The Comparatist

Articles from Vol. 37, May

A Battle of the Books: Linguistic Antagonisms and the Crisis of Postcolonial Secularism
INTRODUCTION In his contribution to a timely collection of essays entitled The Crisis of Secularism in India, Partha Chatterjee identifies a new element in what is increasingly being considered legitimate politics in contemporary South Asian contexts....
Agonistic Academe: Dialogue, Paralogy, and the Postmodern University
The birth of the neoliberal university might be traced back to 1996, when a relatively unknown associate professor of Comparative Literature at the Universite de Montreal caused a stir by publishing a book that showed how colleges and universities...
Antagonistically Speaking
This issue focuses on antagonisms. The topic's relevance for comparative literature seems at once evident and elusive. This volume asks: How might one conceive of antagonism today? Why are certain forms of antagonism readily made visible while others...
Antagonized by the Text, or, It Takes Two to Read Alice Walkers "Everyday Use"
After publishing his study of Racine in 1963, Roland Barthes came under fire for what many critics of the French literary establishment saw as a misreading of the iconic dramatist. One particularly hostile member of the Sorbonne, Raymond Picard, charged...
Ben Jonson and His Reader: An Aesthetics of Antagonism
But thou hast squared thy rules, by what is good; And art, three ages yet, from understood: And (I dare say) in it there lies much wit Lost, till thy readers can grow up to it. (Francis Beaumont, "Upon Catiline") "--neque, me ut...
Contemporaneity and Antagonism in Modernist and Postmodern Aesthetics
When Paul de Man writes in Blindness and Insight about the tension between literary modernity and literary history--a locus of antagonism, in his view--he seems in many ways to be prefiguring current discussions of contemporaneity as the term has been...
Cross-Dressing: Ancient and Modern Reappropriations of Homosexual Identity
It turns out that where homoeroticism is granted full social sanction, as it was in Rome, it flourishes ... Men, we learn from ancient Rome, will enjoy sex with other men, if there is no social censure ... And so now we come back to the idyllic day...
Duras and Platonic Love: The Erotics of Substitution
DIOTIMA: Indeed since Eros is always [the desire of the good], would Eros be the name of the zeal and the intensity of those pursuing the good in a certain manner? What does this activity happen to be? Can you say? SOCRATES: But, Diotima, I would...
Gaming the Trace: Systems Theory for Comparative Literature
Situated in the external zone of the Milky Way, the Sun takes about two hundred million years to make a complete revolution of the Galaxy. Right, that's how long it takes, not a day less,--Qfwfq said,-- once, as I went past, I drew a sign at a point...
Naguib Mahfouz's Children of the Alley and the Coming Revolution
INTRODUCTION 2011 marked the centennial of the birth of the Egyptian Nobel laureate Najib Mahfuz (Naguib Mahfouz). Celebrating in the shadow of the Arab Spring, it was a fitting coincidence for fans of the late great master, as Mahfouz was undoubtedly...
Peter Handke's Reception of Miguel De Cervantes's Don Quixote of la Mancha (1605) in der Bildverlust: Oder Durch Die Sierra De Gredos (the Loss of Image or through the Sierra De Gredos) (2002)
Peter Handke's novel Der Bildverlust: oder Durch die Sierra de Gredos--his "magnus opus, not just in terms of length, but equally in terms of spiritual scope and aesthetic innovation" (Skwara 77)--is to date the latest of literary texts by Austrian...
Poetic Antagonyms
Bruised are our words and our full thought Breaks like dull rain from some rich cloud. Isaac Rosenberg My subject is lexical self-opposition in English poetry. I approach it at a time of aggravated national self-opposition, from the viewpoint...
Shensi: Tracing Arthur Szes Poetic Imagination between East and West
I want to mention my idea that the mind is a dragon. In Chinese culture, a dragon embodies magic, transformation, and energy. Arthur Sze, The Silk Dragon (11) "The spirit resides in the mind," says Liu Xie (ca. 465-520), one of the most important...
Staging Diaspora: Memory, Writing, and Antagonism in Maryse Conde's Desirada
Born on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe to a 15-year-old mother who first tries to kill herself and then abandons her daughter to find work in France, the child Marie-Noelle is blissfully unaware of the history of abuse, rape, and violence embedded...
The Discussion as Joust: Parrhesia and Friendly Antagonism in Plutarch and Montaigne
No single word in the English language fully reflects the polysemy of the Greek term agon, which denotes the entire gamut of struggles from combat to athletic contests. Antagonism, then, is defined less by the origin or the nature of its conflict than...
The Function of Agon at the Present Time
Our antagonist is our helper. Edmund Burke In this essay I want to take up the important principle of agon in relation to how we conceptualize world literature and articulate a literary criticism adequate to it. I am particularly concerned to...
The Rutledge Prize 2012 for Graduate Students Giving Papers at the SCLA Conference
Each year the SCLA offers a prize of $100 for the most promising work presented at its annual conference by a graduate student. The essay is also considered for publication in The Comparatist. You may submit a paper for consideration for this award...
The Theology of Painting: Picturing Philosophy in Velazquez's Las Meninas
Theory has often been regarded in early modern studies as an irresponsible guest at best, and, at worst, an unwelcome intruder. While early modern cultural production has served theorists well as they explore their own projects, theory is sometimes...
Time and Trauma in Ricardo Piglia's the Absent City
In Ricardo Piglia's novel La ciudad ausente (The Absent City), Macedonio Fernandez attempts to save some semblance of his terminally ill wife, Elena, by placing her memories in a machine. The machine eventually begins to tell others' stories, stories...