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Nicholas Meihuizen

In recent years Yeats scholarship has been, to a large extent, historically-based in emphasis. Much has been gained from this emphasis, if we consider the refinement of critical awareness resulting from a better understanding of the intricate relationship between the poet and his times. However, the present author feels that an exclusive adherence to this approach impacts negatively on our ability to appreciate and understand Yeatsian creativity from within the internally located imperatives of creativity itself, as opposed to our understanding it on the basis of aesthetically constitutive socio-historical forces operative from without. He feels a need to relocate the study of Yeats in the work and thought of the poet himself, to focus again on the poet’s own myth-making. To this end Nicholas Meihuizen examines this myth-making as it relates to certain archetypal figures, places, and structures. The figures in question are the antagonist and goddess, embodiments of conflict and feminine forces in Yeats, and they participate in a lively drama within the places and shapes considered sacred by the poet: places such as the Sligo district and Byzantium; shapes such as the circling gyres of his system. The book should be interesting and valuable to students and scholars of varying degrees of acquaintance with the poet. To long-time Yeatsians it offers fresh perspectives onto important works and preoccupations. To new students it offers a means of exploring wide-ranging material within a few central, interrelated frames, a means that mirrors Yeats’s own commitment to unity in diversity.

Constellation Caliban

Figurations of a Character


Edited by Nadia Lie and Theo D'haen

We are now in the Age of Caliban rather than in the Time of Ariel or the Era of Prospero, Harold Bloom claimed in 1992. Bloom was specifically referring to Caliban's rising popularity as the prototype of the colonised or repressed subject, especially since the 1980s. However, already earlier the figure of Caliban had inspired artists from the most divergent backgrounds: Robert Browning, Ernest Renan, Aimé Césaire, and Peter Greenaway, to name only some of the better known.
Much has already been published on Caliban, and there exist a number of excellent surveys of this character's appearance in literature and the other arts. The present collection does not aim to trace Caliban over the ages. Rather, Constellation Caliban intends to look at a number of specific refigurations of Caliban. What is the Caliban-figure's role and function within a specific work of art? What is its relation to the other signifiers in that work of art? What interests are invested in the Caliban-figure, what values does it represent or advocate? Whose interests and values are these?
These and similar questions guided the contributors to the present volume. In other words, what one finds here is not a study of origins, not a genealogy, not a reception-study, but rather a fascinating series of case studies informed by current theoretical debate in areas such as women's studies, sociology of literature and of the intellectuals, nation-formation, new historicism, etc.
Its interdisciplinary approach and its attention to matters of multi-culturalism make Constellation Caliban into an unusually wide ranging and highly original contribution to Shakespeare-studies. The book should appeal to students of English Literature, Modern European Literature, Comparative Literature, Drama or Theatre Studies, and Cultural Studies, as well as to anyone interested in looking at literature within a broad social and historical context while still appreciating detailed textual analyses.

Coterminous Worlds

Magical realism and contemporary post-colonial literature in English


Edited by Elsa Linguanti, Francesco Casotti and Carmen Concilio

The present collection of essays endeavours to furnish informed responses to central questions posed by the editors: Is the fact that the marvellous coexists with the factual and never resolves itself into the supernatural an indication that the whole literary project of 'magical realism' is an instrumental and representational form which can be regarded as particularly suitable for reconciling dichotomies and oppositions otherwise experienced as intolerable? Was 'magical realism' an explosive process in cultural dynamics, taking place at intersections of heterogeneous cultures most favourable to the efflorescence of this type of literature? The authors of the various essays - on Patrick White and David Malouf, Ben Okri, Syl Cheney-Coker, Robert Kroetsch, Gwendolyn MacEwan, Jack Hodgins, Salman Rushdie, Janet Frame, Wilson Harris and others - provide a dynamic focus on the reality at stake beneath the surface representations of 'magical realism' in post-colonial literatures.


Edited by Karl Simms

This volume contains nineteen essays — eighteen here presented for the first time — exploring the question of subjectivity as seen from a linguistic perspective. Part I concerns the relationship between the linguistic subject, particularly the grammatical first person, and the subject in more general sense of ‘person'. Topics covered include deixis, verbal marking and temporalisation, and performatives. Part II concerns the relationship of subjectivity to the experience of reading, and as such considers the semiotics of both literary and non-literary texts, inter-modal representation, authorship and intertextuality. The essays in the volume are principally influenced by the thinking of Saussure, Jakobson, Guillaume, Benveniste, Wittgenstein, Barthes and Deleuze, and the book will appeal to scholars with an interest in theoretical linguistics, semiotics, discourse, analysis and philosophy of language. Karl Simms provides comprehensive introductions to each of the parts, making the book accessible to inform general readers with an interest in cultural and communication studies.


Edited by Brigitte le Juez

The motifs of island and shipwreck have been present in literature and the arts from ancient times. Whether they occur as plot elements, as part of literary or film imagery, as symbols in paintings, as leitmotifs in songs, or as concepts in philosophical theories, both have always been a source of fascination to authors, artists and scholars.
In Shipwreck and Island Motifs in Literature and the Arts, Brigitte Le Juez and Olga Springer have gathered essays that explore shipwreck and island figures in texts as historically, culturally and artistically diverse as Walter Scott’s The Lord of the Isles, Cristina Fernández Cubas’ “The Lighthouse”, reality TV series Treasure Island, pop songs of the BBC Radio programme Desert Island Discs, or The Otolith Group’s essay-film Hydra Decapita.

Tumult of Images

Essays on W.B. Yeats and Politics


Edited by Peter Liebregts and Peter van de Kamp

By showing that the meaning of the word politics can be interpreted in various ways, the scope of the articles in Tumult of Images: Essays on W.B. Yeats and Politics is extensive. Rather than explicitly analysing W.B. Yeats's political views and opinions about social order, several of the authors demonstrate how these ideas have determined the textual strategy behind Yeats's works. Thus we find, for instance, how Yeats's politics of myth subsume the myth of politics, or how his play The Player Queen is an expression of sexual and textual politics. Other essays revaluate Yeats's role in Ireland's Literary Renaissance or argue that his recruitment of Homer throughout his work was politically motivated. The volume also offers an ero-political reading of Yeats's ballads next to an analysis of the strategy behind that apocalyptic idea of gyring history. Tumult of Images also deals with the politics of reception of Yeats's works by showing how the Irish poet has influenced South African poetry of the period of Apartheid, or by presenting the various ways in which the Japanese and the Dutch have become acquainted with the work of Yeats. The title of this volume thus reflects not only the many-sidedness of the discussions offered here but also their common contribution to an analysis of a fascinating aspect of Yeats's life and work.

The Splintered Glass

Facets of Trauma in the Post-Colony and Beyond


Edited by Dolores Herrero and Sonia Baelo-Allué

These essays discuss trauma studies as refracted through literature, focusing on the many ways in which the terms ‘cultural trauma’ and ‘personal trauma’ intertwine in postcolonial fiction. In a catastrophic age such as the present, trauma itself may serve to provide linkage through cross-cultural understanding and new forms of community. Western colonization needs to be theorized in terms of the infliction of collective trauma, and the postcolonial process is itself a post-traumatic cultural formation and condition. Moreover, the West’s claim on trauma studies (via the Holocaust) needs to be put in a perspective recuperating other, non-Western experiences.
Geo-historical areas covered include Africa (genital alteration) and, more specifically, South Africa (apartheid), the Caribbean (racial and gendered violence in Trinidad; the trauma of Haiti), and Asia (total war in the Philippines; ethnic violence in India compared to 9/11). Special attention is devoted to Australia (Aboriginal and multicultural aspects of traumatic experience) and New Zealand (the Maori Battalion). Writers treated include J.M. Coetzee, Shani Mootoo, Edwidge Danticat, Richard Flanagan, Janette Turner Hospital, Andrew McGahan, Tim Winton, and Patricia Grace. Illuminating insights are provided by creative writers (Merlinda Bobis and Meena Alexander).
Contributors: Meena Alexander, Heinz Antor, Bárbara Arizti, Merlinda Bobis, Donna Coates, Marc Delrez, Maite Escudero, Isabel Fraile, Aitor Ibarrola-Armendáriz, Susana Onega, Chantal Zabus.

Modernization and the Crisis of Memory

John Donne to Don DeLillo


Philipp Wolf

Contemporary studies of memory focus either on the psychology of remembering, on its archives and media, or on the traditional ars memoriae. The general cultural framework with its social and material factors is largely neglected, despite the obvious impact on both collective and individual mnemonic mentality. But, as in the first half of the seventeenth century or the later twentieth century, the literary and political invocation of religious, collective or national memory occurs most of all in times of historical rupture, and attendant changes of a radical technological and cultural nature. Appeals to the power of memory are not only indicative of the anxiety about the loss of its binding or absolving character. They are already symptomatic of a deep crisis of cultural memory in itself, resulting from an erosion of firm spatial, temporal and historical references along with an increasing tendency towards reflexivity, which calls the apparently self-evident facts of past and present into question. The continuity of remembering, however, as this study argues, presupposes the permanence and recurrence of social and material relations, of representative or symbolic persons, objects and events, in which it can inscribe itself. But owing to the shift in historical consciousness from (typological) past to progressive future and novelty and under the impress of industrial production and modern media (mobility and communications), the Western subject has to cope constantly with new empirical situations, symbolic values and historical or current information whose origin and evolution – indeed, the very memory of them – remain alien to personal identity and memory. The promise of redemption and salvation, still inherent in seventeenth-century collective memory, loses credibility.
The study includes a wide range of authors from Donne to Pope, Tennyson to George Eliot and Walter Pater, W.B. Yeats to Don DeLillo and covers the whole period from early modern England to postmodernism. It can thus also be read as a brief history of Western memory and its continuing crises.


Simon Borchmann

Using a pragmatically based linguistic description apparatus to study literary use of language is not unproblematic. Observations show that literary use of language violates the norms contained by this apparatus. With this paper I suggest how we can deal with this problem by setting up a frame for the use of a functional linguistic description apparatus on literary texts. As an extension of this suggestion I present a model for the description of a specific type of literary texts.


Emma Dawson

This paper presents research which reveals that ‘literature from different cultures and traditions’ is not being properly fulfilled as part of the National Curriculum requirement at Year 8 in schools in England. Reasons why this part of the Curriculum is currently neglected are presented here and a solution is offered in the form of a pedagogy. World Englishes literature is defined and offered as a literature used to represent ‘fiction from different cultures and traditions’. This paper brings together aspects of World Englishes literature, stylistics and emotion study.