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Agnieszka Łowczanin

This book fills the gap in research of the early stages of literary Gothicism and examines its transfer from England, via French, to Poland-Lithuania in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The focus is on the oeuvre of Anna Mostowska, the first Gothic writer and the first professional female writer in the region, and the extent to which it was shaped both by local literary tradition and political circumstances, and by Gothic fiction of Ann Radcliffe. This volume aims to redraw the maps of early Gothic by providing new insights into our understanding of the routes and meaning of its cross-cultural dissemination.

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Alice McDermott's Fiction

Voice, Memory, Trauma, and Lies

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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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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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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Jorge Serrano

African antiquity has been discerned both nullifyingly and constructively. Uses of African Antiquity in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries reveals how reading the past can be extended to understand sensitivities involving origins and how it imparts collective posture. The ancient historical imagery epitomized by writers and artists alike includes the distant past as well as an immediate past. Comparatively, representation of time long gone records transhistorical presence and civilizational participation and agentic validity. African antiquity can be construed as diasporic through time and space and in regards to nomenclature it extends understanding of peopleness, e.g. Libya, Ethiopia, Africa, Afrika, African Egypt, Kemet, Alkebu-lan, Nubia, Ta-Seti, Ta-Nehisi, Ta-Merry, Kush, Axum, Meroë, Ghana, Mali, Songhai, Zulu, and so many more are recognized in a time-spatial continuum linked to African, Colored, Negro, and Black, as various terms inform origins identity. Unfortunately, typologies disciplinarily stem from anthropological construction, yet here African antiquity as sign heralds clines and clusters; splintering Africana from humanitas ultimately contends against subjugation. African antiquity absorbs character and notions of diachronologically dispersed peoples reflect origins indulgence. African antiquity as a stretched concept and/or historicism triply adds understanding, grouping, and alterity. This primarily is a review of thinkers who defend against people erasure in the past with its socially and nihilistic affective ways.

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Literature and Error

A Literary Take on Mistakes and Errors


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.

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Shakespeare Relocated

Studies in Historical Psychology

Hugh Macrae Richmond

In Shakespeare Relocated, Hugh Macrae Richmond uses his previously published essays to illustrate the development of modern attitudes towards religion, politics, and sexuality. He traces the complex evolution from classical and medieval sources to Reformation and Renaissance ones by reviewing literary themes, styles, and attitudes. He stresses Shakespeare’s unique place in the evolution of historical psychology as an author profoundly affected by the Reformation. This study of developing sensibility employs a method of critical analysis bridging the apparent gap between scholarly research and practical criticism and transcends the discontinuities and tensions in modern literary theory. He seeks to harmonize the critical alertness of the New Critics with the traditional scholarship of their opponents, while avoiding the narrowness of many fashionable modern methodologies such as New Historicism, Neo-Freudianism, radical feminism, etc. This historical perspective involves a comparative critical procedure defined as "syncretic criticism." It combines close reading and comprehensive perspective over previous literary analogues to identify distinctive progressions towards many modern attitudes about politics, morality, sexuality, and fashion.

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Amity Reading

Reading the Anglo-Saxon Self Through the Vercelli Book explores conceptions of subjectivity in Anglo-Saxon England by analyzing the contents and sources of the Vercelli Book, a tenth-century compilation of Old English religious poetry and prose. The Vercelli Book’s selection and arrangement of texts has long perplexed scholars, but this book argues that its organizational logic lies in the relationship of its texts to the performance of selfhood. Many of the poems and homilies represent subjectivity through "soul-and-body," a popular medieval literary motif that describes the soul’s physical departure from the body at death and its subsequent addresses to the body. Vercelli’s soul-and-body texts, together with its exemplary narratives of apostles and saints, construct a model of selfhood that is embodied and performative, predicated upon an interdependent relationship between the soul and the body in which the body has the potential for salvific action. The book thus theorizes an Anglo-Saxon conception of the self that challenges modern assumptions of a rigid soul/body dualism in medieval religious and literary tradition. Its arguments will therefore be of interest to students and scholars of literature, history, philosophy, and religious studies and would be appropriate for upper-level courses on Old English literature, Anglo-Saxon history, sermons and preaching in medieval England, and medieval religious practice.

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Muslim Indian Women Writing in English

Class Privilege, Gender Disadvantage, Minority Status

Elizabeth Jackson

In Muslim Indian Women Writing in English: Class Privilege, Gender Disadvantage, Minority Status, Dr. Elizabeth Jackson conducts a study of the literary fiction of the four best-known Muslim Indian women writing in English during the postcolonial period: Attia Hosain (1913–1998), Zeenuth Futehally (1904–1992), Shama Futehally (no relation, 1952–2004), and Samina Ali (b. 1969). As elite Muslim women in India, the literary vision of these authors is influenced by their paradoxical position of class privilege, gender disadvantage, and minority status. Accordingly, there are recurring thematic concerns central to the fiction of all four writers, each of which forms a chapter in the book: "Religion and Communal Identity," "Marriage and Sexuality," "Gender and Social Class," and "Responding to Patriarchy." The first chapter, "Form and Narrative Strategy," provides an initial framework by examining the literary techniques of each writer.

Much has been written about literature in English by Indian women, about Muslim literature in general, about the Muslim minority in India, and about Muslim women all over the world. However, until now there has been no major academic study of literature in English by Muslim Indian women. Aimed at researchers, students, and general readers, this book aims to fill that gap in the critical scholarship.