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Alexandra Warwick

This article examines the prevalence of Gothic in contemporary culture and criticism. It suggests that the description Gothic’ has become widespread in the aftermath of Derrida‘s work Spectres of Marx and that this threatens to undermine Gothics usefulness as a critical category. In examining contemporary culture it identifies the notions of trauma and mourning in the popular imagination as having contributed to a condition where Gothic no longer expresses the anxiety of the fragmented subject, but reaches towards a valorisation of damaged subjectivity.

Gothic Studies
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Author: Nicholas Royle

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.

Jeremy Tambling

. Derrida, Lacan and writing Derrida discussed Lacan’s reading of ‘The Purloined Letter’ in the essay ‘Le Facteur de la Vérité’ (Derrida, 1987: 413–96). He accuses Lacan of framing Poe’s story to produce his own meaning: by omitting from his triangular structure the fourth voice which narrates, and which has another vision from the ones already discussed

in Literature and psychoanalysis
Simon Wortham

? It is dead! I tell you it’s dead! … I’m totally convinced that deconstruction started dying from the very first day. Jacques Derrida, ‘As if I were dead’ 1 If it were possible to separate the two (as Baudrillard claims, and Derrida does not) I

in Rethinking the university
Nicholas Royle

enchantment and enchancement, fate and (in Freud’s phrase) ‘a kind of magic’, perhaps, and above all the fairy or demon of literary fiction . 1 As Derrida comments, with respect to the fort-da movement of Beyond the Pleasure Principle : ‘ “literary fiction” … already watches over, like a fairy or demon [ comme une fée ou un demon ], the structure of the fort:da , its scene of writing or of inheritance in dissemination’. 2 It watches over everything, it watches, it wakes, to awake: fairyground analysis. They’re not interested in resting inter or transitioning, in

in Hélène Cixous
W. G. Sebald’s Die Ausgewanderten
Dora Osborne

just by photographs, but also by oil paintings, frescoes, postcards, scaledrawings and sketches. In the proliferation of visual elements, the reader as viewer seems to be denied access to a comprehensive image of the emigrants themselves and is drawn instead into a relay between partial images. For their movement between revelation and obscurity, Sebald’s Die Ausgewanderten might also be called ‘memoirs of the blind’. This supplementary sub-heading takes its cue from Derrida’s Memoirs of the Blind: The Self-Portrait and Other Ruins, a text indebted to images and

in A literature of restitution
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Textual spectrality and Finnegans Wake
Matthew Schultz

Introduction: Textual spectrality and Finnegans Wake ‘Why this hunt for ghosts?’ (Jacques Derrida, Specters of Marx) The October 2010 special issue of PMLA – Literary Criticism for the Twenty-First Century – assembled a collection of shorter essays that forecast possible paradigm shifts in literary criticism. In the introductory essay, Jonathan Culler aptly notes a salient feature appearing throughout the issue: ‘the motif of return: return to rhetoric, a return to thematics, a return to textual criticism…’1 As it mines contributors’ varied attempts to sketch

in Haunted historiographies
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The art of memory
Simon Wortham

history and of memory insofar as it relates to the institution of the institution. In ‘The art of memoires’ , the second in a series of three lectures given in memory of Paul de Man, Derrida draws attention to de Man’s strong reading of Hegel’s Aesthetics . Here are found difficult and discontinuous elements that, as de Man puts it, ‘cannot be

in Rethinking the university
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Walking on two feet
Simon Wortham

The aim of this book, baldly put, is to explore and develop key critical debates in the humanities in recent times (concerning, for example, postmodernism, new historicism, political criticism, cultural studies, interdisciplinarity, and deconstruction) in the context of the legitimation crisis widely felt to be facing academic institutions, using Derrida’s idea of leverage

in Rethinking the university
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Nicholas Royle

culture is in the process of being undermined by millions of a species of mole never recognised before. [ Or nous vivons justement cette époque où l’assise conceptuelle d’une culture millénaire est en train d’être sapée par des millions d’une espèce de taupe encore jamais reconnue. ] 6 In the process of being undermined: en train , as she says in French. Like Derrida, I find she was there already, as in an experience of déjà vu , beside oneself, seeing double in the mental field, diplopia underwater, I’m still trying to catch or hold my breath, unclear whether she

in Hélène Cixous