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Narrating the Passions

New Perspectives from Modern and Contemporary Literature


Simona Corso and Beth Guilding

The passions are at the heart of human experience. Literature, which foregrounds human experience, captures the complexity of the passions more acutely than the generalizations of theory. This collection of essays by leading comparatists acknowledges the timeless and ever-changing presence of the passions in literary texts and responds to multiple and changing contexts. Through the analysis of well-known and less familiar works, the contributors to this volume explore some of the universal experiences of human passion: romantic love, seduction, parental affection, child-like wonder, obsession, indignation, melancholic apathy. A methodological concern links the different sections of the volume: is it possible to trace the vicissitudes of human passion through time and space? This question finds a response in the comparative approach, which captures the complexity of human passions through different periods and cultures. Comparative literary analysis, in combination with philosophical, psychological, sociological and psychoanalytic inquiry, enables the contributors to this volume to map some of the passions that have been fascinating writers for thousands of years and that continue to shape our stories and our lives.

Contents: Simona Corso: Introduction – Gillian Beer: Parental Passions – Laura Caretti: Ophelia’s Passions in Performance – Janet Todd: Romantic Love – Sophie Corser: Lovers’ Discourses: Marcel Proust’s Swann in Love and E. M. Forster’s A Room with a View – Simona Micali: The Objects of Passion: The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk – Gianna Zocco: Passion for the Other – Passion for the Self? Voyeurism and Subjectivity in Heimito von Doderer’s Die erleuchteten Fenster (1950) and Siri Hustvedt’s The Enchantment of Lily Dahl (1996) – Massimo Fusillo: Seduction as Passion: Myth, Novel and the Movies – Enrica Villari: Walter Scott, the Birth of the Historical Novel and the Romantic Legacy: Locality, Emotions and Knowledge – Igor Tchehoff: An Ambiguous Passion: Gambling in the Works of Fyodor Dostoevsky and Matilde Serao – Danila Cannamela: Childhood Passion in Sergio Corazzini’s Poetry: Rereading the Figure of the Little Boy Who Cries within his Cultural Context – Beth Guilding: Like a Gift from the Sky: Passions of the Residual Child – Amelia Worsley: Being Alone with Dr Winnicott – Annalisa Lombardi: Poetics of Dispassion: Herta Müller and Agota Kristof – Simona Corso: Indignation: Philip Roth and Beyond.