Paul Muldoon and the Language of Poetry is the first book in years that attends to the entire oeuvre of the Irish-American poet, critic, lyricist, dramatist and Princeton professor from his debut with New Weather in 1973 up to his very recent publications. Ruben Moi’s book explores, in correspondence with language philosophy and critical debate, how Muldoon’s ingenious language and inventive form give shape and significance to his poetry, and how his linguistic panache and technical verve keep language forever surprising, new and alive.
This book is the first English-language collection of essays by leading Camus scholars from around the world to focus on Albert Camus’ place and status as a philosopher amongst philosophers. After a thematic introduction, the dedicated chapters of Part 1 address Camus’ relations with leading philosophers, from the ancient Greeks to Jean-Paul Sartre (Augustine, Hume, Kant, Diderot, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Husserl, Hegel, Marx, Sartre). Part 2 contains pieces considering philosophical themes in Camus’ works, from the absurd in The Myth of Sisyphus to love in The First Man (the absurd, psychoanalysis, justice, Algeria, solidarity and solitude, revolution and revolt, art, asceticism, love).
Subverting Gender and Genre

Contemporary Fairy-Tale Magic, edited by Lydia Brugué and Auba Llompart, studies the impact of fairy tales on contemporary cultures from an interdisciplinary perspective, with special emphasis on how literature and film are retelling classic fairy tales for modern audiences. We are currently witnessing a resurgence of fairy tales and fairy-tale characters and motifs in art and popular culture, as well as an increasing and renewed interest in reinventing and subverting these narratives to adapt them to the expectations and needs of the contemporary public. The collected essays also observe how the influence of academic disciplines like Gender Studies and current literary and cinematic trends play an important part in the revision of fairy-tale plots, characters and themes.

Writing and Directing in Contemporary Theatre Practice
In Acts of Resistance in Late-Modernist Theatre, Richard Murphet presents a close analysis of the theatre practice of two ground-breaking artists – Richard Foreman and Jenny Kemp – active over the late twentieth and the early twenty-first century. In addition, he tracks the development of a form of ‘epileptic’ writing over the course of his own career as writer/director.
Murphet argues that these three auteurs have developed subversive alternatives to the previously dominant forms of dramatic realism in order to re-think the relationship between theatre and reality. They write and direct their own work, and their artistic experimentation is manifest in the tension created between their content and their form. Murphet investigates how the works are made, rather than focusing upon an interpretation of their meaning. Through an examination of these artists, we gain a deeper understanding of a late modernist paradigm shift in theatre practice.
Tracing the Development of the Pirate Motif with Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean
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.
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.
Intellectual Biography and Critical Balance-Sheet
Perhaps no philosopher is more of a conundrum than Nietzsche, the solitary rebel, poet, wayfarer, anti-revolutionary Aufklärer and theorist of aristocratic radicalism. His accusers identify in his ‘superman’ the origins of Nazism, and thus issue an irrevocable condemnation; his defenders pursue a hermeneutics of innocence founded ultimately in allegory. In a work that constitutes the most important contribution to Nietzschean studies in recent decades, Domenico Losurdo instead pursues a less reductive strategy. Taking literally the ruthless implications of Nietzsche's anti-democratic thinking – his celebration of slavery, of war and colonial expansion, and eugenics – he nevertheless refuses to treat these from the perspective of the mid-twentieth century. In doing so, he restores Nietzsche’s works to their complex nineteenth-century context, and presents a more compelling account of the importance of Nietzsche as philosopher than can be expected from his many contemporary apologists.

Translated by Gregor Benton. With an Introduction by Harrison Fluss.


Originally published in Italian by Bollati Boringhieri Editore as Domenico Losurdo, Nietzsche, il ribelle aristocratico: Biografia intellettuale e bilancio critico, Turin, 2002.
In: Paul Muldoon and the Language of Poetry
In: Paul Muldoon and the Language of Poetry
In: Paul Muldoon and the Language of Poetry
In: Paul Muldoon and the Language of Poetry
In: Paul Muldoon and the Language of Poetry
In: Paul Muldoon and the Language of Poetry
In: Paul Muldoon and the Language of Poetry
In: Paul Muldoon and the Language of Poetry
In: Paul Muldoon and the Language of Poetry
In: Paul Muldoon and the Language of Poetry
In: Paul Muldoon and the Language of Poetry
In: Paul Muldoon and the Language of Poetry
In: Paul Muldoon and the Language of Poetry
In: Paul Muldoon and the Language of Poetry

Abstract

The Polar Bear has been an important character in the mythology and traditional folktales of numerous Arctic and sub-Arctic peoples. It is among the most recognizable charismatic megafauna in the world and arguably the most iconic symbol of the far north. Increasingly, the polar bear has also come to represent the effects of anthropogenic climate change and global warming. The focus of this study is upon the various intercultural ‘ways of seeing’ the polar bear, from northern folklore to modern-day children’s literature, in order to assess the main themes, archetypes and character functions that have emerged over time. A sample of 71 fiction and non-fiction books about polar bears, published between 1982 and 2019, and aimed at early learner children of about 7 or 8 years of age, have been examined.

In: Contemporary Fairy-Tale Magic

Abstract

In The Irresistible Fairy Tale (2012), Jack Zipes ties a sense of wonder to the subversive fairy tale. He claims the subversive fairy tale often takes shape as a dystopia that ‘still pulsates with [the] utopia fervor’ (136) of the tradition it subverts. Popular British women writers like Christina Rossetti, George Egerton, and Angela Carter famously tapped into this fairy-tale wonder in their subversive fairy tales, reshaping the traditional Victorian fairy tale as a vehicle of social critique in the hopes of changing a new generation. By contrast, Irish authors such as Julia Kavanagh, Molly Keane, and Maeve Brennan use the Victorian fairy tale tradition as a pernicious force in the lives of their displaced and marginalized heroines. This chapter examines how the Cinderella fairy tale particularly encourages complacency which dooms the marginalized heroine who must forge her own happiness against the tide of mainstream culture. These fictional characters created by Kavanagh, Keane and Brennan resonate with political references to ‘Cinderella’ in Irish newspapers and pamphlets under British colonial rule. Thus, these narratives are also a part of a tradition of highly politicized Cinderella tales, in which Cinderella is stripped of wonder and positioned as a dangerously passive creature who threatens both the individual and the nation in the Irish cultural imagination.

In: Contemporary Fairy-Tale Magic

Abstract

In the last decades, and in parallel with the rise of trauma theory and memory studies, literature has increasingly turned to the Holocaust and its aftermath. This chapter focuses on one of the ways in which contemporary literature has attended to what Imre Kertész called—in his 2002 Nobel lecture—‘the broken voice’ of the Holocaust past. This broken voice can be heard in works of fiction that deal with the Holocaust by using traditional fairy tales as templates or background structures. The present analysis thus considers several Holocaust narratives that build on fairy-tale intertexts—Kindergarten (1979), Briar Rose (1992), ‘Breadcrumbs and Stones’ (1993), The True Story of Hansel and Gretel (2003), and Gretel and the Dark (2014)—in order to illustrate how the memory of the past is kept alive in the Holocaust anti-tale, a hybrid form that partakes of the indirectness and dialogical nature typical of accounts of traumatic events. Attention is paid, too, to the reflection these works prompt on issues like perpetration and evil, the legacy of survival and victimhood, and the relational nature of remembering that links not only different generations of people, but also different stories of violence.

In: Contemporary Fairy-Tale Magic

Abstract

In a later stage of creativity, Susan Hill has published a series of gothic narratives with evident Neo-Victorian traits which share many features pertaining to the traditional folktale. This succession of gothic stories was inaugurated by the publication of her much acclaimed novel, The Woman in Black (1983), which established common narratological characteristics that would reverberate in many of her subsequent novels belonging to the same genre. Drawing on Vladimir Propp’s concepts of function and character-function in his analysis of the folktale, Claude Lévi-Strauss’ structural study of mythemes and the identification of an underlying pattern, and Carl Jung’s theories about the collective unconscious and archetypes, this article aims to interpret Hill’s novel The Woman in Black as a folktale by means of analyzing the features that it shares with the formula of classic folktales.

In: Contemporary Fairy-Tale Magic

Abstract

This chapter contains an analysis of the reformulations of Cinderella and Snow White produced during the 1990s by Laurence Anholt. In spite of not fitting Lurie’s (1998) definition of subversive literature as a work that transgresses social norms, these tales contain more than a hint of rebelliousness and irreverence along the lines of great masters like Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Roald Dahl, Christine Nöstlinger, or Lewis Carroll. The in-depth review of the original texts will pave the way for a critical study of the translation strategies which were used by the cultural mediator to provide appropriate solutions to complex translation issues: linguistic iconicity, overt knowledge areas, and proper names. With this goal in mind, the level of translation coherence in relation to the norms which were adopted to convey meaning between languages will be assessed, following Toury’s (1980, 2012) assumption that norms are the primary choice of translators at the time of foreignizing or domesticating the resulting text. This critical examination will make it possible to verify whether both the original versions and their translations could be part of the so-called ‘gender literature’, according to the parameters set out by the project entitled Gender Identity: Child Readers and Library Collections (G-Book) (2017/2018) funded by the European Union (Creative Europe Programme).

In: Contemporary Fairy-Tale Magic

Abstract

Definitions of fairy and folk tales are heterogeneous, westernized, and may even contradict each other. Therefore, Japanese folktales may present certain features that differ from the literary canon. On another note, the worldwide influence of Japanese culture cannot be denied, so it is no surprise that the current Japanese soft power strategy is based on the international exhibition of a modern Japan where anime (animation) and manga (comic) play a key role. According to Amber Slaven, anime stories are highly influenced by Japanese folklore. Hence, anime spectators are in permanent touch with Japanese folklore even if they are not aware of it. In this chapter, the InuYasha animation (2000–2004)—a story that combines common narratives of anime and settings of Japanese folklore—will be analyzed by considering both conventional descriptions of folktales and specific traits of Japanese stories. The aim is to provide an insight into Japanese folktales from a contemporary perspective that helps anime viewers to identify these stories as an evolution of Japanese traditions. Ultimately, a comprehensive definition of folktales that tries to avoid Orientalist dynamics will be suggested.

In: Contemporary Fairy-Tale Magic
In: Contemporary Fairy-Tale Magic

Abstract

In this chapter I delve into the many postmodern manifestations of Studio Ghibli’s productions in order to uncover the ‘shades of magic’ that engulf the fairy-tale genre and are re-told as parodical discursive manifestations of the anti-fairy tale. In particular, I look at three different productions of the Japanese franchise, all of them directed and written by Hayao Miyazaki: Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi, 2001), Howl’s Moving Castle (Hauru no Ugoku Shiro, 2004), and Ponyo (Gake no Ue no Ponyo, 2008). These three films expose a refractive correlation with space, as they provide a contradictory resignification of magical places that have a rhetorical impact on their protagonists’ mindsets. As divergent forms of heterotopias, both the natural and the artificial worlds portrayed in these films appear as magical environments in which the objects acquire a sense of place and are conceptualized as autonomous and performative entities. Magic is therefore interconnected with nature, allowing an ecocritical reading of the films based on their productions of space. The discourses of such spatiality will be the analytical focus of this essay, in which I interrogate the cultural projection of the fairy tale in terms of transnational folklore.

In: Contemporary Fairy-Tale Magic