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Volume Editor: Cara Cilano
From Solidarity to Schisms is the first collection to expand discussions of the effects the events of 11 September 2001 and their aftermath have had on fiction and film beyond an exclusively US-based focus. The essays brought together here go beyond critiquing the US to examine the cultural shifts taking place in fiction and cinema from places such as Britain, France, Germany, Australia, Pakistan, Canada, Israel, and Iran. From these many sites of production, the works discussed in this collection illustrate more precisely how 9/11 was “global” without succumbing to neat categorizations, such as “us vs. them,” “East vs. West,” “Christianity vs. Islam,” and so on. From Solidarity to Schisms is an important supplement to the US-centered cultural and critical production addressing 9/11, providing researchers and teachers alike with resources and contexts that will allow them to broaden their own examinations of novels and films by Americans and about the US. It also provides a valuable resource for students and scholars of contemporary global history and international politics who are interested in approaching 9/11, terrorism and counter-terrorism, and related topics from a cultural standpoint.
This book details Harris’s travels throughout the globe among common people through sixty-seven countries over twelve years. She stayed in a harem, wore a burqa, and slept on a sidewalk through the biggest battle in the Algerian War! Questions evoke critical reading and philosophical thought, and the book includes a bibliography of suggestions for further reading.
Editor: Halina Stephan
Living in Translation: Polish Writers in America discusses the interaction of Polish and American culture, the transfer of the Central European experience abroad and the acculturation of major representatives of Polish literature to the United States. Contributions written by American specialists in Polish Studies tell the story of contemporary Polish expatriates who recently lived or are currently living in the U.S. These authors include directors/screen writers Roman Polanski and Agnieszka Holland, the Nobel Prize laureate poet Czeslaw Milosz, theatre critic Jan Kott, prose writer Jerzy Kosinski, essayist Eva Hoffman, and poet/translator Stanislaw Baranczak. Living in Translation presents these and other writers in terms of the duality of their profiles resulting from their engagement in two different cultures. It documents problems encountered by those who became expatriates in response to a totalitarian system they had left behind. And it revises and updates the image of the Polish exile authors, refocusing it along the lines of culture transfer, border straddling, and benefits resulting from a transcultural existence.
The Great War and American Popular Literature
The Conning of America examines for the first time from a literary perspective the propaganda writings produced in the United States during the period of World War I. This American propaganda literature was written in two distinct stages: the first stage was written by the pro-War establishment based on the East Coast of the United States before American entry into the conflict. It attempted to vilify Germany and her Allies while at the same time showing England, France, and Russia as the victims of a well-planned organized German plan for world domination—beginning with the invasion of neutral Belgium. The literature urged the United States to prepare for a German invasion of America and to be wary of German-Americans, who most likely were spies in the employ of the Imperial German government. The second stage of propaganda literature occurred when America declared war on the Central Powers in April 1917.
While still using the blood thirsty militaristic Hun as a symbol of German inherent evil, the propaganda literature began to portray the Americans as the saviors of European culture. American boys were being sent to Europe on a spiritual mission to purify decadent European culture, while at the same time their sacrifice would rejuvenate and sanctify American values in the fire of the conflict in order for America to take her proper place in the new post-war order.
A Life of Edward William Bok, 1863-1930
Author: Hans Krabbendam
Edward William Bok was the most famous Dutch-American in early twentieth-century America thanks to his thirty-year editorship of the Ladies’ Home Journal, the most prestigious women’s magazine of the day. This first complete coverage of Edward Bok’s life places him against his ethnic background and portrays him as the spokesman for and the molder of the American middle class between 1890 and 1930. He acted as a mediator between a Victorian and a modern society, reconciling consumerism with idealism. As a Dutch immigrant he became a model for successful adaptation to a new country and modern times. He used his national reputation to restore America’s internationalism in the 1920s. His life story is relevant to those interested in the history of immigration, journalism, the rise of big business, the women’s movement, and the Progressive Movement.
On the centenary of Fontane’s death and at the turn of the century these essays take a new look at this supreme chronicler of Prussia and of the Germany that emerges after 1871. Written by scholars from different countries and disciplines, they focus on novels and theatre reviews from the perspectives of philosophy, sociology, comparative literature and translation theory, and in the contexts of topography and painting. Connections and crosscurrents emerge to reveal new aspects of Fontane’s poetics and to produce contrasting but complementary readings of his novels. He appears in the company of predecessors and contemporaries, such as Scott, Thackeray, Saar, Ibsen, Turgenev, but also in that of writers he has rarely, if ever, been seen beside, such as E.T.A. Hoffmann, Stendhal, Trollope, Henry James and Edith Wharton, Beckett and Faulkner. The historical novel and the social position of women are each a recurring focus of interest. Fontane emerges as receptive to other voices, as a precursor of developments in modern narrative, and confirmed as the novelist who brings the nineteenth-century German novel closest to the broad traditions of European realism.
Author: Judith Newman
Drawing on personal interviews, manuscript collections, and the author's unpublished writings, Judie Newman offers a comprehensive study of the work of Alison Lurie from her early involvement in the Poets' Theatre to the AIDS comedy of her most recent novel, The Last Resort (1988).
In her profound social and intellectual engagement with American Utopianism, from its historical origins through such contemporary manifestations as Walter Benjamin's Hollywood, the American University, feminist theorisations, the religious cult and the gay heterotopia, and in her intertextual reworkings of folk and fairy tale, biography, diary novel, the ‘International Theme’ and the classic ghost story, Lurie maintains an uncanny ability to serve critical aesthetic purposes within a popular fictional form.
Semiotic comedies - comedies of the sign - rather than novels of manners, Lurie's fictions place her squarely within a radical American tradition.
Urban displacement and failed encounters in surrealist and postmodern writing
Author: Daniela Daniele
This book traces the origins of the Postmodern eclectic grammar of linguistic collision back in the Surrealist poetics of ruins. Keeping in mind the images of lost direction in the big city as a central figure in the discussion of both the Modern and Postmodern aesthetics of displacement, Daniele starts comparing the epiphanic encounters of the Baudelairian flâneur in metropolitan Paris - in constant search for the traces of a lost symbolic order - with Breton's enigmatic pursuit of Nadja, the elusive sphinx in the crowd who moves in a mental territory of puzzling condensations and of ineffable objets trouvé. In his visual and written work, Marcel Duchamp was probably the first artist to envision the space of the crowd as a trans-urban, multiple dimension: a cool arena of disjunctive encounters contributing to transform the Surrealist erotic space of desire in a cooler, open field of performance.
Deeply influenced by Duchamp's hybrid aesthetics, American Postmodern writers such as Donald Barthelme and Thomas Pynchon, and the performance artist Laurie Anderson, represent metropolis as a “geographical incest”, as a plural, entropic semiosphere which transcends the notion of urban community to become the tolerant receptacle of an ethnic and discoursive multiplicity, an electronic area of linguistic collisions translatable in new fragmented and unfinished narratives. Evoking the assemblages of Abstract Expressionists, the debris of Simon Rodia “junk art”, and the hybrid language of Postmodern architecture, this neo-Surrealist narrative discourse transforms the epiphanic traces envisioned by the Baudelairian and Bretonian heroes in partial parodies, in enigmatic fragments whose ultimate source transcends the narrator's knowledge. The conceptual strategy which is constitutive of these texts implicitly asks the puzzled reader to disentangle the entropic plots, immerging him in the midst of a “linguistic wilderness,” where all opposites - fact and fiction, man and machine, man and female - enigmatically and humorously coexist.
Transatlantic Dialogues, 1775-1815
The years between 1775 and 1815 constitute a crucial episode in the evolutionary history of Europe and America. Between the start of the American Revolution, with the first armed clashes between British regulars and American militiamen at Concord and Lexington, and the closing act of the French Revolution, with the eclipse of Napoleon's dreams of pan-European glory on the battlefield of Waterloo, America and Europe witnessed the rise and fall of radicalism, which left virtually no aspect of public and private life untouched. While the American colonies managed to wrench themselves away from their colonial parent, and while France careered down the stormy rapids of its own Revolution, Great Britain went through the turbulent process of redefining itself vis-à-vis both these emerging nations, and the world at large. But the period 1775 to 1815 offers more than the two ideological Revolutions that determined the face of modern America and Europe: feeding into and emanating from these Revolutions there were major watersheds in virtually all areas of cultural, intellectual and political life - varying from the rise of Romanticism to the birth of abolitionism, and from the beginnings of modern feminism to the creation of modern nationhood and its enduring cultural stereotypes.
In this collection of interdisciplinary essays, historians and literary critics from both sides of the Atlantic analyze a broad spectrum of the watersheds and faultlines that arose in this formative era of Euro-American relations. Individually, the essays trace one or more of the transatlantic patterns of intellectual, cultural or scientific cross-pollination between the Old and the New World, between pre- and post-Revolutionary modes and mores. Collectively, the essays argue that the many revolutions that produced the national ideologies, identities and ideas of state of present-day America and Europe did not merely play a role in national debates, but that they very much belonged to an intricate network of transnational and, more particularly, transatlantic dialogues.
The subject of Images of America in Scandinavia, the first comprehensive study of its kind, is as multifaceted, complex, and overwhelming as America or the United States, itself. It concerns the nature and function, reality and fiction of such images in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden past and present. The book is intended to be a source of solid information as well as a starting point for further inquiries into its cultural territory.
Part of its focus is on images of America rooted in printed sources, but, in addition, general surveys of other cultural signs of America in the Scandinavian countries present a broader picture and provide some of the background for the predominantly literary images. Issues such as government and politics, popular and vanguard music and art, and socio-cultural institutions intermittently come to the fore.
Framing the volume's three pairs of national surveys is an introductory chapter, which addresses the entire subject from a bird's-eye view, and a concluding chapter, which, by contrast, delves into the cross-fire of sentiments defining people whose images of America, are both American and Scandinavian. The discussion of America as perceived in Scandinavia sheds new light on intriguing inter-Scandinavian cultural distinctions and borderlines.
Countless books and articles, methods and theories, have been devoted to the study of national and cultural identity. Still, the exchanges between such identities and the images they engender - so indispensable for the participants in a global culture - remain clouded by many misconceptions. Images of America in Scandinavia whose editors and authors all have Scandinavian backgrounds, will contribute an improved understanding of the cultural interplay between Scandinavia and the United States of America.