Geographies of Affect in Contemporary Literature and Visual Culture

Central Europe and the West

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Geographies of Affect in Contemporary Literature and Visual Culture opens a dialogue between the literary and filmic works produced in Central Europe and in the Anglophone world. It relies on the concept of translocality to explore this corpus, offering new readings of contemporary Hungarian films as well as urban fiction and poetry in English. Calling attention to the role of affect in imagining city space, the volume investigates György Pálfi’s Taxidermia, Béla Tarr’s Family Nest, Teju Cole’s Open City, Toni Morrison’s Jazz, China Miéville’s Un Lun Dun, Chimamanda Adichie’s Americanah, and Patrick Neate’s City of Tiny Lights, among many other urban narratives. Contributors examine both widely explored emotions and under-researched affects, such as shame, fascination, and the role of withdrawal in contemporary literature and culture.

Contributors: Tamás Bényei, Imola Bülgözdi, Fanni Feldmann, Zsolt Győri, Ágnes Györke, Brigitta Hudácskó, György Kalmár, Anna Kérchy, Márta Kőrösi, Jennifer Leetsch, Katalin Pálinkás, Miklós Takács, Pieter Vermeulen.

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Ágnes Györke, Ph.D. (2009), is Associate Professor of English at Károli Gáspár University in Budapest. Her recent publications include “Doris Lessing’s London Observed and the Limits of Empathy” (Etudes Anglaises) and “Stories from Elsewhere” (From Transnational to Translational, CEU Press).

Imola Bülgözdi, Ph.D. (2010), Eötvös Loránd University of Budapest, is Assistant Professor at the University of Debrecen, Hungary. Her latest thematically relevant publication, "Spatiality in the Cyber-World of William Gibson" is available in Cityscapes of the Future: Urban Spaces in Science Fiction (Brill).
"I believe that [this] volume contributes to a better understanding of the very complex concept of ‘affect’ – and not only for the Central/Eastern European reader, and not only in this specific context. It highlights the role of space in literary and filmic contexts – where it is often subordinated to time –, promoting a richer, more tactile, and more affective experience, when consuming these literary and filmic works. I would like to make just one generic critique that is due to the book’s emphasis on space and geography. I believe that some of the studies would have benefitted from a further geographical literature. Nevertheless, this book is visibly inspired by, and engages with geographers and space theorists such as Doreen Massey, Henri Lefebvre, Edward Soja, Liz Bondi, Gillian Rose and Rachel Pain and theories such as the production of space and thoughts on the relationship between space and place.
Finally, I would very much recommend this truly interdisciplinary book in particular for all the space theorists and geographers with a hope that it will inspire more researchers in Hungary to incorporate affect and the concept of translocality in their research combining it with geographical scholarly literature, space theories, and empirical methodologies leading to new, interdisciplinary approaches to knowledge production."
- Mirjam Sági, Hungarian Geographical Bulletin 70, 2021
All researching or interested in contemporary Central European visual and literary culture, comparative literature, representations of the urban experience from a translocal perspective.
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