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Edited by Adina Ciugureanu, Eduard Vlad and Nicoleta Stanca

The essays in this volume examine aspects of the ever-changing American imaginary over the last two centuries from the cultural perspectives of the present age, in which transnational approaches have vigorously challenged American exceptionalist narratives. It is a time in which uncertainties and reappraisals of group and national identity, both within the US and abroad, are part of the framework of a comprehensive field of research for scholars in American Studies, in the social sciences and the humanities alike. While situated in the current tumultuous century, the contributors to this volume focus on specific issues of the US defining and redefining itself from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.

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Giving Shape to the Moment

The Art of Mary O'Donnell: Poet, Novelist and Short Story Writer

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Edited by Maria Elena Jaime de Pablos

This is the first book to provide a critical assessment of the work of the Irish author Mary O’Donnell. The essays collected here engage with O’Donnell’s writing across multiple genres and explore the themes and preoccupations that have characterized her oeuvre. Alongside her creative work, O’Donnell’s has been a steady and continuing voice for many years within the world of theatre criticism, book reviewing, essay writing, radio broadcasts and cultural commentary.

As a writer, O’Donnell’s principal themes include contemporary Irish society, the position of women in Ireland and the role of the artist. Throughout her career, her approach has been unconventional and her work has sometimes presented a challenge to the status quo. The contributors to this volume illuminate O’Donnell’s role as a humanist writer searching for truth at all costs, through the fictive lives of her often unusual characters, and through the emotional range and depth of her poetry.

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Indigenous Cultural Capital

Postcolonial Narratives in Australian Children’s Literature

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Daozhi Xu

Winner of the Biennial Australian Studies in China Book Prize 2018 for an Original Work of Scholarship (in English)

This book explores how Australian Indigenous people’s histories and cultures are deployed, represented and transmitted in post-Mabo children’s literature authored by Indigenous and non-Indigenous writers. Postcolonial narratives in Australian children’s books enable readers access to Indigenous cultures, knowledge and history, which bring with them the possibility of acculturation. This process of acquisition emerges as an embodiment of cultural capital, as theorised by Pierre Bourdieu, but carries an alternative, anti-colonial force. This book argues that by affirming Indigenous cultural value and re-orienting the instituting power of recognition, the operation of «Indigenous cultural capital» enacts a tactic of resistance and functions with transformative potential to change the way in which cultural relations are reproduced in settler society. Through examining the representation, formative processes, modes of transmission, and ethical deployment of Indigenous cultural capital, this book provides a fresh perspective on postcolonial readings of children’s literature. In doing so, it makes original contributions to literary criticism and significant theoretical advances to postcolonial scholarship.

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Alice McDermott's Fiction

Voice, Memory, Trauma, and Lies

Edited by Gail Shanley Corso

In Alice McDermott’s Fiction, contributors explore the emotional pain, the uncertainty about identity, and the faulty relationships within families and communities of characters in the writer’s work. In the Foreword, Monica McGoldrick identifies how complications such characters as in McDermott’s fiction experience often relate to "reverberations of the pain and shame of their Irish ancestors that have been silenced over time." The aftermath of lies, self-deception, and trauma are analyzed, and McDermott’s themes, stylistics, and aesthetics are identified: familial relationships in second- and third-generation Irish-American families; trauma that characters experience when living their lives of repressed feelings or conflicted self-identity—or forgotten cultural identity; silence in families and inauthentic relationships between mothers and daughters; propensity for characters to lie to show care and concern for another and to cling to mythical images of a patriarchal hero; allusions to Catholic ritual and belief; conflict of female characters as they grapple with choice and autonomy; wit and farce as social commentary; craft with spontaneity and recursion in her narrative structures; emblematic use of peak moments as significant to memory; use of stealth narrators; use of allusions wryly to provide for an astute reader the intertextuality of her stories; repetitive metaphoric use of language to indirectly reveal truth; and, finally, focus on art or telling the story to compensate for sorrow from loss and death. As McDermott’s characters grapple with their trauma and loss, the redemptive quality of the arts is identified.

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A Language School as a Complex System

Complex Systems Theory in English Language Teaching

Achilleas Ioannis Kostoulas

This book uses a complex systems perspective to describe how a language school in Greece evolved, and at times resisted change. Starting with an accessible introduction to complex systems theory (CST), it uses a complexity perspective to interpret data generated during a year of fieldwork. The author outlines the linguistic, pedagogical and political influences that shape teaching and learning at the school. He shows how teaching and learning emerged from the interaction of top-down constraints, available resources, and purposes of instruction. This produces a nuanced understanding English Language Teaching against the backdrop of globalisation. Additionally, the author exemplifies how CST can provide a theoretically powerful frame for researching English Language Teaching.

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Marie-France Burgain

Vingt ans après la sortie du premier tome, l’univers des Harry Potter est toujours présent en librairie, au cinéma et sur Internet mais également, depuis l’été 2017, sur une scène de théâtre londonienne. Cet ouvrage analyse les processus d’écriture et de réécriture à l’oeuvre à l’intérieur et autour de cet univers de fiction. En effet, les choix stylistiques et littéraires de l’auteure encouragent une lecture à la fois captive et distanciée qui peut expliquer, en grande partie, la projection des lecteurs dans ce monde et leur envie de le retrouver et de le prolonger à travers de multiples médias.

Ce livre porte premièrement sur les formes d’écrit présentes dans l’oeuvre et les jeux mis en place autour de l’écrit dans les intrigues, ceux-ci étant classés selon les genres littéraires dans lesquels s’inscrit le texte de Rowling.

Il aborde ensuite la question des jeux proposés par la romancière à ses lecteurs, développe une analyse de son écriture, qualifiée de ludique, visuelle, réflexive et manipulatrice, et explique en quoi cette oeuvre transgénérationnelle propose plusieurs niveaux de lecture. En s’appuyant sur les théories de la réception, cette étude s’intéresse particulièrement aux façons de solliciter la mémoire, l’esprit de déduction et la culture des lecteurs.

Enfin, ce livre traite des réécritures des romans de J.-K. Rowling dans les médias ou sous forme de traductions, de parodies ou de copies publiées. Il présente également les pratiques transfictionnelles et transmédiatiques qu’a inspirées et inspire toujours l’heptalogie. Ces dernières se déclinent en livres, films, jeux vidéo, fanfictions ou encore en productions théâtrales mais proposent aussi d’autres formes de réappropriation de l’oeuvre dont le tatouage féérique est un exemple significatif.

C’est en analysant de plus près tous ces phénomènes que cet ouvrage permet de mieux comprendre en quoi Harry Potter est un phénomène culturel sans équivalent.

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Marianne Davidson

This monograph restores Willa Cather’s «Lucy Gayheart» from superficial attention and dismissive criticism. Departing from textual evidence, it reads the novel in the light of its own intertext: Wilhelm Müller’s and Franz Schubert’s «Winterreise» (Winter Journey). The identification of startling parallels between the eligist of the American pioneer period and representatives of literary and musical German romanticism elicits new subtexts and insights. Novel and song cycle share themes such as the blending of memory, desire and imagination or a tragic vision of life offset by the search for transcendental meaning. Conclusively, both works result in ambivalence by oscillating between romanticism and modernism.

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Abdur Raheem Kidwai

Images of the Prophet Muhammad in English Literature seeks to promote a better understanding between the Muslim world and the West against the backdrop of the Danish cartoons and the deplorable tragedy of 9/11, which has evoked a general interest in things Islamic. This book recounts and analyzes the image of Prophet Muhammad, as reflected in English literary texts from the twelfth to nineteenth centuries. It will be of much interest to students of English literary history, cultural studies, Islamic studies, and literary Orientalism.

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Fernando Barreiro García

Los ensayos que aquí se presentan mantienen un enfoque comparativo en el que los dos términos principales son el origen de la novela realista inglesa del período inmediatamente anterior a Defoe y Richardson y el origen del largometraje de ficción entre los años 1895 y 1915. El autor muestra cómo en ambos casos se desarrolla un tipo de cultura popular en la que encontramos una recurrencia del hoax, de la afirmación de historicidad y de la presentación de supuestos documentos escritos encontrados por azar o de documentos fílmicos conseguidos por un golpe de fortuna. Abundan asimismo géneros como el erótico, el de viajes y la narrativa de crímenes o de hechos sobrenaturales. Otras formas de la cultura popular que se tratan en los ensayos son los romances o baladas de tradición oral, las novelas sentimentales del XVIII, las comedias de magia, los folletines, el cine negro o el cine quinqui español, todo ello bajo una perspectiva influenciada por los estudios culturales, el historicismo literario y la investigación sobre el papel de la tecnología en la cultura.

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Literature and Error

A Literary Take on Mistakes and Errors

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Edited by Marc Porée and Isabelle Alfandary

Literature and Error comprises a series of essays by French scholars who seek to lay down the foundations of a theory that would argue for the productivity of errors and mistakes in literary works. While the "necessity of errors" has repeatedly been tackled from a philosophical angle, rarely has the demonstration been attempted from the standpoint of literature. Beyond the thematic importance of errors (evidenced in the age-old motifs of learning from one’s errors, mistaken identities, malapropism, comic or tragic misunderstandings, hamartia, the fallibility of man, etc.), the proposition is made here that errare is not just humanum but also literarium—that "Erring Becomes Literature" with or, preferably, without corrections. Indeed, approached from various angles, it is the literariness of errors and mistakes that this joint study sets out to explore. Modern and contemporary Anglo-American literature structurally accommodates and even welcomes errors. Ranging from Edgar Allan Poe, James Joyce, and Jonathan Franzen to Robert Browning and Elizabeth Bishop, the authors and works discussed assess the seaworthiness of errors when launched into deep (literary) water. Viewed in that light, errors not only cease to be errors of something (of taste, conception, judgment, calculation), they become errors per se, valued for their own sake. Deliberately comprehensive and broad-ranging, this volume should appeal not just to scholars and students but also to readers who share an interest in theory and close reading alike.