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Roberto Schwarz

Literary forms travel from core countries to the periphery of capitalism, where they are adopted under social conditions that differ from those in the countries of their origin. Besides being inevitable, the resulting maladjustments lead to new and original aesthetic problems, presenting to the reader the symptoms of the world’s complexity. When properly worked through, these allow for the rise of world-class art, as in the case of the great Brazilian novels by Machado de Assis.

First published in Portuguese in 1977 as Ao vencedor as batatas: Forma literária e processo social nos inícios do romance brasileiro by Duas Cidades/Editora 34, ISBN 978-85-7326-169-2, and presented here in a new English-language translation, To the Victor, the Potatoes! is a major work of one of the most significant Marxist literary critics of our time.

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Edited by Harri Veivo, Petra James and Dorota Walczak-Delanois

Beat Literature in Europe offers twelve in-depth analyses of how European authors and intellectuals on both sides of the Iron Curtain read, translated and appropriated American Beat literature. The chapters combine textual analysis with discussions on the role Beat had in popular music, art, and different subcultures.
The book participates in the transnational turn that has gained in importance during the past years in literary studies, looking at transatlantic connections through the eyes of European authors, artists and intellectuals, and showing how Beat became a cluster of texts, images, and discussions with global scope. At the same time, it provides vivid examples of how national literary fields in Europe evolved during the cold war era.

Contributors are: Thomas Antonic, Franca Bellarsi, Frida Forsgren, Santiago Rodriguez Guerrero-Strachan, József Havasréti, Tiit Hennoste, Benedikt Hjartarson, Petra James, Nuno Neves, Maria Nikopoulou, Harri Veivo, Dorota Walczak-Delanois, Gregory Watson.

Boris Vian, faiseur de hoax

Pour une démystification de l’Affaire Vernon Sullivan

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Clara Sitbon

Boris Vian, faiseur de hoax : pour une démystification de l’Affaire Vernon Sullivan propose la première véritable théorie du canular, ou hoax littéraire : Qu’est-ce qu’un hoax littéraire ? Comment se manifeste-t-il ? Quelles en sont les conséquences sur la fonction de l’auteur ?
S’inspirant de grands théoriciens de la littérature tels Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault ou Jacques Derrida, Clara Sitbon applique sa toute nouvelle théorie des hoaxes littéraires à des exemples tirés des littératures française, britannique et australienne et, ce faisant, parvient à établir la première typologie des hoaxes. Plus précisément, à travers une analyse détaillée de l’Affaire Boris Vian/Vernon Sullivan (1946-1950) comme fil rouge, Clara Sitbon démontre habilement que le hoax littéraire peut être un outil d’analyse littéraire de qualité. Plus important encore, elle prouve que les auteurs pseudonymes, ces compagnons d’infortunes de leurs créateurs ont, eux aussi, une légitimité littéraire.

Boris Vian, faiseur de hoax : pour une démystification de l’Affaire Vernon Sullivan offers the first comprehensive theory of literary hoaxes: What are they? How can recognise them? How do they work? What are their consequences on the notion of authorship?
Drawing on literary theorists such as Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida, Clara Sitbon applies her theory to a range of hoaxes in French, British and Australian literatures, thereby providing a detailed typology of hoaxes. More particularly, through detailed analysis of the Boris Vian/Vernon Sullivan Affair (France, 1946-1950) as a case study for her theory, Clara Sitbon cleverly demonstrates that the literary hoax can indeed be a useful analytical tool in literary criticism. More importantly, she proves that pseudonymous authors can indeed have a literary legitimacy.

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Santiago Rodríguez Guerrero-Strachan

Abstract

This chapter examines the literature of the Beat Generation in Spain. The Beat Generation was little known in Spain until well into the 1970s. It remained only partially accessible to Spanish readers since most writers, critics and translators focused on the work of the major Beat figures. Due to the Francoist dictatorship, the reception of the Beat Generation was delayed. Despite the late discovery by Spanish readers, the influence of the Beat Generation spread from the countercultural movement that attained its high point in United States in the 1960s and reached as far as the underground movement La Movida in Madrid in the 1980s. The chapter is divided into two parts, which discuss authors born before 1945 and after 1945, respectively. In general, the Beat Generation attracted attention due to Spanish writers’ search for freedom both in life and in literature, which in this respect implied a renewal of literary language.

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Nuno Miguel Neves

This chapter examines the reception of Beat Literature in Portuguese society. The analysis of the context takes into account the existence of a censorship apparatus that depended on a totalitarian regime. The chapter then discusses Beat reception in magazines. The broader impact of the Beat presence is evaluated through a brief review of its influence on the writing of Portuguese authors from the surrealist scene as well as on new authors, like Jorge Fallorca or José Matos Cruz, who were not connected to any literary generation. This chapter also analyses the influence of censorship on translation. It is hoped that this chapter will help to fill a major gap in Portuguese literary studies regarding the reception and influence of the North American Beat authors.

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Thomas Antonic

Abstract

This chapter analyses the reception of Beat literature in Austria and its influence on Austrian writers from ca. 1960 to the present. It also provides an overview of the political and cultural context of post-World War ii Austria as a precondition for understanding the difficulties confronted by experimental writers in this highly conservative Roman Catholic country, which had only been half-heartedly denazified. The study not only discusses the influence of Beat literature on well-known Austrian writers such as Nobel laureate in literature Elfriede Jelinek, Peter Handke, Wolfgang Bauer, and similarities between the writing techniques found in Beat literature and the experiments of the so called “Wiener Gruppe” (Vienna Group), but also the central role of the Schule für Dichtung (Vienna Poetry School) in establishing a positive image of Beat poetry in Austria.

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Tiit Hennoste

This chapter analyses the traces left by the Beat movement in Estonian literature. It discusses Estonian Beat writers Johnny B. Isotamm, Peeter Sauter and Jürgen Rooste, who followed mainly the idea of bringing literature “back to life.” In addition, it introduces writers whose works were indirectly connected to the Beats and who valued the idea of a search for an inner enlightenment (Mati Unt, Jaan Kaplinski). Around 1965–1975, ideas of the Beats came indirectly into Estonia through the counterculture, the hippie movement, and the new youth culture. In the 1990s, translations of canonical Beat works were published and Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg influenced young Estonian writers. Both periods valued authenticity, freedom, sincerity and honesty, but with a different emphasis. This chapter also provides brief overviews of Estonian culture and literary life in both eras.

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Harri Veivo

Abstract

The Finnish public was introduced to Beat literature at the end of the 1950s. The movement continued to attract wide-ranging interest throughout the decade that followed, influencing the development of Finnish poetry and the evolution of personal morality in Finnish society. This chapter discusses the different contexts in which American Beat authors were discussed and translated and shows how Finnish authors positioned themselves in relation to the movement and to the literary and real-life role models it embodied. It shows how debates about Beat were motivated more by tensions within Finnish culture and society and by the evolving media landscape in the country than by the literature itself. While the restless 1960s and two of that decade’s prominent literary figures – Anselm Hollo and Pekka Kejonen – are the focal points of the analysis, the chapter traces the enduring presence of Beat literature up to the present.

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Harri Veivo, Petra James and Dorota Walczak-Delanois

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Petra James

Abstract

This article offers an overview of the Czech reception of the Beat movement. After explaining the socio-cultural specificities of the Czech context, the chapter suggests that the various Czech reactions to the Beat impulses should be interpreted as situating themselves somewhere on the scale between the feeling of ‘alienation’, or even ‘l’ex-propriation’ or ‘désappropriation’ (terms that Henri Lefebvre introduces in the first volume of Critique de la vie quotidienne in 1947), and ‘creative resistance’ to and ‘reappropriation’ of everyday life in the sense of Michel de Certeau (L’invention du quotidian, 1980). This chapter claims that the countercultural movements of the post-war period can be viewed and interpreted as reactions to the experience of everyday life, whether it be the Beats themselves, countercultural movements in general or specific local movements, such as the Czech underground, where the inspiration of the Beats was ultimately most evident.