Book Announcement – Alexandra Poulain, Irish Drama, Modernity and the Passion Play

Alexandra Poulain, Irish Drama, Modernity and the Passion Play

Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2017

eBook ISBN 978-1-349-94963-2
Hardcover ISBN 978-1-349-94963-2

This book discusses Irish Passion plays (plays that rewrite or parody the story of the Passion of Christ) in modern Irish drama from the Irish Literary Revival to the present day. It offers innovative readings of such canonical plays as J. M. Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World, W. B. Yeats’s Calvary, Brendan Behan’s The Hostage, Samuel Beckett’s Endgame, Brian Friel’s Faith Healer and Tom Murphy’s Bailegangaire, as well as of less well-known plays by Padraic Pearse, Lady Gregory, G. B. Shaw, Seán O’Casey, Denis Johnston, Samuel Beckett and David Lloyd. Challenging revisionist readings of the rhetoric of “blood sacrifice” and martyrdom in the Irish Republican tradition, it argues that the Passion play is a powerful political genre which centres on the staged death of the—usually male—protagonist, and makes visible the normally invisible violence perpetrated both by colonial power and by the postcolonial state in the name of modernity. Continue reading “Book Announcement – Alexandra Poulain, Irish Drama, Modernity and the Passion Play”

Book Announcement – Annie Ramel, The Madder Stain: A Psychoanalytic Reading of Thomas Hardy

Annie Ramel, The Madder Stain: A Psychoanalytic Reading of Thomas Hardy

Amsterdam: Brill Rodopi, June 2015

ISBN13: 9789004293403
E-ISBN: 9789004296626 (e-book)         

The “madder stain” imprinted on Tess d’Urberville’s arm is part of a motif which runs through Hardy’s fiction. Similar to Barthes’s punctum shooting out of the studium, the stain is a place where the Real erupts, a blind spot that eludes interpretation. In the diegesis of the tragic novels, it is a surplus object whose intrusion disrupts reality and spells disaster. This book attempts to approach that unknowable kernel of jouissance by using Lacan’s concepts of object-gaze and object-voice—sometimes revisited by Žižek.

The stain has a vocal quality: it is silence audible. In a world where sound cannot reverberate for lack of a structural void, voice is by necessity muted, stuck in the throat. Hence the peculiar quality of Tess’s voice, a silent feminine cry that has retained something of the lost vocal object. The sound of silence is what Hardy’s poetic prose allows us to hear.

Book Announcement – Sandrine Sorlin, Language and Manipulation in House of Cards

Sandrine Sorlin, Language and Manipulation in House of Cards: A Pragma-Stylistic Perspective

Basingstoke: Palgrave / Macmillan, 2016.

ISBN 978-1-137-55848-0. 267p.

This book is to date the first monograph-length study of the popular American political TV series House of Cards. It proposes an encompassing analysis of the first three seasons from the unusual angles of discourse and dialogue. The study of the stylistic idiosyncrasies of the ruthless main protagonist, Frank Underwood, is completed by a pragmatic and cognitive approach exposing the main characters’ manipulative strategies to win over the other. Taking into account the socio-cultural context and the specificities of the TV medium, the volume focuses on the workings of interaction as well as the impact of the direct address to the viewer. The book critically uses the latest theories in pragmatics and stylistics in its attempt at providing a pragma-rhetorical theory of manipulation.

Details: http://www.palgrave.com/in/book/9781137558473

Book Announcement – John Mullen, Britain in the 1970s

John Mullen, Britain in the 1970s: an Annotated Timeline

britain-1970sEbook published by Starebooks, Saint Gratien, France
ASIN: B01NGZAE4T
135 pages, 7,99 euros
Available at Amazon (Kindle), and, shortly, at other major online bookshops.

 

From Callaghan to the Clash, from Grunwick to Rock against Racism, from Edward Heath to Britain’s string of Nobel Science prizes, this annotated timeline of the 1970s recounts the key events and the key statistics of the decade of feminism, the three day week and Monty Python.

Ideal as a reference or revision tool, the book covers well-known and forgotten-but-symbolic features of a period torn between continuing social progress and mass unemployment, a time which produces no consensus among those who study it, but which inspires respect and even awe.

Dozens of links to online resources- BBC videos, articles or sitcoms- make the work even more useful to help get to the truths behind the headlines.

There exists a good selection of books on the 1970s in Britain, and several new publications have been brought out in 2016 : the present author was involved with two of these. This book, an annotated chronology of the UK in the 1970s is intended as a complementary resource, a tool for revision or for reference. For very good reasons, the existing publications are structured thematically (one chapter on trade unions, one chapter on Northern Ireland, etc.). Nevertheless, the disposition of events and declarations on a timeline is also tremendously important in building an understanding of the complex interactions of politics, economics and culture which make up the decade. This is the raison d’être of this work.

Tales of Berlin in American Literature up to the 21st Century

tales-of-berlinTales of Berlin in American Literature up to the 21st Century

by Joshua Parker

Amsterdam: Brill / Rodopi, 2016.
ISBN: 9789004312081

Of all European cities, Americans today are perhaps most curious about Berlin, whose position in the American imagination is an essential component of nineteenth-century, postwar and contemporary transatlantic imagology. Over various periods, Berlin has been a tenuous space for American claims to cultural heritage and to real geographic space in Europe, symbolizing the ultimate evil and the power of redemption. This volume offers a comprehensive examination of the city’s image in American literature from 1840 to the present. Tracing both a history of Berlin and of American culture through the ways the city has been narrated across three centuries by some 100 authors through 145 novels, short stories, plays and poems, Tales of Berlin presents a composite landscape not only of the German capital, but of shifting subtexts in American society which have contextualized its meaning for Americans in the past, and continue to do so today.

For further information and a full list of contents, please visit http://www.brill.com/products/book/tales-berlin-american-literature-21st-century

An excerpt is available at http://op.asjournal.org/american-berlin-across-last-century/

pdf-1 About the book