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This essay provides a new interpretation of the major methodological movements in literary scholarship since World War II, especially in the United States. The overarching claim is that these movements comprise displaced repetitions of moments in the early modern mourning for lost absolutes (the...
This essay traces Wordsworth's and Baudelaire's attempts to see into the lives of the unknown beggars they encountered on the streets of London and Paris and identifies those occasions on which both writers sought to appropriate the lives of the poor and vagrant for political ends. The essay...
In 1952 publisher Dodd, Mead and Company invited African American writer and intellectual Langston Hughes to create an introduction, select illustrations, and prepare discursive captions for a new edition of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin . The mid-twentieth century was a complex...
This essay examines how Fernando del Paso and Salvador Elizondo, two Mexican authors at opposite ends of what might be termed the Joycean spectrum, assimilate Joyce into their respective cultural projects. The essay argues that the incorporation of Joycean aesthetics into Mexican letters is the...
This essay explores the ethical stakes of poetic difficulty, focusing on images of impeded access and remote interiority in poems that dramatize encounters with matters that resist comprehension. Following Barbara Johnson's suggestion that having both an inside and an outside makes the “thing,...
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