Literary Criticism

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."
After the failure of the soixante-huitards, the collapse of European communism, and the fall around 1989 of various dictatorships and revolutions in Latin America, the sentimental approach to history is again reaping successes among the humanities and the social and political sciences. In the Hispanic world, this “affective turn” is on its way to repeating another fin de siècle like the one led by the intellectuals of 1898. A century later, in both Spanish and Anglo-Saxon universities, notions such as disenchantment, trauma, memory, and empathy inform virtually all the analyses of modern Spanish culture, from the bloody Civil War and the nearly forty years of fascism that followed it to the disappointing transition to democracy. Santiago Morales intervenes in this sentimental approach to history and to the novelistic production of the transition by recovering the links and tensions that the notion of melancholy maintains with the aesthetics of black humor in a corpus of fictional works written between 1976 and 1998. Through a methodology that alternates between the careful analysis of novels by Javier Marías, Gonzalo Torrente Ballester, Cristina Fernández Cubas, and Juan José Millás, and the distant reading or framing that places these texts in a broader history, Anatomía del desencanto constructs a critique of the equivocal place held in our modern age by feelings that were, in another time, so noble and persistent, such as grief, fear, guilt, and compassion. While other specialists who study the transition today agree in denouncing the ominous persistence of Francoism and the postwar ethos, Santiago Morales sees a deeply ironic formula in the black humor of melancholy: a catalyst in the creative and moral growth of Spanish narrative and a fundamental critical tool to change contemporary sentimental education. Written entirely in Spanish. Tras la derrota de los soixante-huitards, el colapso del comunismo europeo y la caída también en torno a 1989 de varias dictaduras y revoluciones en América Latina, el acercamiento sentimental a la historia vuelve a cosechar éxitos entre las humanidades y las ciencias sociales y políticas. En el ámbito hispánico, este “giro afectivo” lleva camino de reproducir otro fin de siècle como el que ya protagonizaron los intelectuales de 1898. Un siglo después, tanto en las universidades españolas como en las anglosajonas nociones como desencanto, trauma, memoria, y empatía informan prácticamente todos los análisis de la cultura española moderna, desde la sanguinaria guerra civil y los casi cuarenta años de fascismo hasta la decepcionante transición a la democracia. Santiago Morales interviene en este acercamiento sentimental a la historia y a la novelística de la transición, recuperando los vínculos y tensiones que mantiene la noción de melancolía con la estética del humor negro en un corpus de obras de ficción escritas entre 1976 y 1998. Mediante una metodología que alterna entre el análisis cuidadoso de novelas de Javier Marías, Gonzalo Torrente Ballester, Cristina Fernández Cubas y Juan José Millás, y el distant reading o el encuadre que coloca estos textos en una historia más amplia, Anatomía del desencanto hace una crítica del lugar equívoco que ocupan en nuestra modernidad sentimientos en otro tiempo tan nobles y obstinados como el duelo, el miedo, la culpa, y la compasión. Mientras que otros estudiosos de la transición abundan en denunciar la persistencia ominosa del franquismo y la posguerra, Santiago Morales ve en el humor negro de la melancolía una fórmula profundamente irónica: un catalizador en el crecimiento creativo y moral de la narrativa española y una herramienta crítica fundamental para cambiar la educación sentimental contemporánea. Escrito en espanõl.
Artesana de sí misma by Claudia Cabello Hutt reevaluates the place of Nobel laureate Gabriela Mistral in the literary and intellectual history of Latin America, illuminating and filling a number of lingering voids in the study of this canonical figure. Cabello Hutt introduces readers to Mistral’s vast but scarcely studied journalistic prose as well as her unpublished manuscripts, letters, and images held in the United States and in newly opened Chilean archives. Moving beyond her amply discussed poetry, Cabello Hutt demonstrates that Mistral’s essays, visual representations, and gender performance are key to understanding Mistral’s self-construction as a Latin American female intellectual and internationally recognized writer. From 1920 until her death in 1957, Mistral shaped salient national and transnational debates, brokered relations between major writers, and fashioned a new model of the transnational intellectual in the context of anti-imperialist Latinoamericanism, US-promoted Pan-Americanism, and rising populist politics and social movements of the time. Placing Mistral’s gender, class, and racial performances in richer context, Cabello Hutt reveals them as not only groundbreaking and strategically fashioned, but also as a logical product of the tensions, desires, and power struggles of the cultural field of this period—a cultural field in the process of redefining the interactions between the intellectual, the masses, and political and cultural institutions. Further, by mapping out the transatlantic intellectual networks in which Mistral operated—networks that included José Vasconcelos, Alfonso Reyes, Victoria Ocampo, and Joaquín García Monge—Artesana de sí misma also examines the processes of democratization and modernization that transformed the cultural field in the wider region between 1910 and 1940.   Artesana de sí misma de Claudia Cabello Hutt reevalúa el lugar de Gabriela Mistral, premio Nobel de literatura, en la historia literaria e intelectual de América Latina. Cabello Hutt acerca a los lectores a la amplia, pero escasamente estudiada, prosa periodística de Mistral además de a un conjunto de manuscritos, cartas e imágenes provenientes de archivos norteamericanos y chilenos así como del recientemente abierto archivo de su albacea y compañera, Doris Dana. Artesana de sí misma explora más allá de la ampliamente estudiada poesía de Mistral y demuestra que su prosa, representación visual y performatividad de género son claves para comprender la auto-construcción de esta figura como una intelectual latinoamericana y una escritora de reconocimiento internacional. Desde 1920 hasta su muerte en 1957, Mistral participó activamente en debates nacionales y continentales, gestionó relaciones entre escritores y trazó un nuevo modelo de intelectual transnacional en el contexto de un latinoamericanismo anti-imperialista, que choca con un panamericanismo promovido por Estados Unidos, en décadas marcadas por revoluciones y movimientos sociales. Al ubicar el proceso de construcción de género, clase y raza de Mistral en un contexto más amplio, Cabello Hutt argumenta que este proceso no solo es original y estratégicamente diseñado sino que también es un producto lógico de las tensiones, deseos y luchas de poder que determinan el campo cultural latinoamericano de este periodo. Un campo cultural en proceso de redefinir las interacciones entre el intelectual, las masas y las instituciones políticas y culturales. Al trazar las redes intelectuales transatlánticas en que Mistral operaba -redes que incluían a José Vasconcelos, Alfonso Reyes, Romain Rolland, Victoria Ocampo y Joaquín García Monge, entre muchos otros- Artesana de sí misma analiza a su vez los procesos de democratización y modernización que transformaron el campo cultural en la región entre 1910 y 1940.
Borders, Territories, and Ethics: Hebrew Literature in the Shadow of the Intifada by Adia Mendelson-Maoz presents a new perspective on the multifaceted relations between ideologies, space, and ethics manifested in contemporary Hebrew literature dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the occupation. In this volume, Mendelson-Maoz analyzes Israeli prose written between 1987 and 2007, relating mainly to the first and second intifadas, written by well-known authors such as Yehoshua, Grossman, Matalon, Castel-Bloom, Govrin, Kravitz, and Levy. Mendelson-Maoz raises critical questions regarding militarism, humanism, the nature of the State of Israel as a democracy, national identity and its borders, soldiers as moral individuals, the nature of Zionist education, the acknowledgment of the Other, and the sovereignty of the subject. She discusses these issues within two frameworks. The first draws on theories of ethics in the humanist tradition and its critical extensions, especially by Levinas. The second applies theories of space, and in particular deterritorialization as put forward by Deleuze and Guattari and their successors. Overall this volume provides an innovative theoretical analysis of the collage of voices and artistic directions in contemporary Israeli prose written in times of political and cultural debate on the occupation and its intifadas.
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.
Confronting Evil: The Psychology of Secularization in Modern French Literatureholds that the concept of evil is central to the psychology of secularism. Drawing on notions of secularization as a phenomenon of ambivalence or dualism in which religion continues to exist alongside secularity in exerting influence on modern French thought, author Scott M. Powers enlists psychoanalytic theory on mourning and sublimation, the philosophical concept of the sublime, Charles Taylor’s theory of religious and secular “cross-pressures,” and William James’s psychology of conversion to account for the survival of religious themes in Baudelaire, Zola, Huysmans, and Céline. For Powers, Baudelaire’s prose poems, Zola’s experimental novels, and Huysmans’s and Céline’s early narratives attempt to account for evil by redefining the traditionally religious concept along secular lines. However, when unmitigated by the mechanisms of irony and sublimation, secular confrontation with the dark and seemingly absurd dimension of man leads modern writers such as Huysmans and Céline, paradoxically, to embrace a religious or quasi-religious understanding of good and evil. In the end, Powers finds that how authors cope with the reality of suffering and human wickedness has a direct bearing on the ability to sustain a secular vision.
In the last decades—and especially since the 1990s—there has been a noticeable reemergence of the nineteenth century in Southern Cone culture. Popular nineteenth-century figures (indios, gauchos, letrados, and cautivas) have reentered the national literary scene in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay. Nineteenth-century heroes such as San Martín and Artigas are again the main protagonists of Southern Cone theater, film, and literature. Canonical nineteenth-century texts (La cautiva, Martín Fierro, Facundo) are being rewritten one more time in different artistic fields. Foundational nineteenth-century genres (travel narratives, gauchesque poems, and national romances) are being transformed and recycled. Controversial nineteenth-century events (the civil wars, the massacre of indigenous communities) are being revisited and explored. Through a combination of close textual analysis and a broader perspective rooted in cultural theory, this book answers two interrelated questions: Why did the nineteenth century resurface so strongly in the last decades? What are the ideological implications of this reemergence?   Based on a transnational comparison of Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay, and a survey of narratives that were mostly produced by well-known figures (political activists, public intellectuals, and canonical authors), Crisis y reemergencia helps to elucidate how the Southern Cone cultural field has changed since the 1990s: how intellectuals’ ethics, national identities, and discursive strategies that were functional to the consolidation of liberalism in the nineteenth century have been challenged, transformed, and rethought in the last decades. Borrowing from cultural Marxism, discourse analysis, and postcolonial theory, the book pursues a triple contribution: to define the discursive and ideological components that were at the core of the nineteenth century, to show their continuity up to the 1990s (and thus clarify the connections between liberalism and neoliberalism), and to expose their recent transformation—a transformation that paved the way for the “return of the political” to the region.   En las últimas décadas—especialmente a partir de los noventa—ha habido una visible reemergencia del siglo XIX en la cultura del Cono Sur. Figuras decimonónicas típicas (indios, gauchos, letrados y cautivas) han reaparecido en la escena literaria de Argentina, Chile y Uruguay. Héroes como San Martín y Artigas se han convertido en protagonistas principales de la literatura, el cine y el teatro. Géneros fundantes de la identidad nacional (el relato de viaje, la poesía gauchesca, el romance nacional) se han reciclado y transformado. Textos canónicos como La cautiva, el Martín Fierro y el Facundo han sido reescritos una vez más en diferentes campos artísticos. Y controvertidos eventos históricos (las guerras civiles, las masacres de las comunidades indígenas) han sido revisados y vueltos a narrar. Combinando el análisis textual con una perspectiva más abarcadora anclada en la teoría cultural, este libro responde a dos preguntas interrelacionadas: ¿por qué el siglo XIX ha resurgido de manera tan fuerte en las últimas décadas? ¿Cuáles son las implicaciones ideológicas de esta reemergencia?   A través de una comparación transnacional de Argentina, Chile y Uruguay, y de una lectura de la ficción producida por figuras prominentes en los tres países (activistas políticos, intelectuales públicos y autores canónicos), Crisis y reemergencia contribuye a dilucidar cómo el campo cultural del Cono Sur ha cambiado desde los noventa: cómo la ética intelectual, las identidades nacionales y las estrategias discursivas que fueron funcionales a la consolidación del liberalismo en el siglo XIX han sido reformuladas, transformadas y repensadas en las últimas décadas. Apoyándose en el marxismo cultural, el análisis del discurso y la teoría poscolonial, el libro apunta a una triple contribución: definir los componentes ideológicos y discursivos que están en el corazón del siglo XIX, mostrar su continuidad hasta los noventa (y aclarar así las conexiones entre liberalismo y neo-liberalismo) y exponer su reciente transformaciónuna transformación que abrió el camino a lo que se ha llamado el “retorno de lo político” en la región.    
Brazil and France have explored each other's geographical and cultural landscapes for more than five hundred years. The Brazilian je ne sais quoi has captivated the French from their first encounter, and the ingenuity à francesa of French artistic and scholarly movements has intrigued Brazilians in kind. Ongoing Brazil-France interactions have resulted in some of the richest cultural exchanges between Europe and Latin America. In Cultural Exchanges between Brazil and France, leading international scholars evaluate these reciprocal transnational explorations, from the earliest French interventions in Brazil in the sixteenth century to the growing mutual influence that the nations have exerted on one another in the twenty-first century. Original interdisciplinary essays examine cross-cultural interactions and collaborations in the social sciences, intellectual history, the press, literature, cinema, plastic arts, architecture, cartography, and sport. The comparative cultural method used in these analyses deepens the collective treatment of crucial junctures in the long history of often harmonious, but also sometimes ambivalent and occasionally contentious, encounters between Brazil and France.
Author of more than thirteen books and several volumes of poetry, screenwriter, and director, Edith Bruck is one of the leading literary voices in Italy, attracting increasing attention in the English-speaking world not least for her powerful Holocaust testimony, which is often compared with the work of her contemporaries Primo Levi and Giorgio Bassani. Born in Hungary in 1932, she was deported with her family to the concentration camps of Auschwitz, Dachau, Christianstadt, Landsberg, and Bergen-Belsen, where she lost both her parents and a brother. After the war, she traveled widely until 1954 when she settled in Rome. She has lived there ever since. This important new study is motivated by a desire to better understand and situate Bruck’s art as well as to advance (and, when necessary, to revise) the critical discourse on her considerable and eclectic body of work. As such, it underscores and analyzes the intermedial nature of her contributions to contemporary Italian culture, which should no longer be understood merely in terms of her willingness to revisit the subject of the Holocaust on the printed page or the silver screen. It also includes previously unpublished interviews with the author. The book will be of broad interest to scholars and students of Jewish (especially Holocaust) studies, Italian literature, film studies, women’s studies, and postcolonial culture.“This is the first comprehensive scholarly analysis of the work produced by a main contemporary author of Italian Holocaust literature, focused on Bruck’s overall artistic production (novels, poetry, film, and TV productions). It will offer scholars and students alike a new interpretive perspective and a valuable source of reference for their studies.” Gabriella Romani, Seton Hall University.
El intelectual y la cultura de masas, by Javier García Liendo, studies the responses of Ángel Rama (Uruguay) and José María Arguedas (Peru) to the effects of mass culture on Andean indigenous cultures and Latin American print culture during the second half of the twentieth century. It explores the part that Rama and Arguedas played in the conceptualization and promotion of new cultural spaces made possible by commodification and industrialization, as capitalism transformed the imaginaries and materialities that had shaped their cultural projects for Andean and Latin American cultures. Through a material analysis of print culture objects, in particular those resulting from Rama’s editorial ventures—such as pocket paperbacks and a popular encyclopedia—this work examines the transformations occurring at the time in Latin America at the level of production and circulation of culture, and thus sheds light on the emergence of new networks of communication between intellectuals and national and regional publics. Similarly, it explores the role of emergent communication technologies (sound recording and radio) in the reshaping of rural indigenous cultures into a mass-oriented popular culture in Peru. In this context, Arguedas’s work with folklore and his later involvement in the Andean popular music scene in Lima are studied as responses to a violent process of commercialization of traditional Andean musical culture, a result of mass migration from rural areas to cities and urbanization. Finally, this book presents an understanding of Rama and Arguedas that transcends their categorization as literary critic and writer, respectively, by analyzing their work through the concept of practice, which encompasses the totality of their work, including journalism, anthropology, folklore, editorial work, intellectual networking, and cultural promotion. Its chapters invite a rethinking of established notions of the relation between culture and capitalism during the heyday of revolution in the Latin American intellectual field.
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.
Faust Adaptations, edited and introduced by Lorna Fitzsimmons, takes a comparative cultural studies approach to the ubiquitous legend of Faust and his infernal dealings. Including readings of English, German, Dutch, and Egyptian adaptations ranging from the early modern period to the contemporary moment, this collection emphasizes the interdisciplinary and transcultural tenets of comparative cultural studies. Authors variously analyze the Faustian theme in contexts such as subjectivity, genre, politics, and identity. Chapters focus on the work of Christopher Marlowe, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Adelbert von Chamisso, Lord Byron, Heinrich Heine, Thomas Mann, D. J. Enright, Konrad Boehmer, Mahmoud Aboudoma, Bridge Markland, Andreas Gössling, and Uschi Flacke. Contributors include Frederick Burwick, Christa Knellwolf King, Ehrhard Bahr, Konrad Boehmer, and David G. John. Faust Adaptations demonstrates the enduring meaningfulness of the Faust concept across borders, genres, languages, nations, cultures, and eras. This collection presents innovative approaches to understanding the mediated, translated, and adapted figure of Faust through both culturally specific inquiry and timeless questions.
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.  
Although the boom in historical fiction and historiography about Spain’s recent past has found an eager readership, these texts are rarely studied as two halves of the same story. With Genre Fusion: A New Approach to History, Fiction, and Memory in Contemporary Spain, Sara J. Brenneis argues that fiction and nonfiction written by a single author and focused on the same historical moment deserve to be read side-by-side. By proposing a literary model that examines these genres together, Genre Fusion gives equal importance to fiction and historiography in Spain. In her book, Brenneis develops a new theory of “genre fusion” to show how authors who write both historiography and fiction produce a more accurate representation of the lived experience of Spanish history than would be possible in a single genre. Genre Fusionopens with a straightforward overview of the relationships among history, fiction, and memory in contemporary culture. While providing an up-to-date context for scholarly debates about Spain’s historical memory, Genre Fusion also expands the contours of the discussion beyond the specialized territory of Hispanic studies. To demonstrate the theoretical necessity of genre fusion, Brenneis analyzes pairs of interconnected texts (one a work of literature, the other a work of historiography) written by a single author. She explores how fictional and nonfictional works by Montserrat Roig, Carmen Martín Gaite, Carlos Blanco Aguinaga, and Javier Marías unearth the collective memories of Spain’s past. Through these four authors, Genre Fusion traces the transformation of a country once enveloped in a postwar silence to one currently consumed by its own history and memory. Brenneis demonstrates that, when read through the lens of genre fusion, these Spanish authors shelve the country’s stagnant official record of its past and unlock the collective and personal accounts of the people who constitute Spanish history.
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.
Among the multiple approaches to be taken on an author as multifaceted and prolific as the recent Nobel Laureate Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa, Guadalupe Martí-Peña has chosen to look at the novelist as an illusionist. She studies this land of fantasies and daydreams, that seemingly harmless battlefield where literature, theater, and painting contend and join together with the writer, the dreamer, and the illusionist to oust reality. Focusing on Elogio de la madrastra and Los cuadernos de don Rigoberto, and the effect of illusion on the reading process, she argues that by referring to theatrical, pictorial, and mystical patterns Vargas Llosa entices us to experience, along with his characters, the unreal as real, the dream as reality, the magic of fiction as an empowering act. The book looks first at the theatricality and theatrics that enliven both texts. In the light of reader/spectator-response theories and theater semiotics, Martí-Peña shows how the novelist turns narrating into acting, fiction into performance, and reading into seeing. She next reflects upon the role that painting plays in the materialization of the characters’ desires and illusions. By funneling pictorial aesthetics through the prism of narration, and by engaging with theory concerned with issues of text-image interrelations, she examines the various functions paintings play within the linguistic system. Finally, she compares Rigoberto’s writing exercises to the writings of self-examination described by Michel Foucault in “L’écriture de soi.” Both texts encapsulate the main active ingredient in all of Vargas Llosa’s writings: that fiction is not a submission to life, but rather an insurrection against it. Verbal illusionism becomes the most efficient tactic to carry out such a rebellion. The text of this book is in Spanish.
Imre Kertész and Holocaust Literature, the first English language volume on the work of the 2002 Nobel Laureate in Literature contains papers by scholars in Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, New Zealand, and the USA, as well as historical papers about the background of the Holocaust in Hungary. Articles in the volume are "Imre Kertész and Hungarian Literature" by Enikö Molnár Basa, "Jewishness in Hungary, Imre Kertész, and the Choice of an Identity" by Sara Cohen, "The Aporia of Imre Kertész" by Robert Eaglestone, "Imre Kertész, Hegel, and the Philosophy of Reconciliation" by Amos Friedland, "Identities of the Jew and the Hungarian" by András Gerı, "Representing the Holocaust, Kertész's Fatelessness, and Benigni's La vita è bella" by Bettina von Jagow, "Imre Kertész's Fatelessness as Historical Fiction" by Julia Karolle, "Reading Imre Kertész in English" by Adrienne Kertzer, "Imre Kertész's Fatelessness and the Myth about Auschwitz in Hungary" by Kornélia Koltai, "The Historians' Debate about the Holocaust in Hungary" by András Kovács, "Imre Kertész and Hungary Today" by Magdalena Marsovszky, "Imre Kertész's Aesthetics of the Holocaust" by Sára Molnár, "The Dichotomy of Perspectives in the Work of Imre Kertész and Jorge Semprún" by Marie Peguy, "Imre Kertész and the Filming of Sorstalanság (Fatelessness)" by Catherine Portuges, "Danilo Kis, Imre Kertész, and the Myth of the Holocaust" by Rosana Ratkovćić, "Imre Kertész's Jegyzıkönyv (Sworn Statement) and the Self Deprived of Itself" by Tamás Scheibner, "Imre Kertész's Kaddish for an Unborn Child" by Eluned Summers-Bremner, "Imre Kertész's Nobel Prize in Literature and the Print Media" by Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek, "Holocaust Literature and Imre Kertész" by Paul Várnai, "The Novelness of Imre Kertész's Fatelessness" by Louise O. Vasvári, and "The Media and Imre Kertész's Nobel Prize in Literature" by Judy Young. In addition to the papers about Kertész's work, the volume includes an as of yet in English unpublished text by Imre Kertész, "Galley Boat-Log (Gályanapló): Excerpt(s)" translated by Tim Wilkinson, a review article about books on Jewish identity and anti-Semitism Central Europe by Barbara Breysach, and a "A Bibliography of Imre Kertész's Oeuvre and Publications about His Work" by Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek.
Intellectual Philanthropy: The Seduction of the Masses by Aurélie Vialette examines the practice of philanthropy in modern Spain. Through detailed studies of popular music, collective readings, dramas, working-class manuals, and fiction, Vialette reveals how depictions of urban philanthropic activities can inform our understanding of interactions in the economic, cultural, religious, and educational spheres, class power dynamics, and gender roles in urban Spanish society.  
La pasión esclava addresses the masochist discursivity of La Regenta (1884–1885) by Leopoldo Alas, Clarín, as a subversive strategy of dominance and submission through which the foundations of liberal thinking on education, agency, and freedom of the modern subject are refuted. Differing from studies that prioritize the Freudian psychoanalytic focus and link masochism with perverse and passive behaviors, this book offers a pluralist approach, where cultural, clinical-historical, and literary perspectives are essential to relocate masochism to the area of passions, while emphasizing the agency and creativity upon which the discursive meaning of transgressive masochism in fin-de-siècle narrative is articulated. Nuria Godón shows how La Regenta challenges the models of partnership in modern society by displaying a reformulation of the masochist contract that parodies the marital contract, satirizes Rousseau’s social contract, and places the wheels of Krause’s educational machine under scrutiny. Likewise, she explores Catholicism’s impact on the masochist dynamic in other contemporary texts by authors such as Emilia Pardo Bazán and Armando Palacio Valdés, without excluding Leopold von Sacher-Masoch—the Austrian writer from whom the term masochism was coined—to further disclose how religion’s influence shapes the dialectic of female and filial masochism in the Spanish context represented in Alas’s masterpiece. In this sense, La pasión esclava invites one to reconsider masochism as a tool that tears apart the mechanisms of gender subjection, which are observable not only in the Spanish literary texts analyzed in this book, but also in other cultural productions.   La pasión esclava aborda la discursividad masoquista en La Regenta (1884–1885) de Leopoldo Alas, Clarín, como una estrategia subversiva de dominio y sumisión mediante la cual se rebaten los fundamentos del pensamiento liberal sobre la educación, la agencia y la libertad del sujeto moderno. Frente a las investigaciones que priman el enfoque psicoanalítico de tradición freudiana y vinculan el masoquismo a conductas perversas y pasivas, este estudio brinda una aproximación pluralista –donde destaca la perspectiva cultural, histórica-clínica y literaria— gracias a la cual es posible reubicar el masoquismo en el amplio terreno de las pasiones y subrayar la agencia y creatividad sobre las que se conforma el sentido discursivo del masoquismo transgresor en la narrativa finisecular. Nuria Godón muestra cómo la novela cumbre de Alas problematiza las propuestas de compañerismo en la sociedad moderna presentando una reformulación del contrato masoquista que parodia el contrato matrimonial, satiriza el contrato social rousseriano y cuestiona el engranaje del sistema educativo krausista. Asimismo, explora el impacto del catolicismo en la dinámica masoquista en otros textos de autores contemporáneos entre los cuales figuran Emilia Pardo Bazán y Armando Palacio Valdés, sin olvidar a Leopold von Sacher-Masoch—autor sobre el que se acuña el término de masoquismo—para explicar posteriormente cómo la influencia religiosa da forma al despliegue de la dialéctica del masoquismo femenino y filial en el contexto español trazado en La Regenta. En este sentido, La pasión esclava invita a una reconsideración del masoquismo como herramienta que hace saltar los mecanismos de sujeción genérica, susceptibles de ser observados no solo en el ámbito literario español que el libro presenta sino también dentro de otras producciones culturales.
Historically a source of emigrants to Northern Europe and the New World, Italy has rapidly become a preferred destination for immigrants from the global South. Life in the land of la dolce vita has not seemed so sweet recently, as Italy struggles with the cultural challenges caused by this surge in immigration. Marvelous Bodies by Vetri Nathan explores thirteen key full-length Italian films released between 1990 and 2010 that treat this remarkable moment of cultural role reversal through a plurality of styles. In it, Nathan argues that Italy sees itself as the quintessential internal Other of Western Europe, and that this subalternity directly influences its cinematic response to immigrants, Europe’s external Others. In framing his case to understand Italy’s cinematic response to immigrants, Nathan first explores some basic questions: Who exactly is the Other in Italy? Does Italy’s own past partial alterity affect its present response to its newest subalterns? Drawing on Homi Bhabha’s writings and Italian cinematic history, Nathan then posits the existence of marvelous bodies that are momentarily neither completely Italian nor completely immigrant. This ambivalence of forms extends to the films themselves, which tend to be generic hybrids. The persistent curious presence of marvelous bodies and a pervasive generic hybridity enact Italy’s own chronic ambivalence that results from its presence at the cultural crossroads of the Mediterranean.