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Subjects Not-at-home: Forms of the Uncanny in the Contemporary French Novel

Emmanuel Carrère, Marie NDiaye, Eugène Savitzkaya

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Daisy Connon

Subjects Not-at-home is the first book-length study of the concept of the uncanny ( Das Unheimliche) in the context of French literature. It explores the ways in which certain contemporary French novelists are exploiting the themes, imagery and dynamics of the uncanny to generate a repertoire of narrative tactics for the portrayal of the chez soi. Through an analysis of nine novels by Marie NDiaye, Eugène Savitzkaya and Emmanuel Carrère, the author reveals a developing tendency within current writing to re-appropriate figures of the strange – the double, intellectual uncertainty, the fragmented body, the spectral, the haunted house – in order to represent the ‘familiar’ spaces of the home, the family, the self and the everyday. This problematic is situated with respect to tendencies in present-day French writing, with the uncanny being viewed as a particular approach to the contemporary novel’s inclination to privilege the site of the chez soi. Readings of the literary texts are informed by philosophical, psychoanalytic and literary reinterpretations of the Freudian uncanny, with an emphasis on the historical and contextual evolution of the concept itself.

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Edited by Annelies Schulte Nordholt

Raczymow, Wajsbrot, Lecadet, Wajcman, Orner, Aaron, Cormann, Modiano… Oler, Cohen, Perec, Federman, Kofman, Burko-Falcman, Meschonnic, Vargaftig, Goscinny… Qu’ont en commun ces deux ensembles d’auteurs juifs-français, qui diffèrent tant par le genre et le style de leurs œuvres ? Les premiers, nés après la Libération, enfants ou petits-enfants des survivants de la Shoah, n’étaient pas là, c’est pourquoi ils ne peuvent témoigner de ce qui pourtant a déterminé tout leur être. Les seconds, nés peu avant ou pendant l’Occupation, appartiennent à la minorité d’enfants qui survécurent miraculeusement aux persécutions, cachés dans des institutions ou chez des familles. Etaient-ils là, eux qui étaient généralement trop jeunes pour vivre consciemment ce qui leur arrivait ? Enfants de survivants ou survivants-enfants, leur expérience commune serait alors d’appartenir à l’après, de témoigner de l’après-Auschwitz, de la difficile transmission et élaboration de la Shoah, dans l’univers d’aujourd’hui. « Témoins absents » ou par procuration, ces auteurs sont à la fois le témoin de leurs aînés et, de plus en plus, témoins d’eux-mêmes, de leur propre expérience de l’après. Par des textes inédits des auteurs en question, des essais théoriques et des études critiques, le présent recueil espère mieux faire connaître la vaste et riche panoplie de leurs œuvres.

War, Virtual War and Society

The Challenge to Communities

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Edited by Mark L. Perry

Rarely do academics and policymakers have the opportunity to sit down together and contemplate the broadest consequences of war. Our comprehension has traditionally been limited to war’s causes, execution, promotion, opposition, and immediate political and economic ends and aftermath. But just as public health researchers are becoming aware of unexpected, subtle and powerful consequences of human economic action, we are beginning to realize that war has many short- and long-term consequences that we poorly understand but cannot afford to neglect.
These papers contribute to a growing discourse among academics, scholars and lawmakers that is questioning and rethinking the nature and purpose of war. By studying the effects of war on communities we can more readily understand and anticipate the consequences of present and future conflicts. Such an understanding might well enable us to plan and execute military action with a more clearly defined set of post-war goals in mind. Whereas traditionally a government at war seeks the defeat of the adversary as its primary and often sole aim, through a clearer understanding of war’s effects other aims will also become prominent. War, like surgery, could gradually become more refined, could minimize damage in ways that are currently unimaginable, and could involve an increasingly heavy responsibility to prepare for and facilitate reconstruction.
Projects such as this volume are, of course, only the beginning. The more we understand the evolving nature of war, the better prepared we will be to protect communities from its harmful effects.

Tumult of Images

Essays on W.B. Yeats and Politics

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Edited by Peter Liebregts and Peter van de Kamp

By showing that the meaning of the word politics can be interpreted in various ways, the scope of the articles in Tumult of Images: Essays on W.B. Yeats and Politics is extensive. Rather than explicitly analysing W.B. Yeats's political views and opinions about social order, several of the authors demonstrate how these ideas have determined the textual strategy behind Yeats's works. Thus we find, for instance, how Yeats's politics of myth subsume the myth of politics, or how his play The Player Queen is an expression of sexual and textual politics. Other essays revaluate Yeats's role in Ireland's Literary Renaissance or argue that his recruitment of Homer throughout his work was politically motivated. The volume also offers an ero-political reading of Yeats's ballads next to an analysis of the strategy behind that apocalyptic idea of gyring history. Tumult of Images also deals with the politics of reception of Yeats's works by showing how the Irish poet has influenced South African poetry of the period of Apartheid, or by presenting the various ways in which the Japanese and the Dutch have become acquainted with the work of Yeats. The title of this volume thus reflects not only the many-sidedness of the discussions offered here but also their common contribution to an analysis of a fascinating aspect of Yeats's life and work.

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Edited by David Evans and Kate Griffiths

The French Revolution of 1789 altered the face of power and the institutions it inhabited in France, and the aftershocks of this seismic change rippled throughout the nineteenth century. With power changing hands between monarchy, empires and republics in quick succession, the nature of power, both personal and political, and institutions, both real and metaphorical, was constantly being redefined, argued over and fought for. This volume provides innovative analyses of nineteenth-century power relations in France across a series of interlinked spheres: artistic, literary, cultural, political, scientific and topographical. Its seventeen chapters trace the direct impact of politics and the shifting power of regimes on the creative arts, and explore power relations in a wide range of contexts including novels, sculpture, painting, education, religion, science, museums and exhibitions across a wide geographical area from Paris to the provinces, southern France and the colonies. The contributors, all experts in their fields, assess the evolving relationship between institutions and power in nineteenth-century France, exploring how the nation debates its past, negotiates its present and, as the foundation of the Third Republic ushers in a period of relative stability, sets about creating its common future.

Gender Matters

Discourses of Violence in Early Modern Literature and the Arts

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Edited by Mara R. Wade

Gender Matters opens the debate concerning violence in literature and the arts beyond a single national tradition and engages with multivalent aspects of both female and male gender constructs, mapping them onto depictions of violence. By defining a tight thematic focus and yet offering a broad disciplinary scope for inquiry, the present volume brings together a wide range of scholarly papers investigating a cohesive topic—gendered violence—from the perspectives of French, German, Italian, Spanish, English, and Japanese literature, history, musicology, art history, and cultural studies. It interrogates the intersection of gender and violence in the early modern period, cutting across national traditions, genres, media, and disciplines. By engaging several levels of discourse, the volume advances a holistic approach to understanding gendered violence in the early modern world. The convergence of discourses concerning literature, the arts, emerging print technologies, social and legal norms, and textual and visual practices leverages a more complex understanding of gender in this period. Through the unifying lens of gender and violence the contributions to this volume comprehensively address a wide scope of diverse issues, approaches, and geographies from late medieval Japan to the European Enlightenment. While the majority of essays focus on early modern Europe, they are broadly contextualized and informed by integrated critical approaches pertaining to issues of violence and gender.

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Edited by James Day

Stories of violence — such as the account in Genesis of Cain’s jealousy and murder of Abel — have been with us since the time of the earliest recorded texts. Undeniably, the scourge of violence fascinates, confounds, and saddens. What are its uses in literature — its appeal, forms, and consequences? Anchored by Alice Kaplan’s substantial contribution, the thirteen articles in this volume cover diverse epochs, lands, and motives. One scholar ponders whether accounts of Huguenot martyrdom in the sixteenth-century might suggest more pride than piety. Another assesses the real versus the true with respect to a rape scene in The Heptameron. Female violence in fairy tales by Madame d’Aulnoy points to gender politics and the fragility of female solidarity, while another article examines similar issues in the context of Ananda Devi’s works in present-day Mauritius. Other studies address the question of sadism in Flaubert, the unstable point of view of Emmanuel Carrère’s L’Adversaire, the ambivalence toward violence in Chamoiseau’s Texaco, the notions of “terror” and “tabula rasa” in the writings of Blanchot, the undoing of traditions of narrative continuity and authority in the 1998 film, À vendre, and consequences of the power differential in a repressive Haiti as depicted in the film Vers le Sud (2005). Paradoxes emerge in several studies of works where victims may become perpetrators, or vice versa.

Neo-Victorian Gothic

Horror, Violence and Degeneration in the Re-Imagined Nineteenth Century

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Edited by Marie-Luise Kohlke and Christian Gutleben

This volume, the third in Rodopi’s Neo-Victorian Series, reassesses neo-Victorianism as a quintessentially Gothic movement. Through their revival of bygone spectres, their obsession with forgotten skeletons in the cupboard, and their exploration of nineteenth-century extremities, neo-Victorian works not only reflect our contemporary Gothic culture but also reactivate it and even enrich it with new variations such as postcolonial, eco or steampunk Gothic. Addressed to scholars and students of both Gothic and Neo-Victorian Studies, this volume will also interest contemporary literature specialists, cultural theorists, and those working on popular historical memory, as it explores the paradox of culture’s coincident turn to ethics and sensationalism. As exemplified in its generic variety and hybridity, neo-Victorian Gothic resorts to the spectacularisation of horror while simultaneously demonstrating the hyperreal, textual and self-reflexive nature of these spectacles, just as it resorts to the exploitation of hyperbolic and violent sexuality at the same time as challenging sexual norms and identity politics. In spite of these apparent contradictions, the Gothic forms of neo-Victorianism demonstrate their fundamentally ethical goal of interrogating the uncertain limits between self and other, orthodoxy and heterodoxy, past and present.

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Edited by Anna-Margaretha Horatschek, Yvonne Rosenberg and Daniel Schäbler

Abstract space becomes concrete place by being bound to individual and historical experience. Sea and coast – in texts from antiquity to the present mostly seen as mere spaces of transit and division between geographical places – are hotly contested topographical phenomena, which instigate the designation of highly semanticized cultural spaces in imagination and everyday practice. Literature has always been a central agent of the maritime cultural imaginary through the initiation and negotiation of competing versions of coast and sea. This anthology offers international research on historically specific functions of maritime spaces as historicized places, where national and individual identities, cultural exchange, a globalized economy, and ‘the technical sublime’ are dramatized. The essays focus on literature from Shakespeare through British literary history to David Dabydeen, Yann Martel, and Australian author Stephen Orr, but also on film (James Cameron, Danny Boyle), cartography, and historiographical accounts of Irish migration or Caribbean piracy in the late 17th century. They enlarge the field of ‘Hermeneutical Sea Studies’, an only recently established area of Cultural Studies.
The book is targeted at an academic audience, while retaining a high level of appeal for any reader who is interested in popular culture. As the anthology combines theoretical approaches with practical case studies, it is suitable for courses at university level, both graduate and undergraduate.

Plagiat et créativité II

Douze enquêtes sur l’auteur et son double

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Jean-Louis Cornille

Aujourd’hui plus que jamais en crise, la littérature en français ne semble disposer pour se perpétuer que d’un jeu subtil d’imitations, enfoui sous l’apparente diversité des textes. Chaque œuvre littéraire s’inscrit dans une chaîne, en reprenant certaines des œuvres qui la précèdent, tout en rêvant d’être un jour transmise à son tour aux générations futures. Ce faisant, elle réactualise des fragments de code déjà actualisés par d’autres textes qu’elle copie en partie tout en y laissant proliférer ses mutations, petites ou grandes : selon le taux d’importance de ces variations, on parlera de plagiat pur ou de vague influence. C’est ce qu’on pourrait appeler le principe de vie ou de survie d’une œuvre : il ne suffit pas à celle-ci d’être lue, il lui faut encore être récrite. Sans doute le taux d’intertextualité est plus fortement présent dans les œuvres du début, l’auteur s’efforçant ensuite de faire disparaître ces traces qui sentent la classe préparatoire, dans le but de se réapproprier son propre texte. Il en va de même pour le lecteur, qu’on invite ici à s’approprier les œuvres qu’il lit et à entrer ainsi à son tour dans le dialogue que mènent ces maîtres discrets qui ne se font entendre que lorsqu’on les appelle. C’est à cette fin que sont regroupés ici par paires des auteurs tant français que francophones : on suivra les démêlées scolaires d’un Rouaud, d’un Mabanckou ou d’un Chamoiseau avec Flaubert, Diderot ou Tournier, ou la fascination qu’éprouvaient à leurs débuts Le Clézio, Sartre ou Bataille pour Baudelaire (ou Rimbaud ou Proust ou Roussel), en espérant que de cette confrontation entre deux œuvres un troisième sens finisse par se dégager, aussi surprenant que s’il nous attendait au tournant.