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Cityscapes of the Future

Urban Spaces in Science Fiction

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Edited by Yael Maurer and Meyrav Koren-Kuik

Cityscapes of the Future: Urban Spaces in Science Fiction offers an examination of the central role played by urban spaces in science fictional narratives in various media forms from the literary to the ludic to the cinematic. Our contributors reflect on the ways diverse urban scenarios are central to the narratives’ science fictional imaginary and consider the pivotal roles cityscapes play in underscoring major thematic concerns, such as political struggles, social inequality and other cultural epistemologies. The chapters in the collection are divided into three sections examining the city and the body, cities of estrangement, and cities of the imagination.

Flaubert, Beckett, NDiaye

The Aesthetics, Emotions and Politics of Failure

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Edited by Andrew Asibong and Aude Campmas

Gustave Flaubert, Samuel Beckett and Marie NDiaye can be considered as visionaries of a peculiarly radical form of failure, their protagonists and texts alike sliding inexorably into unmanageable states of paradox, incompletion and disintegration. What are the implications of these authors’ experiments in splitting and negativity, experiments which seem to indulge the most cynical aspects of nihilism, whilst at the same time grappling with the very foundations of politicized and psychic truth? In this unusual edited volume of comparative analyses, Andrew Asibong and Aude Campmas bring together ten provocative and illuminating essays, each of which approaches the various ‘failures’ of the bizarre trio of canonical francophone writers along three principal axes of investigation: the aesthetic, the emotional and the political.

Scanning the Hypnoglyph

Sleep in Modernist and Postmodern Representation

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Nathaniel Wallace

Nathaniel Wallace’s Scanning the Hypnoglyph chronicles a contemporary genre that exploits sleep’s evocative dimensions. While dreams, sleeping nudes, and other facets of the dormant state were popular with artists of the early twentieth century (and long before), sleep experiences have given rise to an even wider range of postmodern artwork. Scanning the Hypnoglyph first assesses the modernist framework wherein the sleeping subject typically enjoys firm psychic grounding. As postmodernism begins, subjective space is fragmented, the representation of sleep reflecting the trend. Among other topics, this book demonstrates how portrayals of dormant individuals can reveal imprints of the self. Gender issues are taken up as well. “Mainstream,” heterosexual representations are considered along with depictions of gay, lesbian, and androgynous sleepers.

Picaresque Fiction Today

The Trickster in Contemporary Anglophone and Italian Literature

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Luigi Gussago

In Picaresque Fiction Today Luigi Gussago examines the development of the picaresque in contemporary Anglophone and Italian fiction. Far from being an extinct narrative form, confined to the pages of its original Spanish sources or their later British imitators, the tale of roguery has been revisited through the centuries from a host of disparate angles. Throughout their wanderings, picaresque antiheroes are dragged into debates on the credibility of historical facts, gender mystifications, rational thinking, or any simplistic definition of the outcast.
Referring to a corpus of eight contemporary novels, the author retraces a textual legacy linking the traditional picaresque to its recent descendants, with the main purpose of identifying the way picaresque novels offer a privileged insight into our sceptical times.

Cover illustration by Eugene Ivanov "Night Airing", 2007.

Holocaust Impiety in Jewish American Literature

Memory, Identity, (Post-)Postmodernism

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Joost Krijnen

The Holocaust is often said to be unrepresentable. Yet since the 1990s, a new generation of Jewish American writers have been returning to this history again and again, insisting on engaging with it in highly playful, comic, and “impious” ways. Focusing on the fiction of Michael Chabon, Jonathan Safran Foer, Nicole Krauss, and Nathan Englander, this book suggests that this literature cannot simply be dismissed as insensitive or improper. It argues that these Jewish American authors engage with the Holocaust in ways that renew and ensure its significance for contemporary generations. These ways, moreover, are intricately connected to efforts of finding new means of expressing Jewish American identity, and of moving beyond the increasingly apparent problems of postmodernism.

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Adina Balint-Babos

Que se passe-t-il lors du surgissement de l’inspiration ? Comment traverser des expériences-choc ? Ou encore, quels sens donner à la transposition du vécu dans la fiction ? Le processus de création dans l’œuvre de J.M.G. Le Clézio examine les étapes du travail créateur dans l’œuvre du lauréat du prix Nobel de littérature 2008. L’analyse des modes d’inscription du processus de création dans le narratif apporte un nouvel éclairage sur l'oeuvre de J.M.G. Le Clézio au croisement du poétique et des discours philosophique et psychanalytique.

What happens when inspiration bursts forth? How does one live through shocking experiences? And what meaning can be gleaned from transforming life experiences into fiction? Le processus de création dans l’œuvre de J.M.G. Le Clézio examines the process of literary creation in the writings of the 2008 Nobel Prize laureate for literature by outlining the relationships between poetics, philosophy and psychoanalysis.

Achieving Autobiographical Form

A Twentieth Century Perspective

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Nicholas Meihuizen

In Achieving Autobiographical Form Nicholas Meihuizen argues that significant autobiographies achieve significant forms, peculiar to themselves alone. Form, he argues, is not accidental or merely functional. The author arrives at a form through a careful negotiation between the self’s immersion in its world and its ability to distance itself from this world. The quality of the resultant self-scrutiny enables the author to transform everyday reflex into the act of attention that results in formal achievement, a uniquely crafted structure. Meihuizen’s book helps demonstrate how each piece of autobiographical writing under consideration in it (works by Yeats, Conrad, Martin Amis, Frank Kermode, Andrew Motion, Roy Campbell, Richard Murphy, and J.M. Coetzee) discovers a unique form.