1980s. By situating these crime stories in a larger historical and political context, she analyzes how media and politicians use the crime story as a tool for upholding dominant ideology. Yet, rather than conclude that the crime story has become an absolute banality, as Jean Baudrillard has maintained, Reisinger shows how these crime stories attest to the public's renewed fascination with violence. Her analysis of the artistic rewritings of these stories reveal alternative, complex readings of the fait divers that subvert the media's sensationalized discourse on crime effectively. Through an analysis of the complex processes of production, reception, and re-articulation that contribute to the representation of crime in media and on the stage, the study concludes that the fait divers is an important location of social and political resistance for readers and artists alike in contemporary France.
This is the story of a remarkable life and a journey, from the privileged world of Prussian aristocracy, through the horrors of World War II, to high society in the television age of postwar America. It is also an account of a spiritual voyage, from a conventional Christian upbringing, through marriage to Pastor Martin Niemoeller, to conversion to Judaism.Born during the turbulent days of the Weimar Republic, the author was the goddaughter of Kaiser Wilhelm II (to whom her father was financial advisor). During her teenage years, she witnessed the rise of the Third Reich and her family’s resistance to it, culminating in their involvement in “Operation Valkyrie,” the ill-fated attempt to assassinate Hitler and form a new government. At war’s end, she worked with British Intelligence to uncover Nazis leaders. Keeping a promise to her father, she left Germany for a new life in the United States in the 1950s, working for NBC and raising her son in the exciting world of New York, only to return to Germany as the wife of Martin Niemoeller, the voice of religious resistance during the Third Reich and of German guilt and conscience in the postwar decades. Upon her husband's death in 1984 she returned to America, after having converted to Judaism in London, and turned yet another page by becoming an active public speaker and author. The title reflects a story of three parts: “Crowns,” the world of nobility in which the author was raised; “Crosses,” her life with Martin Niemoeller and his battles with the Third Reich; and “Stars,” the spiritual journey that brought her to Judaism.
By analyzing a varied body of writing- hagiographies, histories, treatises, and correspondence- in the context of religious colonial culture and European mercantilism, Mario Cesareo shows how Portuguese and Spanish missionaries created a Christian understanding of the colonial process. The material excess of the colonial world, experienced as a capricious parade of signs, masks, objects, races, languages, and bodies subjected to European exploitation, presented a problem of the first magnitude for Christian missionaries. In order to render intelligible the incongruities of the colonial experience, the missionary turned the materiality of the Indian and the black body of the slave into God's privileged instruments for revelation. Materiality, in its remotest minutiae, became understood as an enigmatic system of signs, as a divine riddle to be discerned. The attempts to recognize, elaborate, and synthesize this new experience constitute the Christian herme-neutics that is the focus of the study. The book posits the existence of a repertoire of stances through which the missionary was able to represent, perform, and theorize the colonial experience. In this social sensibility, the body emerges as a privileged locus for the aesthetic, theoretic, and practical experimentation that allowed the missionary to carry on his utopian ideals within the imperialist workings of European mercantilism.
The Current in Criticism is meant to provide the reader with a wide spectrum of current thinking, a sampling of some of the arguments, attitudes, and perspectives, which participate in the swirl of intense speculative energy that is so characteristic of contemporary theory. The editors describe this collection of 14 essays as "a tentative assessment of where we are and where we might be going in literary study, of what is current in criticism and of where the critical current might be tending."
This collection of eleven original essays each by a different scholar outlines the rich body of imaginative and devotional literature which has the biblical poet-warrior-king as its subject or primary focus, showing David to have as strong an imaginative appeal for Western writers as such better-known mythic heroes as Orpheus, Oedipus, Samson, and Ulysses. The introduction to the volume surveys the development of the David myth particularly in British and American literature. The essays represent a variety of critical approaches to the myth as literature, treating in detail such works as Shakespeare's Hamlet, Cowley's Davideis, Christopher Smart's "A Song to David," and Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom and examining the complex uses made of David in the Midrash, Talmud, and Patristic writings; medieval sermons and Reformation devotional treatises; and American Puritan sermons.
Directed chiefly toward scholars in literary criticism and theory, Peircean semiotics, and, more generally, philosophy, this book is, by the nature of its broad focus, more descriptive than critical, synthetic rather than overtly prescriptive. Beginning with a brief discussion of Peirce and deconstruction, the author then turns to the relevance of current concepts in science and the philosophy of science as well as mathematics -- especially Godel's theorems. Subsequently, a series of "thought experiments" is used to illustrate that some concepts propounded by deconstruction are compatible with certain aspects of the "new physics." The notion of "writing" is compared to Karl Popper's philosophy of science, and finally, a discussion of Beckett rounds out the author's general thesis.
Whether or not Haider has followed the ideological path of his compatriot Adolf Hitler, says Austrian political historian Höbelt, he has certainly followed his route to publicity around the world. He explores the politics of modern Austria, and debunks the myth that Haider is driven by passion rather than self-interest.
Interviews with some of the country's top literary figures, including Charles Baxter, Charles Simic, Donald Revell, Gerald Stern, Sandra Gilbert, Catherine Bowman, Campbell McGrath, and a previously unpublished interview with Russell Banks, are anthologized for the first time in this compelling collection
The book has four parts. The first provides a lengthy explication and critique of Derrida, a service still much needed by today's philosophers and literary theorists. The second part locates a recension of Heideggerian thought at a site the author calls centric mysticism. Throughout this section, there are original applications to literature. The third part presents the full-scale analysis of Nagarjunist technique, and then goes on to develop a "differential" Zen contrasting very much with the "centric" Zen of Suzuki. Replete with treatments of Buddhist poetry, it is bound to be of great interest to Buddhologists. The fourth part applies "differentialism" to monotheism and Christian theology and develops a non-entitative trinitarianism, which will revise, it is hoped, contemporary theology significantly. Two appendices, in a concrete way, apply to literary theory and criticism what the author has worked out in the body of the book
By drawing our attention to what we may, at first, be tempted to overlook, the author surprises us by relating it to something else which is not obviously related, but which, by virtue of her keen perceptions, shows itself to be attached, sometimes emotionally, sometimes morally, often mysteriously. Christianne Balk writes about land, landscape, wind, rock, bird, plant and animal, river and ocean as if to record as well as to protect. At the center of her work is a profound reverence for the scaffolding of the earth itself, a willingness to embrace the continual cycles of disintegration and growth we are all part of.
The history of exile literature is as old as the history of writing itself. Despite this vast and varied literary tradition, criticism of exile writing has tended to analyze these works according to a binary logic, where exile either produces creative freedom or it traps the writer in restrictive nostalgia. The Dialectics of Exile: Nation, Time, Language and Space in Hispanic Literatures offers a theory of exile writing that accounts for the persistence of these dual impulses and for the ways that they often co exist within the same literary works. Focusing on writers working in the latter part of the 20th century who were exiled during a historical moment of increasing globalization, transnational economics and the theoretical shifts of postmodernism, Sophia A. McClennen proposes that exile literature is best understood as a series of dialectic tensions about cultural identity. Through comparative analysis of Juan Goytisolo (Spain), Ariel Dorfman (Chile) and Cristina Peri Rossi (Uruguay), this book explores how these writers represent exile identity. Each chapter addresses dilemmas central to debates over cultural identity such as nationalism versus globalization, time as historical or cyclical, language as representationally accurate or disconnected from reality, and social space as utopic or dystopic. McClennen demonstrates how the complex writing of these three authors functions as an alternative discourse of cultural identity that not only challenges official versions imposed by authoritarian regimes, but also tests the limits of much cultural criticism.
In the early 1900s, Mary Matthews and Lella Gaddis forged trails for women at Purdue University and throughout Indiana. Mary was the first dean of the School of Home Economics. Lella was Indiana’s first state leader of Home Demonstration. In 1914, Mary hired Lella to organize Purdue’s new Home Economics Extension Service. According to those who knew them, Lella was a “sparkler” who traveled the state instructing rural women about nutrition, hygiene, safe water, childcare, and more. “Reserved” Mary established Purdue’s School of Home Economics, created Indiana’s first nursery school, and authored a popular textbook. Both women used their natural talents and connections to achieve their goals in spite of a male-dominated society. As a land grant institution, Purdue University has always been very connected to the American countryside. Based on extensive oral history and archival research, this book sheds new light on the important role female staff and faculty played in improving the quality of life for rural women during the first half of the twentieth century. It is also a fascinating story, engagingly told, of two very different personalities united in a common goal.
In her second collection of poems, Fleda Brown Jackson holds with a meditative rapture to the place she call home-home as family, the source of trouble and joy; home as the embellished stories of family; and home as a place called Central Lake. And when the poems move outward-to Stonehenge, Edinburgh, Kitty-Hawk, Roanoke, St. Pete Beach, and the Mississippi River-the past keeps resonating. At last, the voice that remembers becomes "nothing but a riding, a hunger." "If I were a swan," she imagines, "The world would move / under me / and I would always be exactly / where I am."
Earthly Treasures maps the presence, position and use in the narrative of a variety of material objects in Marguerite de Navarre's Heptameron. There is a wide selection of objects, ranging from tapestries with scripture passages woven into the borders, fine arts paintings, chalices incised with proverbs, emblems, table linens, copies of Bibles or manuscripts, clothing, masks, stage props, jewelry, furniture and foodstuffs. Although the presence of such material objects seems paradoxical, given the scriptural mandate to disregard things of this world, and to "store up treasure", rather, in heaven, Marguerite found license to use such objects both in the Bible and in the daily life-oriented and artifact-studded sermons and writings collected in the Table Talk of Martin Luther.
Egon Erwin Kisch (1885-1948) is widely regarded as one of the most outstanding journalists of the twentieth century. He is also credited with virtually defining reportage as a form of literary art in which accuracy of observation and fidelity to facts combine with creative narrative. Restless, doggedly inquisitive, fascinated with the unusual, deeply committed to decency and justice in human affairs, Kisch pursued a life of worldwide adventure and reporting. He visited North Africa, the Soviet Union, Central Asia, Australia, China, and the United States, where he traveled from one coast to the other as an ordinary seaman, made friends with Charlie Chaplin and Upton Sinclair, and commented with wit and irony on American life.
The book is organized around three dual political biographies: author and dramatist Hugo von Hofmannsthal is compared and contrasted to the parallel development of Leopold von Andrian; Karl Renner's political theories are examined in their temporal context and juxtaposed to the historical scholarship and political career of Josef Redlich; and the historical works of Heinrich Friedjung and the bureaucratic career of Ernest von Koerber are analyzed as parallel and partly complementing preoccupations with the crisis of the Austrian state around 1900. Each of the dual biographies focuses on a distinct problem in the development of the Imperial Austrian state in the early twentieth century.
Harry Spring kept detailed diaries throughout most of his life. Harry died in 1974, but through his diaries he lives to tell us about his experiences. His diary for the time from November 28, 1917 to August 19, 1918 were lost during the fighting in the Argonne Forest, but in 1974, just before he died, he wrote some supplementary notes of what he could remember of the time. Harry Spring never intended or expected that his diaries would be published. They are therefore as private and personal as they are detailed and accurate. He never tried to make his diaries politically correct – he wrote exactly what he felt. This is why these diaries are so powerful.
Brouwer's work does the opposite of what I expect from an academic press. t sparkles, hypnotizes, connects, and squeezes juice out of the poet's life and into your funny bone." - Kevin Sampsell "In an economy bouyed on the stock margins of companies...poet Joel Brouwer's new book captures the spirit of this gilded age. There's a magic here, the kind that hard work reveals." -- Kevin Ducey "There are no trick mirrors here. No hocus pocus. Brouwer's poems are beautifully exact. They are verbal sleights of hand that cause the mind to blink." -- S. K. Carew
In her book Fantasies of Gender and the Witch in Feminist Theory and Literature, Justyna Sempruch analyses contemporary representations of the "witch" as a locus for the cultural negotiation of genders. Sempruch revisits some of the most prominent traits in past and current perceptions in feminist scholarship of exclusion and difference. She examines a selection of 20th century US-American, Canadian, and European narratives to reveal the continued political relevance of metaphors sustained in the archetype of the "witch" widely thought to belong to pop-cultural or folkloristic formulations of the past. Through a critical re-reading of the feminist texts engaging with these metaphors, Sempruch develops a new concept of the witch, one that challenges traditional gender-biased theories linking it either to a malevolent "hag" on the margins of culture or to unrestrained "feminine" sexual desire. Sempruch turns, instead, to the causes for radical feminist critique of "feminine" sexuality as a fabrication of logocentric thinking and shows that the problematic conversion of the "hag" into a "superwoman" can be interpreted today as a therapeutic performance translating fixed identity into a site of continuous negotiation of the subject in process. Tracing the development of feminist constructs of the witch from 1970s radical texts to the present, Sempruch explores the early psychoanalytical writings of Cixous, Kristeva, and Irigaray and feminist reformulations of identity by Butler and Braidotti together with fictional texts from different political and cultural contexts.
In 1937 Edith had received a doctorate in psychology from the University of Vienna, and high recommendations from her famous teachers. Her career prospects looked bright indeed. But a year later, she was a refugee from Hitler's war on Jews. She left her Nazi-occupied homeland and immigrated to the United States in 1939. In the United States, she pursued her career in psychology as a professor at prominent universities as well as a clinical consultant for the State of Indiana. As a psychology professor at Purdue, she contracted tuberculosis and spent 1962-64 in a tuberculosis hospital. Before she was released, she began to experience instances of schizophrenia. In this condition, she taught at St. Mary-of the-Woods College in Terre Haute, Indiana, for a year. Just before her stay there was to end, a priest discovered her mental illness. All through her mental illness, she kept a diary chronicling her "schizophrenic episode." Father, Have I Kept My Promise? is that diary-turned-book. Part of the book's charm is Edith's honesty--she does not bide anything from her reader.
Between 1585 and 1631, the Spanish playwright Lope de Vega wrote more than forty-five plays dealing with the theme of conjugal honor. Drawing on recent feminist theories and touching on literary, social, and anthropological aspects, Professor Yarbro-Rejarano demonstrates that hierarchical relations of gender, race, and social status mutually inform one another as structuring principles of these plays. She takes into account plays that reveal their conventional, formulaic views of the Christian feminine ideal as well as those whose variety and flexibility present women subverting their expected roles. By identifying moments of resistance and subversion in the texts, the author argues against excessively monolithic interpretations of such discourses of containment.
According to Rogers, the nineteenth century was incapable of managing the feminine question and preferred to mythicize it. Everything that was related to it, especially feminine sexuality, was transformed into fiction. Thus women were saddled with the role of scapegoat.
The poet explains the origin of the poetry books unusual title: "A sure way to catch catfish and other bottom-feeders is to squeeze a ball of partially dried cow's blood around a hook. The blood dissolves slowly, spreading its tendrils of odor into the surrounding water. It's like the tight wad of blood relations out of which I keep flinging myself and my words, both to lure whatever is out there and to assure myself of how tightly I'm hooked to the center
If you want to get downright buggy, pick up this wonderful collection of insect talesfrom the "Bug Bowl" guru, Tom Turpin. After you're through, you'll know more about the six-legged kingdom and its occupants than any bookworm that you run across. How does insect suturing work? Which insect did the ancient Egyptians worship as a god? What did Ogden Nash have to say about termites? Which insect produces "Turkey Red" dye? What bug has survived for 300 million years? How does a horse fly manage to fly without its head? Each tale is easily accessible, provides fun and scientific facts, and is self-contained. Juveniles and adults alike will be fascinated with the world of Turpin's bugs. The nicely illustrated collection won't give you ants in your pants, but just might put a flea in your ear.
There is continuity in art just as there is in family life. Geraldine Connolly has written a marvelous celebration of both."