Volume 67, Issue 3 | September 2006

Author Title
Andrea Frisch French Tragedy and the Civil Wars  
The seventeenth-century French neoclassical commitments to audience pleasure and to an aesthetic distance between audience and tragic stage arose in the context of a political discourse that emphasized the gains to be had from forgetting one of the most unpleasant periods in French history. France's wars of religion colored the experience of her poets and playwrights and, alongside more strictly literary influences such as Aristotle, Euripides, Seneca and Tasso, informed their views of tragedy. This piece argues that royal legislation commanding the French to obliterate memories of the wars played a critical role in the emergence of the neoclassical aesthetics of distance in the wake of the very different models of reception proposed by sixteenth-century humanism. In sharp contrast to the drama of the latter part of the sixteenth century, the tragedies of Corneille and his contemporaries shun the rhetoric of exemplarity that explicitly targets specific historical individuals and situations. At the same time that it serves the end of audience pleasure, this abstraction of history and historical difference also constitutes the foundation of the myth of French universalism.
Louisa Shea "May the Cynic Dolmancé Serve as your Guide": Sade and the Cynic Tradition  
This paper sketches an answer to the question, what does Cynicism signify in Sade's work? More specifically, what does Sade mean when he invites his readers, in the Philosophie dans le Boudoir, to take example on "the cynic Dolmancé"? The last two decades have seen a revival of scholarly interest in the philosophical import of Cynicism and my paper positions Sade within the literary and philosophical legacy of ancient Cynicism, in particular the reception of Cynicism in writings of the philosophes. I argue that Sade stands at a crucial juncture in the growing split between Cynicism in its ancient and modern meanings. He revives key aspects of ancient Cynicism that the philosophes had deliberately written out of the concept (most importantly, Cynic shamelessness and a commitment to animal nature) and thereby reinvigorates Cynicism for modernity even as he lays the foundations for our modern definition of cynicism as disillusioned self-interest.
Patricia Juliana Smith "The Queen of the Wasteland": The Endgames of Modernism in Angela Carter's The Magic Toyshop  
Angela Carter's second novel, The Magic Toyshop (1967), has heretofore been read primarily as a feminist fairy tale reworking the Bluebeard theme. This essay demonstrates that there is more to this work than meets the eye, and that barely concealed beneath the narrative surface is a highly allusory critique and reconfiguration of Modernist texts that had been extolled by Carter's Leavisite professors in the early 1960s. By setting this novel in its historical and intellectual context and examining the function of allusions to and tropes from T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land, D. H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover, and W. B. Yeats's "Leda and the Swan," it is possible to discern not only Carter's subversion of the "Great Tradition" but also her debt to it, even as she refutes the androcentric and elitist perspectives of these canonical works.
Michael Szalay The White Oriental  
The Cold War politics in Richard Condon's 1959 novel The Manchurian Candidate both obscure and allegorize the Beat hipster's trend-setting relation to the changing market protocols of literary modernism. This critically neglected but vastly influential political novel is, in this regard, a conscious rewriting of both Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and Kerouac's Dharma Bums. But Beat culture is not only a hidden subject within The Manchurian Candidate--it's also constitutive of how Condon understands his own reconciliation of trenchant critique and shameless pandering, of literary distinction and mass-market savvy. Condon's renderings of Asian influence work less to demonize an external threat than to transform the terms of political conflict into a salable drama of avant-garde insiders competing over cultural styles.
Author Title
Norman Finkelstein Redefining Elizabethan Literature by Georgia Brown
Evelyne Ender The Spectacular Past: Popular History and the Novel in Nineteenth-Century France by Maurice Samuels
Judith Wilt Disorienting Fictions: The Autoethnographic Work of Nineteenth-Century British Novels by James Buzard
Jennifer Greeson To Hell and Back: Race and Betrayal in the Southern Novel by Jeff Abernathy
Brian M. Reed Poetry After Auschwitz: Remembering What One Never Knew by Susan Gubar
Marvin Carlson All Theater is Revolutionary Theater by Benjamin Bennett

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