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Spectrum of Emotions

From Love to Grief


Wojciech Drąg and Ewa Kębłowska-Ławniczak

The authors of this volume discuss the tangible need for a revision of the vocabulary of emotion used in literary criticism and culture studies. The articles offer a wide range of interdisciplinary approaches to emotional states such as love, shame, grief, nostalgia and trauma. They demonstrate that the once stable concept of emotion disintegrates in the course of re-evaluation and is replaced by such notions as affects, passions, feelings and emotions. This volume examines the representations of emotion in drama, poetry and prose – from the anonymous Court of Love (ca. 1500) to Ali Smith’s How to Be Both (2014) – as well as in life writing, music, the visual arts and theology.
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Dominika Ferens - Belated Interest: Reading the Fiction of Sigrid Nunez through Silvan Tomkins’s Affect Theory


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Dominika Ferens

University of Wrocław

Belated Interest: Reading the Fiction of Sigrid Nunez through Silvan Tomkins’s Affect Theory

This article examines the dramatic interplay of two affects, interest and shame, in the fiction of Sigrid Nunez. Often classified as an Asian American writer,1 Nunez makes no effort to reject the label, yet much of her work tends to focus not on minority communities or race relations but on the affects that drive interpersonal relations. After testing the literary potential of affects on a small scale in the story “Chang” (1993), Nunez undertook several extended explorations of affects in A Feather on the Breath of God (1995), Naked Sleeper (1996), For Rouenna (2001), and The Last of Her Kind (2006). With the exception of A Feather, Nunez’s novels tend to feature racially unmarked or white protagonists, as if color would needlessly detract from affect, which cuts across race.2

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