Faculty and scholars within the Graduate Center Comparative Literature program are prolific authors. Learn more about the books published by members of our community in the archive below.
Y Tu Mamá También
Y Tu Mamá También (2001), an intelligent and sensual road movie directed by Alfonso Cuarón and co-written by him and his brother Carlos, is both an acclaimed feature by a director who would go on to win Oscars and a box office success abroad and in its native Mexico, where it was the biggest grossing local film of all time. Its teenage protagonists Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna went on to be major stars of global cinema.
Yet on its release the film was vilified by established Mexican critics as a coarse comedy and 'Penthouse fantasy' of youthful lust for an older woman. Paul Julian Smith's lucid study of the film argues that Y Tu Mamá También not only addresses with playful seriousness such major issues as gender, race, class, and space, which are yet more urgent now than they were on its release; but that the film's apparently casual aesthetic masks a sophisticated audiovisual style, one which brings together popular genre film and auteurist experiment.
Smith suggests Y Tu Mamá También remains an example for world cinema of how a very local film can connect with a global audience that is ignorant of such niceties. Combining production and distribution history, based on unexplored material held in Mexico City archives, with close textual analysis, Smith makes an argument for Cuarón's film as an enduring masterpiece that hides in plain sight as an ephemeral teen movie.
Published September 2022
British Film Institute
The Acoustic Self in English Modernism and Beyond
By Zoltan Varga (Ph.D. '13, Comparative Literature)
Drawing on the analogy between musical meaning-making and human subjectivity, this book develops the concept of the acoustic self, exploring the ways in which musical characterization and structure are related to issues of subject-representation in the modernist English novel. The volume is framed around three musical topics—the fugue, absolute music, and Gesamtkunstwerk—arguing that these three modes of musicalization address modernist dilemmas around selfhood and identity. Varga reflects on the manifestations of the acoustic self in examples from the works of E.M. Forster, Aldous Huxley, and Virginia Woolf, and such musicians as Bach, Beethoven, Handel, and Wagner. An additional chapter on jazz and electronic music supplements these inquiries, pursuing the acoustic self beyond modernism and thereby inciting further discussion and theorization of musical intermediality, as well as recent sonic practices.
Published February 2022
Reimagining History in Contemporary Spanish Media
This book offers a new perspective via visual culture of the reimagining of history for contemporary Spanish media audiences. It gives close readings of major recent texts in a number of media (theater, cinema, television, and streaming) which have yet to receive scholarly attention and are closely connected to each other. And it stresses the intermediality of the visual by calling attention to connections between those media and others such as painting. From Picasso to the Javis and from the classic serial to Netflix, this book shows how Spanish history is radically reimagined through recent visual culture.
Published December 2021
Modern Humanities Research Association
Mexican Genders, Mexican Genres: Cinema, Television and Streaming Since 2010
This book focusses on gender and the audio-visual landscape of Mexico since 2010, examining popular culture as expressed in the still distinct but rapidly converging media forms of cinema, television, and streaming platforms. It tracks how changes in producers and genres coincide with changes in gender representations and engages with depictions of feminism, women's sexuality, masculinity, and teen homosexuality. It aims to move beyond the art, auteur or specialist film that is vaunted by film festivals but little seen by Mexicans at home, focussing instead on a wider world of media content and practices available in Mexico itself. Close attention is also paid to the social media footprint of the productions studied and the way it is used for promotion and engagement with the target audience. The book proposes a new approach to audio-visual studies, combining textual analysis with field surveys and the useof industrial sources perhaps unfamiliar to scholars in Anglo-American Hispanism and Latin American media studies in the UK and USA
Published April 2021
André Aciman returns to the essay form in Homo Irrealis to explore what the present tense means to artists who cannot grasp the here and now. Irrealis is not about the present, or the past, or the future, but about what might have been but never was — but could in theory still happen.
From meditations on subway poetry and the temporal resonances of an empty Italian street, to considerations of the lives and work of Sigmund Freud, Constantine Cavafy, W. G. Sebald, John Sloan, Éric Rohmer, Marcel Proust, and Fernando Pessoa, and portraits of cities such as Alexandria and St. Petersburg, Homo Irrealis is a deep reflection of the imagination’s power to shape our memories under time’s seemingly intractable hold.
Published January 2021
Alice Paalen Rahon
Poetry by one of the most powerful female figures in twentieth-century surrealism, now collected in English for the very first time.
Alice Paalen Rahon was a shapeshifter, a surrealist poet turned painter who was born French and died a naturalized citizen of Mexico. Along with her first husband, the artist Wolfgang Paalen, her circle included Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, Joan Miró, Paul Éluard, Man Ray, and Anaïs Nin. Bicultural, bisexual, and fiercely independent, her romantic life included affairs with Pablo Picasso and the poet Valentine Penrose. This new selection of Rahon’s poems, included both in the original French and in translation by Mary Ann Caws, celebrates the visionary work of a woman who defied easy definition. Her spellbinding poems, inspired by prehistoric art, lost love, and her travels around the globe, weave together dream, fantasy, and madness.
Published January 2021
Penguin Random House, 2021
The Don Carlos Enigma
The death of Spain's Don Carlos, Prince of Asturias, on July 24, 1568, remains an enigma. Several accounts insinuated that the Spanish Crown Prince was murdered while incarcerated by order of his father, King Philip II. The mystery of Don Carlos' death, supported by ambassadorial accounts that implied foul play, became a fertile subject for defamation campaigns against Philip, fostering an extraordinary fluidity between history and fiction. This book investigates three treatments of the Don Carlos legend on which this fluidity had a potent, transformational impact: César Vichard de Saint-Réal's novel, Dom Carlos, nouvelle historique (1672); Friedrich Schiller's play, Don Karlos, Infant von Spanien (1787); and Giuseppe Verdi's opera Don Carlos (1867). Through these cultural variations on a historical theme, the authors and composer contributed innovative elements to their genres. In The Don Carlos Enigma, the exciting young scholar Maria-Cristina Necula explores how the particular blend of history and fiction around the personage of Don Carlos inspired such artistic liberties with evolutionary outcomes. Saint-Réal advanced the nouvelle historique genre by developing the element of conspiracy. Schiller's play began the transition from the Sturm und Drang literary movement towards Weimar Classicism. Verdi introduced new dramatic and musical elements to bring opera closer to the realism of dramatic theater. Within each of these treatments, pivotal points of narrative, semantic, dramatic, and musical transformation shaped not only the story of Don Carlos, but the expressive forms themselves. In support of the investigation, selected scenes from the three works are explored and framed by an engagement with studies in the fields of French literature, German theater, French and Italian opera, and Spanish history. The enigma of the Spanish prince may never be solved, but Saint-Réal, Schiller, and Verdi have offered alternatives that, in a sense, unburden history of truth that it could never bear alone. In the case of Don Carlos, history is in itself an encyclopedia of variations.
Necula received her Ph.D. in comparative literature in 2019 from The Graduate Center
Published September 2020
Academia Press, 2020
Asian Fusion: New Encounters in the Asian-German Avant-Garde
This book contributes to a historically evolving conversation about immigration as a facet of globalization in the European context. Focusing on literary and artistic works from the post–World War II era, the author uses a call-and-response structure – as in African-American slave songs, Indian kirtans, and Jewish liturgy – to create a series of dialogues between Asian-German authors, including Yoko Tawada, Pham Thi Hoài, and Anna Kim, and an earlier generation of German-speaking authors and artists whose works engaged with Asia, including W. G. Sebald, Peter Weiss, and Joseph Beuys.
Considering the recent successes of the New Right, which have brought about a regression to Nazi anti-Semitic discourses grounded in the equation between Jews and "Orientals," the author advocates a need for solidarity between Germans and Asian-Germans. Using fusion as a metaphor, she revises the critical paradigms of Orientalism and postcolonial studies to show how, in the aftermath of the twelve-year Nazi dictatorship, Germany has successfully transformed itself into a country of immigration – in part due to the new and pioneering Asian-German voices that have reshaped the German-speaking cultural landscape and that are now, for the first time, featured as coming together in this book.
Published July 2020
Peter Lang Publishing, 2020
Walt Whitman's America
A Cultural Biography
In his poetry Walt Whitman set out to encompass all of America and in so doing heal its deepening divisions. This magisterial biography demonstrates the epic scale of his achievement, as well as the dreams and anxieties that impelled it, for it places the poet securely within the political and cultural context of his age.
Combing through the full range of Whitman's writing, David Reynolds shows how Whitman gathered inspiration from every stratum of nineteenth-century American life: the convulsions of slavery and depression; the raffish dandyism of the Bowery ""b'hoys""; the exuberant rhetoric of actors, orators, and divines. We see how Whitman reconciled his own sexuality with contemporary social mores and how his energetic courtship of the public presaged the vogues of advertising and celebrity. Brilliantly researched, captivatingly told, Walt Whitman's America is a triumphant work of scholarship that breathes new life into the biographical genre.
Published January 2020
Making Conversation in Modernist Fiction
Making Conversation in Modernist Fiction examines the role of character dialogue in key works of Anglo-American modernism. Through close analysis of texts including The Ambassadors, The Sun Also Rises, “The Dead,” The Sound and the Fury, Absalom, Absalom!, The Waves, Between the Acts, “Melanctha,” and Cane, the book documents the ways in which some of the most canonical British and American modernist authors transformed the conventions traditionally used to render talk in fiction.
If historically dialogue had been treated as a subordinate element in fiction — a tool for developing character or advancing plot — this book demonstrates that writers such as Henry James, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, William Faulkner, Virginia Woolf, and Gertrude Stein would increasingly emphasize it as a poetic structure in its own right. In this way, Alsop argues, modernist writers “make” conversation in radically new ways and for a diverse range of expressive and communicative ends. Over the course of five chapters that explore this previously overlooked avenue of modernist innovation, Making Conversation offers readers a radical new paradigm not only for understanding fictional talk but also for interpreting some of the most celebrated examples of early twentieth-century narrative.
Alsop received her Ph.D. in comparative literature in 2012 from The Graduate Center.
Published October 2019
Ohio State University Press, 2019
Moda e letteratura nell’Italia della prima modernità: Dalla sprezzatura alla satira
Moda e letteratura nell’Italia della prima modernità: Dalla sprezzatura alla satira, has been mentioned in the Sunday edition of the national newspaper: Il Sole 24ore (August 25,19) and Carmilla: Estetiche del potere. Moda e significati politici nello spazio pubblico della prima modernità [carmillaonline.com] (“Aesthetics of power. Fashion and political meanings in the public space of early modernity.” Part 1.
Carmilla: Estetiche del potere. La risposta femminile al mito del lusso donnesco nella prima modernità [carmillaonline.com] (“Aesthetics of power. The feminine response to the myth of womanly luxury in early modernity.” Part 2.
Published September 2019
Meltermi Press: Milano, 2019
Machado de Assis and Narrative Theory: Language, Imitation, Art, and Verisimilitude in the Last Six Novels
Earl E. Fitz
This book makes the argument that Machado de Assis, hailed as one of Latin American literature’s greatest writers, was also a major theoretician of the modern novel form. Steeped in the works of Western literature and an imaginative reader of French Symbolist poetry, Machado creates, between 1880 and 1908, a “new narrative,” one that will presage the groundbreaking theories of Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure by showing how even the language of narrative cannot escape being elusive and ambiguous in terms of meaning. It is from this discovery about the nature of language as a self-referential semiotic system that Machado crafts his “new narrative.” Long celebrated in Brazil as a dazzlingly original writer, Machado has struggled to gain respect and attention outside the Luso-Brazilian ken. He is the epitome of the “outsider” or “marginal,” the iconoclastic and wildly innovative genius who hails from a culture rarely studied in the Western literary hierarchy and so consigned to the status of “eccentric.” Had the Brazilian master written not in Portuguese but English, French, or German, he would today be regarded as one of the true exemplars of the modern novel, in expression as well as in theory.
Fitz graduated from The Graduate Center in 1977 with a Ph.D. in comparative literature. He is currently a professor of Portuguese, Spanish, and comparative literature at Vanderbilt University.
Published June 2019
Bucknell University Press, 2019
Multiplatform Media in Mexico: Growth and Change Since 2010
Palgrave Macmillan, 2019
Multiplatform Media in Mexico is the first book to treat the exciting, interconnected fields of cinema, television, and internet in Mexico over the last decade, fields that combine to be called multiplatform media. Combining industrial analysis of a major audiovisual field at a time of growth and change with close readings of significant texts on all screens, acclaimed author Paul Julian Smith deftly details these new audiovisual trends.
The book includes perspectives on local reporting on the ground, as covered in the chapter documenting media response to the 2017 earthquake. And, for the first time in this field, the book draws throughout on star studies, tracing the distinct profiles of actors who migrate from one medium to another. As a whole, Smith’s analyses illustrate the key movements in screen media in one of the world’s largest media and cultural producing nations. These perspectives connect to and enrich scholarship across Latin American, North American, and global cases.
Published June 2019
My Brilliant Friends: Our Lives in Feminism
My Brilliant Friends is a group biography of three women’s friendships forged in second-wave feminism. Poignant and politically charged, the book is a captivating personal account of the complexities of women’s bonds.
Nancy K. Miller describes her friendships with three well-known scholars and literary critics: Carolyn Heilbrun, Diane Middlebrook, and Naomi Schor. Their relationships were simultaneously intimate and professional, emotional and intellectual, animated by the ferment of the women’s movement. Friendships like these sustained the generation of women whose entrance into male-dominated professions is still reshaping American society. The stories of their intertwined lives and books embody feminism’s belief in the political importance of personal experience. Reflecting on aging and loss, ambition and rivalry, competition and collaboration, Miller shows why and how friendship’s ties matter in the worlds of work and love. Inspired in part by the portraits of the intensely enmeshed lives in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, My Brilliant Friends provides a passionate and timely vision of friendship between women.
Published January 2019
Columbia University Press, 2019
Spanish and Latin American Television Drama: Genre and Format Translation
Institute of Modern Languages Research, 2018
Television Drama in Spain and Latin America addresses two major topics within current cultural, media, and television studies: the question of fictional genres and that of transnational circulation. While much research has been carried out on both TV formats and remakes in the English-speaking world, almost nothing has been published on the huge and dynamic Spanish-speaking sector. This book discusses and analyses series since 2000 from Spain (in both Spanish and Catalan), Mexico, Venezuela, and (to a lesser extent) the US, employing both empirical research on production and distribution and textual analysis of content. The three genres examined are horror, biographical series, and sports-themed dramas; the three examples of format remakes are of a period mystery (Spain, Mexico), a romantic comedy (Venezuela, US), and a historical epic (Catalonia, Spain).
Published July 2018
Queer Mexico: Cinema and Television Since 2000
Wayne State University Press, 2017
Queer Mexico: Cinema and Television since 2000 provides critical analysis of both mainstream and independent audiovisual works, many of them little known, produced in Mexico since the turn of the twenty-first century. In the book, author Paul Julian Smith aims to tease out the symbiotic relationship between culture and queerness in Mexico. Smith begins with the year 2000 because of the political shift that happened within the government—the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) was voted out of national office after over seventy years in power. Judicial and social changes for LGBT Mexicans came in the wake of what was known at the time as simply "the change" ("el cambio") at the start of the millennium, bringing about an increased visibility and acknowledgment of the LGBT community.
Divided into five chapters, Queer Mexico demonstrates the diversity of both representation and production processes in the Mexican film and television industry. It attempts also to reconstruct a queer cultural field for Mexico that incorporates multiple genres and techniques. The first chapter looks at LGBT festivals, porn production, and a web-distributed youth drama, claimed by its makers to be the first wholly gay series made in Mexico. The second chapter examines selected features and shorts by Mexico’s sole internationally distributed art house director, Julián Hernández. The third chapter explores the rising genre of documentary on transgender themes. The fourth chapter charts the growing trend of a gay, lesbian, or trans-focused mainstream cinema. The final chapter addresses the rich and diverse history of queer representation in Mexico’s dominant television genre and, arguably, national narrative: the telenovela. The book also includes an extensive interview with gay auteur Julián Hernández.
The first book to come out of the Queer Screens series, Queer Mexico is a groundbreaking monograph for anyone interested in media or LGBT studies, especially as it relates to the culture of Latin America.
Published October 2017
The Fabric of Cultures: Systems in the Making
The Fabric of Cultures: Systems in the Making is a groundbreaking multidisciplinary, pedagogic and research project that reflects on the art of making, craftsmanship and technology in a globalized world. The catalogue accompanies the exhibition at the QC Art Center of the City University of New York. The exhibition and project as a whole call attention to larger systems at play that influence the state of fashion, crafts and aesthetics constantly under development and in flux. The exhibition focuses on the NEW MADE IN ITALY within a transnational context and in conversation with other cultures, traditions and innovative technologies. Eugenia Paulicelli is professor of Italian, Comparative Literature and Women's Studies at Queens College and The Graduate Center, The City University of New York. She directs Italian graduate Studies at Queens College and Fashion Studies at the Graduate Center. She has published several books including Fashion under Fascism (2004) and the more recent publications Italian Style. Fashion & Film from Early Cinema to the Digital Age (2016 and 2017); and Film, Fashion and the 1960s (co-editor, 2017).
Published October 2017
Italian Style: Fashion & Film from Early Cinema to the Digital Age
This is the first in-depth, book-length study on fashion and Italian cinema from the silent film to the present. Italian cinema launched Italian fashion to the world. The book is the story of this launch. The creation of an Italian style and fashion as they are perceived today, especially by foreigners, was a product of the post World War II years. Before then, Parisian fashion had dominated Europe and the world. Just as fashion was part of Parisian and French national identity, the book explores the process of shaping and inventing an Italian style and fashion that ran parallel to, and at times took the lead in, the creation of an Italian national identity. In bringing to the fore these intersections, as well as emphasizing the importance of craft in cinema, fashion and costume design, the book aims to offer new visions of films by directors such as Nino Oxilia, Mario Camerini, Alessandro Blasetti, Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Luchino Visconti and Paolo Sorrentino, of film stars such as Lyda Borelli, Francesca Bertini, Pina Menichelli, Lucia Bos¨, Monica Vitti, Marcello Mastroianni, Toni Servillo and others, and the costume archives and designers who have been central to the development of Made in Italy and Italian style.
Published September 2017
Bloomsbury Academic, 2017
Film, Fashion, and the 1960s
Eugenia Paulicelli, Drake Stutesman and Louise Wallenberg
A fascinating look at one of the most experimental, volatile, and influential decades, Film, Fashion, and the 1960s, examines the numerous ways in which film and fashion intersected and affected identity expression during the era. From A Hard Day's Night to Breakfast at Tiffany's, from the works of Ingmar Bergman to Blake Edwards, the groundbreaking cinema of the 1960s often used fashion as the ultimate expression for urbanity, youth, and political (un)awareness. Crumbling hierarchies brought together previously separate cultural domains, and these blurred boundaries could be seen in unisex fashions and roles played out on the silver screen. As this volume amply demonstrates, fashion in films from Italy, France, England, Sweden, India, and the United States helped portray the rapidly changing faces of this cultural avant-gardism. This blending of fashion and film ultimately created a new aesthetic that continues to influence the fashion and media of today.
Published September 2017
Indiana University Press, 2017
Spanish Lessons: Cinema and Television in Contemporary Spain
Though unjustly neglected by English-language audiences, Spanish film and television not only represent a remarkably influential and vibrant cultural industry; they are also a fertile site of innovation in the production of “transmedia” works that bridge narrative forms. In Spanish Lessons, Paul Julian Smith provides an engaging exploration of visual culture in an era of collapsing genre boundaries, accelerating technological change, and political-economic tumult. Whether generating new insights into the work of key figures like Pedro Almodóvar, comparing media depictions of Spain’s economic woes, or giving long-overdue critical attention to quality television series, Smith’s book is a consistently lively and accessible cultural investigation.
Published September 2017
Dramatized Society: Quality Television in Spain and Mexico
Liverpool University Press, 2016
Over the last decade Spain and Mexico have both produced an extraordinary wealth of television drama. Drawing on both national practices of production and reception and international theories of textual analysis this book offers the first study of contemporary quality TV drama in two countries where television has displaced cinema as the creative medium that shapes the national narrative. As dramatized societies, Spain and Mexico are thus at once reflected and refracted by the new series on the small screen.
Published November 2016
Absolute & Other Texts, by Lorand Gaspar
Mary Ann Caws, co-translator with Nancy Kline Earth
Born in 1925 in Transylvania into a Hungarian family, Lorand Gaspar grew up speaking Hungarian, Romanian, German and also French, which would become the language in which he wrote. Endowed with many gifts, all of which he grandly used, Gaspar is a surgeon, a poet, and a writer of scientific and lyric prose in addition to a translator of Spinoza, Rilke, Seferis and others. Sol Absolu et Autres Textes, edited and translated by Mary Ann Caws and Nancy Kline, contains abundant evidence of Gaspar's gifts: an autobiographical essay, a reflection on scientific and medical matters, and poems from diverse periods and places.
Published July 2015
Contra Mundum Press, 2015
La comedia y el melodrama en el audiovisual iberoamericano
Iberoamericana Editorial Vervuert, 2015
Este libro es fruto del 'Cuarto Coloquio Internacional de Cine Iberoamericano: géneros cinematográficos (2): la comedia y el melodrama' celebrado en el Graduate Center de la City University of New York, los días 12 y 13 de junio de 2013 y los contribuyentes son de España, Francia, México, y EEUU. Las ponencias leídas en ese evento han sido rigurosamente reelaboradas para resultar en los artículos científicos que se reúnen aquí. La diversidad es la palabra clave del volumen, diversidad en los campos geográfico, histórico, teórico, mediático, y (huelga decirlo) genérico. Los contribuyentes abarcan Madrid, México y Ecuador, y los años veinte, setenta, ochenta y dos mil. Adoptan enfoques tanto historicistas como filosóficos para abordar textos de cine, televisión e Internet. Es más, esos textos audiovisuales, objetos de estudio de nuestro equipo de investigadores, al margen de tener ciertas semejanzas (por ejemplo, la presencia de los temas del turismo y de la juventud en más de un artículo), demuestran una variedad deslumbrante: desde la farsa, al parecer frívola e intranscendente, hasta el drama más intenso y sangriento. El título del volumen hace referencia al "audiovisual" y no al "cine", dado que varios artículos suponen un contexto multimediático de producción, distribución o recepción para los textos que tratan. El libro atestigua entonces la creciente convergencia entre cine, televisión e Internet. Y aunque los trabajos tienden a ser transmediáticos, son también transnacionales. Algunos autores tratan explícitamente las relaciones entre textos de procedencia multinacional; todos dan por sentado que la concepción de un cine exclusivamente nacional ya no sirve al examinar el audiovisual hispanoamericano.
Published January 2015
After the Red Army Faction: Gender, Culture, and Militancy
Masterminded and led by women, the Red Army Faction (RAF) terrorized West Germany from the 1970s to the 1990s, and afterimages of its leaders persist in the works of pivotal artists and writers. After the Red Army Faction explores why women were so prominent in the RAF, and what the continuing cultural response to the German armed struggle tells us about the representation of violence, power, and gender today. Charity Scribner engages critical theory to analyze works of art and literature that point beyond militancy and terrorism to expose the failures of the German Far Left and register the radical potential that RAF women forfeited. The author analyzes as-yet untranslated essays by Theodor Adorno and Jürgen Habermas, as well as novels by Friedrich Dürrenmatt and Judith Kuckart, the blockbuster art exhibition Regarding Terror at the Berlin Kunst-Werke, and films by Margarethe von Trotta, Volker Schlöndorff, and Fatih Akin. These readings reveal dynamic junctures in national and sexual identities, the disciplining of the militant body, and the relationship between mass media and the arts.
Published December 2014
Columbia University Press, 2014
Lincoln's Selected Writing
This Norton Critical Edition includes a rich selection of Abraham Lincoln's public and private letters, speeches, eulogies, proposals, debate transcriptions, addresses (including the First and Second Inaugurals), and more, accompanied by explanatory annotations. Following the texts are contemporary responses to Lincoln in poems, songs, and articles; representations of him in modern imaginative and nonfiction writing; and selections from recent cross-disciplinary studies, including discussions of his literary techniques and oratorical style and examinations of his political evolution in new cultural and social contexts. "Lincoln in His Era" selections feature the work of Horace Greeley, Jesse Hutchinson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Karl Marx, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Victor Hugo, and Walt Whitman; the "Modern Views" section presents sixteen major interpretations of Lincoln's life, work, and legacy carefully chosen to promote discussion, including contributions by Reynolds and James Oakes (Dist. Prof., GC, History).
Published September 2014
Desire Unlimited: The Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar
In the last decade, Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar has grown from critical darling of the film circuit scene to mainstream success. Frequently comic, often deadly serious, always visually glorious, his recent films range from the Academy Award–winning drama Talk to Her to the 2011 horror film The Skin I Live In. Though they are ambitious and varied in style, each is a distinctive innovation on the themes that have defined his work.
Desire Unlimited is the classic film-by-film assessment of Almodóvar's oeuvre, now updated to include his most recent work. Still the only study of its kind in English, it vigorously confirms its original argument that beneath Almodóvar's genius for comedy and visual pleasure lies a filmmaker whose work deserves to be taken with the utmost seriousness.
Published August 2014
Writing Fashion in Early Modern Italy: From Sprezzatura to Satire
(Visual Culture in Early Modernity)
The first comprehensive study on the role of Italian fashion and Italian literature, this book analyzes clothing and fashion as described and represented in literary texts and costume books of the 16th and 17th centuries. It also emphasizes the centrality of Italian literature and culture for understanding modern theories of fashion and gauging impacts on codes of civility and taste.
Published June 2014
Pragmatism and American Experience: An Introduction
This volume provides a lucid and elegant introduction to America's defining philosophy. Richardson charts the nineteenth-century origins of pragmatist thought and its development through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, focusing on the major first- and second-generation figures and how their contributions continue to influence philosophical discourse today. At the same time, she casts pragmatism as the method it was designed to be: a way of making ideas clear, examining beliefs, and breaking old habits and reinforcing new and useful ones in the interest of maintaining healthy communities through ongoing conversation. Through this practice we come to perceive, as William James did, that thinking is as natural as breathing, and that the essential work of pragmatism is to open channels essential to all experience. Joan Richardson is a distinguished professor of comparative literature and English at the Graduate Center.
Published June 2014
Cambridge University Press, 2014
Reading Arabia: British Orientalism in the Age of Mass Publications, 1880-1930
Reading Arabia traces the evolving tradition of British Orientalism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, examining the role of mass print culture in constructing the British public’s perception of “Arabia.” Long brings together close readings and ideological analyses of primary texts by Richard Burton, Charles Doughty, Robert Cunninghame Graham, Marmaduke Pickthall, and T. E. Lawrence, along with pamphlets, journalism and commentary, silent films, stage spectacles, and travel literature. Through these texts, Long examines the fantasy of the Orient and its constitutive function. Building on the pioneering work of Edward Said, Reading Arabia looks beyond foreign policy debates and issues of human rights to show how British Orientalism is rooted in words and phrases of a popular culture that shaped the way the public read and imagined the Arab world.
Published February 2014
Syracuse University Press, 2014
Breathless: An American Girl in Paris
The story of a girl who rebelled against conventional expectations for marriage, children, and suburban life, Breathless offers a glimpse into the intimate lives of girls before feminism took hold. Paris was a magnet for those eager to resist domesticity, and Miller was enamored of everything French. Upon graduating from Barnard College in 1961, she set out for Paris, with a plan to take classes at the Sorbonne and live out a great romantic life inspired by the movies. But after a string of sexual misadventures, she gave up her short-lived freedom and married an American expatriate who promised her a future of three-star meals and five-star hotels-and who turned out to be a con man.
Published November 2013
Seal Press, 2013
The Modern Art Cookbook
Food has always played a role in art, but how well and what did the artists themselves eat? Exploring a panoply of artworks of food, cooking, and eating from Europe and the Americas, Caws opens a window into the lives of artists, writers, and poets in the kitchen and the studio, from the end of the nineteenth century to the present. She examines the parallels between the art of cuisine and the visual arts and literature, using artworks, diaries, novels, letters, and poems to illuminate the significance of particular ingredients and dishes in the lives of the world's greatest artists. In between, she supplies numerous recipes from these artists-including Ezra Pound's poetic eggs, Cézanne’s baked tomatoes, and Monet's madeleines-alongside one hundred color illustrations and thought-provoking selections from both poetry and prose.
Published October 2013
Reaktion Books, 2013
The great Pierre Reverdy, comrade to Picasso and Braque, peer and contemporary of Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams, is among the most mysteriously satisfying of twentieth-century poets, his poems an uncanny mixture of the simple and the sublime. Reverdy's poetry has exerted a special attraction on American poets from Kenneth Rexroth to John Ashbery, and this new selection, featuring the work of fourteen distinguished translators, most of it appearing here for the first time, documents that ongoing relationship while offering readers the essential work of an extraordinary writer. Among the translators are Caws and Marilyn Hacker (Prof. Emer., City, French).
Published October 2013
New York Review of Books Poets, 2013
Womb Fantasies: Subjective Architectures in Postmodern Literature, Cinema, and Art
Womb Fantasies examines the womb, an invisible and mysterious space invested with allegorical significance, as a metaphorical space in postwar cinematic and literary texts grappling with the trauma of post-Holocaust, postmodern existence. In addition, it examines the representation of visible spaces in the texts in terms of their attribution with womb-like qualities. The framing of the study historically within the postwar era begins with a discussion of Eero Saarinen's Womb Chair in the context of the Cold War's need for safety in light of the threat of nuclear destruction, and ranges over films such as Marguerite Duras' and Alan Resnais' film Hiroshima mon amour and Duras' novel The Vice-Consul, exploring the ways that such cultural texts fantasize the womb as a response to trauma, defined as the compulsive need to return to the site of loss, a place envisioned as both a secure space and a prison. The womb fantasy is linked to the desire to recreate an identity that is new and original but ahistorical.
Published August 2013
Northwestern University Press, 2013
Harvard Square: A Novel
Aciman's third and most ambitious novel is an elegant and powerful tale of the wages of assimilation-a moving story of an immigrant's remembered youth and the nearly forgotten costs and sacrifices of becoming an American. An Egyptian Jew attending graduate school at Harvard in 1977 meets a brash, charismatic Arab cab driver nicknamed Kalashnikov-Kalaj for short-for his machine-gun vitriol. The student finds it hard to resist his new friend's magnetism, and before long he begins to neglect his studies and live a double life: one in the rarified world of Harvard, the other as an exile with Kalaj, carousing on the streets of Cambridge. As final exams loom and Kalaj has his license revoked and is threatened with deportation, the student faces the decision of his life: whether to cling to his dream of New World assimilation or risk it all to defend his Old World friend.
Published April 2013
W. W. Norton & Company, 2013
John Florio: A Worlde of Wordes
(Lorenzo Da Ponte Italian Library)
A Worlde of Wordes, the first-ever comprehensive Italian-English dictionary, was published in 1598 by John Florio. One of the most prominent linguists and educators in Elizabethan England, Florio was greatly responsible for the spreading of Italian letters and culture throughout educated English society. Especially important was Florio's dictionary, which-thanks to its exuberant wealth of English definitions-made it initially possible for English readers to access Italy's rich Renaissance literary and scientific culture. Haller has prepared the first critical edition of A Worlde of Wordes, which features 46,000 Italian entries-among them dialect forms, erotic terminology, colloquial phrases, and proverbs of the Italian language. He reveals Florio as a brilliant English translator and creative writer, as well as a grammarian and language teacher.
Published March 2013
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division 2013
Shakespeare Made French: Three Tragedies by Jean-François Ducis
Marvin Carlson has translated an exciting collection of Jean-François Ducis radical reworkings of William Shakespeare's most famous tragedies, penned on the eve of the French Revolution. Following the rules of French neoclassicism, the result is a quartet of almost totally transformed works that serve to illustrate the antithetical dramatic approaches of Shakespeare's England and Racine's France. Plays included are Hamlet, Romeo and Juliette, King Lear, and Othello.
Published March 2013
Martin E. Segal Theatre Center Publ. 2013
Les Aventures du corps masculin
The male body, with all its appetites and agonies, fell out of favor in French literature in the 'civilizing process' after the Middle Ages. In the nineteenth century, it resurfaced in innumerable novels and stories. In particular, the tribulations of the 'virile machine'-rather than its smooth functioning-have inspired writers great and small, whether as an analogy for grand themes such as ambition and political struggle (as in Balzac and Zola), or more directly in tales of those for whom the relationship between sustenance and reproduction is out of equilibrium: chaste men of the church, inconsolable widowers, soldiers confined to the barracks. This book offers keys for understanding the ways this new literature, stimulated by the example of natural sciences, began to explore the bodily existence of man. In French.
Published November 2012
José Corti Editions, 2012
A little history
Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, the war in Iraq, and 9/11, a little history explores the deep politics of memory and imagination while proposing a new paradigm for American studies. With a preface by editor Fred Dewey, Alcalay's book places the work of such major figures as Muriel Rukeyser, Charles Olson, Edward Dorn, Diane di Prima, and Amiri Baraka in the realm of resistance and global decolonization to assert the power of poetry as a unique form of knowledge.
Published November 2012
UpSet Press, 2012
from the warring factions
The second edition of from the warring factions brings back into print Alcalay's book-length poem dedicated to the Bosnian town of Srebrenica, site of the massacre of some seven thousand Muslim men and boys in 1995. This daring blend of lyric and document remaps the world we inherit, from native New England to the Roman Empire, from the Gulf War to Palestine and the Balkans. In her new introduction, Diane di Prima writes, "This book forced me to redefine my life." Edited by Fred Dewey and accompanied by an extensive discussion between Alcalay and poet Benjamin Hollander, as well as a new preface by the author, this edition brings an essential text of the post-9/11 world back into the conversation.
Published November 2012
UpSet Press, 2012
Picturing Atrocity: Photography in Crisis
Essays from some of the foremost writers and critics on photography today, including Rebecca Solnit, Alfredo Jaar, Ariella Azoulay, Shahidul Alam, John Lucaites, Robert Hariman, and Susan Meiselas, address the question of the viewer's role in photos of violence and suffering. Are we desensitized by the proliferation of these images, and does this make it easier to be passive and uninvolved? Or do the images immediately stir our own sense of justice and act as a call to arms? Each essay focuses specifically on an iconic image, offering a distinct approach and context, in order to enable us to look againâ€”and this time more closelyâ€”at the picture. Nancy K. Miller isÂ a distinguished professor of comparative literature, English, and French at the Graduate Center. Geoffrey Batchen is an adjunct professor of art history at the GC, and Jay Prosser earned his Ph.D. in English at the GC.
Published June 2012
Reaktion Books, 2012
Spanish Practices: Literature, Cinema, Television
Modern Humanities Research Association, 2012
This book is the first to explore the interaction of three media in contemporary Spain. Focusing on some of the best known and most important books, feature films, and television series in the country (including novelist Antonio Muñoz Molina, director Pedro Almodóvar, and the Spanish version of telenovela Ugly Betty), it addresses three pairs of linked issues central to Hispanic studies and beyond: history and memory, authority and society, and genre and transitivity. Much of the material is very recent and thus as yet unstudied. The book also focuses on the representation of gender, sexuality, and transnationalism in these texts. Drawing on approaches from both the humanities and social sciences it combines close readings of key texts with the analysis of production processes, media institutions, audiences, and reception.
Published June 2012
The Wind from the East: French Intellectuals, the Cultural Revolution, and the Legacy of the 1960s
Combining a merciless exposé of left-wing political folly and cross-cultural misunderstanding with a spirited defense of the 1960s, Wolin shows how French students and intellectuals, inspired by their perceptions of China's Cultural Revolution and motivated by utopian hopes, incited grassroots social movements and reinvigorated French civic and cultural life. While the allure of Maoism actually had little to do with a real understanding of Chinese politics, it served as a vehicle for an emancipatory transformation of French society. Wolin examines how Maoism captured the imaginations of France's leading cultural figures, influencing Jean-Paul Sartre's 'perfect Maoist moment'; Michel Foucault's conception of power; Philippe Sollers's chic, leftist intellectual journal Tel Quel; and Julia Kristeva's book on Chinese women, which included a vigorous defense of foot-binding. The paperback edition was named one of the 2012 Best Books in History by the Financial Times.
Published March 2012
Princeton University Press 2012
Machiavelli: A Life Beyond Ideology
Niccolò di Bernardo Machiavelli is one of the most fascinating figures of the Italian Renaissance. His adventurous life led him to notable heights as a diplomat and a reformer of the Florentine military who replaced mercenaries with a citizen militia. His fall, exile, and eventual rehabilitation followed as briskly as his rise. Unlike many innovative thinkers about politics, he developed his radical theories of treachery and social transformation in an atmosphere of violence. Based on his experience of government, his insights led to a shift from understanding statehood, war, and society as forms of finitude and stasis to those of process. All this unfolds in this compelling recreation of Machiavelli's life as he actually lived it.
Published December 2011
What They Saved: Pieces of a Jewish Past
After her father's death, Nancy K. Miller discovered a minuscule family archive: a handful of photographs, an unexplained land deed, a postcard from Argentina, unidentified locks of hair. Searching for their meaning, Miller followed their traces from one distant relative to another. Her story, unlike the many family memoirs focused on the Holocaust, takes us back earlier in history to the world of pogroms and mass emigrations at the turn of the twentieth century. Searching for roots as a middle-aged orphan and an assimilated Jewish New Yorker, Miller finds herself asking unexpected questions: Why do I know so little about my family? How can I understand myself when I don't know my past? Miller learns that the hidden lives of her ancestors reveal as much about the present as they do about the past.
Published November 2011
University of Nebraska Press, 2011
Alibis: Essays on Elsewhere
This luminous series of linked essays about time, place, identity, and art show Aciman at his very finest. He revisits the romantic state of anticipation, as opposed to arrival, and explores the themes of dispersion, evasion, and ambivalence. From beautiful and moving pieces about the memory evoked by the scent of lavender; to meditations on such cities as Barcelona, Rome, Paris, and New York; to his sheer ability to unearth life secrets from an ordinary street corner, Alibis proves the author a master of the personal essay.
Published September 2011
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011
Virgil's Book of Bucolics, the Ten Eclogues Translated into English Verse: Framed by Cues for Reading Aloud and Clues for Threading Texts and Themes
This highly original work builds on two neglected facts about Virgil's Book of Bucolics: its popularity on the bawdy Roman stage and its impact as sequence poetry on readers and writers from the Classical world through the present day. Van Sickle's artfully rendered translation, its stage cues, and the explanatory notes treat for the first time the book's ten short pieces as a thematic web. Introductory notes identify cues for casting, dramatic gesture, and voice, pointing to topics that stirred the Roman crowd and satisfied powerful patrons. Back notes offer clues to the ambitious literary program implicit in the voices, plots, and themes. Taken as a whole, this volume shows how the Bucolics inaugurated Virgil's lifelong campaign to colonize for Rome the prestigious Greek genres of epic and tragedy-winning contemporary acclaim and laying the groundwork for his poetic legend.
Published June 2011
Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011
Eight White Nights: A Novel
Aciman's novel examines the relationship of two twenty-something New Yorkers. Meeting at a swank Christmas Eve party, the two play out their romance over the course of the seven nights between that party and New Year's Eve. Aciman fills their romance with coffees, wealthy friends in Hudson County, and Rohmer film festivals, and he concocts ever more complex scenarios to dramatize the tension and uncertainty.
Published February 2010
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010
Provencal Cooking: Savoring the Simple Life in France
More than thirty years ago, Mary Ann Caws, then a young professor, moved to Provence to translate the poetry of Provençal poet René Char. What sounded like a simple romantic sojourn turned into a journey of self-discovery on the joys of living simply and enjoying the maxims of the Provençal good life-good company, good food, and great wine, preferably from your neighbor's vineyard. The process of preparing food and then sharing it with friends and neighbors came to embody the essence of their existence on the hillside of Mount Vertaux. Now, in this delightful and lyric meditation on Provence and its food, Mary Ann invites you to sit down at her table and share in some of her favorite recipes, the recipes of her neighbors, and her delicious memories of life in France.
Published December 2009
Pegasus Books, 2009
Spanish Screen Fiction: Between Cinema and Television
Liverpool University Press, 2009
This book argues that cinema and television in Spain only make sense when considered together as twin vehicles for screen fiction. The Spanish audiovisual sector is now one of the most successful in the world, with feature films achieving wider distribution in foreign markets than nations with better-known cinematic traditions and newly innovative TV formats, already dominant at home, now widely exported. Beyond the industrial context, which has seen close convergence of the two media, this book also examines the textual evidence for crossover between cinema and television at the level of narrative and form. It gives readings of some well-known texts and discovers new or forgotten ones. For example, the book compares Almodóvar's classic feature ‘Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios’ (‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’) with his production company El Deseo's first venture into TV production, the 2006 series also known as ‘Mujeres’ (‘Women’). It also reclaims the lost history of female flat share comedy on Spanish TV from the 1960s to the present day. The book examines a wide range of prize-winning workplace drama on TV, from police shows, to hospital and legal series. Amenábar's ‘Mar adentro’ (‘The Sea Inside’) an Oscar-winning film on the theme of euthanasia, is contrasted with its antecedent, an episode of national network Tele 5's top-rated drama Periodistas. The book also traces the attempt to establish a Latin American genre, the telenovela, in the very different context of Spanish scheduling.
Published November 2009
Theatre Is More Beautiful Than War: German Stage Directing in the Late Twentieth Century
(Studies Theatre Hist & Culture)
During the late twentieth century, no country in the world produced as many major theatre directors nor esteemed them as highly as did Germany. Offering the most extensive and informative survey of contemporary German theatre available in English, Theatre Is More Beautiful than War covers three generations of ten of the country's leading stage directors, including Andrea Breth, Frank Castorf, Christoph Marthaler, Thomas Ostermeier, Claus Peymann, Stefan Pucher, Peter Stein, Michael Thalheimer, Anna Viebrock, and Peter Zadek, each of whom helped shape the twentieth-century German stage. Noted theatre historian Marvin Carlson draws on his years of regular visits to the Theatertreffen in Berlin and his observations of a variety of German theatrical productions to offer a provocative, well-illustrated study of the most productive and innovative theatre tradition in Europe.
Published September 2009
University of Iowa Press, 2009
Longman Anthology of British Literature, Volume 1B, The: The Early Modern Period
With its first printing in 1999, the Longman anthology helped address the historical context of British literature. This fourth edition has expanded its offerings, mixing classic literature of the British Isles with post-colonial writing, and canonical authors with newly visible ones. It includes extensive selections from previously underrepresented female writers. With the added variety, literary, social, and historical issues are brought to life. New illustrations and introductory essays, including Carroll's essay "The Early Modern Period," showcase artistic and cultural developments.
Published July 2009
Picasso and the Allure of Language
Drawing from the Yale University archive and offering a catalogue of over 150 illustrations of Picasso's work, Picasso and the Allure of Language documents the history of modernism and the influence literature and literary friendships had on the artist. Examples of Picasso's earliest collaborations with writers and poets like Max Jacob, Gertrude Stein, and Guillaume Apollinaire show how the artist marries text and image in his work to surprising effect. Distinguished authorities in art and literature investigate Picasso's connection to language from historical, linguistic, and visual perspectives and place Picasso's work within a literary context. Susan Greenberg Fisher is the Horace W. Goldsmith Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Yale University Art Gallery.
Published February 2009
Yale University Press, 2009
â€œEach morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasureâ€”that of being Salvador DalÃ.â€ A force unto himself, an icon of outrageousness, artistic brilliance, eccentricity, and unmistakable style, Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto DalÃ y DomÃ¨nech, Marquis of Pubol, was one of the foremost artists of the twentieth century and, in this concise narrative, acclaimed art historian Mary Ann Caws provides a sharply written survey of his life and work, examining every twist and turn in DalÃâ€™s long and multifaceted career and the pivotal artistic movements at whose center he stood. Caws also considers his relationships with his family, his lovers, and his friends; and his writings, drawings, photography, and painted works offer up new clues about the artist under Cawsâ€™s incisive eye, as she analyzes his lesser-known writings and creative works, as well as his Surrealist paintings and â€œhand-painted dream photographsâ€ such as The Persistence of Memory. Mary Ann Caws is a distinguished professor of comparative literature, English, and French at the Graduate Center.
Published January 2009
Reaktion Books, 2009
The Fabric of Cultures
The Fabric of Cultures examines the impact of fashion as a manufacturing industry and as a culture industry that shapes identities of nations and cities in a cross-cultural perspective and within a global framework. The collected essays look into local histories and industries and offer, for the first time, a wide spectrum of case studies which draw on primary sources and focus on a diversity of geographical spaces and places. The uniqueness of the study lies in the fact that it offers essays from all over the world, including the global capitals of fashion such as New York along with investigations into countries less known or identifiable for fashion such as contemporary Greece and Soviet Russia.
Published November 2008
To the Boathouse: A Memoir
Caws tells us of her early life in North Carolina where she made her debut and began to struggle with accepted social values; of her educational experiences at Bryn Mawr, in Paris, and at Yale-where she weds a professor of philosophy; of the joys, small and large, of a complicated marriage that ends in divorce, after which she strives toward self-sufficiency and self-understanding; of her passion for writing, teaching, art, and poetry; of her friendships with the writers, artists, and intellectuals who provided sanctuary for her mind and heart; and of the many light-filled summers spent with her children at their house in Provence. Returning to visit the southern landscape and her hometown, she dwells on the steadying influence in her life of a singular place: the boathouse in New York's Central Park where for most of her adulthood she has retreated for peace and solace.
Published January 2008
University of Alabama Press, 2008
The Cultural Contradictions of Democracy: Political Thought since September 11
Looking back to the original assumptions and contradictions that animate democratic thought, John Brenkman attempts to resuscitate the language of liberty and give political debate a fresh basis amid the present global turmoil. He picks apart the intellectual design and messianic ambitions of the neoconservative American foreign policy articulated by figures such as Robert Kagan and Paul Berman; casts the same critical eye on a wide range of liberal and leftist thinkers, including Noam Chomsky and Jürgen Habermas,; and probes the severe crisis that afflicts progressive political thought. He draws on the contrary visions of Hobbes, Kant, Max Weber, Hannah Arendt, and Isaiah Berlin in order to disclose the new contours of conflict in the age of geo-civil war, and to illuminate the challenges and risks of contemporary democracy.
Published July 2007
Princeton University Press 2007
Shimon Ballas was born in Baghdad in 1930 and immigrated to Israel in 1951. Before retirement, he taught Arab Literature there, and now spends part of the year in Paris, where he does most of his writing. Outcast is narrated by Haroun Soussan, a Jewish convert to Islam. The character is based on a historical figure, Ahmad (Nissim) Soussa, who converted to Islam in the 1930s and whose work ended up being used as propaganda during the era of Saddam Hussein. Soussan is a civil engineer and historian who has just completed his life's work, The Jews and History. The book opens with his getting an award from the President (Saddam Hussein) during the period of the Iran-Iraq War. The text we are reading, the novel, is his autobiography, written at the age of seventy, where he explores his own personal and political history, including his relationship with his daughter and his friends, among them a militant communist in political exile in Eastern Europe.
Published May 2007
City Lights Publishers, 2007
Call Me by Your Name
Call Me by Your Name, a frank, unsentimental, heartrending elegy to human passion, is the unforgettable story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents' cliff-side mansion on the Italian Riviera. Unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, at first each feigns indifference. But during the restless summer weeks that follow, unrelenting buried currents of obsession and fear, fascination and desire, intensify their passion as they test the charged ground between them. What grows from the depths of their spirits is a romance of scarcely six weeksâ€™ duration and an experience that marks them for a lifetime. For what the two discover on the Riviera and during a sultry evening in Rome is the one thing both already fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy.
Published January 2007
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007
A Natural History of Pragmatism: The Fact of Feeling from Jonathan Edwards to Gertrude Stein
In this compelling account of the emergence of the quintessential American philosophy, Richardson demonstrates pragmatism's engagement with various branches of the natural sciences and traces the development of Jamesian pragmatism from the late nineteenth century through modernism, following it into the present. She combines strands from America's religious experience with scientific information to offer interpretations that break new ground in literary and cultural history. The work is a fine example of the value of interdisciplinary approaches to producing literary criticism. The author's highly original readings of Edwards, Emerson, William and Henry James, Stevens, and Stein, track the interplay of religious motive, scientific speculation, and literature in shaping an American aesthetic.
Published January 2007
Cambridge University Press, 2007
Between a Cadillac and a Valiant sitting idly in the snow, Scrapmetal takes a provisional journey through the experience of work and the untangling of vampiric forces that sever life from our record of it. Part primer and part example, Scrapmetal offers a method of attacking the inflationary poetics" that deafen us in the "steady hum of overproduction."
Published January 2007
Factory School, 2007
Poems of Andre Breton: A Bilingual Anthology
This revised edition (with additional poems) is the single most comprehensive critical edition of Breton's poems available in English. Other editions may claim to be "comprehensive," but none come close to the range of poems presented in this edition. Surrealist scholar Jean-Pierre Cauvin and Breton scholar Mary Ann Caws translate and edit this title with critical introductions, prefaces, commentary, bibliography, and notes. This title has remained elusive and expensive in the used market, as students and scholars have snapped up the few copies ever available through any book search. Like him or hate him, few have had as important an impact on twentieth-century artistic thought and culture as Breton and his Surrealist movement.
Published December 2006
Black Widow Press, 2006; revised edition
Glorious Eccentrics: Modernist Women Painting and Writing
This book explores the life and art of seven extraordinary women of the late nineteenth and twentieth century, who had a tremendous if not yet fully acknowledged impact on the modernist movement and its reception. Judith Gautier, Suzanne Valadon, Dorothy Bussy, Dora Carrington, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Emily Carr and Claude Cahun were powerful forces in their various fields. Each lived an unusual life, the eccentricity of which was in large part responsible for its creative intensity. Drawing on much unpublished material, the stories recounted here, often involving very famous men-including Utrillo, Degas, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Wagner, Hugo, Rilke, and Gide-show a singular courage and determination. Whether as writers, translators, painters, or photographers, these innovators stood out among their contemporaries as remarkable contributors to modernism.
Published December 2006
Palgrave Macmillan 2006
Spanish Visual Culture: Cinema, Television, Internet
Manchester University Press, 2006
This book is the first to explore three visual media in contemporary Spain: cinema, television and the internet. It also examines cultural products in each of these media in terms of three vital themes: emotion, location and nostalgia.
The first two chapters focus on emotion. They analyze the 'emotional imperative' in a recent Almodóvar feature film and in Spanish television's top-rated period drama, and investigate the politics of affect in TV drama in the last decade. The next pair of chapters deal with location. They use cultural geography to re-read contradictory accounts of the movida (the post-Franco cultural boom) and examine an attempt to anchor a US-derived genre (the youth movie) in the urban landscape of Madrid. The fifth and sixth chapters introduce the theme of location into nostalgia. They treat the unique cases of a successful Spanish heritage movie and a contemporary Spanish thriller remade in Hollywood. The peunultimate chapter investigates electronic artists and the virtual universe, and the book ends with a look at the implications of Hispano-Mexican co-productions and the interconnectedness of economic and aesthetic cultural forms.
Published November 2006
Capital of Pain
This volume presents the text of Capital of Pain in its entirety in a bilingual format. Translator Mary Ann Caws also provides an insightful and in-depth survey of Eluard's poems and writings.
Published November 2006
Black Widow Books, 2006
Henry James: Overlook Illustrated Lives
Henry James was an intensely visual writer-in his notebooks he recorded the observation that "the scenic method is my absolute, my imperative, my only salvation." This concise illustrated biography of the master opens new doors to James's readers and students of his work by showing the vast scope of the master's visual imagination. The images collected in this book, some previously unpublished, depict the members of his illustrious and accomplished family; artwork that influenced him; as well as the friends and acquaintances who formed the inspiration for James's unforgettable protagonists and the places in Boston, London, and Venice that formed the settings for his novels.
Published November 2006
Television in Spain: Franco to Almodóvar
Tamesis Books, 2006
Any follower of Spanish cinema who turns to television finds that the locally produced programs most appreciated by both audiences and critics are as creative and original as any feature film.
This book, the first of its kind, gives close readings of TV programmes broadcast from the 1970s to the present day. They embrace drama, comedy, and talk/reality shows and are currently available on DVD. It also treats the obsessive theme of television in Almodóvar, Spain's most celebrated film director, arguing for a re-reading of his work in the light of TV studies. In addition to analysing particular programmes, this book examines TV channels, production companies, governments, and the role of the press, academy, and audience.
Published October 2006
Surprised in Translation
In eight elegant chapters Caws reflects on translations that took her by surprise, and shows how the elimination of certain passages from the original-Stéphane Mallarmé translating Tennyson, Ezra Pound interpreting the troubadours, or Clara Malraux, Charles Mauron, and Marguerite Yourcenar rendering Virginia Woolf into French-often produces a greater and more coherent art. Alternatively, some translations-Yves Bonnefoy's of Shakespeare, Keats, and Yeats into French-require more lines in order to fully capture the many facets of the original. On other occasions, Caws argues, a swerve in meaning-as in Beckett translating himself into French or English-can produce a new text, just as true as the original. Imbued with Caws's personal observations on the relationship between translators and the authors they translate, Surprised in Translation will interest a wide range of readers, including students of translation, professional literary translators, and scholars of modern and comparative literature.
Published September 2006
University of Chicago Press, 2006
The Arab Oedipus: Four Plays
The Greek myth of Oedipus has been the Greek myth most developed by leading Arab dramatists, who have found in it grounding for political commentary, philosophic and theological meditation, and cultural satire. The four treatments in this book are by leading dramatists of the modern Arabic theatre-from Egypt, Tawfiq al-Hakim, Ali Salim, and Ali Ahmed Bakathir; and from Syria, Walid Ikhlasi. The settings range in time from ancient Greek Thebes and ancient Egyptian Thebes to a contemporary computer laboratory, where a super computer replaces the Delphic oracle as the source of the fatal prophesy.
Published September 2006
Martin E. Segal Theatre Center Publ. 2006
Tristan Tzara, Approximate Man and Other Writings
'Approximate Man' and Other Writings is the only English language source for Tzara's majestic and powerful epic poem 'The Approximate Man.' This updated edition, translated and edited by renowned Dada/Surrealist scholar Mary Ann Caws, also contains an extensive collection of other writings by Tzara not often found in other English-language titles. Mary Ann Caws also provides an essay new to this edition that helps set the context of 'Approximate Man.' Originally published in 1973, the book has continued to be one of the true Tzara English-language rarities.
Published December 2005
Black Widow Books, 2005
This book is a concise and lively study of the enormously productive and varied life and art of one of the twentieth century's most influential artistic figures. The author describes the artist's life thematically and chronologically, and also takes as focal points Picasso's relationships with his close friends and partners as they changed through the various periods of his life: in Barcelona, Paris, and Provence. She provides biographical context to Picasso's work, focusing on the time around Les Demoiselles d'Avignon and then Guernica, as well as the changes and consistencies in his oeuvre over the twentieth century. Throughout, the author examines Picasso's juggling of viewpoints, artistic strategies, loves, and friends, which she interprets as part of the expansion of the artist's genius and personality, represented by the figures of the Harlequin, the clown, and the acrobat.
Published September 2005
Reaktion Books, 2005
John Brown, Abolitionist
The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights
A cultural biography of John Brown, the controversial abolitionist who used violent tactics against slavery and single-handedly changed the course of American history. Reynolds brings to life the Puritan warrior who gripped slavery by the throat and triggered the Civil War. Reynolds demonstrates that Brown’s most violent acts—including his killing of proslavery settlers in Kansas and his historic raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia--were inspired by the slave revolts, guerilla warfare, and revolutionary Christianity of the day. He shows how Brown seized public attention, polarizing the nation and fueling the tensions that led to the Civil War. Reynolds recounts how Brown permeated American culture during the Civil War and beyond, and how he planted the seeds of the civil rights movement by making a pioneering demand for complete social and political equality for America’s ethnic minorities.
Published April 2005
Surrealism is a survey of the twentieth century's longest-lasting and, arguably, most influential art movement. Championed and held together by André Breton for more than forty years, Surrealism was France's major avant-garde artistic tendency from 1924 onward, rapidly spreading around the globe to become an international phenomenon. During World War II Surrealism's exiled artists and writers had a major impact on American art and were a primary influence for the Abstract Expressionist generation. Caws is particularly qualified to write about the movement: she has translated many of Surrealism's major texts, and published extensively on Surrealist art and writings.
Published December 2004
Phaidon Press, 2004
The Yale Anthology of Twentieth-Century French Poetry
The Yale Anthology of Twentieth-Century French Poetry presents a comprehensive bilingual representation of French poetic achievement in the twentieth century, from the turn-of-the century poetry of Guillaume Apollinaire to the high modernist art of Samuel Beckett to the contemporary edgier verse of Michel Houellebecq. Caws has chosen work from more than 100 poets for this anthology; her deliberately wide-ranging selection includes work by Francophone poets, writers better known for accomplishments in other genres, and many more female poets than typically represented in anthologies of modern French literature. The anthology is arranged chronologically and broken into periods, beginning with the symbolist and post-symbolist poets (1897-1915) and ending with the contemporary scene (1981-2000). Short introductory essays set the tone for each section.
Published June 2004
Yale University Press, 2004
Maria Jolas, Woman of Action: A Memoir and Other Writings
Maria McDonald Jolas, member of a distinguished Kentucky family and cofounder with Eugene Jolas of the international literary journal transition, has been called, somewhat to her discomfort, the leading lady of Paris literati of the Thirties." The collection, edited and introduced by Professor Mary Ann Caws, demonstrates why Jolas deserved those accolades and takes full measure of her contribution to our understanding of modernism. Caws supplements Jolas' memoir with radio addresses, lectures, journal entries, and letters, giving voice to a woman whose legacy has too often been effaced by that of her colorful husband and famous friends.
Published April 2004
University of South Carolina Press, 2004
Fashion under Fascism: Beyond the Black Shirt
Eugenia Paulicelli explores the dark and complex social history of Italian fashion under the Fascists and examines the subtle yet sinister changes to the seemingly innocuous practices of everyday dress. Paulicelli shows why they were such a concern for the Italian state under Mussolini and demonstrates how these developments impacted the global dominance of Italian fashion today. The book includes interviews with major designers, such as Fernanda Gattinoni and Micol Fontana. Paulicelli is an associate professor of comparative literature at The Graduate Center and Queens College.
Published February 2004
Berg Publishers, 2004
The Heirs of Molière: Four French Comedies of the 17th and 18th Centuries
The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center has published The Heirs of Molière, translated and edited by Marvin Carlson. This volume contains four representative French comedies of the period from the death of Molière to the French Revolution: The Absent-Minded Lover by Jean-Francois Regnard, The Conceited Count by Philippe Nicault Destouches, The Fashionable Prejudice by Pierre Nivelle de la Chausse, and The Friend of the Laws by Jean-Louis Laya. Translated in a poetic form that seeks to capture the wit and spirit of the originals, these plays suggest something of the range of the Molière inheritance, from comedy of character, to the popular sentimental comedy of the 18th century, to comedy that employs Molière's tradition for more contemporary political ends-showing changing ideas about class, gender, and society in a turbulent century.
Published August 2003
Martin E. Segal Theatre Center Publ. 2003
Contemporary Spanish Culture: TV, Fashion, Art, and Film
This accessible introduction to the exciting field of contemporary Spanish visual culture is the first of its kind. It combines cultural context with close readings of particular works.
Going beyond the field of cinema, in which Spain is an acknowledged leader, Smith examines new developments in television, where original and innovative series drama has recently blossomed. He also explores Spanish fashion, where 'classic' design is married to high tech production and distribution.
Two aspects of Spanish visual art are considered: the career of Miquel Barceló, global artist and pure painter, and Basque conceptual art which, through photography and installation, puts a new spin on international questions of gender and sexuality.
Finally, Contemporary Spanish Culture examines Catalan independent cinema and the most recent work of Spain's best known director, Pedro Almodóvar, who has resurrected a genre long considered dead: the art movie.
This innovative new book provides an ideal introduction for undergraduates and will be essential reading for those working in Hispanic studies, cultural studies, and film.
Published February 2003
Palgrave Macmillan British Film Institute, 2003
Amores Perros (2000), directed by first-time filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárittu, with its intersecting storylines and treatment of urban violence and decay, kickstarted a renaissance for Mexico's film industry. It was the first Mexican film for generations to achieve major international success, winning many awards, including the Critics' Prize at Cannes.
An edgy, complex and sometimes shocking view of life, love and death in the most populous metropolis on the planet, Amores Perros achieves the rare feat of speaking to an international audience while never oversimplifying its indigenous culture.
In the first book-length study of this remarkable film, Paul Julian Smith opens up that culture, revealing the film's relationship to television soap operas, pop music and contemporary debates about what it means to be Mexican. Having researched into the production records and interviewed key personnel, he also shows how the film came to be such a success before going on to analyse how its outstanding acting, music and cinematography combine to create 'a uniquely powerful work in world cinema'.
Published January 2003
But Enough About Me: Why We Read Other People's Lives
Miller has carved out a distinctive niche with her books of personal criticism, this time mixing memoir with a group portrait of a generation of literary women who grew up in an age of profound social change. But Enough About Me tells the story of a girl who matured in the 1950s, got lost in the 1960s, and became a feminist critic in the 1970s. But it becomes a transpersonal" memoir as it weaves in stories of other notable feminists of her age. Its stylistic blend of social criticism and deep anecdote, complemented by photographs that are by turns provocative and intimate, makes this a unique read: a candid autobiographical essay that is also a meditation on the social phenomenon of the "memoir" as genre.
Published August 2002
Columbia University Press, 2002
Rubens: A Portrait
Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) was the most popular painter of his day, and his posthumous reputation has ranged from the Prince of Painters" to an artist whose style, subjects, and methods of painting have been subject to withering criticism. Rubens, a contemporary of Shakespeare, Rembrandt, and Galileo, possessed many ideas about beauty-that it is a process and not a quality, a history of actions rather than an ideal to be aspired to-that have proved ahead of their time. His monumental canvases with their sensual gardens, scenes from Biblical and classical lore, and "Rubenesque" women are the epitome of the Baroque School of painting, which later influenced Delecroix, Renoir, and many others.
Published May 2002
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2002
Pixérécourt: Four Melodramas
Though the reputation of French playwright Rene-Charles Guilbert de Pixérécourt (1773-1844) has waned since his heyday in the years following the French Revolution, the past 20 years have brought about a resurgence of interest in the father of melodrama," author of 120 plays. This volume contains four of his most important melodramas: The Ruins of Babylon or Jafar and Zaida, The Dog of Montatgis or The Forest of Bondy, Christopher Columbus or The Discovery of the New World, and Alice or The Scottish Gravediggers, as well as Charles Nodier's "Introduction" to the 1843 Collected Edition of Pixérécourt's plays and the two theoretical essays by the playwright, "Melodrama," and "Final Reflections on Melodrama." Daniel Gerould is Lucille Lortel Distinguished Professor of Theatre and Comparative Literature at The Graduate Center.
Published May 2002
Martin E. Segal Theatre Center Publ. 2002
Surrealist Love Poems
Prolific author/editor/translator Mary Ann Caws-her books Manifesto, Surrealist Painters, and Picasso's Weeping Women were all published last year-edited this collection of Surrealist love poems, described as erotic, impassioned and necrophilic works [that] celebrate the idea of obsessive and transformative love" by Publisher's Weekly. Poems by the likes of art's original "bad boys," Andre Breton and Paul Eluard, as well as by Philippe Soupault, Octavio Paz, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Frida Kahlo, are gathered here, accompanied by fourteen lushly printed photos by Man Ray, Lee Miller, and Claude Cahun. ("The embrace of poetry like that of bodies / As long as it lasts / Shuts out all the woes of the world-Breton.)
Published February 2002
University of Chicago Press, 2002
False Papers: Essays on Exile and Memory
This collection of 14 essays by Aciman-the prince of nostalgia" (Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times Book Review)-dissects in fine-spun prose the experience of exile, as Aciman describes his forced departure from Alexandria as a teenager, his brief life in Europe, and his present location on Manhattan's Upper West Side. "To those who asked, I said I went back to touch and breathe the past again, to walk in shoes I hadn't worn in years," begins this evocative collection by a stylist some have compared to Proust. Aciman, an expert in seventeenth-century French literature, the contemporary Arab world, modern literature, and philosophy, is also a frequent contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, The New Republic, and Commentary. His book, Out of Egypt: A Memoir (1995), an account of his Jewish-Turkish-Italian family's life in Alexandria, was called a "a classic memoir of modern Jewish life" by The New York Times.
Published September 2001
Picador USA, 2001
The Moderns: Time, Space, and Subjectivity in Contemporary Spanish Culture
Oxford University Press, 2000
This book offers a radically new account of the rich and varied culture of contemporary Spain. It focuses on three intellectuals who chronicle contemporary life (including journalist Francisco Umbral); three filmmakers who engage with the many nationalisms of the Spanish state (Victor Erice, Bigas Luna, and Julio Medem); and three crucial topics that are expressed in many media (the replaying of history, the rise and fall of the city, and the practice of everyday life). Ranging from ethnographic photography to high tech architecture, from hyperrealist painting to neo-flamenco dance, this book is also the first to draw on theorists of the intellectual field, the production of space, and the arts of bricolage (Pierre Bourdieu, Henri Lefebvre, and Michel de Certeau). Refuting the charge that contemporary Spanish culture is trivial or superficial, this book argues that it is fully engaged in the aesthetic and historical project of modernity.
Published June 2000
The Theatre of García Lorca: Text, Performance, Psychoanalysis
Cambridge University Press, 1998
The Theatre of García Lorca offers radical new readings of his major plays, drawing on cultural studies, women's and gay studies, psychoanalysis, and previously unexamined archival material. It also juxtaposes Lorca with major figures such as Gregorio Marañón, Langston Hughes, André Gide, and Lluis Pasqual, enabling us to see his theater in a new light. In addition, the book presents a new psychoanalytic reading of the plays, which returns to Freud's early clinical texts.
Published May 1998
Quevedo on Parnassus: Allusive Context and Literary Theory in the Love Lyric
Modern Humanities Research Association, 1987
Quevedo, who for much of his life was a nobleman politically active at court, is now remembered as one of the great writers of the Baroque era. His love poems are among the best regarded from his substantial poetic oeuvre, but he ranges also over metaphysics, mythology and satire, and there are frequent references or allusions to his deep reading from numerous languages.
Published January 1997
Vision Machines: Cinema, Literature, and Sexuality in Spain and Cuba, 1983-93
Over the last decade, visibility and sexuality have become a major theme in Spanish and Cuban cinema, literature and art. Vision Machines explores this development in the light of contemporary history and recent theoretical accounts of sight by writers including Paul Virilio, Gianni Vattimo and Teresa de Lauretis.
The very visible women of Almodóvar’s cinema are Paul Julian Smith’s first subject. He shows how, in his early Dark Habits, lesbianizes the look, putting women’s pleasure at the centre of the frame, and then examines Almodóvar’s recent film, Kika, where the conflict between cinema and video is played out in the bodies of women: good, bad and ugly. Moving the focus to Cuba, Smith discussed the reception in Europe and North America of Nestor Almendro’s remarkable documentary on gays in Cuba, Improper Conduct, and traces the trial of visibility to which effeminate men were exposed. He compares Amendor’s work with the autobiography of exile novelist Reinaldo Arenas, which revels in graphic sex, and also looks at the first Cuban film with a gay theme, Gutierrez Alea’s Strawberry and Chocolate.
Smith returns to Spain to consider the response of artists and intellectuals to the public invisibility of AIDS in a country with one of the highest rates of HIV transmission in the Eurpean Union. Drawing on Anglo-American debates on the representation of AIDS, he concentrates on the one major intervention by Spanish scholars and artists, Love and Rage, and on the only figure in any medium to address AIDS in his aesthetic practice, the conceptual artist and video-maker Pepe Espaliu. He concludes with a fascinating account of Julio Medem’s pathbreaking film from 1993, The Red Squirrel, which has opened up a new approach to two formerly taboo subjects: Basque nationalism and female sexuality.
Published April 1996
Entiendes: Queer Readings, Hispanic Texts
Duke University Press, 1995
Paul Julian Smith and Emilie Bergmann
"¿Entiendes?" is literally translated as "Do you understand? Do you get it?" But those who do "get it" will also hear within this question a subtler meaning: "Are you queer? Are you one of us?" The issues of gay and lesbian identity represented by this question are explored for the first time in the context of Spanish and Hispanic literature in this groundbreaking anthology.
Combining intimate knowledge of Spanish-speaking cultures with contemporary queer theory, these essays address texts that share both a common language and a concern with lesbian, gay, and bisexual identities. Using a variety of approaches, the contributors tease the homoerotic messages out of a wide range of works, from chronicles of colonization in the Caribbean to recent Puerto Rican writing, from the work of Cervantes to that of the most outrageous contemporary Latina performance artists. This volume offers a methodology for examining work by authors and artists whose sexuality is not so much open as "an open secret," respecting, for example, the biographical privacy of writers like Gabriela Mistral while responding to the voices that speak in their writing. Contributing to an archeology of queer discourses, ¿Entiendes? also includes important studies of terminology and encoded homosexuality in Argentine literature and Caribbean journalism of the late nineteenth century.
Whether considering homosexual panic in the stories of Borges, performances by Latino AIDS activists in Los Angeles, queer lives in turn-of-the-century Havana and Buenos Aires, or the mapping of homosexual geographies of 1930s New York in Lorca’s "Ode to Walt Whitman," ¿Entiendes? is certain to stir interest at the crossroads of sexual and national identities while proving to be an invaluable resource.
Published May 1995
The Body Hispanic: Gender and Sexuality in Spanish and Spanish American Literature
Oxford University Press, 1992
This is the first book to analyze Spanish and Spanish-American literature in light of several theories of sexuality advanced since Freud. Bringing into discussion such writers as Fuentes, Neruda, Garcia Lorca, Galdos, and St. Teresa of Avila, Smith draws on critical approaches derived from Marx, Lacan, Foucault, Barthes, and French theoretical feminism (Kristeva and Irigaray). He argues that in spite of the variety of texts and theories treated, there are three broad areas of coherence or coincidence: the status of women in a male culture; the possibility of resistance to authority; and the role of the body as protagonist in that resistance.
Published May 1992
Writing in the Margin: Spanish Literature of the Golder Age
Oxford University Press, 1988
This study, the first to apply a poststructuralist viewpoint to literature of the Spanish Golden Age, offers new insights into major texts. Beginning with a comparison of Renaissance and modern theories of discourse, the book examines lyric poetry, picaresque narrative, and drama by Góngora, Quevedo, Lope de Vega, Calderón, and Cervantes.
Published April 1988