Postcolonialism and Political Discourse in Chinua Achebe's Tetralogy

This book studies four novels by Chinua Achebe i.e. Things Fall Apart, No Longer at Ease, Arrow of God, and A Man of People, so as to investigate how he has constructed his alternative discourse; a discourse which has been successful in providing a room where the colonized are given voices to speak and the reader has a chance to understand better their world and what they have confronted because of colonization. Since each novel focuses on a different colonial or postcolonial phase in Nigeria and Achebe has made use of different discursive strategies in each of them, it can be claimed that taking them as a tetralogy and studying them together can result in providing a vivid picture of Achebe’s discourse and what his novels seek to mirror about the Nigerian hybrid identity and the colonized man’s struggles in the way of dealing with ‘otherness’ and difference.

After Poland: A Memoir Because of Primo Levi

In If This Is a Man, Italian Jewish writer Primo Levi wrote an ethical treatise on how to regain humanity after atrocity. His need to write developed at Auschwitz. Upon return to Italy in late 1945, he began to compose his first testimonial work. In After Poland, a story written as both a biography and a memoir, scholar Cheryl Chaffin travels to Poland because of her love for Levi’s writing and his story. As a student in Italy in the 1980s, she first discovered Levi’s work. Years later, his words accompany her through sites of memory and modern streets of rebuilt cities and towns. She turns to Polish art, poetry, photography, and politics to make sense of interconnected histories. This is a literary love story of one woman’s confrontation with the trauma of history. In deep engagement with Levi’s writing, she discovers her own ethical response to the world and learns how to live in response to the histories that haunt us.

Creation Sounds: Music, Gender and Performativity in Contemporary Latin American Literature

This book considers the role of music in multi-mediated formats that privilege the performative elements of meaning production. Among the possible links between literature and music, the research in this volume pays close attention to: (a) the musicalization of the novel in contemporary Latin American writing; (b) the incorporation of poetry, visuals and musical accompaniment to the production of literary texts and shifts in the reader-text relationship and the nature of literary culture; (c) and discussions on the performativity of reading and the role of musical elements in the phenomenology of the text. In addition to examining the various ways that music can interact with literary works, this book makes available (some for the first time) in English translation to a wider audience, the poetry, prose and multimedia productions of Latin Americans writers who are among the most salient and innovative of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

(Re)Writing Without Borders: Contemporary Intermedial Perspectives on Literature and the Visual Arts

Among the vehicles for personal, national or global expressions and exchanges around cultural matters, the arts have always held a pivotal position. The diverse range of approaches and of study texts in (Re)Writing Without Borders: Contemporary Intermedial Perspectives on Literature and the Visual Artscelebrates the proliferation of word and image media, and the porosity between them, and attests to the continuing relevance of literature and the visual arts in producing and reproducing meaning within contemporary contexts. The essays gathered here examine cross-artistic encounters with a view to capture the most up-to-date interaction between literature and the visual arts. The breadth of expertise from an international array of authors offers a collective and thorough examination of diverse critical approaches that explore how topics such as adaptation and ideology, modernization of traditional genres, relations between art and digital graphics, or ekphrastic narratives, are expressed through different types of texts and media.

Mediating Travel Writing, Mediated China: The Middle Kingdom in Travel Books and Blogs

What is the cultural value of travel writing today? How is the genre affected by instant communication and digital technology? To these questions Calzati’s book seeks and offers an answer. Tapping into two mirroring desires – the discovery of other cultures and the reaffirmation of one’s own identity – the intertwinement between travel and writing is as old as human history. This is particularly noticeable when travellers from the West go Eastward, especially to China. And yet, while printed travelogues usually provide a representation that – for the better or for worse – fulfills the reader’s interest in the Middle Kingdom, the proliferation of user-generated content on the Web, such as travel blogs, kindles – rather than satisfies – the desire to visit the country, grounded on the account that nowadays “anybody can do it”. In Mediating Travel Writing, Mediated China, Calzati adopts a transmedial and materialist perspective to explore how different medial choices impact on the practices of travelling and writing. The work draws upon texts in different languages – English, French, Italian and Chinese – which eventually question any neat definition of “West” and “China” as geopolitical concepts. By considering travel writing, at once, as an object of study and a conceptual frame, Calzati’s book provides a richly researched and theoretically sound study on contemporary mobility and new forms of textualization. In so doing, the book renovates the discussion on the genre’s literary and political relevance in today’s multicultural societies, while highlighting the culture-dependent use of the Web and digital technologies.

Emotion and Plot in the Premodern English-Language Novel

The research in this book employs quantitative methods to study the underlying structure of the early English novel. Thirty-nine great novels published before 1914 are analyzed in terms of the emotional implications of their words.Millions of words are quantified with the help of the Dictionary of Affect in Language.Scores are employed to establish an overall emotional description of each novel on the dimension of pleasantness and to reveal its plot structure. Language concreteness and the emotional activation of each novel are also discussed. Interesting findings include the fact that Emma and Little Women are (linguistically) pleasant novels, while Red Badge of Courage and Call of the Wild are unpleasant. Wuthering Heights has a very complex plot structure while Tom Jones has a simple one, basically increasing in pleasantness throughout.Because of its concrete language, tragic plot, and unpleasant tone, Moby-Dick belongs to a group of cold, melancholy novels.

Historical Narrative, Urban Space, and a New Cast to Urban Economics: Rethinking Urban Economics from a Conceptual Standpoint

A rethinking of urban economics involves transforming time from a metronomic parameter to an assaying of connection, separation, and memory. Accordingly, what should be the proper weighting of history in analyses of the urban economic environment, and how might the differing takes on the nature of urban space figure in reimagining such analyses?

From a mathematical, social, and historical perspective three types of challenges emerge. For example, the assumption of mathematical continuity, underlying an implicit axiom of mobility, must be counterposed to the virtues of immobility, namely housing security, a social consideration contributing to why housing markets are different.

What follows is a critique of abstracted models in urban economics, as they must be comprehended as narratives, ultimately grounded in history. In the process one may uncover counter-narratives leading to markedly different conclusions, as in the case of rent control or the role of land speculation in urban development.

On the Use of Genitive Absolute in Sanskrit

Ferdinand de Saussure is most famous for his Course in General Linguistics, reconstructed after his death by his students from notes of lectures he had given at the University of Geneva. He only published two books before his death, the Memoir on the Primitive Vowel System in Indo-European Languages, and the book that we publish here for the first time in English translation, On the Use of the Genitive Absolute in Sanskrit.

Originally a doctoral thesis in French written while he was a student at the University of Leipzig, On the Use of the Genitive Absolute in Sanskrit was first published in French in 1881. Here, Saussure explores a neglected area in Sanskrit syntax. Already in this work we find an empirical case of the seminal principle of structural linguistics based on use, a principle for which, after his death, he was to become so famous.

Editor and translator Ananta Sukla has at last rescued this book from neglect. Apart from translating the text in collaboration with late Patrick Thomas, Sukla provides an extensive introduction that clarifies several points illuminating foundation of modern linguistics in ancient Sanskrit grammars, particularly in principles of use.

Before the Market: The Political Economy of Olympianism

In this debut, Wang offers an entirely new way of conceptualizing economics and social relations. Drawing from a rich historical analysis of ancient Greece, she provides an exposition of ‘Olympianism’—a stunning program of political economy and identity formation that speaks directly to the crises in the 21st century.

Olympianism comprises a series of distinct economic patterns which shaped the workings of property, labor, money, and knowledge in ancient Greece, around the time of its first democracy. As a comprehensive model, the Olympian system also sustained a set of particular metaphysical, ontological, and sociological narratives which gave rise to a unique subjectivity that was central to early democratic politics.

Through exploring the links among culture, identity, and economics, Before the Market presents a compelling example that highlights the benefits that radical paradigm transformation could bring to societies all around the world.

Leo Strauss on Nietzsche's Thrasymachean-Dionysian Socrates: Philosophy, Politics, Science, and Religion in the Modern Age

In probing Leo Strauss’ interpretation of Nietzsche’s political philosophy, this book shows that Strauss’ Nietzsche is a philosopher who, while committed to the contemplative life, launched a theological-political project aimed at emancipating human beings from ecclesiastical tutelage, while laying the groundwork for planetary justice based on a new understanding of the human predicament in the conditions of late modernity. Pace the dominant interpretations of Nietzsche, I argue that Strauss reads Nietzsche as providing an understanding of the political problem in light of the intention of the philosopher as philosopher.

When thoroughly read, Strauss’ re-interpretations of chief philosophical works can be said to take their bearings from the idea that they are unacknowledged dramatizations of Plato’s classical political-philosophical oeuvre par excellence. This book considers Strauss’ interpretation of Nietzsche as a case in point of the aforementioned remark. In doing so, It sheds light on what a philosopher is and on the relationship between politics and philosophy.