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Urban displacement and failed encounters in surrealist and postmodern writing
Author: Daniela Daniele
This book traces the origins of the Postmodern eclectic grammar of linguistic collision back in the Surrealist poetics of ruins. Keeping in mind the images of lost direction in the big city as a central figure in the discussion of both the Modern and Postmodern aesthetics of displacement, Daniele starts comparing the epiphanic encounters of the Baudelairian flâneur in metropolitan Paris - in constant search for the traces of a lost symbolic order - with Breton's enigmatic pursuit of Nadja, the elusive sphinx in the crowd who moves in a mental territory of puzzling condensations and of ineffable objets trouvé. In his visual and written work, Marcel Duchamp was probably the first artist to envision the space of the crowd as a trans-urban, multiple dimension: a cool arena of disjunctive encounters contributing to transform the Surrealist erotic space of desire in a cooler, open field of performance.
Deeply influenced by Duchamp's hybrid aesthetics, American Postmodern writers such as Donald Barthelme and Thomas Pynchon, and the performance artist Laurie Anderson, represent metropolis as a “geographical incest”, as a plural, entropic semiosphere which transcends the notion of urban community to become the tolerant receptacle of an ethnic and discoursive multiplicity, an electronic area of linguistic collisions translatable in new fragmented and unfinished narratives. Evoking the assemblages of Abstract Expressionists, the debris of Simon Rodia “junk art”, and the hybrid language of Postmodern architecture, this neo-Surrealist narrative discourse transforms the epiphanic traces envisioned by the Baudelairian and Bretonian heroes in partial parodies, in enigmatic fragments whose ultimate source transcends the narrator's knowledge. The conceptual strategy which is constitutive of these texts implicitly asks the puzzled reader to disentangle the entropic plots, immerging him in the midst of a “linguistic wilderness,” where all opposites - fact and fiction, man and machine, man and female - enigmatically and humorously coexist.
Hybridity, Trade and the Eighteenth-Century Individual
Author: C.M. Owen
What does the story of Robinson Crusoe have to do with understanding past and present women’s lives? The Female Crusoe: Hybridity, Trade and the Eighteenth-Century Individual investigates the possibility that Daniel Defoe’s famous work was informed by qualities attributed to trade, luxury and credit and described as feminine in the period. In this volume, Robinson Crusoe and the female castaway narratives published in its wake emerge as texts of social criticism that draw on neglected values of race and gender to challenge the dominant values of society. Such narratives worked to establish status and authority for marginalised characters and subjects who were as different, and as similar, as Defoe’s gentleman-tradesman and Wollstonecraft’s independent woman. The Female Crusoe goes on to address the twentieth-century engagement with the castaway tale, showing how three contemporary authors, in their complex and gendered negotiations of power and identity, echo, even while they challenge, the concerns of their eighteenth-century predecessors. This work will be of interest to students interested in literary engagements with individualism and women’s rights in the eighteenth and twentieth centuries.
Volume Editors: Adele Parker and Stephenie Young
This study presents a unique collection of essays which focus on the relationships among form, aesthetics, and transnational women’s writing produced in recent years. The essays in this volume treat literary works from diverse cultures and geographies, concentrating on the intersections of theory and literature. This results in a wide spectrum of identities and texts – including the work of Swedish poet Aase Berg, the Indian translation market, the Chicana novel, creative non-fiction by Croatian writer Dubravka Ugrešić, and multilingual hybrid texts by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha – in order to provide a framework for an overarching theory of transnationalism as it interacts with newer paradigms of gendered identity and the new forms of literature to which they contribute. Transnationalism and Resistance offers a multifaceted approach to transnational studies and constitutes a cogent analysis of the ways in which women’s writing informs contemporary global literary production. This volume is of interest for scholars in women’s studies, literature, the social sciences, cultural studies and all other fields that take an interest in writing that addresses contemporary global issues.
Feminism, Narration and Polyphony
Author: Rita Tyagi
Ananda Devi: Feminism, Narration and Polyphony is the first full-length monograph devoted to Ananda Devi, a dynamic contemporary Francophone writer. Recipient of Prix Louis-Guilloux and Prix Télévision Suisse Romande du Roman, she is described by many as a prototype of a new generation of Mauritian writers. This book analyses Devi’s unconventional polyphonic narratives, particularly, her strategies that allow marginalized narrators to disrupt androcentric and dominant structures of narrative construction, thereby creating hybrid magical spaces for feminine expression. Drawing on the notion of feminist narratology that investigates the relation between gender and narrative, this book focuses on a wide range of Western and non-Western narrative strategies such as plot and plotlessness, narrative metalepsis, pluritemporality, multisubjectivity, myths, folktales and magic. It also demonstrates how her texts become the point of convergence of the West and the non-West, the feminine and the androcentric, the real and the extra-real as muted discourses resurface and traditional distinctions between categories are blurred in favor of alternate and new possibilities. As this book is interdisciplinary in its approach, it will appeal to a broad range of audience from those interested in Contemporary Francophone and Indian-Ocean Literature to scholars in Women’s Writing, Post-Colonial Studies, and Narratology.
This essay collection is dedicated to intersections between gender theories and theories of laughter, humour, and comedy. It is based on the results of a three-year research programme, entitled “Gender – Laughter – Media” (2003-2006) and includes a series of investigations on traditional and modern media in western cultures from the 18th to the 20th century. A theoretical opening part is followed by four thematic sections that explore the multiple forms of irritating stereotypical gender perceptions; aspects of (post-)colonialism and multiculturalism; the comic impact of literary and media genres in different national cultures; as well as the different comic strategies in fictional, philosophical, artistic or real life communication. The volume presents a variety of new approaches to the overlaps between gender and laughter that have only barely been considered in groundbreaking research. It forms a valuable read for scholars of literary, theatre, media, and cultural studies, at the same time reaching out to a general readership.
James Joyce is located between, and constructed within, two worlds: the national and international, the political and cultural systems of colonialism and postcolonialism. Joyce's political project is to construct a postcolonial contra-modernity: to write the incommensurable differences of colonial, postcolonial, and gendered subjectivities, and, in doing so, to reorient the axis of power and knowledge. What Joyce dramatizes in his hybrid writing is the political and cultural remainder of imperial history or patriarchal canons: a remainder that resists assimilation into the totalizing narratives of modernity. Through this remainder - of both politics and the psyche - Joyce reveals how a minority culture can construct political and personal agency. Joyce: Feminism / Post / Colonialism, edited by Ellen Carol Jones, bears witness to the construction of that agency, tracing the inscription of the racial and sexual other in colonial, nationalist, and postnational representations, deciphering the history of the possible. Contributors are Gregory Castle, Gerald Doherty, Enda Duffy, James Fairhall, Peter Hitchcock, Ellen Carol Jones, Ranjana Khanna, Patrick McGee, Marilyn Reizbaum, Susan de Sola Rodstein, Carol Shloss, and David Spurr.
Volume Editor: Renée M. Silverman
The avant-garde has been popular for some time, but its popularity has tended to fly under the radar. This “popular avant-garde,” conceived as the meeting ground of the avant-garde and popular, avoids the divorce of art and praxis of which the avant-garde has been accused. The Popular Avant-Garde takes stock of the debates about both the “historical” (“modernist”) and posterior avant-gardes, and sets them in relation to popular culture and art forms. With a critical introduction that examines the concepts of “the avant-garde,” “the popular,” and “the popular avant-garde,” the series of essays analyzes the way in which the avant-garde employs popular genres for political purposes, as well as how the popular acquires a critical function with respect to the avant-garde. Each of the volume’s three sections considers a different aspect of the productive exchange between the avant-garde and popular: the popular avant-garde as a culturally hybrid and cross-border phenomenon; the play between the popular avant-garde and developments in media and technology; and the popular avant-garde’s upending of conventional ideas about “the people” and “the popular.” The Popular Avant-Garde takes a fresh look at the now canonical Dadaist, Futurist, and Surrealist movements from the perspectives of gender and sexuality, and cultural and critical theory, while at the same time exploring less well-known avant-garde work in literature, film, television, music, photography, dance, sculpture, and the graphic arts. This volume’s coverage of the American and Afro-American, Luso-Brazilian and Latin-American, East-European, and Scandinavian avant-gardes, in addition to the vanguards of Spain and other parts of Western Europe, will appeal to all those interested in avant-garde and popular art forms.
A Postcolonial Feminist Perspective on Sex Work and Faith-Based Outreach from Australia
Author: Lauren Mcgrow
Missionary Positions examines the context for Christian outreach to people in the sex industry. Over the last 20 years, faith-based organisations have become more engaged in ministering with sex workers. But what are the methods and desired outcomes that undergird pastoral practice in this field? Most Christians see prostitution as evil, and those who sell sex are considered broken victims in need of restoration. Yet the voices and experiences of sex workers themselves often challenge these assumptions. Using feminist and postcolonial perspectives, interviews with Christian practitioners in Australia and personal narrative, Lauren McGrow carves out a space for the dynamic theological agency and life complexity of sex workers to be more fully acknowledged in faith-based outreach projects.
Changing Patterns in the Construction of Otherness
Volume Editor: Isabel Santaolalla
All civilisations have both feared and been fascinated by what lies beyond their limits, and have to a greater or lesser extent construed their “others” as exotics. Given that, even in its most consumerist fashion, the adoption of the exotic goes back a long way, what, then —if anything— is new in contemporary versions of exoticism? This volume attempts to offer some answers to this question. The first of its three sections serves as an extended introduction to the concept and practice of exoticism, considering the phenomenon from a number of theoretical and critical positions, explicitly examining —sometimes via significant examples— the particular attributes of exoticism. The second and third sections are more strictly text-based, relying on the analysis of specific instances of film in the former and literature in the latter, in order to tease out some specific uses of the exotic –whether ethnic, gendered, sexual or other. This volume will be of interest to scholars and students working in the fields of representation, cultural theory, postcolonialism, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, cinema and literature.