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  • Brill | Sense x
  • Brill | Rodopi x

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Edited by Josefa Ros Velasco

The Culture of Boredom is a collection of essays by well-known specialists reflecting from philosophical, literary, and artistic perspectives, in which the reader will learn how different disciplines can throw light on such an appealing, challenging, yet still not fully understood phenomenon. The goal is to clarify the background of boredom, and to explore its representation through forgotten cross-cutting narratives beyond the typical approaches, i.e. those of psychology or psychiatry. For the first time this experienced group of scholars gathers to promote a cross-border dialogue from a multidisciplinary perspective.

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Harry Redner

Quintessence of Dust by Harry Redner argues for a science of matter and a philosophy of mind based on emergence. Mind emerges from matter through five essential stages – “quintessence” ( Hamlet). Human mind is differentiated from animal mind primarily by reference to art ( Homo Ludens). This approach draws support from Donald, Edelman and other palaeoanthropologists, psychologists and neurologists.
The emergent relation between two entities is defined as an indissoluble non-identity. The “mind as machine” thesis, artificial intelligence and Cognitivism are criticised. The alternative Emergentist approach comes close to Spinoza. The book attempts a synthesis of the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities based on philosophic premises.

American History in Transition

From Religion to Science

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Yoshinari Yamaguchi

In American History in Transition, Yoshinari Yamaguchi provides fresh insights into early efforts in American history writing, ranging from Jeremy Belknap’s Massachusetts Historical Society to Emma Willard’s geographic history and Francis Parkman’s history of deep time to Henry Adams’s thermodynamic history. Although not a well-organized set of professional researchers, these historians shared the same concern: the problems of temporalization and secularization in history writing.
As the time-honored framework of sacred history was gradually outdated, American historians at that time turned to individual facts as possible evidence for a new generalization, and tried different “scientific” theories to give coherency to their writings. History writing was in its transitional phase, shifting from religion to science, deduction to induction, and static to dynamic worldview.

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Anthony Costantini

Edited by Alicia Moran

The Anthology of the Works of Ugo Spirito captures the trajectory of Ugo Spirito’s complex body of thought that spanned more than fifty years, from 1921 to 1977. While confronting difficult contemporary problems related to philosophy and science, liberalism and socialism, fascism and communism, and other economic and ideological aspects such as corporativism and democracy, Spirito revealed a persistent desire to reach truth and the absolute. Yet, he also voiced his failure to consistently believe in any philosophical or political system. Unable to reach ‘incontrovertibility,’ he consistently examined his ideas, developing at the same time the ‘antinomic’ approach, a method of critical analysis that undermined any truth considered ‘incontrovertible.’ Today, Spirito stands as one of most anti-conformist Italian thinkers for he challenged the certainties of modern thought.

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Edited by Markus Messling, Cornelia Ruhe, Lena Seauve and Vanessa de Senarclens

Depuis plus de dix ans, les romans de Mathias Énard connaissent un succès qui ne se dément pas. La Perfection du tir en 2003, mais aussi Zone en 2008, Parle-leur de batailles, de rois et d’éléphants en 2010 et Rue des voleurs en 2012 ont remporté des prix littéraires de grand renom. Enfin, le jury du prix Goncourt a opté en 2015 avec Boussole pour un roman dans lequel « l’imagination » romanesque a pour support une époustouflante érudition portant sur l’Orient. Ce volume cherche à éclairer les modalités narratives qui permettent à l’auteur de transformer l’érudition en roman, mais aussi à situer son œuvre dans le contexte littéraire actuel.

Over the past ten years the novels of Mathias Énard have enjoyed both widespread critical acclaim and commercial success. In 2015 Énard was awarded the Prix Goncourt, France’s most prestigious literary prize, for Compass, a work which explores the fraught and often fruitful relationship between Europe and the Orient through the musings of an Austrian musicologist. Yet in spite of these successes, and Mathias Énard’s penchant for filling his novels with historical fact, little has been written about his work in academic circles. This volume seeks to fill that gap and shed light on the narrative modalities that allow the author to transform erudition into narration. It also seeks to situate his work in the current literary context, which is being shaped ever more by historical narratives.

Reading(s) / Across / Borders

Studies in Anglophone Borders Criticism

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Edited by Ciaran Ross

This collection emphasizes a cross-disciplinary approach to the relevance of borders and bordering as a spatial paradigm in Anglophone studies. It sets out to provide a critical counter-narrative to the 1990s globalization argument of a “borderless” world by insisting on the significant roles borders play. The essays range in subject matter from geography, history, British and American literature to painting and Reggae music and map out different conceptualisations of the border: place, line, process, contact zones, etc. The volume’s cross-border “narrative” serves as a point of communication between the local and the global, between Europe and America, between different literary and artistic genres, thus challenging the divides of geography and literature, between “real” territorial borders and their “fictional” counterparts.

Sydney Goodsir Smith, Poet

Essays on His Life and Work

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Edited by Richie McCaffery

Sydney Goodsir Smith, Poet: Essays on His Life and Work offers the first substantial work to assess his life and writings since his premature death in 1975. Considered a major figure in the second wave of Hugh MacDiarmid’s ‘Scottish Literary Renaissance’, Smith’s unique body of work has largely fallen from critical discussion of post-war Scottish literature.

This book remedies this by showing how his work may have fallen out of favour, and then by reappraising his distinctive and varied achievements in poetry, drama, art and art criticism, the novel and translations. Early career and established academics explore the many strands of his work as the best way of giving this multifaceted literary figure renewed attention.

Verbal Aspect in Old Church Slavonic

A Corpus-Based Approach

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Jaap Kamphuis

In Verbal Aspect in Old Church Slavonic Jaap Kamphuis demonstrates that the aspect system of Old Church Slavonic can best be described if one divides the verbs into three main categories: perfective, imperfective and anaspectual. This differs from the traditional division into perfective and imperfective verbs only. To support the categorization, the study contains a corpus-based quantitative and qualitative analysis of the available Old Church Slavonic data. This analysis contributes to a better understanding of the development of aspect in Slavic. Kamphuis shows that aspect in Old Church Slavonic functions more like verbal aspect in the Western groups of Slavic languages (e.g. Czech) than like that in the Eastern group (e.g. Russian).

Translation at Work

Chinese Medicine in the First Global Age

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Edited by Harold J. Cook

During the first period of globalization medical ideas and practices originating in China became entangled in the medical activities of other places, sometimes at long distances. They produced effects through processes of alteration once known as translatio, meaning movements in place, status, and meaning. The contributors to this volume examine occasions when intermediaries responded creatively to aspects of Chinese medicine, whether by trying to pass them on or to draw on them in furtherance of their own interests. Practitioners in Japan, at the imperial court, and in early and late Enlightenment Europe therefore responded to translations creatively, sometimes attempting to build bridges of understanding that often collapsed but left innovation in their wake.

Contributors are Marta Hanson, Gianna Pomata, Beatriz Puente-Ballesteros, Wei Yu Wayne Tan, Margaret Garber, Daniel Trambaiolo, and Motoichi Terada.

Biblical Women in Contemporary Novels in English

From Margaret Atwood to Jenny Diski

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Ingrid Bertrand

How are well-known female characters from the Bible represented in late 20th-century novels? In Biblical Women in Contemporary Novels in English, Ingrid Bertrand presents a detailed analysis of biblical rewritings by Roberts, Atwood, Tennant, Diamant and Diski focusing on six different women (Eve, Noah’s wife, Sarah, Bilhah, Dinah and Mary Magdalene). She shows how these heroines give themselves a voice that rests not only on words but also on silences. Exploring the many forms that silence can take, she presents an innovative typology that sheds new light on this profoundly meaningful phenomenon.