Guest post by Todd Martin While one cannot really know the mind of the author—and perhaps an author doesn’t fully know her own mind in the moment of creation—notes, manuscripts, and letters provide traces of intent. Insisting on the agency of the author of a work, Sally Bushell establishes some parameters for aligning the potential… Read More »
Guest post by Georgina Binnie-Wright Mentioning ‘Bloomsday’ to those unfamiliar with the work of James Joyce may provoke a quizzical reaction. Yet the date of Ulysses’ setting, on 16 June 1904, marks an opportunity to celebrate a text that has been heralded as signalling the birth of literary modernism. Celebrations will be heightened this year… Read More »
Kathryn Carney’s “theory-as-prosthesis” is a critical-phenomenological model constructed on the discontinuities of being in relation with another, whether that be a person, a text, or a field-level debate. The prosthesis is adopted as a metaphor in an obverse sense, not as a well-fitted supplement but rather as a figure of variability that remains “both a part of and distinct from the body, as each aspect—the body and the prosthetic, the actual and the virtual, the spatial and the temporal—interpenetrates the other without altogether integrating” (Carney #).
Fabio Akcelrud Durão’s essay “Responsible Reading of Theory” engages with a number of large and fundamental questions regarding the identity, purpose, and future of theory. The answers that it offers are so rich and complex that a responsible reading of the entirety of that essay would require a monograph. For that reason, this response will focus on just the first paragraph of the first of the essay’s three sections and consider how that paragraph defines the relationship between theory and literature.
Robert Baines starts his essay with a vivid analytical presentation of the last five decades of research in the field of Joyce Studies, emphasizing the context and stakes of the shift from (a) post-structuralist criticism to (b) a focus on “Joyce’s engagements with the history, politics, and culture of his age” (Baines xx), and later to (c) genetic criticism. Baines’ account of the last 50 years of criticism and his suggestions for extended forms of dialogue between supposedly divergent critical/ theoretical orientations can easily be transposed, mutatis mutandis, to Beckett studies.
Guest post by Michelle E. Moore The exceptionally prolific writer Willa Cather was born on December 7, 1873 in Gore, Virginia. Her literary work blends fiction with documentary while spanning vast distances across geographies, relationships, and time. Her personal papers document a lifetime of relationships kept afloat by near constant letter writing, sometimes conducted as she traveled long distances by rail to visit friends and… Read More »
Guest post by Sabine Meyer Sometimes, someone that has been incredibly important to you, that has penetrated your very way of thinking and being becomes an indispensable thread of your own fabric, sneaking back into your life, again and again, reminding you of the role they play in your never-ending evolution. To me, Lili Ilse… Read More »
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about confinement.
How many steps from my desk to the fridge? (seven) How many from the fridge to the bathroom? (twelve) How many times per day do I track this route?
In October 1954, Samuel Beckett too was thinking of confinement. He was reading a letter from German prisoner Karl-Franz Lembke, who had translated, rehearsed and staged Beckett’s debut play, Waiting for Godot, behind bars. Beckett was clearly moved, as we can see in his response:
Guest post by Robert Spoo Let’s think about scarcity and law—a theme that I explore throughout Modernism and the Law. Laws seek to produce a kind of scarcity in many areas of human behavior and desire. Criminal libel laws, for example, were enforced to decrease the incidence of reputational attacks and, along with them, the… Read More »