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Series: Series in Literary Studies

In Search of the Lost World: The Modernist Quest for the Thing, Matter, and Body

Tsaiyi Wu, Shanghai Normal University

January 2023 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-597-5
Availability: In stock
178pp. ¦ $29 £21 €24

From a historical perspective, the book studies how modernist artists, as the first generation who began to rethink intensively the legacy of German Idealism, sought to recreate the self so as to recreate their relationships with the material world. Theoretically, the book converses with the topical de-anthropocentric interests in the 21st century and proposes that the artist may escape human-centeredness through the transformation of the self. Part One, “Artificiality,” begins the discussion with the fin-de-siècle cult of artificiality, where artists such as Theophile Gautier, Charles Baudelaire, J.K. Huysmans, and Gustave Moreau dedicate themselves to love stony sphinxes, marble statues, and inorganic appearances. The cult of artificiality is a mischievous subversion to Hegel’s maxim that inwardness is superior to matter. In the cult of artificiality, art is superior to nature, though art is no longer defined as immaterial imagination but rather reconfigured as mysterious appearances that defy signification and subjugate the feeling heart. Part Two, “Auto-philosophical Fiction,” discusses the genre where the artists (Marcel Proust, Walter Pater, and Virginia Woolf) set philosophical ideas in the laboratory of their lives and therefore translate their aesthetic ideals—the way they wish to relate to the world—into a journey of self-examination and self-cultivation. In Pater’s novel 'Marius the Epicurean', the hero explores how a philosophical percept may be translated into sentiments and actions, demonstrating that literature is a unique approach to truth as it renders theory into a transformative experience. Exploring the latest findings of empiricist psychology, the artists seek to escape the Kantian trap by cultivating their powers of reception and to register passing thoughts and sensations. Together, the book argues that de-anthropocentrism cannot be predicated upon a metaphysics that presumes universal subjectivity but must be a form of aesthetic inquiry that recreates the self in order to recreate our relationships with the world.

Cesare Pavese Mythographer, Translator, Modernist: A Collection of Studies 70 Years after His Death

Edited by Iuri Moscardi, The Graduate Center, CUNY

January 2023 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-087-1
Availability: In stock
154pp. ¦ $67 £56 €63

This volume on Cesare Pavese is published on the 72nd anniversary of his death, and it aims to explore new perspectives to study this relevant intellectual. The multifaceted personality of Cesare Pavese took many different forms and allowed him to explore different aspects of literary production. He was a poet, a novelist, an essayist, a translator of some of the most important American writers of the 19th and 20th centuries. He also worked for 20 years at Einaudi Publishing House, where he became one of the most relevant figures of the company and the Italian literary and cultural scene between the 1930s and 1950s. This collection provides new perspectives of study by focusing on different aspects of his job and by analyzing the strong connections between his personal and professional life. It will appeal to graduate students and scholars in contemporary Italian literature.

War, Espionage, and Masculinity in British Fiction

Edited by Susan L. Austin, Landmark College

January 2023 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-507-4
Availability: In stock
200pp. ¦ $87 £72 €82

'War, Espionage, and Masculinity in British Fiction' explores the masculinities represented in British works spanning more than a century. Studies of Rudyard Kipling’s 'The Light That Failed' (1891) and Erskine Childer’s 'The Riddle of the Sands' (1903) investigate masculinities from before World War I, at the height of the British Empire. A discussion of R.C. Sherriff’s play 'Journey’s End' takes readers to the battlefields of World War I, where duty and the harsh realities of modern warfare require men to perform, perhaps to die, perhaps to be unmanned by shellshock. From there we see how Dorothy Sayers developed the character of Peter Wimsey as a model of masculinity, both strong and successful despite his own shellshock in the years between the world wars. Graham Greene’s The Heart of the Matter (1948) and The Quiet American (1955) show masculinities shaken and questioning their roles and their country’s after neither world war ended all wars and the Empire rapidly lost ground. Two chapters on 'The Innocent' (1990), Ian McEwan’s fictional account of a real collaboration between Great Britain and the United States to build a tunnel that would allow them to spy on the Soviet Union, dig deeply into the 1950’s Cold War to examine the fictional masculinity of the British protagonist and the real world and fictional masculinities projected by the countries involved. Explorations of Ian Fleming’s 'Casino Royale' (1953) and 'The Living Daylights' (1962) continue the Cold War theme. Discussion of the latter film shows a confident, infallible masculinity, optimistic at the prospect of glasnost and the potential end of Cold War hostilities. John le Carré’s 'The Night Manager' (1993) and its television adaptation take espionage past the Cold War. The final chapter on Ian McEwan’s 'Saturday' (2005) shows one man’s reaction to 9/11.

Post45 Vs. The World: Literary Perspectives on the Global Contemporary

Edited by William G. Welty, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

December 2022 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-479-4
Availability: In stock
165pp. ¦ $68 £57 €65

Much of the work done on the Post45 literary field carries an implicitly Americanist perspective. Even the name of the field suggests a certain literary history, with certain assumptions and blind spots about national spaces, identities, and histories. But what would Post45 look like when considered from outside of the United States? How do the current contours of the field exclude certain voices, either in the United States or elsewhere in the world? And how would such new perspectives shift the beginning and possible endpoint of that literary period? What new narratives of the contemporary emerge if we begin telling the story in a different year or from a different national or global perspective? This collection attempts to re-frame the discussions in Post45 by engaging with non-American writers, texts, and perspectives. Additionally, productive conversations emerge by attempting to think of canonical American writers like Mark Twain and Ishmael Reed from other national and global perspectives. The authors consider both the ways texts themselves as well as their reception histories approach and challenge our understandings of the contemporary. Ultimately, the collection interrogates prevailing narratives of history, culture, identity, and space within the Post45 field. In so doing, it re-considers the historical periodization of the field, which currently covers approximately 75 years of literary history. The resulting essays thus work towards a new intertwined narrative about what defines the contemporary and how national and global literatures fit into that moment of world history.

Common and Uncommon Quotes: A Theory and History of Epigraphs

Jared A. Griffin, University of Alaska Anchorage

December 2022 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-114-4
Availability: In stock
274pp. ¦ $75 £59 €70

'Common and Uncommon Quotes: A Theory and History of Epigraphs' is a prolegomenon to the study of epigraphic paratextuality. Building on the work of Gerard Genette’s paratextual studies, this volume contextualizes and traces the practice of epigraphy in Anglophone literary history, from the fifteenth to the early twentieth century. This study explores how epigraphs are used by author-functions as a hermeneutic for their text and to establish ethos with their audience, and how that paratextual relationship changed as publishing opportunities and literacy rates grew over four centuries. The first broad-reaching study of this kind, 'Common and Uncommon Quotes' seeks to understand how epigraphs work: through their privilege on the page, their appeal to conjured ideas of the past, and their calls to citizenship.