Category Archives: Contemporary Literature

Embracing Ecological Uncertainty through Fiction

By | May 19, 2022

Guest post by Marco Caracciolo The future has always been uncertain, but the ecological crisis presents us with an unprecedented degree of uncertainty in thinking about the future. Scientists who model the effects of global warming typically distinguish between pessimistic and optimistic scenarios. The gap between them is significant: concretely, it could mean the difference… Read More »

The war against animals: Dominic O’Key on Creaturely Forms in Contemporary Literature

By | March 9, 2022

Creaturely Forms in Contemporary Literature, by Dominic O’Key, is out now Thank you for joining us today, Dominic. Tell us, how would you describe your book in just one sentence?   Reading literature can help us think and rethink our relationships with animals; here’s how. Could you unpack this a bit and explain the main topics… Read More »

‘I always suspected that he was more influenced by Jungian psychology than he likes to let on’: Jonathan Dil on Haruki Murakami

By | February 28, 2022

Haruki Murakami and the Search for Self-Therapy, by Jonathan Dil, is out now How would you describe your book in one sentence? This books looks at how Haruki Murakami started writing fiction as a means of self-therapy and how he transformed this therapeutic impulse into a literary career of global acclaim. What drew to you… Read More »

Opening a Window on a Literary Giant: On Writing Wole Soyinka: Literature, Activism, and African Transformation

By | February 7, 2022

This post was originally published at the LSE Review of Books and is reproduced here with permission. As Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka publishes his first novel in 48 years, Bola Dauda and Toyin Falola offer a window on the literary giant, reflecting on their new book, Wole Soyinka: Literature, Activism, and African Transformation.  There are twice as many works on… Read More »

Response to Matthew Gannon: “Adorno as a Reader: Writing the Mediation of Literature and Philosophy”

By | January 20, 2022

This week, in a series of blog takeovers, we’re looking at Modernism, Theory, and Responsible Reading with posts from the collection’s contributors. In this guest post by Fabio Akcelrud Durão, he responds to Matthew Gannon’s chapter on Writing the Mediation of Literature and Philosophy.

“Not a Story To Pass On By: Sapphire’s The Kid”

By | December 2, 2021

This week, in a series of blog takeovers, we’re looking at #MeToo and Literary Studies with posts from the collection’s contributors. Guest post by Robin E. Field Precious Jones was introduced to readers 25 years ago, when Sapphire’s debut novel Push was released in June 1996. Almost immediately Precious became as beloved a figure as her inspiration,… Read More »

Finding the Experimentalists

By | November 23, 2021

After pouring over dozens of conference papers and journal articles, public lectures, a PhD thesis, a Fellowship, and spending hundreds of hours in archives around the world, I carefully constructed the case for the Experimentalists not only being a movement but perhaps being one of the most important British literary movements of the twentieth century.

Remembering Diane di Prima

By | August 6, 2021

Diane di Prima was born on August 6, 1934 in Brooklyn and passed on in San Francisco on October 25, 2020. Di Prima was a true national treasure, having chronicled throughout her astonishing career a momentous period of American history. Although for over six decades an indomitable force in ourcultural life, Di Prima remains unfamiliar to many readers. Because she was the major female identified with the Beat movement and author of the hip-language-inflected book This Bird Flies Backward (1958) who lounged in slacks sitting atop a piano—as a famous photograph from the fifties depicted her during a poetry reading— and due to the appearance a decade later of Memoirs of a Beatnik (1968), she has been misperceived as a “Beat chick.”

The Mythology of Modern Literature

By | August 3, 2021

Where Ovid entertained Romans with stories of metamorphoses, we now revel in stories of leaving our meat bodies and entering the internet as disembodied intelligences. Ovid’s stories may seem frivolous and even decadent to us, but we are entranced by our own version of such mythic transformations. Myths from different cultures resonate and merge; that particular transformation to web existence is also known as The Rapture for Nerds.

Queering Contemporary Literature: The Work of Jeanette Winterson

By | July 27, 2021

A powerful use of language is to tell people our story, especially to tell our loved ones about ourselves. They will hopefully reply using the language of acceptance and understanding. Conversely, a person can conceal their own story through language, or have their declarations met with words of hate and violence. This is when language has an even more important role to play in illuminating the path to equality; as Jeanette Winterson says, we need a language “capable of expressing all that it is called upon to express in a vastly changing world.”