The Comparatist

Articles from Vol. 33, May

A Mestizo of the Mind: Maodun in the Writings of Octavio Paz
In his Labyrinth of Solitude, Octavio Paz describes the pachuco as "a word of uncertain derivation, saying nothing and saying everything. It is a strange word with no definite meaning; or, to be more exact, it is charged like all popular creations...
Books Received
Andermahr, Sonya, ed. Jeanette Winterson. New York, New York: Continuum, 2007. Aoyama, Tomoko. Reading Food in Modern Japanese Literature. Lebanon, Pennsylvania: University of Hawaii Press, 2008. Asfour, Lana. Laurence Sterne in France. New York,...
Celebrations, Clusters, and Comparative Literature
In this issue of The Comparatist, I decided that we might try something different. I have had the occasion, as I grow older and my colleagues grow even older, to participate in various Festschriften offered in their honor. This is a charming custom,...
How American Is World Literature?
Michael Palencia-Roth has worked for many years on the challenge of presenting a truly global view of world literature on an American campus. As a principal founder of the University of Illinois's pioneering program in world literature in the mid-1980s,...
Michael Palencia-Roth Answers Dorothy Figueira
DF: You started as a Professor of Comparative Literature and retired as a Professor of Comparative and World Literature. Do you see a seismic shift here? MPR: I remember two rather brief conversations I had with my faculty advisers at Harvard in...
Modernism and Childhood: Violence and Renovation
To each truly new configuration of nature--and at bottom, technology is just such a configuration--there correspond new "images." Every childhood discovers these new images in order to incorporate them into the image stock of humanity. Walter Benjamin,...
Reading Jaufre: Comedy and Interpretation in a Medieval Cliff-Hanger
Long before Don Quixote tilted at his misinterpreted windmill, King Arthur also had a misadventure at a mill, though of a different sort. (1) In one of the lesser-known texts of medieval courtly literature, the anonymous twelfth- or thirteenth-century...
"So, Then People Do Come Here in Order to Live": Interiority in the Novels of Rainer Maria Rilke and Scipio Slataper
For many, Trieste is better known as the temporary home of the Irish immigrant whom Ezra Pound once referred to as a "refugee from Trieste," (1) than for the numerous modern Italian authors who lived there. The final words of Ulysses, "Trieste-Zurich-Paris,"...
Swallowing the Androgyne and Baptizing Mother: Some Modernist Twists to Two Basic Sacraments
THE EUCHARIST AND COMMUNION A detailed schematization of aspects of the feminine gathered from myth analysts like C. G. Jung and Joseph Campbell was among the helpful frameworks that Michael Palencia-Roth offered in his path-breaking comparative...
The Death of Law and Literature: An Optimistic Eulogy
I spent last Saturday morning leading a group of federal judges in a vigorous and largely successful roundtable discussion of Ariel Dorfman's play, Death and the Maiden. The deep underlying cause of this event was surely Michael Palencia-Roth--and...
Theme and Variation: Milan Kundera, Denis Diderot, and the Art of the Novel
Eh bien! je dirai comme un poete francais, qui avait fait une assez bonne epigramme, disait a quelqu'un qui se l'attribuait en sa presence: <<Pourquoi monsieur ne l'aurait-il pas faite? je l'ai bien faite, moi ...>> (1) (Diderot, Jacques...
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