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Theory into Poetry

New Approaches to the Lyric

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Edited by Eva Müller-Zettelmann and Margarete Rubik

At the beginning of the 21st century, there is still no generally accepted comprehensive definition of the lyric or differentiated modern toolkit for its analysis. The reception of poetry is largely characterised either by an empathetic identification of critics with the lyric persona or by exclusive interest in formal patterning.
The present volume seeks to remedy this deficit. All the contributors ‘theorise’ the lyric to overcome the impasse of an impressionistic and narrowly formalistic critical debate on the genre. Their papers focus on a variety of different questions: the problem of establishing a framework for definition and classification; the search for dynamic and potent critical approaches; investigations of poetry's cultural performance and its fundamental relevance for the construction of group cohesion.
The essays collected in this volume offer a consciously polyphonic range of theories and interpretations, suggesting to the reader a variety of theoretical frameworks and practical illustrations of how a discussion of poetry may be firmly grounded in modern literary theory.

Marginal Voices, Marginal Forms

Diaries in European Literature and History

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Edited by Rachael Langford and Russell West

Diaristic writing has often been relegated to the fringes of literary studies as a marginal cultural activity. This volume seeks to challenge that marginality by exploring some of the wide-ranging forms of literary practice encompassed by diaristic writing in Europe from the Renaissance to the present day. The volume deals with questions of the value and status of the diary, of the functioning of the diary in society and history, and of the reception and interpretation of the multifarious forms of first-person daily writing. The volume investigates diaries across national borders and linguistic boundaries, so as to make the hitherto marginal place of the private journal a site of fruitful interdisciplinary encounters. Australian, British, Catalonian, French, German and Italian critics examine diaries dating from the sixteenth to the twentieth century, within the context of the literature, history and literary history of Catalonia, England, France, Germany and Italy. A prime concern of the essays in this collection is to highlight the cultural, generic and historical diversity of the diary, while emphasising the points of convergence between different texts and differing critical approaches to the texts. The volume will be of interest to students and teachers of European and comparative literature.

Where Are the Voices Coming From?

Canadian Culture and the Legacies of History

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Edited by Coral Ann Howells

This collection of essays focuses on Canadian history and its legacies as represented in novels and films in English and French, produced in Canada mainly in the 1980s and 1990s. The approach is both cross-cultural and interdisciplinary, aiming at articulating Canadian differences through a comparison of anglophone and francophone cultures, illustrated by works treating some of the different groups which make up Canadian society – English-Canadian, Québecois, Acadian, Native, and ethnic minorities. The emphasis is on the problematic representation of Canadianness, which is closely bound up with constructions of history and its legacies – dispossession, criminality, nomadism, Gothicism, the Maritime.
The English/French language difference is emblematic of Canadian difference; the two-part arrangement, with one section on Literature and the other on Film, sets up the pattern of relationships between the two forms of cultural representation that these essays explore. Essays in the Literature section are on single texts by such writers as: Margaret Atwood, Tomson Highway, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Anne Michaels, and Alice Munro; Gabrielle Roy, Anne Hébert, Antonine Maillet, Bernard Assiniwi, and Régine Robin. The Film section with its mirror structure both supplements and amplifies this dialogue, extending notions of Canadianness with its emphasis on voices from Quebec and Acadia traditionally ‘othered’ in Canadian history. Filmmakers treated include: Phillip Borsos, Atom Egoyan, Ted Kotcheff, Mort Ransen, and Vincent Ward; Denys Arcand, Gilles Carle, Alanis Obomsawin, Léa Pool, and Jacques Savoie.

Translation as Stylistic Evolution

Italo Calvino Creative Translator of Raymond Queneau

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Federico Federici

Why did Italo Calvino decide to translate Les Fleurs bleues by Raymond Queneau? Was his translation just a way to pay a tribute to one of his models? This study looks at Calvino’s translation from a literary and linguistic perspective: Calvino’s I fiori blu is more than a rewriting and a creative translation, as it contributed to a revolution in his own literary language and style. Translating Queneau, Calvino discovered a new fictional voice and explored the potentialities of his native tongue, Italian. In fact Calvino’s writings show a visible evolution of poetics and style that occurred rather abruptly in the mid 1960s; this sudden change has long been debated. The radical transformation of his style was affected by several factors: Calvino’s new interests in linguistics, in translation theory, and in the act of translation. Translation as Stylistic Evolution analyses several passages in detail and scrutinizes quantitative data obtained by comparing digital versions of the original and Calvino’s translation. The results of such assessment of Calvino’s text-consistency suggest clear interpretations of the motives behind Calvino’s radical and remarkable change of style that are tied to his notion of creative translation.

Conversing Identities

Encounters Between British, Irish and Greek Poetry, 1922-1952

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Konstantina Georganta

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.