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Contemporary Fairy-Tale Magic

Subverting Gender and Genre

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Edited by Lydia Brugué and Auba Llompart

Contemporary Fairy-Tale Magic, edited by Lydia Brugué and Auba Llompart, studies the impact of fairy tales on contemporary cultures from an interdisciplinary perspective, with special emphasis on how literature and film are retelling classic fairy tales for modern audiences. We are currently witnessing a resurgence of fairy tales and fairy-tale characters and motifs in art and popular culture, as well as an increasing and renewed interest in reinventing and subverting these narratives to adapt them to the expectations and needs of the contemporary public. The essays also observe how the influence of academic disciplines like Gender Studies and current literary and cinematic trends also play an important part in the revision of fairy-tale plots, characters and themes.

Perspectives on Evil

From Banality to Genocide

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Edited by Kanta Dihal

The question of evil is one of the oldest and most intensely studied topics in intellectual history. In fiction, legend and mythology the boundary between good and evil is often depicted as clear-cut, at least to the reader or listener, who is supposed to understand such tales as lessons and warnings. Evil is something that must be avoided by the hero in some cases and vanquished in others; it is either the exact opposite of the expected good behaviour, or its complete absence. Even so, for the characters in these didactic fictions, it turns out to be deceptively easy to fall to the infernal, ‘dark’ side. This volume draws on the expertise of an interdisciplinary group of contributors to chart events and deeds of an ‘evil’ nature that have been lived in the (recent) past and have become part of history, from individual to institutionalised evil.

A Dialogue between Haizi’s Poetry and the Gospel of Luke

Chinese Homecoming and the Relationship with Jesus Christ

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Xiaoli Yang

In A Dialogue between Haizi’s Poetry and the Gospel of Luke Xiaoli Yang offers a conversation between the Chinese soul-searching found in Haizi’s (1964–1989) poetry and the gospel of Jesus Christ through Luke’s testimony. It creates a unique contextual poetic lens that appreciates a generation of the Chinese homecoming journey through Haizi’s poetry, and explores its relationship with Jesus Christ. As the dialogical journey, it names four stages of homecoming—roots, vision, journey and arrival. By taking an interdisciplinary approach—literary study, inter-cultural dialogue and comparative theology, Xiaoli Yang convincingly demonstrates that the common language between the poet Haizi and the Lukan Jesus provides a crucial and rich source of data for an ongoing table conversation between culture and faith.

Publishing in Joyce's Ulysses

Newspapers, Advertising and Printing

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Edited by William Brockman, Tekla Mecsnóber and Sabrina Alonso

Appearing in an era of rapid change in the printing and publishing industries, James Joyce’s Ulysses exploited and exemplified those industries to the degree that the book can be seen as a virtual museum of 1904 media. Publishing in Joyce's “Ulysses”: Newspapers, Advertising and Printing, edited by William S. Brockman, Tekla Mecsnóber and Sabrina Alonso, gathers twelve essays by Joyce scholars exploring facets of those trades that pervade the substance of the book. Essays explore the book’s incorporation of mass-market weekly magazines, contemporary advertising slogans, newspaper clippings, the “Aeolus” episode’s printing office and the varied typographic styles of successive editions of Ulysses. Placing Joyce’s work in its historical milieu, the collection offers a fresh perspective on modern print culture.

Contributors are: Sabrina Alonso, Harald Beck, William S. Brockman, Elisabetta d'Erme, Judith Harrington, Matthew Hayward, Sangam MacDuff, Tekla Mecsnóber, Tamara Radak, Fritz Senn, David Spurr, Jolanta Wawrzycka.

Subjects Barbarian, Monstrous, and Wild

Encounters in the Arts and Contemporary Politics

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Edited by Maria Boletsi and Tyler Sage

Subjects Barbarian, Monstrous, and Wild responds to a contemporary political climate in which historically invested figures of otherness—barbarians, savages, monsters—have become common discursive currency. Through questionable historical comparisons, politicians and journalists evoke barbaric or primitive forces threatening civilization in order to exacerbate the fear of others, diagnose civilizational decline, or feed nostalgic restorative projects. These evocations often demand that forms of oppression, discrimination, and violence be continued or renewed.
In this context, the collected essays explore the dispossessing effects of these figures but also their capacities for reimagining subjectivity, agency, and resistance to contemporary forms of power. Emphasizing intersections of the aesthetic and the political, these essays read canonical works alongside contemporary literature, film, art, music, and protest cultures. They interrogate the violent histories but also the subversive potentials of figures barbarous, monstrous, or wild, while illustrating the risks in affirmative resignifications or new mobilizations.

Contributors: Sophie van den Bergh, Maria Boletsi, Siebe Bluijs, Giulia Champion, Cui Chen, Tom Curran, Andries Hiskes, Tyler Sage, Cansu Soyupak, Ruby de Vos, Mareen Will

Lacan and Fantasy Literature

Portents of Modernity in Late-Victorian and Edwardian Fiction

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Josephine Sharoni

Eschewing the all-pervading contextual approach to literary criticism, this book takes a Lacanian view of several popular British fantasy texts of the late 19th century such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula, revealing the significance of the historical context; the advent of a modern democratic urban society in place of the traditional agrarian one. Moreover, counter-intuitively it turns out that fantasy literature is analogous to modern Galilean science in its manipulation of the symbolic thereby changing our conception of reality. It is imaginary devices such as vampires and ape-men, which in conjunction with Lacanian theory say something additional of the truth about – primarily sexual – aspects of human subjectivity and culture, repressed by the contemporary hegemonic discourses.

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Edited by Brynnar Swenson

In Literature and the Encounter with Immanence Brynnar Swenson collects nine original essays that approach the relationship between literature and immanence through methodologies grounded in the philosophy of Spinoza. One of Spinoza’s most provocative claims is a simple declaration of ignorance: “We do not know what a body can do.” A literary theory based on immanence privileges the ontological status of the text and the material act of reading. Rather than ask what a text means, the essays here ask what a text can do. Each essay documents a distinct literary and philosophical encounter with immanence and, as a result, opens up a space to read literature as one would read philosophy and vice versa.

Creature Discomfort

Fauna-criticism, Ethics and the Representation of Animals in Spanish American Fiction and Poetry

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Scott M. DeVries

In Creature Discomfort: Fauna-criticism, Ethics, and the Representation of Animals in Spanish American Fiction and Poetry, Scott M. DeVries uncovers a tradition in Spanish American literature where animal-ethical representations anticipate many of the most pressing concerns from present debates in animal studies. The author documents moments from the corpus that articulate long-standing positions such as a defense of animal rights or advocacy for liberationism, that engage in literary philosophical meditations concerning mind theory and animal sentience, and that anticipate current ideas from Critical Animal Studies including the rejection of hierarchical differentiations between the categories human and nonhuman.

Creature Discomfort innovates the notion of “fauna-criticism” as a new literary approach within animal studies; this kind of analysis emphasizes the reframing of literary history to expound animal ethical positions from literary texts, both those that have been considered canonical as well as those that have long been neglected. In this study, DeVries employs fauna-criticism to examine nonhuman sentience, animal interiority, and other ethical issues such as the livestock and pet industries, circuses, zoos, hunting, and species extinction in fictional narrative and poetry from the nineteenth century, modernista, Regional, indigenista, and contemporary periods of Spanish American literature.

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Edited by Stefano Ercolino, Massimo Fusillo, Mirko Lino and Luca Zenobi

Since cinema is a composite language, describing a movie is a complex challenge for critics and writers, and greatly differs from the ancient and successful genre of the ekphrasis, the literary description of a visual work of art. Imaginary Films in Literature deals with a specific and significant case within this broad category: the description of imaginary, non-existent movies – a practice that is more widespread than one might expect, especially in North American postmodern fiction. Along with theoretical contributions, the book includes the analyses of some case studies focusing on the borders between the visual and the literary, intermedial practices of hybridization, the limits of representation, and other related notions such as “memory”, “fragmentation”, “desire”, “genre”, “authorship”, and “censorship”.

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Kathryn L. Ambrose

Kathryn Ambrose offers a new approach to the Woman Question in mid- to late-nineteenth-century English, German and Russian literature. Using a methodological framework based on feminist theory and post-structuralism, she provides a re-vision of canonical texts (such as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Middlemarch, Effi Briest, Fathers and Children and Anna Karenina) alongside lesser-known works by Emily and Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, Theodor Storm, Theodor Fontane, Ivan Turgenev and Leo Tolstoy. Her exploration of the semiotics of barriers – as opposed to the established approach of the semiotics of space – makes for a rewarding reading of this period of literature and establishes new cross-cultural and literary connections between the three countries.