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Călin-Andrei Mihăilescu

The question of power legitimacy and violence justification opens this discussion of the logic, epistemology and rhetoric of espionage. Going from the logical status of the statement “I spy” to Peirce’s abduction and to Descartes’ methodical doubt, the argument leads to disjunctions between policing and spying, and to a discussion of the “reading in the crossfire,” a characteristic of modern cultures of suspicion. Spy fiction is focused on in the last section of the article, which contains forays into two types of spy-readers: Ian Fleming’s entertaining James Bond and, more significantly, John le Carré’s melancholy George Smiley. In his methodical trappings, Smiley shows to be as crafty as Ur-detective Oedipus in his defusing of both the Sphinx and himself.

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The Battle of the Brands

Romanian Literature Limping through the World

Călin-Andrei Mihăilescu

Abstract

The international recognition of Romanian literature faces a double challenge: first, the limited circulation of the Romanian language; second, the small number of translations and the non-systematic branding that this literature has enjoyed so far. This article discusses (1) the meanings of “branding”; (2) the ways in which the nationalist imp keeps hindering the branding of Romanian literature abroad, and highlights the historical and contemporary shortcomings of the branding of Romanian literary texts and authors; and (3) the current state-of-affairs, followed by a scenario for future action. The last section suggests ways of improving this branding by piggybacking on the international success of Romanian cinema and on a few award-winning Romanian writers, but especially by attempting to help create a class of professional middle-persons (cultural managers, literary agents and advertising professionals) who would systematically promote Romanian literature.

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Edited by Călin-Andrei Mihăilescu and Takayuki Yokota-Murakami

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Edited by Călin-Andrei Mihăilescu and Takayuki Yokota-Murakami

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Edited by Călin-Andrei Mihăilescu and Takayuki Yokota-Murakami

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Edited by Călin-Andrei Mihăilescu and Takayuki Yokota-Murakami

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Edited by Călin-Andrei Mihăilescu and Takayuki Yokota-Murakami

The present age of omnipresent terrorism is also an era of ever-expanding policing. What is the meaning — and the consequences — of this situation for literature and literary criticism? Policing Literary Theory attempts to answer these questions presenting intriguing and critical analyses of the interplays between police/policing and literature/literary criticism in a variety of linguistic milieus and literary traditions: American, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and others. The volume explores the mechanisms of formulation of knowledge about literature, theory, or culture in general in the post-Foucauldian surveillance society. Topics include North Korean dictatorship, spy narratives, censorship in literature and scholarship, Russian and Soviet authoritarianism, Eastern European cultures during communism, and Kafka’s work.

Contributors: Vladimir Biti, Reingard Nethersole, Călin-Andrei Mihăilescu, Sowon Park, Marko Juvan, Kyohei Norimatsu, Péter Hajdu, Norio Sakanaka, John Zilcosky, Yvonne Howell, and Takayuki Yokota-Murakami.