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The Cultural Origins of the Socialist Realist Aesthetic

1890-1934

Irina Gutkin

In The Cultural Origins of the Socialist Realist Aesthetic, Irina Gutkin brings together the best work written on the subject to argue that socialist realism encompassed a philosophical worldview that marked thinking in the USSR on all levels: political, social, and linguistic. Using a wealth of diverse cultural material, Gutkin traces the emergence of the central tenants of socialist realist theory from Symbolism and Futurism through the 1920s and 1930s.

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Current Continental Theory and Modern Philosophy

Stephen Daniel

A systematic rereading of early modern philosophers in the light of recent Continental philosophy, Current Continental Thought and Modern Philosophy exposes overlooked but critical aspects of sixteenth through eighteenth century philosophy even as it brings to light certain historical assumptions that have colored and distorted our understanding of modernist thought. This volume thus retrieves modern thinkers from the modernistic ways in which they have been portrayed since the nineteenth century; at the same time, it enhances our view of the roots and concerns of current Continental thought.

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Death of One's Own

Literature, Law, and the Right to Die

Jared Stark

To be or not to be—who asks this question today, and how? What does it mean to issue, or respond to, an appeal for the right to die? In A Death of One's Own, the first sustained literary study of the right to die, Jared Stark takes up these timely questions by testing predominant legal understandings of assisted suicide and euthanasia against literary reflections on modern death from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Rigorously interdisciplinary and lucidly argued, Stark's wide-ranging discussion sheds critical light on the disquieting bioethical and biopolitical dilemmas raised by contemporary forms of medical technology and legal agency.   More than a survey or work of advocacy, A Death of One's Own examines the consequences and limits of the three reasons most often cited for supporting a person's right to die: that it is justified as an expression of personal autonomy or self-ownership; that it constitutes an act of self-authorship, of "choosing a final chapter" in one's life; and that it enables what has come to be called "death with dignity." Probing the intersections of law and literature, Stark interweaves close discussion of major legal, political, and philosophical arguments with revealing readings of literary and testimonial texts by writers including Balzac, Melville, Benjamin, and Améry.   A thought-provoking work that will be of interest to those concerned with law and humanities, biomedical ethics, cultural history, and human rights, A Death of One's Own opens new and suggestive paths for thinking about the history of modern death as well as the unsettled future of the right to die.

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Demonic History

From Goethe to the Present

Kirk Wetters

In this ambitious book, Kirk Wetters traces the genealogy of the demonic in German literature from its imbrications in Goethe to its varying legacies in the work of essential authors, both canonical and less well known, such as Gundolf, Spengler, Benjamin, Lukács, and Doderer. Wetters focuses especially on the philological and metaphorological resonances of the demonic from its core formations through its appropriations in the tumultuous twentieth century.

Propelled by equal parts theoretical and historical acumen, Wetters explores the ways in which the question of the demonic has been employed to multiple theoretical, literary, and historico-political ends. He thereby produces an intellectual history that will be consequential both to scholars of German literature and to comparatists.

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Designed for Flight

Poems

Gregory Fraser

Designed for Flight both continues and enlarges the exploration of the rhythms of our emotional lives undertaken in Gregory Fraser’s first two collections. A master of metaphor, Fraser works magic within tightly controlled forms, loading lines with surprising juxtapositions and changes of direction. Taken together, the poems trace the sometimes instant, sometimes decades-long movement from incomprehensible loss and grief to rueful reflection and, if we’re lucky, uneasy accommodation. Casting a sharply observant eye on past selves, always steering clear of simple sentiment, the speaker in this collection looks back with bitter irony and forgiveness in equal measure. Against the fears and frustrations of childhood, the dissolution of a doomed relationship, and the distance between the hoped for and the actual, Fraser’s poems offer the imagination’s capacity for endless invention and the compensatory pleasures of art.







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Diary 1954

Leopold Tyrmand, a Polish Jew who survived World War II by working in Germany under a false identity, would go on to live and write under Poland’s Communist regime for twenty years before emigrating to the West, where he continued to express his deeply felt anti-Communist views. Diary 1954—written after the independent weekly paper that employed him was closed for refusing to mourn Stalin’s death—is an account of daily life in Communist Poland. Like Czesław Miłosz, Václav Havel, and other dissidents who described the absurdities of Soviet-backed regimes, Tyrmand exposes the lies—big and small—that the regimes employed to stay in power. Witty and insightful, Tyrmand’s diary is the chronicle of a man who uses seemingly minor modes of resistance—as a provocative journalist, a Warsaw intellectual, the "spiritual father" of Polish hipsters, and a promoter of jazz in Poland—to maintain his freedom of thought.

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Diasporic Intimacies

Queer Filipinos and Canadian Imaginaries

Edited by Robert Diaz, Marissa Largo, and Fritz Pino

Diasporic Intimacies: Queer Filipinos and Canadian Imaginaries is the first edited volume of its kind, featuring the works of leading scholars, artists, and activists who reflect on the contributions of queer Filipinos to Canadian culture and society.

As it foregrounds the experiences of diasporic Filipinos outside of the United States, Diasporic Intimacies also acknowledges the role that Canada plays in learning about the vibrant articulations of kinship, intimacy, and culture that many Filipinos enact in this settler colonial space. Through the lens of sexuality and gender, this groundbreaking collection investigates how diasporic communities engage with the Canadian nation-state, which continues to discipline our notions of difference through official policies of multiculturalism.

Addressing a wide range of issues beyond the academy, its contributors ultimately present a rich and under-studied archive of personal reflections, in-depth interviews, creative works, and scholarly essays. Such a trandsdisciplinary approach enables them to highlight the need for queer, transgressive, and utopian practices that render visible histories of migration, empire building, settler colonialism, and globalization.

Timely, urgent, and fascinating, Diasporic Intimacies offers an accessible entry point for readers who seek to pursue critically engaged community work, arts education, curatorial practice, and socially inflected research on sexuality, gender, and race in this ever-changing world.

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Difference and Givenness

Deleuze's Transcendental Empiricism and the Ontology of Immanence

Levi R. Bryant

From one end of his philosophical work to the other, Gilles Deleuze consistently described his position as a transcendental empiricism. But just what is transcendental about Deleuze’s transcendental empiricism? And how does his position fit with the traditional empiricism articulated by Hume? In Difference and Givenness, Levi Bryant addresses these long neglected questions so critical to an understanding of Deleuze’s thinking. Through a close examination of Deleuze’s independent work focusing especially on Difference and Repetition as well as his engagement with thinkers such as Kant, Maïmon, Bergson, and Simondon, Bryant sets out to unearth Deleuze’s transcendental empiricism and to show how it differs from transcendental idealism, absolute idealism, and traditional empiricism. 

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Dimitry's Shade

A Reading of Alexander Pushkin's Boris Godunov

J. Douglas Clayton

In an ambitious reinterpretation of the premier work of Russia's national poet, J. Douglas Clayton reads Boris Godunov as the expression of Alexander Pushkin's thinking about the Russian state, especially the Russian state of his own time (some two hundred years distant from the events of the play), and even his own place within that state. Here we see how the play marks a sharp break with the Decembrists and Pushkin's own youthful liberalism, signaling its author's emergence as a Russian conservative. Boris Godunov, Clayton argues, can be best understood as an ideologically conservative defense of autocracy.

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The Director's Prism

E. T. A. Hoffmann and the Russian Theatrical Avant-Garde

The Director's Prism investigates how and why three of Russia's most innovative directors— Vsevolod Meyerhold, Alexander Tairov, and Sergei Eisenstein—used the fantastical tales of German Romantic writer E. T. A. Hoffmann to reinvent the rules of theatrical practice. Because the rise of the director and the Russian cult of Hoffmann closely coincided, Posner argues, many characteristics we associate with avant-garde theater—subjective perspective, breaking through the fourth wall, activating the spectator as a co-creator—become uniquely legible in the context of this engagement. Posner examines the artistic poetics of Meyerhold's grotesque, Tairov's mime-drama, and Eisenstein's theatrical attraction through production analyses, based on extensive archival research, that challenge the notion of theater as a mirror to life, instead viewing the director as a prism through whom life is refracted. A resource for scholars and practitioners alike, this groundbreaking study provides a fresh, provocative perspective on experimental theater, intercultural borrowings, and the nature of the creative process.

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