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Middlebrow Matters

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Book Series: Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures ISBN: 9781786941565 9781786949523 Year: Language: English
Publisher: Liverpool University Press Grant: Knowledge Unlatched - 102590
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-23 06:28:25
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Middlebrow is a derogatory word that connotes blandness, mediocrity and a failed aspiration to ‘high’ culture. However, when appropriated as a positive term to denote that wide swathe of literature between the challenging experimentalism of the high and the formulaic drive of the popular, it enables a rethinking of the literary canon from the point of view of what most readers actually read, a criterion curiously absent from dominant definitions of literary value. Since women have long formed a majority of the nation’s reading public, this perspective immediately feminises what has always been a very male canon. Opening with a theorisation of the concept of middlebrow that mounts a defence of some literary qualities disdained by modernism, the book then focuses on a series of case studies of periods (the Belle Époque, inter-war, early twenty-first century), authors (including Colette, Irène Nemirovsky, Françoise Sagan, Anna Gavalda) and the middlebrow nature of literary prizes.

Black Love, Black Hate

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ISBN: 9780814213865 9780814255032 Year: Language: English
Publisher: The Ohio State University Press Grant: Knowledge Unlatched - 103023
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2019-03-16 11:21:02
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Felice D. Blake’s Black Love, Black Hate: Intimate Antagonisms in African American Literature highlights the pervasive representations of intraracial deceptions, cruelties, and contempt in Black literature. Literary criticism has tended to focus on Black solidarity and the ways that a racially linked fate has compelled Black people to counter notions of Black inferiority with unified notions of community driven by political commitments to creative rehumanization and collective affirmation. Blake shows how fictional depictions of intraracial conflict perform necessary work within the Black community, raising questions about why racial unity is so often established from the top down and how loyalty to Blackness can be manipulated to reinforce deleterious forms of subordination to oppressive gender, sexual, and class norms.

Migrating Fictions

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ISBN: 9780814213582 Year: Language: English
Publisher: The Ohio State University Press Grant: Knowledge Unlatched - 100797
Added to DOAB on : 2018-03-16 11:02:30
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In Migrating Fictions, Manzella turns to U.S. Women’s literature that represents internal migrations in the US in the twentieth century. This project situates itself within the “spatial turn” of literary studies to analyze the way the U.S has displayed a history of spatial colonization, which we see as a pattern we turn to a variety of seemingly disconnected forced migrations. With chapters that focus on migrations related the Dust Bowl, the Great Migration, the migration of peoples placed in Japanese American internment camps, and the migration of Southwestern migrant labor, Manzella makes some fascinating connections across narratives that would not typically be brought together. Ultimately, this project lays bare the oppressive practices of U.S. policy and reveals the resistance individual groups accessed as they completed these internal migrations.

Frères Ennemis

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ISBN: 9781786941329 978786949356 Year: Language: English
Publisher: Liverpool University Press Grant: Knowledge Unlatched - 102591
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-23 06:28:25
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Frères Ennemis ocuses on Franco-American tensions as portrayed in works of literature. An Introduction is followed by nine chapters, each focused on a French or American literary text which shows the evolution/devolution of the relations between the two nations at a particular point in time. While the heart of the analysis consists of close textual readings, social, cultural and political contexts are introduced to provide a better understanding of the historical reality influencing the individual novels, a reality to which these novels are also responding. Chapters One through Five, covering a period from the mid-1870s to the end of the Cold War, discuss significant aspects of the often fraught relationship from the theoretical perspective of Roland Barthes’ theory of modern myth, described in his Mythologies. Barthes’ theory helps situate Franco-American tensions in a paradigmatic structure, while at the same time it is supple enough to allow for shifts and reversals within the paradigm. Subsequent chapters explore new French attitudes toward the powerful, potentially dominant influence of American culture on French life. In these sections I argue that recent French fiction displays more openness to the American experience than has existed in the past, and as such contrasts with the more static American approach to French culture.

Affective Intellectuals and the Space of Catastrophe in the Americas

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ISBN: 9780814213780 9780814254950 Year: Language: English
Publisher: The Ohio State University Press Grant: Knowledge Unlatched - 103024
Subject: Sociology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-03-16 11:21:02
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Most importantly, the book shows how literature constitutes an alternative public sphere for Black people. In a society largely controlled by white supremacist actors and institutions, Black authors have conjured fiction into a space where hard questions can be asked and answered and where the work of combatting collective, racist suppression can occur without replicating oppressive hierarchies. Intimate Antagonisms uncovers a key theme in Black fiction and argues that literature itself is a vital institutional site within Black life. Through the examination of intimate conflicts in a wide array of twentieth- and twenty-first-century novels, Blake demonstrates the centrality of intraracial relations to the complexity and vision of Black social movements and liberation struggles and the power and promise of Black narrative in reshaping struggle.

Tar for Mortar: "The Library of Babel" and the Dream of Totality

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ISBN: 9781947447509 9781947447516 Year: Pages: 106 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0196.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:31
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Tar for Mortar offers an in-depth exploration of one of literature’s greatest tricksters, Jorge Luis Borges. His short story “The Library of Babel” is a signature examplar of this playfulness, though not merely for the inverted world it imagines, where a library thought to contain all possible permutations of all letters and words and books is plumbed by pious librarians looking for divinely pre-fabricated truths. One must grapple as well with the irony of Borges’s narration, which undermines at every turn its narrator’s claims of the library’s universality, including the very possibility of exhausting meaning through combinatory processing. Borges directed readers to his non-fiction to discover the true author of the idea of the universal library. But his supposedly historical essays are notoriously riddled with false references and self-contradictions. Whether in truth or in fiction, Borges never reaches a stable conclusion about the atomic premises of the universal library — is it possible to find a character set capable of expressing all possible meaning, or do these letters, like his stories and essays, divide from themselves in a restless incompletion? While many readers of Borges see him as presaging our digital technologies, they often give too much credit to our inventions in doing so. Those who elide the necessary incompletion of the Library of Babel compare it to the Internet on the assumption that both are total archives of all possible thought and expression. Though Borges’s imaginings lend themselves to digital creativity (libraryofbabel.info is certainly evidence of this), they do so by showing the necessary incompleteness of every totalizing project, no matter how technologically refined. Ultimately, Basile nudges readers toward the idea that a fictional/imaginary exposition can hold a certain power over technology

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2018 (6)