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This book offers a comprehensive account of the absurd in prose fiction. As well as providing a basis for courses on absurdist literature (whether in fiction or in drama), it offers a broadly based philosophical background. Sections covering theoretical approaches and an overview of the historical literary antecedents to the ‘modern’ absurd introduce the largely twentieth-century core chapters. In addition to discussing a variety of literary movements (from Surrealism to the Russian OBERIU), the book offers detailed case studies of four prominent exponents of the absurd: Franz Kafka, Samuel Beckett, Daniil Kharms and Flann O'Brien. There is also wide discussion of other English-language and European contributors to the phenomenon of the absurd.

This book collects eleven original essays in the cultural history of the British Empire since the eighteenth century. It is geographically capacious, taking in the United Kingdom, India, West Africa, Hong Kong, and Australia, as well as sites of informal British influence such as the Ottoman Empire and southern China.

The book considers the ways in which British culture circulated within what John Darwin has called the British “world system”. In this, the book builds on existing imperial scholarship while innovating in several ways: it focuses on the movement of ideas and cultural praxis, whereas Darwin has focused mostly on imperial structures —financial, demographic, and military. The book examines the transmission, reception, and adaptation of British culture in the Metropole, the empire and informal colonial spaces, whereas many recent scholars have considered British imperial influence on the Metropole alone. It examines Britain's Atlantic and Asian imperial experiences from the eighteenth to the twentieth century together.

Through focusing on political ideology, literary movements, material culture, marriage, and the construction of national identities, the essays demonstrate the salience of culture in making a “British World”.

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Seán O’Faoláin and the generation of The Bell

Rebel by Vocation: Seán O’Faoláin and the Generation of The Bell tells the story of O’Faoláin and The Bell through the characters and writers that surrounded its offices in Dublin. It is the emergence of a post-independence national character that The Bell best embodies and this theme will be examined throughout the monograph to produce the first comprehensive ‘biography’ of this seminal literary journal, focussing on the dominant personality in its early years in Seán O’Faoláin with important excursions into the lives of the other principal contributors. It is based on exciting new archival research on O’Faoláin and his co-editor Peadar O’Donnell, who drew around them a generation of diverse and talented writers in The Bell that flourished in the shadows of W.B. Yeats and James Joyce. Drawing comparisons with other literary movements in America and the United Kingdom, this work shows the early influences on O’Faoláin’s writing during the first half of the twentieth century and reveals the complexity of his thought on topics as varied as religion, censorship, the Irish novel and republicanism. This book will challenge the accepted thesis that lauds O’Faoláin and The Bell as the voice of an independent, intellectual, and cultural elite in Ireland, and complicates the received wisdom on its relationship to censorship, the church, and the state.

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Marlow, realism, hermeneutics
Paul Wake

This chapter begins by contextualising the Charlie Marlow texts, considering them in terms of their original publication in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine and explores them in relation to Victorian realism and modernist experimentation. It situates Joseph Conrad's work at the intersection of Victorianism and modernism, a literary-historical context that introduces the possibility of approaching the two literary movements in terms of their points of similarity rather than in their points of divergence. In making this argument, the discussion approaches the Marlow texts in terms of a narrative hermeneutics that emerges from the work of Ricoeur and Kermode and which is concerned with the manner in which literary narratives approach the representation of truth. Charlie Marlow; Victorian realism; Joseph Conrad; modernist experimentation; narrative hermeneutics; Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine

in Conrad’s Marlow
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Par Kumaraswami
Antoni Kapcia
, and
Meesha Nehru

small groupings, the symbolic spaces of literary movements or generations, the physical space of homes, local cultural centres and national networks of institutions – have not only offered protection to individuals against the ‘crushing’ collective of ideological commitment and service to politics, although at times of greatest crisis, they have undoubtedly served this function. More importantly, this network of informal and formal, real and symbolic spaces, have offered the individual ways of defining their relationship to the collective, and have assumed a special

in Literary culture in Cuba
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Reading Lawrence Weiner
Katie L. Price

explicitly querying the relationship between possible futures, material realities and grammatical structures. In an attempt to reconcile these three trajectories – imaginative possibility, potential as a material property of objects, and the subjunctive mood – this essay stages conversations between representative works in Weiner’s oeuvre and various texts and literary movements with which they share formal affinities. I recognise that this methodology goes against the artist’s career-long insistence that his works be discussed within the discourse of sculpture, but

in Mixed messages
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David Annwn Jones

, Gothic jewellery, ephemera such as posters and Frankenstein toys with ‘Gothic’ used to signify artistic and literary movements of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries? Do such artefacts and events in fact degrade, distort or blur Gothic traditions? In 2014 , I asked Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes of the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies whether he interpreted events such as rock performances and dance previously marginalised

in Gothic effigy
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Dorothea Tanning’s critical writing
Catriona McAra

. Indeed, given her longevity, Tanning became a reluctant spokesperson for several artistic and literary movements. Yet Tanning's writing does more, revealing a sharp critical thinker as well as an important contributor to experimental literary forms. For example, through her niece Mimi Johnson, Tanning became a supporter of the conceptual writer and performer Constance DeJong who set up Standard Editions, financed by Tanning, in order to self-publish DeJong's Modern Love (1977) and an earlier version of Tanning's Chasm manuscript entitled Abyss

in Surrealist women’s writing
Andrew Lynch

children … to the remotest generations.13 Henry Innes maintains that ‘Chaucer was a church reformer and espoused the principles of John WICKLIFFE’, as shown by the fact that he ‘thrashed a Friar in Fleet Street’.14 Thomas Arnold distinguishes Wyclif and Chaucer as ‘two literary movements’, but pairs them in spirit: ‘Admirable as Chaucer was, it must not be forgotten that Wyclif was yet more in the thick of the intellectual strife of the period than he’.15 Less carefully, and still following William Godwin’s very inaccurate but influential Life (1804),16 ‘H. W. D.’ could

in Contemporary Chaucer across the centuries
Frederick H. White

the influence of German pessimism in the life and works of Andreev and yet, the ideas of Schopenhauer and Hartmann were certainly no more widespread or personally relevant to the author than the popular discourse concerning mental illness and the devolution of Russian society. Literary movements The influence of degeneration theory on cultural and artistic production, particularly literature, was quite widespread at the beginning of the twentieth century. A partial list of leading authors and important works of the time gives a sense of its scope: Joseph Conrad

in Degeneration, decadence and disease in the Russian fin de siècle