It’s time for a March and April roundup! Highlighted below are the newest publications from Bloomsbury Literary Studies.
In Otherwise, Revolution!: Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead, Rebecca Tillett provides a groundbreaking reading of Almanac for the 21st century, comparing Silko’s activist armies with recent international popular social justice activism such as the Arab Spring, the international Occupy movement, and the Indigenous Idle No More movement.
Jonathan Coe: Contemporary British Satire covers all of Coe’s major novels, including his most recent book Number 11, and includes chapters by leading and emerging scholars of contemporary British writing. The book features a preface by Coe himself and explores the ways in which his work grapples with such themes as class politics, popular music, sex, gender and the media.
The Making of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot/En attendant Godot is a comprehensive reference guide to the history of the text. Author Dirk Van Hulle includes a complete descriptive catalogue of available relevant manuscripts, including French and English texts, alternative drafts and notebook pages as well as critical reconstruction of the history of the text, from its genesis through the process of composition to its full publication history. A detailed guide to exploring the manuscripts online at the Beckett Digital Manuscripts Project is also included.
Modernist Lives: Biography and Autobiography at Leonard and Virginia Woolf’s Hogarth Press focuses on the biographies and autobiographies published by Leonard and Virginia Woolf’s Hogarth Press from 1917 to 1946. Claire Battershill draws on archival material from the Hogarth Press Business Archive and first editions from the Virginia Woolf Collection at the E. J. Pratt Library to show how the Woolf’s literary theories were expressed in all aspects of their publishing: marketing strategies, editorial practice and the literary composition of their acquisitions.
Literary Impressionism: Vision and Memory in Dorothy Richardson, Ford Madox Ford, H.D. and May Sinclair charts the modernist crisis of vision and the way that literary impressionists Dorothy Richardson, Ford Madox Ford, H.D., and May Sinclair used new concepts of memory in order to bridge the gap between perception and representation. Exploring the fiction of these four major writers as well as their journalism, manifesto writings, letters and diaries from the archives, Rebecca Bowler charts the progression of modernism’s literary aesthetics and the changing role of memory within it.
The Svetlana Boym Reader presents a comprehensive view of Boym’s singularly creative work in all its aspects. It includes Boym’s classic essays, carefully chosen excerpts from her five books, and journalistic gems. Showcasing her roles both as curator and curated, the reader includes interviews and excerpts from exhibition catalogues as well as samples of intermedial works like Hydrant Immigrants.
In Nabokov and Nietzsche: Problems and Perspectives, Michael Rodgers addresses the many knotted issues in the work of Vladimir Nabokov – Lolita‘s moral stance, Pnin‘s relationship with memory, Pale Fire‘s ambiguous internal authorship – that often frustrate interpretation. It does so by arguing that the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, as both a conceptual instrument and a largely unnoticed influence on Nabokov himself, can help to untie some of these knots.
Focusing attention on Romantic conceptions of history’s connection to the future, The Romantic Historicism to Come examines the complications of not only Romantic historicism, but also our own contemporary critical methods: what would it mean if the causal assumptions that underpin our historical judgments do not themselves develop in a stable, progressive manner? Articulating history’s minimum conditions, Jonathan Crimmins develops a theoretical apparatus that accounts for the concurrent influence of the various sociohistorical forces that pressure each moment.
It is uncontroversial that what Alan Singer dubs the “sex image,” the artist’s posing of human figures in the act of coitus, is an enduring compositional armature for artists from antiquity to the present. Posing Sex, however, makes the quite controversial claim that this aesthetic practice, in literature and painting especially, serves as a powerful métier for exploring how the mind is continuous with the sensuously lively body rather than its rationalistic antagonist.
The burger, long the All-American meal, is undergoing an identity crisis. From its shifting place in popular culture to efforts by investors such as Bill Gates to create the non-animal burger that can feed the world, the burger’s identity has become as malleable as that patty of protein itself, before it is thrown on a grill. Carol J. Adams’s Burger is a fast-paced and eclectic exploration of the history, business, cultural dynamics, and gender politics of the ordinary hamburger.
Jean-Michel Rabaté combines art, science, and autobiography to share his fascination with peeling paints and rusty metal sheets. Rust takes on the many meanings of this oxidized substance, showing how technology bleeds into biology and ecology. Rust, he concludes, is a place where things living, built, and remembered commingle.
In Souvenir, Rolf Potts, draws on several millennia of examples—from the relic-driven quests of early Christians, to the mass-produced tchotchkes that line the shelves of a Disney gift shop. Potts delves into a complicated history that explores issues of authenticity, cultural obligation, market forces, human suffering, and self-presentation. Souvenirs are shown for what they really are: not just objects, but personalized forms of folk storytelling that enable people to make sense of the world and their place in it.
In Luggage, Susan Harlan takes readers on a journey with the suitcases that support, accessorize, and accompany our lives. Along the way, she shows how the materials of travel—the carry-ons, totes, trunks, and train cases of the past and present—have stories to tell about displacement, home, gender, class, consumption, and labor.
New in Paperback
Political Monsters and Democratic Imagination explores the democratic thought of Spinoza and its relation to the thought of William Blake, Victor Hugo, and James Joyce. As a group, these visionaries articulate a concept of power founded not on strength or might but on social cooperation; a principle of equality based not on the identity of individuals with one another but on the difference between any individual and the intellectual power of society as a whole; an understanding of thought as a process that operates between rather than within individuals; and a theory of infinite truth, something individuals only partially glimpse from their particular cultural situations.
Cormac McCarthy’s work is attracting an increasing number of scholars and critics from a range of disciplines within the humanities and beyond, from political philosophy to linguistics and from musicology to various branches of the sciences. Cormac McCarthy’s Borders and Landscapes contributes to this developing field of research, investigating the way McCarthy’s writings speak to other works within the broader fields of American literature, international literature, border literature, and other forms of comparative literature.
Ordinary Matters: Modernist Women’s Literature and Photography examines how women photographers and writers including Helen Levitt, Lee Miller, Virginia Woolf and Dorothy Richardson envision the sphere of ordinary life in light of the social and cultural transformations of the period that shaped and often radically reshaped it: for example, urbanism, instrumentalism, the Great Depression and war. Lorraine Sim contends that the paradigmatic shifts that define early 20th-century modernity not only inform modernist women’s aesthetics of the everyday, but their artistic and ethical investments in that sphere.
Ezra Pound in the Present collects new essays by prominent scholars of modernist poetics to engage the relevance of Pound’s work for our times, testing whether his literature was, as he hoped it would be, “news that stays news.”
The Afterlives of Roland Barthes is the first book to revisit and reassess Barthes’ thought in light of these posthumously published writings. Covering work such as Barthes’ Mourning Diary, the notes for his projected Vita Nova and many writings yet to be translated into English, Neil Badmington reveals a very different Barthes of today than the figure familiar from the writings published in his lifetime.
Detaining Time is the first book to investigate the representation of time in literature in terms of the project to reconceptualize time, so that its movement no longer threatens security. Focusing on the nature, consequences, and resolution of resistance to temporal passage, Eric P. Levy offers detailed and probing close readings, enriched by thorough yet engaging explication and application of prominent philosophical theories of time.
Drawing on a wide range of examples from literature, comics, film, television and digital media, Nerd Ecology is the first substantial ecocritical study of nerd culture’s engagement with environmental issues. Exploring such works as Star Trek, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, the fiction of Thomas Pynchon, The Hunger Games, and superhero comics such as Green Lantern and X-Men, Anthony Lioi maps out the development of nerd culture and its intersections with the most fundamental ecocritical themes.