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Adab and Modernity

A “civilising process” ? (sixteenth-twenty-first century)

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Edited by Cathérine Mayeur-Jaouen

Adab is a concept situated at the heart of Arabic and Islamic civilization. Adab is etiquette, ethics, and literature. It is also a creative synthesis, a relationship within a configuration. What became of it, towards modernity ? The question of the "civilising process" (Norbert Elias) helps us reflect on this story. During the modern period, maintaining one's identity while entering into what was termed "civilisation" ( al-tamaddun) soon became a leitmotiv. A debate on what was or what should be culture, ethics, and norms in Middle Eastern societies accompanied this evolution. The resilient notion of adab has been in competition with the Salafist focus on mores ( akhlāq). Still, humanism, poetry, and transgression are constants in the history of adab. Contributors: Francesca Bellino, Elisabetta Benigni, Michel Boivin, Olivier Bouquet, Francesco Chiabotti, Stéphane Dudoignon, Anne-Laure Dupont, Stephan Guth, Albrecht Hofheinz, Katharina Ivanyi, Felix Konrad, Corinne Lefevre, Cathérine Mayeur-Jaouen, Astrid Meier, Nabil Mouline, Samuela Pagani, Luca Patrizi, Stefan Reichmuth, Iris Seri-Hersch, Chantal Verdeil, Anne-Sophie Vivier-Muresan.

Beirut to Carnival City

Reading Rawi Hage

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Edited by Krzysztof Majer

Beirut to Carnival City: Reading Rawi Hage is a pioneering collection of commissioned critical essays on the work of the highly relevant Canadian writer. With four acclaimed novels and scattered short fictions, the Lebanese-born Hage has become a formidable literary force. The volume is an attempt to situate his fiction not only in the context of Lebanese diasporic writing, but that of trans-geographical literature, as well as to emphasize his progressive dissociation from the realist paradigm. The goal is also to correct an imbalance of critical attention by refocusing on Hage’s more recent, equally challenging work. The richness of Hage’s fiction is attested to by the diversity of thematic concerns and critical approaches. The volume reflects the worldwide range of Canada-oriented research, and places European perspectives alongside North American and Lebanese ones. Significantly, it features an original essay authored by Hage’s literary peer, Madeleine Thien.

Contributors: F. Elizabeth Dahab, André Forget, Kyle Gamble, Syrine Hout, Ewa Macura-Nnamdi, Krzysztof Majer, Lisa Marchi, Judit Molnár, Alex Ramon, Rita Sakr, Dima Samaha, Madeleine Thien, Ewa Urbaniak-Rybicka

The Brand of Print

Marketing Paratexts in the Early English Book Trade

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Andrea Silva

The Brand of Print offers a comprehensive analysis of the ways printers, publishers, stationers, and booksellers designed paratexts to market printed books as cultural commodities. This study traces envoys to the reader, visual design in title pages and tables of contents, and patron dedications, illustrating how the agents of print branded their markets by crafting relationships with readers and articulating the value of their labor in an increasingly competitive trade. Applying terms from contemporary marketing theory to the study of early modern paratexts, Andie Silva encourages a consideration of how print agents' labor and agency, made visible through paratextual design, continues to influence how we read, study, and digitize early modern texts.

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Edited by Olga Voronina

A Companion to Soviet Children’s Literature and Film offers a comprehensive and innovative analysis of Soviet literary and cinematic production for children. Its contributors contextualize and reevaluate Soviet children’s books, films, and animation and explore their contemporary re-appropriation by the Russian government, cultural practitioners, and educators.

Celebrating the centennial of Soviet children’s literature and film, the Companion reviews the rich and dramatic history of the canon. It also provides an insight into the close ties between Soviet children’s culture and Avant-Garde aesthetics, investigates early pedagogical experiments of the Soviet state, documents the importance of translation in children’s literature of the 1920-80s, and traces the evolution of heroic, fantastic, historical, and absurdist Soviet narratives for children.

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Heather McAlpine

In this book, Heather McAlpine argues that emblematic strategies play a more central role in Pre-Raphaelite poetics than has been acknowledged, and that reading Pre-Raphaelite works with an awareness of these strategies permits a new understanding of the movement’s engagements with ontology, religion, representation, and politics. The emblem is a discursive practice that promises to stabilize language in the face of doubt, making it especially interesting as a site of conflicting responses to Victorian crises of representation. Through analyses of works by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Christina Rossetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Gerard Manley Hopkins, A.C. Swinburne, and William Morris, Emblematic Strategies examines the Pre-Raphaelite movement’s common goal of conveying “truth” while highlighting differences in its adherents’ approaches to that task.

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Omid Ghaemmaghami

The history of what has come to be known as Twelver Shīʿī Islam is a history of attempts to ‎deal with the ‎abrupt loss of the Imam. In Encounters with the Hidden Imam in Early and Pre-‎Modern Twelver Shīʿī Islam, ‎Omid Ghaemmaghami demonstrates that in the early years of the so-called Greater Occultation, Shīʿī ‎authorities maintained that all contact with the Imam had been sundered, forcing him to remain incommunicado ‎until his (re)appearance‎. This position, however, proved ‎untenable to maintain. Almost a ‎century after the start of the Greater Occultation, prominent scholars ‎began to concede the ‎possibility that some Shīʿa can meet the Hidden Imam. Accounts of alleged ‎encounters with the ‎Imam soon began to appear, grow in number and become increasingly embellished.‎

Green Matters

Ecocultural Functions of Literature

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Edited by Maria Löschnigg and Melanie Braunecker

Green Matters offers a fascinating insight into the regenerative function of literature with regard to environmental concerns. Based on recent developments in ecocriticism, the book demonstrates how the aesthetic dimension of literary texts makes them a vital force in the struggle for sustainable futures. Applying this understanding to individual works from a number of different thematic fields, cultural contexts and literary genres, Green Matters presents novel approaches to the manifold ways in which literature can make a difference. While the first sections of the book highlight the transnational, the focus on Canada in the last section allows a more specific exploration of how themes, genres and literary forms develop their own manifestations within a national context. Through its unifying ecocultural focus and its variegated approaches, the volume is an essential contribution to contemporary environmental humanities.

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Edited by Frédéric Bauden and Elise Franssen

In recent years, a growing interest in “oriental manuscripts” in all their aspects, including the extrinsic ones, has been observed. Research that focuses on holograph, autograph and authorial manuscripts in Arabic handwritten script has nevertheless been casual, although these manuscripts raise important and varied questions. The study of the working methods of authors from the past informs different disciplines: paleography, codicology, textual criticism, ecdotics, linguistics and intellectual history. In this volume nine contributions and case studies are gathered that address theoretical issues and convey different, disruptive perspectives. A particularly important subject of this book, so far rarely discussed in scientific literature, is the identification of an author’s handwriting. Among the authors specifically dealt with in this volume one will find: al-Maqrīzī (m. 845/1442), al-Nuwayrī (m. 733/1333), Akmal al-Dīn b. Mufliḥ (m. 1011/1603), al-ʿAynī (m. 855/1451) and Ibn Khaldūn (m. 808/1406). Contributors: Frédéric Bauden, Julien Dufour, Élise Franssen, Adam Gacek, Retsu Hashizume, Marie-Hélène Marganne, Elias Muhanna, Nobutaka Nakamachi, Anne Regourd, and Kristina Richardson.

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Russell Williams

In Pathos, Poetry and Politics in Michel Houellebecq's fiction, Russell Williams examines the literary style of France's most notorious novelist. Houellebecq is frequently the focus of debate for his provocative comments about Islam and the decline of Western civilisation. This book refocuses attention on how such provocation is an integral part of the texture of his novels.
Williams considers Houellebecq's writing about literature and outlines the key principles of the author's poetics, founded on an acute sensitivity to reading experience. He then explores Houellebecq's earliest poetry before mapping this poetic voice into his subsequent fiction, including Sérotonine (2019). Houellebecq's relationship with genre fiction and the crucial issue of the authorial persona that exists in and around his texts are also explored.

Postmodern Pirates

Tracing the Development of the Pirate Motif with Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean

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Susanne Zhanial

Postmodern Pirates offers a comprehensive analysis of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean series and the pirate motif through the lens of postmodern theories. Susanne Zhanial shows how the postmodern elements determine the movies’ aesthetics, narratives, and character portrayals, but also places the movies within Hollywood’s contemporary blockbuster machinery. The book then offers a diachronic analysis of the pirate motif in British literature and Hollywood movies. It aims to explain our ongoing fascination with the maritime outlaw, focuses on how a text’s cultural background influences the pirate’s portrayal, and pays special attention to the aspect of gender. Through the intertextual references in Pirates of the Caribbean, the motif’s development is always tied to Disney’s postmodern movie series.