Literary Criticism

Memory and Myth is an interdisciplinary study of the Civil War and its enduring impact on American writers and filmmakers. Its twenty-five chapters are all concerned, in one way or another, with creative responses to the Civil War, and the ways in which artists have sought to make sense of the war and to convey their findings to succeeding generations of readers and filmgoers. The book also examines the role of movies and television in transmuting the historical memories of the Civil War into durable, ever-changing myths.
In 2012 the Swedish Academy announced that Mo Yan had received the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work that “with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history, and the contemporary.” The announcement marked the first time a resident of mainland China had ever received the award. This is the first English-language study of the Chinese writer’s work and influence, featuring essays from scholars in a range of disciplines, from both China and the United States. Its introduction, twelve articles, and epilogue aim to deepen and widen critical discussions of both a specific literary author and the globalization of Chinese literature more generally. The book takes the “root-seeking” movement with which Mo Yan’s works are associated as a metaphor for its organizational structure. The four articles of “Part I: Leaves” focus on Mo Yan’s works as world literature, exploring the long shadow his works have cast globally. Howard Goldblatt, Mo Yan’s English translator, explores the difficulties and rewards of interpreting his work, while subsequent articles cover issues such as censorship and the “performativity” associated with being a global author. “Part II: Trunk” explores the nativist core of Mo Yan’s works. Through careful comparative treatment of related historical events, the five articles in this section show how specific literary works intermingle with China’s national and international politics, its mid-twentieth-century visual culture, and its rich religious and literary conventions, including humor. The three articles in “Part III: Roots” delve into the theoretical and practical extensions of Mo Yan’s works, uncovering the vibrant critical and cultural systems that ground Eastern and Western literatures and cultures. Mo Yan in Context concludes with an epilogue by sociologist Fenggang Yang, offering a personal and globally aware reflection on the recognition Mo Yan’s works have received at this historical juncture.  
By analyzing its position within the struggles for recognition and reception of different national and ethnic cultural groups, this book offers a bold new picture of Israeli literature. Through comparative discussion of the literatures of Palestinian citizens of Israel, of Mizrahim, of migrants from the former Soviet Union, and of Ethiopian-Israelis, the author demonstrates an unexpected richness and diversity in the Israeli literary scene, a reality very different from the monocultural image that Zionism aspired to create. Drawing on a wide body of social and literary theory, Mendelson-Maoz compares and contrasts the literatures of the four communities she profiles. In her discussion of the literature of the Palestinian citizens of Israel, she presents the question of language and translation, and she provides three case studies of particular authors and their reception. Her study of Mizrahi literature adopts a chronological approach, starting in the 1950s and proceeding toward contemporary Mizrahi writing, while discussing questions of authenticity and self-determination. The discussion of Israeli literature written by immigrants from the former Soviet Union focuses both on authors who write Israeli literature in Russian and of Russian immigrants writing in Hebrew. The final section of the book provides a valuable new discussion of the work of Ethiopian-Israeli writers, a group whose contributions have seldom been previously acknowledged. The picture that emerges from this groundbreaking book replaces the traditional, homogeneous historical narrative of Israeli literature with a diversity of voices, a multiplicity of origins, and a wide range of different perspectives. In doing so, it will provoke researchers in a wide range of cultural fields to look at the rich traditions that underlie it in new and fresh ways.
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.
Scholars have used Levinas as a lens through which to view many authors and texts, fields of endeavor, and works of art. Yet no book-length work or dedicated volume has brought this thoughtful lens to bear in a sustained discussion of the works of Shakespeare. It should not surprise anyone that Levinas identified his own thinking as Shakespearean. "The play’s the thing" for both, or put differently, the observation of intersubjectivity is. What may surprise and indeed delight all learned readers is to consider what we might yet gain from considering each in light of the other. Comprising leading scholars in philosophy and literature, Of Levinas and Shakespeare: "To See Another Thus" is the first book-length work to treat both great thinkers. Lear, Hamlet, and Macbeth dominate the discussion; however, essays also address Cymbeline, The Merchant of Venice, and even poetry, such as Venus and Adonis. Volume editors planned and contributors deliver a thorough treatment from multiple perspectives, yet none intends this volume to be the last word on the subject; rather, they would have it be a provocation to further discussion, an enticement for richer enjoyment, and an invitation for deeper contemplation of Levinas and Shakespeare.
On Emerging from Hyper-Nationrepresents Ronald W. Sousa’s attempt to answer the question, “Why do I smile on reading one of Saramago’s ‘historical’ novels?” Why that reaction of emotional release? To answer the “smile question” the book engages in a critical mode that could be described as “discourse analysis.” It combines several critical strains and relies on basic concepts from Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis, Adlerian psychology, and contemporary cognitive psychology for their discourse-analytical value rather than as entrées into psychoanalytical reading per se. The introductory chapter presents some of the concepts that underlie that compound analytical modality and sets out an overview of twentieth-century Portuguese social and economic history. Then, with an eye to answering the “smile question,” the book reads Nobel Laureate José Saramago’s three novels, Baltasar and Blimunda (1982), The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis (1984), and The History of the Siege of Lisbon (1989). Or, better, it seeks to read Sousa’s own reading of the three works, since focus falls on how each novel seeks to construct both its own reading and also Sousa as its reader. The discussion brings to light a number of textual phenomena that bear upon the “smile question.” Among them are that the novels invoke, often subtly, the fascist hermeneutical heritage remaining from before the revolution of 1974 as a constituent part of their communication with the reader; that they summon up historical trauma; that they function as Freudian-style “tendentious jokes”; and that, through these various invocations, they seek to constitute a postrevolutionary Portuguese subject. The reading of Sousa’s reading, then, ends up being a reading of some of the cultural forces at work in postrevolutionary Portugal.
Re-Visioning Terrorism: A Humanistic Perspective is an interdisciplinary collection of essays that aims to offer a plurality of visions on terrorism, expanding its meaning across time and space and raising new questions that explore its multifaceted occurrences. The different ideological, philosophical, and cultural perspectives emerging from the essays and the variety of humanistic disciplines involved intend to provide a complex and even contradictory picture that emphasizes the fact that there cannot be a univocal conception and response to terrorism, in either the practical or the intellectual domain.   The editors borrow the concept of rack focus response from cinema to create an innovative and flexible interpretative approach to terrorism. Rack focus refers to the change of focus of a lens so that one image can come into focus while another moves out of focus. Though the focal distance changes, the reality has not changed. Both items and events coexist, but given the nature of optics we can only see clearly one or the other. This occurs not just with lenses, but also with human perceptions, be they emotional or intellectual. The rack focus response requires that we try to shift focus from the depth of field that is absolutely clear and familiar to the “other” that is unclear and unfamiliar. This exercise will lead us to reflect on terroristic events in a more nuanced, nondogmatic, and flexible manner.   The essays featured in this volume range from philosophical interpretations of terrorism, to historical analysis of terror through the ages, to cinematic, artistic, and narrative representations of terroristic events that are not limited to 9/11.
In Reconsidering the Emergence of the Gay Novel in English and German, James P. Wilper examines a key moment in the development of the modern gay novel by analyzing four novels by German, British, and American writers. Wilper studies how the texts are influenced by and respond and react to four schools of thought regarding male homosexuality in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The first is legal codes criminalizing sex acts between men and the religious doctrine that informs them. The second is the ancient Greek erotic philosophy, in which a revival of interest took place in the late nineteenth century. The third is sexual science (or “sexology”), which offered various medical and psychological explanations for same-sex desire and was employed variously to defend, as well as to attempt to cure, this "perversion." And fourth, in the wake of the scandal caused by his trials and conviction for "gross indecency," Oscar Wilde became associated with a homosexual stereotype based on "unmanly" behavior. Wilper analyzes the four novels—Thomas Mann's Death in Venice, E. M. Forster's Maurice, Edward Prime-Stevenson's Imre: A Memorandum, and John Henry Mackay's The Hustler—in relation to these schools of thought, and focuses on the exchange and cross-cultural influence between linguistic and cultural contexts on the subject of love and desire between men.
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.
The importance of fashion in the construction and representation of gender and the formation of modern society in nineteenth-century Spanish narrative is the focus of Dorota Heneghan’s Striking Their Modern Pose. The study moves beyond traditional interpretations that equate female passion for finery with symptoms of social ambition and the decline of the Spanish nation, and brings to light the manners in which nineteenth-century Spanish novelists drew attention to the connection between the complexities of fashionable female protagonists and the shifting limits of conventional womanhood to address the need to reformulate customary ideals of gender as a necessary condition for Spain to advance in the process of modernization. The project also sheds light on an area largely unexplored by previous studies: men’s pursuit of fashion. Through the analysis of the richness of sartorial subtleties in Benito Pérez Galdós’s and Emilia Pardo Bazán’s portraits of their male characters, this book brings forward these writers’ exposure of the much-denied bourgeois men’s love for self-adornment and the incoherencies and contradictions in the allegedly monolithic, stable concept of nineteenth-century Spanish masculinity. While highlighting the ways in which the art of dressing smartly provided nineteenth-century Spanish novelists with effective means to voice their critique of conventional gender order, the book also lends insight into these authors’ methods of manipulating sartorial signs to explore and to envision (as in the case of Pardo Bazán and Jacinto Octavio Picón) alternative models of masculinity and femininity. Threading through all chapters of the study is the idea propagated by all three of these writers that Spain’s full integration into modernity required not only the redefinition of the feminine role, but the reconfiguration of the masculine one as well.
Adopting an empirical and systematic approach, this interdisciplinary study of medieval Persian Sufi tradition and ʿAttār (1145–1221) opens up a new space of comparison for reading and understanding medieval Persian and European literatures. The book invites us on an intellectual journey that reveals exciting intersections that redefine the hierarchies and terms of comparison. While the primary focus of the book is on reassessing the significance of the concept of transgression and construction of subjectivity within select works of ʿAttār within Persian Sufi tradition, the author also creates a bridge between medieval and modern, literature and theory, and European and Middle Eastern cultures through reading these works alongside one another. Of significance to the author is ʿAttār’s treatment of enlightenment with regard to class, religious, gender, and sexuality transgressions. In this book, the relation between transgression and the limit is not viewed as one of liberation from oppressive restrictions, but of undoing the structures that produce constraining binaries; it allows for alternatives and possibilities. In conjunction with the concepts of transgression and the limit, the presence of society’s marginalized pariahs, outcasts, and untouchables are central to the book’s main argument about construction of subjectivity, which the author believes is framed within ʿAttār’s notion of mystical love and human diversity. The book addresses the question of whether concepts such as transgression, limit, and subjectivity are solely applicable to modern times, or they can shed light on our understanding of transgression and subjectivity from the past. The author’s comparative inquiries aim to intensify our understanding of these notions advanced in both the medieval and the modern world. Through summoning works from various genres, disciplines, cultures, and times, the author posits that medieval literary works are living texts that can reveal as much about our present selves as they do about the past.
This book is the first full-length study to examine Molière’s evolving (and at times contradictory) authorial strategies, as evidenced both by his portrayal of authors and publication within the plays and by his own interactions with the seventeenth-century Parisian publishing industry. Historians of the book have described the time period that coincides with Molière’s theatrical activity as centrally important to the development of authors’ rights and to the professionalization of the literary field. A seventeenth-century author, however, was not so much born as negotiated through often acrimonious relations in a world of new and dizzying possibilities. The learning curve was at times steep and unpleasant, as Molière discovered when his first Parisian play was stolen by a rogue publisher. Nevertheless, the dramatist proved to be a quick learner; from his first published play in 1660 until his death in 1673, Molière changed from a reluctant and victimized author to an innovator (or, according to his enemies, even a swindler) who aggressively secured the rights to his plays, stealing them back when necessary. Through such shrewdness, he acquired for himself publication privileges and conditions relatively unknown in an era before copyright. As Molière himself wrote, making people laugh was “une étrange entreprise” (La Critique de L’École des femmes, 1663). To an even greater degree, comedic authorship for the playwright was a constant work in progress, and in this sense, “Molière,” the stage name that became a pen name, represents the most carefully elaborated of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin’s invented characters.
In the mid-1800s, tens of thousands of Chinese workers migrated to Cuba, Peru, Mexico, and Panama in search of a better life. As they and their descendants assimilated into their new host countries, they contributed significantly to the economies of these countries through their work in agriculture, transportation, and other industries. However, through the years and throughout their work and assimilation, they also made distinguished literary, artistic, religious, and political contributions to the cultural heritage of the region.   In this seminal in-depth study of the Chinese-Latin American literary tradition, Huei Lan Yen examines how first- and second-generation Latin American writers of Chinese and mixed-race Chinese descent relied upon literature to reconstruct, reevaluate, and renegotiate their cultural identities. Yen then argues that it is through the lens of their literary output that we can best understand the intricacies and tensions of the East-West transculturation process of nineteenth-century Latin America.   Prior studies have treated Chinese-Latin Americans as characters. However, this is the first sustained study of the work of Chinese-Latin American authors. Explicating the unique interplay of aspects of Chinese culture, such as Confucianism and Taoism, with dominant Latin American cultures, Yen reveals Chinese-Latin American literature as having an aesthetically complex and sophisticated tradition with a specific cultural flavor of its own.  
In Transcultural Writers and Novels in the Age of Global Mobility, Arianna Dagnino analyzes a new type of literature emerging from artists’ increased movement and cultural flows spawned by globalization. This "transcultural" literature is produced by authors who write across cultural and national boundaries and who transcend in their lives and creative production the borders of a single culture. Dagnino's book contains a creative rendition of interviews conducted with five internationally renowned writers—Inez Baranay, Brian Castro, Alberto Manguel, Tim Parks, and Ilija Trojanow—and a critical exegesis reflecting on thematical, critical, and stylistical aspects.   By studying the selected authors’ corpus of work, life experiences, and cultural orientations, Dagnino explores the implicit, often subconscious, process of cultural and imaginative metamorphosis that leads transcultural writers and their fictionalized characters beyond ethnic, national, racial, or religious loci of identity and identity formation. Drawing on the theoretical framework of comparative cultural studies, she offers insight into transcultural writing related to belonging, hybridity, cultural errancy, the "Other," worldviews, translingualism, deterritorialization, neonomadism, as well as genre, thematic patterns, and narrative techniques. Dagnino also outlines the implications of transcultural writing within the wider context of world literature(s) and identifies some of the main traits that characterize “transcultural novels.”   “Starting from the idea that we live in an age of increasing interconnectedness, the book focuses on the biographical experiences and literary outputs of a group of culturally mobile writers it defines as transcultural. The text combines a wide-ranging and systematic theoretical approach to transcultural literature with a section in which the author recounts imaginatively the in-depth interviews she had with five authors. The work is a significant contribution to scholarship, for it increases our theoretical awareness of today’s literary developments, providing us with critical tools that enable us to approach literary texts with an innovative perspective.” Maurizio Ascari, Università di Bologna  
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.  
In Women's Tanci Fiction in Late Imperial and Early Modern China, Li Guo presents the first book-length study in English of women's tanci fiction, the distinctive Chinese form of narrative written in rhymed lines during the late imperial to early modern period (related to, but different from, the orallyperformed version also called tanci). tanci writers found a habitable space of self-expression in the male-dominated literary tradition. Through her discussion of the emergence, evolution, and impact of women's tanci, Guo shows how historical forces acting on the formation of the genre serve as the background for an investigation of cross-dressing, self-portraiture, and authorial self-representation. Further, Guo approaches anew the concept of “woman-oriented perspective” and argues that this perspective conceptualizes a narrative framework in which the heroine(s) are endowed with mobility to exercise their talent and power as social beings as men's equals. Such a woman-oriented perspective redefines normalized gender roles with an eye to exposing women's potentialities to transform historical and social customs in order to engender a world with better prospects for women. “This work will be a significant contribution to scholarship. Chinese women’s tanci novels in late imperial Qing and early twentieth-century China are numerous in collections; however, their scholarly studies are still insufficient. This book covers some understudied tanci texts and sheds new insights in the studied area. It also brings in association study with other Chinese writing genres during the late Qing period, as well as comparative perspective within the world culture when possible.” Qingyun Wu, California State University, Los Angeles  
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.