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Against the Grain

Reading Pynchon’s Counternarratives

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Edited by Sascha Pöhlmann

Against the Grain: Reading Pynchon’s Counternarratives is the first book that critically addresses Thomas Pynchon’s novel Against the Day, published in 2006. The nineteen essays collected in this volume employ a large variety of approaches to this massive novel and also take it as an opportunity to reevaluate Pynchon’s earlier works, analyzing Against the Day in relation to V., The Crying of Lot 49, Gravity’s Rainbow, Vineland, Mason & Dixon, and Pynchon’s short stories and essays. The authors—younger as well as established scholars from eleven countries—address these works with regard to issues of modernism and postmodernism, politics, popular culture, concepts of space and time, visuality, sexuality, identity, media and communication, philosophy, religion, American and global (literary) history, physics, mathematics, economics, and many more. Their insights are as profound as they are diverse, and all provide fresh views on Pynchon’s fiction that will be useful, fascinating and entertaining for researchers and fans alike.

Extractive Imperialism in the Americas

Capitalism's New Frontier

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James Petras and Henry Veltmeyer

Recent changes in the global economy, which include a growing demand for energy and natural resources such as industrial minerals and agro-food products, have brought about a massive devastating pillage of resources in the developing world by multinational corporations as well as states with energy and food security concerns—and concerns about a system (global capitalism) in the throes of a global crisis. These developments have also brought about a major change in the form taken by imperialism (actions taken by the state to advance the interests of the dominant capitalist class). This book explores the changing face of US imperialism in the regional context of the Americas, a major stage in the unfolding drama of a system in crisis.

The Philosophical Baroque

On Autopoietic Modernities

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Erik S. Roraback

In his pioneering study The Philosophical Baroque: On Autopoietic Modernities, Erik S. Roraback argues that modern culture, contemplated over its four-century history, resembles nothing so much as the pearl famously described, by periodizers of old, as irregular, barroco. Reframing modernity as a multi-century baroque, Roraback steeps texts by Shakespeare, Henry James, Joyce, and Pynchon in systems theory and the ideas of philosophers of language and culture from Leibniz to such dynamic contemporaries as Luhmann, Benjamin, Blanchot, Deleuze and Guattari, Lacan, and Žižek. The resulting brew, high in intellectual caffeine, will be of value to all who take an interest in cultural modernity—indeed, all who recognize that “modernity” was (and remains) a congeries of competing aesthetic, economic, historical, ideological, philosophical, and political energies

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Edited by Malena Chinski and Alan Astro

Splendor, Decline, and Rediscovery of Yiddish in Latin America presents Yiddish culture as it developed in an area seldom associated with the language. Yet several countries—Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico and Uruguay—became centers for Yiddish literature, journalism, political activism, theater, and music. Chapters by historians, linguists, and literary critics explore the flourishing of Yiddish there in the early 20th century, its retraction in the 1960’s, and contemporary endeavors to rescue this marginalized legacy.
Topics discussed in the volume include the literary figures of the “Jewish gaucho” and the peddler, the regional Yiddish press, the communal struggle against trafficking in women, cultural responses to the Holocaust, intra-Jewish conflict during the Cold War, debates on assimilation versus tradition, and emergent postvernacular Yiddish.

"The editors explain the renewed interest in—or 'revival' of—Yiddish in Latin America from the 1980s on as part of a broader global phenomenon. This volume sheds light on that phenomenon, while also being a part of it." - Amy Kerner, Brown University, in: Estudios Interdisciplinarios de América Latina 30.1 (2019)