The Campus Novel – Regional or Global? presents innovative scholarship in the field of academic fiction. Whereas the campus novel is traditionally considered a product of the Anglo-American world, the present study opens a new perspective: it elucidates the intercultural exchange between the well-established Western canon of British and American academic fiction and its more recent regional response outside the Anglo-American territory.
This volume offers insight into Vladimir Nabokov as a reader and a teacher, and sheds new light on the relationship of his views on literary aesthetics to the development of his own oeuvre. The essays included focus on the lectures on European and Russian literature that Nabokov gave at a number of American universities in the years between his arrival in the United States and the publication of
Lolita. Nabokov’s treatment of literary masterpieces by Austen, Cervantes, Chekhov, Dickens, Flaubert, Gogol, Kafka, Joyce, Proust and Stevenson is assessed by experts on these authors.
Contributors are: Lara Delage-Toriel, Ben Dhooge, Yannicke Chupin, Roy Groen, Luc Herman, Flora Keersmaekers, Arthur Langeveld, Geert Lernout, Vivian Liska, Ilse Logie, Jürgen Pieters, Gerard de Vries.
Kathryn Ambrose offers a new approach to the Woman Question in mid- to late-nineteenth-century English, German and Russian literature. Using a methodological framework based on feminist theory and post-structuralism, she provides a re-vision of canonical texts (such as
Fathers and Children and
Anna Karenina) alongside lesser-known works by Emily and Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, Theodor Storm, Theodor Fontane, Ivan Turgenev and Leo Tolstoy. Her exploration of the semiotics of barriers – as opposed to the established approach of the semiotics of space – makes for a rewarding reading of this period of literature and establishes new cross-cultural and literary connections between the three countries.
Anti-Portraits: Poetics of the Face in Modern English, Polish and Russian Literature (1835-1965) is a study of a-physiognomic descriptions of the face. It demonstrates that writers such as George Eliot, Leo Tolstoy, Edgar Allan Poe, Nicolay Gogol, Virginia Woolf and Witold Gombrowicz vigorously resisted the belief that facial features reflect character.
While other studies tend to focus on descriptions which affirm physiognomy, this book examines portraits which question popular face-reading systems and contravene their common premise – the surface-depth principle. Such portraits reveal that physiognomic formula is a cultural construct, invented to abridge, organise and regulate legibility of the human face. Most importantly, strange and ‘unreadable’ fictional faces frequently expose the connection between physiognomic judgement and stereotyping, prejudice and racism.