On Longing

Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection

Author: Susan Stewart

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 9780822313663

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 213

View: 3892

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Miniature books, eighteenth-century novels, Tom Thumb weddings, tall tales, and objects of tourism and nostalgia: this diverse group of cultural forms is the subject of On Longing, a fascinating analysis of the ways in which everyday objects are narrated to animate or realize certain versions of the world. Originally published in 1984 (Johns Hopkins University Press), and now available in paperback for the first time, this highly original book draws on insights from semiotics and from psychoanalytic, feminist, and Marxist criticism. Addressing the relations of language to experience, the body to scale, and narratives to objects, Susan Stewart looks at the "miniature" as a metaphor for interiority and at the "gigantic" as an exaggeration of aspects of the exterior. In the final part of her essay Stewart examines the ways in which the "souvenir" and the "collection" are objects mediating experience in time and space.
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The Gender of Modernity

Author: Rita FELSKI

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674036794

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 256

View: 8533

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In an innovative and invigorating exploration of the complex relations between women and the modern, Rita Felski challenges conventional male-centered theories of modernity. She also calls into question those feminist perspectives that have either demonized the modern as inherently patriarchal, or else assumed a simple opposition between men's and women's experiences of the modern world. Combining cultural history with cultural theory, and focusing on the fin de siecle, Felski examines the gendered meanings of such notions as nostalgia, consumption, feminine writing, the popular sublime, evolution, revolution, and perversion. Her approach is comparative and interdisciplinary, covering a wide variety of texts from the English, French, and German traditions: sociological theory, realist and naturalist novels, decadent literature, political essays and speeches, sexological discourse, and sentimental popular fiction. Male and female writers from Simmel, Zola, Sacher-Masoch, and Rachilde to Marie Corelli, Wilde, and Olive Schreiner come under Felski's scrutiny as she exposes the varied and often contradictory connections between femininity and modernity. Seen through the lens of Felski's discerning eye, the last fin de siecle provides illuminating parallels with our own. And Felski's keen analysis of the matrix of modernism offers needed insight into the sense of cultural crisis brought on by postmodernism.
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Beyond the Finite

The Sublime in Art and Science

Author: Roald Hoffmann,Iain Boyd Whyte

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199792747

Category: Science

Page: 208

View: 6219

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Throughout its long history, and not just as the key aesthetic category for the Romantic Movement, the sublime has created the necessary link between aesthetic and moral judgment, offering the prospect of transcending the limits of measurement, even imagination. The best of science makes genuine claims to the sublime. For in science, as in art, every day brings the entirely new, the extreme, and the unrepresentable. How does one depict negative mass, for example, or the folding of a protein that is contagious? Can one capture emergent phenomena as they emerge? Science is continually faced with describing that which is beyond. This book, through contributions from nine prominent scholars, tackles that challenge. The explorations within Beyond the Finite range from the images taken by the Hubble Telescope to David Bohm's quantum romanticism, from Kant and Burke to a "downward spiraling infinity" of the 21st century sublime, all lucid yet transcendent. Squarely positioned at the interface between science and art, this volume's chapters capture a remarkable variety of perspectives, with neuroscience, chemistry, astronomy, physics, film, painting and music discussed in relation to the sublime experience, topics surely to peak the interest of academics and students studying the sublime in various disciplines.
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The Body and the Song

Elizabeth Bishop's Poetics

Author: Marilyn May Lombardi

Publisher: SIU Press

ISBN: 9780809318858

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 267

View: 6668

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In this original contribution to Elizabeth Bishop studies, Marilyn May Lombardi uses previously unpublished materials (letters, diaries, notebooks, and unfinished poems) to shed new light on the poet’s published work. She explores the ways Bishop’s lesbianism, alcoholism, allergic illnesses, and fear of mental instability affected her poetry—the ways she translated her bodily experiences into poetic form. A cornerstone of The Body and the Song is the poet’s thirty-year correspondence with her physician, Dr. Anny Baumann, who was both friend and surrogate mother to Bishop. The letters reveal Bishop’s struggles to understand the relation between her physical and creative drives. "Dr. Anny" also helped Bishop unravel the connections in her life between psychosomatic illness and early maternal deprivation—her mother was declared incurably insane and institutionalized in 1916, when Bishop was five years old. Effectively an orphan, she spent the rest of her childhood with relatives. In addition to these letters, Lombardi uses Bishop’s unpublished notebooks to demonstrate the poet’s resolve to "face the facts"—to confront her own emotional, intellectual, and physical frailties—and translate them into poetry that is clear-eyed and economical in its form. Lombardi argues that in her subtle way, Bishop explores the same issues that preoccupy the current generation of women writers. A deeply private artist, Bishop never directly refers to her homosexuality in her published work, but the metaphors she draws from her carnal desires and aversions confront stifling cultural prescriptions for personal and erotic expression. In choosing restraint over confession, Bishop parted company with her friend Robert Lowell, but Lombardi shows that her reticence becomes a powerful artistic strategy resulting in poetry remarkable for its hermeneutic potential. Informed by recent gender criticism, Lombardi’s lucid argument advances our understanding of the ways the material circumstances of life can be transformed into art.
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Longing for the Bomb

Oak Ridge and Atomic Nostalgia

Author: Lindsey A. Freeman

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 1469622386

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 3220

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Longing for the Bomb traces the unusual story of the first atomic city and the emergence of American nuclear culture. Tucked into the folds of Appalachia and kept off all commercial maps, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was created for the Manhattan Project by the U.S. government in the 1940s. Its workers labored at a breakneck pace, most aware only that their jobs were helping "the war effort." The city has experienced the entire lifespan of the Atomic Age, from the fevered wartime enrichment of the uranium that fueled Little Boy, through a brief period of atomic utopianism after World War II when it began to brand itself as "The Atomic City," to the anxieties of the Cold War, to the contradictory contemporary period of nuclear unease and atomic nostalgia. Oak Ridge's story deepens our understanding of the complex relationship between America and its bombs. Blending historiography and ethnography, Lindsey Freeman shows how a once-secret city is visibly caught in an uncertain present, no longer what it was historically yet still clinging to the hope of a nuclear future. It is a place where history, memory, and myth compete and conspire to tell the story of America's atomic past and to explain the nuclear present.
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Prose of the World

Modernism and the Banality of Empire

Author: Saikat Majumdar

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231527675

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 248

View: 7256

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Everyday life in the far outposts of empire can be static, empty of the excitement of progress. A pervading sense of banality and boredom are, therefore, common elements of the daily experience for people living on the colonial periphery. Saikat Majumdar suggests that this impoverished affective experience of colonial modernity significantly shapes the innovative aesthetics of modernist fiction. Prose of the World explores the global life of this narrative aesthetic, from late-colonial modernism to the present day, focusing on a writer each from Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, and India. Ranging from James Joyce's deflated epiphanies to Amit Chaudhuri's disavowal of the grand spectacle of postcolonial national allegories, Majumdar foregrounds the banal as a key instinct of modern and contemporary fiction—one that nevertheless remains submerged because of its antithetical relation to literature's intuitive function to engage or excite. Majumdar asks us to rethink the assumption that banality merely indicates an aesthetic failure. If narrative is traditionally enabled by the tremor, velocity, and excitement of the event, the historical and affective lack implied by the banal produces a narrative force that is radically new precisely because it suspends the conventional impulses of narration.
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Contested Representations

Revisiting 'Into the Heart of Africa'

Author: Shelly R. Butler

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134390130

Category: Social Science

Page: 148

View: 2664

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The controversy surrounding the significant "Into the Heart of Africa" exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada is explored in this compelling and analytical text. The exhibit has become an international, controversial touchstone for issues surrounding the politics of visual representation, such as the challenges to curatorial and ethnographic authority in multicultural and postcolonial contexts. Asking why the museum's exhibit failed so many people, the author examines such issues as institutional politics, the broad political and intellectual climate surrounding museums, the legacies of colonialism and traditions of representation of Africa, and the politics of irony. By drawing upon anthropological and cultural criticism, the book offers a unique account of the ways in which an ambiguous exhibit about colonialism became the site of an expansiveInto the Heart of Africa."
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Ethics and Nostalgia in the Contemporary Novel

Author: John J. Su

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781139448536

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: N.A

View: 4009

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Images of loss and yearning played a crucial role in literary texts written in the later part of the twentieth century. Despite deep cultural differences, novelists from Africa, the Caribbean, Great Britain, and the United States share a sense that the economic, social, and political forces associated with late modernity have evoked widespread nostalgia within the communities in which they write. In this original and wide-ranging study, John J. Su explores the relationship between nostalgia and ethics in novels across the English-speaking world. He challenges the tendency in literary studies to characterise memory as positive and nostalgia as necessarily negative. Instead, this book argues that nostalgic fantasies are crucial to the ethical visions presented by topical novels. From Jean Rhys to Wole Soyinka and from V. S. Naipaul to Toni Morrison, Su identifies nostalgia as a central concern in the twentieth-century novel.
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The Complete Euripides

Volume I: Trojan Women and Other Plays

Author: Peter Burian,Alan Shapiro

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199831165

Category: Drama

Page: 400

View: 3586

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Based on the conviction that only translators who write poetry themselves can best re-create the celebrated and timeless tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, the Greek Tragedy in New Translations series offers new translations that go beyond the literal meaning of the Greek in order to evoke the poetry of the originals. The tragedies collected here were originally available as single volumes. This new collection retains the informative introductions and explanatory notes of the original editions, with Greek line numbers and a single combined glossary added for easy reference. This volume collects Euripides' Andromache, a play that challenges the concept of tragic character and transforms expectations of tragic structure; Hecuba, a powerful story of the unjustifiable sacrifice of Hecuba's daughter and the consequent destruction of Hecuba's character; Trojan Women, a particularly intense account of human suffering and uncertainty; and Rhesos, the story of a futile quest for knowledge.
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The Land of Weddings and Rain

Nation and Modernity in Post-Socialist Lithuania

Author: Gediminas Lankauskas

Publisher: University of Toronto Press

ISBN: 1442699361

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 3057

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In The Land of Weddings and Rain, Gediminas Lankauskas examines the components of the contemporary urban wedding – religious and civil ceremonies, “traditional” imagery and practices, and the conspicuous consumption of domestic and imported goods – in the context of the Western-style modernization of post-socialist Lithuania. Studying the tensions between “tradition” and “modernity” that surround this important ritual event, Lankauskas highlights the ways in which nationalism serves to negotiate the impact of modernity in the aftermath of state socialism’s collapse. His analysis also shows the importance of consumption and commodification to Lithuania’s ongoing “Westernization.” Based on more than a decade of ethnographic research, The Land of Weddings and Rain is a fascinating account of the tensions – between national and transnational, East and West, and old and new – that shape life in post-socialist Eastern Europe.
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