elsewhere in these novels; Raman in The Painter of Signs pursues an occupation that is equally involved with representation and takes pride in his calligraphy, even though drawing sometimes has to take precedence over writing in his case; Srinivas in Mr Sampath is a publisher. Raju in The Guide (1958) finds himself transformed from a tourist guide into a supposed spiritual guide and Sriram in Waiting for the Mahatma (1955) follows an altruistic quasi-spiritual path in his devotion to the Gandhian ethic. Margayya in The Financial Expert (1952) and Jagan, the protagonist of
calls into question the ability to re-present atrocity. More specifically, I want to closely examine how artistic silence and narrative breakdown in texts by Northern Irish writers and visual artists often result from an unwillingness to respond to atrocity due to the need to remain ‘expertly civil tongued’,4 from a perception that art lacks efficacy in (what is perceived to be) a cyclical, pre-ordained conflict, and from a sense of being at a disabling temporal, cultural or spatial distance 9780719075636_4_017.qxd 288 16/2/09 9:30 AM Page 288 After words from
them experts at the paradoxical art of ‘act[ing] natural’ – inspired in audiences (Wallace, 1997 : 25). Much of Wallace's analysis of performance, especially in the fiction, meshes with his mid-career concern for irony and sincerity – in effect concerns with (mere) performance and its presumed opposite, authenticity – and the ways abundant, highly cultivated media self-presentations infiltrated the minds of average people, distorting sex, beauty, politics, and so on. As a summary line says in ‘E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction’, ‘Can we deny connections
In 1872, a young archaeologist at the British Museum made a tremendous discovery. While he was working his way through a Mesopotamian ‘slush pile’, George Smith, a self-taught expert in ancient languages, happened upon a Babylonian version of Noah’s Flood. His research suggested this ‘Deluge Tablet’ pre-dated the writing of Genesis by a millennium or more. Smith went on to translate what later became The Epic of Gilgamesh, perhaps the oldest and most complete work of literature from any culture. Against the backdrop of innovative readings of a range of paintings, novels, histories and photographs (by figures like Dickens, Eliot, James, Dyce, Turner, Macaulay and Carlyle), this book demonstrates the Gordian complexity of the Victorians’ relationship with history, while also seeking to highlight the Epic’s role in influencing models of time in late-Victorian geology. Discovering Gilgamesh will be of interest to readers, students and researchers in literary studies, Victorian studies, history, intellectual history, art history and archaeology.
The Wood Engravers’ Self-Portrait focuses on the Dalziel Brothers, the leading image-makers of Victorian Britain. It is the first major study of the Dalziels, combining expert archival research with a radical methodology: it incorporates detailed examination of printmaking techniques, a focus on word–image relations in illustration, and a creative-critical approach to theory. Between 1839 and 1893, Dalziel Brothers made around 54,000 illustrations. These range from works of global influence – such as the illustrations to Lewis Carroll’s Alice books, novels by Charles Dickens, and landmark Pre-Raphaelite prints – to intricate and fascinating unknown works, ranging from brilliant scientific illustrations to keep-fit diagrams and Cadbury’s advertisements. The Wood Engravers’ Self-Portrait tells the multifarious stories of the Dalziel artists and employees; these were discovered by Stevens during an AHRC-funded fellowship, in partnership with the British Museum, where she catalogued the Dalziels’ unique archive for the first time. This book is the culmination of knowledge gathered through this project. As well as exploring the Dalziel family and the works they made, this study addresses the challenges of uncovering and understanding creative work made by low-paid and supposedly mechanical artists (such as the precarious freelance engravers hired by Dalziel). It investigates the image firm’s role in shaping aspects of Victorian culture that continue to have a strong and ambivalent legacy, from the fast and wide circulation of wood engravings to the visualisation of gendered and imperialist texts. It proposes a widely applicable theoretical framework for the study of mass print culture and word-image relations.
This book is about science in theatre and performance. It explores how theatre and performance engage with emerging scientific themes from artificial intelligence to genetics and climate change. The book covers a wide range of performance forms from the spectacle of the Paralympics Opening Ceremony to Broadway musicals, from experimental contemporary performance and opera to educational theatre, Somali poetic drama and grime videos. It features work by pioneering companies including Gob Squad, Headlong Theatre and Theatre of Debate as well as offering fresh analysis of global blockbusters such as Wicked and Urinetown. The book offers detailed description and analysis of theatre and performance practices as well as broader commentary on the politics of theatre as public engagement with science. It documents important examples of collaborative practice with extended discussion of the Theatre of Debate process developed by Y Touring theatre company, exploration of bilingual theatre-making in East London and an account of how grime MCs and dermatologists ended up making a film together in Birmingham. The interdisciplinary approach draws on contemporary research in theatre and performance studies in combination with key ideas from science studies. It shows how theatre can offer important perspectives on what the philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers has called ‘cosmopolitics’. The book argues that theatre can flatten knowledge hierarchies and hold together different ways of knowing.
Responding to the resurgence of verbatim theatre that emerged in Britain, Australia, the United States and other parts of the world in the early 1990s, this book offers one of the first sustained, critical engagements with contemporary verbatim, documentary and testimonial dramaturgies. Offering a new reading of the history of the documentary and verbatim theatre form, the book relocates verbatim and testimonial theatre away from discourses of the real and representations of reality and instead argues that these dramaturgical approaches are better understood as engagements with forms of truth-telling and witnessing. Examining a range of verbatim and testimonial plays from different parts of the world, the book develops new ways of understanding the performance of testimony and considers how dramaturgical theatre can bear witness to real events and individual and communal injustice through the re-enactment of personal testimony. Through its interrogation of different dramaturgical engagements with acts of witnessing, the book identifies certain forms of testimonial theatre that move beyond psychoanalytical accounts of trauma and reimagine testimony and witnessing as part of a decolonised project that looks beyond event-based trauma, addressing instead the experience of suffering wrought by racism and other forms of social injustice.
At a time when monolingualist claims for the importance of ‘speaking English’ to the national order continue louder than ever, even as language diversity is increasingly part of contemporary British life, literature becomes a space to consider the terms of linguistic belonging. Bad English examines writers including Tom Leonard, James Kelman, Suhayl Saadi, Raman Mundair, Daljit Nagra, Xiaolu Guo, Leila Aboulela, Brian Chikwava, and Caroline Bergvall, who engage multilingually, experimentally, playfully, and ambivalently with English’s power. Considering their invented vernaculars and mixed idioms, their dramatised scenes of languaging – languages learned or lost, acts of translation, scenes of speaking, the exposure and racialised visibility of accent – it argues for a growing field of contemporary literature in Britain pre-eminently concerned with language’s power dynamics, its aesthetic potentialities, and its prosthetic strangeness. Drawing on insights from applied linguistics and translation studies as well as literary scholarship, Bad English explores contemporary arguments about language in Britain – in debates about citizenship or education, in the media or on Twitter, in Home Office policy and asylum legislation – as well as the ways they are taken up in literature. It uncovers both an antagonistic and a productive interplay between language politics and literary form, tracing writers’ articulation of linguistic alienation and ambivalence, as well as the productivity and making-new of radical language practices. Doing so, it refutes the view that language difference and language politics are somehow irrelevant to contemporary Britain and instead argues for their constitutive centrality to the work of novelists and poets whose inside/outside relationship to English in its institutionalised forms is the generative force of their writing.
Ralph Knevet's Supplement of the Faery Queene (1635) is a narrative and allegorical work, which weaves together a complex collection of tales and episodes, featuring knights, ladies, sorcerers, monsters, vertiginous fortresses and deadly battles – a chivalric romp in Spenser's cod medieval style. The poem shadows recent English history, and the major military and political events of the Thirty Years War. But the Supplement is also an ambitiously intertextual poem, weaving together materials from mythic, literary, historical, scientific, theological, and many other kinds of written sources. Its encyclopaedic ambitions combine with Knevet's historical focus to produce an allegorical epic poem of considerable interest and power.
This new edition of Knevet's Supplement, the first scholarly text of the poem ever published, situates it in its literary, historical, biographical, and intellectual contexts. An extensive introduction and copious critical commentary, positioned at the back of the book, will enable students and scholars alike to access Knevet's complicated and enigmatic meanings, structures, and allusions.
In its contributions to the study of material social differences, queer theoretical writing has mostly assumed that any ideas which embody 'difference' are valuable. More than this, where it is invoked in contemporary theory, queerness is often imagined as synonymous with difference itself. This book uncovers an alternative history in queer cultural representation. Through engagement with works from a range of queer literary genres from across the long twentieth century – fin-de-siècle aestheticism, feminist speculative fiction, lesbian middle-brow writing, and the tradition of the stud file – the book elucidates a number of formal and thematic attachments to ideas that have been denigrated in queer theory for their embodiment of sameness: uselessness, normativity, reproduction and reductionism. Exploring attachments to these ideas in queer culture is also the occasion for a broader theoretical intervention: Same Old suggests, counterintuitively, that the aversion they inspire may be of a piece with how homosexuality has been denigrated in the modern West as a misguided orientation towards sameness. Combining queer cultural and literary history, sensitive close readings and detailed genealogies of theoretical concepts, Same Old encourages a fundamental rethinking of some of the defining positions in queer thought.