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Three lives of the chess-player in medieval and early-modern literature
John Sharples

1 Sinner, melancholic, and animal: three lives of the chess-player in medieval and early-modern literature At the margins From the arrival of chess in medieval Europe, the chess-player was a troubling figure, raising issues concerning sin, leisure, intellect, and emotion. The assumed Islamic origins of the game and its associations with a number of vices related to play pushed the chess-player into a marginal space in a society defined by Christian regulation and authority. Yet, in parallel, the chess-player and the game found secure footings within highly

in A cultural history of chess-players
Minds, machines, and monsters

A chess-player is not simply one who plays chess just as a chess piece is not simply a wooden block. Shaped by expectations and imaginations, the figure occupies the centre of a web of a thousand radiations where logic meets dream, and reason meets play. This book aspires to a novel reading of the figure as both a flickering beacon of reason and a sign of monstrosity. It is underpinned by the idea that the chess-player is a pluralistic subject used to articulate a number of anxieties pertaining to themes of mind, machine, and monster. The history of the cultural chess-player is a spectacle, a collision of tradition and recycling, which rejects the idea of the statuesque chess-player. The book considers three lives of the chess-player. The first as sinner (concerning behavioural and locational contexts), as a melancholic (concerning mind-bending and affective contexts), and as animal (concerning cognitive aspects and the idea of human-ness) from the medieval to the early-modern within non-fiction. The book then considers the role of the chess-player in detective fiction from Edgar Allan Poe to Raymond Chandler, contrasting the perceived relative intellectual reputation and social utility of the chess-player and the literary detective. IBM's late-twentieth-century supercomputer Deep Blue, Wolfgang von Kempelen's 1769 Automaton Chess-Player and Garry Kasparov's 1997 defeat are then examined. The book examines portrayals of the chess-player within comic-books of the mid-twentieth century, considering themes of monstrous bodies, masculinities, and moralities. It focuses on the concepts of the child prodigy, superhero, and transhuman.

New writers, new literatures in the 1990s
Editors: and

The 1990s witnessed an explosion in women's writing in France, with a particularly exciting new generation of writer's coming to the fore, such as Christine Angot, Marie Darrieussecq and Regine Detambel. This book introduces an analysis of new women's writing in contemporary France, including both new writers of the 1990s and their more established counter-parts. The 1990s was an exciting period for women's writing in France. The novels of Louise Lambrichs are brilliant but troubling psychological dramas focusing on the traumas that inhabit the family romance: incest, sterility, the death those we love and the terrible legacy of mourning. The body of writing produced by Marie Redonnet between 1985 and 2000 is an unusually coherent one. The book explores the possibility of writing 'de la mélancolie' through focusing on the work of Chantal Chawaf, whose writing may be described as 'melancholic autofiction', melancholic autobiographical fiction. It places Confidence pour confidence within Constant's oeuvre as a whole, and argues for a more positive reading of the novel, a reading that throws light on the trajectory of mother-daughter relations in her fiction. Christiane Baroche was acclaimed in France first as a short-story writer. Unable to experience the freedom of their brothers and fathers, beur female protagonists are shown to experience it vicariously through the reading, and the writing of, narratives. Clotilde Escalle's private worlds of sex and violence, whose transgressions are part of real lives, shock precisely because they are brought into the public sphere, expressed in and through writing.

Open Access (free)
Chantal Chawaf ’s melancholic autofiction
Kathryn Robson

   The female vampire: Chantal Chawaf ’s melancholic autofiction Julia Kristeva opens her text, Soleil noir: dépression et mélancolie, with the claim that ‘Ecrire sur la mélancolie n’aurait de sens, pour ceux que la mélancolie ravage, que si l’écrit même venait de la mélancolie’ (‘For those who are racked by melancholia, writing about it would have meaning only if writing sprang out of that very melancholia’).1 This chapter explores the possibility of writing ‘de la mélancolie’ through focusing on the work of Chantal Chawaf, whose writing may be

in Women’s writing in contemporary France
John Potvin

lives of the expressionist painter Nils Dardel (1888–1943), modernist ballet dancer Jean Börlin (1893–1930) and modern art collector and impresario Rolf de Maré (1888–1964) were intricately intertwined, this chapter singles out the queer, melancholic representations of the dandy that Dardel produced. Together these three queer Swedes turned to Paris as a space of exile in which to create art and live more freely, away from the heavily conservative ethos which permeated Swedish social and cultural life. Sweden’s apparent conservatism, then, stands in sharp contrast to

in Deco Dandy
Mary Ann Lund

’s exploration of the emotions elsewhere in the Anatomy is linked to the humoral disruption of melancholic disease; indeed, he cautions that both anxieties about abandonment by God and claims to divine inspiration may be the result of bodily disorder (vol. 1, p. 418; vol. 3, pp. 360–1). The satirical thrust of ‘Religious Melancholy’ – that superstition and zealotry are a

in The Renaissance of emotion
Ronit Lentin

questions and ask whether Freud’s differentiation between mourning and melancholia may provide a plausible explanation for the preoccupation of some Israelis with the loss of Palestine, through, inter alia, commemorating the Nakba. Renato Rosaldo (1989) on postimperial nostalgia and Paul Gilroy (2004) on postcolonial melancholia provide another layer of critical explanation for this persistent melancholia. Throughout the chapter I quote from writings by Israeli Jewish authors who speak about that unresolved melancholic nostalgia for ‘the land’ and its disappearing

in Co-memory and melancholia
Abstract only
Robert Lanier Reid

melancholy, a sin-ridden death-in-life, subsumes other melancholics (Phantastes’ imaginings, Mammon’s hoardings). Only then can Guyon rase Acrasia’s bower with its idolatrous pretence of sanguinity. Paster occludes this entire allegory. In ‘Becoming the Landscape’ (see n. 1 above) she views Amavia’s watery-absorption and Pyrochles’ fiery-absorption in

in Renaissance psychologies
Antonia Lucia Dawes

act of talking in Napoli to the power-laden, ambivalent and pragmatic verbal dynamics of transcultural interaction in the city’s street markets. In the street markets where I did ethnographic research, talk about talk shaped communication in a number of ways: as a way of reflecting melancholically on what Napoli was, as well as what it was in the process of becoming; as a practical necessity whereby migrants and Neapolitans had learnt from each other through socialisation and working together; and as a means of making claims about belonging or expressing

in Race talk
Contested Nakba narratives as an ongoing process
Ronit Lentin

magazine produced by Zochrot (Hever 2010), proving that Israeli poets did deal, albeit often in veiled terms, with the Palestinian catastrophe as it was taking place. As my focus is Nakba commemoration, rather than an extensive analysis of Israeli Hebrew literary representations of ‘the Arab’, I discuss briefly some accounts of the Nakba in Israeli literary narratives, from the early 1948 generation melancholic writings to works by contemporary writers who, I argue, in giving their Palestinian protagonists a voice, appropriate that very voice. Based on my observations

in Co-memory and melancholia