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This book examines tragedy and tragic philosophy from the Greeks through Shakespeare to the present day. It explores key themes in the links between suffering and ethics through postcolonial literature. Ato Quayson reconceives how we think of World literature under the singular and fertile rubric of tragedy. He draws from many key works – Oedipus Rex, Philoctetes, Medea, Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear – to establish the main contours of tragedy. Quayson uses Shakespeare's Othello, Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Tayeb Salih, Arundhati Roy, Toni Morrison, Samuel Beckett and J.M. Coetzee to qualify and expand the purview and terms by which Western tragedy has long been understood. Drawing on key texts such as The Poetics and The Nicomachean Ethics, and augmenting them with Frantz Fanon and the Akan concept of musuo (taboo), Quayson formulates a supple, insightful new theory of ethical choice and the impediments against it. This is a major book from a leading critic in literary studies.
The idea of America has always encouraged apocalyptic visions. The 'American Dream' has not only imagined the prospect of material prosperity; it has also imagined the end of the world. 'Final forecasts' constitute one of America's oldest literary genres, extending from the eschatological theology of the New England Puritans to the revolutionary discourse of the early republic, the emancipatory rhetoric of the Civil War, the anxious fantasies of the atomic age, and the doomsday digital media of today. For those studying the history of America, renditions of the apocalypse are simply unavoidable. This book brings together two dozen essays by prominent scholars that explore the meanings of apocalypse across different periods, regions, genres, registers, modes, and traditions of American literature and culture. It locates the logic and rhetoric of apocalypse at the very core of American literary history.
After the Human provides a comprehensive overview of how a range of philosophical, ethical, and political ideas under the framework of posthumanism have transformed humanities scholarship today. Bringing together a range of interdisciplinary scholars and perspectives, it puts into dialogue the major influences from philosophy, literary study, anthropology, and science studies that set the stage for a range of new questions to be asked about the relationship of the human to other life. The book's central argument is that posthumanism's challenge to and disruption of traditional humanist knowledge is so significant as to presage a sea-change from the humanities into the posthumanities. After the Human documents the emergence of posthumanist ideas in the fractures within traditional disciplines, examines the new objects of analysis that thus came into prominence, and theorizes new interdisciplinary methods of study that followed.
This book argues that modernists such as James Joyce and Virginia Woolf engaged creatively with modernity's expanding forms of collective experience and performative identities. Judith Paltin compares patterns of crowds in modernist Anglophone literature to historical arrangements and theories of democratic assembly to argue that an abstract construction of the crowd engages with the transformation of popular subjectivity from a nineteenth-century liberal citizenry to the contemporary sense of a range of political multitudes struggling with intersectional conditions of oppression and precarity. Modernist works, many of which were composed during the ascendancy of fascism and other populist politics claiming to be based on the action of the crowd, frequently stage the crowd as a primal scene for violence; at the same time, they posit a counterforce in more agile collective gatherings which clarify the changing relations in literary modernity between subjects and power.
On Philosophy and Philosophers is a volume of unpublished philosophical papers by Richard Rorty, a central figure in late-twentieth-century intellectual debates and a primary force behind the resurgence of American pragmatism. The first collection of new work to appear since his death in 2007, these previously unseen papers advance novel views on metaphysics, ethics, epistemology, philosophical semantics and the social role of philosophy, critically engaging canonical and contemporary figures from Plato and Kant to Kripke and Brandom. This book's diverse offerings, which include technical essays written for specialists and popular lectures, refine our understanding of Rorty's perspective and demonstrate the ongoing relevance of the iconoclastic American philosopher's ground-breaking thought. An introduction by the editors highlights the papers' original insights and contributions to contemporary debates.
This book argues that contemporary world literature is defined by peripheral internationalism. Over the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, a range of aesthetic forms beyond the metropolitan West - fiction, memoir, cinema, theater - came to resist cultural nationalism and promote the struggles of subaltern groups. Peripheral internationalism pitted intellectuals and writers not only against the ex-imperial West, but also against their burgeoning national elites. In a sense, these writers marginalized the West and placed the non-Western peripheries in a new center. Through a grounded yet sweeping survey of Bengali, English, and other texts, the book connects India to the Soviet Union, China, Vietnam, Latin America, and the United States. Chapters focus on Rabindranath Tagore, M. N. Roy, Mrinal Sen, Mahasweta Devi, Arundhati Roy, and Aravind Adiga. Unlike the Anglo-American emphasis on a post-national globalization, Insurgent Imaginations argues for humanism and revolutionary internationalism as the determinate bases of world literature.
This is the first book specifically devoted to the New Modernist Studies. Bringing together a range of perspectives on the past, present, and future of this vibrant, complicated scholarly enterprise, the collection reconsiders its achievements and challenges as both a mode of inquiry and an institutional formation. In its first section, the volume offers a fresh history of the New Modernist Studies' origins amid the intellectual configurations of the end of the twentieth century and changing views of the value, influence, and scope of modernism. In the second section a dozen leading scholars examine recent trends in modernist scholarship to suggest possible new paths of research, showing how the field continues to engage with other areas of study and how it makes a case for the ongoing meaning of modernist literature and art in the contemporary world.
The New Feminist Literary Studies presents sixteen essays by leading and emerging scholars that examine contemporary feminism and the most pressing issues of today. The book is divided into three sections. This first section , 'Frontiers', contains essays on issues and phenomena that may be considered, if not new, then newly and sometimes uneasily prominent in the public eye: transfeminism, the sexual violence highlighted by #MeToo, Black motherhood, migration, sex worker rights, and celebrity feminism. Essays in the second section, 'Fields', specifically intervene into long-constituted or relatively new academic fields and areas of theory: disability studies, eco-theory, queer studies, and Marxist feminism. Finally, the third section, 'Forms', is dedicated to literary genres and tackles novels of domesticity, feminist dystopias, young adult fiction, feminist manuals and manifestos, memoir, and poetry. Together these essays provide new interventions into the thinking and theorising of contemporary feminism.
The subject of endless biographies, fictional depictions, and critical debate, Ernest Hemingway continues to command attention in popular culture and in literary studies. He remains both a definitive stylist of twentieth-century literature and a case study in what happens to an artist consumed by the spectacle of celebrity. The New Hemingway Studies examines how two decades of new-millennium scholarship confirm his continued relevance to an era that, on the surface, appears so distinct from his—one defined by digital realms, ecological anxiety, and globalization. It explores the various sources (print, archival, digital, and other) through which critics access Hemingway. Highlighting the latest critical trends, the contributors to this volume demonstrate how Hemingway's remarkably durable stories, novels, and essays have served as a lens for understanding preeminent concerns in our own time, including paranoia, trauma, iconicity, and racial, sexual, and national identities.
The New Irish Studies demonstrates how diverse critical approaches enable a richer understanding of contemporary Irish writing and culture. The past two decades in Ireland and Northern Ireland have seen an astonishing rate of change, one that reflects the common understanding of the contemporary as a moment of acceleration and flux. This collection tracks how Irish writers have represented the peace and reconciliation process in Northern Ireland, the consequences of the Celtic Tiger economic boom in the Republic, the waning influence of Catholicism, the increased authority of diverse voices, and an altered relationship with Europe. The essays acknowledge the distinctiveness of contemporary Irish literature, reflecting a sense that the local can shed light on the global, even as they reach beyond the limited tropes that have long identified Irish literature. The collection suggests routes forward for Irish Studies, and unsettles presumptions about what constitutes an Irish classic.
Magical realism can lay claim to being one of most recognizable genres of prose writing. It mingles the probable and improbable, the real and the fantastic, and it provided the late-twentieth century novel with an infusion of creative energy in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and beyond. Writers such as Alejo Carpentier, Gabriel García Márquez, Isabel Allende, Salman Rushdie, Ben Okri, and many others harnessed the resources of narrative realism to the representation of folklore, belief, and fantasy. This book sheds new light on magical realism, exploring in detail its global origins and development. It offers new perspectives of the history of the ideas behind this literary tradition, including magic, realism, otherness, primitivism, ethnography, indigeneity, and space and time.
Do we map as we read? How central to our experience of literature is the way in which we spatialise and visualise a fictional world? Reading and Mapping Fiction offers a fresh approach to the interpretation of literary space and place centred upon the emergence of a fictional map alongside the text in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Bringing together a range of new and emerging theories, including cognitive mapping and critical cartography, Bushell compellingly argues that this activity, whatever it is called – mapping, diagramming, visualising, spatialising – is a vital and intrinsic part of how we experience literature, and of what makes it so powerful. Drawing on both the theory and history of literature and cartography, this richly illustrated study opens up understanding of spatial meaning and interpretation in new ways that are relevant to both more traditional academic scholarship and to newly emerging digital practices.
This Companion provides a guide to queer inquiry in literary and cultural studies. The essays represent new and emerging areas, including transgender studies, indigenous studies, disability studies, queer of color critique, performance studies, and studies of digital culture. Rather than being organized around a set of literary texts defined by a particular theme, literary movement, or demographic, this volume foregrounds a queer critical approach that moves across a wide array of literary traditions, genres, historical periods, national contexts, and media. This book traces the intellectual and political emergence of queer studies, addresses relevant critical debates in the field, provides an overview of queer approaches to genres, and explains how queer approaches have transformed understandings of key concepts in multiple fields.
What does it mean to write in and about sound? How can literature, seemingly a silent, visual medium, be sound-bearing? This volume considers these questions by attending to the energy generated by the sonic in literary studies from the late nineteenth century to the present. Sound, whether understood as noise, music, rhythm, voice or vibration, has long shaped literary cultures and their scholarship. In original chapters written by leading scholars in the field, this book tunes in to the literary text as a site of vocalisation, rhythmics and dissonance, as well as an archive of soundscapes, modes of listening, and sound technologies. Sound and Literature is unique for the breadth and plurality of its approach, and for its interrogation and methodological mapping of the field of literary sound studies.
The Selling and Self-Regulation of Contemporary Poetry is the first book-length study of the contemporary poetry industry. By documenting radical changes over the past decade in the way poems are published, sold, and consumed, it connects the seemingly small world of poetry with the other, wider creative industries. In reassessing an art form that has been traditionally seen as free from or even resistant to material concerns, the book confronts the real pressures – and real opportunities – faced by poets and publishers in the wake of economic and cultural shifts since 2008. The changing role of anthologies, prizes, and publishers are considered alongside new technologies, new arts policy, and re-conceptions of poetic labour. Ultimately, it argues that poetry's continued growth and diversification also leaves individuals with more responsibility than ever for sustaining its communities.
The longest-running war is the battle over how women should behave. "Conduct Books and the History of the Ideal Woman" examines six centuries of advice literature, analyzing the print origins of gendered expectations that continue to inform our thinking about women's roles and abilities. Close readings of numerous conduct manuals from Britain and America, written by men and women, explain and contextualize the legacy of sexism as represented in prescriptive writing for women from 1372 to the present. While existing period-specific studies of conduct manuals consider advice literature within the society that wrote and read them, "Conduct Books and the History of the Ideal Woman" provides the only analysis of both the volumes themselves and the larger debates taking place within their pages across the centuries. Combining textual literary analysis with a social history sensibility while remaining accessible to expert and novice, this book will help readers understand the on-going debate about the often-contradictory guidelines for female behavior.
Contemporary Feminist Life-Writing is the first volume to identify and analyse the 'new audacity' of recent feminist writings from life. Characterised by boldness in both style and content, willingness to explore difficult and disturbing experiences, the refusal of victimhood, and a lack of respect for traditional genre boundaries, new audacity writing takes risks with its author's and others' reputations, and even, on occasion, with the law. This book offers an examination and critical assessment of new audacity in works by Katherine Angel, Alison Bechdel, Marie Calloway, Virginie Despentes, Tracey Emin, Sheila Heti, Juliet Jacques, Chris Krauss, Jana Leo, Maggie Nelson, Vanessa Place, Paul Preciado, and Kate Zambreno. It analyses how they write about women's self-authorship, trans experiences, struggles with mental illness, sexual violence and rape, and the desire for sexual submission. It engages with recent feminist and gender scholarship, providing discussions of vulnerability, victimhood, authenticity, trauma, and affect.
This book offers a ground-breaking exploration of the aesthetics of poetic freedom. The range is broad, from antiquity to the present and from Europe and the Middle East into the poetry of the English-speaking world. Revealing questions about the elusiveness of poetic freedom–what does the term actually mean?–are repeatedly tested against the accomplishments of major poets such as Whitman, Dickinson, Rilke, Dante and Virgil, and their public yet intensely private originality. The result is a fresh, and well-nigh revolutionary, way of seeing literary and modern history, or an initiation into the more striking gift of aesthetic freedom.
This Companion provides an engaging and expansive overview of gustation, gastronomy, agriculture and alimentary activism in literature from the medieval period to the present day, as well as an illuminating introduction to cookbooks as literature. Bringing together sixteen original essays by leading scholars, the collection rethinks literary food from a variety of critical angles, including gender and sexuality, critical race studies, postcolonial studies, eco-criticism and children's literature. Topics covered include mealtime decorum in Chaucer, Milton's culinary metaphors, early American taste, Romantic gastronomy, Victorian eating, African-American women's culinary writing, modernist food experiments, Julia Child and cold war cooking, industrialized food in children's literature, agricultural horror and farmworker activism, queer cookbooks, hunger as protest and postcolonial legacy, and 'dude food' in contemporary food blogs. Featuring a chronology of key publication and historical dates and a comprehensive bibliography of further reading, this Companion is an indispensible guide to an exciting field for students and instructors.