: Absences and Displacements casts a new look at the dynamism, richness, and complexity of Racine’s first major tragedy (first performed in Paris in 1667), through a collection of articles specially commissioned by the editors Nicholas Hammond and Joseph Harris. Challenging received opinions about the fixity of French ‘classicism’, this volume demonstrates how Racine’s play is preoccupied with absences, displacements, instability, and uncertainty. The articles explore such issues as: movement and transactions, offstage characters and locations, hallucinations and fantasies, love and desire, and translations and adaptations of Racine’s play. This collection will be an invaluable resource for students and scholars of seventeenth-century French theatre.
Contributors: Nicholas Hammond, Joseph Harris, Michael Moriarty, Emilia Wilton-Godberfforde, Delphine Calle, Jennifer Tamas, Michael Hawcroft, Katherine Ibbett, Richard Parish.
Marie Vieux Chauvet’s Theatres: Thought, Form, and Performance of Revolt at once reflects and acts upon the praxis of theatre that inspired Haitian writer Marie Vieux Chauvet, while at the same time provides incisively new cultural studies readings about revolt in her theatre and prose. Chauvet – like many free-minded women of the Caribbean and the African diaspora – was banned from the public sphere, leaving her work largely ignored for decades. Following on a renewed interest in Chauvet, this collection makes essential contributions to Africana Studies, Theatre Studies, Performance Studies, Postcolonial Studies, and Global South Feminisms.
Contributors are: Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken, Stéphanie Bérard, Christian Flaugh, Gabrielle Gallo, Jeremy Matthew Glick, Kaiama L. Glover, Régine Michelle Jean-Charles, Cae Joseph-Massena, Nehanda Loiseau, Judith G. Miller, Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert, Anthony Phelps, Ioana Pribiag, Charlee M. Redman Bezilla, Guy Régis Jr, and Lena Taub Robles.
This collection is a beautiful gathering of voices exploring Chauvet’s theatrical work, along with the role of theatre in her novels. The richly textured and evocatively written essays offer many new and necessary insights into the work of one of Haiti’s greatest writers. — Laurent Dubois, Marcello Lotti Professor of Romance Studies and History, Duke University. Author of
Haiti: The Aftershocks of History
This collection draws necessary critical attention to how theatre and performance animate the work of a key figure in Caribbean fiction and drama. Using an innovative scholarly and artistic approach, the collection incorporates leading and new voices in Haitian studies and Francophone studies on Chauvet’s depictions of revolt. — Soyica Diggs Colbert, Professor of African American Studies and Theater & Performance Studies, Georgetown University. Author of
Black Movements: Performance and Cultural Politics
The World Upside Down in 16th Century French Literature and Visual Culture Vincent Robert-Nicoud offers an interdisciplinary account of the topos of the world upside down in early modern France. To call something ‘topsy-turvy’ in the sixteenth century is to label it as abnormal. The topos of the world upside down evokes a world in which everything is inside-out and out of bounds: fish live in trees, children rule over their parents, and rivers flow back to their source. The world upside down proves to be key in understanding how the social, political, and religious turmoil of sixteenth-century France was represented and conceptualised, and allows us to explore the dark side of the Renaissance by unpacking one of its most prevalent metaphors.
The Cinema of Catherine Breillat, Bélot offers a detailed analysis of Breillat’s past and recent films. Breillat is one of the most internationally renowned French women filmmakers whose notoriety is built on her explicit representation of women’s sexuality. Most of her films rely on a female protagonist’s personal and intimate search of her self, characterised by her sexual journey.
Facing censorship and controversy, Breillat’s films do not easily fit classification and place the viewer into an uncomfortable position. This study looks at Breillat as an independent cinema auteur entertaining a close relation with her films by exploring and positing women, from adolescence to adulthood, as sexual beings reflecting her films’ identity emanating from Breillat’s personal or intimate scenes.
Mademoiselle de Montpensier: Writings, Châteaux, and Female Self-Construction in Early Modern France examines questions of self-construction in the works of Anne-Marie-Louise d’Orléans, Duchesse de Montpensier (1627-1693), the wealthiest unmarried woman in Europe at the time, a pro-women advocate, author of memoirs, letters and novels, and the commissioner of four châteaux and other buildings throughout France, including Saint-Fargeau, Champigny-sur-Veude, Eu, and Choisy-le-roi. An NEH-funded project, this study explores the interplay between writing and the symbolic import of châteaux to examine Montpensier’s strategies to establish herself as a woman with autonomy and power in early modern France.
Geneviève Straus: a Parisian Life is the first biography in English of Geneviève Straus (1849-1926), a Parisian salon hostess and political activist. Joyce Block Lazarus explores myths surrounding Straus and offers an account of her life and accomplishments. Making use of historical materials, including previously unpublished letters, Lazarus shows that Straus was a female intellectual during an era when women were non-citizens.
Scholars have well documented the Dreyfus Affair (1894-1906), but have overlooked archival documents which spotlight Straus’s role as a political activist in the affair. In
Geneviève Straus: a Parisian Life, Lazarus highlights Straus’s thirty-four-year friendship with Marcel Proust and examines her influence on Proust’s novel,
In Search of Lost Time, finding echoes of Straus and her family in his masterpiece.
The Conspiracy of Modern Art the Brazilian critic and art-historian Luiz Renato Martins presents a new account of modern art from David to Abstract Expressionism. The once vibrant debate on these touchstones of modernism has gone stale. Viewed from the Sao Paulo megalopolis the art of Paris and New York - embodying Revolution, Thermidor, Bonapartistm and Bourgeois ‘Triumph' - once more pulsates in tragic key.
Equally attentive to form and politics, Martins invites us to look again at familiar pictures. In the process, modern art appears in a new light. These essays, largely unknown to an English-speaking audience, may be the most important contribution to the account of modern painting since the important debates of the 1980s.
Marcel Proust offered the twentieth century a new psychology of memory and seeing. His novel
In Search of Lost Time was written in the modern age of photography and art history.
In Looking Back One Learns to See: Marcel Proust and Photography brings to light Proust’s photographic resources and his visual imagination. This scrupulously researched book features over 100 illustrations.
Distinguished cultural historian Mary Bergstein presents various kinds of photography and photographic systems with regard to the literature of Marcel Proust, including daguerreotypes, stereoscopic cards,
cartes-de-visite, postcards, book illustrations, portraiture, medical photography, spirit photography, architectural photography, and Orientalism. Photographs associated with
fin-de-siècle studies of Botticelli, Leonardo, and Vermeer, are considered in terms of Proust’s tastes and the historiography of art.
Paris, 1910-1915. Artists, intellectuals, and international celebrities crowd the city as never before. Decadent dreams and avant-garde manifestos celebrate the marriage between art and life. Creative experiments and vital joy dance hand in hand—on the edge of the abyss of WWI. Gabriele D’Annunzio is one of the highly influential yet semi-forgotten protagonists of this season and an emblem of its contradictions. A child of the Decadence, but also a forerunner of Modernism, the Italian poet defies the barriers between art forms, languages, and aesthetic practices. Tellingly, some of the period’s major figures across the arts are involved in D’Annunzio’s projects, including Canudo, Bakst, Brooks, Debussy, Montesquiou, and Rubinstein. In particular, in his sacred drama
Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien, the poet combines French, Italian, literature, theater, mime, dance, music, painting, and cinema in a way that fuses old and new. D’Annunzio’s hybrid experiments challenge Wagner’s ‘total artwork’ theories, search for a synthesis between pictorial stillness and filmic movement, and anticipate contemporary multimedia experiences. These artistic collaborations end suddenly at the outbreak of the Great War, when Dannunzian total artworks migrate from the stage to the battlefield, generating a controversial legacy that calls for renewed critical investigations.
The thematic part of this volume of
Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd’hui is devoted mainly to Beckett’s texts of the forties and later, and particularly to those he composed after his adoption of the French language. The essays presented in this part of the current issue attempt to see Beckett as a writer among other authors with whom he connects or competes, to examine his relations with artists, whether Beckett stimulates them or is stimulated by them, and to define his ‘posture’ and his position in the cultural field. How does the budding francophone writer position himself in the cultural field during his difficult beginnings and after his first successes? How can he be situated in relation to the three cultures he is dealing with? What are the parallels between Beckett’s own texts and those of other writers (literary and philosophical), but also between his work and the work of artists of the period? The ten essays in the free-space section of this volume also mainly concern his texts that were first written in French, and situate Beckett in relation to different topics, from Dante to the ‘War on Terror.’