Browse results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 68 items for :

  • Literature, Arts & Science x
  • Social Sciences x
  • English & Anglophone x
  • Brill | Rodopi x
  • Literature and Cultural Studies x
Clear All
Comic Subversions and Unlaughter in Contemporary Historical Re-Visions
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
Author: Michael Sharkey
This volume contains a selection of the Australian poet Michael Sharkey’s uncollected essays and occasional writings on poetics and poets, chiefly Australian and New Zealand. Reviews and conversations with other poets highlight Sharkey’s concern with preserving and interrogating cultural memory and his engagement with the practice and championing of poetry. Poets discussed range from Lord Byron to colonial-era and early-twentieth-century poets (Francis Adams, David McKee Wright, and Zora Cross), under-represented Australian women poets of World War I, traditionalists and experimentalists, including several ‘New Australian Poetry’ activists of the 1970s, and contemporary Australian and New Zealand poets. Writings on poetics address form and tradition, the teaching and reception of poetry, and canon-formation. The collection is culled from commissioned and occasional contributions to anthologies of practical poetics, journals devoted to literary and cultural history and book reviewing, as well as newspaper and small-magazine features from the 1980s to the present. The writing reflects Sharkey’s poetic practice and pedagogy relating to the teaching of literature, rhetorical analysis, cultural studies, and writing in universities, schools, and cultural organizations in Australia, New Zealand, China, and Germany. It also evidences Sharkey’s familiarity with literatures written in English and his wider career in publishing, editing, free-lance journalism, and the promotion of Australian and New Zealand literature, especially poetry.
Landscapes of Tomorrow
An innovative volume of interdisciplinary essays on the significant British writer J. G. Ballard (1930-2009), exploring the physical, cultural and intertextual landscapes in several key novels with a central focus on The Atrocity Exhibition (1970), one of the most challenging texts in contemporary literature. Contributors include established critics of Ballard alongside newcomers. Different spatial concepts underpin the essays, from the landscapes of Ballard’s youth in Shanghai and his life in suburban London, to nuclear testing spaces and outer space exploration. Figurative locations typical of Ballard’s work are explored, including the beach, the motorway, the high-rise and the shopping mall. Textual spaces are explored through Ballard’s affiliation with modernist literary forms, including surrealist prose writing and collage, and poetic romanticism.
Sound Effects combines literary criticism and psychoanalytic theory in eleven original articles which explore the potential of the object voice as an analytic tool to approach fiction. Alongside the gaze, the voice is Jacques Lacan’s original addition to the set of partial objects of classical psychoanalysis, and has only recently been theorised by Mladen Dolar in A Voice and Nothing More (2006). With notable exceptions like Garrett Stewart’s Reading Voices (1990), the sonorous element in fiction has received little scholarly attention in comparison with poetry and drama. Sound Effects is a contribution to the burgeoning field of sound studies, and sets out to fill this gap through selective readings of English and American fiction of the last two hundred years.

Contributors: Fred Botting, Natalja Chestopalova, Mladen Dolar, Matt Foley, Alex Hope, Phillip Mahoney, Sylvia Mieszkowski, Jorge Sacido-Romero, Marcin Stawiarski, Garrett Stewart, Peter Weise, and Bruce Wyse.
Gender, Literature and the Enigma of Consciousness
Author: Daphne M. Grace
“Articulations and expressions of gender can be destabilising, transgressive, revolutionary and radical, encompassing both a painful legacy of oppression and a joyous exploration of new experience.” Analysing key texts from the 19th to 21st centuries, this book explores a range of British and Anglophone authors to contextualise women’s writing and feminist theory with ongoing debates in consciousness studies. Discussing writers who strive to redefine the gendered world of “sexualized” space, whether internal or external, mental or physical, this book argues how the “delusion” of gender difference can be addressed and challenged. In literary theory and in representations of the female body in literature, identity has increasingly become a shifting, multiple, renegotiable—and controversial—concept. While acknowledging historical and cultural constructions of sexuality, “writing the body” must ultimately incorporate knowledge of human consciousness. Here, an understanding of consciousness from contemporary science (especially quantum theory)—as the fundamental building block of existence, beyond the body—allows unique insights into literary texts to elucidate the problem of subjectivity and what it means to be human. Including discussion of topics such as feminism and androgyny, agency and entrapment, masculinities and masquerade, insanity and emotion, and individual and social empowerment, this study also creates a lively engagement with the literary process as a means of fathoming the “enigma” of consciousness.
Pointed Encounters establishes the literary significance of representations of dance in poetry, song, dance manuals, and fiction written between 1750 and 1830. Presenting original readings of canonical texts and fresh readings of neglected but significant literary works, this book traces the complicated role of social dancing in Scottish culture and identifies the hitherto unexplored motif of dance as an outwardly conforming, yet covertly subversive, expression of Scottish identity during the period. The volume draws upon diverse yet mutually revealing texts, from traditional dance and music to Sir Walter Scott and contemporary Scottish women novelists, to offer students and scholars of Scottish and English literature a fresh insight into the socio-cultural context of the British state after 1746.
Post-Millennial Essays from East to West
This exciting new volume presents recent research by internationally recognised Joyce scholars from Europe and North America. Entitled Joycean Unions: Post-Millennial Essays from East to West, it pays particular attention to contemporary Eastern and Western European perspectives on the immensely influential work of the Irish writer James Joyce (1882-1941). The essays collected in this volume uncover various European sources of inspiration for Joyce’s early aesthetic theories, for the “Sirens”, “Cyclops”, “Circe” and “Eumaeus” episodes of his modernist masterwork Ulysses (1922) and for his last tour de force Finnegans Wake (1939). They present inspiring new ways of reading Joyce’s work, re-investigate the fascinating phenomenon of literary “error”, and review aspects of Joyce’s varied afterlife in Ireland and Eastern Europe. The book will be of interest to scholars, students and the general audience interested in English literature, Modernism, European Studies, Irish Studies and of course the works of James Joyce.
Women in Australian Fiction, 1984-1994
Chaos. Pain. Self-mutilation. Women starve themselves. They burn or slash their own flesh or their babies’ throats, and slam their newborns against walls. Their bodies are the canvases on which the suffering of the soul carves itself with knife and razor. In Australian fiction written by women between 1984 and 1994, female characters inscribe their inner chaos on their bodies to exert whatever power they have over themselves. Their self-inflicted pain is both reaction and language, the bodily sign not only of their enfeeblement but also to a certain extent of their empowerment, of themselves and their world. The texts considered in this book – chiefly by Margaret Coombs, Kate Grenville, Fiona Place, Penelope Rowe, Leone Sperling, and Amy Witting – function as both defiance and acceptance of prevailing discourses of femininity and patriarchy, between submission and a possible future. The narratives of anorexia, bulimia, fatness, self-mutilation, incest, and murder shock the reader into an understanding of deeper meanings of body and soul, and prompt a tentative interpretation of fiction in relation to the world of ‘real’ women and men in contemporary (white) Australia. This is affective literature with the reader in voyeuristic complicity. Holding up the mirror of fiction, the women writers act perforce as a social lever, their narratives as Bildungsromane. But there is a risk, that of reinforcing stereotypes and codes of conduct which, supposedly long gone, still represent women as victims. Why are the female characters (self-)destroyers and victims? Why are they not heroes, saviours or conquerors? If women read about women / themselves and feel pity for the Other they read about, they will also feel pity for themselves: there is little happiness in being a woman. But infanticide and distorting the body are problem-solving behaviours. In truth, the bodies of the female characters bear the marks and scars of the history of their mothers and the history of their grandmothers – indeed, that of their own: the history of survivors.
Ecocriticism and the Event of Postcolonial Fiction
Author: Roman Bartosch
This book addresses the role and potential of literature in the process of contesting and re-evaluating concepts of nature and animality, describing one’s individual environment as the starting point for such negotiations. It employs the notion of the ‘literary event’ to discuss the specific literary quality of verbal art conceptualised as EnvironMentality. EnvironMentality is grounded on the understanding that fiction does not explain or second scientific and philosophical notions but that it poses a fundamental challenge to any form of knowledge manifesting in processes determined by the human capacity to think beyond a given hermeneutic situation. Bartosch foregrounds the dialectics of understanding the other by means of literary interpretation in ecocritical readings of novels by Amitav Ghosh, Zakes Mda, Yann Martel, Margaret Atwood and J.M. Coetzee, arguing that EnvironMentality helps us as readers of fiction to learn from the books we read that which can only be learned by means of reading: to “think like a mountain” (Aldo Leopold) and to know “what it is like to be a bat” (Thomas Nagel).
Rethinking Orality, Literacy, Performance, and Documentation Practices
This book is the first ever major effort to document and study hundreds of texts from an African (Ugandan) oral culture for children – folktales, riddles, and rhymes – and at the same time to make them available in the local languages and to focus on their cultural and national value. The author surveys the history of collecting in Uganda and situates the texts in their broader geographical, historical, socio-cultural and educational setting, including the early collecting efforts of heritage-minded Ugandans and European missionaries. Most of this preservational work is elusive and under-explored – so that the present book constitutes a major pioneering summary of Ugandan oral culture for children.
The book addresses key questions such as: What happens when we collect, transcribe, and translate an oral text? How do we transfer components of the oral text to the page? What are the challenges of translating oral forms targeting specifi¬cally a child audience, and what choices ought to be made in the process? The book provides possible ways of rethink¬ing the debate about orality and literacy as modes of representation – the generic interrelationship between the oral and the written text, and how the two can enter dialogue through transcription and translation. The latter are effective means to archive these oral forms for children and use them to promote literacy and numeracy skills in predominantly oral communities.
In the current institutions of formal education in Uganda, this coexistence of orality and literacy is evident in the class¬room environment, where the oral text is turned into words on the page to encourage literacy. Through transcription, the collector is able to capture oral texts in other forms – audio, written, visual, and digital. With the new technologies available, the task is not as arduous as in the past, and the information thus captured is made available in all its wealth for purposes of instruction or entertainment.