Literature for Europe?

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Book 61
Rodopi
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In Literature for Europe? leading scholars from around Europe reflect on the role played by literature, and by the study of literature, in the constant re-negotiation and re-construction of cultural identities in Europe implied by the accession to the European Union, in the early years of the twenty-first century, of fifteen new member states, with the accession of a number of Balkan states impending, and Turkey waiting in the wings, while at the same time transatlantic relations of the EU to the USA are hotly debated, in politics as in culture, China and India awake as economic giants, and globalization is upon us. At the same time, two of the earliest signatories to the treaties eventually leading to the European Union rejected a proposal for a European Constitution, and linguistic, religious, and ethnic dividing lines show even in some of Europe's oldest nation states. How do literary texts, genres, and forms, thinking about them and teaching them, respond to and shape ongoing processes of European self-understanding in our era of globalization? The volume seeks to answer these questions by charting key developments in a number of fields crucial to the emergence of a European common literary “space”: literature and cultural value systems, literature and cultural memory, literary history, translation, the impact of the new media and the information age on matters of literature and identity, and the impact of the postcolonial.Literature for Europe? is a thought-provoking tour d'horizon of cutting-edge developments in the relationship between literary studies and “the matter of Europe,” and suggesting an exciting agenda for literary studies in Europe. It will be of interest to everyone working in European studies and/or European literature.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Rodopi
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Published on
Dec 31, 2009
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Pages
437
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ISBN
9789042027169
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / General
Literary Criticism / European / General
Literary Criticism / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Most of the essays in this volume developed from a series of lectures on the forms and functions of theatre in different cultures, and correspondences between them, organized by the Leiden University Department of Theatre and Film Studies. Some contributions to this volume discuss origins, forms and functions of theatre in the Far and in the Middle East, as well as how in some cases the contemporary theatre in these cultures have managed to incorporate Western theatrical elements into their local traditions. Other articles consider how such twentieth-century Western dramatists as Yeats, Brecht and Beckett have been inspired by Asian theatre forms; how Western theatre-goers have misunderstood the true nature of Russian drama; how the inspiration of the best known of those Russian playwrights has manifested itself in the work of an American film-maker; and how African dance has helped to reshape North Atlantic modern and post-modern choreography. Thus this collection is arranged to take the reader on a journey of discovery, or possibly recovery, from China to Japan, from India to Africa, from Iran to Turkey, to Russia and finally from Moscow to Manhattan. Theatre Intercontinental will be of value to scholars, teachers and students with an interest in how theatre manifests itself in various cultures, how it originated, what needs it fulfils and how it is affected by cross-cultural influences. It provides a few tentative conclusions, some thought provoking questions and, we hope, the stimulus to compare the issues raised here with theatrical cultures not covered by this book.
The contributors to the present volume, in espousing and extending the programme of such writers as Edward Said, Benedict Anderson, Homi Bhabha, and Gayatri Spivak, lay bare the genealogy of 'writing' empire (thereby, in a sense, 'un-writing' it). One focus is the Caribbean: the retrograde agenda of francophone créolité; the re-writing of empire in the postmodern disengagement of Edouard Glissant; resistance to post-colonial allegiances, and the dissolving of binary categories, in contemporary West Indian writing. Essays on India, Malaysia, and Indonesia explore various aspects of cultural self-understanding in Asia: un-writing high culture through hybrid 'shopping' among Western styles; the use of indigenous oral forms to counter Western hegemony; romantic and anti-romantic attitudes towards empire and the land. A shift to Africa brings a study of Nadine Gordimer's feminist un-writing of Hemingway's masculinist colonising narrative, a searching analysis of Soyinka's restoration of ancient syncretic elements in his West African re-visions of Greek tragedy, changing evaluations of the validity of European civilization in André Gide's representations of Africa, and tensions of linguistic allegiance in Maghreb literature. North America, finally, is brought back into the imperial fold through discussions of Melville's re-writing of travel and captivity narratives to critique the mission of American empire, Leslie Marmon Silko's re-territorialization of expropriated Native American oral traditions, and Timothy Findley's representation of Canada's troubled involvement with its three shaping empires (French, British, American).
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