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In Black and Gold

Contiguous Traditions in Post-War British and Irish Poetry

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Edited by C.C. Barfoot

In Black and Gold indicates that opposed styles of poetry reveal subterranean correspondences that occasionally meet and run together. Austerity or tomfoolery are two of the many valid responses to the human condition that create the contiguous traditions that cannot help touching and reacting to each other. The poetry discussed in this book deals with the relation of individuals to strange or to familiar landscapes, and what this means to their own sense of displacement or rootedness; with the use of history as an escape from or as a challenge to an apparently failing present; and with the role of nationalism either as a refuge for angry frustration, or as a weapon against the affronting world, or as an ambivalent loyalty that needs to be scoured, or as all three. Here we find poetry as a means of discovering true or false allegiances and valid or invalid public and private identities; poetry as a medium for exploring the uses of the demotic in confronting the breakdowns and injustices of modern democracy; poetry as play in the midst of private and public woe; poetry as a spiritual quest, as a spiritual scourging, as a wrestling with spiritual absences; and poetry as an intermittent and sporadic commemoration of the triumphs and delights of epiphanic encounters with the physical world.

The Roman Inquisition

Centre versus Peripheries

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Edited by Katherine Aron-Beller and Christopher Black

In The Roman Inquisition: Centre versus Peripheries, two inquisitorial scholars, Black who has published on the institutional history of the Italian Inquisitions and Aron-Beller whose area of expertise are trials against Jews before the peripheral Modenese inquisition, jointly edit an essay collection that studies the relationship between the Sacred Congregation in Rome and its peripheral inquisitorial tribunals. The book analyses inquisitorial collaborations in Rome, correspondence between the Centre and its peripheries, as well as the actions of these sub-central tribunals. It discusses the extent to which the controlling tendencies of the Centre filtered down and affected the peripheries, and how the tribunals were in fact prevented by local political considerations from achieving the homogenizing effect desired by Rome.

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Wibke Reger

Blonde und blauäugige Afroamerikaner, die aus-sehen wie typische Nordeuropäer? Die amerikanische Rassendefinition hat dazu geführt, dass es in keiner anderen Bevölkerungsgruppe eine solche Spanne von Hautfarben, Haarstrukturen und Gesichtszügen gibt wie bei den Afroamerikanern. Und das individuelle Aussehen hat Auswirkungen auf alle Lebensbereiche – von sozialen Beziehungen bis hin zur Gehaltshöhe. Kein Wunder also, dass dieses Phänomen auch in der Literatur zu einem wichtigen Thema wurde. Harriet Beecher Stowe teilte ihre schwarzen Protagonisten in Uncle Tom’s Cabin in zwei distinkte Gruppen – die Hellen und die Dunklen mit spezifischen Charakterzügen. Afroamerikanische Autoren hingegen entwickelten unterschiedliche Strategien, um gegen die hautfarbenbasierte Diskriminierung von Schwarzen innerhalb der eigenen Gruppe anzuschreiben: von leichtherziger Ironie bis zu bitterem Realismus, von der Lobpreisung des Reichtums an physischen Unterschieden bis hin zur Beschwörung der Einheit aller Schwarzen. Die Vielfalt der Strategien zeigt nicht zuletzt, dass die Thematik bis heute nichts von ihrer Brisanz verloren hat.

Re-Membering the Black Atlantic

On the Poetics and Politics of Literary Memory

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Lars Eckstein

The Atlantic slave trade continues to haunt the cultural memories of Africa, Europe and the Americas. There is a prevailing desire to forget: While victims of the African diaspora tried to flee the sites of trauma, enlightened Westerners preferred to be oblivious to the discomforting complicity between their enlightenment and chattel slavery. Recently, however, fiction writers have ventured to ‘re-member’ the Black Atlantic.
This book is concerned with how literature performs as memory. It sets out to chart systematically the ways in which literature and memory intersect, and offers readings of three seminal Black Atlantic novels. Each reading illustrates a particular poetic strategy of accessing the past and presents a distinct political outlook on memory. Novelists may choose to write back to texts, images or music: Caryl Phillips’s Cambridge brings together numerous fragments of slave narratives, travelogues and histories to shape a brilliant montage of long-forgotten texts. David Dabydeen’s A Harlot’s Progress approaches slavery through the gateway of paintings by William Hogarth, Sir Joshua Reynolds and J.M.W. Turner. Toni Morrison’s Beloved, finally, is steeped in black music, from spirituals and blues to the art of John Coltrane. Beyond differences in poetic strategy, moreover, the novels paradigmatically reveal distinct ideologies: their politics of memory variously promote an encompassing transcultural sense of responsibility, an aestheticist ‘creative amnesia’, and the need to preserve a collective ‘black’ identity.

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Edited by Jorunn Svensen Gjerden, Kari Jegerstedt and Željka Švrljuga

Exploring the Black Venus Figure in Aesthetic Practices critically examines a longstanding colonial fascination with the black female body as an object of sexual desire, envy, and anxiety. Since the 2002 repatriation of the remains of Sara Baartman to post-apartheid South Africa, the interest in the figure of Black Venus has skyrocketed, making her a key symbol for the restoration of the racialized female body in feminist, anti-racist and postcolonial terms.

Edited by Jorunn Gjerden, Kari Jegerstedt, and Željka Švrljuga, this volume considers Black Venus as a product of art established and potentially refigured through aesthetic practices, following her travels through different periods, geographies and art forms from Baudelaire to Kara Walker, and from the Caribbean to Scandinavia.

Contributors: Kjersti Aarstein, Carmen Birkle, Jorunn Svensen Gjerden, Kari Jegerstedt, Ulla Angkjær Jørgensen, Ljubica Matek, Margery Vibe Skagen, Camilla Erichsen Skalle, Željka Švrljuga.

Black South African Autobiography After Deleuze

Belonging and Becoming in Self-Testimony

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Kgomotso M. Masemola

In Black South African Autobiography After Deleuze: Belonging and Becoming in Self-Testimony, Kgomotso Michael Masemola uses Gilles Deleuze’s theories of immanence and deterritorialization to explore South African autobiography as both the site and the limit of intertextual cultural memory. Detailing the intertextual turn that is commensurate with belonging to the African world and its diasporic reaches through the Black Atlantic, among others, this book covers autobiographies from Peter Abrahams to Es’kia Mphahlele, from Ellen Kuzwayo to Nelson Mandela. It proceeds further to reveal wider dimensions of angst and belonging that attend becoming through transcultural memory. Kgomotso Michael Masemola successfully marshalls Deleuzean theories in a sophisticated re-reading that makes clear the autobiographers’ epistemic access to wor(l)ds beyond South Africa.

Multimodality in Canadian Black Feminist Writing

Orality and the Body in the Work of Harris, Philip, Allen, and Brand

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Maria Caridad Casas

This book develops a theory of multimodality – the participation of a text in more than one mode – centred on the poetry/poetics of Lillian Allen, Claire Harris, Dionne Brand, and Marlene Nourbese Philip. How do these poets represent oral Caribbean English Creoles (CECs) in writing and negotiate the relationship between the high literary in Canadian letters and the social and historical meanings of CECs? How do the latter relate to the idea of “female and black”?
Through fluid use of code- and mode-switching, the movement of Brand and Philip between creole and standard English, and written orality and standard writing forms part of their meanings. Allen’s eye-spellings precisely indicate stereotypical creole sounds, yet use the phonological system of standard English. On stage, Allen projects a black female body in the world and as a speaking subject. She thereby shows that the implication of the written in the literary excludes her body’s language (as performance); and she embodies her poetry to realize a ‘language’ alternative to the colonizing literary. Harris’s creole writing helps her project a fragmented personality, a range of dialects enabling quite different personae to emerge within one body. Thus Harris, Brand, Philip, and Allen both project the identity “female and black” and explore this social position in relation to others.
Considering textual multimodality opens up a wide range of material connections. Although written, this poetry is also oral; if oral, then also embodied; if embodied, then also participating in discourses of race, gender, sexuality, and a host of other systems of social organization and individual identity. Finally, the semiotic body as a mode (i.e. as a resource for making meaning) allows written meanings to be made that cannot otherwise be expressed in writing. In every case, Allen, Philip, Harris, and Brand escape the constraints of dominant media, refiguring language via dialect and mode to represent a black feminist sensibility.

Sabine Weber

Zeitlebens beschäftigt sich der Romancier Gustave Flaubert intensiv mit Denk- und Vorstellungsformen von Endlichkeit und Abschied. In seinem literarischen Werk setzt er dem Tod, der radikalen Sinnvernichtung, ein Kunstwerk entgegen, das sich in der ästhetischen Überformung des toten weiblichen Körpers zeigt.
Wie auf einer Schaubühne ist der Leichnam Emma Bovarys hinter Vorhängen aufgebahrt. Eine kalte Aura umgibt das Todestableau der karthagischen Prinzessin Salammbô. Die kühle Darstellungsform des Flaubertschen Erzählers erscheint ohne Mitleid. Flauberts Romanfiguren beklagen den Tod im leeren Pathos, in verstellten Trauergebärden, die an ein Schauspiel erinnern. Kulturelle Formen des Abschieds und des Angedenkens werden als scheinhafte Inszenierungen aufgedeckt. An ihre Stelle rückt eine unheimliche Todesvergegenwärtigung in Form eines schwarzen Abgrunds, in dem die Grenzen des Sicht- und Vorstellbaren gesprengt sind und aus dem der Künstler selbst schöpft.