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Neo-Baroques

From Latin America to the Hollywood Blockbuster

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Edited by Walter Moser, Angela Ndalianis and Peter Krieger

The Baroque is back in contemporary culture. The ten essays authored by international scholars, and three interventions by artists, examine the return of the baroque as Neo-Baroque through interdisciplinary perspectives. Understanding the Neo-Baroque as transcultural (between different cultures) and transhistorical (between historical moments) the contributors to this volume offer diverse perspectives that suggest the slipperiness of the Neo-Baroque may best be served by the term ‘Neo-Baroques’. Case studies analysed reflect this plurality and include: the productions of Belgian theatre company Abattoir Fermé; Claire Denis’ French New Extremist film Trouble Every Day; the novel Lujuria tropical by exiled El Salvadorian Quijada Urias; the science fiction blockbuster spectacles The Matrix and eXistenZ; and the spectacular grandeur of early Hollywood movie palaces and the contemporary Las Vegas Strip.

Contributors: Jens Baumgarten, Marjan Colletti, Bolívar Echeverría, Rita Eder, Hugh Hazelton, Monika Kaup, Peter Krieger, Patrick Mahon, Walter Moser, Angela Ndalianis, Richard Reddaway, Karel Vanhaesebrouck, Saige Walton.

J.G. Ballard

Landscapes of Tomorrow

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Edited by Richard Brown, Christopher Duffy and Elizabeth Stainforth

An innovative volume of interdisciplinary essays on the significant British writer J. G. Ballard (1930-2009), exploring the physical, cultural and intertextual landscapes in several key novels with a central focus on The Atrocity Exhibition (1970), one of the most challenging texts in contemporary literature. Contributors include established critics of Ballard alongside newcomers. Different spatial concepts underpin the essays, from the landscapes of Ballard’s youth in Shanghai and his life in suburban London, to nuclear testing spaces and outer space exploration. Figurative locations typical of Ballard’s work are explored, including the beach, the motorway, the high-rise and the shopping mall. Textual spaces are explored through Ballard’s affiliation with modernist literary forms, including surrealist prose writing and collage, and poetic romanticism.

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Edited by Jorge Sacido-Romero and Sylvia Mieszkowski

Sound Effects combines literary criticism and psychoanalytic theory in eleven original articles which explore the potential of the object voice as an analytic tool to approach fiction. Alongside the gaze, the voice is Jacques Lacan’s original addition to the set of partial objects of classical psychoanalysis, and has only recently been theorised by Mladen Dolar in A Voice and Nothing More (2006). With notable exceptions like Garrett Stewart’s Reading Voices (1990), the sonorous element in fiction has received little scholarly attention in comparison with poetry and drama. Sound Effects is a contribution to the burgeoning field of sound studies, and sets out to fill this gap through selective readings of English and American fiction of the last two hundred years.

Contributors: Fred Botting, Natalja Chestopalova, Mladen Dolar, Matt Foley, Alex Hope, Phillip Mahoney, Sylvia Mieszkowski, Jorge Sacido-Romero, Marcin Stawiarski, Garrett Stewart, Peter Weise, and Bruce Wyse.

When Storyworlds Collide

Metalepsis in Popular Fiction, Film and Comics

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Jeff Thoss

One can find it in the classics of experimental literature such as Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy or the short stories of Jorge Luis Borges, but also in the horror and fantasy fiction of Stephen King, in Mel Brooks’s spoof films and Grant Morrison’s superhero comics. The talk is of metalepsis, the transgression of narrative levels. While this device was long perceived as a narratological oddity reserved for avant-garde texts, it has recently emerged as a phenomenon of much wider bearing that exists in numerous media and in popular as well as high culture. When Storyworlds Collide wishes to do justice to this situation and offers both a refined model for the analysis of metalepsis across media and a detailed investigation of the uses and functions of metalepsis in popular culture, thus providing a valuable addition to the burgeoning field of post-classical and transmedial narrative theory.
Starting from a thorough reevaluation of the concept of metalepsis as it is discussed both in classical narratology and more recent endeavours, this book puts forth a deceptively simple yet flexible definition and typology of this device, centred on the violation of the border separating the inside and outside of a storyworld and designed to be transmedially applicable. In a second step, this model is put to the test through an analysis of a wide range of metaleptic narratives drawn from popular fiction, film, and comics. When Storyworlds Collide takes popular culture seriously, employing it neither to merely exemplify theory nor to demonstrate that it is ultimately a knockoff of high culture. Rather, it shows that metalepsis possesses a unique dynamics in popular storytelling and has become an essential device for pop-cultural self-reflection – while still retaining an immense potential to create amusing and entertaining narratives.
This book will be relevant to students and scholars from a wide variety of fields: narrative theory, intermediality and media studies, popular culture as well as literary, film and comics studies.

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Edited by Ingo Berensmeyer and Christoph Ehland

Literature as cultural discourse has always courted mobility. From the nomadic wanderings of the heroes of Homer and Virgil through the adventures of the medieval knight-errants to the travellers of modern times, movement and mobility have been constitutive elements of story-telling. Since writers have begun to explore the experiential dimension of movement their texts have embraced the essential changeability and instability of ‘mobile worlds’. In this sense literature reflects and processes the transformative force of movement on the perception of the world and is part of the broader cultural discourses of mobility.
From the 1936 film Night Mail to the rapid movements of the dime novel detective and the metaphorical coding of automobility in Futurist poetry, the essays in this volume offer new perspectives on the phenomenon of mobility at the intersection between the literary imagination and cultural experience. They explore movement as a decisive force of change in the history of modernity and show how literature in its representation of mobility simultaneously aims both to mirror and to grasp the phenomenon.

The Scottish Sixties

Reading, Rebellion, Revolution?

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Edited by Eleanor Bell and Linda Gunn

Although a number of publications have appeared in recent years marking the importance of the ‘swinging sixties’, many tend to be personally reflective in nature and London-centric in their coverage. By contrast, The Scottish Sixties: Reading, Rebellion, Revolution? addresses this misrepresentation and in so doing fills a gap in both Scottish and British literary and cultural studies. Through a series of academic analyses based on archival records, ephemera and work produced during the 1960s, this volume focuses, uniquely, on Scotland. In its concern with some of the key figures of Scottish cultural life, the book considers amongst other topics the implications of censorship, the role of little magazines in shaping cultural debates, the radical nature of much Scottish literature of the time, developments in the avant-garde and the role of experiment in theatre, film, TV, fine art and music.

Unreliable Truths

Transcultural Homeworlds in Indian Women’s Fiction of the Diaspora

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Sissy Helff

While many people see ‘home’ as the domestic sphere and place of belonging, it is hard to grasp its manifold implications, and even harder to provide a tidy definition of what it is. Over the past century, discussion of home and nation has been a highly complex matter, with broad political ramifications, including the realignment of nation-states and national boundaries. Against this backdrop, this book suggests that ‘home’ is constructed on the assumption that what it defines is constantly in flux and thus can never capture an objective perspective, an ultimate truth.
Along these lines, Unreliable Truths offers a comparative literary approach to the construction of home and concomitant notions of uncertainty and unreliable narration in South Asian diasporic women’s literature from the UK, Australia, South Africa, the Caribbean, North America, and Canada. Writers discussed in detail include Feroza Jussawalla, Suneeta Peres da Costa, Meera Syal, Farida Karodia, Shani Mootoo, Shobha Dé, and Oonya Kempadoo.
With its focus on transcultural homes, Unreliable Truths goes beyond discussions of diaspora from an established postcolonial point of view and contributes with its investigation of transcultural unreliable narration to the representation of a g/local South Asian diaspora.

The Evolution of Literature

Legacies of Darwin in European Cultures

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Edited by Nicholas Saul and Simon J. James

Daniel Dennett famously claimed for Darwinian theory the status of universal solvent: the totalising theory of theories, even of theories of literature. Yet only a few writers and critics have followed his view. This volume asks why. It examines both evolution in literature, and the evolution of literature. It looks at literary representations of Darwinism both historically and synchronically, at how a theory of literature might be derived from evolutionary theory, and indeed how evolution as a process might be regarded as itself aesthetic. It complements these theoretical and historical dimensions of enquiry with the comparative dimension. It asks in short: What have been the representations of Darwinian evolutionary theory in literature since the late nineteenth century? What are the leading paradigms in theory and in literature for renovating the evolutionary model? What were, and are, the differences in British, French, German paradigms of literary Darwinian reception? How, if at all, did Darwinian modes of thought hybridise across national borders? Last, but not least: What is the future of the Darwinian mode?

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Edited by Pascale Guibert

Too many landscapes have been reduced to silent commodities by being put into golden frames on top of our fireplaces. Too many landscapes have been reified by being considered as objects holding forth referents to an omnipotent looker-on, with his/her language ever ready to seize and transcribe. The articles gathered here, prolonging an international conference held at the University of Caen Basse-Normandie (France), 14-16 June 2007, set the landscapes loose again by engaging with their essentially relational quality.
What makes this volume particularly stimulating and critically innovative is this initial acknowledgement of a landscape’s reflectiveness – that is the fact that it contains unthought thought, and thus presents itself to us both passively and actively. This straightaway appraisal of the lines of flight in the seemingly static, tranquil images facing us, has opened the way to deeply critical readings bent on questioning old tracks, testing new itineraries, denying the closure of the subject. At the same time, and by way of consequence, it leads us to encounter the force in landscape. A force like an energy, an impetus, which makes it possible – if not advisable! – to still compose, read and enjoy landscapes in the XXIst century.

Neo-Victorian Tropes of Trauma

The Politics of Bearing After-Witness to Nineteenth-Century Suffering

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Edited by Marie-Luise Kohlke and Christian Gutleben

This collection constitutes the first volume in Rodopi’s Neo-Victorian Series, which explores the prevalent but often problematic re-vision of the long nineteenth century in contemporary culture. Here is presented for the first time an extended analysis of the conjunction of neo-Victorian fiction and trauma discourse, highlighting the significant interventions in collective memory staged by the belated aesthetic working-through of historical catastrophes, as well as their lingering traces in the present. The neo-Victorian’s privileging of marginalised voices and its contestation of master-narratives of historical progress construct a patchwork of competing but equally legitimate versions of the past, highlighting on-going crises of existential extremity, truth and meaning, nationhood and subjectivity. This volume will be of interest to both researchers and students of the growing field of neo-Victorian studies, as well as scholars in memory studies, trauma theory, ethics, and heritage studies. It interrogates the ideological processes of commemoration and forgetting and queries how the suffering of cultural and temporal others should best be represented, so as to resist the temptations of exploitative appropriation and voyeuristic spectacle. Such precarious negotiations foreground a central paradox: the ethical imperative to bear after-witness to history’s silenced victims in the face of the potential unrepresentability of extreme suffering.