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The Brand of Print

Marketing Paratexts in the Early English Book Trade

Series:

Andrea Silva

The Brand of Print offers a comprehensive analysis of the ways in which printers, publishers, stationers, and booksellers designed paratexts in order 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 both branded their markets by crafting relationships with readers and articulating the unique 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, teach, and digitize early modern texts.

Series:

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 the 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.

Series:

Jake Poller

Aldous Huxley and Alternative Spirituality offers an incisive analysis of the full range of Huxley’s spiritual interests, spanning both mysticism (neo-Vedanta, Taoism, Mahayana and Zen Buddhism) and Western esotericism (mesmerism, spiritualism, the paranormal). Jake Poller examines how Huxley’s shifting spiritual convictions influenced his fiction, such as his depiction of the body and sex, and reveals how Huxley’s use of psychedelic substances affected his spiritual convictions, resulting in a Tantric turn in his work. Poller demonstrates how Huxley’s vision of a new alternative spirituality in Island, in which the Palanese select their beliefs from different religious traditions, anticipates the New Age spiritual supermarket and traces the profound influence of Huxley’s ideas on the spiritual seekers of the twentieth century and beyond.

Ambitious Antiquities, Famous Forebears

Constructions of a Glorious Past in the Early Modern Netherlands and in Europe

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Karl A.E. Enenkel and Konrad Adriaan Ottenheym

This monograph studies the constructions of ‘impressive’ historical descent manufactured to create ‘national’, regional, or local antiquities in early modern Europe (1500-1700), especially the Netherlands. This was a period characterised by important political changes and therefore by an increased need for legitimation; a need which was met using historical claims. Literature, scholarship, art and architecture were pivotal media that were used to furnish evidence of the impressively old lineage of states, regions or families. These claims related not only to Classical antiquity (in the generally-known sense) but also to other periods that were regarded as periods of antiquity, such as the chivalric age. The authors of this volume analyse these intriguing early modern constructions of appropriate “antiquities” and investigate the ways in which they were applied in political, intellectual and artistic contexts in Europe, especially in the Northern Low Countries.

A Literary History of Medicine- The ʿUyūn al-anbāʾ fī ṭabaqāt al-aṭibbāʾ of Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿah (4 Volumes)

Volume I: Essays
Volume 2: Arabic Edition
Volume 3-1: Annotated English Translation
Volume 3-2: Annotated English Translation, Appendices and Indices

Edited by Emilie Savage-Smith, Simon Swain and Geert Jan van Gelder

Ecritures digitales

Digital Writing, Digital Scriptures

Series:

Claire Clivaz

Ecritures digitales aims to demonstrate how digital writing contributes to the emergence of “a new relationship between the human body and the machine” as Jacques Derrida proposed when he considered the effects of new technologies. This reconfigured relationship, not surprisingly, is also influencing the digital future of the Jewish-Christian textual corpus referred to as “the Scriptures”. The French title brings together this duality in one expression: Ecritures digitales. The English subtitle makes explicit the double meaning of the unique French word Ecritures: Digital writing, digital Scriptures. With a full French version and an abbreviated English version, this monograph analyzes the main challenges and opportunities for both writing and the Scriptures in the transition to digital culture. Ecritures digitales souhaite démontrer de quelle manière l’écriture digitale contribue à l’émergence d’une « nouvelle relation du corps humain aux machines », selon le diagnostique posé par Jacques Derrida à propos des effets des nouvelles technologies. Cette relation innovante influence également l’avenir numérique du corpus textuel judéo-chrétien désigné comme «les Ecritures». Le titre français rassemble en une seule expression ces deux thématiques: Ecritures digitales. Le sous-titre anglais rend sa double signification explicite: Digital writing, digital Scriptures. Avec une version française complète et une version anglaise brève, cette monographie analyse les principaux défis des métamorphoses digitales de l’écriture et des Ecritures.

African Cultural Festivals and World Literature

From the Map to the Territory

Claire Ducournau

Abstract

In an era where cultural festivals multiply, so-called African festivals have spread in Africa, but also outside of the continent, in major cities as well as in little-known villages, for example in provincial France. What are some of their implications and effects in the case of francophone African literature? These events privilege a continental representation of literature, which often reveals itself as problematic when confronted with the complex geographies of the texts and authors represented at these festivals. Using cross-disciplinary methodology, this critical inquiry reads different reallocations of this persistent African matrix through a typology and contemporary examples (Kossi Efoui’s writings, the “Étonnants Voyageurs” and “Plein sud” festivals). As an object of study, festivals bear witness to the necessity of expanding the toolbox of the (world) literary scholar by making use of documentary sources and adopting ethnographic approaches. It reveals a structural tension between an African map and various concrete territories, where local issues matter often more than this continental category, and can affect the form and content of literature itself.

The Literary World of the North African Taghrība

Novelization, Locatedness and World Literature

Karima Laachir

Abstract

The novels by North African novelists Waciny Laredj, Majid Toubia and Abdelrahim Lahbibi that refashioned the traditional Arabic genre of the taghrība inspired by the medieval epic of Taghrība of Banū Hilāl, still a living oral tradition in the region, offer an interesting case study of location in world literature. They circulate both within national (Algerian, Egyptian and Moroccan) literary systems and the pan-Arab literary field while maintaining a distinct aesthetic and political locality. In these novels, the literary life of the North African taghrība takes forms and meanings that are geographically and historically located, and that are shaped by the positionality of the authors. This paper intervenes in the discussion on location in world literature from the perspective of Arabic novelistic traditions by showing that the pan-Arabic literary field itself is far from homogenous but is marked by a diversity of narrative styles and techniques that can be both local/localised and transregional at the same time. Therefore, we need to shift our understanding of world literature beyond macro-models of “world-system” that assume a universally-shared set of literary values and tastes.

Locating the World in Metaphysical Poetry

The Bardification of Hafiz

Fatima Burney

Abstract

Discussions on world literature often imagine literary presence, movement, and exchange in terms of location and prioritize those literary traditions that can be easily mapped. In many regards, classical ghazal poetry resists such interpretation. Nonetheless, a number of nineteenth-century writers working in Urdu and English reframed classical ghazal poetry according to notions of locale that were particularly underpinned by ideas of natural essence, or genius. This article puts two such receptions of the classical ghazal in conversation with one another: the naičral shāʿirī (natural poetry) movement in North India, and the portrayal of classical Persian poet Hafiz as a figure of national genius in the scholarship of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Both these examples highlight the role that discourses of nature and natural expression played in nineteenth-century literary criticism, particularly with regard to conceptions of national culture. They also demonstrate how Persianate literary material that had long circulated in cosmopolitan ways could be vernacularized by rereading conventionalized tropes of mystical longing in terms of more worldly belonging.

Francesca Orsini and Laetitia Zecchini