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Nathalie Roelens

Tout le monde en conviendra : lire n'est pas une activité de tout repos. La vue y est certes sollicitée, et même d'emblée, mais c'est pour aussitôt s'éclipser. S'il était purement vu, le texte (dans son sens étendu d'objet de l'interprétation) ne serait pas encore lu. La lecture proprement dite aura lieu dès l'instant où je cesse de voir ce qui m'est donné à voir pour me faufiler au-delà. J'embrasse à présent une réalité tri-dimensionnelle, je deviens le texte et le texte m'épouse, je flaire et je ressens, j'hallucine et je jubile, bref : je lis. La lecture sera synesthésique ou ne sera pas. Mon voyeurisme n'est plus trivial mais absolu. Or ce don de voyance que je m'accorde pour pallier mon aveuglement du départ n'est pas sans risques : je ne suis à l'abri ni de la méprise ni de la foi aveugle. Et c'est là le côté ironique de toute lecture. On a beau s'investir dans l'oeuvre, tôt ou tard l'enchantement sera rompu. Je me vois en train de lire, donc je ne lis plus. Le texte me renvoie soudain à mes propres limites. Il n'empêche que cet ébranlement du sujet soit souvent déclencheur d'une expérience esthétique, expérience qui porte également un enseignement : la lecture aujourd'hui engage quiconque s'y adonne à être prêt à abdiquer à chaque instant ou, du moins, à respecter l'illisible et l'inappropriable.
L'aboutissement de ce travail ce confond avec son présupposé majeur : inutile de vouloir maintenir le clivage entre lecture textuelle et lecture tout court (d'une image, du monde, d'un corps désiré, etc.), ce sont leurs empiètements qui restituent à ce geste ancestral et sans doute universel son souffle et son ampleur. Des scènes de perception entravée, lacunaire ou défectueuse, glanées dans le patrimoine littéraire et plastique contemporain (Proust, Cocteau, Michaux, Calvino, Manganelli, De Chirico, Alechinsky, Fuentes, Biély, Nabokov, Gombrowicz et tant d'autres) et appréhendées comme autant de simulacres de l'expérience de lecture, nous ont permis de cerner l'activité lectorielle au plus proche des textes.

Memories and Representations of War

The Case of World War I and World War II

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Edited by Elena Lamberti and Vita Fortunati

The contributors to the present volume approach World War I and World War II as complex and intertwined crossroads leading to the definition of the new European (and world) reality, and deeply pervading the making of the twentieth century. These scholars belong to different yet complementary areas of research – history, literature, cinema, art history; they come from various national realities and discuss questions related to Italy, Britain, Germany, Poland, Spain, at times introducing a comparison between European and North American memories of the two World War experiences. These scholars are all guided by the same principle: to encourage the establishment of an interdisciplinary and trans-national dialogue in order to work out new approaches capable of integrating and acknowledging different or even opposing ways to perceive and interpret the same historical phenomenon. While assessing the way the memories of the two World Wars have been readjusted each time in relation to the evolving international historical setting and through various mediators of memory (cinema, literature, art and monuments), the various essays contribute to unveil a cultural panorama inhabited by contrasting memories and by divided memories not to emphasise divisions, but to acknowledge the ethical need for a truly shared act of reconciliation.

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Edited by Werner Wolf and Walter Bernhart

This volume focusses on the rarely discussed reverse side of traditional, ‘given’ objects of studies, namely absence rather than presence (of text) and silence rather than sound. It does so from the bifocal and interdisciplinary perspective which is a hallmark of the book series Word and Music Studies.
The twelve contributors to the main subject of this volume approach it from various systematic and historical angles and cover, among others, questions such as to what extent absence can become significant in the first place or iconic (silent) functions of musical scores, as well as discussions of fields ranging from baroque opera to John Cage’s 4’33’’. The volume is complemented by two contributions dedicated to further surveying the vast field of word and music studies.
The essays collected here were originally presented at the Ninth International Conference on Word and Music Studies held at London University in August 2013 and organised by the International Association for Word and Music Studies. They are of relevance to scholars and students of literature, music and intermediality studies as well as to readers generally interested in phenomena of absence and silence.

Le roman-photo

Actes du colloque de Calaceite (Fondation NOESIS). 21-28 août 1993

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Edited by Jan Baetens and Ana Gonzalez

Rassemblant les actes du colloque international sur le roman-photo qui s'est déroulé à la Fondation NOESIS en août 1993, le présent volume aborde pour la toute première fois les diverses facettes du genre longtemps négligé qu'est la narration photographique.
Les grands spécialistes européens et américains du roman-photo présentent ici une synthèse des connaissances actuelles tout en formulant de multiples pistes de recherche pour les années à venir. Leurs interventions s'organisent autour de cinq axes-clé: l'histoire du genre, le problème de son lectorat, ses rapports avec des pratiques analogues tels le reportage ou le livre illustré, les questions relatives à la spécificité controversée du roman-photo et, enfin, l'analyse détaillée de ses plus belles réussites, anciennes ou contemporaines. Une bibliographie très fouillée couronne l'ensemble.
Faisant alterner les voix des théoriciens et des critiques, des lecteurs et des praticiens, les actes de ce colloque constituent à la fois une somme et un laboratoire, un ouvrage de référence et un instrument de recherche.

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Edited by Theo D'haen

The contributors to the present volume, in espousing and extending the programme of such writers as Edward Said, Benedict Anderson, Homi Bhabha, and Gayatri Spivak, lay bare the genealogy of 'writing' empire (thereby, in a sense, ' un-writing' it). One focus is the Caribbean: the retrograde agenda of francophone créolité; the re-writing of empire in the postmodern disengagement of Edouard Glissant; resistance to post-colonial allegiances, and the dissolving of binary categories, in contemporary West Indian writing. Essays on India, Malaysia, and Indonesia explore various aspects of cultural self-understanding in Asia: un-writing high culture through hybrid 'shopping' among Western styles; the use of indigenous oral forms to counter Western hegemony; romantic and anti-romantic attitudes towards empire and the land. A shift to Africa brings a study of Nadine Gordimer's feminist un-writing of Hemingway's masculinist colonising narrative, a searching analysis of Soyinka's restoration of ancient syncretic elements in his West African re-visions of Greek tragedy, changing evaluations of the validity of European civilization in André Gide's representations of Africa, and tensions of linguistic allegiance in Maghreb literature. North America, finally, is brought back into the imperial fold through discussions of Melville's re-writing of travel and captivity narratives to critique the mission of American empire, Leslie Marmon Silko's re-territorialization of expropriated Native American oral traditions, and Timothy Findley's representation of Canada's troubled involvement with its three shaping empires (French, British, American).

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André Viola, Jacqueline Bardolph and Denise Coussey

The term 'recent' or 'new' covers novels and some short fiction published between 1980 and 1995, a period characterized by growing pessimism about the state of affairs in both East and West Africa. The section on South Africa deals more narrowly with the 1985-95 watershed marking the end of official apartheid and the beginning of reconstruction. The three sections aim at giving a coherent picture of the main directions in production, highlighting three main centres of interest, Nigeria, Kenya, and the Republic of South Africa, although some novelists from neighbouring countries are also considered (such as Kofi Awoonor from Ghana, Nuruddin Farah from Somalia, and M.G. Vassanji and Abdulrazak Gurnah from Tanzania).
The evaluations conducted in the three sections lead to the emergence of a number of common themes, in particular the writers' predilection for topicality, the role of the past, and the controversy over the idea of the nation. Central themes also include the role of women in fending for themselves, both in rural and in urban environments. A further major theme is the role of the past (the Nigerian civil war; the Mau Mau period in Kenya; the revisiting of slavery; the refurbishing of myth; the questioning of historical reconstructions). The preoccupation of the West, East, and South African novel with the idea and ideal of the 'nation' is explored, particularly in the context of migrancy, hybridity, and transculturalism characterizing the anglophone diaspora.
The volume is aimed at literary scholars and students and, more generally, readers of fiction seeking an introduction to contemporary literary developments in various parts of sub-Saharan anglophone Africa. No categorical distinction is drawn between 'popular' and 'high' literature. Though still selective and not intended as an exhaustive catalogue, the present survey covers a large number of titles. Rather than resorting to broad and ultimately somewhat abstract thematic categories, the contributors endeavour to keep control over this mass of material by applying a 'micro-thematic' taxonomy. This approach, well-tested in the tradition of literary studies within France, groups works analytically and evaluatively in terms of such categories as actional motifs, plot-frames, and sociologically relevant locations or topics, thereby enabling a clearer focus on the dynamics of preoccupation and tendency that form networks of affinity across the fiction produced in the period surveyed.

The Big Fish

Consciousness as Structure, Body and Space

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Anna Bonshek, Corrina Bonshek and Lee Fergusson

While debate continues in the fields of the sciences and humanities as to the nature of consciousness and the location of consciousness in the brain or as a field phenomenon, in the Vedic tradition, consciousness has been understood and continues to be articulated as an infinite field of intelligence at the basis of all forms of existence. This infinite field of intelligence is accessible to human awareness, being the very nature of the mind and the structuring dynamics of the physiology—from the DNA, to the cell, tissues, organs, and to the whole body and its sophisticated functioning. This two-part volume, The Big Fish: Consciousness as Structure, Body and Space, considers in Part One the Vedic approach to consciousness, specifically referencing Maharishi Vedic Science, and discusses themes pertinent to the arts, including perception and cognition, memory as awareness, history and culture, artistic performance and social responsibility, observatory instruments as spaces and structures to enhance consciousness, and, beyond metaphor, architectural sites as multi-layered enclosures of the brain detailed in the Shrimad Devi Bhagavatam and, as cosmic habitat or Vastu aligned to the celestial bodies. Presenting some more general consciousness-based readings, Part Two includes essays by various authors on Agnes Martin and her views on art, perfection and the “Classic”, unified field based education and freedom of expression versus censorship in art, prints from the Renaissance to the contemporary era as allegories of consciousness, the work of Australian artist Michael Kane Taylor as beyond a modern / postmodern dichotomy, the photographic series The Ocean of Beauty by Mark Paul Petrick referencing the Vedic text the Saundarya-Lahari, a Deleuzian analysis of the dual-screen multi-arts work Reverie I, and an account of the making of Reverie II, a single-screen video projection inspired by the idea of dynamics of awareness. This book, therefore, presents a broad range of interests and reading while offering a unique, yet profoundly transformative perspective on consciousness.

Mit den Augen eines Kindes

Children in the Holocaust. Children in Exile. Children under Fascism

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Edited by Viktoria Hertling

Die vorliegenden siebzehn Beiträge basieren weitgehend auf den Vorträgen der im Oktober 1996 an der University of Nevada in Reno veranstaltenden Konferenz Children in the Holocaust - Children in Exile - Children under Fascism. Die Tagung beschäftigte sich erstmals mit den einschneidenden, oft nicht wieder auszulöschenden traumatischen Erfahrungen von Kindern im nationalsozialistischen Deutschland, im Exil und im Holocaust. Mit dem Jahr 2000 - also in weniger als zwei Jahren - gehört der Holocaust, den auch Daniel J. Goldhagen als das schockierendsten Ereignis des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts bezeichnet, das innerhalb der deutschen Geschichte am schwierigsten zu verstehen sei, zu den Ereignissen des sogenannten 'Letzten Jahrhunderts'. Ist es darum nicht geboten, die Auseinandersetzung mit diesen Ereignissen, die für viele Menschen selbst heute noch mit schweren Ängsten verbunden sind, unter neuen Gesichtspunkten zur Diskussion zu bringen, damit die Thematik auch über die Schwelle zum nächsten Jahrhundert hinweg in unseren Sichtweite nichts an ihrer Ungeheuerlichkeit einbüße?

Neo-Victorian Tropes of Trauma

The Politics of Bearing After-Witness to Nineteenth-Century Suffering

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Edited by Marie-Luise Kohlke and Christian Gutleben

This collection constitutes the first volume in Rodopi’s Neo-Victorian Series, which explores the prevalent but often problematic re-vision of the long nineteenth century in contemporary culture. Here is presented for the first time an extended analysis of the conjunction of neo-Victorian fiction and trauma discourse, highlighting the significant interventions in collective memory staged by the belated aesthetic working-through of historical catastrophes, as well as their lingering traces in the present. The neo-Victorian’s privileging of marginalised voices and its contestation of master-narratives of historical progress construct a patchwork of competing but equally legitimate versions of the past, highlighting on-going crises of existential extremity, truth and meaning, nationhood and subjectivity. This volume will be of interest to both researchers and students of the growing field of neo-Victorian studies, as well as scholars in memory studies, trauma theory, ethics, and heritage studies. It interrogates the ideological processes of commemoration and forgetting and queries how the suffering of cultural and temporal others should best be represented, so as to resist the temptations of exploitative appropriation and voyeuristic spectacle. Such precarious negotiations foreground a central paradox: the ethical imperative to bear after-witness to history’s silenced victims in the face of the potential unrepresentability of extreme suffering.

Word and Music Studies

Essays in Honor of Steven Paul Scher and on Cultural Identity and the Musical Stage

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Edited by Suzanne M. Lodato, Suzanne Aspden and Walter Bernhart

The eighteen interdisciplinary essays in this volume were presented in 2001 in Sydney, Australia, at the Third International Conference on Word and Music Studies, which was sponsored by The International Association for Word and Music Studies (WMA). The conference celebrated the sixty-fifth birthday of Steven Paul Scher, arguably the central figure in word and music studies during the last thirty-five years. The first section of this volume comprises ten articles that discuss, or are methodologically based upon, Scher’s many analyses of and critical commentaries on the field, particularly on interrelationships between words and music. The authors cover such topics as semiotics, intermediality, hermeneutics, the de-essentialization of the arts, and the works of a wide range of literary figures and composers that include Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Proust, T. S. Eliot, Goethe, Hölderlin, Mann, Britten, Schubert, Schumann, and Wagner. The second section consists of a second set of papers presented at the conference that are devoted to a different area of word and music studies: cultural identity and the musical stage. Eight scholars investigate – and often problematize – widespread assumptions regarding ‘national’ and ‘cultural’ music, language, plots, and production values in musical stage works. Topics include the National Socialists’ construction of German national identity; reception-based examinations of cultural identity and various “national” opera styles; and the means by which composers, librettists, and lyricists have attempted to establish national or cultural identity through their stage works.