Aesthetics of Equilibrium is the first book-length comparative analysis of the theoretical prose by two major Latin American vanguardist contemporaries, Mario de Andrade (Brazil, 1893-1945) and Vicente Huidobro (Chile, 1893-1948). Willis offers a comparative study of two allegorical texts, Huidobro's "Non serviam" and Mario's "Parabola d’A escrava que nao e Isaura."
The work presented in the volume in fields of the humanities and social sciences is based on 1) the notion of the existence and the "describability" and analysis of a culture (including, e.g., history, literature, society, the arts, etc.) specific of/to the region designated as Central Europe, 2) the relevance of a field designated as Central European Holocaust studies, and 3) the relevance, in the study of culture, of the "comparative" and "contextual" approach designated as "comparative cultural studies." Papers in the volume are by scholars working in Holocaust Studies in Australia, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Serbia, the United Kingdom, and the US.
In this English translation and revision of her acclaimed German-language book, Elke Sturm-Trigonakis expands on Goethe's notion of Weltliteratur (1827) to propose that, owing to globalization, literature is undergoing a profound change in process, content, and linguistic practice. Rather than producing texts for a primarily national readership, modern writers can collate diverse cultural, literary, and linguistic traditions to create new modes of expression that she designates as "hybrid texts." The author introduces an innovative framework to analyse these new forms of expression that is based on comparative cultural studies and its methodology of contextual (systemic and empirical) approaches to the study of literature and culture, including the concepts of the macro- and micro-systems of culture and literature. To illustrate her proposition, Sturm-Trigonakis discusses selected literary texts that exhibit characteristics of linguistic and cultural hybridity, the concept of "in-between," and transculturality and thus are located in a space of a "new world literature." Examples include Gastarbeiterliteratur ("migrant literature") by authors such as Chiellino, Shami, and Atabay. The book is important reading for philologists, linguists, sociologists, and other scholars interested in the cultural and linguistic impact of globalization on literature and culture. The German edition of this volume was originally published as Global playing in der Literatur. Ein Versuch über die Neue Weltliteratur (2007) and it has been translated in collaboration with the author by Athanasia Margoni and Maria Kaisar. Contents: Goethe's Weltliteratur and the Career of an Idea; Hybrid Literary Texts and Philological Paradigms; New World Literature and a Systemic Reorganization of Hybrid Fictional Texts; A Survey of Poetic Multilingualism; From One-Word-Interference to Metamultulingualism and Transtextuality; Multilingualism as a Poetic Strategy; Nomadic Biographies in New World Literature; Global Cities and Borderlands as Transnational Spaces; and Global and Local Temporal Layers and the De-placement of National History.
The studies presented in the collected volume Comparative Hungarian Cultural Studies -- edited by Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek and Louise O. Vasvári -- are intended as an addition to scholarship in (comparative) cultural studies. More specifically, the articles represent scholarship about Central and East European culture with special attention to Hungarian culture, literature, cinema, new media, and other areas of cultural expression. On the landscape of scholarship in Central and East Europe (including Hungary), cultural studies has acquired at best spotty interest and studies in the volume aim at forging interest in the field. The volume's articles are in five parts: part one, "History Theory and Methodology of Comparative Hungarian Cultural Studies," include studies on the prehistory of multicultural and multilingual Central Europe, where vernacular literatures were first institutionalized for developing a sense of national identity. Part two, "Comparative Hungarian Cultural Studies and Literature and Culture" is about the re-evaluation of canonical works, as well as Jewish studies which has been explored inadequately in Central European scholarship. Part three, "Comparative Hungarian Cultural Studies and Other Arts," includes articles on race, jazz, operetta, and art, fin-de-siècle architecture, communist-era female fashion, and cinema. In part four, "Comparative Hungarian Cultural Studies and Gender," articles are about aspects of gender and sex(uality) with examples from fin-de-siècle transvestism, current media depictions of heterodox sexualities, and gendered language in the workplace. The volume's last section, part five, "Comparative Hungarian Cultural Studies of Contemporary Hungary," includes articles about post-1989 issues of race and ethnic relations, citizenship and public life, and new media.
Part pastiche and part parody, Enlightening Up Postmodernism brings the techniques, values, and terms of the Enlightenment into collision with the strategies, misgivings, and terminology of postmodernism. Resulting from many years of sustained reading of the tart, rigorous literature of the eighteenth century, and almost as many years of university teaching and committeeing, Enlightening Up Postmodernism was written to vex scholars without a sense of theory and theorists without a sense of humor, while diverting able readers of all persuasions. To that end, Johnson's Life of Foucault, supplies the-somewhat judgmental-biography of Foucault that he would surely have written had he had the opportunity, while Lord Chesterfield's Letters To His Daughter On the Tenure Track converts the courtly advice that Chesterfield inflicted on his illegitimate son into something more academic and more mischievous. This critical and scholarly hybrid allows the wisdom and eloquence of the past to probe some weaknesses, oversights, and distortions in the theoretical work of the present and enables recent work in theory to interrogate some of the short-sightedness, prejudice, evasion, and complacency in the writings of the past. Of the remaining chapters, one reworks some papers from The Spectator into wry commentaries on the postmodern lifestyle. Another, in heroic couplets, converts Pope's Essay on Criticism into An Essay on Theery, and a third turns Swift's ironic Argument Against Abolishing Christianity into one Against Abolishing Higher Education. The last chapter inverts the process, wrenching a postmodern text back three centuries, to wrap Fredric Jameson's (deservedly famous) reading of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel around Vanbrugh's neo-classical Blenheim Palace. A brief bonus provides the reply Lord Chesterfield ought to have written to Samuel Johnson's too familiar, whining letter about his treatment as a lexicographer
Falsehood Disguised analyzes La Rochefoucauld's ideas on truth and falsehood in the context of his views on self-love, on the passions, and on vice and virtue. It also explores his views on the subject in relation to what he sees as the extremely fragile foundations of the social contract.
This volume presents a historical-textual study about transformations of the aesthetics of the sublime—the literary and aesthetic quality of greatness under duress—from early English Romanticism to the New Poetry Movement in twentieth-century China. Zheng sets up the former and the latter as distinct but historically analogous moments and argues that both the European Romantic reinvention of the sublime and its later Chinese transformation represent cultural movements built on the excessive and capacious nature of the sublime to counter their shared sense of historical crisis. The author further postulates through a critical analysis of Edmund Burke’s Inquiry into the Origins of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, William Wordsworth’s Prelude, and Guo Moruo’s experimental poem “Fenghuang Niepan” (“Nirvana of the Phoenix”) and verse drama Qu Yuan that these aesthetic practices of modernity suggest a deliberate historical hyperbolization of literary agency. Such an agency is in turn constructed imaginatively and affectively as a means to redress different cultures’ traumatic encounter with modernity. The volume will be of interest to scholars including graduate students of Romanticism, philosophy, history, English literature, Chinese literature, comparative literature, and (comparative) cultural studies.
Gombrowicz, Polish Modernism, and the Subversion of Form provides a new and comprehensive account of the writing and thought of the Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz. While Gombrowicz is probably the key Polish modernist writer, with a stature in his native Poland equivalent to that of Joyce or Beckett in the English language, he remains little known in English. As well as providing a commentary on his novels, plays, and short stories, this book sets Gombrowicz's writing in the context of contemporary cultural theory. The author performs a detailed examination of Gombrowicz's major literary and theatrical work, showing how his conception of form is highly resonant with contemporary, postmodern theories of identity. This book is the essential companion to one of Eastern Europe's most important literary figures whose work, banned by the Nazis and suppressed by Poland's Communist government, has only recently become well known in the West.
This book offers original research by leading scholars from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Russia, which covers the central areas of Shpet's work on phenomenology, philosophy of language, cultural theory, and aesthetics and takes forward the current state of knowledge and debates on his contribution to these fields of enquiry. The book also contains, for the first time in English translation, the most seminal portions of Shpet's book-length study of hermeneutics, which is his most significant work for contemporary students of cultural theory. The first part of the book maps out Shpet's legacy in the main areas of his multi-faceted work; the second part examines in closer detail particular aspects of Shpet's philosophical affiliations and contributions in the framework of cultural theory, phenomenology, hermeneutics, and in the field of Russian intellectual history; the final part features the publication of extracts from Shpet's 1918 book on hermeneutics.
What does literature reveal about a country’s changing cultural identity? In History, Violence, and the Hyperreal by Kathryn Everly, this question is applied to the contemporary novel in Spain. In the process, similarities emerge among novels that embrace apparent differences in style, structure, and language. Contemporary Spanish authors are rethinking the way the novel with its narrative powers can define a specific cultural identity. Recent Spanish novels by Carme Riera, Dulce Chacon, Javier Cercas, Ray Loriga, Lucia Etxebarria, and Jose Angel Manas (published from 1995 to 2008) particularly highlight the tension that exists between historical memory and urban youth culture. The novels discussed in this study reconfigure the individual’s relationship to narrative, history, and reality through their varied interpretations of Spanish history with its common threads of national and personal violence. In these books, culture acts as mediator between the individual and the rapidly changing dynamic of contemporary society. The authors experiment with the novel form to challenge fundamental concepts of identity when the narrative acknowledges more than one way of reading and understanding history, violence, and reality. In Spain today, questions of historical accuracy in all foundational fictions—such as the Inquisition, the Spanish Civil War, or globalization—collide with the urgency to modernize. The result is a clash between regional and global identities. Seemingly disparate works of historical fiction and Generation X narrative prove similar in the way they deal with history, reality, and the delicate relationship between writer and reader.
Naciones Intelectuales explores the processes and works that laid the foundations of a new literary modernity in the wake of the Mexican Revolution. It focuses on the period from the signing of the Constitution in 1917, to the death of Alfonso Reyes in 1959, and analyzes the four elements of Mexican cultural practices: the notion of literature, the figure of the intellectual, the creation of academic institutions, and the definition of national identity that emerged through the various debates held by leading figures of the period. The book analyzes different key moments, controversies, and cultural interventions, which ultimately led the diverse aesthetic spectrum created by the revolution into becoming a highly institutional system of literature. This book offers a cartography of Mexican literary institutions unprecedented in scope, which will allow readers, students, and scholars to understand the construction of modern Mexican literature in a clear, rigorous, and systematic way.
Why are twentieth-century novelists from former British colonies in the Americas preoccupied with British Romantic poetry? In Romantic Revisions, Lauren Rule Maxwell examines five novels—Kincaid's Lucy, Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, McCarthy's Blood Meridian, Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, and Harris's Palace of the Peacock—that contain crucial scenes engaging British Romantic poetry. Each work adapts figures from British Romantic poetry and translates them into an American context. Kincaid relies on the repeated image of the daffodil, Atwood displaces Lucy, McCarthy upends the American arcadia, Fitzgerald heaps Keatsian images of excess, and Harris transforms the albatross. In her close readings, Maxwell suggests that the novels reframe Romantic poetry to allegorically confront empire, revealing how subjectivity is shaped by considerations of place and power. Returning to British Romantic poetry allows the novels to extend the Romantic poetics of landscape that traditionally considered the British subject’s relation to place. By recasting Romantic poetics in the Americas, these novels show how negotiations of identity and power are defined by the legacies of British imperialism, illustrating that these nations, their peoples, and their works of art are truly postcolonial. While many postcolonial scholars and critics have dismissed the idea that Romantic poetry can be used to critique colonialism, Maxwell suggests that, on the contrary, it has provided contemporary writers across the Americas with a means of charting the literary and cultural legacies of British imperialism in the New World. The poems of the British Romantics offer postcolonial writers particularly rich material, Maxwell argues, because they characterize British influence at the height of the British empire. In explaining how the novels adapt figures from British Romantic poetry, Romantic Revisions provides scholars and students working in postcolonial studies, Romanticism, and English-language literature with a new look at politics of location in the Americas.
Some of the most important writers of the twentieth century, including Borges, Cortázar, Rulfo, and García Márquez, have explored ambiguous sites of a disquieting nature. Their characters face merging perspectives, deferral, darkness, or emptiness. Such a space is neither a site of projection (as utopia or dystopia) nor a neutral setting (as the topos). For the characters, it is real and active, at once elusive and transforming. Despite the challenges of visualizing such slippery spaces, filmic experimentations in Spanish American cinema since the 1960s have sought to adapt these texts to the screen. Ilka Kressner’s Sites of Disquiet examines these representations of alternative dimensions in Spanish American short narratives and their transformations to the cinematic screen. The study is informed by contemporary critical approaches to spatiality, especially the concepts of atopos (non-space), spaces of mobility, sites of différance, of a self-effacing presence, and sonic spaces. Kressner’s comparative study of textual and cinematic constructions of non-spaces highlights the potential and limits of inter-arts adaptation. Film not only portrays the sites in ways that are intrinsic to the medium, but during the cinematic translation, it further develops the textual presentations of space. Text and film illuminate each other in their renderings of echoes, gaps, absences, and radical openness. The shared focus of the two media on precarious spaces highlights their awareness of the physical and situational conditions in the works. Therefore, it vindicates the import of space and dwelling, and the often underestimated impact of surroundings on the human body and mind. Despite their heterogeneity, the artistic elaborations of these ambivalent atopoi all share a liberating impulse: they assert creative and open-ended interactions with space where volatility ceases to be a negative term.
This exploration of class, feminism, and cultural identity (including issues of race, nation, colonialism, and economic imperialism) focuses on the work of four writers: the Mozambican Mia Couto, the Portuguese José Saramago, the Brazilian Clarice Lispector, and the South African J. M. Coetzee. In the first section, the author discusses the political aspects of Couto’s collection of short stories Contos do nascer da terra (Stories of the Birth of the Land) and Saramago’s novel O ano da morte de Ricardo Reis (The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis). The second section explores similar themes in Coetzee’s Life and Times of Michael K and Lispector’s A hora da estrela (The Hour of the Star). Marques argues that these four writers are political in the sense that they bring to the forefront issues pertaining to the power of literature to represent, misrepresent, and debate matter related to different subaltern subjects: the postcolonial subject, the poor subject (the "poor other"), and the female subject. She also discusses the "ahuman other" in the context of the subjectivity of the natural world, the dead, and the unborn, and shows how these aspects are present in all the different societies addressed and point to the mystical dimension that permeates most societies. With regard to Couto's work, this "ahuman other" is approached mostly through a discussion of the holistic, animist values and epistemologies that inform and guide Mozambican traditional societies, while in further analyses the notion is approached via discussions on phenomenology, elementality, and divinity following the philosophies of Lévinas and Irigaray and mystical consciousness in Zen Buddhism and the psychology of Jung.
Berlin, Budapest, Prague, and Warsaw are cities indelibly marked by more than forty years of Soviet influence. Urban Cultures in (Post) Colonial Central Europe explores the ways in which these major urban centers have redefined their identities in the last two decades. The author suggests that they are both Central European and (post) colonial spaces and that the locations of their (post)coloniality can be found predominantly in communicative and media processes and their results in architecture, film, literature, and new media. Agata Anna Lisiak analyzes Berlin, Budapest, Prague, and Warsaw as (post)colonial cities because their politics, cultures, societies, and economies have been shaped by two centers of power: the Soviet Union as the former colonizer, whose influence remains visible predominantly in architecture, infrastructure, social relations, and mentalities, and the Western culture and the Western and/or global capital as the current colonizer, whose impact extends over virtually all spheres of urban life. The cities discussed are not exclusively postcolonial or solely colonial: they are “in-between” the two predicaments and, hence, are best described as (post)colonial. The (post)colonial and “in-between peripheral” identities and locations of the Central European capitals complement each other, and their analysis provides a relevant perspective on the transformation processes that have been shaping the region after 1989.
The term anamorphosis, from the greek ana (again) and morphe (shape), designates a variety of perspective experiments that can be traced back to the artistic developments of the 1500's and 1600's. Anamorphic devices challenge viewers to experience different forms of perceptual oscillation and uncertainty. Images shift in front of the eyes of puzzled spectators as they move from the center of the representation to the margins, or from one side to the other. (A) Wry Views demonstrates that much of the literature of the Spanish Golden Age is susceptible, and indeed requires, oblique readings (as in anamorphosis).
After Machiavelli is an examination of the triangular relationship of "re-writing"-a dynamic process encompassing both creative newness and awareness of historical profundity"-the "hermeneutic attitude:' and Machiavelli's poiesis. Specifically, it addresses four questions: First, to what degree can we speak of intersection (interaction) among this triad? Second, what common ground do all three actually share? Third, in what particular manner do the act of "re-writing" and the "hermeneutic attitude" manifest themselves in the writings of Niccoli Machiavelli? And last, what bearing does this have on the reader, heir to Machiavelli's literary legacy?
This is an intelligent study of an important topic, one not treated in this manner and deserving of a new investigation. It brings to bear, in particular, various recent critical concepts such as 'text' and 'intertextuality' that provide a new understanding of Gide's use of myth." Catharine Savage Brosman "Genova's study ... is an important contribution to our knowledge of Gide the writer and the man."Pierre L. Horn, Wright State University
Rojas's Celestina (1499) is perhaps the second greatest work of Spanish literature, right after Don Quixote, and Delicado sought to surpass it with La Lozana andaluza (1530), an important precedent of the picaresque novel.Both works were written during the height of the Inquisition, when the only relatively safe way for New Christian writers of Jewish extraction like Rojas and Delicado to express what they felt about the discrimination they suffered and their doubts regarding the faith that had been forced upon their ancestors was in a covert, indirect manner. Some scholars have detected this subversive element in Rojas' and Delicado's corrosive view of the Christian societies in which they lived, but this book goes far beyond such impressionism, showing through abundant textual evidence that these two authors used superficial bawdiness and claims regarding the morality of their respective works as cover to encode attacks against the central dogmas of Christianity: the Annunciation, the Virgin Birth, the Incarnation, and the Holy Trinity.This book, which will generate controversy among Hispanists, many of whom have refused to examine these works for non-Catholic views, will be of interest not only to students and scholars of Spanish literature, but also to those involved in Jewish studies, Medieval European history, and cultural studies.
In this book, prominent Italian American creative writers discuss the ways their heritage has impacted their works. For many, there has been a distinctive separation between their involvement with their families and the culture the immigrants brought to this country and their rise to positions of prominence in academic or literary circles in the United States. In trying to establish a unified identity, they have faced many conflicts between home values and the beliefs of a wider society. As writers, they discuss the ways their conflicts are represented in their works. They also discuss the ways that their childhood memories of immigrants, their practices have been a strong foundation for their creativity. In addition, five scholars in the field of Italian American literature critically analyze works by many of the creative writers in this anthology and discuss the future of the field.
The author defines and analyzes the new type of theatrical perspective invented by Samuel Beckett. She begins with an overview of the major changes of the definition of perspective in a variety of domains of twentieth-century knowledge (e.g., art, science, philosophy, psychology), then discusses the concepts of time, space, and movement which underlie Beckett's notion and use of perspective in the theater. The Broken Window shows how Beckett translates a number of twentieth-century esthetic and philosophical concerns-the impossibility of separating subject and object, the indeterminacy of time and space, the inevitability of movement and change-into specific dramatic techniques, and traces their evolution through close textual analyses of six plays. Hale chose to analyze Endgame, Cascando, Film, Eh Joe, A Piece of Monologue, and Rockaby because they represent both diverse periods of Beckett's career and the variety of media in which he has pursued his formal experimentation-stage, radio, film, and television.
Pedro Calderon de la Barca (1600-1681) is generally acknowledged to be the master author of autos sacramentales, one-act pageant plays that usually dramatize the myths of the Fall and Redemption. Since the auto was supervised by both the church and the state, it is typically held to be an art form that serves theology and the dominant powers of the time. Basing her examination of Calderon's autos on modern theories of allegory, Viviana Diaz Balsera focuses on the seductive power of the dramatic, visible level of the allegorical auto and questions the widely held assumption that Calderon's autos harmonize the dramatic and religious discourses that constitute them. In her readings of Los encantos de la Culpa, Eljardin de Falerina, La nave del Mercador, La vida es sueflo, and Lo que va del Hombre a Dios, she instead finds a disjunction between the literal, poetic level and the religious, theological meaning. With its splendid scenes, poetic fables, and elaborate music, the auto ironically has the potential to reproduce the seductive function it frequently attributes to the Devil and/or the forces of evil. Rather than the dogmatic champion of the Catholic Church, the auto emerges as conflictive, ambivalent, and moving, participating in the very dangers of sensual pleasures it seeks to warn against.
Miguel de Cervantes's Novelas ejemplares, a collection of short stories in the tradition of Boccaccio, has a solid foundation in the history of Golden Age Spain. Joseph V Ricapito studies Cervantes's work from the point of view of "novelized history" or "history novelized." In line with current New Historical thought, he argues that literary production is largely from life and experience, and that Cervantes was acutely aware of the problems of his day.The novelas offer us a glimpse of Cervantes's Spain and include a cataloguing of the social, political, and historical problems of the time. Ricapitc shows how Cervantes fictionalizes the problems of unpopular minorities like Gypsies and conversos (Jewish converts to Catholicism); the difficulties of social mobility in a Christian setting; the presence in society of differing and even outlandish individuals; and the oppressive role of honor, which was popularized by Lope de Vega and later formed a leitmotiv of Spanish drama. In his analysis of Cervantes's creative response to history, Ricapito relates the novelas to the works of Lope de Vega and Mateo Aleman and shows how Cervantes brings to life many literary topoi and places them in a realistic, credible framework in which the historical presence is strongly felt. In Cervantes's treatment of Spain's waning prestige in Europe, we see his vision of human behavior. His view is stern, his critique is sharp, and he is sensitive to external stimuli.
While Victor Hugo's lasting appeal as a novelist can in large part be attributed to the unforgettable characters that he created, character has been paradoxically the most criticized and least understood element of his fiction. Character and Meaning in the Novels of Victor Hugo provides readers with a deeper understanding of the complexities and nuances that characterize both Hugo's novel writing and the nineteenth-century French novel, and will thus appeal to the specialist and non-specialist alike.
Modern poetry on ruins performs an awakening call to the lurking real, to the violence of history in the making. The attacks in New York on September 11, 2001, and in Madrid on March 11, 2004, provoked diverse political reactions, but the imminence of the ruins triggered a collective historical awakening. The awakening can take the shape of bombs in Kabul and Baghdad, or political change in government policies, but it is also palpable when poetry voices a critique of the technological warfare and its versions of progress. Contemporary events and the modern ruins are reminiscent of the political impact that the Spanish Civil War and the two World Wars had on poetry. In Cities in Ruins: The Politics of Modern Poetics, Cecilia Enjuto Rangel argues that the portrayal in poetry of the modern city as a disintegrated, ruined space is part of a critique of the visions of progress and the historical process of modernization that developed during the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century. Enjuto Rangel analyzes how Charles Baudelaire, Luis Cernuda, T. S. Eliot, Octavio Paz, and Pablo Neruda poeticized ruins as the cornerstones of cultural and political memory, and used the imagery of ruins to reinterpret their historical and literary traditions.