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Literature as Document

Generic Boundaries in 1930s Western Literature

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Edited by Sarah Bonciarelli, Carmen Van den Bergh and Anne Reverseau

Literature as Document considers the relationship between documents and literary texts in Western Literature of the 1930s. More specifically, the volume deals with the notion of the “document” and its multifaceted and complex connections to literary “texts” and attempts to provide answers to the problematic nature of that relationship. In an effort to determine a possible theoretical definition, many different disciplines have been taken into account, as well as individual case studies. In order to observe dynamics and trends, the idea for this investigation was to look at literature, taking its practices, its factual-looking and concrete applications, as a point of departure – that is to say, then, starting from the literary object itself.
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Fantasies of Self-Mourning

Modernism, the Posthuman and the Finite

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Ruben Borg

In Fantasies of Self-Mourning Ruben Borg describes the formal features of a posthuman, cyborgian imaginary at work in modernism. The book’s central claim is that modernism invents the posthuman as a way to think through the contradictions of its historical moment. Borg develops a posthumanist critique of the concept of organic life based on comparative readings of Pirandello, Woolf, Beckett, and Flann O’Brien, alongside discussions of Alfred Hitchcock, Chris Marker, Béla Tarr, Ridley Scott and Mamoru Oshii. The argument draws together a cluster of modernist narratives that contemplate the separation of a cybernetic eye from a human body—or call for a tearing up of the body understood as a discrete organic unit capable of synthesizing desire and sense perception.
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Carlos van Tongeren

In recent years, both the intellectual lucidity of melancholy and the liberating potentials of comedy, irony and humour have emerged as central preoccupations in critical theory and literary criticism. In this book, Carlos van Tongeren offers a thorough and innovative reflection on the intersections between comedy and melancholy. Through detailed readings of almost twenty novels by three key writers of detective fiction in the Spanish-speaking world, he puts diverse melancholic attitudes towards the past and the multiple “surplus” values of comedy into a clear historical perspective. As such, this book provides a profound understanding of how comedy and melancholy have shaped Hispanic detective fiction following wider political and cultural developments in the post-totalitarian contexts of Spain, Mexico and Cuba.

En años recientes, la lucidez intelectual de la melancolía y los potenciales liberadores de la comedia, la risa y el humor han emergido como preocupaciones centrales en la teoría crítica y crítica literaria. En este libro, Carlos van Tongeren ofrece una reflexión profunda e innovadora sobre las intersecciones entre la comedia y la melancolía. A través de una lectura detallada de una veintena de novelas de representantes clave de la ficción policiaca en el mundo hispanohablante, el autor muestra cómo la comedia y la melancolía han influido en la ficción policiaca en español, de acuerdo con cambios políticos y culturales más amplios en los contextos postotalitarios de España, México y Cuba.
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ʿAbd al-Rahman Munif

Translator Sonja Mejcher-Atassi and Iman Al Kaisy

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Matthias Buschmeier

Abstract

This article reviews attempts to define histories of world literature during the late 19th and first half of the 20th century. It submits that “World Literature” and national philology are two sides of the same coin, in that they serve to produce specific national identities and legitimize colonial hegemonic practices. Astonishingly, some patterns of these early histories of world literature can still be observed in contemporary theoretical debates on the subject. Thus, it is argued that, rather than dismissing this heritage of Western historiography (with or without condemnation), we should strive seriously to come up with alternative histories, wherein “West” is no longer treated as synonymous with “world,” and vice versa. The West should be seen as just one form of society and culture among the many others, all of which are due consideration when invoking the term “world.”

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Translator Ksenija Vraneš and Branko Vraneš

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Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis

Translator Robert Patrick Newcomb

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Zhongshu Qian

Translator Longxi Zhang

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Hermann Hesse

Translator B. Venkat Mani

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In Quest of Ourselves

A Highly Important Matter

Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar

Translator Evren Akaltun and Trevor Hope