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“No country, this, for old men”: A View of the Aging Artist through Intertexts in J. M. Coetzee’s Disgrace
Published June 28, 2020

J. M. Coetzee’s Disgrace (1999) features two emblematic modernist representations of the aging artist, William Butler Yeats’s “Sailing to Byzantium” and T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” which have not been given enough critical attention. Focusing on the Romantic notions underlying David Lurie’s worldview, cu...rrent critical discourse, with the notable exception of Mike Marais, suggests that Lurie’s career follows the patterns of the Bildungsroman. Taking its cue from Marais, the present intertextual reading discusses Lurie’s “anti-Bildungsroman” in the light of the novel’s non-Romantic intertexts. It argues that they highlight, on the one hand, Lurie’s chiastic thought-processes, which are likely to bracket any progress or development. On the other hand, they reveal his (self)-ageism and the entrenched ageism of the literary tradition he relies on. Those, in turn, also give a pessimistic prognosis of his discovering a protective discourse or worldview which would allow him—and post-apartheid South Africa—to “age gracefully.” Likewise, they manifest yet another aspect of the novel’s unreliable narration, which—unlike Lurie’s sexism and racism—is rooted in so universal fears that, instead of alienating readers from his perspective, it makes his bleak  vision of post-apartheid South Africa even more compelling. (AR)

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Editor's Notes
Published June 26, 2020

Editor's Notes

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The Architecture of the Self
Published February 1, 2021

Book review:

Ng, Andrew Hock Soon. Women and Domestic Space in Contemporary Gothic Narratives: The House as Subject. Basingstroke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. xiii + 246 pages. ISBN 978-1-137-53681-5. Hb. $90.

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J. M. Coetzee, the Craftsman
Published February 1, 2021

Book review:

Attwell, David. J. M. Coetzee and the Life of Writing: Face-to-Face with Time. New York: Viking, 2015. xxiii + 248 pages. ISBN 978-0-525-42961-6. Pbk. $27.95.

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From Heroic Soldiers to Geometric Forms and Suffering Wrecks: The Transformation of the Male Body in the Art of World War I
Published February 1, 2021

Mechanized and trench warfare, which dominated World War I representations and made millions of soldiers suffer, challenged the rigid gender ideals and hierarchies in the Europe of the time. As the destruction of the traditional manly ideal ran parallel with the destruction of male bodies in the war, the hegemony of traditional representational... modes of soldiers was also gradually replaced by more innovative strategies both in poetry and painting. The essay analyzes such works of art with a focus on the crisis of masculinity, manifested quite tangibly in new strategies and representations of visual art. Similarly to soldiers’ written reminiscences, works of visual art depict a sense of emasculation, powerlessness, physical and mental breakdown, testifying that the masculine ideal, which was in large part defined by the chivalric heroic tradition, became anachronistic and unattainable. The figure of the physically or mentally disabled, disempowered soldier as a new phenomenon gained a central position during and after World War I, questioning the validity of the old patriarchal order. Previously marginalized masculinities, for example, the masculinity of homosexual men, and traits previously associated exclusively with femininity such as sensitivity, found their way to open up the borders and shape the Modernist discourse of European masculinity, changing it once and for all. (EEB)

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Geographies of Women
Published February 1, 2021

Book review:

Beebe, Kathryne, and Angela Davis, eds. Space, Place and Gendered Identities: Feminist History and the Spatial Turn. London: Routledge, 2015. x + 158 pages. ISBN 978-1-138-83049-3. Hb. £110.

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“Close your eyes. Picture a character. . .”: A Route to Imagery and Creativity
Published June 24, 2020

Book review:

García-Romero, Anne. The Fornes Frame: Contemporary Latina Playwrights and the Legacy of Maria Irene Fornes. Tucson: U of Arizona P, 2016. xiii + 240 pages. ISBN 978-0816531448. Pbk. $24.95.

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The Written Self in the Age of Reason
Published June 28, 2020

Book review:

Baker, John, Marion Leclair, and Allan Ingram, eds. Writing and Constructing the Self in Great Britain in the Long Eighteenth Century. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2019. xiii + 288 pages. ISBN 978-1-5261-2336-7. Hb. £80.00.

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Editor's Notes
Published June 24, 2020

    

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