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Edited by Henk Hillenaar

Il y a soixante ans Ely Carcassonne fit paraître son ?Etat présent des études sur Fénelon, ouvrage qui a rendu de très grands services à tous ceux qui depuis lors ont écrit sur l'archevêque de Cambrai. Carcassonne, mort peu de temps après, aurait sans doute été heureusement surpris s'il avait pu connaître la richesse des travaux qui ont suivi les siens ce dernier demi-siècle. L'état présent des travaux sur Fénelon n'est plus du tout en 1999 ce qu'il était en 1939. La bibliographie assez impressionnante que René Faille a rédigée pour ce volume en fait foi.
La publication de la Correspondance de Fénelon , achevée en 1999, dont les Tables paraîtront sous peu, puis celle des Oeuvres de Fénelon dans la Bibliothèque de la Pléiade constituent sans doute l'aboutissement de ce nouvel élan des études féneloniennes, dont Jean Orcibal et plus tard Jacques Le Brun ont été les principaux instigateurs. Leurs éditions critiques forment aussi le point de départ des recherches qu'une nouvelle génération de chercheurs, avec d'autres centres d'intérêt et d'autres orientations de travail, va entreprendre ou a déjà entrepris.'où l'idée de faire, plus d'un demi-siècle après l'ouvrage d'Ely Carcassonne, un Etat présent des travaux sur Fénelon II , dans l'espoir qu'un tel recueil pourra rendre à cette nouvelle génération des services analogues à ceux qu'a fournis le fameux Etat présent de Carcassonne à leurs prédécesseurs. Mais ce que ce dernier avait fait tout seul, est devenu en 1999 le travail d'une équipe de 'féneloniens'. Les différents membres de cette équipe ont eu une double tâche: dire ce qui leur paraissait essentiel dans le domaine qui leur avait été confié et, surtout, donner un aperçu historique et critique des travaux parus dans ce même domaine ces soixante dernières années. On verra que certains auteurs se sont surtout arrêtés au premier objectif. Il n'empêche que dans son ensemble ce recueil contient d'abord l'histoire de ce qui s'est fait, ce dernier demi-siècle, autour de l'oeuvre de l'archevêque de Cambrai. Nous espérons que, dans cette qualité avant tout, il pourra être utile aux lecteurs.
Pour leur délibérations, les auteurs de cet ouvrage se sont réunis, à Groningue, aux Pays Bas, en juin 1999, trois cents ans après la parution de Télémaque , trois cents ans également après la condamnation des Maximes des saints . Ce recueil est donc aussi quelque peu une commémoration.

Back to the Present: Forward to the Past, Volume I

Irish Writing and History since 1798

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Edited by Patricia A. Lynch, Joachim Fischer and Brian Coates

The island of Ireland, north and south, has produced a great diversity of writing in both English and Irish for hundreds of years, often using the memories embodied in its competing views of history as a fruitful source of literary inspiration. Placing Irish literature in an international context, these two volumes explore the connection between Irish history and literature, in particular the Rebellion of 1798, in a more comprehensive, diverse and multi-faceted way than has often been the case in the past. The fifty-three authors bring their national and personal viewpoints as well as their critical judgements to bear on Irish literature in these stimulating articles. The contributions also deal with topics such as Gothic literature, ideology, and identity, as well as gender issues, connections with the other arts, regional Irish literature, in particular that of the city of Limerick, translations, the works of Joyce, and comparisons with the literature of other nations. The contributors are all members of IASIL (International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures). Back to the Present: Forward to the Past. Irish Writing and History since 1798 will be of interest to both literary scholars and professional historians, but also to the general student of Irish writing and Irish culture.

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Edited by Ana María Fraile

Coinciding with the preparations for the celebration in 2008 of Richard Wright’s 100th birthday, this new collection of critical essays on Native Son attests to the importance and endurance of Wright’s controversial work. The eleven essays collected in this volume engage the objective of Rodopi’s Dialogue Series by creating multidirectional conversations in which senior and younger scholars interact with each other and with previous scholars who have weighed in on the novel’s import. Speaking from distant corners of the world, the contributors to this book reflect an international interest in Wright’s unique combination of literary strategies and social aims. The wide range of approaches to Native Son is presented in five thematic sections. The first three sections cover aspects such as the historical reception of Wright’s novel, the inscription of sex and gender both in Native Son and in other African American texts, and the influence of Africa and of vortical symbolism on Wright’s aesthetics; following is the study of the novel from the point of view of its adoption and transformation of various literary genres—the African American jeremiad, the protest novel, the crime novel and courtroom drama, the Bildungsroman, and the Biblical modes of narration. The closing section analyzes the novel’s lasting influence through its adaptation to other artistic fields, such as the cinema and song in the form of hip-hop. The present volume may, therefore, be of interest for students who are not very familiar with Wright’s classic text as well as for scholars and Richard Wright specialists.

From Sight through to In-Sight

Time, Narrative and Subjectivity in Conrad and Ford

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Omar Sabbagh

An interdisciplinary study of the Impressionist/early Modernist works of Conrad and Ford, this book aims to show how the represented temporalities (whether to do with past, present, future experience within and without the novels, or logical/structural relations of ‘before’ and ‘after’) are at the core of the won effects of both authors’ oeuvres. Looking at such well-known works as Nostromo, The Good Soldier, The Fifth Queen, Parade’s End, the study makes use of philosophy (historical and contemporary), theology, psychoanalysis, and other sources, to re-describe, unlock and display the fertile ways in which time and historical experience are both manumitted within the tales analysed, and, recursively, within their reading experience. Ultimately, the two senses of ‘making you see’, from Conrad’s iconic Preface, are used as gambits to understand the ways in which these novels are metaphysically vibrant, symbolically hopeful- as against the more common interpretation of metaphysical dissolution and (over-determined) failure.

The Body and the Book

Writings on Poetry and Sexuality

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Edited by Glennis Byron and Andrew J. Sneddon

The stimulating mix of academics and practising poets that have contributed to this volume provides an unusual and illuminating integration of critical and creative practice and a vibrantly diverse approach to questions of poetry and sexuality. Each section of essays is complemented by poems which creatively illustrate or develop the theme with which the essays critically engage. Rather than being limited to a specific genre, tradition, time or place, this collection seeks to make a virtue of contrast, comparison and juxtaposition. The collection is arranged into sections that range broadly across the thematic ground of dichotomies, traditions and revisions, microscopic and macroscopic perspectives, women and embodiment, and the notion of play and performance. Positioning eighteenth-century tinkers ballads alongside medieval Hebrew lyrics and the Blues of Gorgeous Puddin’, or making Dionysus rub shoulders with Sharon Olds and Mrs Rochester provides new perspectives on familiar material and valuable insights into more obscure work and the nature of sensual poetry as a mode of expression. As the editors suggest, the essays and poems presented collectively argue that writings about sexuality are always already about the way poets see and represent our bodies, the world and poetic language itself.

Paris and the Fetish

Primal Crime Scenes

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Alistair Charles Rolls

Freud’s 1927 essay on the acquisition of a screen memory, or fetish, allows the subject to come to terms with the traumatic truth that, for him, dominates the present moment (in Freud’s scenario, the truth of mother’s sexuality) by maintaining, alongside and not in place of it, a parallel story of the past (the myth of the phallic mother). In this book Freud’s theory of the fetish, and in particular this way of allowing two opposed and ostensibly mutually exclusive narratives to co-exist, is used to provide a number of Parisian crime texts with radical new solutions. The fetishistic world-view of Charles Baudelaire’s poetics will be shown to provide the template for all overvalued instances of women passing by; notably, it will be seen how the famous assault on one of Christian Dior’s models as she displayed the New Look for the first time in Montmartre in 1947 depends on a fetish erected in the poem “À une passante”. The same Paris streets allow red herrings to be raised to the status of truth in novels by Fred Vargas, Léo Malet and Frédéric Cathala. In these texts the discovery of a primal scene allows doubt to be cast over authorial solutions and new murderers or victims to be found. In the case of Jean-Paul Sartre’s La Nausée, the fetishism at work is shown to have harboured a serial killer where no crime was previously considered to have taken place. In these analyses, fetishism is mapped onto prose poetics, intertextuality and deconstruction in order to challenge the way we read text. More importantly, rereading these texts allows us to see fetishism in a new light as a force for positive, creative acts of meaning-making.

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Edited by Ingo Cornils and Osman Durrani

In November 2002, an international conference was held at the Institute of Germanic Studies in London in order to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Hermann Hesse’s birth. Twenty distinguished speakers from North and South America, Russia, Switzerland, Germany and the United Kingdom attended the three-day conference with the specific aim of exploring the continuing importance of this widely read German-language author.
This volume brings together the various responses to the complex challenge that Hesse, whose sheer success is sometimes seen as detracting from his status, presents to literary scholarship around the world. The author’s current image among readers and scholars is approached from several distinct thematic and theoretical perspectives, with the objective of providing a concise overview of current research. The volume offers new readings of a number of Hesse’s seminal works and makes a significant contribution to academic research into his past and present standing as a global icon.
As the title suggests, the focus is on ‘Hermann Hesse Today’. The book investigates his current significance for a modern readership, taking account of his importance in the lecture theatre and classroom, the multi-facetted applicability of his moral, ethical and aesthetic concerns in the context of a fragmented world, and the continuing relevance of his writings. With the ever-increasing importance of modern preoccupations such as the ecological movement or the growth of the internet, a fresh look at Hesse’s works is long overdue. The most obvious sign of this is the appearance of a definitive, historical-critical edition of his works (prose, poetry, and literary criticism), which will give access to much hitherto unpublished material and stimulate fresh debates on an author who ranks among the best-known and most influential figures of the twentieth century.
This volume will be of interest to teachers of German in higher education and their students as well as researchers and the general readership that continues to take an interest in Hesse on both sides of the Atlantic.

A Gorgon’s Mask

The Mother in Thomas Mann’s Fiction

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Lewis A. Lawson

The thesis of A Gorgon’s mask: The Mother in Thomas Mann’s Fiction depends upon three psychoanalytic concepts: Freud’s early work on the relationship between the infant and its mother and on the psychology of artistic creation, Annie Reich’s analysis of the grotesque-comic sublimation, and Edmund Bergler’s analysis of writer’s block. Mann’s crisis of sexual anxiety in late adolescence is presented as the defining moment for his entire artistic life. In the throes of that crisis he included a sketch of a female as Gorgon in a book that would not escape his mother’s notice. But to defend himself from being overcome by the Gorgon-mother’s stare he employed the grotesque-comic sublimation, hiding the mother figure behind fictional characters physically attractive but psychologically repellent, all the while couching his fiction in an ironic tone that evoked humor, however lacking in humor the subtext might be. In this manner he could deny to himself that the mother figure always lurked in his work, and by that denial deny that he was a victim of oral regression. For, as Edmund Bergler argues, the creative writer who acknowledges his oral dependency will inevitably succumb to writer’s block. Mann’s late work reveals that his defense against the Gorgon is crumbling. In Doctor Faustus Mann portrays Adrian Leverkühn as, ultimately, the victim of oral regression; but the fact that Mann was able to compete the novel, despite severe physical illness and psychological distress, demonstrates that he himself was still holding writer’s block at bay. In Confessions of Felix Krull: Confidence Man, a narrative that he had abandoned forty years before, Mann was finally forced to acknowledge that he was depleted of creative vitality, but not of his capacity for irony, brilliantly couching the victorious return of the repressed in ambiguity. This study will be of interest to general readers who enjoy Mann’s narrative art, to students of Mann’s work, especially its psychological and mythological aspects, and to students of the psychology of artistic creativity.

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Maria Koundoura

Mid-eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century travel narratives and novels on Greece like those of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and Mary Shelley are filled with projected fictions of otherness, presented as fact. The supposed realism of these accounts guaranteed not only the imaginative hold of Greece, but also the originality of the fictive treatments. Like other such tales of the time, the story of Greece was open to the reader’s sentimental appropriation: it allowed these travellers and their culture to write themselves in the discourse of Hellenism and the Greeks out as its ruins.