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Manal Deeb

Figure 3 Obsession Manal Deeb Obsession is an empowering artwork to

in Statelessness, governance, and the problem of citizenship
Maureen Kelleher

James Baldwin’s arrest in Paris in December 1949 gave birth to his perfect storm. His ten days in Fresnes jail weakened him physically and emotionally. He made it out, but upon release he was mired in self-doubt and enveloped in a bout of depression. He returned to his hotel, ready to try to get back to his life, however daunting that effort would be. The hotelier’s demand that he settle his bill, and do it quickly, awakened his obsession with suicide. He simply could not handle one more obstacle in his path; he chose to kill himself in his room. Ironically, he saved his life when he jumped off a chair with a sheet around his neck. In a matter of seconds his death wish was replaced by his equally obsessive need to write, witness, think, party, drink, challenge, and love.

James Baldwin Review
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This book is a collection of essays on the author's journeys taken during the past fifteen years. They are journeys in time and of memory about a country that no longer exists: the Italy of Roberto Rossellini's Paisà, torn by war and sometimes in conflict with the American 'liberators'. The essays concentrate on the structure and forms of the films they discuss; a confrontation of cultures, the Italy of Luchino Visconti, a territory more cultural than physical, subject to transfigurations wrought by a sophisticated intellectual who viewed the world through the lens of his sensibilities. The first three essays focus on discussions and films relating to neorealism. They seek problems and inconsistencies in points of view and prejudices that have become institutionalized in popular accounts of neorealism. The next two essays are dedicated to Visconti's commemorative and antiquarian vein, to the central importance of mise en scène (in the theatrical sense) in his films. The final essay is an attempt to recover an archetypical image in Pasolini's work. The characteristics shared by these essays include a sensitivity and knowledge of the cinema, genuine scholarship, and the ability to see aesthetic resonances to painting, literature, poetry, music. The contrast between darkness and light in Paisà and in Visconti's Vaghe stelle dell'Orsais most incisive and dramatic. They are all traversed by recurrent themes and obsessions: the contrast between darkness and light, night and day.

King Log (1968)
Jeffrey Wainwright

!’ (‘Locust Songs’, CP p. 65) The presentation of such a tableau as this at Shiloh Church, or the Battle of Towton almost exactly four hundred years earlier under the comet’s light in ‘Funeral Music’, appears as a central feature of King Log . Such single revelations haunt Hill’s imagination. They act as images that compound his obsession with human suffering, ‘circumstantial disasters’, and all that compromises those circumstances – the condition and posture of the suffering, the façade, the imaginings and, most of

in Acceptable words
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Natasha Alden

demonstrably obsessed with the wars, particularly with the previous generation’s wars, but in addition to this they are also all intrigued by the conceptual difficulties of writing ‘into’ a time at the edges of your experience. The Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, writing on the anniversary of D-Day in 2004, encapsulates both this obsession and also the resulting paradox, which Barker, Swift and McEwan are also fascinated by, of being shaped by an experience you can only know in a limited, second-hand way: Like everyone else born shortly after 1945, I saw the war flickering at

in Reading behind the lines
Youth, pop and the rise of Madchester

Madchester may have been born at the Haçienda in the summer of 1988, but the city had been in creative ferment for almost a decade prior to the rise of Acid House. The End-of-the-Century Party is the definitive account of a generational shift in popular music and youth culture, what it meant and what it led to. First published right after the Second Summer of Love, it tells the story of the transition from New Pop to the Political Pop of the mid-1980s and its deviant offspring, Post-Political Pop. Resisting contemporary proclamations about the end of youth culture and the rise of a new, right-leaning conformism, the book draws on interviews with DJs, record company bosses, musicians, producers and fans to outline a clear transition in pop thinking, a move from an obsession with style, packaging and synthetic sounds to content, socially conscious lyrics and a new authenticity.

This edition is framed by a prologue by Tara Brabazon, which asks how we can reclaim the spirit, energy and authenticity of Madchester for a post-youth, post-pop generation. It is illustrated with iconic photographs by Kevin Cummins.

Jan Broadway

erected in her honour in the church at Breedon.6 An obsession with genealogy was a direct cause of the explosion of antiquarian interest among the English gentry in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century. Lawrence Stone drew attention to this in the 1970s, but his brief perceptive remarks have not been fully developed by historiographers. In his magisterial study The Idea of History in Early Stuart England, Daniel Woolf acknowledged that restoring the reputation of his family was a motivating force behind Sir George Buck’s History of King Richard the Third. At

in ‘No historie so meete’
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Writing American sexual histories

The archive has assumed a new significance in the history of sex, and this book visits a series of such archives, including the Kinsey Institute’s erotic art; gay masturbatory journals in the New York Public Library; the private archive of an amateur pornographer; and one man’s lifetime photographic dossier on Baltimore hustlers. The subject topics covered are wide-ranging: the art history of homoeroticism; casual sex before hooking-up; transgender; New York queer sex; masturbation; pornography; sex in the city. The duality indicated by the book’s title reflects its themes. It is an experiment in writing an American sexual history that refuses the confines of identity sexuality studies, spanning the spectrum of queer, trans, and the allegedly ‘normal’. What unites this project is a fascination with sex at the margins, refusing the classificatory frameworks of heterosexuality and homosexuality, and demonstrating gender and sexual indecision and flexibility. And the book is also an exploration of the role of the archive in such histories. The sex discussed is located both in the margins of the archives, what has been termed the counterarchive, but also, importantly, in the pockets of recorded desire located in the most traditional and respectable repositories. The sexual histories in this book are those where pornography and sexual research are indistinguishable; where personal obsession becomes tomorrow’s archive. The market is potentially extensive: those interested in American studies, sexuality studies, contemporary history, the history of sex, psychology, anthropology, sociology, gender studies, queer studies, trans studies, pornography studies, visual studies, museum studies, and media studies.

Last lyric things
Daniel Birkholz

migrate away from nostalgic desires for coterie emplacement, meditating instead upon spiritual-eschatological dis placement—the sort that a confrontation with mortality inevitably brings. Scholars describe medieval death as a perennial growth industry. But modern conceptions that equate the Middle Ages with death culture derive from social and artistic obsessions that either develop, or sharply intensify, in the wake of the mid-fourteenth-century Black Death—a trauma that brought an end to, among much else, the era of the trilingual insular miscellany. To disentangle

in Harley manuscript geographies
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Six melodramas
Brian Mcfarlane

his obsessive protagonists in the tyrannical patriarch, James Brodie, in relation to whom the rest of his family are cast as victims. In varying degree, the films from Great Day to Portrait of Clare foreground characters in the grip of obsession which brings them into powerfully articulated melodramatic conflict with those around them. The presence of the obsessive and his/her obsession is used to highlight the kinds of

in Lance Comfort