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CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

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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 ...


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 ...


Overlapping Scriptworlds: Chinese Literature As A Global Assemblage, Wai-Chew Sim Jul 2019

Overlapping Scriptworlds: Chinese Literature As A Global Assemblage, Wai-Chew Sim

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

In his article “Overlappinig Scriptworlds: Chinese Literature as a Global Assemblage,” Wai-Chew Sim offers a globalist vision or understanding of Chinese literary studies/Sinophone studies. Deploying the notion of scriptworld (Damrosch), he examines how the Chinese, English, and Malay-language scriptworlds interact in the Southeast Asian context. He traces the rhizomatic connections between Joo Ming Chia’s Exile or Pursuit, a Singapore Sinophone text that explores multiple belongings, and two novels: M. L. Mohamed’s Confrontation (originally published as Batas Langit), and T.H. Kwee’s The Rose of Cikembang (originally published as Bunga Roos dari Cikembang). Tracing the sinophonicity of ...


Urban Landscape In Mcewan's Narrative Representation Of Berlin, Barbara J. Puschmann-Nalenz Jul 2019

Urban Landscape In Mcewan's Narrative Representation Of Berlin, Barbara J. Puschmann-Nalenz

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

In her article "Urban Landscape in McEwan's Narrative Representation of Berlin," Barbara J. Puschmann-Nalenz discusses the image of Berlin created in Ian McEwanﹸs novel The Innocent (1990) and the chapter titled "Berlin" in Black Dogs (1992). It starts from the hypothetical statement that while British literary fiction set in Berlin is rare after 1970 the genres of spy and detective novel, where crime and violence take center stage, shape the image of the city in highbrow narratives as well. The perspectivization of the cityscape, including its monuments, through the protagonists fundamentally influences its image. In The Innocent the limited ...


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 ...


"You Prefer Your Enemies Simple And Well Defined": Reading Anton Shammas’ Arabesques As A Novel That Strategically Resists Interpellation, Yiftach Ashkenazi, Omri Grinberg May 2019

"You Prefer Your Enemies Simple And Well Defined": Reading Anton Shammas’ Arabesques As A Novel That Strategically Resists Interpellation, Yiftach Ashkenazi, Omri Grinberg

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

Anton Shammas’s 1986 novel Arabesques has been the subject of much literary criticism and on-going discussions in Hebrew literature circles. This article argues that existing interpretations of this work share a fundamental similarity to the extent that they assume Arabesques to be a novel whose primary aim is to depict a certain kind of subject, in accordance with the complicated emplacement of Shammas as a Palestinian writing in Hebrew. Against such interpretations, we suggest that Arabesques is better understood as a text that resists the process of subject formation as linked to Althusser’s notion of ideology. Instead, Shammas ...


The Materiality And Embodiment Of Violence: Ronit Matalon’S Poetics Of Responsibility, Shiri Goren May 2019

The Materiality And Embodiment Of Violence: Ronit Matalon’S Poetics Of Responsibility, Shiri Goren

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

In her essay “The Materiality and Embodiment of Violence: Ronit Matalon’s Poetics of Responsibility” Shiri Goren discusses Matalon’s novel Bliss (Sarah-Sarah, 2000) as a complex and bleak account of domestic and political decline. On the backdrop of the first Intifada, a Tel Avivian marriage falls apart and a lifelong powerful and intimate friendship between two women ends abruptly. In another geographical location and slightly different timeframe, early November 1995, a French-Jewish family prepares for the cremation of one of its sons, who died of AIDS. Rejecting potential interpretations of national allegory, Goren argues that one of the foundational ...


Subjectivity, Institutions And Language In Contemporary Israeli Film, Ari Ofengenden May 2019

Subjectivity, Institutions And Language In Contemporary Israeli Film, Ari Ofengenden

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

In his article "Subjectivity, Institutions and Language in Contemporary Israeli Film" Ari Ofengenden analyzes the transnational characteristics of contemporary Israeli films (from 2000 until today). He claims that a new regime of globally networked production and distribution of Israeli film has articulated a specific kind of subjectivity presented in these films. In this article, he will concentrate on two characteristics of this subjectivity: the relations of protagonist with social institutions and use of language. Relations with social institutions starts with the highly prevalent representations of a sensitive and individualist protagonist who suffers under collective and coercive institutions like the army ...


Watching Fight Club In Tel Aviv: Or The 2011 Social Protests In Israel, A Political Postmortem, Eran Kaplan May 2019

Watching Fight Club In Tel Aviv: Or The 2011 Social Protests In Israel, A Political Postmortem, Eran Kaplan

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

In his article “Watching Fight Club in Tel Aviv: Or The 2011 Social Protests in Israel, a Political Postmortem,” Eran Kaplan provides an analysis of the ideological underpinnings of the social protests that swept Israel in 2011 and the failure of these protests to bring about actual political change. The article draws on the manner by which David Fincher’s film Fight Club exposes the ideological dimensions of modern, neoliberal consumerist society as a way to understand the driving forces behind the Israeli protests and to suggest a possible way out of the ideological quagmire that the protesters and their ...


Coping With Fear: Frontier Kibbutzes And The Syrian-Israeli Border War, Orit Rozin May 2019

Coping With Fear: Frontier Kibbutzes And The Syrian-Israeli Border War, Orit Rozin

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

In her article "Coping with Fear: Frontier Kibbutzes and the Syrian-Israeli Border War,” Orit Rozin discusses the practices and norms of border kibbutzes coping with daily hostilities. The Israel-Syrian border was a constant point of friction. Hostilities erupted over the cultivation and the control of the demilitarized zones and over water resources. Northern Kibbutzes both took part in triggering Syrian violence and were victims of that violence. Covering the interwar period 1956-1967, Rozin traces the subjective emotional reaction of kibbutz members exposed to Syrian violence. Focusing on fear and employing Barbara Rosenwein’s concept of emotional communities, she shows that ...


The Catastrophic Horizon: Contemporary Israeli Cinema's Critique Of Neo-Liberal Israel, Yael Munk May 2019

The Catastrophic Horizon: Contemporary Israeli Cinema's Critique Of Neo-Liberal Israel, Yael Munk

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

In her article, Munk analyzes the gradual decline in social solidarity of the once-socialist Israeli society has become discernible in arts and society alike. This process has been voiced in films that described the dangers of a segregated society in a graphic manner, pointing an accusing finger at what Israeli society has become. In these films, the prolonged Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories considered by some as the source of all evil, has been removed from the intellectual foreground in order to provide by a deeper look into the catastrophic outcomes of the social dead end Zionism has reached ...


Suburban Realities: The Israeli Case, Tamar Berger May 2019

Suburban Realities: The Israeli Case, Tamar Berger

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

In her article "Suburban Realities: The Israeli Case" Tamar Berger discusses the nature of the new building in Israel in the last 3-4 decades. Israel, she claims, has been going through a process of massive suburbanization, which is drastically changing the face of the country. Some of the features of the new space are similar to those of other places, globally, but it has its particularity, the result of both the local spatial history and the nature of Israeli society. Suburbs in general are hard to define. Still, a set of typical features of the Israeli suburbs can be noted ...


Irony, Revenge, And The Naqba In Yehuda Amichai’S Early Work, Hannan Hever May 2019

Irony, Revenge, And The Naqba In Yehuda Amichai’S Early Work, Hannan Hever

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

This article offers a materialist reading of the poetry of Yehuda Amichai, the most well-known Israeli poet outside Israel. The article explores the political role of irony in Amichai’s early work, situating him as a prominent member of the “State Generation” poetry. Challenging accepted readings, the essay argues that Amichai’s poems that deal with the 1948 war, should be read as a post-traumatic response, which uses irony and rich and bold metaphorical devices to distance itself from the horrors of the war, and therefore also form the political and ethical meanings of the Naqba. That Amichai’s poetry ...


Introduction: Israeli Critical Reflection After Post-Zionism, Or The Opening As Interpretive Horizon, Oded Nir, Ari Ofengenden May 2019

Introduction: Israeli Critical Reflection After Post-Zionism, Or The Opening As Interpretive Horizon, Oded Nir, Ari Ofengenden

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

This essay attempts to situate this special issue as an intervention, from a materialist perspective, in the field of Israeli cultural studies. We interrogate the common periodizations of Israeli culture, and its contemporary characterization as “post-post-Zionist.” We try to show that the latter betrays an unacknowledged failure of historical narration, present throughout Israeli cultural production. We then argue that rather than being satisfied with this failure, the goal of Israeli cultural critique today should be to search for new ways to narrate “big” history, to reassert the indispensability of relating personal experience of the present, in all its details, to ...