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Abstract

This paper argues that the Gesta Francorum could have been written in Latin as a text designed for performance. It starts by looking at the style and approach of the text itself, arguing that whilst the Gesta’s Latin is close to the vernacular it has strong performative elements. It argues that Latin texts could be made comprehensible to a non-Latin literate public in a range of contexts. It explores the linguistic climate in Southern Italy and Sicily at this time and argues that Latin would not only have been comprehensible to the audience but a possible lingua franca for wider use, meaning that the text could have served as a pivot text for other languages. The paper concludes that looking at the text as designed for oral delivery offers insight into why it seems to have existed in several versions, why it was seen as so unusual by contemporaries and why it was so influential.

In: The Medieval Chronicle 13

Abstract

This paper argues that the Gesta Francorum could have been written in Latin as a text designed for performance. It starts by looking at the style and approach of the text itself, arguing that whilst the Gesta’s Latin is close to the vernacular it has strong performative elements. It argues that Latin texts could be made comprehensible to a non-Latin literate public in a range of contexts. It explores the linguistic climate in Southern Italy and Sicily at this time and argues that Latin would not only have been comprehensible to the audience but a possible lingua franca for wider use, meaning that the text could have served as a pivot text for other languages. The paper concludes that looking at the text as designed for oral delivery offers insight into why it seems to have existed in several versions, why it was seen as so unusual by contemporaries and why it was so influential.

In: The Medieval Chronicle 13
Author: Lena Seauve

Résumé

L’article définit la nouvelle graphique Tout sera oublié de Mathias Énard et Pierre Marquès comme fiction métahistoriographique. Le livre représente une réflexion profonde sur le problème de la mémoire et de l’oubli d’évènements historiques violents. L’article analyse les différentes techniques de commémoration auxquels le livre fait appel : le monument classique, le mémorial, la mémoire individuelle, le témoignage oral, le texte littéraire et l’image. C’est aussi à travers le rapport souvent embrouillé entre texte et image que le problème de la représentation et de l’irreprésentable est abordé dans Tout sera oublié . Le livre peut être lu comme un commentaire métapoétique sur le rôle que peuvent jouer l’art et la littérature dans la création d’une mémoire collective.

In: Mathias Énard et l’érudition du roman
Author: Lena Seauve

Résumé

L’article définit la nouvelle graphique Tout sera oublié de Mathias Énard et Pierre Marquès comme fiction métahistoriographique. Le livre représente une réflexion profonde sur le problème de la mémoire et de l’oubli d’évènements historiques violents. L’article analyse les différentes techniques de commémoration auxquels le livre fait appel : le monument classique, le mémorial, la mémoire individuelle, le témoignage oral, le texte littéraire et l’image. C’est aussi à travers le rapport souvent embrouillé entre texte et image que le problème de la représentation et de l’irreprésentable est abordé dans Tout sera oublié . Le livre peut être lu comme un commentaire métapoétique sur le rôle que peuvent jouer l’art et la littérature dans la création d’une mémoire collective.

In: Mathias Énard et l’érudition du roman
Author: Lyn Thomas

Abstract

This chapter examines how Annie Ernaux rewrites the textual boundary between youth and age in Mémoire de fille (2016). Throughout her life Ernaux has written and rewritten aspects of her life history, but in Mémoire de fille she excavates a period of her life that has only been referred to briefly in previous texts. I will consider how this new piece in the puzzle both completes and complicates the representation of the author’s life and epoch in Ernaux’s œuvre, focusing particularly on the textual relationship between youth and age. In Les Années, in part through the shift from ‘je’ to ‘elle’, Ernaux represents her ageing self as estranged from her younger selves in a continuing process of loss; Shirley Jordan has argued that the voice of the ageing narrator in this text is marked by a new ‘fragility, anxiety and fear’ (2011, 138). Here I will argue that in Mémoire de fille, the confrontation with memories of an abusive relationship leads to a new, and stronger voice of ageing, and through the construction of a ‘survivor narrative’ to a new iteration of Ernaux’s feminist politics.

In: Transgression(s) in Twenty-First-Century Women's Writing in French
In: Athenäum Jahrbuch der Friedrich Schlegel-Gesellschaft

Abstract

Along with a growing awareness of impending ecological doom, the 21st century has seen the meteoric rise in popularity of apocalyptic fiction, narratives that pose various visions of “end times” on both human and ecological scales. Using theoretical frameworks developed by Timothy Morton and Bruno Latour, as well as the fiction of Jeff VanderMeer and other contemporary science fiction, this paper will suggest that apocalyptic narratives propose new ways of understanding relationships between humans and nonhumans and complicate the concept of inanimacy. By suggesting that persistence and permanence, in the sense of time scales that surpass human temporality, constitute a form of abjection that results in the breakdown of relations between humans and nonhumans, contemporary apocalyptic narratives complicate our notions of the natural and supernatural in ways that also call into question some of our basic assumptions about agency, ontology and epistemology. Because apocalypse is the end of all things (at least from a human perspective), it constitutes a kind of ‘black box’, or perhaps black hole, from which all understanding retreats. At stake is whether such an absence of knowledge is actually a kind of absent present, and whether that absence can be read as an attempt to grapple with the limits of human knowledge through narrative. These concepts will primarily be explored through the lens of the weird ecology of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy as an example of ‘abcanny’ apocalypse, in which destruction is driven by a will (or a machine) that cannot be understood or fought. Finally, we argue that contemporary visions of the apocalypse suggest that hope may lie in something fascinatingly new – but it may not be hope for the human species.

In: Green Matters

Abstract

This essay traces the problem of world literature in key writings by the Egyptian scientist and littérateur Aḥmad Zakī Abū Shādī. Abū Shādī’s early nod to world literature (1908–1909) intimates the challenge of making literary particularity heard in the homogenizing harmonies of a world dominated by English. That problem persists in his account of a 1926 meeting with the Bengali polymath Rabindranath Tagore and in an essay of 1928 inspired by that meeting: one of the first manifestos of al-adab al-ʿālamī (world literature) in Arabic, predating the 1936 appearance of al-adab al-muqāran (comparative literature). While Abū Shādī lauds Tagore’s refusal to compare literatures East and West and insistence on the spiritual unity of all literatures, his struggles to articulate a world in which harmony is not an alibi for hierarchy suggest that neither comparative literature nor its would-be leveler – world literature – can shed the haunting specter of inequality.

In: Journal of World Literature
In: Thinking in Literature
Author: Werner Wolf

Abstract

This essay is a contribution to a new (or renewed) focus of interest observable in various disciplines, including – over the last few years – classical philology: an interest in the historical dimension of an important reception effect which representations in literature and many other media can elicit, namely ‘aesthetic illusion’ (frequently also termed differently, e.g., ‘immersion’). Aesthetic illusion is particularly difficult to ascertain for remote periods and cultures, for which empirical methods are inapplicable and where reception testimonies are scarce. However, there is indirect evidence in aesthetic theory, in rhetoric, and above all in certain artefacts and literary texts. After a clarification of the concept and term ‘aesthetic illusion’ and of the cultural-historical preconditions for its emergence, this essay discusses some evidence for the existence of aesthetic illusion in ancient ‘theory’ and literary practice (in Homer, Sophocles, and Heliodorus), including instances of a playful use of this phenomenon (in Pseudo-Homer and Aristophanes). All of this indicates that aesthetic illusion is not a recent phenomenon of the past few centuries but can be traced back to ancient cultures.

In: Taking Stock – Twenty-Five Years of Comparative Literary Research