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Memory and Immigrant Experience in Recent American Fiction

Narratives of East-Central European Experience

Marta Koval

Based on the theory and methodology of transcultural memory, this book describes and analyzes the fictional representations of memory and forgetting and the multiple roles they play in identity construction of immigrants and exiles. It focuses on fiction by contemporary American writers of East-Central European descent: Askold Melnyczuk, Domnica Radulescu, and Aleksandar Hemon. The analysis of selected novels highlights a distinct historical slant with elements of generational memory, memory of places, rememory, and postmemory. The author introduces and develops the concept of post-immigrant ethnic fiction and identifies a mnemonic pattern characteristic of American post-immigrant ethnic and exile writing.

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Peter D. Usher

In a novel reading of Shakespeare’s plays, this book addresses an observation first made many decades ago, that Shakespeare appears to neglect the intellectual upheavals that astronomy brought about in his lifetime. The author examines temporal, situational, and verbal anomalies in Hamlet and other plays using hermeneutic-dialectic methodology, and finds a consistent pattern of interpretation that is compatible with the history of astronomy and with the development of modern cosmology. He also demonstrates how Shakespeare takes into account beliefs about the nature of the heavens from the time of Pythagoras up to and including discoveries and theories in the first decade of the seventeenth century. The book makes the case that, as in many other fields, Shakespeare’s celestial knowledge is far beyond what was commonly known at the time.

Students and teachers interested in Shakespeare’s alleged indifference towards, or ignorance of, the celestial sciences will find this book illuminating, as will historians of science and scholars whose work focuses on epistemology and its relationship to the canon, and on how Shakespeare acquired the data that his plays deliver.

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Thinking Through Relation

Encounters in Creative Critical Writing

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Edited by Florian Mussgnug, Mathelinda Nabugodi and Thea Petrou

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Edited by Brett Zimmerman

Locating Poe firmly within his Zeitgeist vis-à-vis the science and pseudoscience of the early nineteenth century, Edgar Allan Poe as Amateur Psychologist: A Companion Anthology simultaneously looks back from the 1830s and 1840s (when his literary career was at its height) to eighteenth-century theories and sources of information on mental illness, as well as forward to our own time to demonstrate how Poe’s dramatizations of psychological diseases occasionally anticipate modern nosological classifications and twenty-first-century forensic research. This interdisciplinary collection is a companion to its predecessor, Zimmerman’s Edgar Allan Poe: Amateur Psychologist (Peter Lang, 2019); it gathers the most important essays by authors—Hungerford, Stauffer, Stern, Bynum, Cleman, Hester and Segir, Phillips, Shackelford, Scheckel, Lloyd-Smith, Whipple, Butler, Uba, Walker, Zimmerman—who employ historicist and history-of-ideas methodologies. Topics include Poe’s use of and eventual disillusionment with phrenology; his attitude toward the controversial "moral treatment" of the insane as well as the "insanity defense" and its connection with the new theory of "moral insanity"; the possible sources of his knowledge of theories of mind, psychopathology and related therapies; his evolution as an amateur psychologist; the connection between physiological sickness and mental distress (the psychosomatic); and the ways in which the psychological profiles of his homicidal characters look forward to modern serial killers. This companion anthology represents a significant addition to Poe scholarship and will be of interest not only to Poe specialists but also to students, teachers, and any intelligent reader interested in the history of ideas and the intersection between literature and "mental philosophy."
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Time and Alterity in South African Writing

André Brink, J.M. Coetzee, and Zakes Mda Revisited

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Paulina Grzęda

The Covid-19 pandemic has thrust us all into a warped, disjointed ‘coronatime,’ which has both uncontrollably accelerated, and interminably decelerated, or got frozen. Just like the pandemic, this book provides a chance to reevaluate neoliberalism’s temporal regimes of growth, decline, deceleration and acceleration. South Africa and its contemporary literature are a perfect background against which to think about temporality experimentally. Focusing on three South African authors, André Brink, J.M. Coetzee and Zakes Mda, the book examines contemporary South African revisioning of time and alterity. Through some of the previously unexplored texts, it studies what living in a post-conflict, post-revolutionary and highly traumatized society entails for one’s perception of time and otherness.