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Series: Series in Literary Studies

(Beyond) Posthuman Violence: Epic Rewritings of Ethics in the Contemporary Novel

Claudio Murgia, University of Warwick

March 2019 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-638-6
Availability: In stock
220pp. ¦ $60 £45 €51

Neuroscience tells us that the brain is nothing but a metaphor machine capable of extracting meaning from a chaotic reality. Following Agamben, Arendt, Benjamin and Žižek, a theory of violence can be established according to which violence is a reaction on the part of the individual to the frustration generated by having her metaphor machine suppressed by the mythic narrative of the Law. In opposition to mythic violence, Benjamin posits the justice of divine violence. Divine justice is an excess of life, the very uniqueness of the metaphor machine. The individual is affected by a difficulty to communicate her metaphor machine to the Other, as if it were inexpressible. This work explores how the characters in the works of David Foster Wallace, Cormac MacCarthy, J. G. Ballard, Bret Easton Ellis, Chuck Palahniuk, William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, Maurice G. Dantec and China Mieville suffer from these limits of language and the constrictions of the Law. Through violence they look for their individual Voice, intended as their will-to-say, the ‘pure taking place of language’ (Agamben). In their struggle to be heard these characters are however deaf to the Voice of the Other. There is a need for a new Ethics of Narratives expressed through an Epic of the Voice founded on the will-to-listen, along the lines of the concept of the posthuman theorized by Rosi Braidotti. Here subjectivity is a process of constant autopoiesis dependent on the relationship the individual has with the Other and the environment around her, that is, in the reciprocal will-to-say and will-to-listen. Human beings can meet in the taking-place of language, in the place before the suppressive language of the Law is even born, in a meeting of Voices.

Poetic Inquiry as Social Justice and Political Response

Edited by Sandra L. Faulkner, Bowling Green State University, USA and Abigail Cloud, Bowling Green State University, USA

May 2019 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-649-2
Availability: In stock
266pp. ¦ $59 £44 €50

This volume speaks to the use of poetry in critical qualitative research and practice focused on social justice. In this collection, poetry is a response, a call to action, agitation, and a frame for future social justice work. The authors engage with poetry’s potential for connectivity, political power, and evocation through methodological, theoretical, performative, and empirical work. The poet-researchers consider questions of how poetry and Poetic Inquiry can be a response to political and social events, be used as a pedagogical tool to critique inequitable social structures, and how Poetic Inquiry speaks to our local identities and politics. The authors answer the question: “What spaces can poetry create for dialogue about critical awareness, social justice, and re-visioning of social, cultural, and political worlds?” This volume adds to the growing body of Poetic Inquiry through the demonstration of poetry as political action, response, and reflective practice. We hope this collection inspires you to write and engage with political poetry to realize the power of poetry as political action, response, and reflective practice.

Logoteunison: Literary Easternization in Orhan Pamuk’s Works

Saman Hashemipour, Girne American University, Turkey

April 2019 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-606-5
Availability: In stock
157pp. ¦ $43 £32 €36

This book explores the enduring European and American interest in literary works portraying Eastern themes and perspectives. It examines how literary Easternization, termed “Logoteunison”, manifests in Western literary works that reflect, embody, or deploy Eastern values or concepts; or else ape, mimic, parody, or pay homage to various Eastern and especially Persian masterpieces. Such repurposing or appropriation is frequently powered by features from the postmodern toolkit: intertextuality, metafiction, fragmentation. The novelist Orhan Pamuk has been influenced (arguably unwittingly) by literary Easternization. In his Western-style works, Pamuk channels Eastern values, creating texts nevertheless in the Western mold and primarily aimed at Western readers. Pamuk uses Istanbul—the writer’s birthplace, a city between two worlds, a halfway land binding together Asia and Europe—both as a physical setting and to symbolically mediate Eastern and Western worldviews. This title has a threefold purpose: by establishing a theoretical and contextual background for Eastern masterpieces and forming a distinctive review of Eastern culture as filtered through Pamuk’s works, it suggests a new theory in literary criticism, one which aims to adopt a novel philosophical approach to the study of literary Easternization. Students of comparative and Turkish literature will find in this volume detailed background information about Turkish, Persian, and Arabic masterpieces, as well as their significant cultural correspondences and affinities, especially regarding their employment of Sufi themes. Any student or scholar interested in the postmodern cross-fertilization of Middle Eastern and Western literature will find this work fascinating and rewarding.

Ecologies in Southeast Asian Literatures: Histories, Myths and Societies

Edited by Chi P. Pham, Institute of Literature, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, Vietnam et al.

March 2019 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-633-1
Availability: In stock
166pp. ¦ $35 £26 €30

Ecocriticism in relation to the Southeast Asian region is relatively new. So far, John Charles Ryan’s Ecocriticism in Southeast Asia is the first book of its kind to focus on the region and its literature to give an ecocritical analysis: that volume compiles analyses of the eco-literatures from most of the Southeast Asian region, providing a broad insight into the ecological concerns of the region as depicted in its literatures and other cultural texts. This edited volume furthers the study of Southeast Asian ecocriticism, focusing specifically on prominent myths and histories and the myriad ways in which they connect to the social fabric of the region. Our book is an original contribution to the expanding field of ecocriticism, as it highlights the mytho-historical basis of many of the region’s literatures and their relationship to the environment. The varied articles in this volume together explore the idea of nature and its relationship with humans. The always problematic questions that surround such explorations, such as “why do we regard nature as ‘external’?” or “how is humankind a continuum with nature?”, emerge throughout the volume either overtly or implicitly. As Pepper (1993) points out, what Karl Marx referenced as ‘first’ or ‘external’ nature gave rise to humankind. But humanity “worked on this ‘first’ nature to produce a ‘second’ nature: the material creations of society plus its institutions, ideas and values.” (Pepper, 108). Thus, our volume constantly negotiates this field of ideas and belief systems, in diverse ways and in various cultures, attempting to relate them to the current ecological predicaments of ASEAN. It will likely prove an invaluable resource for scholars and students of ecocriticism and, more broadly, of Southeast Asian cultures and literatures.

Staying Open: Charles Olson’s Sources and Influences

Edited by Joshua S. Hoeynck, Case Western Reserve University

December 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-430-6
Availability: In stock
322pp. ¦ $64 £48 €54

“Staying Open, Charles Olson’s Sources and Influences” investigates the inter-disciplinary influences on the work of the mid-Century American poet, Charles Olson. This edited collection of essays covers Olson’s diverse non-literary interests, including his engagement with the music of John Cage and Pierre Boulez, his interests in abstract expressionism, and his readings of philosopher Alfred North Whitehead. The essays also examine Olson’s pedagogy, which he developed in the experimental environment at Black Mountain College, as well as his six-month archeological journey through the Yucatan Peninsula in 1950 to explore the culture of the Maya. This book will, therefore, be a strong research aid to scholars working in diverse fields – music, archeology, pedagogy, philosophy, art, and psychology – as it outlines methods for close inter-disciplinary work that can uncover the mechanics of Olson’s creative, literary processes. Building on the straightforward scholarship of George Butterick, whose Guide to the Maximus Poems remains indispensable for readers of Olson’s work, the essays in this volume will also guide readers through the thick allusions within The Maximus Poems itself. New interest in the wide-ranging and non-literary nature of Olson’s thought in several recent academic works makes this book both timely and necessary. Physics Envy: American Poetry and Science in the Cold War and After by Peter Middleton as well as Contemporary Olson edited by David Herd have started the process of uncovering the extent to which Olson’s inter-disciplinary interests inflected his poetic compositions. “Staying Open” extends the preliminary investigations of Olson’s non-literary sources in those volumes by bringing together a community of scholars working across disciplines and within a wide variety of humanistic concerns.

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