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Realism and Its Vicissitudes

Essays in Honor of Sandy Petrey

Edited By Robert Harvey and Patrice Nganang

This collection honors the career of Donald «Sandy» Petrey, Professor of Comparative Literature at the State University of New York at Stony Brook for over forty years. The diversity of essays – written by colleagues, friends, and former students, and ranging in subject from the traditional Festschrift theme of the honoree’s compelling contributions to the study of realism and the novel’s role in history, to chapters on Susan Sontag’s experimental films, the thought of the late Marxist philosopher André Gorz, silence in the graphic novel, and linguistic disparities between American and Standard Italian – attests to the plasticity of Sandy Petrey’s mind and the ample indications of his work. Best-known (and well-loved) for his often gruff, no-nonsense style in teaching and prose, Petrey is celebrated by those whose careers and ideas he has helped to nurture, inform, and embolden. This collection is a fine text for courses in nineteenth-century as well as contemporary French studies and literature.
Robert Harvey is Distinguished Professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook where he chairs the Department of Cultural Analysis and Theory. He has written extensively on Jean-François Lyotard, Jean-Paul Sartre, Marguerite Duras, Marcel Duchamp, and Michel Deguy and has translated Lyotard, Deguy, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, and Paul Ricœur. His most recent books are Witnessness: Beckett, Levi, Dante and the Foundations of Ethics, Les Écrits de Marguerite Duras, and De l’exception à la règle. Harvey is a major co-editor of the prestigious Pléiade edition of the complete works of Marguerite Duras. He served as Program Director at the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris (2001–2007).
Patrice Nganang, writer and scholar, is Associate Professor of Literary and Cultural Theory at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Nganang has published collections of poetry: elobi and L’apologie du vandale; novels: La Saison des prunes, Temps de chien, and La Joie de vivre, which constitute a cycle depicting city life, Mont plaisant and La Saison des prunes, a cycle about wars from a Cameroonian point of view; and short novellas: L’Invention du beau regard and La Chanson du joggeur. His publications also include three collections of essays: La Principe dissident, Manifeste d’une nouvelle littérature africaine: Pour une écriture preemptive and Contre Biya: Procès d’un tyran. In addition, his columns appear regularly in Cameroonian and international newspapers such as Jeune Afrique and Le Monde. His novel Mont plaisant is scheduled to appear in English.