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Edited by Henk Hillenaar

Il y a soixante ans Ely Carcassonne fit paraître son ?Etat présent des études sur Fénelon, ouvrage qui a rendu de très grands services à tous ceux qui depuis lors ont écrit sur l'archevêque de Cambrai. Carcassonne, mort peu de temps après, aurait sans doute été heureusement surpris s'il avait pu connaître la richesse des travaux qui ont suivi les siens ce dernier demi-siècle. L'état présent des travaux sur Fénelon n'est plus du tout en 1999 ce qu'il était en 1939. La bibliographie assez impressionnante que René Faille a rédigée pour ce volume en fait foi.
La publication de la Correspondance de Fénelon , achevée en 1999, dont les Tables paraîtront sous peu, puis celle des Oeuvres de Fénelon dans la Bibliothèque de la Pléiade constituent sans doute l'aboutissement de ce nouvel élan des études féneloniennes, dont Jean Orcibal et plus tard Jacques Le Brun ont été les principaux instigateurs. Leurs éditions critiques forment aussi le point de départ des recherches qu'une nouvelle génération de chercheurs, avec d'autres centres d'intérêt et d'autres orientations de travail, va entreprendre ou a déjà entrepris.'où l'idée de faire, plus d'un demi-siècle après l'ouvrage d'Ely Carcassonne, un Etat présent des travaux sur Fénelon II , dans l'espoir qu'un tel recueil pourra rendre à cette nouvelle génération des services analogues à ceux qu'a fournis le fameux Etat présent de Carcassonne à leurs prédécesseurs. Mais ce que ce dernier avait fait tout seul, est devenu en 1999 le travail d'une équipe de 'féneloniens'. Les différents membres de cette équipe ont eu une double tâche: dire ce qui leur paraissait essentiel dans le domaine qui leur avait été confié et, surtout, donner un aperçu historique et critique des travaux parus dans ce même domaine ces soixante dernières années. On verra que certains auteurs se sont surtout arrêtés au premier objectif. Il n'empêche que dans son ensemble ce recueil contient d'abord l'histoire de ce qui s'est fait, ce dernier demi-siècle, autour de l'oeuvre de l'archevêque de Cambrai. Nous espérons que, dans cette qualité avant tout, il pourra être utile aux lecteurs.
Pour leur délibérations, les auteurs de cet ouvrage se sont réunis, à Groningue, aux Pays Bas, en juin 1999, trois cents ans après la parution de Télémaque , trois cents ans également après la condamnation des Maximes des saints . Ce recueil est donc aussi quelque peu une commémoration.

Aspects of Metamorphosis

Fictional Representations of the Becoming Human

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D.B.D. Asker

Aspects of Metamorphosis: Fictional Representations of the Becoming Human explores the various forms of metamorphosis found in literature – mostly modern fiction but informed by earlier examples – and the premises upon which the literature of transformation may be said to depend. Instances of metamorphosis are very widespread in modern literature but as yet there has been no attempt to describe this literary-anthropological phenomenon from a larger perspective. This study approaches such a task. The focus of Aspects of Metamorphosis is on human-animal fictional metamorphoses which embody the concept of becoming-human. Gilles Deleuze describes metamorphosis (especially in Kafka) as the becoming-animal. Across the wide range of examples of literary metamorphosis in different languages and cultures, I describe the becoming-animal as an aspect of the becoming human, a radical approach to mankind’s perception of itself, and restoration to itself, through an animal other. Franz Kafka is in many ways an odd man out in the crowd of modern metamorphosists. Other authors across borders, political, geographical and linguistic, present a humanist and moralist perspective that does not represent a fundamental break with the norms and cultural traditions rooted in the past.

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Nicholas Meihuizen

In recent years Yeats scholarship has been, to a large extent, historically-based in emphasis. Much has been gained from this emphasis, if we consider the refinement of critical awareness resulting from a better understanding of the intricate relationship between the poet and his times. However, the present author feels that an exclusive adherence to this approach impacts negatively on our ability to appreciate and understand Yeatsian creativity from within the internally located imperatives of creativity itself, as opposed to our understanding it on the basis of aesthetically constitutive socio-historical forces operative from without. He feels a need to relocate the study of Yeats in the work and thought of the poet himself, to focus again on the poet’s own myth-making. To this end Nicholas Meihuizen examines this myth-making as it relates to certain archetypal figures, places, and structures. The figures in question are the antagonist and goddess, embodiments of conflict and feminine forces in Yeats, and they participate in a lively drama within the places and shapes considered sacred by the poet: places such as the Sligo district and Byzantium; shapes such as the circling gyres of his system. The book should be interesting and valuable to students and scholars of varying degrees of acquaintance with the poet. To long-time Yeatsians it offers fresh perspectives onto important works and preoccupations. To new students it offers a means of exploring wide-ranging material within a few central, interrelated frames, a means that mirrors Yeats’s own commitment to unity in diversity.

Kafka's Novels

An Interpretation

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Patrick Bridgwater

Kafka's three novels, to be understood as an ever more intricate portrayal of the inner life of one central character (Henry James's 'centre of consciousness'), each reflecting the problems of their self-critical creator, are tantamount to dreams. The hieroglyphic, pictorial language in which they are written is the symbolic language in which dreams and thoughts on the edge of sleep are visualized. Not for nothing did Kafka define his writing as a matter of fantasizing with whole orchestras of [free] associations. Written in a deliberately enhanced hypnagogic state, these novels embody the alternative logic of dreams, with the emphasis on chains of association and verbal bridges between words and word-complexes. The product of many years' preoccupation with its subject, Patrick Bridgwater's new book is an original, chapter-by-chapter study of three extraordinarily detailed novels, of each of which it offers a radically new reading that makes more, and different, sense than any previous reading. In Barthes' terms these fascinating novels are 'unreadable', but the present book shows that, properly read, they are entirely, if ambiguously, readable. Rooted in Kafka's use of language, it consistently explores, in detail, (i) the linguistic implications of the dreamlike nature of his work, (ii) the metaphors he takes literally, and (iii) the ambiguities of so many of the words he chooses to use. In doing so it takes account not only of the secondary meanings of German words and the sometimes dated metaphors of which Kafka, taking them literally, spins his text, but also, where relevant, of Czech and Italian etymology. Split, for ease of reference, into chapters corresponding to the chapters of the novels in the new Originalfassung, the book is aimed at all readers of Kafka with a knowledge of German, for the author shows that Kafka's texts can be understood only in the language in which they were written: because Kafka's meaning is often hidden beneath the surface of the text, conveyed via secondary meanings that are specific to German, any translation is necessarily an Oberflächenübersetzung.

Back to the Present: Forward to the Past, Volume I

Irish Writing and History since 1798

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Edited by Patricia A. Lynch, Joachim Fischer and Brian Coates

The island of Ireland, north and south, has produced a great diversity of writing in both English and Irish for hundreds of years, often using the memories embodied in its competing views of history as a fruitful source of literary inspiration. Placing Irish literature in an international context, these two volumes explore the connection between Irish history and literature, in particular the Rebellion of 1798, in a more comprehensive, diverse and multi-faceted way than has often been the case in the past. The fifty-three authors bring their national and personal viewpoints as well as their critical judgements to bear on Irish literature in these stimulating articles. The contributions also deal with topics such as Gothic literature, ideology, and identity, as well as gender issues, connections with the other arts, regional Irish literature, in particular that of the city of Limerick, translations, the works of Joyce, and comparisons with the literature of other nations. The contributors are all members of IASIL (International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures). Back to the Present: Forward to the Past. Irish Writing and History since 1798 will be of interest to both literary scholars and professional historians, but also to the general student of Irish writing and Irish culture.

Subject Matters

Subject and Self in French Literature from Descartes to the present

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Edited by Paul Gifford and Johnnie Gration

What can we currently make of ‘the subject'? Under the sway of structuralism and poststructuralism, critical thinking took a distinctly negative turn, effectively disqualifying any form of subjectivity as a reference point in discussions of textual or literary meaning. Since the mid-1970s, however, throughout the human sciences, human agency has been restored as both a methodological principle and an ethical value: a phenomenon broadly designated as ‘the return of the subject'. Yet the returning subject bears the traces of its problematization...
The present collection of essays explores the ways in which the subject now ‘matters', both in principle and in the variety of critical approaches in authorizes. Essays, which are both literary and theoretical in character, cover authors, texts and issues in French literature from Descartes to the present. A wide range of types of writing is examined, from established forms such as the novel to relatively marginal and generically unsystematized discursive practices such as automatic writing and the ‘récit de rêve'.
Though it shuns ‘closure' in a matter which remains ultimately elusive, this book offers some account of the types of answer which remain open and of those we have learned to leave behind.

Distorted Reflections

The Public and Private Uses of the Author in the Work of Uwe Johnson, Günther Grass and Martin Walser, 1965-1975

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Stuart Taberner

This volume presents a new approach to the political engagement of three major West German authors, Uwe Johnson, Günther Grass and Martin Walser. Whereas analysis of intellectuals' participation in the political upheaval of the late 1960s has tended to focus on speeches written in response to contemporary events, this book examines works of fiction for the way in which authors reflected upon their engagement in a more contemplative medium. Examination of these literary reflections reveals a mismatch between writers' confidence as public intellectuals and their private anxiety.
Beginning with a survey of intellectual engagement until the late 1960s, the present volume moves onto a theoretical discussion of the legitimacy of authors' public interventions. Three chapters are devoted to the fiction of Uwe Johnson, Günther Grass, and Martin Walser. Uwe Johnson's fiction embodies retreat, an acknowledgment of political impotence. Günther Grass's novels present the failings of the engaged intellectual as exemplary to an audience which is expected to learn from this inadequacy. Finally, Martin Walser's intellectual characters stylise private weakness to appeal to a middle-brow audience titillated by the public figure's confession of impotence. In Walser's work, political engagement degenerates into pure form, into a Camp gesture of authors' obsession with their private selves.

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Jan IJ. van der Meer

The present book for the first time links the thoughts of modern Western sociologists of literature with an overall description of the literary activities, attitudes, and views in late eighteenth-century Poland. Inspired by the studies of Bourdieu on literary fields and, more particular, S.J. Schmidt's study of the history of the rise and development of the social system 'literature' in Germany in the eighteenth-century (cf. Schmidt 1989), the author tries to establish whether Poland witnessed the rise of a more complex and (relatively) autonomous literary field or, as Schmidt calls it, a functionally differentiated literary system in the age of the reign of King Stanislaw August Poniatowski (1764-1795).
Functionally differentiated literary systems - systems in which an increased number of literary agents and institutions produce, sell, buy, and criticize literary works according to capitalist principles - are the literary systems of today. As most scholars believe, their origins are to be found in most European nations in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Did such a modern literary system, albeit with certain limitations, rise in Poland in the years of the rule of Stanislaw A. Poniatowski? - this is the question the author of the present volume will attempt to answer. This volume is of interest to theoreticians and empirical researchers approaching literature from a sociological point of view, historians, and, of course, slavists interested in eighteenth-century literary developments in Poland.

The Society Tale in Russian Literature

From Odoevskii to Tolstoi

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Edited by Neil Cornwell

This collection of essays is the first book to appear on the society tale in nineteenth-century Russian fiction. Written by a team of British and American scholars, the volume is based on a symposium on the society tale held at the University of Bristol in 1996. The essays examine the development of the society tale in Russian fiction, from its beginnings in the 1820s until its subsumption into the realist novel, later in the century. The contributions presented vary in approach from the text or author based study to the generic or the sociological. Power, gender and discourse theory all feature strongly and the volume should be of considerable interest to students and scholars of nineteenth-century Russian literature. There are essays covering Pushkin, Lermontov, Odoevsky and Tolstoi, as well as more minor writers, and more general and theoretical approaches.

Fabulous Identities

Women’s Fairy Tales in Seventeenth-Century France

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Patricia Hannon

Fabulous Identities revises traditional interpretations of the fairy-tale vogue which was dominated by salon women in the last decade of the French seventeenth century. This study of women's tale narratives is set into an investigation of how aristocratic identity was transformed by political and social realignments forced by royal absolutism or ambitious materialism. Women's distinctive contributions to the genre are defined by drawing upon various texts that articulated the century's moral, cultural, and aesthetic values, as well as upon contemporary critical perspectives including seventeenth-century historical and cultural studies.
Caught up in the philosophical, political and social controversy over woman's nature, seventeenth-century women writers benefited from salon culture and their access to writing through the literary genres of fairy tales and novels, to explore new identities and expand representations of subjectivity. Women's tales can be seen as a theater for staging an authorial persona at odds with their portrait as presented in male-authored didactic treatises and in the fairy tales of Charles Perrault. At a time when the pressures of social conformity weighed heavily upon them, the conteuses highlight through metamorphosis the affective dimension together with its impact on evolving notions of personal autonomy.