The Comparatist

Articles from Vol. 40, October

Academe in Chains: Habitus, Reform, and the Neoliberal University
University reform is slow--even when times are bad. In spite of the downward corporate spiral taken by most universities over the past twenty-five years, efforts to release the university from its neoliberal chains have been widely regarded as ineffective....
After the Event: Toward a Post-Capitalist Conception of Structure and Habit on the Limits of the Event
ON THE LIMITS OF THE EVENT Habit, Structure, Event: recent theory would privilege the later concept over the former two. As concepts, habit and structure suggest fixity, rigidity, inattentiveness, unconsciousness--certainly not the stuff of which...
Conceptualizing Americanness: U.S. Drama in Spain, 1910-1930
This essay surveys the presence of North American dramatic works (1) in Spain in the early twentieth century, and seeks to investigate the shifting conception of Americanness of audiences who consumed American plays, and critics who discussed, and...
Deleuze on Habit
Habits hook us into our sense of self-consistency: we sense life's pattern as our habits stabilize time's flux into predictable routine. To have habits is to set down a multiplicity of little anchors into that flux, each habit constituting a continuum...
Fenelon's Subversive Uses of Aeneid 6
Francois Fenelon's The Adventures of Telemachus, Son of Ulysses (1699) is a novel that the general audience has forgotten today. Yet it was not only the most popular literary work of the eighteenth century, but also an important point of reference...
Habits, Nothing but Habits: Biological Time in Deleuze
Isn't this the answer to the question "what are we?" We are habits, nothing but habits--the habit of saying "I." Perhaps, there is no more striking answer to the problem of the Self. Gilles Deleuze, Empiricism and Subjectivity This is a paper...
Loss and the Durability of Everyday Life in Uwe Timm's in My Brother's Shadow and Bobbie Ann Mason's in Country
The first-person narrator of Uwe Timm's In My Brother's Shadow and Samantha Hughes, the main character in Bobbie Ann Mason's In Country, encounter life-changing peripeteias long before they reach adulthood. They both focus on young men whom they never...
Mind the Gap: Toward a Political History of Habit
Habit has become a lively topic of debate across a range of contemporary fields of inquiry: in affect theory, sociological accounts of reflexivity, the neurosciences, cultural geography, actor network theory, aesthetics and philosophy. This has paralleled...
Necessary Narration in Their Eyes Were Watching God
Popular and critical portrayals of Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God commonly depict the novel as the bold tale of a Southern black woman's discovery of her voice, her identity, and her autonomy. The novel has now held a canonically...
"Neutrality" as Nomos? Paradigm, Nuance, and the Politics of Coterritoriality in Late Barthes
I've spoken of the nuance as a fundamental practice of communication a number of times; I even risked giving it a name: diaphoralogy. Barthes, The Preparation of the Novel 45. The territory's generic function ... [i]sn't just a matter of security,...
Playing Kings, Ultimatums, and Abdications: The Apple Cart and to Play the King
The first word of my title has two meanings: competing against, as in playing cards, and enacting a role--in life, not onstage. In The Apple Cart and To Play the King a prime minister opposes a king who has difficulty performing the role of king in...
Reading Habits
This issue focuses on habits. The reception of "habit" among philosophers and theorists has been less than hospitable. Frequently set in opposition to what is called the event--or the Real in a Lacanian register--habits would seem to serve ideology...
Samuel Butler's Life and Habit and the Modernist Literary Character: Rethinking the Subject through the Everyday
The last decade has seen a veritable resurgence of the theme of habit in philosophical and critical debates. While for decades the preference had been accorded to either the active forces of will and desire or the contingency and abruptness of the...
Shelley's Quest for Persian Love
The Romantic period bears witness to a scene where the Romantic subject is capable of selflessness and loss of self in its interaction with an ideal visionary beloved. The Romantics pursue a sense of mystical oneness with the divine--God, Nature, or...
Sonal Khullar, Worldly Affiliations: Artistic Practice, National Identity, and Modernism in India, 1930-1990
Sonal Khullar, Worldly Affiliations: Artistic Practice, National Identity, and Modernism in India, 1930-1990 Berkeley: University of California Press, 2015, 368 pp. Chika Okeke-Agulu, Postcolonial Modernism: Art and Decolonization in Twentieth-Century...
The Bad Habits of Critical Theory
Progressive critical theory--defined here loosely as a combination of post-structuralism, psychoanalysis, Marxism, and deconstructive feminist and queer theory--has been relentlessly dismissive of habits, particularly of habits of thought that organize...
The Comedy of the "Para-Site" Duck Soup, Volpone, and Hamlet
In the Marx Brothers' Duck Soup (1933), there is a famous mirror scene in which the spies Pinky (Harpo) and Chicolini (Chico) try to steal the war plan from Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho). When Pinky attempts to escape from Firefly, he accidently shatters...
The Deliverance or Domestication of Others: Memos from Comparative Literature Classes in Appalachia
In his work The Deliverance of Others: Reading Literature in a Global Age, David Palumbo-Liu examines the relevance of World Literature as a delivery system. According to Palumbo-Liu, works of literature bring the lives of others to us. As a system...
The Forces of Habit and the Ethics of Self-Composture in Patrick White's Fiction
In an early passage from Patrick White's novel The Twyborn Affair (1979), the protagonist offers a spirited defense of the odors that waft from a man's body: "Even what you call their smelly smells can have a perverse charm. The smell of an old man,...
The Rutledge Prize 2015: For Graduate Students Giving Papers at the SCLA Conference
Each year the SCLA offers a prize of $250 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...
Yusuf's "Queer" Beauty in Persian Cultural Productions
In the Hebrew Bible, Joseph is one of Jacob's twelve sons whose story is woven throughout the final chapters of Genesis. In the quranic account, Yusuf (Joseph) is the only prophet whose story gets a whole chapter of its own. According to tradition,...
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