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Edited by Dagmar Vandebosch and Theo D'haen

Goethe in 1827 famously claimed that national literatures did not mean very much anymore, and that the epoch of world literature was at hand. Since the turn of the twenty-first century, in the so-called "transnational turn" in literary studies, interest in world literature, and in how texts move beyond national or linguistic boundaries, has peaked. The authors of the 18 articles making up Literary Transnationalism(s) reflect on how literary texts move between cultures via translation, adaptation, and intertextual referencing, thus entering the field of world literature. The texts and subjects treated range from Caribbean, American, and Latin American literature to European migrant literatures, from the uses of pseudo-translations to the organizing principles of world histories of literature, from the dissemination of knowledge in the middle ages to circulation of literary journals and series in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Contributors include, amongst others, Jean Bessière, Johan Callens, Reindert Dhondt, César Domínguez, Erica Durante, Ottmar Ette, Kathleen Gyssels, Reine Meylaerts, and Djelal Kadir. Authors discussed comprise, amongst others, Carlos Fuentes, Ernest Hemingway, Edouard Glissant.

Violence de l'interprétation (XVIe-XVIIe s).

Le texte devant l'inquisition

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Edited by Anne Duprat

This collection of essays aims to measure the minimum scope for interpretation, with reference to texts produced under absolute constraints: those governing the trials of the Spanish Inquisition, as well as trials for witchcraft and libertinage, in polemical writings during the French wars of religion, or in the words of common law convicts in Italy and England.
Written by ten specialists in Early Modern literature and edited by Anne Duprat, these studies examine the violence inflicted on certain texts via the act of interpretation, and the means of resistance used in response. The essays illustrate how the violence of interpretation can also create the conditions necessary for the text to take on meaning.

Cet essai collectif propose de mesurer l’espace minimal nécessaire au déploiement d’une interprétation, à partir de textes produits sous une contrainte absolue : celle des procès d’Inquisition espagnols, mais aussi des procès pour sorcellerie ou libertinage, dans l’écriture polémique des guerres de religion en France, ou dans la parole de condamnés de droit commun en Italie et en Angleterre.
Produites par dix spécialistes de littérature des XVIe et XVIIe siècle, ces études réunies par Anne Duprat interrogent la violence qu’exerce l’interprétation sur certains textes, et les modes de résistance qu’ils déploient face à elle. Elles permettent de comprendre comment cette violence, qui fait dire à un texte ce qu’elle veut, peut aussi construire les conditions de possibilité de son sens.

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Edited by François Specq

Environmental Awareness and the Design of Literature offers analyses of the diverse ways in which literature helps us escape the rigid frames of commonly assumed worldviews and modes of seeing. Literary works are endowed with a capacity not only to reflect or to mediate, but to resist our environment, and thus to affect and transform our relation to the physical world. Each essay points to the way literature shapes the human perception of environment as intellectual adventures and forays that draw upon a number of historical, aesthetic, philosophical and phenomenological stances.

The Persistence of the Human

Consciousness, Meta-body and Survival in Contemporary Film and Literature

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Matthew Escobar

Recent narrative fiction and film increasingly exploit, explore and thematize the embodied mind, revealing the tenacity of a certain brand of humanism. The presence of narratively based concepts of personal identity even in texts which explore posthuman possibilities is strong proof that our basic understanding of what it means to be human has, despite appearances, remained mostly unchanged. This is so even though our perception of time has been greatly modified by the same technology which both interrupts and allows for the rearrangement of our experience of time at a rate and a level of ease which, until recently, had never been possible.

Basing his views on a long line of philosophers and literary theorists such as Paul Ricoeur, Daniel Dennett and Francisco Varela, Escobar maintains in The Persistence of the Human that narrative plays an essential role in the process of constituting and maintaining a sense of self. It is narrative’s effect on the embodied mind which gives it such force. Narrative projects us into possible spaces, shaping a temporary corporeality termed the “meta-body,” a hybrid shared by the lived body and an imagined corporeal sense. The meta-body is a secondary embodiment that we inhabit for however long our narrative immersion lasts – something which, in today’s world, may be a question of milliseconds or hours. The more agreeable the meta-body is, the less happy we are upon being abruptly removed from it, though the return is essential.

We want to be able to slip back and forth between this secondary embodiment and that of our lived body; each move entails both forgetting and remembering different subject positions (loss and recuperation being salient themes in the works which highlight this process). The negotiation of the transfer between these states is shaped by culture and technology and this is something which is precisely in flux now as multiple, ephemeral narrative immersion experiences are created by the different screens we come into contact with.

Scanning the Hypnoglyph

Sleep in Modernist and Postmodern Representation

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Nathaniel Wallace

Nathaniel Wallace’s Scanning the Hypnoglyph chronicles a contemporary genre that exploits sleep’s evocative dimensions. While dreams, sleeping nudes, and other facets of the dormant state were popular with artists of the early twentieth century (and long before), sleep experiences have given rise to an even wider range of postmodern artwork. Scanning the Hypnoglyph first assesses the modernist framework wherein the sleeping subject typically enjoys firm psychic grounding. As postmodernism begins, subjective space is fragmented, the representation of sleep reflecting the trend. Among other topics, this book demonstrates how portrayals of dormant individuals can reveal imprints of the self. Gender issues are taken up as well. “Mainstream,” heterosexual representations are considered along with depictions of gay, lesbian, and androgynous sleepers.

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Edited by Dunja M. Mohr and Birgit Däwes

Radical Planes? 9/11 and Patterns of Continuity, edited by Dunja M. Mohr and Birgit Däwes, explores the intersections between narrative disruption and continuity in post-9/11 narratives from an interdisciplinary transnational perspective, foregrounding the transatlantic cultural memory of 9/11. Contesting the earlier notion of a cataclysm that has changed ‘everything,’ and critically reflecting on American exceptionalism, the collection offers an inquiry into what has gone unchanged in terms of pre-9/11, post-9/11, and post-post-9/11 issues and what silences persist. How do literature and performative and visual arts negotiate this precarious balance of a pervasive discourse of change and emerging patterns of political, ideological, and cultural continuity?

Picaresque Fiction Today

The Trickster in Contemporary Anglophone and Italian Literature

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Luigi Gussago

In Picaresque Fiction Today Luigi Gussago examines the development of the picaresque in contemporary Anglophone and Italian fiction. Far from being an extinct narrative form, confined to the pages of its original Spanish sources or their later British imitators, the tale of roguery has been revisited through the centuries from a host of disparate angles. Throughout their wanderings, picaresque antiheroes are dragged into debates on the credibility of historical facts, gender mystifications, rational thinking, or any simplistic definition of the outcast.
Referring to a corpus of eight contemporary novels, the author retraces a textual legacy linking the traditional picaresque to its recent descendants, with the main purpose of identifying the way picaresque novels offer a privileged insight into our sceptical times.

Cover illustration by Eugene Ivanov "Night Airing", 2007.

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Beatrijs Vanacker

In Altérité et identité dans les « histoires anglaises » au XVIIIe siècle. Contexte(s), réception et discours Beatrijs Vanacker offers new insights into the widespread Anglomania-movement that pervaded French literary and cultural life during the 18th century. She examines the ambivalent discourse on literary and cultural “Englishness” as it took form in a wide array of non-fictional textual practices (French travel literature, literary journals,…). She also analyses the sociocultural and literary dynamics at work in a corpus of histoires angloises, by making use of concepts drawn from the fields of discourse analysis and Imagology.

Dans Altérité et identité dans les « histoires anglaises » au XVIIIe siècle. Contexte(s), réception et discours Beatrijs Vanacker présente une vue inédite sur le mouvement d’Anglomanie qui a inondé la littérature et la culture françaises au XVIIIe siècle. Cet ouvrage contient une étude du discours ambivalent au sujet de l’anglicité, littéraire et culturelle, tel qu’il prit forme dans les récits de voyage et les journaux littéraires en France, et présente une analyse des dynamismes socio-culturels et littéraires mis en œuvre dans un corpus d’histoires angloises, ayant recours à des concepts de l’analyse du discours et de l’Imagologie.

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Edited by Robin Lefere and Nadia Lie

This book brings together scholars from Europe, Latin America and the United States in a shared effort to assess the critical potential of the transnational paradigm for Spanish and Latin American cinema. After an introductory part, including a state of the art discussion of some 50 publications, the book presents a set of strategically chosen case-studies, grouped into three categories: transnational modes of production, transnational directors, and transnational modes of narration. Written by some of the leading scholars in Hispanic film studies, the book includes contributions on individual directors and producers (e.g. Almodóvar, Buñuel and González Iñárritu), as well as on genres (road movie), interstitial subjectivities (children, queer and diasporic personalities) and festivals (e.g. BAFICI).

Este libro, que es el fruto de la colaboración de académicos de Europa, América Latina y Estados Unidos, debate y detalla la fecundidad crítica del paradigma transnacional en los cines español y latinoamericano. Después de una parte teórica que ofrece un estado de la cuestión basado en más de 50 publicaciones, analiza casos emblemáticos por diversas razones, distribuidos en tres categorías: modos de producción transnacionales, directores transnacionales, narraciones transnacionales. Escritos por destacados especialistas del cine hispánico, los estudios se centran en importantes directores y productores (Almodóvar, Buñuel, González Iñárritu, etc.), en géneros (como la road movie), en subjetividades específicas (niños, personalidades queer o marcadas por el exilio) y en festivales (entre otros, el BAFICI).

Writings of Persuasion and Dissonance in the Great War

That Better Whiles May Follow Worse

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Edited by David Owen and Maria Cristina Pividori

Through chapters dedicated to specific writers and texts, Writings of Persuasion and Dissonance in the Great War is a collection of essays examining literary responses to the Great War, particularly the confrontation of two distinct languages.
One of these reflects nineteenth-century ideals of war as a noble sacrifice; the other portrays the hopeless, brutal reality of the trenches.
The ultimate aim of this volume is to convey and reinforce the notion that no explicit literary language can ever be regarded as the definitive language of the Great War, nor can it ever hope to represent this conflict in its entirety. The collection also uncovers how memory constantly develops, triggering distinct and even contradictory responses from those involved in the complex process of remembering.

Contributors: Donna Coates, Brian Dillon, Monique Dumontet, Dorothea Flothow, Elizabeth Galway, Laurie Kaplan, Sara Martín Alegre, Silvia Mergenthal, Andrew Monnickendam, David Owen, Andrew Palmer, Bill Phillips, Cristina Pividori, Esther Pujolrás-Noguer, Richard Smith