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Women’s Literary Tradition and Twentieth-Century Hungarian Writers

Renée Erdős, Ágnes Nemes Nagy, Minka Czóbel, Ilona Harmos Kosztolányi, Anna Lesznai

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Anna Menyhért

In Women’s Literary Tradition and Twentieth-Century Hungarian Writers, Anna Menyhért presents the cases of five women writers whose legacy literary criticism has neglected or distorted, thereby depriving succeeding Hungarian generations of vital cultural memory and the inspiration that brings. The bold voices of poets Renée Erdős and Minka Czóbel challenged gender norms in relation to sex and relationships. Ágnes Nemes Nagy, celebrated for her ‘masculine’ poems, felt she must suppress her ‘feminine’ poems. Famous writer’s widow Ilona Harmos Kosztolányi’s autobiographical writing tackles the physical challenges of girl’s adolescence, and offers us a woman’s thoughtful Holocaust narrative. Anna Lesznai, émigrée and visual artist, drew on techniques from the crafts of patchworking and embroidery in structuring her family saga.

Dead Sea Media

Orality, Textuality, and Memory in the Scrolls from the Judean Desert

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Shem Miller

In Dead Sea Media Shem Miller offers a groundbreaking media criticism of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Although past studies have underappreciated the crucial roles of orality and memory in the social setting of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Miller convincingly demonstrates that oral performance, oral tradition, and oral transmission were vital components of everyday life in the communities associated with the Scrolls. In addition to being literary documents, the Dead Sea Scrolls were also records of both scribal and cultural memories, as well as oral traditions and oral performance. An examination of the Scrolls’ textuality reveals the oral and mnemonic background of several scribal practices and literary characteristics reflected in the Scrolls.

Spaces of Longing and Belonging

Territoriality, Ideology and Creative Identity in Literature and Film

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Edited by Brigitte le Juez and Bill Richardson

Spaces of Longing and Belonging offers the reader theoretical and interpretative studies of spatiality centered on a variety of literary and cultural contexts. It brings new and complementary insights to bear on creative uses of spatiality in artistic texts and generally into the field of spatiality as a cultural phenomenon, especially, although not exclusively, in terms of literary space. Ranging over questions of aesthetics, politics, sociohistorical concerns, issues of postcoloniality, transculturality, ecology and features of interpersonal spaces, among others, the essays provide a considerable collection of innovative pieces of scholarship on important questions relating to literary spatiality generally, as well as detailed analyses of particular works and authors. The volume includes ground-breaking theoretical investigations of crucial dimensions of spatiality in a context of increased global awareness.

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Bertrand Westphal

Abstract

This chapter argues that literature and contemporary art can and do play an important decentering role in accounts of our culture and of how the world works. It challenges conventional attachments to single cultures and the notion of belonging as increasingly understood as belonging globally, contrasting the notion of the “global” with that of the “planetary”. It suggests that planetarity, as outlined in works such as The Planetary Turn by Elias and Moraru, is a desired way forward in order to achieve a balanced belonging rooted in environmental, decentered ethics and in aesthetics. Citing contemporary art-work such as the installations of Rirkrit Tiravanija, the “atlas” works of Brigitte Williams and the performance art of Guillermo Gómez Peña, the paper advocates an approach that favours the periphery rather than an all-invading Western-dominated centre. Such an approach serves to emphasize the contours of the world to the point where we can think the world as a single, immense periphery, thereby enabling us to see the “Other” as someone we can genuinely get to know.

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Polo B. Moji

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This essay explores diasporic space through the dual conception of filiation as both home and homeland (home/land) in Nimrod Bena Djangrang’s autobiographical L’Or des rivières (2010). Using the Glissantian notion of errantry as a movement of relationality, the essay frames Nimrod as an “errant” son – a diasporic subject who mediates between his lived experience of home (Chad) and host lands. It firstly examines the topos of return to the mother/land using the intimate chronology of Nimrod’s personal life (his mother) and the historical chronology of Chadian politics. The notion of “collusion” between home and host lands is further explored through the leitmotif of spatial and temporal disorientation. Lastly, the intersubjective narration of the death of Nimrod’s father and the temporal shifts of memory are used to analyze the re-membered father/land or topographies of relation. The essay illustrates that, by subverting a unitary conception of the home/land as space of origin and presenting a cycle of departure and return, L’Or des rivières frames diasporic subjectivity as relational and mobile – a dynamic temporal and spatial remapping of filiation.

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Edited by Brigitte Le Juez and Bill Richardson

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Edited by Brigitte Le Juez and Bill Richardson

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Brigitte Le Juez and Bill Richardson

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Kaisa Kurikka, Hanna Lahdenperä, Kristina Malmio and Julia Tidigs

Abstract

Recent Finland-Swedish prose fiction frequently problematises not only the thematic of place but also the ways in which spatiality is depicted in fiction, which in turn raises specific questions regarding language-spaces and links to literary traditions. The triggers for this “spatial turn” in Finland-Swedish writing include its minority status and the affect of longing to belong, since these problematics include the territorial while interweaving actual, material as well as metaphorised territories. Using works by Bo Carpelan (1926–2011), Monika Fagerholm (b. 1961), Pirkko Lindberg (b. 1942), Sara Razai (b. 1979) and Johanna Holmström (b. 1981), this essay discusses contemporary Finland-Swedish literature as a minority literature and its in-betweenness by focusing on the affects of belonging and longing. We argue that recent Finland-Swedish prose fiction can be situated in the heterotopian space of in-betweenness consisting of diverse encounters, tensions and interruptions in relation to past traditions in literary expression. By focusing on the themes of multilingualism, spatial orientation and especially female characterisation, our readings also discuss belonging/longing in terms of inclusion and exclusion.

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Rosa Branca Figueiredo

Abstract

Space, time and intertextuality are Wole Soyinka’s critical literary tools. Torn between the Western and the African worlds, his symbolic protagonists play hero, villain and fool for audiences all too often unaware of Soyinka’s mythic complexity. In his plays, both the destructive and creative aspects of tradition and modernity are dramatized. Before we can think of choosing between past and present, we are forced to arbitrate between the positive and negative elements, first of earlier times, and then of contemporary life, and from this complex pattern of contradictions we are offered the chance to form a new vision. The ideologies of geographical space (of the West as well as Africa) have thus demanded Soyinka create protagonists who can answer to the prejudices of the times.