Julia Kavanagh was a popular and internationally published writer of the mid-nineteenth century whose collective body of work included fiction, biography, critical studies of French and English women writers, and travel writing. This critically engaged study presents her as a significant but neglected writer and returns her to her proper place in the history of women's writing. Through an examination of Kavanagh's work, letters and official documents, it paints a portrait of a woman who achieved not simply a necessary economic independence, but a means through which she could voice the convictions of her sexual politics in her work. The study addresses the current enthusiasm for the reclamation of neglected women writers, and also brings to light material that might otherwise have remained unknown to the specialist.
An art is emancipated and emancipating when it renounces the authority of the imposed message, the target audience, and the univocal mode of emancipating the world, when, in other words, it stops wanting to emancipate us. (Rancière, 2007 : 258)
One of the great unresolved mysteries of Genet’s career is his steadfast refusal to admit that his plays are politically motivated, even though they deal with some of the most inflammatory political material staged in modern theatre. In broad terms, Genet’s ‘abrasiveness’, to borrow a word from
Jean Genet has long been regarded as one of the most influential artists of the
twentieth century. Since the publication of Jean-Paul Sartre's existential
biography Saint Genet: Actor and Martyr in 1952, his writing has attracted the
attention of leading French thinkers and philosophers. In the UK and US, his
work has played a major role in the development of queer and feminist studies,
where his representation of sexuality and gender continues to provoke
controversy. This book aims to argue for Genet's influence once again, but
it does so by focusing uniquely on the politics of his late theatre. The first
part of the book explores the relationship between politics and aesthetics in
Genet's theatre and political writing in the period 1955 to 1986. The
second part focuses on the spatial politics of The Balcony, The Blacks and The
Screens by historicising them within the processes of modernisation and
decolonisation in France of the 1950s and 1960s. The third part of the book
analyses how Genet's radical spatiality works in practice by interviewing
key contemporary practitioners, Lluís Pasqual, JoAnne Akalaitis, and Ultz and
Excalibah. The rationale behind these interviews is to find a way of merging
past and present. The rationale so explores why Genet's late theatre,
although firmly rooted within its own political and historical landscape,
retains its relevance for practitioners working within different geographical
and historical contexts today.
’s influence once again, but it does so by focusing uniquely on the politics of his late theatre. Unlike those anthologists who continue to define him, erroneously, as an absurdist theatre maker, I intend to argue for Genet as a revolutionary playwright by engaging with, and building on, the uncompromising political readings that have started to emerge in Genet scholarship in France, the UK and the USA in the past decade. 2
Writing at the dawn of the new millennium, the French novelist and critic Marie Redonnet has no doubts about the burning relevance of Genet’s political
The politics of Middle English parables examines the dynamic intersection of fiction, theology, and social practice in translated Gospel stories. Parables occupy a prominent place in Middle English literature, appearing in dream visions and story collections as well as in lives of Christ and devotional treatises. While most scholarship approaches these scriptural stories as stable vehicles of Christian teachings, this book characterises Gospel parables as ambiguous, riddling stories that invited audience interpretation and inspired the construction of new, culturally inflected narratives. In parables related to labour, social inequality, charity, and penance, the book locates a creative theological discourse through which writers reconstructed scriptural stories and, in doing so, attempted to shape Christian belief and practice. Analysis of these diverse retellings reveals not what a given parable meant in a definitive sense but rather how Middle English parables inscribe the ideologies, power structures, and cultural debates of late medieval Christianity.
Examining Alfred Hitchcock‘s Rebecca in terms of the Gothic convention of non-realist doubled and split characters, this essay argues that the slippage of desire between characters, male as well as female, complicates the containment of the dead Rebecca and whatever she represents. Although the splitting of the female protagonist into the unnamed heroine, the ghostly Rebecca and her surrogate Mrs Danvers has been extensively discussed, the use of this strategy as it concerns the male characters has been less often noticed. The replication of the male protagonist, Maxim, by two other male characters at once deepens him psychologically and contaminates him with ghostliness. These two conflicting manoeuvres strengthen his connection with both his wives, the dead as much as the living. But even while the treatment of Maxim empowers Rebecca and her successor, the movie‘s depiction of male bonding invites a questioning of the extent of female agency.
This article provides a reading of gender politics in cyberpunk, drawing upon the Gothic, the cyborg and the (post)feminist subject. This reading is effected through an account of the ass-kicking techno-babe, a crucial component of the masculine strand of cyberpunk which valorises a masculinity and technology dialectic and draws upon film noir, with its hardboiled detectives and monstrous femmes fatales. From Molly Million‘s in Neuromancer to Y.T. in Neal Stephenson‘s Snow Crash (1992) and Trinity in Andy and Larry Wachowski‘s Matrix trilogy (1999–2003), this figure of the femme fatale demonstrates that the (post)feminist project of the ass-kicking techno-babe has found a home in the Gothic aesthetics of the noir-inf(l)ected genre of cyberpunk. The account of how hyper-sexualised cyborgic female bodies are positioned in contrast with the repressed bodies of male hackers reveals the destabilising conundrum of supposed agency contained by the determinacy of the (post)feminist body.
Aesthetics and politics: between
Adorno and Heidegger
Antinomies of reason
The alignments of T. W. Adorno to the protracted, diﬃcult process of coming to
terms with a broken Marxist inheritance and of Martin Heidegger to the Nazi politics of rethinking the human might seem to leave them at opposite non-communicating poles of political diﬀerence.1 Their views on aesthetics seem similarly starkly
opposed, in terms both of judgements and of the place of aesthetics within the philosophical pantheon. Aesthetic theory for Adorno marks out a domain of
experience – a council estate, a mother, a father, a lost job. Very few writers had the courage or even the energy to bite off a big chunk of the universe and chew it over. Very few showed any linguistic or formal innovation. Many were dulled, and therefore dull. (SAL, 38)
Putting aside discussion of whether this assessment of British fiction in the late 1980s is accurate, it is clear that Rushdie means to contrast the perceived timidity of this later generation with the political robustness and aesthetic intrepidity of his own. Emerging from the