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Dostoevsky and the Problem of Genre in the 1870s
Scholars have long been fascinated by the creative struggles with genre manifested throughout Dostoevsky’s career. In The Novel in the Age of Disintegration, Kate Holland brings historical context to bear, showing that Dostoevsky wanted to use the form of the novel as a means of depicting disintegration brought on by various crises in Russian society in the 1860s. This required him to reinvent the genre. At the same time he sought to infuse his novels with the capacity to inspire belief in social and spiritual reintegration, so he returned to some older conventions of a society that was already becoming outmoded. In thoughtful readings of Demons, The Adolescent, A Writer’s Diary, and The Brothers Karamazov, Holland delineates Dostoevsky’s struggle to adapt a genre to the reality of the present, with all its upheavals, while maintaining a utopian vision of Russia’s future mission.
Space and Subjectivity in Nineteenth-Century French Fiction
Focusing on Stendhal, Gérard de Nerval, George Sand, Émile Zola, and Marcel Proust, The Subject of Space: Mapping the Self in Nineteenth-Century French Fiction explores the ways that these writers represent and negotiate the relationship between the self and the world as a function of space in a novel turned map.
With the rise of the novel and of autobiography, the literary and cultural contexts of nineteenth-century France reconfigured both the ways literature could represent subjects and the ways subjects related to space. In the first-person works of these authors, maps situate the narrator within the imaginary space of the novel. Yet the time inherent in the text’s narrative unsettles the spatial self drawn by the maps and so creates a novel self, one which is both new and literary. The novel self transcends the rigid confines of a map. In this significant study, Patrick M. Bray charts a new direction in critical theory.
The Existential Foundations of Governance
Death is the opposite not of life, but of power. And as such, Mohammed Bamyeh argues in this original work, death has had a great and largely unexplored impact on the thinking of governance throughout history, right down to our day. In Of Death and Dominion Bamyeh pursues the idea that a deep concern with death is, in fact, the basis of the ideological foundations of all political systems.
A. E. Stallings has published two books of poetry, Archaic Smile (1999), which won the Richard Wilbur Award, and Hapax (Northwestern University Press, 2006), which won the Poet’s Prize and the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Benjamin H. Danks Award. She has also published a verse translation of Lucretius, The Nature of Things (2007). Stallings is a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow and a 2011 MacArthur Fellow. She lives in Athens, Greece.
Hidden Children Remember the Holocaust
The stories in Out of Chaos represent brief or elongated moments, fragments of memory and experience, what the great Holocaust writer Ida Fink called “a scrap of time.” In all, the anthology expresses these survivors’ memories and reactions to a wide range of experiences as they survived in so many European settings, from Holland, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Greece, Yugoslavia, Poland, and France. The writers recall being on the run between different countries, escaping over mountains, hiding and even sometimes forgetting their Jewish identities in convents and rescuers’ homes and hovels, basements and attics. Some were left on their own; others found themselves embroiled in rescuer family conflicts. Some writers chose to write story clusters, each one capturing a moment or incident and often disconnected by memory or temporal and spatial divides.All together the anthology is a profound testament to lost and found lives that are translated into compelling reading.
Fictions of a New Translingual Diaspora
Out of Russia is the first scholarly work to focus on a group of writers who, over the past decade, have formed a distinct phenomenon: immigrants with cultural and linguistic roots in Russia who have chosen to write in the language of their adopted countries. The best known among these are Andreï Makine, who writes in French, Wladimir Kaminer, who writes in German, and Gary Shteyngart, who writes in English.
Dialectics, the University, and the Desire for Narrative
For a half century, the American intellectual Fredric Jameson has been a driving force in literary and cultural theory. In Periodizing Jameson, Phillip E. Wegner builds upon Jameson’s unique dialectical method to demonstrate the value of Jameson’s tools—periodization, the fourfold hermeneutic, and the Greimasian semiotic square, among others—and to develop virtuoso readings of Jameson’s own work and the history of the contemporary American university in which it unfolds.
Wegner shows how Jameson’s work intervenes in particular social, cultural, and political situations, using his scholarship both to develop original explorations of nineteenth-century fiction, popular films, and other promiment theorists, and to examine the changing fortunes of theory itself. In this way, Periodizing Jameson casts new light on the potential of and challenges to humanist intellectual work in the present.
Husserl and the Constitution of Subjectivity
At the dawn of the modern era, philosophers reinterpreted their subject as the study of consciousness, pushing the body to the margins of philosophy. With the arrival of Husserlian thought in the late nineteenth century, the body was once again understood to be part of the transcendental field. And yet, despite the enormous influence of Husserl’s phenomenology, the role of "embodiment" in the broader philosophical landscape remains largely unresolved. In his ambitious debut book, Phenomenology and Embodiment, Joona Taipale tackles the Husserlian concept—also engaging the thought of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Michel Henry—with a comprehensive and systematic phenomenological investigation into the role of embodiment in the constitution of self-awareness, intersubjectivity, and objective reality. In doing so, he contributes a detailed clarification of the fundamental constitutive role of embodiment in the basic relations of subjectivity.