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Fictionalizing the World

Rethinking the Politics of Literature

Louisa Söllner and Anita Vržina

The book offers ten essays which explore the interaction between literature and politics. The authors investigate a variety of genres including young-adult fiction, national poetry, novels, autobiography, and performance art from different time periods ranging from the 18th up to the 21st century from the Americas, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Grouped in three sections, the essays focus on the relationship between fiction and identity; the creation of spaces of/in fiction; and the interplay of irony and fiction. They reveal that fiction has a fundamental potential not only to react to but also to affect and shape the world. This offers a possibility to negotiate and re-imagine the ways in which we perceive the world and position ourselves within it.
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An Auto-Performative Humor-filled Journey with Jonathan Demme’s Swimming to Cambodia (1987): Listening to Spalding Gray ‘Gesture’ his Way through the Cinematic Reality of Intersecting ‘Contact Zones’



This essay focuses on Spalding Gray’s one-man performance titled Swimming to Cambodia (1985, 1987), which is understood as part of a tradition of auto/biographically inspired modernist texts that question the imposed divide between the private self and its public re-creation through art.

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