James Baldwin Review (JBR) is an annual journal that brings together a
wide array of peer‐reviewed critical and creative non-fiction on the life, writings,
and legacy of James Baldwin. In addition to these cutting-edge contributions,
each issue contains a review of recent Baldwin scholarship and an award-winning
graduate student essay. James Baldwin Review publishes essays that
invigorate scholarship on James Baldwin; catalyze explorations of the literary,
political, and cultural influence of Baldwin’s writing and political activism;
and deepen our understanding and appreciation of this complex and luminary
This essay draws on James Baldwin’s ideas on race, immigration, and American identity to examine the experience of contemporary African immigrants in the United States. More Africans have come to the U.S. since 1965 than through the Middle Passage, and only now is their experience gaining the full creative and critical attention it merits. Since becoming American entails adopting the racial norms and sentiments of the U.S., I explore how African immigrants contend with the process of racialization that is part and parcel of the American experience. Drawing on Baldwin’s idea of blackness as an ethical category, I also consider the limits of the concept of Afropolitanism to characterize the new wave of African immigrants in the U.S.
This book provides a lucid, wide-ranging and up-to-date critical introduction to the writings of Hélène Cixous (1937–). Cixous is often considered ‘difficult’. Moreover she is extraordinarily prolific, having published dozens of books, essays, plays and other texts. Royle avoids any pretence of a comprehensive survey, instead offering a rich and diverse sampling. At once expository and playful, original and funny, this micrological approach enables a new critical understanding and appreciation of Cixous’s writing. If there is complexity in her work, Royle suggests, there is also uncanny simplicity and great pleasure. The book focuses on key motifs such as dreams, the supernatural, literature, psychoanalysis, creative writing, realism, sexual differences, laughter, secrets, the ‘Mother unconscious’, drawing, painting, autobiography as ‘double life writing’, unidentifiable literary objects (ULOs), telephones, non-human animals, telepathy and the ‘art of cutting’. Particular stress is given to Cixous’s work in relation to Sigmund Freud and Jacques Derrida, as well as to her importance in the context of ‘English literature’. There are close readings of Shakespeare, Emily Brontë, P. B. Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, Lewis Carroll, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, for example, alongside in-depth explorations of her own writings, from Inside (1969) and ‘The Laugh of the Medusa’ (1975) up to the present. Royle’s book will be of particular interest to students and academics coming to Cixous’s work for the first time, but it will also appeal to readers interested in contemporary literature, creative writing, life writing, narrative theory, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, feminism, queer theory, ecology, drawing and painting.
Environmental literary criticism, usually contracted to ecocriticism, has advanced considerably since the term was widely adopted in the 1980s and 1990s. This book considers examples of this advance across genres within literary studies and beyond into other creative forms. It explores the ecocritical implications of collaboration across genres in the humanities. The book also explores literary, artistic and performance production through direct collaboration between the creative disciplines and the sciences. It introduces the idea that the human denial of death has in part contributed to our approach to environmental crisis. The book argues that ecocriticism is a developing field, so attention must continue to be directed at reformulating thought in the (also) still unfolding aftermath of high theory. Examples of two poets' shared exploration show one's radical landscape poems side by side with the other's landscape drawings. Ecocritical ideas are integrated with the discussion of how this creative partnership has led to a body of work and the subsequent exhibitions and readings in which it has been taken to the public. One poet claims that to approach any art work ecocritically, it is necessary to bring to it some knowledge of current scientific thought regarding the biosphere. The book then explores poems about stones, on stones and stones which are the poem. The big environmental issues and Homo sapiens's problematic response to them evident in the mundane experience of day-to-day environments are discussed. Finally, the book talks about ecomusicology, past climate patterns, natural heritage interpretation, and photomontage in windfarm development.
Twenty-eight writers and performance poets were interviewed. Eight
of these could also be described as ‘cultural agents’ (CAs) in virtue of
their role as promoters or facilitators of the artists’ creative output. The
participants were ‘interviewed’ individually and were well known to the
‘interviewer’. The relationship between the interlocutors was as much
institutional in a sociologically discursive sense as it was personal. The
context ‘positioned’ them. Whilst positioning themselves in relation to
the interlocutor as individuals, they were knowingly fulfilling the
Contexts and intertexts
An examination of David Malouf’s overall writing career reveals
a remarkably continuous concern with encounters between
self and other. What most distinguishes his work is its strong
tendency to find in otherness (or alterity) the stimulus and
orientation for a creative unsettling of identity. The other, in
Malouf, does not typically enable a consolidation of selfhood,
nor does it unproductively impede or confuse identity formation.
Encounter with the other provokes creative self-transformation,
a self-overcoming, a becoming other than
also between the creative and the critical imagination. As both writer
and critic, A. S. Byatt is acutely aware of the formal and philosophical
difficulties that have bedevilled the realist project from the outset.
If she professes ‘a strong moral attachment to its values’,
such attachment is always already bound up with ‘a formal need to
comment on [these values’] fictiveness’ and a profound sense
traumatic loss, writing and subjective change is one that David L. Eng and David Kazanjian explore further in Loss: The Politics of Mourning (2003). They suggest that ‘avowals of and attachments to loss can produce a world of remains as a world of new representations and alternative meanings’. 3 In other words, the sense of subjective violation and transformation that occurs during the process of writing about loss can be creative, both for the writer and the writing itself. In this chapter I want to explore how, in her work in the 1960s and the early 1970s, Lessing
lies in a renewal of the bond between poetry and history, in a stress
on ‘a poetic form of presentation’.11 In this regard Curtius refers to the
Olson on history, in dialogue
French vitalist philosopher Henri Bergson as the only contemporary
philosopher to have tackled the problem of the creative imagination.
It is Bergson, Curtius asserts, who has shown that the fiction-making
function, the human drive to ‘make myths, stories, poems’, is necessary to life.12 In ‘The Gate and the Center’, Olson likewise
that both signified the continuing power
of nature in a world dominated by conceptions of ‘civilised society’, and
celebrated the ‘dark forest’ as an image of female physicality.
Overall, as Ford investigated the legacies of the Pre-Raphaelites and
his father in Ancient Lights, and revealed aspects of his creative unconscious in these positive fictions, Sorrell’s and Aldington’s selfexpression was seen to have its mirror in Ford’s own psychological
reclamation. I interpreted his visions and memories as betraying not
the typically modernist experience of ‘fractured