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Jules Vallès and the Politics of Orality
How does literature give voice to the political? In what ways does it articulate a political dimension? For Jules Vallès (1832-1885), member of the Paris Commune of 1871 and editor of Le Cri du Peuple, author of the autobiographical trilogy, L'Enfant (1878), Le Bachelier (1881), and L'Insurgé (1886), the politics of literature is literally a matter of the voice, for it is inherent to the voice as matter: the grain of the voice, the physical trace of the voice in writing, the voice as a heterogeneous effect of writing. An indispensable work for all those interested in autobiographical voice and orality in literature, this study offers both a comprehensive theoretical reflection on the problem of orality and an innovative reading of Vallès disruptive literary voice, of his seminally modern aspiration toward a wide-ranging politics of contestation through the liberation of oral desire. A work of mordant irony and consuming passion, of prodigious wordplay and scatological humor, Vallès's trilogy revels in oral pleasure, in disfiguring improprieties of language that culminate in revolution. In Vallès's journalism as coup de gueule, in the physical embodiment of a revolutionary voice of the people, it is ultimately a utopic politics of orality that takes shape in the trilogy, one that strives toward radical popular action in the materiality of the voice, at the limit of the body in language: Le Cri du Peuple.
Encounters Between British, Irish and Greek Poetry, 1922-1952
Conversing Identities: Encounters Between British, Irish and Greek Poetry, 1922-1952 presents a panorama of cultures brought in dialogue through travel, immigration and translation set against the insularity imposed by war and the hegemony of the national centre in the period 1922-1952. Each chapter tells a story within a specific time and space that connected the challenges and fissures experienced in two cultures with the goal to explore how the post-1922 accentuated mobility across frontiers found an appropriate expression in the work of the poets under consideration. Either influenced by their actual travel to Britain or Greece or divided in their various allegiances and reactions to national or imperial sovereignty, the poets examined explored the possibilities of a metaphorical diasporic sense of belonging within the multicultural metropolis and created personae to indicate the tension at the contact of the old and the new, the hypocritical parody of mixed breeds and the need for modern heroes to avoid national or gendered stereotypes. The main coordinates were the national voices of W.B. Yeats and Kostes Palamas, T.S. Eliot’s multilingual outlook as an Anglo-American métoikos, C.P. Cavafy’s view as a Greek of the diaspora, displaced William Plomer’s portrayal of 1930s Athens, Demetrios Capetanakis’ journey to the British metropolis, John Lehmann’s antithetical journey eastward, as well as Louis MacNeice’s complex loyalties to a national identity and sense of belonging as an Irish classicist, translator and traveller.
Gissing’s Short Stories, Essays and Other Works
This comprehensive study of George Gissing’s short stories and related non-fiction is essential reading for students of nineteenth-century realism. For the first time readers will be able to follow the development which transformed Gissing’s unremarkable early stories into the very individual tales that elevated his work to the vanguard of realistic short fiction. Gissing’s American period is notable for its accumulation of themes that were repeatedly refined and adapted for his later work, causality emerging as the dominant voice. On his return to England, shifting political and philosophical beliefs expressed in his non-fiction had a vital impact on his second phase of short fiction, and the part played by realism in the author’s short stories and his writings on Charles Dickens added further dimensions to his work as a whole. By the final phase of Gissing’s remarkable development, it is evident that his interest in the concept of causality as the major force in his short work had been replaced by a more challenging preoccupation with the human psyche. This introduced philosophical, sociological and psychological dimensions to Gissing’s work that established him in the field of short fiction as a leading exponent of late nineteenth-century realism
The Villain’s Tale
Despite the hundreds of books and scholarly articles which have been devoted to him, François Villon remains a mysterious figure who, in the words of the sort of paradox he applies to himself, appears both near yet far. Near because he seems to articulate feelings to which readers down the ages have been able to respond, far because the world he lived in seems to a modern reader a tantalizingly foreign one. No analysis of the poet's work is complete without some description of that world in all its physical and mental strangeness. This new book will also show how Villon consciously fashioned his own image, manipulating his original readers and offering them a version of himself and his talents designed to amuse, impress, move and perhaps deceive. For he had been a villain as well as a poet, and he uses selected episodes from his past together with a very personal treatment of the great literary and moral themes of his age not only to express his own conflicting emotions but also to demonstrate that he is a reformed man who needs and deserves sympathy and understanding. This consummate artist comes across in his deliberately ambiguous work as a loveable rogue, by turns jaunty and maudlin. The baffling persona he created raises many questions. The author of the present study looks in particular at the reception of Villon's work in his own day, suggesting that it was meant to be presented (and perhaps performed) as part of a process of rehabilitation and a return to the fold he had been forced to leave by his own behaviour. The poet's work might thus help him achieve social acceptance and the longed-for ‘maison et couche molle’. However, events on the streets of Paris in late 1462 would silence his voice forever.
Sense Perception in the British Novel of the 1980s and 1990s
Fiction is fascinating. All it provides us with is black letters on white pages, yet while we read we do not have the impression that we are merely perceiving abstract characters. Instead, we see the protagonists before our inner eye and hear their voices. Descriptions of sumptuous meals make our mouths water, we feel physically repelled by depictions of violence or are aroused by the erotic details of sexual conquests. We submerge ourselves in the fictional world that no longer stays on the paper but comes to life in our imagination. Reading turns into an out-of-the-body experience or, rather, an in-another-body experience, for we perceive the portrayed world not only through the protagonist's eyes but also through his ears, nose, tongue, and skin. In other words, we move through the literary text as if through a virtual reality.
How does literature achieve this trick? How does it turn mere letters into vividly experienced worlds? This study argues that techniques of sensuous writing contribute decisively to bringing the text to life in the reader's imagination. In detailed interpretations of British novels of the 1980s and 1990s by writers such as John Berger, John Banville, Salman Rushdie, Jeanette Winterson, or J. M. Coetzee, it uncovers literary strategies for turning the sensuous experience into words and for conveying it to the reader, demonstrating how we make sense in, and of, literature. Both readers interested in the contemporary novel and in the sensuousness of the reading experience will profit from this innovative study that not only analyses the interest of contemporary authors in the senses but also pin-points literary entry points for the sensuous force of reading.
Willa Cather’s The Song of the Lark, the latest in Rodopi’s Dialogue Series, is a collection of thirteen new essays exploring Cather’s 1915 classic novel about the coming-of-age of Thea Kronborg, a gifted young opera singer. As in previous editions in the Dialogue series, this volume on Cather’s novel offers analyses by both new and emerging scholars on complex and controversial issues. Specific areas of focus include: the role of the West and the railroad, race and race relations, the performing arts, as well as Cather’s complex construction of “culture” throughout the novel. Thea’s role as a possible feminist icon receives a fresh, insightful look, while other writers explore the nature of gift and gift-giving as well as the novel’s relation to other literary movements and genres. Scholars and the general public will welcome the ways these new critical insights offer a fresh look at this modern classic.
Travel and National Culture in Russia from Peter I to the Era of Pushkin
Breaking Ground examines travel writing’s contribution to the development of a Russian national culture from roughly 1700 to 1850, as Russia struggled to define itself against Western Europe. Russian examples of literary travel writing began with imitative descriptions of grand tours abroad, but progressive familiarity with the West and with its literary forms gradually enabled writers to find other ways of describing the experiences of Russians en route. Blending foreign and native cultural influences, writers responded to the pressures of the age—to Catherine II, Napoleon, and Nicholas I, for example—both by turning “inward” to focus on domestic touring and by rewriting their relationship to the West. This book tracks the evolution of literary travel writing in this period of its unprecedented popularity and demonstrates how the expression of national identity, the discovery of a national culture, and conceptions of place—both Russian and Western European-were among its primary achievements. These elements also constitute travel writing’s chief legacy to prose fiction, “breaking ground” for the later masterpieces of writers such as Turgenev, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy. For literary scholars, historians, and other educated readers with interests in Russian culture, travel writing, comparative literature, and national identity.
Virtues and Vices of Vocal Translation
Vocal translation is an old art, but the interpretive feeling, skill and craft have expanded into a relatively new area in translation studies. Vocal translation is the translation of the poetic discourse in the hybrid art of the musicopoetic (or poeticomusical) forms, shapes and skills. This symbiotic construct harmonizes together the conflicting roles of music and language in face-to-face singing performances. The artist sings in an accurate but free flow, but sung in a language different from the original lyrics.
Vocal translation is a living-together community of composer and poet and translator; they work together though separately in time and place, through the structure and meaning of the vocalized verbal language. The meaning of the songs is influenced by the elements of musical expression: melody, impulse, pitch, duration, loudness, timbre and dynamics, each of which is governed by its own rules and emotions. The movement of the lyrics is an essential and meaningful attribute of the musical rhythms, pauses, pitches, stresses and articulations of the entire songs. The presence of the original and translated song structures its sounds, senses and gestures to suggest semiotic meaningfulness.
In opera, folksong, hymn and art song, as well as in operetta, musical song and popular song, we have musical genres allied to a libretto with lyrical text. A libretto is a linguistic text which is a pre-existing work of art, but is subordinated to the musical text. The essays in Song and Significance: Virtues and Vices of Vocal Translation provide interpretive models for the juxtaposition of different orders of the singing sign-events in different languages, extending the meaning and range of the musical and literary concepts, and putting the mixed signs to a true-and-false test.
Editor: Jason Harding
The controversial British writer Ford Madox Ford (1873-1939) is increasingly recognized as a major presence in early twentieth-century literature. This series of International Ford Madox Ford Studies was founded to reflect the recent resurgence of interest in him. Each volume is based upon a particular theme or issue; and relates aspects of Ford’s work, life, and contacts, to broader concerns of his time.
Modernist periodicals and editorial theory have been very productive areas in recent research. This volume focuses on Ford and editing. Ford was one of the greatest editors of Modernist magazines. He founded the English Review in Edwardian London, publishing Henry James, Joseph Conrad, H. G. Wells, Ezra Pound, Wyndham Lewis, and D. H. Lawrence. His editorial relationships with all of these writers are examined in detail here, as are those with Jean Rhys, Ernest Hemingway, and Basil Bunting, connected with the transatlantic review launched by Ford in post-war Paris, which also carried experimental work by James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, and Tristan Tzara.
These seventeen essays bring together distinguished scholars and poets, as well as younger experts on Modernism and its magazine culture. This collection provides a wealth of new research on the management, cultural politics, and editorial stance of Ford’s magazines; on the impact of his editorial contacts on his own and others’ work; and on editorial approaches to his writing, including his best-known novels, The Good Soldier and Parade’s End.