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Fourteen Hard Questions and Straight Answers about a Baltic Country
Author: Jukka Rislakki
What do we know about Latvia and the Latvians? A Baltic (not Balkan) nation that emerged from fifty years under the Soviet Union – interrupted by a brief but brutal Nazi-German occupation and a devastating war – now a member of the European Union and NATO. Yes, but what else? Relentless accusations keep appearing, especially in Russian media, often repeated in the West: “Latvian soldiers single-handedly saved Lenin’s revolution in 1917”, “Latvians killed Tsar Nikolai II and the Royal family”, “Latvia was a thoroughly anti-Semitic country and Latvians started killing Jews even before the Germans arrived in 1941”, “Nazi revival is rampant in today's Latvia”, “The Russian minority is persecuted in Latvia...”
True, false or in-between? The Finnish journalist and author Jukka Rislakki examines charges like these and provides an outline of Latvia's recent history while attempting to separate documented historical fact from misinformation and deliberate disinformation. His analysis helps to explain why the Baltic States (population 7 million) consistently top the enemy lists in public opinion polls of Russia (143 million). His knowledge of the Baltic languages allows him to make use of local sources and up-to-date historical research. He is a former Baltic States correspondent for Finland's largest daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat and the author of several books on Finnish and Latvian history. As a neutral, experienced and often critical observer, Rislakki is uniquely qualified for the task of separating truth from fiction.
Disziplinexterne Perspektiven auf Literatur
Literatur ist eine Form menschlichen Kommunikationsverhaltens. Ein wissenschaftlicher Zugang zum Gegenstandsbereich Literatur hat deshalb Instrumente zu verwenden und zu entwickeln, die neben dem Formaspekt von Literatur auch die biologischen und gesell-schaftlichen Bedingungen von ›literarischem Verhalten‹ aufzuhellen vermögen. Daß Literaturwissenschaft solchermaßen stets ›unselbständig‹ und auf trans- und interdiszipli-näres Arbeiten angewiesen ist, nehmen die Beiträger dieses Sammelbandes als Chance wahr und erarbeiten Wege einer multiperspektivisch informierten Literaturbetrachtung. Die Sorge um die Autonomie des Faches verliert ihre Gründe, wenn sein besonderer Wert als Stätte interdiskursiver Verständigung genutzt und ein heuristischer Apparat entwickelt wird, der der Vielgesichtigkeit des Gegenstandes Rechnung tragen kann. Der Band versammelt Beiträge unterschiedlicher disziplinärer Provenienz. Darunter gesellschafts- und wissensgeschichtliche Studien zu literarischen Werken sowie bio- und psychologische, kognitions- und gesellschaftswissenschaftliche Modellbildungen zu einzelnen Aspekten literarischer Produktion und Rezeption. Mit Beiträgen von Julia Abel, Philip Ajouri, William Benzon, Joseph Carroll, Leda Cosmides, Lutz Danneberg, Oliver Flade, Charles Forceville, Harald Fricke, Hans-Edwin Friedrich, Jonathan Gottschall, Norbert Groeben, Paul Hekkert, Nadine van Holt, Fotis Jannidis, Uta Klein, Katja Mellmann, Steffanie Metzger, Armin Nassehi, Michael Neumann, Christoph Rauen, Michelle Scalise Sugiyama, Ralf Stürmer, Ed Tan, John Tooby, Reuven Tsur, Eckart Voland, Friedrich Vollhardt, Gerhard Vowinckel, Manfred Weinberg, Marianne Willems und Rüdiger Zymner.
The Representation of Domestic Space in Modern Culture
Volume Editors: Gerry Smyth and Jo Croft
Space has emerged in recent years as a radical category in a range of related disciplines across the humanities. Of the many possible applications of this new interest, some of the most exciting and challenging have addressed the issue of domestic architecture and its function as a space for both the dramatisation and the negotiation of a cluster of highly salient issues concerning, amongst other things, belonging and exclusion, fear and desire, identity and difference.
Our House is a cross-disciplinary collection of essays taking as its focus both the prospect and the possibility of ‘the house’. This latter term is taken in its broadest possible resonance, encompassing everything from the great houses so beloved of nineteenth-century English novelists to the caravans and mobile homes of the latterday travelling community, and all points in between. The essays are written by a combination of established and emerging scholars, working in a variety of scholarly disciplines, including literary criticism, sociology, cultural studies, history, popular music, and architecture. No specific school or theory predominates, although the work of two key figures – Gaston Bachelard and Martin Heidegger – is engaged throughout.
This collection engages with a number of key issues raised by the increasingly troubled relationship between the cultural (built) and natural environments in the contemporary world.
Léo Malet and the Evolution of the French Roman Noir
Les nouveaux mystères de Paris (1954-1959), Léo Malet’s fifteen-novel detective series inspired by Eugène Sue’s nineteenth-century feuilleton, almost achieved the goal of setting a mystery in each of the twenty Parisian arrondissements, with Nestor Burma at the center of the action. In Burma, the “détective de choc” first introduced in 1943’s 120 rue de la gare, Malet, considered the “father” of the French roman noir, creates a cultural hybrid, bringing literary references and surrealist techniques to a criminal milieu.
Michelle Emanuel’s groundbreaking study is particularly insightful in its treatment of Malet as a pioneer within the literary genre of the French roman noir while making sure to also focus on his surrealist roots.
Against the archetypes of Simenon’s Maigret and Christie’s Poirot, Burma is brash and streetwise, peppering his speech with colorful and evocative slang. As the reader’s tour guide, Burma highlights Paris’s forgotten past while providing insight to the Paris of (his) present, referencing both popular culture and contemporary issues. Malet’s innovation of setting a noir narrative in France serves as a catalyst for further change in the policier genre in France, including his contemporary Jean Amila, the néo-polar of Jean-Patrick Manchette, and the historical roman noir of Didier Daeninckx.
Segalen, Thoreau, Guillevic, Ponge
Author: Steven Winspur
On considère d’habitude l’exotisme de Victor Segalen comme une des tentatives les plus poussées de fonder l’écriture sur la découverte d’un autre monde, de même qu’on loue Walden d’Henry David Thoreau pour son évocation d’une vie simple et idéale qui serait à la portée de tout un chacun, à condition d’échapper aux règles et contraintes de toute communauté. D’un autre côté les poèmes descriptifs d’un Guillevic ou d’un Ponge semblent être ancrés définitivement dans une zone circonscrite de la vie quotidienne. Néanmoins, en examinant de près les écrits de ces auteurs on trouvera que l’opposition évidente de l’ailleurs à l’ici doit être reformulée et que la quête apparente d’un ailleurs chez les deux premiers aussi bien que son contraire chez les seconds – l’éloge d’une réalité bien connue – ne sont que les deux faces d’un seul et même projet: la tentative de recréer par le truchement de la poésie une nouvelle appréciation des lieux de la terre. Un lieu fait irruption chaque fois qu’un corps humain rencontre des corps environnants et il suscite chez le témoin d’une telle rencontre un sentiment extraordinaire de l’espace. Lire les quatre auteurs c’est apprendre à reconnaître ce sentiment, tout en appréciant l’espacement de sons, de lettres et d’appels que leurs textes nous proposent.
Adaptation, Intertextuality, Authorship
Volume Editor: Mireia Aragay
Books in Motion addresses the hybrid, interstitial field of film adaptation. The introductory essay integrates a retrospective survey of the development of adaptation studies with a forceful argument about their centrality to any history of culture—any discussion, that is, of the transformation and transmission of texts and meanings in and across cultures. The thirteen especially composed essays that follow, organised into four sections headed ‘Paradoxes of Fidelity’, ‘Authors, Auteurs, Adaptation’, ‘Contexts, Intertexts, Adaptation’ and ‘Beyond Adaptation’, variously illustrate that claim by problematising the notion of fidelity, highlighting the role played by adaptation in relation to changing concepts of authorship and auteurism, exploring the extent to which the intelligibility of film adaptations is dependent on contextual and intertextual factors, and making a claim for the need to transcend any narrowly-defined concept of adaptation in the study of adaptation. Discussion ranges from adaptations of established classics like A Tale of Two Cities, Frankenstein, Henry V, Le temps retrouvé, Mansfield Park, Pride and Prejudice, ‘The Dead’ or Wuthering Heights, to contemporary (popular) texts/films like Bridget Jones’s Diary, Fools, The Governess, High Fidelity, The Hours, The Orchid Thief/Adaptation, the work of Doris Dörrie, the first Harry Potter novel/film, or the adaptations made by Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick and Walt Disney. This book will appeal to both a specialised readership and to those accessing the dynamic field of adaptation studies for the first time.
Patrick Modiano’s (Auto)Biographical Fictions
Author: Dervila Cooke
This is the first in-depth study of the twelve Modiano texts specifically concerned with life-writing in autobiographical and biographical-cum-historiographical projects. The texts covered range from La Place de l’étoile (1968) through to La Petite Bijou (2001). Close textual analysis is combined with a theoretical approach based on current thinking in autobiography, biography, and reader-response. Modiano’s use of autofiction and biofiction is analysed in the light of his continuing obsession with both personal trauma and History, as well as his problematic relationship with his paternally-inherited Jewish links. His view of identity (of self and other) is thus discussed in relation to a particular literary and socio-historical context– French, postmodern, post-World War II, and post-Holocaust.
Volume Editor: Michael Hanne
Until recently, discussion of ‘creativity in exile’ has focussed almost exclusively on a few European male writers, from Dante to Joseph Brodsky, who sought refuge abroad from political oppression. This volume, with accompanying 100-minute DVD, ranges much more widely, to examine the extraordinary creative endeavours in a range of media of men and women in almost every part of the world who, for a host of different reasons, have experienced displacement from their homelands. It brings together papers by academics, many of whom have experienced exile themselves, on topics as diverse as: the visual arts in Colombia, fiction by displaced indigenous peoples, convicts and slaves as exiles, writings about the partition of Bengal, the culture of Palestinian Americans, philosophers on exile, and the significance of cooking to refugee communities, which are interspersed with poems by contemporary writers in exile. The use of the DVD format has permitted the inclusion of: studio interviews with notable exiled writers from Nigeria, Cyprus and Bulgaria, extracts from two films relating to exile, a live reading of his work by an Iraqi poet, an audio and sculptural installation by a First Nations Canadian artist, and a performance by musicians in exile from Burundi.
Volume Editor: Leopold Decloedt
Im Großen und Ganzen ist die Rezeption deutschsprachiger Literatur in den Niederlanden und in Flandern im zwanzigsten Jahrhundert ein noch weitgehend unerforschtes Gebiet. Abgesehen von Beiträgen in Zeitschriften und Sammelbänden über (vor allem) die Exilliteratur, einigen Studien zur Rezeption einzelner Autoren und den Versuchen Elemas und Buurmans, die Erfolge und Misserfolge der deutschsprachigen Literatur im niederländischen Sprachraum über einen längeren Zeitraum zu beschreiben, wird das Thema bis heute von der Literaturwissenschaft aus verschiedenen Gründen stiefmütterlich behandelt. Der vorliegende Band ist ein bescheidener Versuch, die beträchtliche Forschungslücke anhand einiger Fallstudien zu schließen.
Popularität von Literatur ist eindeutig mit ihrer kulturellen Akzeptanz verbunden. Dass Autoren wie Günter Grass, Christa Wolf, Hans Magnus Enzensberger und Bertolt Brecht in den Niederlanden und in Flandern durchaus positiv rezipiert werden und dass ihre Werke zum Großteil auf Niederländisch vorliegen, hängt nicht nur mit der dortigen Begeisterung für ihr Erzähltalent, ihren virtuosen Umgang mit der Sprache bzw. die von ihnen initiierten Erneuerungen des Theaters zusammen. Auch die Tatsache, dass sie sich immer wieder in die Tagespolitik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland einmischen, bestimmte Missstände anprangern, die Deutschen unentwegt mit historischen und zeitgenössischen Fehlentwicklungen in der Gesellschaft konfrontieren und sie permanent vor Selbstzufriedenheit warnen, machen sie vor allem in den sechziger und siebziger Jahren, aber auch später in den Augen der niederländischen und flämischen Kritiker besonders sympathisch und verdient.
Jedem der Beiträge folgt eine ausführliche Bibliographie der niederländischen Übersetzungen des jeweiligen Autors und eine Auflistung der Rezeptionsdokumente in niederländischen und flämischen Medien.