- International Scholarship
i Central European Contributions, 2015–2016: Enikő Bollobás, Jaroslav Kušnír, and Grażyna Zygadło
This essay surveys scholarship published in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia in 2015 and 2016. Jaroslav Kušnír is responsible for the commentary on Czech and Slovakian publications, and Grażyna Zygadło for Polish publications. Enikő Bollobás prepared the commentary on Hungarian publications and compiled and organized the material.
a. General: Literary and Cultural History
Enikő Bollobás's new literary history Az amerikai irodalom rövid története (A Short History of American Literature) (Budapest: Osiris, 2015) spans American literature from its precolonial beginnings to the present day; in addition to covering the classical canon and the canon of experimentation, this comprehensive work treats diverse traditions of representation in terms of genre, gender, race, and sexuality. In "American Literary History in 1998: Conversation with Josef Jařab and Richard Ruland in Prague," pp. 389–412 in Richard Ruland and Malcolm Bradbury, eds., From Puritanism to Postmodernism: A History of American Literature (Routledge, 2016), an informative item added as a postscript to the revised edition of this 1991 classic, Jařab comments significantly on the role of historical and political contexts on the study, teaching, and research of American literature. [End Page 359]
b. Literature to 1800
In Erőszak és megváltás—Az indián fogságnapló mint az amerikai eredetmítosz sarokköve (Violence and Redemption—The Indian Captivity Narrative as the Cornerstone of America's Myth of Origin) (Eger: Líceum Kiadó, 2015), András Tarnóc argues for interpreting American captivity narratives as early representations of a mythopoetic vision of national election, manifest destiny, and the American experience, promoting, as parts of the cultural myth, such American values as self-reliance and democratic thinking.
c. 19th-Century Literature
In her monograph on America's foremost woman poet, Vendégünk a végtelenből: Emily Dickinson költészete (Our Visitor from Infinitude: Emily Dickinson's Poetry) (Budapest: Balassi, 2015), Enikő Bollobás presents Dickinson as a subversive thinker and a formal innovator who dared to think what had not been thought before, to invent new concepts, and to create new linguistic structures as vehicles for her new thoughts.
Focusing on Cooper's depiction of assimilation, Michal Peprník's "Assimilating American Indians in James Fenimore Cooper's Novels?" (PJES 5 : 103–17) employs critical concepts from sociology and anthropology to examine the stereotype of the vanishing Native American. Christopher Koy's "Applying Strategies of the Snobographer: Charles W. Chesnutt's Use of Thackeray in Two 'Blue Vein Society' Stories" (American and British Studies Annual 8 : 31–48) discusses Chesnutt's fiction in terms of intertextual relation with William Makepeace Thackeray's works. In her "The Experience of the Sublime and the Terrors of Transgression in Nathaniel Hawthorne's 'Marble Faun'" (Linguistics and Literature Studies 3 : 264–70) Kamila Vránková studies the depiction of negative emotions and the sublime in Hawthorne's The Marble Faun.
Gabriella Vöő rereads seventy Poe stories in the seventy critical essays that make up her Kortársunk, Mr. Poe: Felfedező utak az összegyűjtött elbeszélésekben (Our Contemporary, Mr. Poe: Explorations Through the Collected Tales) (Budapest: Ráció Kiadó, 2016). Presenting Poe as contributing to both the emergence of national literature and the subversion of contemporary norms of fiction, Vöő unlocks the multiple contexts surrounding the stories and highlights the multiple connections—thematic, formal, and structural—among them. [End Page 360]
d. 20th-Century Fiction
In her essay "Big Fish: On the Relative Popularity of Zane Grey and Ernest Hemingway," pp. 41–59 in Sascha Pöhlmann and Martin Lüthe, eds., Unpopular Culture (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2015), Dominika Ferens reflects on the "overlapping lives of two American writers who made it their business to popularize the unpopular or the not-yet-popular" places. Ferens points to thematic similarities such as the masculine...