The New Georgics

Rural and Regional Motifs in the Contemporary European Novel


The human condition in rural, provincial locations is once again gaining status as a subject of European ‘high fiction’, after several decades in which it was dismissed on aesthetic and ideological grounds. This volume is one of the first attempts to investigate perspectives on local cultures, values and languages both systematically and in a European context. It does so by examining the works of a variety of authors, including Hugo Claus, Llamazares, Bergounioux and Millet, Buffalino and Consolo, and also several Soviet authors, who paint a grim picture of a collectivized – and thus ossified – rurality. How do these themes relate to the ongoing trend of globalization? How do these works, which are often experimental, connect – in their form, topics, language and ideological subtext – to the traditional rural or regional genres? Far from naively celebrating a lost Eden, most of these ‘new Georgics’ reflect critically on the tensions in contemporary, peripheral, rural or regional cultures, to the point of parodying the traditional topoi and genres. This book is of interest to those wishing to reflect on the dynamics and conflicts in contemporary European rural culture.
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Table of contents

Authors in this volume
Liesbeth KORTHALS ALTES and Manet van MONTFRANS: Introduction
Joep LEERSSEN: Nature, History and Modernity
Dirk de GEEST: Hugo Claus’s Rural Rumours
Andrea KUNNE: From Natural to Unnatural: The Image of Austria as ‘Heile Welt’ and its Consequences
Hans HARTJE: Le ‘Thulsern’ de Gerhard Köpf: si près, si loin
Richard TODD : Voice, Text and Literacy in the English (Wessex) Georgic of Adam Thorpe’s Ulverton (1992) : a postmodern Interrogation of the Country-City Debate
Francesca NERI and Giampiero SEGNERI: Reshaping Memory: Bufalino, Consolo and the Sicilian Tradition
Fernando VENÂNCIO: Le roman rural portugais dans l’actualité
Arthur LANGEVELD : The Russian Village Writers
Liesbeth KORTHALS ALTES and Manet van MONTFRANS: Pierre Bergounioux: Un Limousin entre Descartes et Bourdieu
Sjef HOUPPERMANS : Le Plateau des mille mystères : réel et fantastique chez Richard Millet
Hans ESTER : The framing of the World in the Novels of the Swiss Author Margrit Schriber
Elisabeth KOENRAADS: Sergio Maldini and the North-East of Italy
Dorothée te RIELE: The metaphorical Landscape of the Spanish Author Julio Llamazares
Annelies van HEES: Fiction and Reality in Smilla’s Sense of Snow
Ton BROUWERS: Loss in Maldegem and Jorwerd: Country ‘Sites’ in Contemporary Dutch/Flemish Literature

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