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Alice Richir

Qui se cache derrière le « Je » et ses mensonges ? Écriture du fantasme plonge au cœur de la littérature contemporaine de langue française pour désigner comme fantasmes, au sens psychanalytique, les projections imaginaires qui peuplent les romans de Jean-Philippe Toussaint et Tanguy Viel. Prenant appui sur la définition du fantasme de Sigmund Freud et sur l’identification de sa logique par Jacques Lacan, la fiction fantasmatique est envisagée comme un moyen pour un narrateur à l’identité diffractée de faire récit. Cette nouvelle logique narrative est étudiée à la lumière des dispositifs modernes de l’image – photographie et cinéma, essentiellement –, dont Toussaint et Viel s’inspirent pour déconstruire les cadres représentatifs traditionnels et interroger le rapport entre identification et récit aujourd’hui.

Who lies behind the "I" and its deceitful nature? Écriture du fantasme delves into the heart of contemporary French-language literature to psychoanalytically designate as fantasies the imaginary projections which populate the novels of Jean-Philippe Toussaint and Tanguy Viel. Fantasized fiction is regarded as a means for a narrator with a diffracted identity to exist through the narration, based on how Sigmund Freud defined fantasy and on how Jacques Lacan deciphers its logic. This new sense of narration is studied through modern imagery devices – essentially photography and cinema. Toussaint and Viel use these as inspiration to deconstruct the traditional representative frameworks and question the current correlation between identification and narrative.
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Patrick McCabe’s Ireland

The Butcher Boy, Breakfast on Pluto and Winterwood

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Edited by Jennifer Keating

Few contemporary Irish writers have been more attuned to the historical influence of partition on Ireland’s culture and literary representation than Patrick McCabe. In the recent context of Brexit, his work produced in the late nineteen nineties and early two-thousands carries considerable poignancy, especially in relation to the Catholic Church, gender roles and persistence of a history of violence in Ireland. This volume attends to three novels, The Butcher Boy, Breakfast on Pluto and Winterwood as an emblematic representation of Ireland in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Contributors are: K. Brisley Brennan, Aisling Cormack, Flore Coulouma, Luke Gibbons, Lindsay Haney, Barbara Hoffmann, Jennifer Keating, James F. Knapp, Colin MacCabe, Kristina Varade.
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Lacan and Cassirer

An Essay on Symbolisation 

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Antoine Mooij

The Neo-Kantian philosopher Cassirer and the psychoanalyst Lacan are two key figures in the so-called medial turn in philosophy: the notion that any form of access to reality is mediated by symbols (images, words, signifiers). This explains why the theories of both philosophers merit a description in their own unique idioms, as well as having their respective basic tenets compared. It will be argued that, rather surprisingly, these tenets turn out be complementary - actually correcting each other – based on their shared notion of man as an animal symbolicum. Its fruitfulness will be substantiated for a limited number of topics within the humanities: perception, language, politics and ethics, and mental disorder, all to be considered from this perspective.
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World War II in Andreï Makine’s Historiographic Metafiction

‘No One Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Forgotten’

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Helena Duffy

Can it be ever possible to write about war in a work of fiction? asks a protagonist of one of Makine’s strongly metafictional and intensely historical novels. Helena Duffy’s World War II in Andreï Makine’s Historiographic Metafiction redirects this question at the Franco-Russian author’s fiction itself by investigating its portrayal of Soviet involvement in the struggle against Hitler. To write back into the history of the Great Fatherland War its unmourned victims — invalids, Jews, POWs, women or starving Leningraders — is the self-acknowledged ambition of a novelist committed to the postmodern empowerment of those hitherto silenced by dominant historiographies. Whether Makine succeeds at giving voice to those whose suffering jarred with the triumphalist narrative of the war concocted by Soviet authorities is the central concern of Duffy’s book.
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Cityscapes of the Future

Urban Spaces in Science Fiction

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Edited by Yael Maurer and Meyrav Koren-Kuik

Cityscapes of the Future: Urban Spaces in Science Fiction offers an examination of the central role played by urban spaces in science fictional narratives in various media forms from the literary to the ludic to the cinematic. Our contributors reflect on the ways diverse urban scenarios are central to the narratives’ science fictional imaginary and consider the pivotal roles cityscapes play in underscoring major thematic concerns, such as political struggles, social inequality and other cultural epistemologies. The chapters in the collection are divided into three sections examining the city and the body, cities of estrangement, and cities of the imagination.
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Edited by Grzegorz Maziarczyk and Joanna Klara Teske

Explorations of Consciousness in Contemporary Fiction is a collection of essays examining the potential of the contemporary English-language novel to represent and inquire into various aspects of the human mind. Grounded in contemporary literary theory as well as consciousness studies, the essays consider both narrative techniques by means of which writers attempt to render various states of consciousness (such as multimodality in digital fiction or experimental typography in post-traumatic narratives), and novelistic interpretations of issues currently being investigated by neurobiologists, cognitive scientists and philosophers of the mind (such as the adaptive value of consciousness or the process of self-integration by means of self-narration). The volume thus offers critical reflection upon the novel’s cognitive accomplishment in this challenging area.

Contributors are: Nathan D. Frank, Judit Friedrich, Justyna Galant, Marta Komsta, Péter Kristóf Makai, Ajitpaul Mangat, Grzegorz Maziarczyk, James McAdams, Daniel Panka, Barbara Puschmann-Nalenz, Joanna Klara Teske, Lloyd Issac Vayo, Dóra Vecsernyés, Sylwia Wilczewska
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Neo-Victorian Humour

Comic Subversions and Unlaughter in Contemporary Historical Re-Visions

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Edited by Marie-Luise Kohlke and Christian Gutleben

This volume highlights humour’s crucial role in shaping historical re-visions of the long nineteenth century, through modes ranging from subtle irony, camp excess, ribald farce, and aesthetic parody to blackly comic narrative games. It analyses neo-Victorian humour’s politicisation, its ideological functions and ethical implications across varied media, including fiction, drama, film, webcomics, and fashion. Contemporary humour maps the assumed distance between postmodernity and its targeted nineteenth-century referents only to repeatedly collapse the same in a seemingly self-defeating nihilistic project. This collection explores how neo-Victorian humour generates empathy and effective socio-political critique, dispensing symbolic justice, but also risks recycling the past’s invidious ideologies under the politically correct guise of comic debunking, even to the point of negating laughter itself.


"This rich and innovative collection invites us to reflect on the complex and various deployments of humour in neo-Victorian texts, where its consumers may wish at times that they could swallow back the laughter a scene or event provokes. It covers a range of approaches to humour utilised by neo-Victorian writers, dramatists, graphic novelists and filmmakers – including the deliberately and pompously unfunny, the traumatic, the absurd, the ribald, and the frankly distasteful – producing a richly satisfying anthology of innovative readings of ‘canonical’ neo-Victorian texts as well as those which are potential generic outliers. The collection explores what is funny in the neo-Victorian and who we are laughing at – the Victorians, as we like to imagine them, or ourselves, in ways we rarely acknowledge? This is a celebration of the parodic playfulness of a wide range of texts, from fiction to fashion, whilst offering a trenchant critique of the politics of postmodern laughter that will appeal to those working in adaptation studies, gender and queer studies, as well as literary and cultural studies more generally."
- Prof. Imelda Whelehan, University of Tasmania, Australia
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Black South African Autobiography After Deleuze

Belonging and Becoming in Self-Testimony

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Kgomotso M. Masemola

In Black South African Autobiography After Deleuze: Belonging and Becoming in Self-Testimony, Kgomotso Michael Masemola uses Gilles Deleuze’s theories of immanence and deterritorialization to explore South African autobiography as both the site and the limit of intertextual cultural memory. Detailing the intertextual turn that is commensurate with belonging to the African world and its diasporic reaches through the Black Atlantic, among others, this book covers autobiographies from Peter Abrahams to Es’kia Mphahlele, from Ellen Kuzwayo to Nelson Mandela. It proceeds further to reveal wider dimensions of angst and belonging that attend becoming through transcultural memory. Kgomotso Michael Masemola successfully marshalls Deleuzean theories in a sophisticated re-reading that makes clear the autobiographers’ epistemic access to wor(l)ds beyond South Africa.

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Flaubert, Beckett, NDiaye

The Aesthetics, Emotions and Politics of Failure

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Edited by Andrew Asibong and Aude Campmas

Gustave Flaubert, Samuel Beckett and Marie NDiaye can be considered as visionaries of a peculiarly radical form of failure, their protagonists and texts alike sliding inexorably into unmanageable states of paradox, incompletion and disintegration. What are the implications of these authors’ experiments in splitting and negativity, experiments which seem to indulge the most cynical aspects of nihilism, whilst at the same time grappling with the very foundations of politicized and psychic truth? In this unusual edited volume of comparative analyses, Andrew Asibong and Aude Campmas bring together ten provocative and illuminating essays, each of which approaches the various ‘failures’ of the bizarre trio of canonical francophone writers along three principal axes of investigation: the aesthetic, the emotional and the political.

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Neo-Baroques

From Latin America to the Hollywood Blockbuster

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Edited by Walter Moser, Angela Ndalianis and Peter Krieger

The Baroque is back in contemporary culture. The ten essays authored by international scholars, and three interventions by artists, examine the return of the baroque as Neo-Baroque through interdisciplinary perspectives. Understanding the Neo-Baroque as transcultural (between different cultures) and transhistorical (between historical moments) the contributors to this volume offer diverse perspectives that suggest the slipperiness of the Neo-Baroque may best be served by the term ‘Neo-Baroques’. Case studies analysed reflect this plurality and include: the productions of Belgian theatre company Abattoir Fermé; Claire Denis’ French New Extremist film Trouble Every Day; the novel Lujuria tropical by exiled El Salvadorian Quijada Urias; the science fiction blockbuster spectacles The Matrix and eXistenZ; and the spectacular grandeur of early Hollywood movie palaces and the contemporary Las Vegas Strip.

Contributors: Jens Baumgarten, Marjan Colletti, Bolívar Echeverría, Rita Eder, Hugh Hazelton, Monika Kaup, Peter Krieger, Patrick Mahon, Walter Moser, Angela Ndalianis, Richard Reddaway, Karel Vanhaesebrouck, Saige Walton.