Provocation and Negotiation

Essays in Comparative Criticism


This collection of essays takes on two of the most pressing questions that face the discipline of Comparative Literature today: “Why compare?” and “Where do we go from here?”. At a difficult economic time, when universities all over the world once again have to justify the social as well as academic value of their work, it is crucial that we consider the function of comparison itself in reaching across disciplinary and cultural boundaries.
The essays written for this book are by researchers from all over the world, and range in topic from the problem of translating biblical Hebrew to modern atheism, from Freud to Marlene van Niekerk, from the formation of one person’s identity to experiences of globalisation, and the relation of history to fiction. Together they display the ground-breaking, ideas which lie at the heart of an act as deceptively simple as comparing one piece of writing to another.

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Timothy Mathews: Foreword
Part I: Provocation
Dragana Obradović: Introduction
Helena Carvalhão Buescu: Comparativism as Wounds of Possibility
Ksenia Robbe: Comparison as Translation: The Possibility of the Comparative Study of South African Literatures
Marta Pacheco Pinto: Oriental Paradises at the Crossroads of Cultural Translation
Angela Becerra Vidergar: Uncanny Encounters: Face to Face with “Failed” Assimilation
David Muino Barreiro: European Travel Writing, Imperialist Discourses and Analogy in Nineteenth-Century Argentinian Literature
Marian Halls: “The Bone that Writes”: Desaparecidos and the Disappearance of Literature
Patrick ffrench: The Idiom of the Other
Kirsty Black: Representation and Re-Presentation in the Poetry of Wallace Stevens and David Jones
Part II: Negotiation
Gesche Ipsen: Introduction
Sarah Kay: Allegory and Melancholy in Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva and Christine de Pizan
Margarita García Candeira : Psychoanalysis and Literary Tradition: The “Anxiety of Influence” in Luis Garcia Montero’s Reformulation of Rafael Alberti
Karolien Vermeulen: Lost/Lasting in Translation: What Happened to the Laughing Isaac (Genesis 17-26)
Heiða Jóhannsdóttir: The Inflected Text: Hindle Wakes and Its Film Adaptations
Denis Simon: Twentieth-Century Dramatizations of the Trials of Oscar Wilde
Dennis Kersten: Henry James and the Death of the Biographer: A Comparative and Interdisciplinary Approach to the Writing of Lives
Michiel Nys: Evolution and Agnosticism: Thomas Henry Huxley, Julian Huxley, and Richard Dawkins
Valérie Macken: Matthew Arnold and the Use of Comparison
Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht: Afterword: “Cutting Edge” – Why It Matters and Where It Is Now
Notes on Contributors