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Frederic Taveau makes a strong argument for reconceptualising modern languages – in this case French – as a subject discipline, with knowledge domains and pathways that explore alternative ways of learning and using language with beginner or near-beginner students. By foregrounding textual fluency, he challenges more traditional approaches to language learning that emphasise linguistic systems. Instead, he focuses on the use of multimodal literary texts to promote meaning-making and language learning through deepening learners’ critical and cultural awareness of relevant, motivating real-world phenomena. Taveau outlines the processes involved in enabling novice learners of French to become more self-confident and self-directed creative literary writers using language in unprecedented ways. Through a series of scaffolded text-centred learning episodes, learners are guided through pluriliteracies-based steps, increasingly using cognitive discourse functions creatively and confidently (explaining, describing, classifying, arguing and evaluating) to construct their own descriptive literary texts on a Gothic theme. These texts are ‘owned’ by students, demonstrating language learning as a creative, motivating means to understanding their world and that of others.
The chapter places Churchill’s lifespan firmly within ‘the golden age of print’. It looks at his apprenticeship as a writer, served while in the army, explaining how his early books helped him earn the war chest that allowed him to launch his political career, before showing how his shrewd and selective use of sources for his biography of Lord Randolph Churchill allowed him to reconcile his role as a defender of his father’s political legacy with his own move to the Liberal Party. Churchill’s working methods also changed as he entered government. He used a team to help produce his multi-volume history of the First World War in order to defend his role in the Dardanelles operation. Thereafter, Churchill had to juggle managing his tax liability as an author with his need for more income, but by the 1930s he was committed to several major publishing projects. After the war, he sought to capitalise on his premiership through his multi-volume histories of the Second World War and the History of the English-Speaking Peoples. The chapter analyses how Churchill managed his various literary projects, sheds light on his own role in the creative process and looks at how this changed over time.
Technology in Irish Literature and Culture shows how such significant technologies—typewriters, gramophones, print, radio, television, computers—have influenced Irish literary practices and cultural production, while also examining how technology has been embraced as a theme in Irish writing. Once a largely rural and agrarian society, contemporary Ireland has embraced the communicative, performative and consumption habits of a culture utterly reliant on the digital. This text plumbs the origins of the present moment, examining the longer history of literature's interactions with the technological and exploring how the transformative capacity of modern technology has been mediated throughout a diverse national canon. Comprising essays from some of the major figures of Irish literary and cultural studies, this volume offers a wide-ranging, comprehensive account of how Irish literature and culture have interacted with technology.
Memory book projects encourage parents living with HIV to write workbooks for their children about their family background and life experiences, to guide the child in the parent’s future absence. In Uganda, site of the first memory book projects in Africa, most writers have been widows with agrarian background and limited schooling. Oike conducts a close literary textual analysis of an exceptionally intensive memory book written by a schoolteacher, examines how the book helped the author to represent her traumatic experiences of living with and dying of HIV, and explores the possibilities of memory books as a tool for grassroots writing.
This chapter deals with the history of the French poetry of the First Wold War. Although, like in other belligerent countries, the production of war poetry was massive between 1914 and 1918, it remains hitherto neglected by literature scholars and historians. The genre suffered from its bad reputation. Apart from a few avant-gardists like Guillaume Apollinaire, the scholarly consensus outlined the French war poetry as a chauvinistic old-fashioned flood of words with no literary or even documentary relevance in contrast with the prose written by soldier-writers. This chapter does not try to rehabilitate the French war poetry but to sketch a typology of a significative cultural phenomenon. It shows the variety of the genre between patriotism, eulogy, irony and humour, testimony, protest, and formal research.
This essay explores the relationship of literature and perversity in Roberto’s Bolaño’s short fictions “The Secret of Evil,” “The Insufferable Gaucho,” and Distant Star. While literature within the history of Latin American letters often provides a critique of or antidote to political and economic atrocities, in Bolaño’s texts literature is complicit in the very horrors it depicts. In Bolaño’s view, any effort to pit fiction and social actuality against each other in the interest of rescuing either represents a means to avoid the disturbance that, for Bolaño, defines contemporary existence.
‘ The inns of court man that never was studient’ argues that the contemporary stereotype of the idle and dissolute young inns of court gallant with more interest in playgoing than reading law reports, while doubtless exaggerated for moral and satirical effect, is corroborated by an abundance of biographical evidence. It also reflects two prime causes of student delinquency and disinclination for legal studies: lack of supervision and the intractability of the common law as a subject of study. ‘Guides to Method’ surveys the legal literature available to students, concluding that it offered little assistance to those attempting to navigate the law’s complexities. ‘Lay and Professional Legal Knowledge’ emphasises the gulf between the practising barrister’s expertise and the kinds of legal knowledge which most laymen were likely to need or possess.
Yet members acquired and exercised a remarkably wide range of non-legal accomplishments and skills. ‘Accomplishments and the Decline of Creativity’ argues that the inns did little to encourage such activities, especially after c.1615. ‘Varieties of Learning’ surveys the remarkably diverse intellectual life of the early modern inns, while the closing section ‘Achievements, Failures, Prescriptions’ evaluates their diverse roles as educational institutions, and the few contemporary proposals for their reform.
In 1977, Roberto Bolaño moved from Mexico City to Paris and eventually to Spain. His works from the beginning of the 80s such as Consejos de un discípulo de Morrison a un fanático de Joyce (with A.G, Porta) and Antwerp, set in Catalonia, and A Little Lumpen Novelita - a story set in Rome -, portray the social crisis at the end of the Spanish Democratic Transition and the so-called Lead Years in Italy. The Costa Brava landscape and the town of Blanes, where he resided from 1985 onwards, would become the settings of The Skating Rink and The Third Reich. The 1992 Barcelona of Distant Star, the 1939 Paris of Monsieur Pain, and other European settings of Woes of the True Policeman and 2666 recreate the dislocations of different lives in exile and the conflicts of those who cross the West’s established borders and logic, transgressing national identitary configuration itself. This chapter will map the complex reflections of Bolaño, an icon of the global writer, on the Spanish and European reality of the end of the 20th and beginnings of the 21st Centuries, as well as on the potential, limitations, and cracks within these trans-Atlantic connections.
The connection between literature about war and humanitarianism is complex. The war novel tends towards a human rights ethos that demands accountability for war atrocities. These novels express antiwar views, whereas humanitarianism’s genealogy in the laws of war reflects an acceptance of war as inevitable. Humanitarian discourse deploys a narrative paradigm that sees human suffering in war through trauma. In fiction, it frequently foregrounds the role of doctors and nurses as witnesses to war’s suffering. The resulting attention to victims’ disempowerment effectively reinforces the global inequality of lives and is problematic. This chapter argues that postcolonial literature of war offers a counterwitnessing that exceeds the affective accounts of trauma narratives and foregrounds the breach in humanitarianism’s imperative to save lives. Postcolonial literature’s critical engagement with war centers on the achievement of radical equality and visibility of all lives.
We know from the ancient epics that war has been entangled with literature since the earliest times. But war has also had a profound influence on the broader field of literary studies. Indeed, numerous twentieth- and twenty-first-century literary theories have been shaped by warfare, while contemporary critical engagements have given rise to several recurring and emerging concepts that together structure the field of literary war studies. The introductory chapter seeks to inscribe war and literature within the larger frame of the history of knowledge. It traces the emergence of the theory and history of knowledge as a distinct discipline from its French origins in Foucault’s archaeology to the contemporary German Wissensgeschichte and it explores the place of war literature within this tradition. The chapter argues that literature serves as an archive of military knowledges and a distinct form of knowledge in its own right. And it examines war as a disruptive and generative force that at once disturbs established concepts and theories and produces new modes of knowing, thinking, and writing.
In her review of Joshua Goldstein’s War and Gender: How Gender Shapes the War System and Vice Versa, Francine D’Amico writes: “War is constructed as a test or signifier of manhood/masculinity: victory is confirmation of male identity, defeat is emasculation. Femininity is constructed to reinforce the ‘man as warrior’ construction, both in support roles as nurse, mother, or wife and in opposition as peace activist: all confirm militarized masculinity.” Building on this observation, this chapter asks whether war fiction and poetry support and reinforce these popularized conceptions, or whether they offer opposing or more complex views. Examining some of the most classic and popular war novels of the twentieth century such as Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front, Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, this chapter shows that these popular war novels of the twentieth century do not promote “militarized masculinity” but focus instead on the physical, psychological, and emotional cost of war by portraying its devastating effects on both men and women.
War and Literary Studies poses two main questions: First, how has war shaped the field of literary studies? And second, when scholars today study the literature of war what are the key concepts in play? Seeking to complement the extant scholarship, this volume adopts a wider and more systematic approach as it directs our attention to the relation between warfare and literary studies as a field of knowledge. What are the key characteristics of the language of war? Of gender in war? Which questions are central to the way we engage with war and trauma or war and sensation? In which ways were prominent 20th century theories such as critical theory, French postwar theory, postcolonial theory shaped by war? How might emergent concepts such as 'revolution,' 'the anthropocene' or 'capitalism' inflect the study of war and literature?
Fludernik asks what ‘confinement “means” experientially’ and sets out to investigate the ‘carceral imaginary’ in the use of conceptual metaphors when talking both about prisons (by inmates and outsiders) as well as about everyday experiences understood as confining.
Both dictatorships and democracies are conceived in Bolaño’s texts within the framework of a patriarchal order in which sexual impulses and pleasure in the mutilation of women and children are not only the legacy of the authoritarian abuses of dictatorships but also the very condition of the formation of the legal apparatuses of democratic states. Many of the approaches to gender in Bolaño have focused on the killing of women in Ciudad Juarez. What I contend in these pages is that the normalization of violence against women or more subtle ways of erasing women’s visions (in particular in relation to strong or independent women) is what most calls for a feminist reflection in Bolaño’s world, because what is exposed is precisely the simultaneity of autonomy and vulnerability. Gender violence in Bolaño also involves the inexorable link between masculinity and rape/feminicide. And it is precisely within this link that literature plays such a central role, not only in the exposure of violence, but also in a more silent (and hidden) consent to sexual violence and the killing of women.
Although Mongolian literature features many enslaved characters, slavery as punishment, and slavery as metaphor, the nature of slavery and the identity of the enslaved is rarely mentioned. At the same time, the language of slavery was varied and changed over time in different literary contexts. Focusing on two terms of slavery, boġol and kitad, this essay argues that occupational hierarchies informed the language of slavery in Mongolian from the thirteenth to the nineteenth centuries. The terms boġol and kitad originally indicated servants or dependant people but came to mean slave in general. In historical literature, Buddhist didactic texts translated from Tibetan, and epic literature the usage of terms of slavery reflects the multivalent nature of the terminology which defies rigid, formalistic analysis. However, in the twentieth century, Mongolian scholars reinterpreted slavery as it appears in literary texts through the theory of Marxist historical materialism. The Marxist approach compared Mongolian slavery with formalistic Greco-Roman legal definitions of slavery and thus obscured the historical and literary significance of slavery and enslaved characters in the Mongolian literary tradition.
This view of the relationship between philosophy and history has been remarkably enduring. It flourished in the early-modern period, as I show in the case of Spinoza; but it also retained an influence within analytical philosophy, as some of Russell’s early work illustrates. I propose that contemporary advocates of the Separation Thesis remain motivated by the exclusive image of philosophy embodied in the Classical Conception, and the concomitant desire for a transcendent form of knowledge. As long as this is so, the relationship between history and philosophy will remain uneasy.
While the five chapters examine aspects of early modern contentment that often challenge reigning critical and theoretical assumptions, the conclusion revisits the significance of those assumptions. In this way, the book not only provides a literary and intellectual history of contentedness in the Renaissance, but it also explores the merits such contentment might have in a contemporary context. Just as an emergent Protestant culture and an outpouring of English literature on page and stage precipitated widespread interest in contentedness, subsequent shifts in philosophy, science, global affairs, and artistic sensibilities led to yet another reappraisal. The consequences of that reappraisal, the deformation of contentment, persist to the present day.
This book offers the first full-length study of early modern contentment, the emotional and ethical principle that became the gold standard of English Protestant psychology and an abiding concern of English Renaissance literature. Theorists and literary critics have equated contentedness with passivity, stagnation, and resignation. However, this book excavates an early modern understanding of contentment as dynamic, protective, and productive. While this concept has roots in classical and medieval philosophy, contentment became newly significant because of the English Reformation. Reformers explored contentedness as a means to preserve the self and prepare the individual to endure and engage the outside world. Their efforts existed alongside representations and revisions of contentment by authors including Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton. By examining Renaissance models of contentment, this book explores alternatives to Calvinist despair, resists scholarly emphasis on negative emotions, and reaffirms the value of formal concerns to studies of literature, religion, and affect.
The political struggles that delivered the first wave of independent Caribbean nation states are often retrospectively characterised under the banner of nationalism, but it is important to acknowledge the diversity of ideologies and affiliations that were involved in the transition towards non-colonial sovereignty. This chapter explores the role that writers and imaginative writings played in shaping alternative political imaginaries in the Anglophone Caribbean region from the 1920s to the 1960s. Its arguments expand the terrain of literary nationalisms beyond the now canonical fictions of male Windrush generation novelists writing at the mid-century. It attends to the nascent nationalism invoked by literary projects at the turn of the century, considers the role assigned to the writer in the short-lived project of Anglophone regional Federation between 1958 and 1962 that predated the constitution of nation states, and explores how Pan-African and Black Atlantic movements powerfully shaped the decolonial literary imagination in the early twentieth century. It also acknowledges the crucial role that women played in male-centred histories and politically engaged literary traditions.