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Cosmos and Camus

Science Fiction Film and the Absurd

Shai Tubali

Over the last two decades, philosophers have been increasingly inclined to consider science fiction films as philosophical exercises that center on the nature of human consciousness and existence. Albert Camus’ philosophy of the absurd, however, has almost never been employed as a constructive perspective that can reveal unexplored aspects of these films. This is surprising, since science fiction films seem to be packed with visions and dialogues that echo the Sisyphean universe.

Cosmos and Camus endeavors to set foot in this uncharted terrain. Its first part introduces the main components of Camus’ absurdity so that it can be easily applied to the analysis of the films later. Equipped with these Camusean essentials, the book delves into an indepth analysis of two first-encounter films (Contact and Arrival) and two A.I. films (A.I. and Her). These analyses yield more than an insightful reflection of the absurd contents in science fiction film. Indeed, imaginative collisions with nonhumans seem to tell us a lot about the nature of the absurd in the human condition, as well as raising the question of whether absurdity is exclusively a human matter. Ultimately, the interpretation of the films illuminates the films themselves just as much as it illuminates, challenges, and expands Camus’ concept of absurdity.

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Edited by Patricia Williams Lessane

An anthology of essays devoted to the examination of filmmaker Julie Dash’s ground-breaking film, Daughters of the Dust, this book celebrates the importance and influence of this film and positions it within the discourses of Black Feminism, Womanism, the LA Rebellion, New Black Cinema, Great Migration, The Black Arts tradition, Oral History, African American/Black/African diasporan Studies, and Black film/cinema studies. Employing a transdisciplinary approach to examining the film, the anthology includes chapters which examine unique aspects/themes of the film. At the core of each chapter, however, is a recognition of the influence of Black feminist/Womanist theory and politics and African American history—from enslavement to freedom/Reconstruction, Black political identity and liberation movement(s)—and African/African diasporan cosmology on Dash’s work and how all work in concert in her masterful narrative of Black family, 20th Black women’s identities, and the tension between modernity/tradition experienced by Gullah-Geechee people at the turn of the 20th century.

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L’œuvre de Frédéric Chopin

Manuscrits – Partitions annotées – Bibliographies

Bertrand Jaeger

Edited by Pierre Goy

L’œuvre de Frédéric Chopin. Manuscrits – Partitions annotées – Bibliographies, offre au musicien, pianiste ou musicologue, une base documentaire autour de l’œuvre publié de Chopin, son approche, son analyse et son interprétation, tenant compte des nouvelles orientations de la recherche et de ses développements sur le web. La description d’une collection de premières éditions inédite y contribue dans la même perspective dans le domaine éditorial à l’échelle européenne. Pour chaque œuvre, le recensement des manuscrits est mis à jour, les annotations de Chopin dans les partitions de ses élèves sont détaillées mesure par mesure, les dédicataires situés dans leurs généalogies familiales et les bibliographies à la pointe de la recherche. Une vaste bibliographie thématique transversale documente des aspects généraux de technique, style, analyse et interprétation. Un catalogue préliminaire des premières éditions milanaises et suisses de Chopin ouvre la voie à des recherches nouvelles sur la place de Chopin dans l’Italie du XIXe siècle.

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David Maddock

When the Bloomsbury critics Roger Fry and Clive Bell introduced an aesthetically conservative English public to recent Parisian avant-garde painting, they explained its disconcerting imagery by way of a late nineteenth-century metaphysical tradition which had long intrigued musicians and Symbolist writers on the European continent. The Post-Impressionist aesthetic they devised advocated a direct response to the formal ingenuity of the work of art without recourse to prior knowledge and emphasized the significance of visionary genius, albeit to the detriment of narrative acuity and technical accomplishment, values hitherto upheld by the Edwardian art establishment. The provocation was calculated, the author suggests, and its domestic ramifications were predictable: the reaction of an Anglo-conformist public in New York, on the other hand, was anything but.

Recreating an Anglo-American dialogue inspired by Fry and Bell, and framed within a period encompassing Fry’s Manet and the Post-Impressionists exhibition in 1910 and Alfred Barr Jr’s Cubism and Abstract Art exhibition in 1936, the author demonstrates how key components of Bloomsbury’s aesthetic bypassed a pre-existent modernist practice in New York and were instead taken up by an urban intelligentsia which adapted them to the requirements of an increasingly professionalized institutional practice during the 1920s.

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Edited by Louis Fantasia

Playing Shakespeare’s Monarchs and Madmen is the third volume in the Peter Lang series, Playing Shakespeare’s Characters. As in the previous volumes, a broad range of contributors (actors, directors, scholars, educators, etc.) analyze the concepts of monarchy, leadership, melancholy and madness with not only references to Elizabethan and Jacobean studies, but also to Trump, Brexit, cross-gender and multi-cultural casting. What does it mean to “play the king” in the 21st century? What is the role of an “all-licensed” Fool in the age of spin? Who gets to represent the power dynamics in Shakespeare’s plays? This volume looks at the Henrys, Richards, Hamlets, Lears and various other dukes and monarchs and explores the ways in which men—and women—approach these portrayals of power and the lessons they hold for us today.

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Celluloid Subjects to Digital Directors

Changing Aboriginalities and Australian Documentary Film, 1901–2017

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Jennifer Debenham

How did Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population go from being the objectified subjects of documentary films to the directors and producers in the digital age? What prompted these changes and how and when did this decolonisation of documentary film production occur? Taking a long historical perspective, this book is based on a study of a selection of Australian documentary films produced by and about Aboriginal peoples since the early twentieth century. The films signpost significant shifts in Anglo-Australian attitudes about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and trace the growth of the Indigenous filmmaking industry in Australia.

Used as a form of resistance to the imposition of colonialism, filmmaking gave Aboriginal people greater control over their depiction on documentary film and the medium has become an avenue to contest widely held assumptions about a peaceful colonial settlement. This study considers how developments in camera and film stock technologies along with filmic techniques influenced the depiction of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The films are also examined within their historical context, employing them to gauge how social attitudes, access to funding and political pressures influenced their production values. The book aims to expose the course of race relations in Australia through the decolonisation of documentary film by Aboriginal filmmakers, tracing their struggle to achieve social justice and self-representation.

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Ireland on Stage

Beckett and After

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Edited by Hiroko Mikami, Minako Okamuro and Naoko Yagi

Ireland on Stage: Beckett and After, a collection of ten essays on contemporary Irish theatre, focuses primarily on Irish playwrights and their works, both in text and on the stage, in the latter half of the twentieth century. It is symbolic that most of the editorial work for this book was carried out in 2006, the centenary year of the birth of Samuel Beckett. While the editors consider Beckett to be the most important playwright in post-1950 Irish theatre, it should be noted that the contributors to the book are not bound in any sense by Beckettian criticism of any kind. The contributors draw freely on Beckett and his work: some examine Beckett’s plays in detail, while others, for whom Beckett remains an indispensable springboard to their discussions, pay closer attention to his or their own contemporaries, ranging from Brian Friel and Frank McGuinness to Marina Carr and Conor McPherson. The editorial policy of the book was flexible enough to allow contributors to go as far back as a hundred years in their attempt to contextualise post-1950 Irish theatre. The works of Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats, J.M. Synge, Bernard Shaw, Sean O’Casey, and James Joyce are frequently mentioned throughout the book; this undoubtedly added to the dynamics of the book, as well as to the rigour which the editors believe should be apparent in the collection as a whole

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Slawomir Wieczorek

On the Music Front. Socialist-Realist Discourse on Music in Poland, 1948–1955 is a monograph on one of the key aspects of Poland’s musical culture during the Stalinist period. Among the many texts analysed in this book are addresses given by leading party officials, minutes of musical meetings and conferences, talks before informal ‘get-to-know-the-music’ concerts, and papers on aesthetics and music history. Detailed discussion is devoted to the musicological works of Zofia Lissa, to productions of Stanisław Moniuszko’s operas directed by Leon Schiller, to museum exhibitions on music history, and to the mega-production of the Polish Socialist-Realist film, Chopin’s Youth, directed by Aleksander Ford.

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Chinese reverse glass painting 1720-1820

An artistic meeting between China and the West. Preface by Danielle Elisseeff

Thierry Audric

Displaying a talent for combining aesthetic sensibility with scientific rigor, the author has given new life to something that once excited European passions: an original, non-academic art at the forefront of the ‘new technology’ of the time. For decades, aristocrats of the Old World and then American collectors (the latter at the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth centuries) spent countless sums on the purchase of these works, which were worth a fortune. These wealthy collectors of curiosities of all types were also most certainly great dreamers seeking a worthy setting for their dreams. Unbeknownst to them, their endeavours had much greater scope, creating and nourishing the conditions for a rare encounter between two worlds: a golden age of atypical collaboration, a combined adventure between China and Europe.

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Judit Zsovár

George Frideric Handel’s longest continuous collaboration with a leading singer took place between 1729 and 1737 with Anna Maria Strada del Pò (1703–1775), a soprano who may have sung ‘entirely di petto’; that is, with a chest-like vocal production in the head range as well: powerfully and sonorously. The investigation of her peculiar vocal features and career, in connection with the music written for her by Handel and other composers, involved musicological research methods and findings of the historically informed performance practice. The conclusions rest on three main pillars: musical sources; surviving descriptions of her singing; and period treatises, completed with the author’s practical experiences as a classical singer.