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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.

The Culture of Fragments

Words and Images in Futurism and Surrealism

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Clara Orban

Works of art such as paintings with words on them or poems shaped as images communicate to the viewer by means of more than one medium. Here is presented a particular group of hybrid art works from the early twentieth century, to discover in what way words and images can function together to create meaning. The four central artists considered in this study investigate word/image forms in their work. F.T. Marinetti invented parole in libertà, among other ideas, to free language from syntactic connections. Umberto Boccioni experimented with newspaper clippings on the canvas from 1912-1915, and these collages constitute an important exploration into word/image forms. André Breton's collection of poems Clair de terre (1923) contains several typographical variations for iconographic effect. René Magritte explored the relationship between words and images, juxtaposing signifiers to contradictory signifieds on the canvas. A final chapter introduces media other than poetry and painting on which words and images appear. Posters, the theater, and the relatively new medium of cinema foreground words and images constantly. This volume will be of interest to scholars of twentieth-century French or Italian literature or painting, and to scholars of word and image studies.

Between Sarmatia and Socialism

The Life and Works of Johannes Bobrowski

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John P. Wieczorek

Interest in Johannes Bobrowski (1917-1965) has suffered from an impression of the complexity of his works and of the narrowness of his focus: on 'The Germans and their Eastern European neighbours'. The current study re-examines aspects of Bobrowski's 'Sarmatian' works, especially their chronological development, but places them within the wider context of the whole of his oeuvre. It looks at the long period of development before he discovered his 'theme' in the early 1950s and examines his development after Sarmatische Zeit and Schattenland Ströme, seeing the volume Wetterzeichen as moving increasingly away from the past and towards more contemporary issues. His short stories and novels are related to the issues confronting him in East Germany and develop increasingly into responses to immediate poetic and social problems.
Far from being a remote and backward orientated 'Sarmatian', Bobrowski emerges as a writer attempting to communicate with a society which, he felt, threatened to ignore basic human needs and aspirations. The study makes use of material from Bobrowski's Nachlaß to present a figure looking for and offering patterns for orientation in his East German society, but with renewed relevance for post-unification Germany.

Mediating Order and Chaos

The Water-Cycle in the Complex Adaptive Systems of Romantic Culture

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Rodney Farnsworth

This literature-centered study offers an interdisciplinary approach to Romantic culture. If is pioneering in that it employs the complexity method of anthropology. Recent literary studies employ the complexity/chaos theory adapted from the natural sciences; however, here is presented for the first time a complexity method taken from the social/human sciences. This complexity method is useful in mediating not only contradictions within Romanticism, but the chaos of contemporary theories concerning it. One of the intensifying literary debates is that between the so-called “Greens” and “Reds,” naturalists and humanists.
Mediating Order and Chaos not only traces the split between nature and man to Romantic Culture but finds there, too, a Spinozian vision of man and nature in unity – thereby denying any naturalist/humanist split. This volume is of interest for those who wish to see essays in the holistic approach to culture. Centering on hydraulics, hydrology, and meteorology, this study examines literature, painting, music, economics, and the rhetoric of science, philosophy, and politics, it therewith demonstrates how the water cycle was transformed into a cosmic metaphor that mediated, in the form of several complex adaptive systems, between the chaos of too much change and that of not enough.

L’Imaginaire de la blessure

Étude comparée du Renégat ou un esprit confus d’Albert Camus, de Voyage au bout de la nuit de Louis-Ferdinand Céline, de Light in August de William Faulkner, et de The Snows of Kilimanjaro d’Ernest Hemingway

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Elise Noetinger

Le présent ouvrage aborde la représentation de la blessure, image récurrente dans la littérature du XXe siècle. Quatre œuvres écrites par des auteurs majeurs tels que Camus, Céline, Faulkner et Hemingway, sont mises en regard et permettent le va-et-vient que toute critique comparatiste se doit d’effectuer entre les textes et l’élaboration progressive du sens.
Destiné aux amateurs d’études comparatistes aussi bien qu’aux étudiants de littératures française ou américaine, ce travail ne cherche pas d’établir une théorie du corps blessé dans la littérature du XXe siècle. Il s’attache à définir les motifs et les conséquences de la répétition d’une image dans des œuvres chronologiquement proches. La démarche critique conjugue l’approche bachelardienne de l’image et les herméneutiques complémentaires de Gilbert Durand et de Paul Ricoeur. En s’intéressant à la phénoménologie de l’image, à la violence du scénario qui mène à la blessure et à l’écriture qu’elle informe, l’auteur garde à l’esprit que “toute question posée au corps devient une brèche, un commencement d’inquiétude, une obsession” (Louis-Ferdinand Céline).

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Peter Dayan

Lautréamont et Sand? Bizarre accouplement, dira-t-on. Selon la tradition, Sand serait le plus idéaliste et le plus moralisateur des écrivains; Lautréamont, au contraire, serait le plus satanique, le plus sadique, le plus nihiliste. Pour saper cette opposition, Peter Dayan commence par démontrer l'instabilité diabolique des idéaux et des moralités de Sand. Certes, ses oeuvres regorgent de principes moraux et philosophiques. Mais ces principes sont sans cesse déstabilisés; car d'un roman à l'autre ils changent radicalement; et Sand les met dans la bouche de narrateurs peu fiables, dont la philosophie patriarcale est incapable de digérer l'ouverture, la variété, l'imprévisibilité de l'espace diégétique sandien. La deuxième partie du présent essai, à propos de Lautréamont, procède en sens inverse. Les paradoxes de Lautréamont, l'instabilité inénarrable de son narrateur, se conçoivent traditionnellement dans le cadre d'une volonté générale de détruire tout principe humain ou divin. Mais Dayan présente plus positivement ces incohérences; selon lui, elles aident à bâtir un texte dont la structure est bizarrement analogue à celle de la conscience humaine elle-même - impénétrable, indéterminable, stratifiée jusqu'à l'opacité, mais productrice et destructrice à la fois d'idéaux fêlés. Il en résulte, chez les deux auteurs, une écriture qui nous montre pourquoi et à quel point il est difficile de maintenir des valeurs sûres - et qui jouit sans cesse de cette difficulté même. Chez Lautréamont et Sand, ne cherchons pas le réalisme, ni les idées grandioses; cherchons l'euphorie du possible.

Writing and Seeing

Essays on Word and Image

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Edited by Rui Carvalho Homem and Maria de Fátima Lambert

The essays in this volume are informed by a variety of theoretical assumptions and of critical methodologies, but they all share an interest in the intersections of word and image in a variety of media. This unifying rationale secures the present collection’s central position in the current critical context, defined as it predominantly is by ways of reading that are based on a relational nexus. The intertextual, the intermedial, the intersemiotic are indeed foregrounded and combined in these essays, conceptually as much as in the critical practices favoured by the various contributions.
Studies of literature in its relation to pictorial genres enjoy a relative prominence in the volume – but the range of media and of approaches considered is broad enough to include photography, film, video, television, comic strips, animated film, public art, material culture.
The backgrounds of contributors are likewise diverse – culturally, academically, linguistically.
The volume combines contributions by prominent scholars and critics with essays by younger scholars, from a variety of backgrounds. The resulting plurality of perspective is indeed a source of new insights into the relations between writing and seeing, and it contributes to making this collection an exciting new contribution to word and image studies.

Modernization and the Crisis of Memory

John Donne to Don DeLillo

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Philipp Wolf

Contemporary studies of memory focus either on the psychology of remembering, on its archives and media, or on the traditional ars memoriae. The general cultural framework with its social and material factors is largely neglected, despite the obvious impact on both collective and individual mnemonic mentality. But, as in the first half of the seventeenth century or the later twentieth century, the literary and political invocation of religious, collective or national memory occurs most of all in times of historical rupture, and attendant changes of a radical technological and cultural nature. Appeals to the power of memory are not only indicative of the anxiety about the loss of its binding or absolving character. They are already symptomatic of a deep crisis of cultural memory in itself, resulting from an erosion of firm spatial, temporal and historical references along with an increasing tendency towards reflexivity, which calls the apparently self-evident facts of past and present into question. The continuity of remembering, however, as this study argues, presupposes the permanence and recurrence of social and material relations, of representative or symbolic persons, objects and events, in which it can inscribe itself. But owing to the shift in historical consciousness from (typological) past to progressive future and novelty and under the impress of industrial production and modern media (mobility and communications), the Western subject has to cope constantly with new empirical situations, symbolic values and historical or current information whose origin and evolution – indeed, the very memory of them – remain alien to personal identity and memory. The promise of redemption and salvation, still inherent in seventeenth-century collective memory, loses credibility.
The study includes a wide range of authors from Donne to Pope, Tennyson to George Eliot and Walter Pater, W.B. Yeats to Don DeLillo and covers the whole period from early modern England to postmodernism. It can thus also be read as a brief history of Western memory and its continuing crises.

L'Emprise du sens

Structures linguistiques et interprétations

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Edited by M. Plénat, M. Aurnague, A. Condamines, J.-P. Maurel, Ch. Molinier and Cl. Muller

Réunir les très nombreuses personnes qui, de par leurs activités de recherche ou d'enseignement, ont eu la chance de croiser la route d'Andrée Borillo et, parfois même, de faire un bout de chemin avec elle ne nous a pas paru raisonnable. Outre le fait qu'une telle entreprise aurait nécessité plusieurs volumes d'hommages, l'adéquation des thématiques traitées de même que l'homogénéité du contenu ne nous semblaient pas suffissamment garanties. Nous avons donc volontairement limité cet ouvrage à un petit nombre de contributeurs, toulousains ou extérieurs à Toulouse, ayant entretenu des liens étroits avec Andrée en raison de leurs centres d'intérêt scientifiques ou, plus généralement, du fait de leur action en faveur de la recherche. On retrouvera donc, parmi les auteurs de ce volume, les membres fondateurs et les permanents de l'ERSS de même que plusieurs linguistes français ou étrangers ayant travaillé, à titres divers, sur des questions de linguistique française et ceci, notamment, dans les domaines de la sémantique et de la syntaxe.
Les travaux présentés dans cet ouvrage couvrent (partiellement ou totalement, séparément ou simultanément) plusieurs des thèmes abordés par Andrée Borillo dans ses recherches, au nombre desquels figurent la sémantique du temps et de l'aspect, la sémantique de l'espace, les langues ou domaines de spécialité ou bien le discours. De nombreuses autres contributions font également appel à des questions de sémantique et de pragmatique, qu'il s'agisse de l'accord en genre des adjectifs, du pluriel, des noms propres, de la possession ou encore de la notion de contexte. Enfin, trois études portant sur des problèmes de syntaxe, de morphologie et de phonologie sont là pour rappeler le rôle central que l'observation des formes linguistiques joue dans la démarche d'Andrée Borillo.

The Conscience of Humankind

Literature and Traumatic Experiences

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Edited by Elrud Ibsch, Douwe Fokkema and Joachim von der Thüsen

The traumatic experiences of persecution and genocide have changed traditional views of literature. The discussion of historical truth versus aesthetic autonomy takes an unexpected turn when confronted with the experiences of the victims of the Holocaust, the Gulag Archipelago, the Cultural Revolution, Apartheid and other crimes against humanity. The question is whether - and, if so, to what extent - literary imagination may depart from historical truth. In general, the first reactions to traumatic historical experiences are autobiographical statements, written by witnesses of the events. However, the second and third generations, the sons and daughters of the victims as well as of the victimizers, tend to free themselves from this generic restriction and claim their own way of remembering the history of their parents and grandparents. They explore their own limits of representation, and feel free to use a variety of genres; they turn to either realist or postmodernist, ironic or grotesque modes of writing.