Cornelius Crowley, Geetha Ganapathy-Doré and Michel Naumann (eds.), Heritage and Ruptures in Indian Literature, Culture and Cinema
Newcastle upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017
This book investigates the millennial history of the Indian subcontinent. Through the various methods adopted, the objects and moments examined, it questions various linguistic, literary and artistic appropriations of the past, to address the conflicting comprehensions of the present and also the figuring/imagining of a possible future. The volume engages with this general cultural condition, in relation both to the subcontinent’s current “synchronic” reality and to certain aspects of the culture’s underlying diachronic determinations. It also reveals how the multiple heritages are negotiated through the subcontinent’s long-term sedimentational history. It scrutinizes both conservative interpretations of heritage and a possibly incremental enrichment, and the additional possibility of a mode of appropriation open to a dialectic of creative destruction, in which the patrimonial imperative is challenged, leaving room for processes of renewal and rejuvenation. The collection is organized around four major topics: Orientalism, addressed by way of the Tamil Epic Manimekalai, through the evocation of the Hastings Circle and views on a possible Hindu-Muslim unity sketched out by Sayyid Ahmed Khan; modernism in Indian and Burmese texts written in English; pictorial art, through a consideration of the work of some modern and contemporary Indian artists and British Asian and Indian film directors; and, finally, the current state of a body of critical thinking on gender. Continue reading “Book Announcement: Heritage and Ruptures in Indian Literature, Culture and Cinema”
Marina Cano, Jane Austen and Performance
Palgrave Macmillan, 2017
eBook ISBN 978-3-319-43988-4
Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-43987-7
This is the first exploration of the performative and theatrical force of Austen’s work and its afterlife, from the nineteenth century to the present. It unearths new and little-known Austen materials: from suffragette novels and pageants to school and amateur theatricals, passing through mid-twentieth-century representations in Scotland and America. The book concludes with an examination of Austen fandom based on an online survey conducted by the author, which elicited over 300 responses from fans across the globe. Through the lens of performative theory, this volume explores how Austen, her work and its afterlives, have aided the formation of collective and personal identity; how they have helped bring people together across the generations; and how they have had key psychological, pedagogical and therapeutic functions for an ever growing audience. Ultimately, this book explains why Austen remains the most beloved author in English Literature.
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”
Annie Ramel, The Madder Stain: A Psychoanalytic Reading of Thomas Hardy
Amsterdam: Brill Rodopi, June 2015
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.
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.
John Mullen, Britain in the 1970s: an Annotated Timeline
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.
by Joshua Parker
Amsterdam: Brill / Rodopi, 2016.
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/