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Anti-Nazi Modernism

The Challenges of Resistance in 1930s Fiction

Mia Spiro's Anti-Nazi Modernism marks a major step forward in the critical debates over the relationship between modernist art and politics. Spiro analyzes the antifascist, and particularly anti-Nazi, narrative methods used by key British and American fiction writers in the 1930s. Focusing on works by Djuna Barnes, Christopher Isherwood, and Virginia Woolf, Spiro illustrates how these writers use an "anti-Nazi aesthetic" to target and expose Nazism’s murderous discourse of exclusion. The three writers challenge the illusion of harmony and unity promoted by the Nazi spectacle in parades, film, rallies, and propaganda. Spiro illustrates how their writings, seldom read in this way, resonate with the psychological and social theories of the period and warn against Nazism’s suppression of individuality. Her approach also demonstrates how historical and cultural contexts complicate the works, often reinforcing the oppressive discourses they aim to attack. This book explores the textual ambivalences toward the "Others" in society—most prominently the Modern Woman, the homosexual, and the Jew. By doing so, Spiro uncovers important clues to the sexual and racial politics that were widespread in Europe and the United States in the years leading up to World War II.

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Apprehending the Inaccessible

Freudian Psychoanalysis and Existential Phenomenology

Richard Askay and Jensen Farquhar

Throughout history philosophers have relentlessly pursued what may be called "inaccessible domains." This book explores how the traditions of existential phenomenology relate to Freudian psychoanalysis. A clear, succinct, and systematic account of the philosophical presuppositions of psychoanalytic theory and practice, this work offers a deeper and richer understanding and appreciation of Freudian thought, as well as its antecedents and influences.

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Archaeologies of Modernity

Avant-Garde Bildung

Rainer Rumold

Archaeologies of Modernity explores the shift from the powerful tradition of literary forms of Bildung—the education of the individual as the self—to the visual forms of “Bildung” (from Bild) that characterize German modernism and the European avant-garde. Interrelated chapters examine the work of Franz Kafka, Jean/Hans Arp, Walter Benjamin, and Carl Einstein, and of artists such as Oskar Kokoschka or Kurt Schwitters, in the light of the surge of an autoformation (Bildung) of verbal and visual images at the core of expressionist and surrealist aesthetics and the art that followed. In this first scholarly focus on modernist avant-garde Bildung in its entwinement of conceptual modernity with forms of the archaic, Rumold resituates the significance of the poet and art theorist Einstein and his work on the language of primitivism and the visual imagination. Archaeologies of Modernity is a major reconsideration of the conception of the modernist project and will be of interest to scholars across the disciplines.

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Armed Ambiguity

Women Warriors in German Literature and Culture in the Age of Goethe

Armed Ambiguity interrogates tropes of the woman warrior constructed by print culture—including press reports, novels, dramatic works, and lyrical texts—during the decades-long conflict in Europe around 1800.



Julie Koser sheds new light on how women’s bodies became a semiotic battleground for competing social, cultural, and political agendas in one of the most critical periods of modern history. Reading the women warriors in this book as barometers of the social and political climate in German-speaking territories, Koser reveals how literary texts and cultural artifacts foregrounding women’s armed insurrection perpetuated or contested the discursive construction and illusionary dichotomization of "public" versus "private" spheres along a gendered fault line. Koser illuminates how reactionary visions of "ideal femininity" competed with subversive fantasies of new femininities in the ideological battle being waged over the restructuring of German society.


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The Author as Hero

Self and Tradition in Bulgakov, Pasternak, and Nabokov

Justin Weir

Justin Weir develops a persuasive analysis of the complex relationship between authorial self reflection and literary tradition in three of the most famous Russian novels of the first half of the twentieth century: Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita, Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago, and Nabokov's The Gift. With Weir's innovative interpretation, and its compelling historical, cultural, and theoretical insights, The Author as Hero offers a new view of an important moment in the evolution of Russian literature.

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Autogeography

Poems

Reginald Harris

Winner of the Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize


In his second collection of poetry, Reginald Harris traverses real and imagined landscapes, searching for answers to the question “What are you?” From Baltimore to Havana, Atlantic City to Alabama—and from the broad memories of childhood to the very specific moment of Marvin Gaye singing at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game shortly before his death—this is a travel diary of internal and external jour­neys exploring issues of race and sexuality. The poet trav­eler falls into and out of love and lust, sometimes coupled, sometimes alone. Autogeography tracks how who you are changes depending on where you are; how where you are and where you’ve been determine who you are and where you might be headed. 

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Badiou, Zizek, and Political Transformations

The Cadence of Change

Adrian Johnston

Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek together have emerged as two of Europe’s most significant living philosophers. In a shared spirit of resistance to global capitalism, both are committed to bringing philosophical reflection to bear upon present day political circumstances. These thinkers are especially interested in asking what consequences the supposed twentieth century demise of communism entails for leftist political theory in the early twenty first century.

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Beckett after Wittgenstein

Andre Furlani

Among the best-represented authors in Samuel Beckett’s library was Ludwig Wittgenstein, yet the philosopher’s relevance to the Nobel laureate’s work is scarcely acknowledged and seldom elucidated. Beckett after Wittgenstein is the first book to examine Beckett’s formative encounters with, and profound affinities to, Wittgenstein’s thought, style, and character.



While a number of influential critics, including the philosopher Alain Badiou, have discerned a transition in Beckett’s work beginning in the late 1950s, Furlani is the first to identify and clarify how this change occurs in conjunction with the writer’s sustained engagement with Wittgenstein’s thought on, for example, language, cognition, subjectivity, alterity, temporality, belief, hermeneutics, logic, and perception. Drawing on a wealth of Beckett’s archival materials, much of it unpublished, Furlani’s study reveals the extent to which Wittgenstein fostered Beckett’s views and emboldened his purposes.


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Becoming French

Mapping the Geographies of French Identity, 1871-1914

Dana Kristofor Lindaman

Becoming French explores the geographical shift that occurs in French society during the first four decades of France's Third Republic government. Dana Kristofor Lindaman provides the historical context that led to the explosion of geographic interest at the end of the nineteenth century, exploring the ways that the work of the geographers Paul Vidal de la Blache and Élisée Reclus served as a conceptual basis for abstract notions of the nation such as la Patrie. Lindaman then uses Reclus's formulation of the earth as "une organisme terrestre" (terrestrial organism) to read Jules Verne's Voyage au centre de la terre (Journey to the Center of the Earth) as a journey to the center of the individual self. Finally, he traces the geographic narrative of G. Bruno's Tour de la France par deux enfants, in particular the way that Bruno's work incorporates the geographic thought of Vidal de la Blache, to discover the organic ties that bind readers through the shared experience of reading the text.

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Becoming Mikhail Lermontov

The Ironies of Romantic Individualism in Nicholas I's Russia

David Powelstock

Mikhail Lermontov (1814 1841) is one of Russia's most prominent poets and one of its most puzzling. In this radically new interpretation, David Powelstock reveals how the seeming contradictions in Lermontov's life and works can be understood as manifestations of a coherent worldview.

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