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The Nature Essay

Ecocritical Explorations

Simone Schröder

The Nature Essay: Ecocritical Explorations is the first extended study of a powerful literary form born out of the traditions of Enlightenment and Romanticism. It traces the varied stylistic paradigms of the ‘nature essay’ down to the present day. Reading essays as platforms for ecological discourse, the book analyses canonical and marginalised texts, mainly from German, English and American literature. Simone Schröder argues that the essay’s environmental impact is rooted in its negotiation of scientific, poetic, spiritual, and ethical modes of perceiving nature. Together, the chapters on these four aspects form a historical panorama of the nature essay as a genre that continues to flourish in our time of ecological crisis.

Authors discussed include: Alexander von Humboldt, Henry David Thoreau, Virginia Woolf, Robert Musil, Ernst Jünger, W.G. Sebald, Kathleen Jamie, and David Foster Wallace.
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Ayse Ozge Kocak Hemmat

The Turkish Novel and the Quest for Rationality is the first book to contextualize the Turkish novel with regard to the intellectual developments motivating the Turkish modernization project since the 18th century. The book provides a dialectical narrative for the emergence and development of the Turkish novel in order to highlight the genre’s critical role within the modernization project. In doing so, it also delineates the changing forms the novel assumes in the Turkish context from a platform for new literature to a manifestation of crisis in the face of totalizing rationality. Vis-a-vis modernization's engagement with rationality, The Turkish Novel and the Quest for Rationality reveals unexplored ways of conceptualizing the development of the genre in non-western contexts.
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Literature as Document

Generic Boundaries in 1930s Western Literature


Edited by Sarah Bonciarelli, Carmen Van den Bergh and Anne Reverseau

Literature as Document considers the relationship between documents and literary texts in Western Literature of the 1930s. More specifically, the volume deals with the notion of the “document” and its multifaceted and complex connections to literary “texts” and attempts to provide answers to the problematic nature of that relationship. In an effort to determine a possible theoretical definition, many different disciplines have been taken into account, as well as individual case studies. In order to observe dynamics and trends, the idea for this investigation was to look at literature, taking its practices, its factual-looking and concrete applications, as a point of departure – that is to say, then, starting from the literary object itself.
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Fantasies of Self-Mourning

Modernism, the Posthuman and the Finite


Ruben Borg

In Fantasies of Self-Mourning Ruben Borg describes the formal features of a posthuman, cyborgian imaginary at work in modernism. The book’s central claim is that modernism invents the posthuman as a way to think through the contradictions of its historical moment. Borg develops a posthumanist critique of the concept of organic life based on comparative readings of Pirandello, Woolf, Beckett, and Flann O’Brien, alongside discussions of Alfred Hitchcock, Chris Marker, Béla Tarr, Ridley Scott and Mamoru Oshii. The argument draws together a cluster of modernist narratives that contemplate the separation of a cybernetic eye from a human body—or call for a tearing up of the body understood as a discrete organic unit capable of synthesizing desire and sense perception.
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The Antiquarians of the Nation

Monuments and Language in Nineteenth-Century Roussillon


Francesca Zantedeschi

In the nineteenth century, the search for the artistic, architectural and written monuments promoted by the French State with the aim to build a unified nation transcending regional specificities, also fostered the development of local or regional identitary consciousness. In Roussillon, this distinctive consciousness relied on a basically cultural concept of nation epitomised mainly by the Catalan language – Roussillon being composed of Catalan counties annexed to France in 1659. In The Antiquarians of the Nation, Francesca Zantedeschi explores how the works of Roussillon's archaeologists and philologists, who retrieved and enhanced the Catalan specificities of the region, contributed to the early stages of a ‘national’ (Catalan) cultural revival, and galvanised the implicit debate between (French) national history and incipient regional studies.
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Récits contemporains d’endeuillés après suicide

Les cas Fottorino, Vigan, Grimbert, Rahmani, Charneux et Delaume


Michèle Bacholle-Bošković

Cet ouvrage de Michèle Bacholle est le premier à examiner des écrits autobiographiques de romanciers français contemporains endeuillés après suicide. Alors que les livres de Fottorino et Vigan permettent une réflexion sur la famille, la filiation et les secrets (aux effets pathogènes et transgénérationnels), ceux de Grimbert et Rahmani montrent comment l’Histoire (l’Holocauste et les massacres des harkis) a causé des suicides retardés. Charneux et Delaume ouvrent, eux, une discussion sur les enfants endeuillés après suicide. Puisant dans la psychologie et la suicidologie, ce livre montre les stratégies utilisées pour dire l’indicible et que l’écriture permet une restructuration de soi. En explorant le suicide et les tenants et aboutissants de ce deuil particulier, il lève aussi un tabou.

Michèle Bacholle’s book is the first to examine autobiographical writings by contemporary French novelists, survivors of another person’s suicide. While Fottorino’s and Vigan’s books allow a reflection on family, filiation, and family secrets (with their pathogenic and transgenerational effects), Grimbert’s and Rahmani’s show how History (the Holocaust and the harkis’ massacres at the end of the Algerian War) caused delayed suicides, and Charneux and Delaume open a discussion on children as suicide survivors. Using sources in psychology and suicidology, this book shows the strategies these writers use to tell the unspeakable and shows how writing enables self-restructuration.By exploring suicide and the ins and outs of its specific kind of mourning, this book breaks a taboo.
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Edited by Andrés Pociña Pérez, Aurora López, Carlos Ferreira Morais, Maria de Fátima Silva and Patrick Finglass

The theme of Medea in Portuguese literature has mainly given rise to the writing of new plays on the subject. The central episode in the Portuguese rewritings in the last two centuries is the one that takes place in Corinth, i.e., the break between Medea and Jason, on the one hand, and Medea’s killing of their children in retaliation, on the other. Besides the complex play of feelings that provides this episode with very real human emotions, gender was a key issue in determining the interest that this story elicited in a society in search of social renovation, after profound political transformations – during the transition between dictatorship and democracy which happened in 1974 – that generated instability and established a requirement to find alternative rules of social intercourse in the path towards a new Portugal.
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Natura in fabula

Topiques romanesques de l'environnement


Edited by Isabelle Trivisani-Moreau and Philippe Postel

Les études réunies dans Natura in fabula envisagent les questions de la nature et de l’environnement dans le roman sous l’angle de la topique en s’appuyant sur le repérage de configurations narratives récurrentes. La nature apparaît souvent comme un cadre avec ses scénographies et topographies, mais elle peut également s’incarner en une entité avec laquelle doit composer l’homme plus que le personnage. Que font les topoi de la nature, dans leur malléabilité, voire leur réversibilité, à l’écriture ? Comment les tournants historiques viennent-ils infléchir ces topoi et en faire émerger de nouveaux ? Quelles éco-logiques les rapports que l’homme entretient avec la nature dans les œuvres romanesques esquissent-ils ?

The papers brought together in Natura in Fabula focus on nature and environment-related issues in the novel, addressing them from the perspective of topics through the identification of recurrent narrative patterns. Nature often functions as a setting with its scenographies and topographies, but it may also embody an entity which man, more than the novel’s characters, is to cope with.
How do natural topoi work in writing, owing to their malleability or reversibility in a literary text? To what extent do historic turning points impact these topoi, encouraging new ones to emerge? And what kinds of “eco-logics” do they help elaborate regarding man’s relation with nature in works of fiction?
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La littérature transculturelle franco-persane

Une évolution littéraire depuis les années 80


Esfaindyar Daneshvar

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The Idea of Beauty in Italian Literature and Language

"Il buono amore è di bellezza disio"

Edited by Claudio Di Felice, Harald Hendrix and Philiep Bossier

Beauty is a central concept in the Italian cultural imagination throughout its history and in virtually all its manifestations. It particularly permeates the domains that have governed the construction of Italian identity: literature and language. The Idea of Beauty in Italian Literature and Language assesses this long tradition in a series of essays covering a wide chronological and thematic range, while crossing from historical linguistics to literary and cultural studies. It offers elements for reflection on cross-disciplinary approaches in the humanities, and demonstrates the power of beauty as a fundamental category beyond aesthetics.