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Rethinking The Monstrous: Gender, Otherness, And Space In The Cinematic Storytelling Of Arrival And The Shape Of Water, Edward Chamberlain Feb 2020

Rethinking The Monstrous: Gender, Otherness, And Space In The Cinematic Storytelling Of Arrival And The Shape Of Water, Edward Chamberlain

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

Through comparing the Hollywood films Arrival and The Shape of Water, this article explicates the films’ similar portrayals of gender, social collaboration, and monstrosity. Although the mainstream media in the United States has linked the idea of the monstrous to larger global forces, the two films suggest that “the monster” exists much closer to home. Hence, this article makes the case that monstrosity occurs in a variety of formulations such as the actions of national authorities like governmental officials that oppress and endanger a myriad of American citizens as well as newcomers. Further, this article makes the case that the ...


Monstrous Accumulation: Topographies Of Fear In An Era Of Globalization, Robert T. Tally Jr. Feb 2020

Monstrous Accumulation: Topographies Of Fear In An Era Of Globalization, Robert T. Tally Jr.

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

The predominance of the horror genre, broadly conceived, in recent years attests to the profound sense of anxiety and dread permeating late capitalist societies. As the processes and effects of globalization become more viscerally experienced, they are also often rendered invisible or unknowable, and individuals and groups find themselves subject to an immense array of forces beyond their control. The contemporary scene is crowded with monsters, from alien invaders to the zombie apocalypse, set against the backdrop of darkly fantastic landscapes and dystopian visions. Drawing upon a variety of Marxist cultural theory, Robert T. Tally Jr. explores the topographies of ...


Introduction To The Monstrous Global: The Effects Of Globalization On Cultures, Ju Young Jin, Jae Roe Feb 2020

Introduction To The Monstrous Global: The Effects Of Globalization On Cultures, Ju Young Jin, Jae Roe

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

This special issue on “The Monstrous Global: The Effects of Globalization on Cultures” explores representations of the monstrous effects and products of globalization. The monstrous (as in The Monstrous Feminine by Barbara Creed) in this sense alludes to the ways in which local or national displays of fear and anxiety about the Other are embedded in struggles and tensions of global scale; the inability to cognitively map the effect of such global forces on local/national problems produces monstrous representations of the global. Global forces such as neoliberalism and reactionary nationalism, technology, climate change, migration and displacement lead to accelerating ...


A Deconstructive Reading Of Taoist Influenced Chinese And American Poetry, Hong Zeng Feb 2020

A Deconstructive Reading Of Taoist Influenced Chinese And American Poetry, Hong Zeng

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

In her article “A Deconstructive Reading of Taoist Influenced Chinese and American Poetry” Hong Zeng attempts to deconstruct the logos status of "Nature" in Chinese natural philosophy and explore the tragic potentiality of such philosophy and poetry under its influence. It also analyzes its aesthetic strategies used to overcome historical tragedy, and how such tragic potentiality in classical Chinese philosophy and poetry break out into the imagery of death and fragmentation in modern Chinese and American poetry under its influence, including poetry by such poets as Hai Zi, Gu Cheng, Robert Bly and Wallace Stevens, and how it sometimes leads ...


Migrant Necropolitics At The Table: "Civilized Cannibalism" In Mahi Binebine's Cannibales, Taïeb Berrada Feb 2020

Migrant Necropolitics At The Table: "Civilized Cannibalism" In Mahi Binebine's Cannibales, Taïeb Berrada

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

In Cannibales, the Maghrebi Francophone author Mahi Binebine revisits the encounter between the so-called “cannibals” and the European colonizer in the context of illegal immigration where bodies become commodities exchangeable for social improvements creating a different form of cannibalism. It is no longer the usual dichotomy between the civilized and the savage that is at work but rather a “civilized” European imperialist who feeds himself on a migrant’s flesh. This article argues that this representation works as a “colonial fragment” from the past but contextualized in today’s globalization. Binebine’s morbid depiction of an ambivalent postcolonial cannibalistic encounter ...


The Goddess Of Love In Sadomasochistic Costume: Roman Polanski's Venus In Fur, Alan P. Barr Feb 2020

The Goddess Of Love In Sadomasochistic Costume: Roman Polanski's Venus In Fur, Alan P. Barr

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

Throughout his career as a filmmaker, Roman Polanski has circled the subject of sex, its aberrations, its delights, and its risks. His twenty feature films are remarkably varied, yet characteristically probe the compelling, contradictory, and enchanting nature of human sexual behavior. He develops a cluster of images or tropes that appear across his films—from knives to claustrophobic settings—that advance his enquiry. Venus in Fur is Polanski’s most comprehensive portrayal of the intricacies of sexual conduct, employing a theatrical setting (rehearsing an adaptation of a notorious classic novel), amplified with cultural allusions and exploring the limits of role-playing ...


Farmer, Priest, And Poet: Knowledge Transmission And Wisdom In Works And Days And Gelimu, Duoduo Xu Feb 2020

Farmer, Priest, And Poet: Knowledge Transmission And Wisdom In Works And Days And Gelimu, Duoduo Xu

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

This paper aims at a comparison between a classic poem from ancient Greek literature, the Works and Days by Hesiod, and ancestral records of hemerology from Daba Culture, entitled Gelimu, collected during my fieldwork in South-West China. Both traditions use constellations to mark important dates throughout the year, providing similar instructions on how to deal with daily work in the fields. Moreover, their mnemonic strategies and formulaic verses reflect their origins from oral traditions passed down from generation to generation. Starting from these basic similarities, the author analyzed the roles of Daba priests, the calendars authors, and Hesiod, the poet ...


Bibliography On Suffering, Simon C. Estok Sep 2019

Bibliography On Suffering, Simon C. Estok

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

No abstract provided.


Domestic Trauma And Imperial Pessimism: The Crisis At Home In Charles Dickens’S Dombey And Son, Katherine E. Ostdiek Sep 2019

Domestic Trauma And Imperial Pessimism: The Crisis At Home In Charles Dickens’S Dombey And Son, Katherine E. Ostdiek

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

In “Domestic Trauma and Imperial Pessimism: The Crisis At Home in Charles Dickens’s Dombey and Son,” Katherine Ostdiek discusses Dickens’s representation of violence, grief, and recovery within the Victorian home as a pre-Freudian example of trauma. This comparison not only demonstrates the importance of trauma studies in the nineteenth-century, but more importantly, it thematically focuses empathy for the traumatized on the home. In this novel, Dickens dismisses topics related to the financial and social crises of mid-century Britain in favor of domestic themes that emphasize an idealized structure of the Victorian family. Through her use of trauma theory ...


Suffering And Climate Change Narratives, Simon C. Estok Sep 2019

Suffering And Climate Change Narratives, Simon C. Estok

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

In his article "Suffering and Climate Change Narratives" Simon C. Estok begins with a brief survey of definitional issues involved with the term “suffering” and argues that there has been a relative lack of theoretical attention to suffering in climate change narratives, whether literary or within mainstream media. Estok shows that suffering, far from being singular, is a multivalent concept that is gendered, classed, raced, and, perhaps above all, pliable. It has social functions. One of the primary reasons for the failure of climate change narratives to effect real changes, Estok argues, is that they often carry the functions of ...


The Punctum In History: Representing The M(Other)’S Death In Peter Handke’S A Sorrow Beyond Dreams, Hivren Demir Atay Sep 2019

The Punctum In History: Representing The M(Other)’S Death In Peter Handke’S A Sorrow Beyond Dreams, Hivren Demir Atay

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

This article aims to discuss how Handke’s autobiographical narrative, A Sorrow Beyond Dreams (1972), stages the writer’s literary project through a neutral account of his mother’s suicide. Telling the story of his mother, who witnessed the Second World War and the nazi regime, Handke narrates the traumatic history of an Austrian town along with his own suffering. Concentrating on his attempt at a distanced language and his questioning of history as an objective fact, the article suggests that Handke’s perception of death and mourning parallels his understanding of the acts of writing and reading. Drawing particularly ...


The Different Representation Of Suffering In The Two Versions Of The Vegetarian, Young-Hyun Lee Sep 2019

The Different Representation Of Suffering In The Two Versions Of The Vegetarian, Young-Hyun Lee

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

In her article “The Different Representation of Suffering in the two versions of The Vegetarian” the author examines how different the representation of suffering in the original and translated versions of The Vegetarian and explores the reasons for this difference. The author in particular refers to representative episodes which the translator’s strategy distorts even the central concepts of suffering in the original work. Her translated version results in critical misrepresentation of suffering and violence in the original version.


Enduring The Long Take: Tsai Ming-Liang’S Stray Dogs And The Dialectical Image, Louis Lo Sep 2019

Enduring The Long Take: Tsai Ming-Liang’S Stray Dogs And The Dialectical Image, Louis Lo

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

This essay attempts to show that Tsai’s Stray Dogs (2013) offers a social critique of Taipei as a neoliberal, global, consumer city, and by so doing establishes a cinema of contemplation through such cinematic devices as the sustained long-take and slow, virtually still cinematic images. By developing Walter Benjamin’s formulation of the dialectical image, this essay explores the extent to which Tsai’s cinematic aesthetics reveals an aspect of the city which cannot be shown otherwise. It argues that his slow cinema creates a potentially revolutionary awakening in an audience accustomed to an immersive mode of cinematic experience ...


Shelley’S Frankenstein As A Book Of Love And Despair, Shun-Liang Chao Sep 2019

Shelley’S Frankenstein As A Book Of Love And Despair, Shun-Liang Chao

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

Influenced by Enlightenment philosophes like Rousseau and Smith, Romantic writers, such as Coleridge and Percy Shelley, celebrate the sublime power of sympathetic love to merge the self and the other (be it human or inhuman) into a wondrous whole, thereby precluding the dangers of solitude and solipsism. Not all Romantic writers, however, share the same sanguine view of love. In Frankenstein, for instance, Mary Shelley offers an alternative to the optimistic perspective on the capacity of (mutual) sympathy. She shapes the novel into tales of bitter solitude, one caused by the lack of sympathetic understanding between Victor and nature, between ...


Salam Neighbor: Syrian Refugees Through The Camera Lens, Lava Asaad Sep 2019

Salam Neighbor: Syrian Refugees Through The Camera Lens, Lava Asaad

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

This paper examines the documentary Salam Neighbor (2015), which celebrates the will of Syrian refugee women who are displaced in Jordan. The collective experience of the refugees portrayed in the documentary solicits a reaction from the Western viewer. To counteract the images of refugees in the media, documentaries can be a good alternative for mass media, which has been perpetuating a binary of the West and the Rest. The argument tackles the issue of this new representation of refugees in documentaries within a postcolonial paradigm of how we represent or speak to/with the Other in our technological age, as ...


Introduction To Suffering, Endurance, Understanding: New Discourses Within Philosophy And Literature, Douglas S. Berman Sep 2019

Introduction To Suffering, Endurance, Understanding: New Discourses Within Philosophy And Literature, Douglas S. Berman

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

Literature is generally seen as depicting the lives of human subjects through their unique narratives. And that, while its endpoint may be universal, it is typically grounded in the specificity of a human being (or, occasionally, an animal). Philosophy is tasked with providing the foundational cognitive tools to grasp the meaning of experience for the whole. In Hegelian terms, it unfolds the history of the concept. Yet, as George Steiner, Jacques Derrida, and other recent authors have shown, both philosophy – along with its agonistic cousin, religion -- evoke literary themes, rhetorics, and struggles. Over the past fifty years, Continental philosophy has ...


Final Words, Final Shots: Kurosawa, Bortko And The Conclusion Of Dostoevsky’S Idiot, Saera Yoon, Robert O. Efird Jul 2019

Final Words, Final Shots: Kurosawa, Bortko And The Conclusion Of Dostoevsky’S Idiot, Saera Yoon, Robert O. Efird

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

In their article "Final Words, Final Shots: Kurosawa, Bortko, and the Conclusion of Dostoevsky’s Idiot" Robert O. Efird and Saera Yoon discuss film adaptations of Dostoevsky’s novel. Both in his homeland and abroad, the major works of Fyodor Dostoevsky have largely made for disappointing film adaptations. This article examines the cultural diversity and aesthetic motivations underlying two very different adaptations of his novel Idiot, with particular attention to the concluding scenes. Both Akira Kurosawa and Vladimir Bortko follow the novelist's lead by hinting at some form of hope and future redemption amidst the tragedy but, for different ...


Retro-Future In Post-Soviet Dystopia, Sergey Toymentsev Jul 2019

Retro-Future In Post-Soviet Dystopia, Sergey Toymentsev

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

In his article “Retro-Future in Post-Soviet Dystopia” Sergey Toymentsev explores the vision of retrospective future in such Russian novels as Tatiana Tolstaya’s The Slynx, Vladimir Sorokin’s Day of the Oprichnik, Olga Slavnikova’s 2017, and Dmitry Bykov’s Zhd. Unlike Zamyatin’s and Platonov’s anti-Soviet satires, post-Soviet dystopias do not respond to any utopian narrative, but project the historical and ideological reality of Russia’s violent (predominantly Soviet) past into the future. Such a traumatic reenactment of the Soviet past in the dystopian future testifies to the rise of authoritarianism in contemporary Russia as well as its ...


Okonkwo’S Reincarnation: A Comparison Of Achebe’S Things Fall Apart And No Longer At Ease, Mary J. N. Okolie, Ginikachi C. Uzoma Jul 2019

Okonkwo’S Reincarnation: A Comparison Of Achebe’S Things Fall Apart And No Longer At Ease, Mary J. N. Okolie, Ginikachi C. Uzoma

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

Abstract: The reincarnation myth is a global concept, founded basically in religion and tradition. It was especially vibrant in the ancient times in places like Egypt, Greece, and in continents like Asia and Africa, which possess varying understandings of the myth. In Igbo tradition, for example, it is believed that reincarnation occurs within a family. And that some of the marks of reincarnation are usually the possession of the birthmark or certain other physical features and the exhibition of character and behavioral traits of a deceased person by a living member of his/her immediate or extended family. Thus, reincarnation ...


"Il Y A De La Plèbe": Figurations Of The Minor Between Complicity And Dissent, Maria Muhle Jun 2019

"Il Y A De La Plèbe": Figurations Of The Minor Between Complicity And Dissent, Maria Muhle

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

In this article I discuss the logic of “complicity” and “dissent” that, under current forms of ultra-neoliberal capitalism, is no longer (if it has ever been) one of opposition but rather corresponds to a logic of unrealized potentials, or “as ifs” that “manage” dissent and complicity in conjunction, and erase the dividing line between them, or their value as separate concepts. I examine the genealogy of this opposition and its dilution as a symptom of our contemporary political reality. Michel Foucault presented a paradigmatic view of this genealogy in his analysis of power and the taxonomic separation of three regimes ...


Political Violence And Race: A Critique Of Hannah Arendt, Chad Kautzer Jun 2019

Political Violence And Race: A Critique Of Hannah Arendt, Chad Kautzer

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

Hannah Arendt’s On Violence (1970) is a seminal work in the study of political violence. It famously draws a distinction between power and violence and argues that the latter must be excluded from the political sphere. Although this may make Arendt’s text an appealing resource for critiques of rising political violence today, I argue that we should resist this temptation. In this article, I identify how the divisions and exclusions within her theory enable her to explicitly disavow violence on one level, while implicitly relying on a constitutive and racialized form of violence on another. In particular, Arendt ...


The Ambivalence Of Black Rage, Vincent Lloyd Jun 2019

The Ambivalence Of Black Rage, Vincent Lloyd

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

Activists associated with the Black Lives Matter movement embrace anger. Owning their rage sets these activists in opposition to an older generation of black leaders, invested in respectability, who narrate anger as an emotion to be overcome. Younger activists worry about complicity with the status quo – with white supremacy – of these older activists, yet embracing anger is no surefire way of avoiding complicity with the status quo. This essay investigates the ambivalence of black anger, drawing on philosophy and feminist theory while also locating the current eruption of black anger in an ambivalent history of black political affect. In laboratory ...


Complicity, Dissent, And The Palestinian Intellectual, Sa'ed Atshan Jun 2019

Complicity, Dissent, And The Palestinian Intellectual, Sa'ed Atshan

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

In this article, I draw on the major works of two Palestinian intellectuals—Edward Said and Hanan Ashrawi—and I compare the experiences of Palestinian intellectuals living in the United States with those living under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank. The writings of these two exemplary figures shape the conceptual underpinnings of my exploration of the way Palestinian academics navigate questions of complicity with the different hegemonic political systems that govern their lives. I argue that Said and Ashrawi model a steadfast refusal to be complicit in the state-led repression around them at the same time as they ...


Subject, Subjugation, And Subjectivity, Raef Zreik Jun 2019

Subject, Subjugation, And Subjectivity, Raef Zreik

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

This paper analyzes the ways in which complicity and dissent feed and subvert one another, or the ways in which the subjugated self becomes a political subject. The formative event of Palestinian collective identity is the loss of home and homeland in the aftermath of the Nakba of 1948. “The Catastrophe” divided the Palestinian community to two: Those who remained within the borders of the Israeli state and became Israeli citizens, and the Palestinian refugees, who came to establish the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and led an armed struggle. While examining the two narratives, I also explore two communal modes ...


Family Affairs: Complicity, Betrayal, And The Family In Hisham Matar's In The Country Of Men And Nadine Gordimer's My Son's Story, Lital Levy Jun 2019

Family Affairs: Complicity, Betrayal, And The Family In Hisham Matar's In The Country Of Men And Nadine Gordimer's My Son's Story, Lital Levy

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

This essay undertakes a comparative reading of the dynamics of complicity and resistance in two contemporary Anglophone novels, Nadine Gordimer’s My Son’s Story (1990) and Hisham Matar’s In the Country of Men (2006). My analysis pursues three main lines of inquiry: the ostensible public/ private and political/ personal divides; loyalty and betrayal in the family; and the ambiguous status of the child as a witness and a political subject. I argue that in their respective portrayals of the protagonists’ struggles against South African apartheid and authoritarian rule in Libya, both authors use the device of the child ...


Facing The Ruler, Facing The Village: On The Roads To Complicity Following Mengzi And Benda, Zvi Ben-Dor Benite Jun 2019

Facing The Ruler, Facing The Village: On The Roads To Complicity Following Mengzi And Benda, Zvi Ben-Dor Benite

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

In his article, “Facing the Ruler, Facing the Village,” Zvi Ben-Dor Benite seeks to broaden the boundaries of the discussion about complicity by taking it away from late 20th-century and contemporary debates about it. At the same time, he wishes to highlight the many faces that the problem of complicity could have in different historical moments. Following Czesław Miłosz, this article understands that there are many roads to complicity that have been articulated in different ways across time and space. This article is, therefore, an integrated meditation on complicity bringing together two radically distant approaches to the question. Reading the ...


Remnants Of Dissent, Thomas Docherty Jun 2019

Remnants Of Dissent, Thomas Docherty

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

In his article, “Remnants of Dissent,” Thomas Docherty explores the relation of dissent to guilty complicity in post-war Europe. The article opens with a consideration of the position of Karl Jaspers in 1945 and examines how Jaspers worked through the various modes of guilt that flowed from diverse modes of living under Nazism. Of particular interest is the status of silence in the face of tyrannical Nazi oppression and murders. The essay explores how the workings of language, and its manipulations by the Nazis, helps to normalize such tyranny and to make resistance to it both dangerous and difficult. The ...


Introduction: Complicity And Dissent, Or Why We Need Solidarity Between Struggles, Nitzan Lebovic Jun 2019

Introduction: Complicity And Dissent, Or Why We Need Solidarity Between Struggles, Nitzan Lebovic

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

Growing pressure from politicians and corporations has thrown into question the very legitimacy of opposition and critique. A language of political affirmation has confused and misled the public, driving many to adopt a cynical attitude to politics. The result has been a rapid decline of legitimate critique, the rise of populism, and a growing tendency to squelch civil disobedience with a militarized police force. The introduction to the special issue considers the role of the complicit/dissenting intellectual in history and literature, politics and law. It explores the genealogy of the terms, as well as conditions for their appearance in ...


Class, Capital And Colonies In India And Palestine/Israel, Amir Locker-Biletzki May 2019

Class, Capital And Colonies In India And Palestine/Israel, Amir Locker-Biletzki

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

The article “Class, Capital and Colonies in India and Palestine/Israel” studies the way Indian and Israeli Communist intellectuals conceptualized and understood European Colonialism. In contrast to present day settler-colonial theories – that disregarded Marxist critic of European expansion – Indian and Israeli Communists developed a Bolshevik colonial thinking. For Communists the triple forces of imperialism, capital and class devastated the “archaic” native way of life. In doing so they clear a path for European domination, settlement and class differentiation of both colonizers and colonized. The article traces Bolshevik colonial thinking to its origins in Marx’s and Lenin’s writings. It ...


Israeli Literature And The Time Of "Post-Post-Zionism", Oded Nir May 2019

Israeli Literature And The Time Of "Post-Post-Zionism", Oded Nir

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

In this essay, I argue that contemporary Israeli literature possesses a more “advanced” historical imaginary than that of contemporary “post-post-Zionist” Israeli historiography, and I relate this gap to the neoliberalization of the Israeli economy. I begin by arguing that contemporary literature’s historical imaginary marks a departure from its 80s and 90s postmodern predecessors. I show that this departure is evident in contemporary Israeli literature’s explicit recognition of an inability to relate subjective experience to larger history. This recognition constitutes a dialectical overcoming of Israeli postmodernism’s playful dismantling of the national historical narrative. I then argue that Israeli ...