Re-Thinking Europe sets out to investigate the place of the idea of Europe in literature and comparative literary studies. The essays in this collection turn to the past, in which Europe became synonymous with a tradition of peace and tolerance beyond national borders, and enter into a critical dialogue with the present, in which Europe has increasingly become associated with a history of oppression and violence. The different essays together demonstrate how the idea of Europe cannot be thought apart from the tension between the regional and the global, between nationalism and pluralism, and can therefore be re-thought as an opportunity for an identity beyond national or ethnic borders. Engaging contemporary discourses on hybrid, postcolonial, and transnational identity, this volume shows how literature can function as both a vital tool to forge new identities and a power subversive of such attempts at identity-formation. Like Europe, it is always marked by the tension between integration and resistance. The book will be of interest to students and scholars of modern literature, comparative literature, and European studies, as well as people concerned with cultural memory and the relation between literature and cultural identity.
Nele Bemong is currently a postdoctoral fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders (Belgium) at the K.U.Leuven. She has published articles on the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century novel in Belgium (mainly on the historical novel and the work of the novelist Stijn Streuvels) and on the contemporary novel.
Mirjam Truwant is a research assistant at the K.U.Leuven and is currently pursuing a PhD degree in German Literature. Her research focus is on nineteenth and early twentieth century German biographies by and of women writers. She has published articles on Ödön von Horváth, biographical writing and women’s literature.
Pieter Vermeulen is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the K.U.Leuven. He has published articles on contemporary critical theory and on the contemporary novel. He is also the co-editor, with Theo D’haen, of Cultural Identity and Postmodern Writing (Rodopi, 2006).
Nele BEMONG, Mirjam TRUWANT, and Pieter VERMEULEN: Introduction: Europe, in Comparison
Part I. Beyond the Nation? Inter-, Trans-, and Hypernational Identities
Matthijs DE RIDDER: Europeanism in One Country: August Vermeylen, Paul van Ostaijen, and the International Approach to Nationalism
Beatrijs VANACKER: The Histoire anglaise: Towards a Cosmopolitan View of the Other?
David DAMROSCH: Global Regionalism
Michael BOYDEN: Why the World Is Never Enough: Re-Conceptualizing World Literature as a Self-Substitutive Order
Lieven D’HULST: Translation and Its Role in European Literatures: Some Questions and Answers
Ben VAN HUMBEECK: The (Im)Possibilities of a European Literary History: The Case of Flanders
Part II. Performing Transnational Identity
Nagihan HALILOĞLU: Re-Thinking Ottoman Empire: East-West Collaboration in Orhan Pamuk’s The White Castle
Mary STEVENS: Kader Attia’s Arabesque: Inscribing Islam in a Provincialized Europe
Reindert DHONDT: The Old World through a Baroque Mirror: Europe in the Work of Alejo Carpentier
Silvana MANDOLESSI: Cultural Hierarchies, Secondary Nations: The Tension between Europe and “Minor” Cultures in Witold Gombrowicz and Jorge Luis Borges
Kari VAN DIJK: Arriving in Eurasia: Yoko Tawada Re-Writing Europe
Part III. Conjuring the Past, Imagining Europe
Iannis GOERLANDT: Staging a European Republic of Letters: (Supra-) National Concepts of Literature in Arno Schmidt’s Early Prose
Ortwin DE GRAEF: Epistle to the Europeans (On Not Reading Kipling)
Herbert GRABES: Prodesse et Delectare: The World of National Literatures and the World of Literature
Jeppe ILKJÆR: The Late Europe: Elias Canetti and the Ordering of Time and Space in Auto Da Fé
Iulius HONDRILA: Praque in Victorian Fiction: An Imagological Approach
Bart KEUNEN: European Identity from Normality to Immanence
Notes on Contributors