Ecosickness in Contemporary U S Fiction

Author: Heather Houser
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231537360
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The 1970s brought a new understanding of the biological and intellectual impact of environmental crises on human beings, and as efforts to prevent ecological and human degradation aligned, a new literature of sickness emerged. "Ecosickness fiction" imaginatively rethinks the link between ecological and bodily endangerment and uses affect and the sick body to bring readers to environmental consciousness. Tracing the development of ecosickness through a compelling archive of modern U.S. novels and memoirs, this study demonstrates the mode's crucial role in shaping thematic content and formal and affective literary strategies. Examining works by David Foster Wallace, Richard Powers, Leslie Marmon Silko, Marge Piercy, Jan Zita Grover, and David Wojnarowicz, Heather Houser shows how these authors unite experiences of environmental and somatic damage through narrative affects that draw attention to ecological phenomena, organize perception, and convert knowledge into ethics. Traversing contemporary cultural studies, ecocriticism, affect studies, and literature and medicine, Houser juxtaposes ecosickness fiction against new forms of environmentalism and technoscientific innovations such as regenerative medicine and alternative ecosystems. Ecosickness in Contemporary U.S. Fiction recasts recent narrative as a laboratory in which affective and perceptual changes both support and challenge political projects.

Orhan Pamuk and the Good of World Literature

Author: Gloria Fisk
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231544820
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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When Orhan Pamuk won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006, he was honored for using his craft as a novelist to bridge a troubling gap between the Judeo-Christian West and the Islamic East. Gloria Fisk contests this pervasive way of reading Pamuk to look skeptically at the ways Western literary cultures expand their reach around the world. Taking the Turkish novelist as a case study in that expansion, Fisk reads his post-9/11 novels in the context of their international reception to weigh the costs and benefits of valuing literature as a source of cross-cultural understanding. The result is a case study in the uneven processes of translation, circulation, and judgment that carry a writer across the eastern edge of Europe to his readers all over the globe.

The Digital Banal

Author: Zara Dinnen
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231545401
Format: PDF, ePub
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Contemporary culture is haunted by its media. Yet in their ubiquity, digital media have become increasingly banal, making it harder for us to register their novelty or the scope of the social changes they have wrought. What do we learn about our media environment when we look closely at the ways novelists and filmmakers narrate and depict banal use of everyday technologies? How do we encounter our own media use in scenes of waiting for e-mail, watching eBay bids, programming as work, and worrying about numbers of social media likes, friends, and followers? Zara Dinnen analyzes a range of prominent contemporary novels, films, and artworks to contend that we live in the condition of the “digital banal,” not noticing the affective novelty of our relationship to digital media. Jennifer Egan, Dave Eggers, Sheila Heti, Jonathan Lethem, Gary Shteyngart, Colson Whitehead, Mark Amerika, and Danica Novgorodoff and films such as The Social Network and Catfish critique and reveal the ways in which digital labor isolates the individual; how the work of programming has become an operation of power; and the continuation of the “California ideology,” which has folded the radical into the rote and the imaginary into the mundane. The works of these writers and artists, Dinnen argues, also offer ways of resisting the more troubling aspects of the effects of new technologies, as well as timely methods for seeing the digital banal as a politics of suppression. Bridging the gap between literary studies and media studies, The Digital Banal recovers the shrouded disturbances that can help us recognize and antagonize our media environment.

Lasting Impressions

Author: Jesse Matz
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231543050
Format: PDF, ePub
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Impressionism captured the world’s imagination in the late nineteenth-century. Portraying the sensations left behind as modernity progressed, impressionist artists revolutionized the arts and the wider culture. Impressionism transformed painting and literature, and later film and advertising, and introduced new ways to look at and think about objects. Its legacy can be felt in a range of examples in popular and high culture, from cubism and the works of Zadie Smith and W. G. Sebald to advertisements for Pepsi and the observations of Oliver Sacks and Malcolm Gladwell. Yet despite impressionism’s ongoing aesthetic and cultural domination, the movement has also been associated with superficiality and commodified kitsch. Jesse Matz considers these two versions of impression—the timeless and the negative—to explain the genre’s significance today. He examines impressionism’s footprint in the way we define “good” and “bad” art and in our imagining and reimagining of the status and aesthetics of art. As Lasting Impressions moves through contemporary literature, painting, and popular culture, Matz explains how the perceptual role, cultural effects, and social implications of impressionism continue to generate meaning and foster new forms of creativity, understanding, and public engagement.

In Stereotype

Author: Mrinalini Chakravorty
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023153776X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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