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Full-Text Articles in Modern Languages

Irony In Emmanuel Carrère’S La Moustache, Nina Ekstein Jan 2013

Irony In Emmanuel Carrère’S La Moustache, Nina Ekstein

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

The subject of irony in film is a problematic one, in no small measure because of the assumption of referentiality in what is shown onscreen. I examine a form of irony that is tied to undecidability and use it to analyze La moustache (2005), which is a cinematic exploration of the possibilities for creating undecidability and its attendant tensions, exemplifying how irony may be visually communicated. Carrère's film moves into the domain of irony through a wide-ranging critique worked out through discordance.


Sex In Rotrou’S Theater: Performance And Disorder, Nina Ekstein Aug 2012

Sex In Rotrou’S Theater: Performance And Disorder, Nina Ekstein

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Sexual desire is ubiquitous in all theater. It follows that virtually all theatrical traditions struggle with the issue of the representation of that desire onstage. The French stage of the 1630s and Jean Rotrou's theater of that period in particular constitute an unusual moment of relative freedom before the imposition of the bienséances banished sexual activity from the stage. What I propose is a theatrical reading of sex in Rotrou's plays, a tripartite examination of dramatic strategy: how Rotrou foregrounds the scandalous by direct depiction of sexuality onstage; how at other moments he moves to attenuate its prurient ...


Material Ecocriticism: Dirt, Waste, Bodies, Food, And Other Matter, Dana Phillips, Heather I. Sullivan Jan 2012

Material Ecocriticism: Dirt, Waste, Bodies, Food, And Other Matter, Dana Phillips, Heather I. Sullivan

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Chunks of walls and flooring crash in mangled heaps as an enormous orange crane smashes apart the science building. Fueled in part by energy funds, Trinity University is updating its campus. Several hundred feet away, purple martins swoop down to feed squawking chicks nestled in white plastic gourds dangling from an angular metallic pole. In the university's community garden, ripe tomatoes are going to waste. Beyond the demolition site, a grackle lands on the neatly mown grass, where he puffs up and struts while other grackles watch him.


Faust’S Mountains: An Ecocritical Reading Of Goethe’S Tragedy And Science, Heather I. Sullivan Jan 2012

Faust’S Mountains: An Ecocritical Reading Of Goethe’S Tragedy And Science, Heather I. Sullivan

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Ecocriticism's environmental perspective views human beings, bodies, and culture as participants in ecological interactions and exchanges with the rest of the energetic and material world, including both biotic and abiotic forms. This ecocritical essay assesses how Goethe portrays Faust's mountain experiences in both part I and part II (1808, 1832) of the tragedy as engagements with physical matter rather than with spiritual inspiration. Indeed, by using ecocriticism to study Goethe's science as the context for the play, we see that Faust's many mountains are more than a setting; they actively destabilize his — and our — assumptions about ...


La Pratique Ironique De L’Appel À L’Autorité Dans Les Péritextes Du Théâtre De Corneille, Nina Ekstein Jan 2012

La Pratique Ironique De L’Appel À L’Autorité Dans Les Péritextes Du Théâtre De Corneille, Nina Ekstein

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Corneille a lié un grand nombre de péritextes à son œuvre théâtrale, dont les Préfaces, les avis « Au lecteur », les Arguments, les Épîtres, les Examens de 1660 et les Trois Discours sur le poème dramatique de la même année. Ce sont tous des textes polémiques du fait qu’ils représentent des prises de position dans les débats théâtraux de l’époque. Ce sont aussi des défenses souvent très spécifiques de ses œuvres. Les péritextes constituent un terrain particulièrement riche car c’est là qu’un auteur fait connaître ses intentions au lecteur.


Dirt Theory And Material Ecocriticism, Heather I. Sullivan Jan 2012

Dirt Theory And Material Ecocriticism, Heather I. Sullivan

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

This essay speaks for dirty aesthetics. Although aesthetic landscapes readily inspire environmental thinking, a case can be made for grappling with the truly local dirty matter right at hand. Dirt, soil, earth, and dust surround us at all scales: we find them on our shoes, bodies, and computer screens, in fields and forests, and floating in the air. They are the stuff of geological structures, of the rocky Earth itself, and are mobile like our bodies.


The Theatrical Lieu De Culture Within Molière’S Theater, Nina Ekstein Jan 2012

The Theatrical Lieu De Culture Within Molière’S Theater, Nina Ekstein

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Molière’s theater is itself, by definition, a lieu de culture. The performance of one of his plays transforms the space in which it occurs into a lieu de culture by virtue of the presence of two crucial features. First, the performance belongs to a cultural domain, in this case specifically the theater. By ‘culture’ I mean simply that which is tied to the arts, letters, manners, and scholarly pursuits. Second there must be an audience present for that performance. The same basic situation obviously holds true for any playwright whose plays are performed. What makes Molière interesting is the ...


Affinity Studies And Open Systems: A Non-Equilibrium, Ecocritical Reading Of Goethe's Faust, Heather I. Sullivan Jan 2011

Affinity Studies And Open Systems: A Non-Equilibrium, Ecocritical Reading Of Goethe's Faust, Heather I. Sullivan

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Ecocriticism’s contributions to the current rejection of dualistic thinking are noteworthy, particularly when this interdisciplinary field concentrates on hybridity and “relations” that preexist essences. In this mode, ecocriticism participates in a broader development of “affnity studies” that encompass the many efforts across the disciplines toward reconfiguring our “intraactions” with the world in terms that avoid dichotomies and Newtonian linearity and that utilize instead nonlinear, nondualistic forms of “hybridity.” Hybrids, in Steve Hinchliffe’s words, are “more or less durable bodies made up of similarly hybrid and impermanent relations.


Nature In A Box: Ecocriticism, Goethe’S Ironic Werther, And Unbalanced Nature, Heather I. Sullivan Jan 2011

Nature In A Box: Ecocriticism, Goethe’S Ironic Werther, And Unbalanced Nature, Heather I. Sullivan

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Ecocriticism emphasizes how our bodily and ecological boundaries are just as porous, inter-penetrable, and open as are our cultural and linguistic realms. As individual bodies and communities, we are fully immersed in our material environment and participating in constant exchanges of matter and energy. In this essay, I nevertheless advocate for a cautious approach to the ecocritical question of contested boundaries. After all, some boundaries and membranes are necessary to maintain living organisms. Regarding Timothy Morton’s assertion that we are “radically open,” I note the need for stable and healthy membranes to sustain life, such as our porous yet ...


Ecocriticism, The Elements, And The Ascent/Descent Into Weather In Goethe’S Faust, Heather I. Sullivan Jan 2010

Ecocriticism, The Elements, And The Ascent/Descent Into Weather In Goethe’S Faust, Heather I. Sullivan

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

The ostensibly religious and ethical significance of Faust's final ascension after his death tends to distract, if not blind, readers to other possible implications of that upwards movement and to the idea that he may continue and return "back to earth." The assumption that heavenly powers reward Faust leads to the claim that Goethe's tragedy validates the quest of "land developers" or those who would strive regardless of the consequences. I propose, in contrast, that we read Faust's "final" ascension alongside Goethe's weather essay, "Witterungslehre 1825," and thereby note that this upward motion is not necessarily ...


Rotrou’S Bélisaire: Hierarchy And Meaning, Nina Ekstein Jan 2010

Rotrou’S Bélisaire: Hierarchy And Meaning, Nina Ekstein

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Bélisaire (1643) differs significantly from the bulk of Rotrou’s theater, perhaps above all in its array of profoundly disparate features. The notion of hierarchy offers a means of organizing the dissimilar elements and understanding the play as a whole. Like so many of Rotrou’s plays, the subject is not original. Its source is Mira de Amescua’s El ejemplo mayor de la Desdicha.


The Dangerous Quest For Nature Narratives In Goethe’S Werther: A Reading Of The Ruptured Monologue And The Ruptured Body, Heather I. Sullivan Jan 2007

The Dangerous Quest For Nature Narratives In Goethe’S Werther: A Reading Of The Ruptured Monologue And The Ruptured Body, Heather I. Sullivan

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Assessing Goethe's narrative ruptures, this essay follows their trail in three directions: first through the editor's sudden interruption of Werther producing the post-epistolary multiplicity of voices, second in the alterations Goethe made to the 1787 version of Werther that enhance the theme of rupture itself, and third along the fault-lines delineated in three exemplary "letters of nature" from Werther.