Edited By Marc Maufort
Daniel Acke, Mark Anderson, Eugene L. Arva, Franca Bellarsi, Valérie-Anne Belleflamme, Thomas Buffet, Ipshita Chanda, Mateusz Chmurski, Wiebke Denecke, Christophe Den Tandt, Lieven D’hulst, César Domínguez, Manfred Engel, Dorothy Figueira, John B. Forster, Massimo Fusillo, Gerald Gillespie, Marie Herbillon, S. Satish Kumar, François Lecercle, Ursula Lindqvist, Jocelyn Martin, Jessica Maufort, Marc Maufort, Sam McCracken, Isabelle Meuret, Delphine Munos, Daniel-Henri Pageaux, Danielle Perrot-Corpet, Frank Schulze-Engler, Monica Spiridon, Jüri Talvet, Daria Tunca, Cyril Vettorato, Hein Viljoen, Jenny Webb
Marc Maufort: The Polyphonic Voices of Comparative Literary Studies/Les voix polyphoniques des études littéraires comparées
The Polyphonic Voices of Comparative Literary Studies
The 2019 issue of Literary Research foregrounds the polyphonic diversity typifying the current configurations of comparative literary studies. Such an array of perspectives can immediately be perceived in the first section of this issue, comprised of three scholarly essays reflecting their authors’ cutting-edge research in progress. In the opening essay, “What Does a Classic Do? Tapping the Powers of Comparative Phenomenology of the Classic/al,” Wiebke Denecke embarks on what she calls a “comparative historical phenomenology of the classic/al and of classicisms” (54). She examines our current anxieties about the classic/al by drawing on examples from ancient Greek, Roman, Chinese, Korean and Japanese societies. She argues that the classic/al may encourage us to come to terms with the nationalisms, fundamentalisms, inequalities and traumas of our age (55). In his contribution, “Poésie diasporique, poésie totale? Devenirs du paradigme avant-gardiste chez Ricardo Aleixo, Ronald Augusto et Nathaniel Mackey,” Cyril Vettorato compares Black poets from Brazil and the United States. He subtly shows how their works make it possible to combine representations of Blackness with avant-garde aesthetics. In “Genres as Gateways to the World for Minor Literature: The Case of Crime Fiction in Galicia,” César Domínguez focuses on the work of Galician crime fiction author Domingo Villar, whose works can be regarded as instances of world literature. Domínguez carefully examines the thorny translation issues that characterize Villar’s crime fiction.
Polyphony also pervades the review essay section of this issue. The two contributions collected here deal with the complex articulations of the growing field of comparative ecocriticism. In “Multiple Convergences: Ecocriticism and Comparative Literary Studies,” Jessica Maufort traces how ecocriticism, which originated in American academic circles, has considerably diversified in recent years so as to include studies by postcolonial as well as European scholars respectively. In “La ville moderne et ses mythes: un essai de mise au point,” Daniel Acke focuses ←19 | 20→on literary depictions of the urban environment, privileging the “myth” of Paris.
The book review section, containing some thirty contributions, includes discussions of titles ranging from the Renaissance to the postmodern period and dealing with various regions of the American and European continents. This section showcases the work of ICLA research committees, as it provides accounts of two recent collections of essays sponsored by the ICLA Comparative History of Literatures in European Languages project: Eva Kushner’s La Nouvelle Culture, the second tome in L’époque de la Renaissance (1400–1600), and Thomas A. DuBois and Dan Ringgaard’s Nordic Literature: A Comparative History, Volume I: Spatial Nodes. The second volume in the series published by ICLA’s Research Committee on Dreams is also reviewed: Bernard Dieterle and Manfred Engel’s edited Theorizing the Dream/Savoirs et theories du rêve. Further, the titles examined in this section introduce us to Mexican, South African and Filipino material, subjects too infrequently tackled in Literary Research. A subsequent cluster of recent books in postcolonial studies is prefaced by a review of Jenni Ramone’s edited The Bloomsbury Introduction to Postcolonial Writing: New Contexts, New Narratives, New Debates. By way of conclusion, the book review section deals with two titles in world literature studies, in an echo of Domínguez’s scholarly essay: Delia Ungureanu’s From Paris to Tlön: Surrealism as World Literature, as well as Mircea Martin’s edited Romanian Literature as World Literature. In the summer of 2019, ICLA will hold its triennial congress in Macau. It is therefore fitting that this volume of Literary Research should conclude on several reviews devoted to the 6-volume proceedings of the successful 2013 ICLA congress in Paris.
As of 2019, Literary Research will be published by the Brussels branch of Peter Lang. In this regard, I wish to thank Dr. Laurence Pagacz, the publishing director, who greatly facilitated the transition of the journal into its new format. The completion of this issue would not have been possible without the help and encouragements of many colleagues. I am particularly grateful for the useful advice I received from Dorothy Figueira, the immediate past editor, and from the colleagues serving on our advisory board. I owe a debt of gratitude to my dedicated editorial assistants, Jessica Maufort and Samuel Pauwels. Finally, I wish to acknowledge the unflagging financial support of ICLA.
Brussels, June 2019