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Fantasies of Self-Mourning

Modernism, the Posthuman and the Finite

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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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Shirakaba and Japanese Modernism

Art Magazines, Artistic Collectives, and the Early Avant-garde

Erin Schoneveld

Shirakaba and Japanese Modernism examines the most significant Japanese art and literary magazine of the early twentieth century, Shirakaba (White Birch, 1910–1923) and its founder, the Shirakaba-ha (White Birch Society). In this volume Erin Schoneveld explores the fluid relationship that existed between different types of modern visual media, exhibition formats, and artistic practices embraced by the Shirakaba-ha (White Birch Society). Schoneveld provides a new comparative framework for understanding how the avant-garde pursuit of individuality during Japan’s Taishō period stood in opposition to state-sponsored modernism and how this played out in the emerging media of art magazines. This book analyzes key moments in modern Japanese art and intellectual history by focusing on the artists most closely affiliated with Shirakaba, including Takamura Kōtarō, Umehara Ryūzaburō, and Kishida Ryūsei, who selectively engaged with and transformed modernist idioms of individualism and self-expression to create a new artistic style that gave visual form to their own subjective reality. Drawing upon archival research that includes numerous articles, images, and exhibitions reviews from Shirakaba, as well as a complete translation of Yanagi Sōetsu’s seminal essay, “The Revolutionary Artist” ( Kakumei no gaka), Schoneveld demonstrates that, contrary to the received narrative that posits Japanese modernism as merely derivative, the debate around modernism among Japan’s early avant-garde was lively, contested, and self-reflexive.
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Patrick McCabe’s Ireland

The Butcher Boy, Breakfast on Pluto and Winterwood

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Edited by Jennifer Keating

Few contemporary Irish writers have been more attuned to the historical influence of partition on Ireland’s culture and literary representation than Patrick McCabe. In the recent context of Brexit, his work produced in the late nineteen nineties and early two-thousands carries considerable poignancy, especially in relation to the Catholic Church, gender roles and persistence of a history of violence in Ireland. This volume attends to three novels, The Butcher Boy, Breakfast on Pluto and Winterwood as an emblematic representation of Ireland in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Contributors are: K. Brisley Brennan, Aisling Cormack, Flore Coulouma, Luke Gibbons, Lindsay Haney, Barbara Hoffmann, Jennifer Keating, James F. Knapp, Colin MacCabe, Kristina Varade.