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Experimental translation has been surging in popularity recently—with avant-garde translation at the combative forefront. But how to do it? How to read it?
Translator, Touretter plays on the Italian dictum traduttore, traditore—“translator, traitor”—to mobilize the affective intensity of Tourettic tics as a practical guide to making and reading avant-garde translations. It smashes the theoretical literature on the sublime from Longinus to Kant into Motherless Brooklyn, both the 1999 novel by Jonathan Lethem and its 2019 screen adaptation by Edward Norton, in order to generate out of their collision a series of models—visual, aural/oral, and kinesthetic—for avant-garde literary translation.
An Art of Desire. Reading Paul Auster the first book-length study solely devoted to the novels of Paul Auster. From the vantage-point of poststructuralist theory, especially Lacanian psychoanalysis and Derridean deconstruction, this book explores the relation of Auster's novels City of Glass, In the Country of Last Things, Moon Palace, and The Music of Chance to the rewriting and deconstruction of genre conventions; their connections to concepts such as catastrophe theory, the sublime, Freud's notion of the 'death drive;' as well as the philosophical underpinnings of his work. At the focus of this study, however, is the concept of desire, an important concept in the writings of both Auster and Lacan, and the various manifestations of this concept in Auster's novels.
Auster's novels always emphasize a kind of outside of the text (chance, the real, the unsayable), a kind of hope for a 'transparent language,' a hope, however, that is exactly posited as impossible to fulfill. The relation of Daniel Quinn, Anna Blume, Marco Fogg and Jim Nashe to this lack is the motor of their desire, the driving force for the subject that has always already left the real and has been inscribed into the representational system called 'reality.' It is here, in its relation to the signifier, that the subject's desire is played out, that its experience is ordered, interpreted, and articulated. It is their ability to make connections, to proliferate, to 'affirm free-play,' their ability 'not to bemoan the absence of the centre' that ultimately decides over success or failure of Auster's subjects - whether they partake in the 'joyous errance of the sign,' or whether their fate is that of the 'unfortunate traveler.'
Jeanette Winterson and the Politics of Reading
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Lawrence Durrell, Postmodernism and the Ethics of Alterity is of interest for any reader wishing to explore the interface between literature, and critical and cultural theory. The volume investigates the notions of alterity which underlie the work of Lawrence Durrell and postmodernist theory. The introduction sketches the Levinasian ethics of alterity and re-evaluates Durrell's fiction within the context of postmodernism. For the first time a study calls upon Durrell's later work, especially The Avignon Quintet, to propose an other reading of Durrell. Criticising the notion of the canon and extending the context of a postmodernist ethics of alterity, this reading embraces the alterity of receiving the un(re)ceivable text as the only possibility of reading Durrell's work today. The volume then focuses on the notion of alterity in the context of Durrell's gnostic philosophy, which it compares to postmodernist world views or cosmologies. The resulting critique of alterity is seen as central to defining the relation between postmodernism, as a dominant discourse in contemporary Western culture, and e.g. its postcolonial others. Other aspects of the study are the common concern of postmodernism and Durrell's writings with the other of time and history, or with the time of the event, the notion of an intrinsic alterity in the individual psyche and Durrell's post-identitarian and post-individual Quintet (in the context of contemporary psychoanalytical theories about the subject). The Avignon Quintet has to be understood as a project of cultural translation the colonial politics of which is inscribed into the debate about globalisation, difference and cultural hybridisation. This study criticises the underlying notions of alterity in the Quintet and postmodernisms, it argues instead for an ethics of translation which pluralises the concepts of alterity and language in order to achieve a more positive exchange between postmodernist and postcolonial theories and literatures.
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The essays collected here represent the latest thinking on postmodernism in a number of key areas: economics, law, postcolonialism, literature, feminism, film, philosophy. One of the issues common to the volume is the desire to cast postmodernism in a predominantly ethical ('just') light, and the opportunities and obstacles postmodernism might place in the path of the description of, and search for, justice. The collection highlights the most recent trends in postmodern thinking, the turn away from postmodernism as mere discourse and language games to a more politically and socially engaged forum. The book will be of interest to all students of contemporary cultural, social and critical thought.
A Comparison of Postmodern Fiction in Britain and America
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Postmodernism and Notions of National Difference examines the critical construction of postmodern fiction raising the question of whether the construction of postmodernism has sufficiently accounted for national difference. Geoffrey Lord argues that current meta-national conceptions of postmodernism need serious reconsideration to take national cultural contexts into account. Through a comparative investigation of the theoretical debate, literary traditions and close textual reading of a number of postmodern texts, Lord makes a persuasive case for his broad claim that national cultural differences are more persistent and powerful than usually allowed by established theories of postmodernity which claim a general collapse of traditional cultural orders and the meta-narratives that justify them.
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The Postmodern, the (Post-)Colonial, and the (Post-)Feminist
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