Faculty Books

Architexts of Memory: Literature, Science, and Autobiography

Winner of Modern Languages Association Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Comparative Literary Studies

In this impressively interdisciplinary study, Evelyne Ender revisits master literary works to suggest that literature can serve as an experimental laboratory for the study of human remembrance. She shows how memory not only has a factual basis but is inseparable from fictional and aesthetic elements. Beautifully written in accessible prose, and impressive in its scope, the book takes up works by Proust, Woolf, George Eliot, Nerval, Lou Andreas-Salome, and Sigmund Freud, getting to the heart of essential questions about mental images, empirical knowledge, and the devastations of memory loss in ways that are suggestive and profound. Architexts of Memory joins a growing body of work in the lively field of memory studies, drawing from clinical psychology, psychoanalysis, and neurobiology as well as literary studies.

The Wit and Wisdom of Don Quixote de la Mancha

A browser’s delight of proverbs, just in time for the 400th anniversary of Cervantes’s classic, The Wit and Wisdom of Don Quixote de la Mancha distills the timeless insight and humor of the masterpiece into a charming gift-size collection ideal for any lover of literature and great quotations.

Decorated with rich illustrations and assembled with a historical introduction by Cervantes scholar Harry Sieber, the quotations in this book are arranged according to theme for quick reference. Readers will easily discover the perfect quote for any occasion or topic. From Love and Hope, to Prudence and Prosperity, to Honor and Honesty, Don Quixote is famous for countless proverbs that have stood the test of time.

After 400 years, these sayings are still with us today, and the best are gathered in this literary volume. In the words of the immortal Man of La Mancha, “Thou hast seen nothing yet.”

The Pragmatic Turn in Philosophy

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The Pragmatic Turn in Philosophy explores how the various discursive strategies of old and new pragmatisms are related, and what their pertinence is to the relationship between pragmatism and philosophy as a whole. The contributors bridge the divide between analytic and continental philosophy through a transcontinental desire to work on common problems in a common philosophical language. Irrespective of which side of the divide one stands on, pragmatic philosophy has gained ascendancy over the traditional concerns of a representationalist epistemology that has determined much of the intellectual and cultural life of modernity. This book details how contemporary philosophy will emerge from this recognition and that, in fact, this emergence is already underway.

After the Palace Burns

“After the Palace Burns” is the stunning debut of Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei and is the winner of the 2002 Paris Review Prize in Poetry. Each line in this extraordinary collection of poems feels like the deliberate utterance of a strong, educated, and creative mind. Each image and word is carefully chosen for context, clarity, and deep surprise. Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei was born in Saint Louis, Missouri, and has studied in Athens, Ohio; Philadelphia; Berlin; and New York City.

Demon Lovers: Witchcraft, Sex, and the Crisis of Belief

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On September 20, 1587, Walpurga Hausmännin of Dillingen in southern Germany was burned at the stake as a witch. Although she had confessed to committing a long list ofmaleficia (deeds of harmful magic), including killing forty—one infants and two mothers in labor, her evil career allegedly began with just one heinous act—sex with a demon. Fornication with demons was a major theme of her trial record, which detailed an almost continuous orgy of sexual excess with her diabolical paramour Federlin “in many divers places, . . . even in the street by night.”

As Walter Stephens demonstrates in Demon Lovers, it was not Hausmännin or other so-called witches who were obsessive about sex with demons—instead, a number of devout Christians, including trained theologians, displayed an uncanny preoccupation with the topic during the centuries of the “witch craze.” Why? To find out, Stephens conducts a detailed investigation of the first and most influential treatises on witchcraft (written between 1430 and 1530), including the infamous Malleus Maleficarum (Hammer of Witches).

Far from being credulous fools or mindless misogynists, early writers on witchcraft emerge in Stephens’s account as rational but reluctant skeptics, trying desperately to resolve contradictions in Christian thought on God, spirits, and sacraments that had bedeviled theologians for centuries. Proof of the physical existence of demons—for instance, through evidence of their intercourse with mortal witches—would provide strong evidence for the reality of the supernatural, the truth of the Bible, and the existence of God. Early modern witchcraft theory reflected a crisis of belief—a crisis that continues to be expressed today in popular debates over angels, Satanic ritual child abuse, and alien abduction.

How the World Became a Stage: Presence, Theatricality, and the Question of Modernity

What is special, distinct, modern about modernity? In How the World Became a Stage, William Egginton argues that the experience of modernity is fundamentally spatial rather than subjective and proposes replacing the vocabulary of subjectivity with the concepts of presence and theatricality. Following a Heideggerian injunctive to search for the roots of epochal change not in philosophies so much as in basic skills and practices, he describes the spatiality of modernity on the basis of a close historical analysis of the practices of spectacle from the late Middle Ages to the early modern period, paying particular attention to stage practices in France and Spain. He recounts how the space in which the world is disclosed changed from the full, magically charged space of presence to the empty, fungible, and theatrical space of the stage.

Zerbrechende Tradierung. Zu Kontexten des Schauspiels “IchundIch” von Else Lasker-Schüler

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Bereits in den 60er Jahren wurden die Weichen für eine nachhaltige Marginalisierung gestellt: Das im Exil entstandene Schauspiel „IchundIch“ von Else Lasker-Schüler erschien unzugänglich für Lektüren, die das Ideal organischer Geschlossenheit zugrunde legten. Das Buch praktiziert demgegenüber eine besondere Form des „close reading“, das die vielschichtige Textur des Dramas „dicht“ beschreibt und dabei poetologische Fragestellungen aus dem Umfeld dekonstruktiver Theoriebildungen mit diskursanalytischen „Querschnitten“ verbindet. Im Zentrum stehen Überlegungen zum Genre des Textes, zur Problematik von Autorschaft und schließlich zur intertextuellen Umschrift von Goethes „Faust“ vor dem Hintergrund nationalsozialistischer Indienstnahmen des „Faustischen“. „Zerbrechende Tradierung“ bezeichnet den komplexen Darstellungsmodus des Dramas, der Exilierung in sprachliche Deterritorialisierung übersetzt und zugleich eine ideologiekritische „Fugentechnik“ ausbildet, die jede Totalisierung absoluter Ursprungsinstanzen unterbricht.

Passagen der Wiederholung. Kierkegaard – Lacan – Freud

Die Arbeit widmet sich der Frage der Wiederholung aus einer literaturwissenschaftlichen und psychoanalytischen Perspektive. Anhand der Konstellation von Texten Kierkegaards, Lacans, Freuds und Derridas wird die Wiederholung als sprachliche und ethische Figur im Hinblick auf eine Kritik an der Logik der Repräsentation entfaltet. Die Konfrontation von Kierkegaards Denken der Wiederholung mit dem Wiederholungsbegriff der Psychoanalyse und Lacans Ethik der Begehrens ermöglicht es, die Wiederholung als paradoxe Bewegung zu lesen, in der sich Ethik und Sprache strukturell miteinander verschränken. Diese Verschränkung wird anhand von Kierkegaards Begriff der Ironie, Lacans Konzeptionen des Symbolischen und Realen, Freuds Ausführungen zum Urteil sowie Derridas Denken der Schrift theoretisch expliziert. Die Korrespondenzen von Kierkegaards Ironiebegriff mit der Sprachauffassung der Psychoanalyse geben Anlaß zu sprachtheoretischen und methodischen Reflexionen. Auf diesem Wege zeigt sich auch die Lektüre als Wiederholungsbewegung, d.h. als eine Angelegenheit der Ethik und des Begehrens.

Skeptical Selves

This book examines three first-person novels that narrate spectacular failures of self-representation. In an innovative move, the author grounds these failures in the narrators’ inability to move beyond Empiricist notions of correspondence between private, nonverbal experience and public expression, an inability that confines them to various forms of solipsism. Russo contends that such Empiricist notions still inform contemporary French novels and criticism. She deftly shows that current forms of linguistic skepticism favored by Blanchot, Sartre, Barthes, and Derrida are in fact the very product of the Empiricist notion of truth these authors claim to have rejected. Instead, she argues for the social and contextual dimension of language and against the illusion of authenticity on which these critics still rely. Her readings recast the debates surrounding postmodernism by placing them in a much-needed historical context.

Through a series of lively close readings of Prevost’s Histoire d’une Grecque moderne, Constant’s Adolphe, and Des Forets’s Le Bavard, Russo establishes the continuous legacy of Empiricism across three centuries. Prevost pins his narrator’s interpretive difficulties on an inability to know and categorize Oriental reality, Constant grounds his critique of language on the same ethical and political principles that underlie his liberalism, while Des Forets’s extreme solipsism pitches him against the Sartrean notion of engagement.

Sexing the Mind: Nineteenth-Century Fictions of Hysteria

In a book both brilliant and lucid, Evelyne Ender explores the issue of sexual identity in the fiction, criticism, and psychoanalytic writings of the 19th century. She focuses on the figure of the hysteric, which, she says, came to represent a mind haunted by the questioning of gender.