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Russell Williams

In Pathos, Poetry and Politics in Michel Houellebecq's fiction, Russell Williams examines the literary style of France's most notorious novelist. Houellebecq is frequently the focus of debate for his provocative comments about Islam and the decline of Western civilisation. This book refocuses attention on how such provocation is an integral part of the texture of his novels.
Williams considers Houellebecq's writing about literature and outlines the key principles of the author's poetics, founded on an acute sensitivity to reading experience. He then explores Houellebecq's earliest poetry before mapping this poetic voice into his subsequent fiction, including Sérotonine (2019). Houellebecq's relationship with genre fiction and the crucial issue of the authorial persona that exists in and around his texts are also explored.

Postmodern Pirates

Tracing the Development of the Pirate Motif with Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean

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Susanne Zhanial

Postmodern Pirates offers a comprehensive analysis of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean series and the pirate motif through the lens of postmodern theories. Susanne Zhanial shows how the postmodern elements determine the movies’ aesthetics, narratives, and character portrayals, but also places the movies within Hollywood’s contemporary blockbuster machinery. The book then offers a diachronic analysis of the pirate motif in British literature and Hollywood movies. It aims to explain our ongoing fascination with the maritime outlaw, focuses on how a text’s cultural background influences the pirate’s portrayal, and pays special attention to the aspect of gender. Through the intertextual references in Pirates of the Caribbean, the motif’s development is always tied to Disney’s postmodern movie series.

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Alice Richir

Qui se cache derrière le « Je » et ses mensonges ? Écriture du fantasme plonge au cœur de la littérature contemporaine de langue française pour désigner comme fantasmes, au sens psychanalytique, les projections imaginaires qui peuplent les romans de Jean-Philippe Toussaint et Tanguy Viel. Prenant appui sur la définition du fantasme de Sigmund Freud et sur l’identification de sa logique par Jacques Lacan, la fiction fantasmatique est envisagée comme un moyen pour un narrateur à l’identité diffractée de faire récit. Cette nouvelle logique narrative est étudiée à la lumière des dispositifs modernes de l’image – photographie et cinéma, essentiellement –, dont Toussaint et Viel s’inspirent pour déconstruire les cadres représentatifs traditionnels et interroger le rapport entre identification et récit aujourd’hui.

Who lies behind the "I" and its deceitful nature? Écriture du fantasme delves into the heart of contemporary French-language literature to psychoanalytically designate as fantasies the imaginary projections which populate the novels of Jean-Philippe Toussaint and Tanguy Viel. Fantasized fiction is regarded as a means for a narrator with a diffracted identity to exist through the narration, based on how Sigmund Freud defined fantasy and on how Jacques Lacan deciphers its logic. This new sense of narration is studied through modern imagery devices – essentially photography and cinema. Toussaint and Viel use these as inspiration to deconstruct the traditional representative frameworks and question the current correlation between identification and narrative.